Enjoying Mommy's Quiet Time with McCafé Coffee

Friday, January 30, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #McCafeMyWay #CollectiveBias

I woke up last Sunday to the sound of rain hitting our bedroom windows.  I curled up under my blankets once more which felt glorious after sleeping ten hours that night.  After glancing at the monitor to a snoozing Lola, I peeked at my phone only to realize it was almost 8:00 and both kids were still sleeping -- this is quite a miracle in our house!  I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good cup of coffee to myself before the wild and craziness of the day began.  So I slipped out of bed, got Kurtis to start a fire and curled up on the couch with my favorite cup filled with warm coffee.  It was just me, my Real Housewives and my "mommy juice" to get my morning started.

Let me preface this magical moment with our activities from the day before.  Kurtis and I had stopped by the Walmart in Fishers to grab a few snacks for the IU game that weekend (which ended up being a complete disaster of a game - I'm not still bitter or anything.)  While we were in the store, we happened upon an in-store demo for McCafé premium bags of coffee and coffee pods.  You know I wasn't turning down a cup of coffee - especially on a Saturday.  McCafé coffee is made with 100% Arabica Beans that are harvested from the rich soils and mountainous regions of the foremost coffee-growing areas of the world.  Plus with eight delicious flavors, you know you will find one (or more) that you love!  Even though I'm usually not a huge dark coffee fan, the Dark Roast from the demo was amazing!  Kurtis and I grabbed a box of Premium Roast coffee pods which we would soon find out would make our whole morning.

Now let's jump back to our silent Sunday morning.  This kind of silence is rare, so anything to make my morning alone even more enjoyable is definitely a plus.  After my amazing cup of the McCafé Dark Roast the day before, I was anxious to taste the Premium Roast to see how it could compare.  The convenience of the McCafé coffee pods added to the ambiance of the morning.  I popped a pod into my machine and within seconds of the coffee hitting my cup, the amazing aroma filled my nose -- seriously, it was like instant heaven.  I love my children more than anything, don't get me wrong, but being given this opportunity to just put my feet up and think about mindless reality television was just what the doctor had ordered.  As I curled up on the couch with my cup of coffee I was able to enjoy the simple quiet of the morning for a solid thirty minutes until my two favorite peanuts came to join my pajama party.

Looking for inspiration?  Be sure to check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What's not to love? If you're looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!

So tell me moms, how do you enjoy the simple silence of your alone time?  Share away!


Project 52 - 4/52

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

More than ever lately this kid has been cracking me up!  From his dancing to facial expressions to the shocking things that come out of his mouth - he makes me laugh like none other.  He said to Kurtis the other day, "Dad, you hurt Mom's heartbeat.  You need to say you are sorry and fix it."  We are still adjusting to our lack of naps, but when he's not a grump he is nothing but pure joy.  Like he literally will love Lola too hard and hug her which ends up in him knocking her down.  Besides his love for life, my favorite quality of Cohen's is his willingness to snuggle and want to cuddle with me no matter what.  Give the kid a blanket, put on a good movie and he will snuggle up with you until the credits.  Such a sweet boy.

Big Girl is super proud of herself lately.  As I mentioned last week, she decided that it was time to start walking - so she did.  Kurtis and I are constantly chasing her and are quite amazed at how fast that drunken sailor waddle has grown into almost a full sprint within a matter of a week.  Her big thing now is putting her head on the ground and will shout, "Ta-da!"  This walking has made our little stinker hungrier than ever!  She will eat an entire meal, have seconds and then we will catch her trying to steal her brother's food or wanting more of ours.  Thank God I only have one picky eater in my life...


Tips to Taming Baby Diaper Rash

Monday, January 26, 2015

Diaper rash sucks.  Seriously.  There is nothing worse than your sweet little one having a bum redder than Rudolph's nose.  Cohen and now Lola have gotten their worst rashes when they are teething.  And these teething diaper rashes are more than just redness.  I'm talking almost blister-like rashes that, let's be real, can not feel good.  So I've put together my top five tips on how I've handled these uncomfy diaper rashes to hopefully help some of you mamas too!

1.  Extra the Strength
When I start to see the little booty get red, I will cover both the bum and diaper in an extra strength diaper cream.  I'm partial to the Up & Up brand that is similar to Desitin Extra Strength(the purple label).  Check the labels and make sure the cream contains a high percentage of zinc oxide (40% or higher), that's the stuff that really helps soothe and calm the butt.  I will usually cover the rear and then load up the diaper with some extra protections since she is in the same diaper all night long.

