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Archive for March, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Transitioning My Toddler From Bottle to Cup

  Written By: Melainie

toddler sippy cupWay back when my toddler was a 6 month old baby, I made the decision to introduce her to baby bottles for drinking juice and water. Maybe I should have tried sippy cups instead because it has been difficult to pry the bottle away from her now. Even though I tried to transition her away from the bottle by her first birthday, we kept struggling with taking it away for good until just recently.

Switching From Bottle to Sippy Cup

I finally decided I would have to hide her bottles from her and only let her use sippy cups or regular cups. It was no fun for a few days and she had to learn that baby bottles are for babies, not toddlers. (Remember, we feed the baby lamb bottles of milk.)

sippy cupIn the process of moving away from her bottle, Anneliese became even more clingy and now has a slight attachment to her soft spout sippy cup. Well, last week we received an awesome new big girl cup that she absolutely loves. So, it is helping her adjust to drinking from a cup rather than a bottle.


Sippy to Big Girl Cup

This wonderful “sippy” cup is made by Philips Avent, a great breast pump and baby bottle company, and it is called the Natural Drinking Cup. It teaches my toddler to drink from a cup without spilling. There is no spout or straw, just a rim with an internal leak-proof valve that helps toddlers over 12 months learn to drink the right way.

bottle to cup

natural drinking cupI think this is the best sippy cup invention ever, but I do have to be cautious because it actually will leak. It is meant to teach your toddler to drink out of a cup and, if anything bumps the rim of that cup, it will spill. When my toddler is not using it, I just have to make sure the lid is snapped on so it does not spill. I don’t mind though, because I think it helps them learn not to spill when they are using a real cup.

That is how I am transitioning my toddler from a baby bottle to a big girl cup, and so far it is going well. By the way, if you cannot find this cup in a store nearby or you don’t feel like going out, it is available on and may be eligible for free shipping.

Have you tried the Avent Natural Drinking Cup? Please share your thoughts with us. How did you take away the baby bottle?

PostHeaderIcon Spring Gardening with Miracle-Gro

  Written By: socialspark

This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love the smell of freshly cut grass and newly turned soil ready for springtime gardening. Last year I went all out and cultivated an awesome vegetable garden with the help of my husband and baby. This year, I am not going to be quite as involved because we recently sold our house, but I will be helping my mom and mother-in-law with their gardening as needed.

EnG Product Shot.png

The one thing I should have done differently last year with my gardening was choosing better planting mix soil for my plants and seeds. I used the cheap stuff and I got poor results for my seedlings. Of the seeds that sprouted, many died or had stunted growth, although the ones that succeeded did very well in the garden because I  used good fertilizer.

I am super excited about trying out the new Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro™ concentrated planting mix because it sounds like the perfect blend to get my plants started out right. With this planting mix I should get 3 times more flowers and vegetables along with 6 months of fertilizer for the plants. It has all natural fibers from coconut husks that absorb 50% more water than basic potting soil, expanding up to 3x after water is added, and improves the land’s soil for years to come.

When the garden plot is getting tilled, I think we will add in this planting mix to really boost our vegetable yield this year and it should make tilling a little easier next year because this mix is so lightweight. Then, when a drought comes in the middle of summer, the Miracle-Gro soil will soak up plenty of water to keep the garden healthy and happy.

If you are planning to do all of your gardening in pots this year, this mix is supposed to be great for potted plants as well. Whatever your gardening needs, try out Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Concentrated Planting Mix this spring. I bet you will love it like I do. (P.S. You can find it on if it is not in a store nearby.)


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PostHeaderIcon Our Toddler and a Sold House

  Written By: Melainie

moving out of houseDo you remember way back when I wrote about trying to sell our house? After much concern and financial stress, it has finally been sold for what we owed on the house. Although we did not make any money from the deal, we are very glad to have the house off our hands. It did take a while to move everything with a destructive toddler running around.

The worst part of moving out was the confusion on my poor little girl’s face. She did not understand why we took her crib apart, moved her furniture out of her bedroom and packed away her favorite seat (the plush toddler chair we bought her for Christmas). Everything else wasn’t a big deal to her, but she got so upset when we carried her chair away. Don’t worry, she has it back now at her Grandparents’ house and is coping much better.

