Tuesday, October 23, 2018

31+ Movies You Should Watch in October

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which if you decide to purchase I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Opinions in this post are 100% my own thoughts


 I meant to have this written and published sooner, but this is the time of year where things really start to get busy and well, illnesses like to spread. If you're reading this and it's just before October, than great, if not, October isn't over yet so there's still time to start on this list and if you're very enthusiastic and have time, you can still complete it by the last day... that might mean you'll have to watch two or more movies a day (at least), but if you're like me and love Halloween, (I mean October) then this could just be as simple as watching some on the weekend as a marathon.

I'm not a huge haunting/demonic fan- I don't really like to get scared, so my list will be a little tame and there will be movies that you can watch with your kids, too. Here're my list of movies to watch during October.

1. What Lies Beneath- Ok, this really isn't a Halloween movie per-say, but there is a haunting in it. A wife suspects that her house is haunted after her daughter goes off to college and she's alone in the house all day. She tries to tell her husband, but he thinks she's crazy. There's even a plot twist in this movie. Plus, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer are awesome.



2. Sweeny Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street- I went and saw this movie with my college room mate, my husband (who was my b/f at the time), and my good friend. We had the theater almost all to ourselves and I laughed like a maniac throughout the whole thing. I don't know if I just have a morbid sense of humor or if it's meant to be both funny and morbid, but I still can't watch this throat cutting movie without laughing. Again, this really isn't a Halloween movie, but it's a Tim Burton Film with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Doesn't any movie by Tim Burton Count?




3. The Worst Witch- This movie is an older one with Tim Curry who plays the Grand Wizard. It was one of sister's and my favorite Halloween movies growing up. I'd post a link to buy the movie, but the only one I could find was selling the movie for a $100, and well, that's just a little steep to pay. Instead, you can enjoy a video.


4. Casper- I loved this movie for many reasons... Number 1 was Devon Sawa as human Casper, but not that I'm older, that's just a little creepy. Now I love it because it's just a good movie. Casper is a friendly ghost who's misunderstood. Despite the fact that he lives with some terrible uncles, he is still a happy-go-lucky ghost/kid. Christina Rici plays a young girl who just wants to find a place to stay put, but her dad is a traveling ghost psychiatrist- he probably should have seen someone in his vocation for himself, and finds friendship with Casper.


5. The Nightmare Before Christmas- Is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? It's both! I probably don't need to tell you much about this movie because it's still crazy popular and people talk about it year round and even decorate their houses with the decor. For those who aren't familiar, Jack Skelington is the king of Halloween Town, but is bored with doing the same ol' same ol' and stumbles across Christmas Town. He then tries to incorporate Christmas into Halloween town and the town suffers with mixed emotions. Watch the movie to discover the reason why it's so popular to this day!



6 and 7. The Addam's Family and Values- These were two of my favorite movies growing up. I remember laughing and thinking how clever Wednesday was with her quick quips and solemn manner and I loved the romance between Morticia and Gomez. This unusual family will make you fall in love with them and go through a goth phase. I would like to add a warning: If you have kids who are into sibling rivalry, perhaps this movie should wait for viewing as it does show the kids lovingly torturing each other. We wouldn't want to give them any ideas.



8. Harry Potter 1-8- I wanted to do a single line for all of these, but thought that I would combine them instead since I didn't want the list to taken up by series. Harry Potter can be a Halloween or Christmas movie. In fact, when I had mentioned to someone that I would put it on here, that person said, "I think of it as a Christmas movie." Well, there are witches, wizards, and other mythical creatures and since Halloween is about ghouls, goblins, witches and wizards, this seemed like a good place for this. I suggest that you read the books and not just watch the movies because there is a lot that gets left out or changed in the movies and really, both are extraordinary in their own way. So follow this neglected child as he finds out that he's a wizard and grows up in a magical world each year to only return to his awful relatives in the summer.



9. Twilight- If you like battles between Werewolves and Vampires and even like sex and awkwardness, than this four book, five movie saga is for you. Watch in horror as Bella falls in love with a vampire and cringe as she does everything that you hope your daughter never does including: putting a guy first, being reckless, inviting boys into her room, changing herself for a boy, and forgetting her self worth... Maybe this should be something that you let your kids watch when they're old enough to make their own decisions. In the meantime, this series is great to watch to pass the time.




10. The Haunting- I love Catherine Zeta-Jones and well, the rest of the cast is pretty spectacular too. Nell, is invited to do a study for insomniacs, but we find out that another character is doing a study based on people's tolerance of fear. Unbeknownst to them, the house is haunted and the people in the house must fight it in order to survive. Watch this movie for suspense, and be terrified and angry all throughout the movie. I'll have to watch it all over again as a mother and see how much more I am angered. (Motherhood puts things into a different perspective.)




