BEGIN October 2015 | Corina's Corner

6 Tips for a pain-free bedtime Routine

10.27.2015


For a long, long time bedtime was complete torture at our house (for both parent and child). It involved things like kicking, screaming, door locking, hair pulling, and not sleeping.

Until recently. Everything changed when we figured out and implemented this magical, truly blessed and tested method. The ultimate bedtime routine. It is phenomenal. I feel like I have been let out of sleep-less toddler prison. I'm telling you. This has been life changing. It's all very simple things but when put together in the right order sleep occurs! And I love nothing more than a sleeping child.

I had read and heard that routines were important, but I wasn't sure what kind of routine we needed or what needed to be included. I didn't know what or how many things we needed in our routine to make it successful or if Reagan would buy into any of it. We had tried little routines here and there but they never stuck. We'd always forget to brush her teeth or 11 o'clock would roll around and I'd realize we hadn't read her a bedtime story in days. For months and months bedtime meant listing to Reagan pound on her door and scream and cry for hours. But after doing the following 6 steps Reagan stays in bed, falls fast asleep and we all end the day with smiles on our sleeping faces.

Here is the magical routine:

1. The first thing we do is put on jammies. This step is the hardest one and is usually met with resistance. Once it's completed though, it's smooth sailing from here until the zzzzzz's.

 

2. Next, we brush teeth. Reagan loves brushing her teeth. First, we brush her teeth for her and then we let her do it herself.

 

3. Then we read stories. Usually we read 3 short books of her choosing. Tonight it was Animal Alphabet, Big and Small, and The Grouchy Ladybug. 

 

4. Right after stories Reagan gets to choose which sippy cup she wants and then we get her some milk (but she doesn't get to drink it until after prayers...) P.S. I know some people say not to send your kid to bed with milk but she seriously downs her milk in about 37 seconds, so she's not actually sleeping with it at all. Plus, it's a major comfort for her so we say she gets to have it.

 

5. Then she gets in her bed. We pull up the covers ("blue blanket from Target," she says, followed by "quilt mommy made."), she gets a stuffed animal on both sides (usually Dumbo and bear) and then we say prayers ("Father...Reagan happy..." Her usual prayer). Reagan is super serious about saying prayers. If we even think about forgetting this step, she will incessantly remind us. Prayers are a really fun part of the routine though because it's interesting to hear what Reagan remembers from her day. I like hearing about her favorite part of the day.  


6. After prayers we give her kisses, turn on her fan, turn off her light and then close her door.  We didn't start using a fan until recently but I'm convinced that it has been a game changer. And we have closed her door at night for a long time. I think the floor plan of our house necessitates it. She can open it herself though so as far as middle of the night worries go, we don't have any. 

Voila. Sleeping baby! It isn't overwhelmingly long. The most time consuming part is reading stories, and that part is actually rather enjoyable. She knows what's coming next and by the end she is totally ready to sleep. Magic I tell you! Pure magic. 

Does your child have a bedtime routine? Is it different than ours? I'd love to hear about it!

Taking away the Binky

10.25.2015


Since the day she was born Reagan has been a big binky baby. I always imagined that I would take the binky away when my kids were like a year old. I'm not sure where I came up with that age, but that was the age I imagined. However her first birthday came and I wasn't ready to take her binky away. It calmed her down when she was screaming, it helped her fall asleep when she was incredibly tired. It was a lifesaver!

At about 18 months we decided to make the binky a bedtime only thing. She knew that she had to keep it in her room. When she would get up in the morning she knew that before she could leave her room she had to go put her binkies on the bed (and I do say binkies, she always had multiple). So for a long time we were in a good groove and the binkies were for the most part just a bedtime or naptime thing. And then Naomi was born. Reagan did not like that Naomi got to have her binky whenever/wherever and she didn't. So we reverted. And I do mean we. We just gave in and the binky became a whenever thing for her too.



We tried to keep them separate though, Reagan's binkies were green and blue and Naomi's were pink and purple. Slowly we started noticing that the binky started to be more of a daytime comfort than a nighttime comfort for Reagan. It got to be a REAL pain and she wouldn't even really need it to fall asleep. If we were out and about or riding in the car and we didn't have her binky she would scream! One car ride in particular she screamed from Layton all the way to Sugarhouse. I thought she would let up. Or maybe fall asleep or something. But no. She just screamed! It was around this time I knew we needed to get rid of this thing.

Our old pediatrician (we got a new one when we moved) had told me to let Reagan have the binky until she understood the word "broken." If it made my life easier, I shouldn't worry about letting her have one. She understood the word "broken" way before Naomi was born but I didn't want to take it away before or right around the time Naomi was born so we ended up waiting until just a few weeks ago. Our new pediatrician didn't seem too happy that she was still using a binky at her two year appointment, however we were going to Hawaii soon after and I didn't want to take it away before a big trip because I knew she'd revert. So our pediatrician said that I should try to ease it back into a bedtime thing again, and then eventually try to replace it with a new "lovie."

Knowing Reagan I was doubting the success of this gradual method. I decided cold turkey was probably best for her. Get it over with. So we planned ahead and picked a weekend (I've learned to always make big adjustments on the weekend, so I have Jordan with me for reinforcement) and made it happen. On the designated Saturday morning, before she woke up I snuck into her room and stole her binky. I took it to the kitchen and cut the tip off and snuck it back to her room. I was actually pretty worried because like I mentioned before, she always had more than one binky but the night before we could only find one for bedtime. I was worried that it wasn't going to work because when she found the other ones they wouldn't be cut and she would just have them back. Thankfully, it didn't end up being an issue thought.



