Little Family on the Big Lake

6 Ways your Toddler can Help with Laundry

6 ways your toddler can help with laundry

Toddlers love to help out around the house. One area that is easy for them to help with is laundry. Laundry can be one of those tasks that can feel quite mundane. However, with the help of a toddler it can go from a chore to an exciting new adventure. Below are 6 ways your toddler can help with laundry. Teaching children at a young age to participate in housekeeping can build skills, grow independence, and keep them entertained.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Filling Laundry Baskets

The first task that Little One can help with when starting laundry is filling up the laundry baskets. He takes the clothing that is in the hamper and puts it in the basket to be taken to the washing machine. This is done with varying degrees of success – some days Little One throws the laundry around more then them ending up in the basket. When this happens I try to turn it into a game where we toss the clothes in like a mini game of basketball! I am going to include a couple links to some laundry baskets made of natural materials. Check out this wicker one, a jumbo wicker one, and this cotton rope one. They are all great options.

Pushing Laundry Baskets

This is Little One’s favorite task when it comes to laundry. He gets to push the laundry baskets across the floor and toward the laundry room. We pretend that they are cars or trains that go zooming down the hallway. This is a really physical task and makes Little One feel really strong. It is also a great task for developing gross motor skills.

Loading Dryer

This is a great activity if you have a front loading dryer. I’ll hand whatever item needs to be dried to Little One and he will toss it into the dryer. It’s really simple but keeps him involved and stops him from wandering around in the laundry room and getting into mischief. This is great for smaller items like socks but can be challenging for larger items, such as sheets.

Adding Laundry Detergent

If you use liquid or powdered laundry detergent, I would not recommend letting your Little One help with this. However, we recently switched to these great zero waste laundry strips that just tear off and get thrown into the drum. It is so easy for Little One to throw it into the washer. We also have a glass top, so he can watch the clothes spinning for a bit. We are all about the cheep thrills!

Take Items off Drying Rack

Little One loves taking clothes off the drying racks. It works best when they are smaller items, like his clothes or his cloth diapers. This activity allows him to reach and bend while taking the clothes off the rack and putting them in the laundry bin.

Help with Hangers

The last activity I do with Little One is hanging up the clothes. We do this one of two ways. I’ll stand by the closet and put a pile of hangers on the floor. He will hand me one and I’ll put a shirt on it and hang it in the closet. The other is if my hubby helps. I’ll put a shirt on a hanger and hand it to Little One, who will bring it over to my hubby who will hang it in the closet.

Does this process take a lot longer than if I were to do laundry on my own? Yes, it does. But Little One enjoys helping me so much that it makes it all worth it!

These activities are easy to keep Little One engaged and out of trouble when I need to get chores done.

Do you have any other tips on how your children help out with the laundry? Let me know in the comments below!

Zero Waste Laundry Essentials

Zero Waste Laundry Essentials

We have been hard at work the past couple of years finding zero waste solutions and more Eco friendly alternatives to keep our household running. One area that normally makes a lot of waste is laundry. Between all the plastic jugs of soap and the dryer sheets, over time it adds up to a lot! That’s not even mentioning the energy and water consumption. So this post contains zero waste laundry essentials to help cut the plastic and make your laundry routine greener.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

Zero Waste Laundry Soap

The best way to cut out the plastic is switching to a zero waste laundry soap like the product from Tru Earth. Fortunately, there are more and more zero waste laundry soap options coming onto the market. I haven’t tried them all but I really like these ones. They are so easy to use – I only needed to place the paper in the washer and turn it on! Tru Earth also offers a subscription service so you don’t have to think about adding it to your shopping list.

Dryer Balls

Another way to cut waste from your laundry routine is to use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. The reason for this is because dryer balls are mostly made of wool while dryer sheets are plastic fibers. The dryer balls I linked to below are great for cutting out static. If you would like to add a fragrance to your dyer’s load, place a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil on the dryer balls.

Drying Rack

Cutting the use of your dryer is going to help so much in conserving energy. Try using a wood rack, like this one linked below, to dry your clothing. Some other tips of making your dryer more efficient include drying in larger loads or adding a dry towel to a smaller load.