11. Beetlejuice- The one thing that I remember most about this movie is the beautiful covered bridge. It was spectacular until a couple drove off of the bridge and died, resulting in them coming back to haunt their beautiful house that ended up being bought by a new modern family. Only one other person can see them, but her family doesn't believe. The couple, desperate to get their home back for them calls in Beetlejuice- oops, one more time and he might be summoned here too.... who helps the family in the most unconventional ways possible to get this other family moved out quickly.



12. The Wolfman- This is like the werewolf story of all werewolves. Follow this sinister actor as he heads back home after the death of his brother. After being home with the father who had him committed to a mental ward at a young age for witnessing a monster, the son goes out to get some fresh air and space from his overbearing and disapproving father. Unfortunately, he got bitten by something bigger than a mosquito and he begins to make a change of appearance. Can this unfortunate event be managed enough that he may have a normal life with his brother's widow, or will he be degraded by his perhaps, maniacal father for the rest of his life?




13. The Wizard of Oz- This also another one of those movies that aren't really considered a Halloween movie, but why not? You have a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion all in costume. If anything, this movie is the ultimate journey for trick-or-treating. You have a teenage girl who has taken someone's ruby slippers who meets some unlikely, dressed up characters and each are in search of finding a wizard to ask for something in return for their journey: A brain, a heart, the nerve, and a home.



14. Stir of Echos- Stir of Echos is perhaps one of the scariest movies I've allowed myself to watch although, I was a teenager when I watched it, so it might not be as scary as I remember. Kevin Bacon lives in a house that seems to be haunted, but only he is afflicted by it. He is told parts of a story from this teenage haunt about how she died and where she's hidden. He's considered crazy, but a murder is solved in the end. Very suspenseful.



15. Van Helsing- Hunters, werewolves, and vampires- oh my! Van Helsing is a man who ended up on a church step with no recollection of his past. He was recruited by the church to do their bidding of ridding all things evil from the world with the promise that they would help him remember who he was.



16. Hotel Transylvania- I'm not a huge Adam Sandler fan, but I do love these movies. Each new one gets better than the last. It has the cartoon quality that kids love and the subtle humor and puns that parents can enjoy. Follow Drac and all of the lovable monsters as they make a place for themselves in the human world.




17. Red Riding Hood- There's a wolf going around hunting people. Where is it? Who is it? How do we save ourselves from it? Watch the movie to find out on this different take of Little Red Riding Hood.



18. Warm Bodies- Ok, so this one could and probably should be classified as a Valentine's day movie... or should it. Can a zombie fall in love? Can he fall in love and not eat his loved one's brains? Watch as a zombie redefines how a zombie should behave. There's more to being a zombie than just eating brains.



19. The Shining- I'm not going to lie, it's been a really long time since I've seen this movie, so I'm unsure of what really happened. I remember liking it and it was scary, and of course the "Here's Johnny" from a much younger Jack Nicholson and the "redrum" saying that I remember class members going around saying as they bent their pointer fingers for a month. It used to be on the tv all of the time. Catch it there, or catch it here.

20. Practical Magic- Sandra Bulloch is probably my favorite actress. She's beautiful and amazing in this movie. Nicole Kidman plays her younger, care free sister. After needing rescued from her terrible boyfriend, Sandra comes in and saves the day by accidentally killing the boyfriend and then killing him again. The guy cannot get the hint and stays around to continue haunting the sisters who finally get the help they need from their crazy aunts after guiltily pleaing for their help.



21. The Gremlins- I was told this was a Christmas movie because it happens around Christmas, but c'mon! Can't it be both? Watch this movie about monsters who are basically toddlers do things they aren't supposed to do. I think this movie scared me as a child, so you might want to view it before showing it to your kids.



22. Sleepy Hallow- This is another Johnny Depp and Tim Burton movie. Watch as Icabod Crane uncovers the truth about some murders happening in the town of Sleepy Hallow. Perhaps one of the first forensic scientists of his time, he's able to figure out who dunnit and with what weapon of choice.



23. Scream- There really aren't any monsters in this movie, although an unexpected murderer could be considered a monster. Already suspenseful, what could be scarier than knowing that someone you know may be killing your friends, and quite possibly you?



24. I Know What You Did Last Summer- Pretty much the same movie, minus the scary mask.



25. Dracula, Dead and Loving it- See Mr. Magoo as a raunchy old Dracula. I feel this description says it all.



26. Child's Play- Please do not let your kids see this movie. Up until I tried to find this movie, I always thought this movie was called Chucky. If you want your child to be forever traumatized of dolls and never use the basement stairs at night, by all means, let them watch this movie.  A serial killer dies, but before he does, he makes a deal so he can come back to life, but unexpectedly, he's placed inside a child's doll. Does he get out? Does the family live? Watch to see.