As you can see ours gets used frequently.

2.  Footsie Tootsie
On one of the million trips that Cohen spent in the pediatrician's office his first year, his doctor suggested to try Lotrimin cream on a flared up diaper rash.  I thought he was crazy at first.  Seriously, the same stuff you use for Athlete's Foot?  But I figured I would try it because it would be one last prescription to buy.  I started by lathering up his irritated butt and then covering it more with an extra strength diaper cream before heading to bed that night.  The next morning it was like night and day -- his rash barely even red.  I did the same thing for Lola as she sprouted her molars and it has made a HUGE difference.

3. Rub a Dub Dub
There have been some days when I just feel like it's best to air out my child's poor bum.  So in the evenings I will let Lola crawl around nakey (and hope she doesn't poop on the floor - beware, it will happen) and then pop her into the sink for a quick soak.  As I fill up the sink, I will pour a bit of baking soda in to help soothe and calm the redness.  Then once we've soaked we will head upstairs for a regular bath but I find that baking soda is a great soother.

4.  Hydro-Power
My friend has two girls basically the exact same ages at Cohen and Lola so we will randomly ask each other questions about the similar milestones are kids are going through.  When both of our girls started to teeth, she told me to use hydrocortizone to help tame the diaper rash.  I have used it a few times and it definitely lessens the symptoms of the rash, so it was nice to have another go-to solution when needed.

5.  Change It Up
I know this may seem obvious but the more often you change the diaper, the better.  There have been times when Lola has had a blistery rash that is so bad that I have changed her diaper every 45 minutes- 1 hour.  Yes, that's a lot of diapers.  But when they are sitting in a wet diaper that only saturates into the rash and makes it worse, it makes sense to make sure your babe's rear stays dry to help eliminate the rash.

Hopefully you find some ease with your tot's diaper rash.  I'm not a doctor but I can share my tips that have worked through the experience of two children.

Any tips that have worked to ease diaper rash on your little ones?


Weekend Shenanigans - Family Fun and a Good Fancy Beer

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oh weekend why are you over already?
I am dreading this week for the mere fact that it will be my first full week of work since December. 

But this weekend hit the spot.  Once again there weren't any heavy plans, just time with the family.  I snuck in an amazing five mile run on Saturday morning.  It was a bit chilly and I sadly have a feeling it was my last opportunity to run in semi decent weather until probably spring.  The rest of the day was spent running errands, pulling out every single toy we own, dancing to Kids Bop and drinking some good craft beer.  Let's be honest here, what's a Saturday night without a good brewsky?  Cohen also made a huge pillow and blanket bed on the floor.  Literally seconds after he finished it Brady walked over and made himself comfortable.  I had to laugh because Cohen was quite distraught and kept saying, "Mom! I don't want the big fat dog on my pi-woah!"   Sorry Brady.  Maybe if you weren't such a Chicken Nug snatcher he might have a little more love for your laziness.

You know what I actually got done this weekend?  The house is cleaned and the laundry is done.
And I mean clean as a whistle.
Double bam. 
I had to keep myself busy while my Hoosiers shamelessly got beat by none other than Ohio State.  (For real boys, get it together.)  Now we are embracing the upcoming cold and snow in this week's forecast and thinking spring more than ever.  I can taste the beach.  Well mentally that is.  Physically I need a bit more time to tone this bod up.   I'd like to wear more than a mu-mu on the beach this vacation.

I love this picture.  It just shows how Lola is so intrigued and interested in everything her brother does.

Here's to a new week, a full week and another week of survival.

How was your weekend?  Are you as ready for spring as I am?


Mommy Moments with Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt

Friday, January 23, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MullerMoment #CollectiveBias

It is no secret that my life is busy.  From the moment I wake up until my head hits that pillow, I feel as if I don't stop.  It is rare to have a moment to myself during the day because it is usually occupied by twenty-five second graders or my two favorite little sweet peas at home.  But that's what I traded in when I chose that amazing role called mom.  I wouldn't trade it for anything!  However I do try to get my mommy time in the evenings at least once or twice a week.  These are the kind of nights I look forward to -- robe on, feet socked and just me and the DVR.  But what's a date night with the DVR without a good treat?