Laundry Basket

If you are needing a new laundry basket, try one made of a natural material instead of plastic. If you already have a plastic basket, by all means keep on using it. Tossing out a perfectly good basket just creates more waste. But if you are needing a new one, consider transitioning into these wicker ones.

These zero waste laundry essentials will help you create a more Eco friendly laundry routine. Switching out your laundry detergent, using wool dryer balls, and hang drying your clothes can make a world of difference!

Do you have any other methods for creating a more Eco friendly laundry routine? Let me know in the comments below.

Looking for other Eco Friendly options? Go check out my Eco Friendly Living page next.

Plan with Me February

January has come to a close and its time to start a fresh new start, Plan with me for February as I set up my bullet journal. As in my January set up I will be using the monthly flower as inspiration. For the month of February it is violets. Violets hold a special place for me as they were my Grandmas favorite flower. So this month when I use my bullet journal I will have a daily reminder of her.

I got inspiration for using the monthly flowers from Shayda Campbell, if you haven’t already I highly suggest you take a look at her work. It’s awesome! I loved Shayda’s spreads for February but I used different set ups this time around.

On my cover page I started by using colored pencil, but I didn’t really like it so I switched to marker after that. I kept most of the spreads similar to that of my January spreads, but I added a meal planning section to my weekly spreads.

Spreads

Cover page with quote “Wherever life plants you bloom with grace.”

plan with me February

February calendar set up.

plan with me February calendar

Monthly expense tracker, I find it is easier to separated my spending in to 10 categories.

plan with me February expense tracker

Habit tracker and brain dump.

Weekly spreads, mine include a daily calendar, a weekly to do list, shopping list, posting tracker and menu planner.

plan with me February weekly spread

Final Thoughts

So this is the set up for my bullet journal. I hope you enjoyed this plan with me for February. Using a bullet journal has helped me stay organized and it has also giving me a creative outlet in designing the spreads. One of the things that I love the most about bullet journals that that it is so customizable. In January I found that I was having a really hard time with meals so for February I added a menu planner.

Do you bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below.

Winter Bird Seed Ornaments

DIY winter bird seed ornaments

Every Christmas, we have developed a family tradition of decorating our trees with winter bird seed ornaments. This year we had every intention of going out to do this at Christmas but we had a bit of a cold snap and pushed it off. So this weekend we finally had the time to go out and decorate!

We had such a fun time hanging the ornaments in the trees for the birds. We hung them on our birch tree outside the window of our dining room. This way we can watch the birds when eating our meals. We found that the next day a group of chickadees found the ornaments and were delighted in pecking at them to gain the bird seed.

This is an easy DIY and such a fun tradition. I will say this DIY is best in cold climates. We have tried other recipes that involved using gelatin or shortening but I found it difficult to get the ornaments to be solid and they would crumble. So I have found that this has been the best method for me.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart

Supplies

  • Bird Seed I want to find a zero waste option to purchase bird seed so next year I am going to try a local feed bin.
  • Silicone Molds In the past I used muffin tin, but I purchased these off my town’s Shop and Swap this past year and found them so much easier to use. Having the center piece creates a nice wreath shape and makes it easy to string the raffia through.
  • Raffia Grass
  • Water

Process

Fill the molds with bird seed. Pour water into the mold until it reaches just about to the top. Place them in the freezer until frozen solid. I liked to place the molds on a sheet pan in the freezer due to the molds easily bending.

Once frozen, use the raffia to tie around the ornament and hang on the tree.

That’s it…really such an easy DIY project that brings enjoyment to all. This was a great project to do with my son. He so enjoyed putting all the bird seed into the molds. He also liked being outside with us as we put the winter bird seed ornaments in the tree.

Making winter bird seed ornaments

As the birds peck away, more of the bird seed will become accessible to them. Some of the ice will also fall away due to melting. We have also had other visitors enjoying the seed, including deer and rabbits!

Ornaments in the tree
Chickadee snaking

This is such a fun DIY and family Christmas tradition. What do you think of this project? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out this other easy DIY project-how to make bees wax wraps.

winter bird seed ornaments

DIY Play Gym

This DIY play gym was so fun to make for my Little One. It was the perfect activity to engage him and provide him with a fun activity. This play gym is easy to make and in addition, the activities can be changed out and replaced to keep things interesting, making it very customizable. While I liked the look of the light wood, it can easily be painted to match your nursery or other colors for fun.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Gathering Supplies

To create this delightful play gym you need some wood and a couple of tools to create the basic structure. You will also need some items to hang on the gym. I will link some good options below but this is a great time to get really creative!