 27. Underworld- This is a Romeo and Juliet type series of movies of Vampires hating Werewolves while a Vampire and Werewolf fall in love and try to defy the odds of everyone hating them for being different.



28. Halloween- I can't leave this one off of the list. A whole town is being terrorized by a man who just loves to wear a mask of William Shatner's face. Can this William Shatner fan be stopped from his killing sprees or will he eventually kill everyone in the end? Do not be fooled by the name Michael Meyers, it's not who you think.



29. Edward Scissorhands- A tale of a misunderstood youth. He's taken in by the most mommish type figure and finds a good use of his hands. Can he ever be a normal boy?

30. The Mummy- Again, not really a Halloween movie, but it's entertaining and has mummies and zombies and suspense. If the first one wasn't enough, there are several movies in this series. My love of Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson as an actor sprung from this spinoff- The Scorpion King. These movies are suspenseful and comedic. You'll go from being at the edge of your seat to laughing within the same scene.



31. Hocus Pocus- This wouldn't be a real list if Hocus Pocus wasn't in it. The whole movie is centered on a Halloween night when three real life witches are brought back from the dead. Can three witches survive the night after being dead for a 100 years? Can two teenagers and an 8 year-old defeat them and save a whole town? Watch to see!

 

Did your favorite movie make the list? What would you add? What would you take away?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Real Baby Essentials- What We Used and What We Didn't




Becoming a first time parent can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to figure out what you will need once baby arrives. While creating a registry can be fun, it can also be daunting. It's important to research, and I found that I was constantly doing everything I could in order to prepare me for motherhood, whether I watched documentaries or joined online sites. 

What Can You Do To Help Prepare Yourself?

The biggest thing that I did, nine years ago when I was pregnant with my first child was to find a helpful website.

Baby Gaga was by far, my favorite site. I was able to read blogs from other moms as well as be a part of a community that asked questions and connect with others who's due date was close to mine.

Parenting.com was also a very good resource. It used to be very similar, but also had many differences.

I didn't take time to read books, mostly because I always had a difficult time staying focused when reading them. I don't know why I could research all day on the internet, but not books. It's the craziest thing. But, if you don't have problems with reading, here are some helpful books.

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links which means that if you buy from one of them, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.)



Another thing that I found very helpful was a dvd that I used for exercising while pregnant. I didn't really exercise with my first two, because I worked and was tired at the end of the day, but I did walk a lot with my youngest (I was working too, but it was a desk job so it was easier) and I did a workout video. It was surprisingly easy to do, and you felt the post workout aches the next day, but I felt like I was doing something good for myself.




What Do You Really Need For Baby?

      Ok, So here's the real reason for this post. What do you really need for your baby? In the picture below, I made a generic baby registry list, but not everything on the list is needed. It would be nice to have everything that you want, but if you're on a budget or going to be having a small baby shower, there are things on it that you can do without or use later.




     It's a very sweet idea to have a nursery for your child. In an ideal world, everyone would have one and it would get used right away. This is what my reality was.

     My husband and I were married right before our senior year of college. Towards the end of college, we discovered that I would be having a baby. We were super excited and thought that we'd have jobs as soon as we graduated and get a cute little house or apartment and we'd have a special room just for our baby.

That did not happen. What did happen was that we graduated with no jobs on the horizon and moved into my grandparent's and used their spare bedroom as our room. The baby was born a few months later and we ended up using a pack-n-play for him. We had a crib from the shower, but we didn't have it assembled because we were going to move into my parent's old house and have a room for him there. We eventually moved in with an adorable nursery room just for him.

When I found out that my daughter was coming a little over a year later, we made a room just for her, too. We transferred the crib to her room and let my son have a twin size bed (with a toddler bar so he wouldn't fall out) because he was climbing out of the crib when he was 18 months old.

You know what?!?! We never used the crib right away. So what do you really need?


Nursery Items- Yes and No


Crib- Yes, it's really nice to have a crib, but you're not going to use it right away if you ever want to sleep. Instead, what I recommend is getting a Pack-n-Play or something similar that has a hanging bassinet and maybe even a diaper changing area. If you have room for two, do two.

We had the one that we got for my son and then when we found out we were having a girl, we bought another one for a girl. We used the one that was my son's for the living room (it also had the changing station) and the girly one for my room. I originally wanted a co-sleeper station, but they were expensive at the time and the pack-n-play worked well for us.




This one even has a little area just for newborns. Once they get too big for that part, you can take it out and put them in the hanging bassinet, and when they get big enough that they can start to sit up, you can transfer them to their crib and use the next size down as a play-yard. My pack-n-play was my most used baby item.