I'm not sure if you are aware but I'm headed to the beach in 61 days, but who's counting?  I want to look fit and not like a beached whale - don't lie, I know you can relate.  So I've been more conscience lately about my diet and trying not to cave in too much to my horrible sweet tooth.  Seriously, I have a sweet sense that can detect sugar from a mile away.  On a recent trip to Walmart I decided to look for an indulgent treat that offered a balance of taste and nutrition.  Since I was alone I took my time browsing the aisles and deciding on which sweet snacks would be the best addition to my lone DVR date.  I've always been a fan of yogurt but my eye immediately caught the Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt.  I'm a huge fan of this brand so I was excited to see this new line of yogurt!  As I was reading the label, I realized that Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt is 5.3 oz and a great source of protein.  It's only 6% milk fat yogurt and has less sugar than other yogurts with 190-210 calories a serving.  Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt comes in three delicious flavors - Raspberry Chocolate chip, Mint Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Bean.  I immediately thought - "Can I get two claps and Rick Flair?" as I excitedly filled my cart up with this indulgent treat and prepared myself for another evening of chaos before my mommy time.

(Fishers peeps - don't miss the Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt demo at Walmart on February 7!)

When I know I am able to sneak away for an evening of mommy time, the rest of the day seems to drag on like it did when I was five and I was waiting for Santa Claus.  However, I survived our evening of wild and crazy.  That included cooking dinner, serving dinner, holding a grumpy baby, cleaning up dinner,  comparing belly buttons (don't ask), packing lunches, continuing to hold a crying baby, tubby time and last but certainly not least, night-night time.  I know I'm my mother's child when I get excited for the soft comfort of my fuzzy robe.  Yup, I definitely have hit mom status.  As I curled up in my comfies, with my remote and Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt, I enjoyed every second my mommy time...even if I only lasted until 9:00.

Okay Moms, tell me how do you enjoy your rare quiet moments? 


Project 52 - 3/52

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

This kid is all about life these days.  The questions, comments and concerns are endless but I love listening to his little voice and trying to answer him the best I can.  We unintentionally play the "Why Game" a lot lately because he is just so curious.  Cohen gets so excited about the littlest things which really has made me stop and remember the little joys that are important in life.  It's amazing how you can look at things differently through a four year old's eyes.  
Our nap days are slowly coming to an end and it has been a difficult adjustment okay, probably for both of us.)  This past weekend was busy with birthday parties, rare January bike rides outside and a visit from step-sissy.  We were just overly tired and a nap would have been greatly appreciated by his four year old body...if only he understood that.  I guess he will when he's 19, right?

Miss Lola decided that she was ready to officially start walking, so she did.  She now will walk across the room without any problems.  Her walk closely resembles a drunken sailor, but it is cute as can be.  Lola is also working on a naptime transition by going from two naps to one nap a day.  We are in this in between stage where one nap isn't quite enough but two is a bit too much.  One of my favorite sounds is her deep, belly laugh and Cohen is so good at getting it going.  I had a moment of amazement yesterday when I started thinking about how just last year at this time she was only two months old  and barely awake longer than a few hours a day.  Now she's a walking, talking, crawling and climbing machine - who still headbutts her brother when he pisses her off.


Operation Dry Nights - My Three Tips to Mastering Nighttime Potty Training

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PUBigKid #CollectiveBias

This kid.

I'm serious, ever since Cohen turned four it was like we turned a new leaf.  I will be the first to raise my hand when asked if I miss the Threenager stage.  Can I get a "See you never Threenager?"  Within the last few months he has truly just grown up right before my eyes.  The things he thinks of and says (both good and um, bad) amaze me.  For example, he used to go by the name Coco but now if you call him Coco he is sure to correct you by telling you he isn't Coco, his name is Cohen.  Things these days are all about being a big boy and big brother.  While we have been solid with the potty training for over two years now, it has been the nighttime training that we have really struggled with.  I knew I could use his drive to be such a big boy to help him finally master this nighttime potty training.

Now Moms with boys, I have heard that this nighttime training is much harder than it is with girls.  I guess I can't completely vouch for this one until I start training Lola but I can tell you that it has been an on-going battle for the last two years.  But I'm here to share my three most important tips with you that have helped Cohen successfully master this nighttime potty training.

Limit liquids after 7 p.m.
Cohen starts getting ready for bed around 7:30 and he is usually in bed around 8:15.  His comfort has always been that cup of milk ever since he was a wee little babe.  This has been our hardest obstacle because the kid loves to watch his night 'toons with a big cup of milk.  Now that cup is about half it's normal size and he hasn't seemed to have a problem with it at all.  But from 7:00 pm and on we limit what he drinks because once he is asleep, it really is hard to wake him up, so middle of the night bathroom trips aren't quite in his schedule yet.