When she woke up she brought her "broken" binky into our room and kept saying "broke" and "broken" and asking us to "fix it?" She would squeeze the tip together to try to get it to stick or she would try to suck on it without the tip, which didn't work. She did find two other binkies (one was in our fridge on top of the lid of the J Dawgs Sauce...who knew!) on that first day but as soon as she would grab it we would snatch it out of her hand and hurry and cut it without her seeing what we were doing.

I was prepared for multiple nights without sleep and lots of crying. None of it happened! It was awesome. Because we cut them and didn't take them away/hide them/throw them away when she asked for a binky we were still able to give her one. She would take one look at it, remember that that it was broken and move on. It totally worked like a charm. The only down side is that naptime has kind of disappeared. It might have been a result of the loss of binky but it also could have just been time for her to give them up.

Overall the "broken" method was so great for this cute child of mine. She still tries to steal Naomi's binkies every now and then, but it's like a game for her. She know that she shouldn't have it and kind of laughs or looks at us really sheepishly before we take it away. This seemed like a pretty big milestone, so I knew I should probably document it on this old blog here, before I started forgetting all of the little details! Hopefully, we will be as successful in a year (or two) when it's time to take the binky away from Naomi.

Failproof Apple Pie

10.20.2015
Failproof Apple Pie

I am all about quick or easy recipes (see here). I'm not a very patient person, and if I want something I want it like 20 minutes ago. I like to cook but I have never admitted to being a domestic goddess, especially in the kitchen and baking pies has always sounded VERY intimidating to me (Can you bake a pie?! No. Neither can I). This recipe however, changed my mind. Anyone can make this pie! I'm sure of it! My college roommate and good friend Tara gave me this recipe many moons ago, and I'm excited to share its delicious simplicity with you!

Failproof Apple Pie Failproof Apple Pie

In a ziplock bag mix the following (pie filling):
1/2 cup Sugar
2 TBSP Flour
1/2 tsp Nutmeg (sometimes I skip this, if I don't have it at home)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups chopped apples

In a bowl mix the following (crumble topping mixture):
1/2 cup Butter (melted)
1 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar

Place an uncooked pie crust in bottom of pie pan. Add pie filling, top with crumble mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 325-350° (depending on your oven). ENJOY!

Failproof Apple Pie Failproof Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of Jordan's all time favorite desserts and definitely his favorite pie. What are your favorite dessert recipes? Or pie recipes? (Also, favorite apple recipes? I still have a million apples from my tree...)

Millions of Apples

10.19.2015


On Saturday we spent 4 hours picking up apples that had fallen from our apple tree into the grass. And I spent a whole afternoon earlier in the week picking up apples and Jordan spend another evening last week doing the same. To say the least, we invested like 8 hours just last week on this apple tree and we have a few (MILLION) apples to show for it. The crazy (and infuriating) part is that outside right now, just two days later the ground is already completely littered with apples again. We didn't spray the tree so a lot of them have bugs, but as we pick them up we sort them into good and bad piles. Last week alone we threw out 30 five-gallon buckets full of bad apples. And even after that we still ended up with more apples then I know what to do with.



^^Over-flowing buckets upon buckets of apples....



I'm going to share a few of my favorite apple recipes in the next few weeks but I only have like 2, so please help me! What are your favorite apple recipes? I need some help getting rid of these apples!

How to Recover Old Chairs

10.15.2015


My aunt bought me these awesome chairs at a garage sale. However, the actual seat parts were falling apart. The fabric was ripped (and hideous), the foam was showing (and yucky), and overall they just needed a little bit of love. So after storing them in my aunt's garage and then my garage and in various places around the house for just about 4 years I decided it was finally time we tackle this project.

How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks

I learned a few tips as we recovered these chairs that I'd like to share with you:

-Measure the dimensions of your seat before you buy your fabric. This may seem like a no brainer, but I kind of just guessed and my fabric was ALMOST too small. I would have been so bummed had I spent money on my fabric and couldn't use any of it.

I wanted to recover these chairs all in their own fabric. My style is very colorful and bright and I love using my chairs to bring color into my kitchen.

-I decided to use regular fabric instead of upholstery fabric but I added some plastic/vinyl as a top layer, because you know.... living with kids is MESSY! And I decided to use a medium weight vinyl instead of a heavy weight vinyl because I think that it is more comfortable to sit on (not quite as stiff) and it was like 1/6th of the price!

-If you are recovering chairs get ready to spend A LOT of time pulling out staples. I think I pulled roughly 1,000,000 staples out before I got the old, ugly fabric off the seats. It was very tedious and overall the worst part of the process.

-After you get all of the staples out, be prepared to put a lot more right back in. We used 9/16th" staples in our electric stapler. I've recovered some chairs before and I used a non-electric stapler (still a tool stapler but not electric) and it was much harder.

How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks

As always, before I do a project I can't help but peruse Pinterest. Here are a few links related to this topic that I found particularly interesting/helpful:

-I love this step by step guide as well as how they do their corners. I also like that they used batting between the foam and the fabric. I think next time I might do this as well...

-This is another very interesting way to do corners (since there are like a million different ways to do the corners).

-A good step-by-step guide if you are a visual learner, like I am.

-And then you can't go wrong with Design Sponge. Here are some Upholstering Basics.

-I saw this neat little furniture/fabric guide on Pinterest a few years ago and I knew someday it would come in handy. How much fabric to buy based on what type of chair you're recovering.

And last but not least, here are my finished chairs! I love how they turned out!

How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks How to Recover Old Chairs: Tips and Tricks
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