Rocking Chair or Arm Chair- While these are nice, they are really uncomfortable. What I recommend is a nice recliner. What suited me best was one that was soft and had high/wide armrests. It made it easier and more comfortable to nurse the baby and when you have multiple children, it also makes room for your older children to snuggle with you and not feel left out.




I don't recommend actually buying one online, because your comfort is very important, especially when you're going to spend many hours nursing or just snuggling your baby.

Baby Monitor- This is something that I had during my first pregnancy, but it was something that I didn't need to have. I'm a very light sleeper and unless you sleep like you're hibernating, you're going to hear your baby cry. If you want to put it on your registry anyways, it could be very helpful, just read the instructions and make sure that you're getting one that can't be hacked. (Is that really a thing? I heard it was, but I don't really know for sure.)

Blankets- You're not really supposed to use blankets on top of your baby because they can ensnare your child. What's recommended is to put your baby into a sleeper and then swaddle them. My first two babies were winter babies. I usually put them into a onesie, footie pajama, and then swaddled them.




With swaddles, though, as your child gets bigger, they'll need to have different sizes. You can learn how to swaddle with a blanket, usually they teach you your first night in the hospital, but I always found these easier to use while my husband preferred swaddling in a receiving blanket.


Baby Gear

Strollers- What I recommend for this is that you ask or get a dual stroller/travel system. One that is a stroller and has an infant car seat. They usually come with a car seat base so you can put that in your car and transfer them from car to stroller without a hitch. (Please do not put your baby seat on top of a shopping cart btw- they should always be put in the basket of a shopping cart)

The reason I suggest this instead of just the car seat is that you're going to eventually need bigger car seat for your child and if your kids are like mine, they are going to outgrow this infant carrier by the time they are a year old or sooner. Until they outgrow their infant car seat, you'll have plenty of time to research convertible car seats for your child that will grow with them.




High Chair- This is one item that you don't need to get right away. Your baby won't be ready for a high chair until they start to eat baby food and that's recommended to do at the earliest, six months old. We ended up having my mother-in-law find a nice one at a rummage sale and it has held up forever. In fact, it's in our basement, right now collecting dust until my niece comes to visit.


Baby Swing or Bouncer- This is a must have! I've never had one of the fancy hundreds of dollars swings, but a simple one worked just fine. My kids either went to sleep after being breast or bottle fed and wouldn't fall asleep with me putting them down or rocking them. The swing was awesome for this and the bouncer helped settle them down.




If you could find a swing or bouncer with a bigger seat, trust me, that would be awesome! If your kids are like mine, they were always in the 90% in height (even though my husband and I are 5'7 and 5'4) and so it was good that we had the bigger swings so they could fit into them for a while longer than these newborn size seat nowadays.

Baby Carrier- This one isn't listed in the list, but a baby wearer could be a lifesaver, especially if you have multiple children. I tried one with my second child, but it wasn't the right fit. However, when my last child was born, I needed my hands to chase after the younger two. We ended up buying a Snuggie backpack, but a friend of mine suggested that I get something with a wider bottom to support my baby's hips, so here are the baby wearers that I thought would fit that recommendation, although I haven't tried them, for myself.


Bath Items


Since we didn't get into our house before my first born came into the world, we spend most of his time bathing him with wash clothes in the diaper changer in the pack-n-play. When it was time for a real bath, we used the sink in my grandma's kitchen because her bathtub had a sliding door and it hurt to lean over to bath the baby in the bath tub. Once we moved, we used a little bath tub with a foam frog to hold my son into place. It was the worst.

It's nice to have something because it's cute, but a lot of times, it can be messy and hard to store a baby bath tub. I suggest just filling your normal bath tub- if you have one- with just a little bit of warm water and wash your baby in that. Babies are slippery so hold on!

If you don't have a bath tub or a big sink, go ahead and get a tub. The adjustable ones are great.



Feeding

If you're going to breastfeed, great, I did too! It's wonderfully cheap, but also consider supplementing with formula or pumping. You'll be glad you did because then someone else can feed the baby and let you nap.

Breast Pump- Many insurance companies will pay for a breast pump for you. If you get to choose, choose a double breast pump. It's faster and you get more milk.



This is the brand that I used the second time around and it was used with my last one, too. It was amazing and works fantastically.

Manual Breast Pump- However, sometimes you need to pump when you're out and don't have access to an outlet. In those cases, I found it faster to actually sit in the car, covered up, and use a single manual pump. My babies liked to eat and would take so much longer than the pump, so if we were out shopping, I let my husband go ahead with the kids while I pumped so I didn't miss out on too much.