For the Gym
  • 4 – 1*2 pieces of pine at least 2’6″ in length.
  • 1 – 1″ dowel at least 2’6″ in length
  • Saw (either hand or electronic)
  • Drill with 1″ drill bit and a smaller bit (something like a 2/16″ but whatever is close will work)
  • Coconut oil
  • Sander and sand paper
For Activities

Assembly

DIY play gym

Once you gather your supplies it’s time to start assembly. Take two pieces of 1″*2″ pine. Then line them up together to create a triangle shape. Have the pieces cross about 3 inches from the top. Find the angle that works for the pieces to create the height you would like for the gym. Use a straight edge to mark across the bottom at the desired angle. Transfer this line to the other 3 pieces. Cut along this line. This will allow the play gym to set more evenly along the floor.

Next, using the 1″ drill bit drill a hole 3″ down from the top in the center on each of the 4 pieces. This is where the dowel will be placed. Now drill a hole using the smaller drill bit 1’3″ from the top. This is where the string will go. The string will help hold things together and prevent the play gym from widening more than it should. I used a ribbon for this but you could use cording or twine. This is why I didn’t have a specific drill bit to use. Use one that will work for the type of ribbon or cording you choose to use.

The next step is to cut the dowel down to length. I chose to cut my top to 2’6″. This seemed like a good length so Little One had plenty of space to play underneath.

Sand all the pieces with a medium grit sand paper and then a finer grit sand paper. Wipe the dowels clean. Next, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a glass bowl. Using a rag, rub in the coconut oil to each of the four legs, the dowel, and any wooden rings/pieces/beads.

Putting it together

DIY play gym

This next task is the fun part -creating the activities for your Little One to play with! Test out the length each of the activities will need to hang down so it is within your Little One’s reach. Thread the wooden rings along the dowel and attach the cording or ribbon to them. Assemble the various activities using the beads, shapes and any other bits and bobs you have gathered. I even used some fabric with some animals, cut out and stuffed. This is a great way to get creative! You can also change out these activities once Little One tires of them.

To assemble the play gym lay out all the pieces. Make sure all the activities are threaded along the dowel. Insert the dowel through two pieces of the legs, ensuring the legs are situated so the angled pieces will lay flat on the floor. Next, thread the ribbon through the holes, fixing the length so that the play gym sits even.

I have found that the dowel sits tight enough that I haven’t been concerned about it shifting around. However, if it is loose you can also place a small screw through the legs into the dowel to ensure that it is steady.

DIY play gym

DIY Play Gym

The play gym is all finished! What fun for your Little One and mine! This has been a lot of fun and as my Little One has grown, I have some plans to turn it into a new fun play toy…so sit tight for that tutorial!

Have you tried making this or another DIY play gym? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below. This play gym was a great addition to our nursery, which you can check out here.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 4

Yay! Our small bathroom makeover is DONE! This makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. I am going to blame part of that on the baby and the other part on me just losing motivation. But I got my mojo back and the makeover is done! I am so excited about how this turned out. The bathroom transformed from a room that was a major bummer to a space that I actually enjoy being in. So sit tight for small bathroom makeover part 4!

The last step of this makeover was the finishing touches. You can see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to see how this bathroom transformed.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

The Budget

I had a goal of staying on a budget of $300. Lets see how we did below:

Grand Total of $228.5 – yay, under budget!

Door Updates

Both our closet door and bathroom door were in need of updating. The closet door was a louvered one and way past its prime. We exchanged it with this one from Menards. My hubby painted it the same color as the walls and changed out the plastic door knob that it comes with to a sleek sliver one. We have exchanged all the closet doors in our house to be the same as this one over the past couple of years. This was the last one that needed to be replaced and it feels good now that it is done.

Next we took down our bathroom door. Once it was outside on the saw horses we took off the hardware and sanded it down. It then got a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. This door was in really good shape but it was just starting to look really grungy. The hardware had been painted over main times and were mismatched. This simple update of the door really made a world of difference.

