DIY ornaments

Most of us are familiar with salt dough ornaments. However, thanks to Tips From a Typical Mom on Pinterest I recently attempted a recipe for clay ornaments instead of salt dough. The recipie was extremely easy to make.

1. Ingredients:
-Water
-Cornstarch
-Baking soda

2. Put all ingredients into a pot on medium heat and stir until thickened. The consistency should be similar to mashed potatoes. (This happens pretty quick so be watchful)

3. Take out the dough and place it in a dish with a damp towel on top. Allow to cool completely. (Great time to change a diaper, eat a snack,take a nap)

4. Put cornstarch on a flat surface and roll out your dough to about 1/4 thick. Drizzle cornstarch on your rolling pin as well (or cup if you lack a rolling pin).

5. Use cookie cutters to make ornament shapes or create your own freestyle shapes. I used the cup I used to roll the dough to make circle shapes.

6. Decorate by layering different shapes together. (Do not paint yet). I wanted my ornaments to be of my daughters handprint. I placed her little hand on each circle to make an imprint. (This was much more difficult than expected). I used a chop stick to poke a hole in the top of the ornament to be able to hang it later.

7. Place ornaments on a cookie sheet in an oven on 250 degrees F. Set a timer for 30 minutes, turn the ornaments, and set another 30 minute timer.

8. Take out the ornaments allow them to cool and then decorate with paint or whatever you choose. Modge podge looks great on this type of dough, makes it shiny white. I painted Modge podge on mine and used paint or puff paint to write her name and the year on the back of the handprint.

These were very simple to make and I cannot wait until next year to make them again when she can be more involved. I think this may become a tradition of her making an ornament each year!

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25 Christmas books

Looking for ideas for Christmas books? Well, look no further! After, I posted about Christmas traditions I realized several of them included books. Here are 25 great book ideas!

Legend of the Poinsettia- Tomie dePaola

The Tomten – Astrid Lindgren

Santa’s Snow Cat- Sue Stainton

Gingerbread Baby- Jan Brett

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The Night Before Christmas- Charles Santore

How the Grinch Stole Christmas- Dr. Seuss

Polar Express- Chris Van Allsburg

Christmas Trolls- Jan Brett

Welcome Comfort- Patricia Polacco

Dream Snow- Eric Carle

Trees of the Dancing Goats- Patricia Polacco

One Snowy Night- M. Christina Butler

The Father Christmas letters- J.R.R. Tolkien

Room for a Little One- Martin Waddell

Snowmen on Christmas- Caralyn Buehner

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The Wild Christmas Reindeer- Jan Brett

The Christmas Wish- Lori Evert

Llama Llama Jingle Bells- Anna Dewdney

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas- James Dean

The Littlest Christmas Tree- R.A. Herman

God Gave us Christmas- Lisa Tawn Bergren

The Littlest Elf- Brandi Dougherty

The Legend of Old Befana- Tomie dePaola

Llama Llama Holiday Drama- Anna Dewdney

Gingerbread Man- Jim Aylesworth

The Spirit of Christmas- Nancy Tillman

A Pirates Night Before Christmas- Phillip Yates

Bear Stays Up for Christmas- Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas- Jane Yolen

There are many more amazing Christmas books out there. Perhaps, next year I could do a book a day for the 25 days of Christmas and include helpful information for each book.
If you have a favorite Christmas book whether it was mentioned above or not please share it with me in the comments!

 

 

Dads Pull Out Surprise Dubstep Dance For Christmas

I am so glad to have found this! Dads you rock ! Thank you “cute or funny videos” for sharing!!

Cute or Funny Videos | Cute Funny Kittens, Puppies And More

Amateur dad dance crew, The Christmas Jumpers, get down to a remix of Dance Of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

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How I Rocked my Induction

An amazing birth!

An amazing birth!

Nervous about an impending induction? 

Induction is a scary word in the world of birthing babies. However, not every induction is scary or tough so keep your head up mommies when the word induction begins to be tossed around. By trusting your mommy instincts you can still rock your babies birth.

Yes, I am still pregnant…

At 41 weeks my doctors decided I was going to need an induction due to gestational diabetes and not having progressed at all. When everyone else close to 40 was feeling contractions, dilating, and effacing. I was still sitting pretty with a baby who loved the womb so much she did not want to leave!

As my husband and I awaited the call from the hospital to tell us it was time to come in to begin the induction we did many things. We packed our hospital bags, loved on our fur-babies, and discussed everything that was going to happen. We were extremely excited to be able to meet our little girl in as little as a few hours or as long as a few days. The call came and we put on our brave and overly excited faces and headed into the hospital.

My birth experience

After checking in and being taken into labor and delivery the process began. The doctor came in and discussed the plan for my induction. He was sure to tell me that inductions usually take a long time and it could be as long as three days before we actually get to meet our little one. Then he left and was not seen again until active labor. From there the nurses took over. They were amazing. I recommend being as good to your nurses as you can because they are the ones who really determine how pleasant your stay will be and they also are the ones who stick up for your wishes when your doctor may want to go another way. Below is an outline of my experience for those curious mommies who want to know what to expect when it comes to inductions.

10:00 pm: We are admitted to labor and delivery and taken to our room.