This is the same one that I used and it was amazing. It took longer than the electronic one, but the easy pump handle made it so much easier to use than the first single manual pump I had with my first born which felt like I was using a balloon pump because I had to hold the pump to my breast and then push and pull it in and out, like a balloon pump. It was terrible. Use something like this one!

Nursing Bra- I didn't have a nursing bra with my first child. I lived in a smaller town with no maternity clothes and it was awful. I in order to feed him, I had to pull my bra up or undo it completely to be comfortable. A nursing bra helps immensely and you can buy them online, now if you can't find them in stores.

Nipple Shield-  This is an amazing tool, especially for a first time breast feeding mom. My oldest didn't latch properly, but the nipple shield helped him to learn and also made it easier to and less painful for him to eat.




I had never heard of these before, but when we took my son back to the hospital to get his bilirubin checked, the nurse have me one to try out. It's almost like a suction cup for your nipple. Once it's on, the nipple gets pulled into it and it helps shape it so it's easiest to feed from.

Bottles- You're going to need more than you think if you try them at all. Unless you're Mary Poppins, bottles are going to disappear from your house. They roll under the bed and the couch or get dragged off and put in some magical place to never appear again. I recommend having many.



Burp Clothes- Um... You can never have too many. Babies spit up and drool.... a lot. We actually did away with burp clothes for my daughter because she had a more sensitive stomach and started using receiving blankets. We never really used the receiving blankets as blankets, so this solved our over abundance problem. Receiving blankets are big and can hold lots of spit up and drool. Use receiving blankets.


Baby Clothes

If you have a baby, you're probably going to have to decide how you want to live. My grandma had an upstairs laundry room in the first floor bathroom. It was very easy to do laundry when clothes got soiled... and they did all all of the time. Once we moved into our house, the laundry was in the basement. I wasn't willing to do several loads a day, so I was glad to buy all new and used outfits for my daughter.

Here's what I recommend-

Onesies, babies poop. A lot... and sometimes it runs up the back. If you have them in that super cute outfit that your Aunt Frieda got for them and they aren't wearing a onesie under it, you can call it ruined. I don't know what it is about baby poop, but even with stain remover and good laundry detergent, it's hard to get out. Onesies can help stop the poop from reaching the cute outfit. Get a onesie.


Also, get them (onsies) in every size because your baby will grow!


Speaking of Poo- You're going to want a diaper pail. I know there's speculation about this, but we have big dogs that like to eat dirty diapers. We throw them away in the garbage can now because our diaper pail didn't make the move, but they can open the lid on the trash can.... half eaten diapers= gross.


Baby Gowns- I never wanted my little boy to be in a baby gown because I thought the seemed feminine. After a couple months of struggling with footie pajamas, I realized just how wrong I was. A baby gown has no buttons. It's just a super long onesie that has an opening at the bottom. Since babies usually bend their little legs, you don't have to worry too much about a foot slipping out and getting cold. They are really nice for bed time because you put it on your baby and wrap them in a swaddle and then they're happy and you're even more happy when it comes time to change them in the middle of the night because you just have to pull the gown up and don't need to struggle with buttons or zippers.




Baby Mittens- Are really nice because they keep your baby from scratching their face. Since I had two winter babies, I was lucky because many of the long sleeve outfits had a flap on the sleeve that flipped over and covered their little hands.

Unfortunately, these get lost easily. Same thing with socks.

Baby Bunting and Outdoor Coats- If you have to be outside, have your baby wear something warm. If you are in the car, try to go with something that's warm like fleece, but not fluffy like a bunting. Your baby may be warm in them, but they won't be safe in the car seat because the seat belt can't be strapped over their chest correctly. There should be no slack and when force is applied to your baby's coat, the air rushes out and creates more slack than it should and the baby can actually be injured or even fall out of the seat. Instead, try a fleece coat or put a blanket over them. If your car has heat, they'll be warm enough.




Conclusion-

You don't know me, so I understand if you don't want to take my recommendations. As a parent, it's your responsibility to research the products that you use for your baby. As a mother of three older children, these are the recommendations that I have learned on my own when raising my kids.

Talk to other moms! My youngest is four years old, now, so guidelines and styles have changed since he was a baby. Search your stores and have fun during this time.

One fun way to do this is to start a baby registry. My husband and I went and did that through Target and Walmart. Back then, we were able to use a scan gun and it was SOOO much fun.... of course, that was nine years ago.  Now you can do your own registries online and that makes it so much easier to price shop, too.

If you're going to be a first time parent, you can start your registry, now!



If you're already a mom, what are things that you recommend? What do you agree with my list? What do you disagree with? Please share with any new mommy friends that you have to see more posts like this!

