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Savvy Tips and tricks learned along the way...

 
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Welcome to little things

This web site is a culmination of things I have learned during various experiences in my life. I hope some of this information will be useful to you. There are a broad range of topics I have written about here. I have also included some things I made or found that I would like to share. Enjoy!

Beauty Blog (73 more articles.)
Dark Brown Faux Leather Jacket with Hood

My husband surprised me this Christmas with a beautiful dark brown faux leather jacket. I look forward to going out just to wear this jacket. It is a very dark ashy brown. He said it looks like real leather. But here in the Seattle area, I don't like to wear real leather. Polyurethane works better because of the amount of rain we get. And I love that this jacket has a hood. Keeps my hair from getting that drowned rat look when I'm out running errands in the rain.

The jacket is lined with a thin nylon fabric. It doesn't add a whole lot of warmth, but still I'm comfortable with a lightweight sweater underneath, running back and forth from my car to the store. And it is definitely warm enough to walk up and down the aisles of cold Safeway. 

I got a size small which seems to fit fine. I like that there is enough room for a light sweater underneath. This jacket falls right about to my hip bone. I am 5ft 105lbs and have a short torso. I like to wear this length of jacket. I feel like longer jackets, like anoraks, make me look short and stubby because they vertically cut off the legs and make them look shorter.

The brown color is a dark ash brown. In some lights, it almost look gray. I would've preferred a slightly warmer tone of dark brown, but I still really like this jacket. I wanted a dark brown jacket, something different than black. Maybe next year I will brave a color like teal or pink. But for now, I really love this coffee color. It goes with a couple of dark brown boots that I have.

The sleeves are a little long when my arms are down at my side, but when my elbows are bent, it goes right to my wrists. I don't mind the length of the sleeves too much. They keep my hands a little warmer. There is also a sleeve zipper that unzips at the hand and up the arm a few inches. I thought this might bother me, but it is well-placed so that it doesn't clang everything that you touch. And the zipper is great when I want to wear gloves or something on my hands.


Health Blog (20 more articles.)
Riding the Stationary Bicycle on Lazy Days

Stationary BikeThis morning I was lazy so I rode my stationary bike. I should use it more often, but I tend to use it on mornings when I don't have energy to do my normal workout routine, or my mind is still asleep, and I just can't think of what I'm supposed to be doing.

I got this bike quite a few years ago, back when spin classes were a fad. I had had ACL surgery on my knee eons ago, and the stationary bike was what the PTs had me use for months for rehabilitation. Since then, I have always found the stationary bike to be the easiest way to strengthen the muscles around my knees.

Lately, when riding the stationary bike, I usually try to burn 300 calories in 30 minutes. I set the bike to the second level (low interval intensity). I enter my age, and it calculates my calories burned based on the revolutions of the wheels. It also measures my heart rate when I put my hands on the handlebars. When I'm feeling more energized, I go for 400 or 500 calories. But my old standby is 300 in 30. I work up a pretty decent sweat that way, and feel nice and energized after that.

We put the exercise bike in the living room so that I could ride it while the family watches TV. Doesn't always happen, I usually fold clothes while watching TV. But on the rare occasion that we are sitting there for more than an hour or so, I do end up hopping on the bike. Its my anti-couch potato weapon.

Preschool Blog (11 more articles.)
Colorful 12 Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Sets

Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw PuzzlesThese puzzle sets are perfect for little preschool hands and minds. We got a Pet set as well as a Vehicles set for our little boy. Each set comes with 4 different 12-piece puzzles. The puzzle pieces are made of wood, so they are sturdy and easy for little hands to pick up and work with. The pictures are simple, bright and colorful, which really appeals to young preschoolers.

When we first got these Melissa and Doug 4-in-1 wooden jigsaw puzzles, he needed our help to put them together. But after some practice, he is able to do them himself.  Since there are only 12 pieces for each puzzle, a preschooler can feel successful putting these together. Our son enjoys putting together each puzzle one by one, until they are all done.

Puzzles are a great way for a child to play while also building their spatial awareness and problem solving skills. It challenges them, and with an age appropriate puzzle, it can help them feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete the puzzle. Our son likes to line up the puzzles we can admire them all together.

Toddler Blog (82 more articles.)
Painted Horsey Craft Project

We tried this particular arts and crafts about 3 months ago with no interest on baby J's part. But this time, he did it from start to finish. It was his third attempt in the past 3 months, and I guess the third time's the charm.