12:30 am: The midwife on duty began my Cervidil. Cervidil is like a mini tampon that they insert to help begin contractions to help you efface and dilate. It stays in for 12 hours if after the 12 hours there is no progress they will do another 12 hours of Cervidil or send you home to progress more. When this began I was 0 dilated and 30% effaced.

1:00 am: Contractions begin and the nurse encourages me to keep walking and moving. The nurse brought an exercise ball into the room for me to use. Although I was in pain I knew I needed to keep moving I did not let myself lay on the bed.

3:00 am: Contractions are coming regularly lasting at least 1 min and are 5 min apart. Walking becomes difficult. As the contractions became more painful I really began to rely on my instincts. If my body told me to squat I squatted, if it told me to move I moved. If something became painful I would try something else.

6:00 am: Contractions intensify! They are so painful that I could not walk to the bathroom or finish using the bathroom without a contraction. The nurse insists I try to get some rest. As I lay in the bed writhing in pain trying to rest I do my best to listen to my body. I knew that I could be in labor for several more hours and if I wanted to keep myself and baby prepared for the final stages I needed rest. I knew that I needed something for the pain. I asked my nurse what my options were and she brought Stadol to put in my iv.  She also checked my progress and from my first 6 hours of labor I am now effaced 50% and dilated to 3 cm. I finally am able to sleep.

11:00 am: My Cervidil falls out and the doctor on duty is called in. He checks the progress due to the Cervidil falling out to determine if I need more Cervidil, Pitocin, or to labor naturally. I am now completely effaced and dilated 5 cm. I request the doctor not to do Pitocin unless it is absolutely necessary because I feel that my body has begun laboring on its own. Knowing that I will be getting an epidural (personal decision) the nurse recommends getting it now as more intense labor is coming.

1:00 pm: The epidural is administered by the anesthesiologist. The shot to numb the area was a bit painful, however, the epidural process was not. Remember trust your instincts on what is right for you and your baby. Epidurals may not be right for everyone but after discussing it with nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologist in my family I knew that it was right for me.

2:00 pm: Catheter is administered. I was so glad to have the catheter because going to the bathroom mid contractions was near impossible and had me crying on the floor!

4:00 pm: The doctor on duty comes in to check my progress and he decided to start Pitocin although I was progressing well. After  checking the baby’s position he determines that she is head down and face up. He tells me if I cannot get her to turn that he will have to turn her or she may have to be vacuumed out. I was not going to have that and I did everything I could to turn her. The nurse brought me what they called the peanut.  It was an exercise ball-shaped like a peanut meant to be put between your legs while you lay on your side. The nurse told me changing sides every couple of hours would help the baby turn and help the epidural to stay balanced on both sides of my body.

7:00 pm: My contractions began doubling, before one contraction completely ended another one began. The nurse stops the Pitocin at this point. The baby’s heartbeat monitor also begins having trouble staying on the heartbeat so they use an internal monitor.

8:00 pm: The midwife on duty comes in with my doctor. They check my progress and I am completely effaced and 10 cm dilated. The midwife directs me to try to push, I push 3 times, as I push they tell me they can see the top of the head. The doctor puts a mirror up and I can see my babies gorgeous hair. I am then directed to labor down for a while, which means no pushing just resting and letting it happen naturally.

9:00 pm: The midwife returns and asks if I would like to try pushing again. After three pushes I labor down again. Laboring down is a great because you have time to rest and let your body do the work naturally instead of straining while pushing. At this time my doctor was able to see and rub my babies head. It was amazing and her heartbeat increased! My little one still loves her head to be rubbed.

10:00 pm: Between 9:30 and 10:00 I called the nurse in several times while I was laboring down because I felt like I had to poop and that I wanted to push. I knew my body was very close to pushing my little one out. They told me to do my best not to push and to relax. At 10:00 I told them I needed to push and the midwife and my doctor returned to the room. I pushed 5 times and my little one made her first appearance!

10:15 pm: Avery Grace was born and we chose to do delayed cord clamping, breastfeed, and have the skin to skin contact immediately. Avery was laid on my chest and at only minutes old she made her way to my breast and breastfeed like a pro for the very first time. After a short feed the cord was clamped and my husband was able to cut the cord. The nurses got Avery ready to go, my husband packed up our things, and the nurse prepared me to move to the recovery room.

Be brave, be courageous, trust your instincts!

I know that this is a long post and if you read the entire novel I applaud you. This very proud mommy wanted to share her birth story and to be a positive voice in the world of inductions. There are so many negative and scary induction stories but my experience was amazing. Baby and I were well cared for. She was born healthy and beautiful! Mommy was also in great health, no tearing or pain after birth.

I want to say a word about epidurals. People told me that you cannot feel when to push, you cannot feel your legs, labor will slow down and take longer, your baby will be sleepy and will not breastfeed immediately. I found all of these things to be false in my personal experience. I could feel when to push and had total control of my legs while birthing my child.  Also, my labor actually went faster after the epidural. My mother in law is an anesthesiologist and she has also shared that in her experience it seems labor progresses more quickly after the epidural because the woman is able to relax and her body can do what it needs to do. My little one was not born sleepy, she used her lungs immediately, and breastfed. She knew where that nipple was and she wanted it!

For those of you who may be facing an induction I hope that this (long) post has eased your fears and has been a positive influence. No matter how you end up birthing your baby, whether it is the way you planned or not, you can rock your babies birth!

Please share any tips you have for rocking your babies birth in the comment section below.

Proud mommy,

Erica