To download the list that's been revised and print, click this link Baby Registry List

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Be Your Own Person and Not Someone Else

   

  Today, I found one of my daughter's toy princesses. This figuring is a small, fits in the palm of your hand Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen. This is one of her many dolls that have interchangeable dresses. You just push the bottom in like a clothes pin and it will open up the dress and the princess can slip right out.


     



       When I found her, she was wearing the dress that belongs to Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The first thing I thought was, "Girl, this isn't your color."

       Immediately, after that, I thought, "I shouldn't be so mean and judge" but then another lesson came to mind.

Not Everything is made For Everyone

      Look at Elsa: She's very pale skinned, her hair is platinum blonde, and if she were a real human, this color would wash her out. The dress is very pretty, but it wasn't made for her.

       This doesn't mean that she's ugly, but she has other things that she could wear, like blue or green, that would suit her better.

      I'm not saying that she shouldn't wear this dress. Maybe it's more comfortable than her other dresses or maybe she likes the color better. And this isn't really about looks, anyways.

      I know that sometimes, we want our kids to be just like us and do things like play sports or learn to play the piano. We shouldn't put it on them if it isn't something that they want to do, though. Our intentions may be good, like "I want them to have structure" or "I want them to do what I couldn't do", but really, you should see how your kid feels about it.

      Maybe you really liked to play football and you want your child to follow in your footsteps, but your child just wants to swim or dance. Don't shame them for not wanting to do what you want them to do. They aren't you! No matter how many similarities there are between you, they are still their own person.

Just because everyone is doing it, doesn't mean that you have to, too.

      How often do we let our kids wear things just because everyone else is wearing them? In a world where we have to be careful because anyone can look up things about you, we need to be careful with how we're dressing our kids. There really is a need for censorship.

     Yes, that mini skirt and low cut blouse looks cute, but it's not made for little girls. Even teenage girls shouldn't be wearing them because they should be more focused on learning in school and building healthy relationships and not trying to catch all of the guys attentions. Your kids can choose what they want to wear when they are legally an adult.

      Set some boundaries and follow through on them. I mean, Elsa shouldn't be wearing a strapless dress when her land is frozen. It's impractical, put on some sleeves! Yes, Belle is the most beautiful and best princess, but Elsa, you have your own style and qualities too. You don't need to be like Belle.

Conclusion

     I may have pushed this lesson a bit, I blame it on my ever thinking/wandering mind. I always got in trouble in English class, or rather any class where I had to have coherent thoughts written down in the way that someone else wanted me to write- which you know, that really stifled my creativity. Someday, I'll show them.

      You don't have to be like everyone else. You are your own person. Just do what makes you happy as long as it doesn't break the law. I mean, we can't all walk around naked just because clothes confine us, but you know, I wouldn't anyways because- cold. Brrrr!

      Don't suffocate your kids with things that you want them to do. Instead, allow them to do some things that they enjoy, but also, don't let it be a burden on you, either. I mean, does your child really need to be in art, soccer, dance, and learning to be the American Ninja Warrior all at once? No!

      Lastly, don't worry too much about how you are as a parent. We all do things differently. Some of us believe that a quick, in control spanking or time-out helps their kids with disciplining and structure while others believe that all things can be done well with incentives and love. Kids are all different and maybe they need more tough love than gentle love or maybe they need more words of affirmation than words of disappointment. There's a reason why we call it parenting style because things work differently for everyone.

     
Anyways, be your own person and not someone else.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What Can You Learn From a Broken Washer Machine?


What's the Problem? 

        Twice now, my washer machine has broken and each time, my husband and I decided that we were going to get a new washer so I could wash clothes without a hassle.

       The first time it broke, my washer machine kept filling up with water and wouldn't stop. In order to get it to stop filling up, I had to turn the water off in the whole house. Thankfully, it went onto the next cycle and the water drained. Unfortunately, this happened for hours and water had poured all over the basement floor and the blankets that I had set there to wash (stomach flu season) got soaked.
       I had to get those washed or they would mold and be ruined. So I was extremely happy that when I turned the water back on, the washer didn't start to fill up again. I still had to drain and spin out the load that was already in there, so I put it on the spin cycle and it spun all the way out. I transferred the clothes to the dryer and took a chance and washed another load, but this time I stayed to watch it.

       The same thing had happened again. The water kept rising even after the next cycle began and the washer began agitating the clothes. I went to the main water valve and turned it off again and the water stopped. It seemed that as long as it stopped filling, it wouldn't start again until it was time to rinse. Thus, my journey began when I had to babysit my washer machine in order to get it to work properly.

     


        My husband and I both decided that this was too big for me to fix or want to try (I like to fix the things around my house) and that we would buy a new washer.