Apparently he had a hole in his chin while drinking...

Make Many Trips to the Potty
Three is our magic number with this one.  Between 7:00 and 8:30 when he falls asleep, we make sure Cohen goes to the bathroom three times, whether he thinks he has to go or not.  Nine times out of ten he goes and it is a lot more than he expected.  He cracks me up when this happens and tells me, "Woah Mom.  I guess I did have to go."  Your mother knows best, kid.

Stock Up on Pull-Ups® training pants
Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night to change sheets, so I make sure we are prepared by using Pull-Ups® training pants.  Cohen still feels like a big boy because he can put them on himself without any trouble as well as still use the potty since he can pull them up or down just like normal underwear.  Another great feature is the Easy-Open sides so Cohen can easily take off the Pull-Ups® himself if he has an accident.  

Luckily our local Kroger carries a wide variety of  Pull-Ups® training pants for both boys and girls in three different sizes - 2T–3T (18- 34 lbs.); 3T–4T (32–40 lbs.) and 4T–5T (38+ lbs.)  Cohen loves the Lightening McQueen and Jake and the Neverland Pirates themes for boys.  For your girls Pull-Ups® offers Doc McStuffins and Ariel themed training pants.  Since we are using our Pull-Ups® training pants specifically for nighttime training, I'm a huge fan of the Night*Time Training Pants but they also offer Cool Alert® and Learning Designs® to best fit the needs of your kiddo.

The outcome of our Operation Dry Nights Potty Training has been quite successful!  Since we started using these tips consistently he has had just a few accidents.  Honestly (and as much as this pains me to say since it means he really IS growing up) we may be on our last pack of Pull-Ups® training pants if he continues to wake up dry over the next two weeks.  

Potty Training is a huge milestone for your sweet babe.  Whether it is nighttime training you are working on or even just tips on how to get started, be sure to sign up with the Pull-Ups® Big Kid Academy and register to learn more and stay connected during the potty training process. You can also download the Pull-Ups® Time to Potty App to help you keep track of your kiddo's progress.

Okay moms, let's here your stories!
I've shared my tips with you, so tell me, what are some of your best potty training tips?  Comment below to share with other moms in the same boat!

Check out your chance to win one of five $100 Kroger gift cards or one of two potty training prize packs worth $200!
Enter below!

Weekend Shenanigans - A Bright Sunshiney Day

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another weekend in January is in the books.
That means just one more weekend closer to spring.

This weekend was unusually warm and sunny for central Indiana.  The temperature got up to almost 50 on Saturday and about 40 today -- and there was sun both days!  Considering it has been bitterly cold, snowy and icey for the last three weeks I was determined to get out.  We have this amazing trail called the Monon Trail and I was able to get in a good four miles.  There were a few parts that hadn't been hit by the sun or the plow and I'm pretty sure I looked like Fred Flinstone because my feet were moving but my body was not. However I killed my pace (under a 9 minute mile!) and then celebrated with quick trip to Target of course.  Later in the afternoon we celebrated the first birthdays of some of the babies from the 2013-2014 Friends Baby Boom.  (I'm serious.  I had seven friends have babies in that time frame.  It was awesome!!)  It is crazy to me that all of these sweet peas are growing up so fast!

Sundays are my favorite in the Baumgartner House.  I slept in until 9, got up and enjoyed breakfast with my cuties and then did nothing until about two o'clock.  Again, it was awesome.  My main tasks were to finish laundry and put away the tubs of Christmas decor that had been hanging out in the loft.  Check and check my friends.  We then spent the rest of the day playing forts, having dance parties and trying to convince Cohen to sweep the kitchen.  It worked for about 2 seconds until he handed me the broom and said, :"Okay Mom, now you sweep into here."  
I tried.
 Look at these moves folks.

Oh, and we also compared belly buttons.

IU won and the Colts got spanked.  
And tomorrow we don't have school -- thanks, Martin!

I'm excited that January is quickly ending because we need to just get through February.  These next six weeks are the hardest because we don't have ANY breaks and let's be honest, that makes for a hella long time in teacher language.  

Now I'm going to go enjoy some Andy Cohen and cross my fingers that both kids sleep in tomorrow.