From Michaels craft store, I just got an unfinished wooden horse shape (they had many different shapes like butterflies, flowers, etc.), some kids washable paint, foam star stickers, and craft gems.

He painted it all by himself. And when it dried, he stuck the stickers on (he chose only green stars, his favorite color) and told me where to put glue drops so he could stick the gems on.

I was so proud of this accomplishment that I had to document it! I guess I will put magnetic tape on it and stick it to the refrigerator.

Baby Blog II (21 more articles.)
Rockin' in the Moses Basket
Baby Sleeping in Moses BasketBaby J spent a lot of his first few months in this cozy little moses basket in our living room. He was so tiny and fit in it pretty well. It was nice to have such a pretty little bed for him right there with our family in our living room. This one was really special. It had beddings made of silk. We set the moses basket on a really nice wooden rocking moses basket stand. We found a stand made of wood that matched the trim in our living room. It was a nice little additional piece of furniture in our living room. If we needed to, we could just bring the basket in the bedroom if it got too loud or crazy in the living room.
Baby Blog (63 more articles.)
Last Baby Blog

This is my last baby blog, and I thought I would list all the unexpected little surprises that I encountered in the first year of raising a baby. I will continue to add more of these as comments as I think of them.

I have also started a Toddler Blog to continue tracking baby's milestones and my ramblings about her. So you can read more about her there.

EASILY DISTRACTED
You can often distract a crying baby with a toy or talking to them to get them to stop crying. I always thought there wasn't much you can do about a crying baby other than feed them or rock them.

HATING DIAPER CHANGES
I didn't know they hated getting their diaper changed. The newborn and 1yo age seem to be especially so. I didn't realize that they wriggle so much during the change. I heard that newborns hate it because they get cold. But maybe the 1 yo hates it because they don't want to lie there.

LOVE MIRRORS
They are fascinated by seeing themselves and their loved ones in the mirror. This trick can be a great distraction from crying, too.

Baby Gear Blog (12 more articles.)
Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing
Baby J has slept in the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing since he was a newborn. I try not to rely too much on the swing, but its been a really good tool for getting him to sleep sometimes. We started out putting him in the bassinet, but it resulted in lots of spitting up. This cradle swing puts him at a little incline to combat the reflux that many babies often have. Plus it has nice music and white noise and a cute mobile.
Pregnancy Blog (14 more articles.)
Baby J is Born!

Turns out I didn't have time to make many posts here. I found myself involved in so many other activities such as entertaining the toddler, getting things ready for the new baby, doing Christmas shopping, etc. I was going to post lots of other pics of his 3D ultrasound and my growing belly. But alas, time flew by, and at 37 weeks, Baby J arrived, yes, 3 weeks early. But he is healthy and doing well. A little jaundice, but nothing that required the home installation of the blue lights.  

His birth story was goes like this:

It was about 10pm on a Wednesday night, and I had just put Bel down for the night. I got up and walked into the kitchen and got a really bad cramp. I walked into the bedroom to go down for bed myself and got a couple more breath-taking cramps. I could barely get onto the bed. When I finally did get on the bed, I started to feel fluid flowing out. My hubby called the doctor, and we went to the hospital, still leaking fluid.

The fluid was quite bloody, so they weren't sure if my water broke or if I was just bleeding. So they admitted me. Oh, and I was having contractions 2 minutes apart. At that time, I was still 36 weeks and a few days along. He would have been considered premature.

We spent that night at the hospital and waited the whole next day for something more to happen. My contractions had slowed to about 5 minutes apart, and they became less intense. But, the doctor didn't want to induce me until we were past the premature stage, which was just one more day away at that point.

So late that night, they induced me with pitocyn. That sped things along, and I got an epidural. They finally could feel that my bag of water had not yet broken, so they took care of that. That sped things up quite a bit (same as last time but even faster). In less than an hour, I was ready to push.

Pushing lasted about 2 contractions and he was out. It didn't take much, especially since his head was already visible by the time I started to push. Wow, what a difference from my first baby. It took at least an hour trying to get her past my pelvic bone, let alone crowning. But being more than 2 pounds lighter than his sister, he effortlessly slid right out. They plopped him on my belly and it was done.

It was love at first sight, of course. My sweet little boy. I love him so much. I am so happy to have him here. I can't imagine life without him. I feel so much more mommy-like having two children now. Sometimes I have one in each arm, and I don't feel myself anymore. I feel like somebody else. I feel more like a family. I feel like there is so much more love circulating around me.

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