        I began cleaning up and around the basement so there would be room to install the new one when we bought it. While I was cleaning I put on a smaller load of laundry. To my AMAZEMENT, the washer machine worked on its own. I tried the large size load, (I normally do my laundry on super mode because we have a ton of laundry) and that worked too. I called my husband up and told him that we could wait on looking for a new washer.

       The second time it broke and I figured that the part to fix it was probably worth more than what the washer machine was worth, happened a couple of days ago. The washer would start it's load, but then the whole power box turned off every time the washer was to begin agitating and spinning.

       Naturally, I tried troubleshooting it, ruling out what the problem could be and figured it was the motor. So, again, instead of buying a new part that was probably going to cost a large amount and then possibly break the most important part of the machine, we decided to get a new one.

      So I'm back downstairs in the basement, trying to clean up that area. It's a huge mess. I've fallen behind on laundry from babysitting the washer before and from working on the blog full time. Since I know that the washer machine will drain, I figured I should try to get out as much access water as I could because it would be a mess to move it if it was full. I tried to put the drain cycle on (different from the spin and agitating cycle) and it went straight to spin and turned off.

      Well I'm an expert now on how to make my washer do things it doesn't want to do, so I spun the knob around to the wash cycle and turned the washer back on. I let it fill with water (because at this point it's starting to smell from everything sitting for a couple of days) and to my chagrin, the washer starts doing a full cycle including agitating and spinning.

     




       To test it out to see if it still works, I put on a small load and guess what.... It worked!

       Naturally, I have to tell my husband because we were going to call a guy who sells washers and well, we may not have to. I told him that it was working, but I would try a second one just to be sure.... and it worked too!

       So what have I learned about this experience?

Just because it seems broken, it doesn't mean that it can't be fixed. 

     How many times have we thrown something out just because it was broken? How many times have we given up on someone or something because we didn't want to work on our problem?

     I've had problems with this washer before. It was with our house when we bought it four years ago. At the time, I wanted to see if I could fix it because we didn't have a lot of expendable income coming in and I thought that our money could go towards something better than a new machine.

    With the help of YouTube and the GE website, I was actually able to diagnose the problem and fix it. It turned out, all it needed was a lid switch and that was an easy job to do, once we got it.

     The second time it happened, I was able to diagnose that too and get it fixed. I can't remember what the problem was, but I did it, with a little help from my husband because I needed the muscle to move the washer.

Once you've fixed the problem, you gain some peace.

     Not only did I feel overjoyed that it started working again, I felt accomplished and content. I did something with my two hands and fixed it. We wouldn't need to pay more than what we needed to and I knew that it was going to work for a while longer.

     When we have problems with people, parenting, or married life, we should first try to work it out. Of course there are exceptions like being in an abusive relationship, in which case, find someone who could help you get out, but in other cases, there most likely was a misunderstanding.

      Sit down and talk with them and listen. I'm guilty of shouting when I want to be heard, but I know that can damage relationships more than anything. Really listen, really talk things out. If a counselor can help, let them.

      The same thing applies with your children, especially young ones who don't know how to verbally tell you what is wrong. Sit down and talk with them and listen too. When you're finished, try to come up with a solution and ways to apply it. I bet you'll feel at peace afterwards.

Sometimes, you just need to be ready to throw in the towel and give up in order to get results.

       Maybe my washer machine knows what's really happening... I'm kidding, I know it doesn't. But how is it that coincidentally that each time we were ready to get a new washer machine, it decides to randomly start working again?

      Maybe it needed time to readjust. Actually, when you look in the manuals or look online, it tells you that you need to try to reset your washer. Sometimes it's as simple as lifting the lid and closing it several times and other times, you need to restart it and try an empty load so it re-calibrates. I'm guessing that is what I did when it decided to work again, today.

      In relationships, getting to that point when you're about to give up, that can really open the other person's eyes. It may just be enough to get them to see that what was happening was something that bothered you more than they thought it did. Even if you told them, sometimes its when they see it happening they realize.

     Maybe then, they'll take action and know that it's time to change.

If it's really broken and it can't be fixed, get rid of it.

      Sometimes, things can't be fixed. Throw out that washing machine and get a new one.

       Obviously, or I hope that it's obvious, don't throw out your kids. In a parenting scenario, if something like spanking or time outs don't work, throw out that strategy and try parenting with a different approach. Redirect them, love them. Not all strategies work.

       With adult relationships, there can be very toxic relationships. There are many people who are master manipulators who know the game and will change for a little time, but if they keep repeating it, they're broken. Leave that relationship. In cases of abuse, please get help. It's not easy, in fact Danielle Steele writes a book all about that.