I loved that house, but we could not live in that area any longer because neither my husband nor I could find a job. My husband has now been laid off for several months, but we are both making money from “odds and ends” type jobs. We are waiting for replies from many possible jobs before we decide where our permanent location will be.

moving with baby

Our packed storage unit

Right now, we are whittling down our pile of junk and selling off what we no longer need.  I am almost ready to just throw everything out because I am sick of living with the clutter. Hopefully, we will not need this storage unit for long, especially since we are unsure as to where we will be moving in the near future.

In the meantime, we are spending much quality time with our families and Anneliese is getting a ton of attention from her grandparents. As you can tell from the farm pictures I showed last week, we are having a blast here at my parents’ mini farm. It has been wonderful to be around both mine and my husband’s family so Anneliese can get to know them more.

packing up home with a baby

I am looking forward to a new adventure.

My husband and I have come to a major life changing decision recently, which was like a huge open doorway we could not resist walking through. Since the major lay-off that occurred months ago, my husband has been applying to every reasonable job he could find while also doing part-time computer work from home. Nothing seemed to be opening up for us and we have been unsure of our future.

moving with baby

Beautiful skies can lift your spirits when life is uncertain.

This is not a comfortable position to be in, especially with a family to support, but my husband has managed the stress of it all quite well. We have learned to pray, trust God and be open to new possibilities. It has been a difficult but necessary lesson, and I am now anxiously waiting to begin this new journey for our family.

Have I piqued your curiosity yet? Unfortunately, I am not quite ready to announce the big news yet. I will tell you soon, and it’s a doozy.

PostHeaderIcon My Glowing Facial with the Personal Microderm

  Written By: Melainie

home facial kitWhat stay-at-home mama has the cash or time to go to the spa for a professional facial? I will definitely never do that, but I do have 15 minutes during my day to do it myself. Also, the price tag for my very own PMD personal microdermabrasion kit is much better than the one-time-only treatment cost at the spa.

At first glance this seems like something an older person would need, not for the 25 year old mom. Actually, I have learned that microdermabrasion does a lot more than erase fine lines and wrinkles. It also evens skin tone, buffs away blemishes, scars, acne, even mild burn marks, and helps diminish the skin’s imperfections at the Stratum Corneum layer of skin. This is something no cream or moisturizer could ever do, because it is deep down where only a dermabrasion treatment can reach.

facial treatment at home

Just watch how quick and easy it was for me to give myself an at-home microdermabrasion treatment. (Keep in mind: I did watch the 5 minute instructional DVD that came in the kit before trying the PMD for myself.)

Sometimes a woman just needs to pamper herself and do something that makes her feel extra beautiful. I had some acne and chicken pox scars that, although not very visible, have always bothered me. I was really excited about trying this product and improving my complexion. I can’t wait to see the results after a few more treatments.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, you can read more about the PMD and purchase your own at or check out their Facebook page.

PostHeaderIcon A Toddler on the Farm

  Written By: Melainie
baby lamb on the farm

Leo the Lamb

It is the time of year for baby chicks, ducks and lambs. Here on my parents’ farm we have a baby lamb that was rejected by her mother, so we have been bottle feeding it. Anneliese loves feeding and playing with the baby lamb, and they looked so adorable together. Although it is a lot of work caring for a baby lamb when the mother rejects it, bottle feeding the lamb makes it more docile and less afraid of people.

toddler feeding baby lamb

Anneliese loves feeding Leo, the baby lamb.

After filling his belly with milk he was ready for a romp around the yard. Staying true to his nature, the lamb followed Anneliese around everywhere.

farm lamb following toddler

"Mary had a little lamb, it's fleece was white as snow..."

farm silkie chickensAfter playing with the baby lamb, it was time to feed the other sheep and the chickens. At the moment, we have a breeding pair of Silkie chickens separated from the other chickens while they sit on their eggs. These are the most docile, mild mannered chickens I have ever seen, and they are so soft. Anneliese was able to pet the hen but she frightened the rooster when she started running around while screaming and flapping her arms.

toddler sheep farm

The sheep on the far right is the bad mom who rejected her baby.

Playing on the farm was so much fun! My baby especially had fun with the lamb baby, although she was a little jealous whenever the lamb would get a bottle of milk. I had to let her taste the milk, then she realized it was not as good as it looked. I ended up having to give my toddler a bottle of milk afterwards.

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