       This is actually a very good book. It was frustrating and engaging and an emotional roller coaster read. In this book, she explains how some women, especially those who were physically abused, don't realize that they are in an abusive relationship when they are in one. I recommend the book, immensely!

Conclusion

       All that we're saying, is give things a chance. Ok, so not really. I know that eventually, we're going to need to replace our washer machine and I was embarrassed that I had to ask my in-laws to use their machine because I couldn't wash my kids uniforms at home. (another reason that I think uniforms are unnecessary.)

      I'm annoyed that I cleaned my basement when I could have been working on other things. On the plus side, though, at least it's one less thing that I have to worry about when it does come time to replacing the washer.

      On the downside, I cut my hand on something in the basement, so I might contract gangrene or tetanus and no, I'm not going to the doctor for a shot unless my hand starts to die and fall off or I start to mutate. I'm just going to rub some dirt in it- you got me again. I'm just going to wash my hand and bandage it, maybe put on some Neosporin. Maybe someone has an oil for that?

      But really, sometimes, a blog post might come out of something totally unexpected and maybe, you can learn something from a broken washer machine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How To Throw A Fall Tea Party

 
Last year, we started our annual tea party. It's a time where we women and children can dress up and partake in tea and snacks. My daughter has been looking forward to this second one ever since the first one finished.  (You can read about how we threw it economically in  How to throw an Economical Tea Party.)

 

      Unfortunately, this year, it wasn't as economical. My husband took our daughter out to find a dress and well, baby girl might have daddy wrapped around her little finger. I can't complain, though, because my outfit wasn't as cheap either. I had a difficult time finding any dresses or nice outfits on sale, this time of year.

      Other than the outfits, I tried to keep the cost of the tea party lower by getting decorations from the Dollar Tree- where everything is a dollar, and the food that I made for it was made with things I already had or things that could be used in multiple things. Since we hosted this tea party in October, the theme was fall. I made a lot of pumpkin foods so I got to use the same can of pumpkin puree.

       So enough about the cost and this and that, here's what we had!

Photo Wall

     Fall themed backdrop- I hung up a white table cloth on the wall and hung up a couple of fall themed felt decorations. It was a cute idea in theory, but felt+tape= disaster. They kept falling off.


Another problem that we had is that I should have hung up another table cloth because not everyone fit into the frame when they were all gathered around. It was great for two, maybe three people, but that was it. It was also difficult to get a good picture because everyone wanted to take pictures at the same time so those who were in the picture didn't know where to look.





Decorations

I found these little solar powered flowers with a butterfly at the Dollar Tree- actually all of the decorations are from there. We had two different kind- this one had tulips and the other kind had red roses. Each family that attended was able to take one home with them. 

Pardon the worn out table cloth, I forgot to take pictures before everything had been used. I bough three vases with matching flowers. The red ones were actually one bouquet, but I split them apart so I could put one in each red vase. I lined the vases across the table and then weaved the mesh tubing around them in a figure 8 pattern. The leaves were spread evenly across the table. I hung the two lanterns on the light fixture above my dining room table. 

My friend was awesome enough to have taking this before picture of the table. I was putting the finished touches on everything and placing food about the tables. 

Food!

Ok, so I had a lot of help with the food. Most of these recipes I found on Pinterest. I made 3 dozen muffins. Each dozen was a different recipe. I only took pictures of this pumpkin recipe as a teaser to those who were still on their way over to visit. 


Pumpkin Streusel Muffins- Anna Ginsberg Cookie Madness is who I found this recipe from. The recipe is in the link. They were absolutely delicious!

Banana Streusel Muffins- Somewhatsimple.com- I thought that these were a little buttery and salty, but that was probably just me.


Chocolate Chip Muffins- Sugarspunrun.com- These were really good, but also dry. Again, this was my fault. I didn't realize that the recipe had called for sour cream so I used what I had (not enough) and I forgot to set the timer on them. Oops!

Pumpkin Caramel Enchiladas-KeyIngredients.com- These were the favorite of the day. Very delicious!

How mine came out- after some were already eaten. I didn't rub the cinnamon sugar on them, but they were still very yummy and the best part was, they were super easy to make!


Cucumber Sandwiches- This was my own recipe and I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of it. I plan to make a post with the recipe soon to come!

Activities-

Ok, so I had planned on doing some crafts, but we never got to them. The men and women split up- there were 18 of us there! 9 of us were children so things didn't go as planned, but it was still a lot of fun!


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The Very Best Part

The very best part of all of this is that my house got cleaned and we were able to almost comfortably engage in fellowship with each other. It may have felt a little chaotic with us getting up and putting a kid in time out or struggling to talk to one another over the noise, but we were together and had fun and that's what matters!

What did you do this weekend? Do you have any traditions that you do each year?