Shelving

So you might have seen the wooden shelves that I made for the bathroom in my part 3 post. I really liked these shelves and they turned out great. But then I went to install them in the bathroom and they looked out of place in there. I think they were too dark and looked bulky, too. I like the shelves and will definitely use them in a different room of the house, but just not the bathroom.

Sometimes that happens, though – something just doesn’t work in a space. I put a lot of work into these but I was okay with moving on to a shelving unit. Then I spent the next couple of weeks trying to find something else. I looked at my favorite stores and Pinterest for inspiration. I kept coming back to a rope shelving unit, but I wasn’t sure. Ultimately, one day I just decided to go for it and make the shelving unit and if I didn’t like it I would scrap the project.

Well it turned out great and better then I expected! You can read the full tutorial here on how I made this awesome (if I do say so myself) rope shelving unit. I was so surprised on how easy this actually was to make. In fact, it was way easier than the other shelves I made.

I have decorated it with some odds and ends that I had in the bathroom already and a couple of new plants. Having plants in the bathroom was an important goal for me. Beyond looking great they help add oxygen to the house and absorb moisture, which is important in a bathroom.

Finishing Touches

A soap dish I got from an art fair in town over the summer.
Textiles

This is a small bathroom so I didn’t need to go overboard with the accessories for it. I did update the bath mat, opting for a 100% cotton one from Target. I also re-installed these amazing hooks for hanging towels. These hooks came from a little boutique and they have moved around from bathroom to bathroom with me. They have now been with me through 3 different apartments and a house. They are iron and very sturdy. I have had them for years and they have really held up.

I got the above soap dish from an art fair during the summer. It was reasonably priced and looks so cute. Sometimes it is worth holding back on just running to the closest store and instead taking your time to find a gem like this one.

I also upgraded to some new cotton towels. I found these great bath sheet towels from Target. They are so soft and are 100% cotton!

Lighting

We had an old fashioned light that was true to the era of the home, but it looked strangely industrial. I didn’t want to replace the the whole light fixture because the base was still functional. Instead I replaced the globe to this classic white one. You can find the same one on Amazon here.

Window Treatments

There is one window in this bathroom and it used to have blinds on it. I would always have it closed for privacy, but I missed the light that came through the window. When demoing the bathroom I removed the blinds and patched the holes in the molding. I ended up selling the blinds on a Facebook market place.

Using a tension rod that I had on hand, I got some curtain rod clip rings and cloth napkins to create these cute little curtains. I love these because they are 100% cotton and easy to clean. They also let all the morning light in.

Counter Top

As an experiment I covered my dated, yellow-streaked, laminate counter tops in contact paper. I was hoping to get something like this. However, I remembered that I had leftover white contact paper from another project so I just used that. This was definitely an experiment and I am mixed with the results. It made a very big change to my bathroom. However, this contact paper is on the thinner side so the pattern of the counter top shows through a little bit. It was also hard to get a nice cut around the sink. Maybe with some practice I could get better at it. The good thing is that it is really easy to clean. This isn’t going to last forever but it will look better until I am able to replace the counter top for something else.

This bathroom makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. It has been finished for a while but I just haven’t been able to get it together to take photos. I am planning on doing a bigger remodel further down the road, but for now this update has freshened up the bathroom and made it a room where I don’t mind spending time.

Small Bathroom Makeover

January 2020 Bullet Journal Set Up

I am so excited to get started with the January 2020 bullet journal set up. It is a new year , new month, and a new journal! This year I decided to follow Shayda Campbell tutorials on YouTube. I highly suggest you go check out her January 2020 bullet journal set up video. She sets up each month with that month’s flower; January is the month of carnations. I have taken inspiration from Shayda but have changed and added spreads to suit my needs. That is the great thing about bullet journals – they are so versatile!

January Spread

This is my January cover page featuring the carnation and a quote. I also include a quote “Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” I thought it was fitting for the start of a new year. Next is my monthly calendar. I love having this spread nice and big so I can add in all my events and important dates. I, of course, reference my future log when filling out this spread.

bullet journal set up monthly calendar
expense tracker

These next two spreads are some of my monthly trackers. The first one is my expense tracker where I record my expenses for the year. Once the month is complete I will record in the my expense tracking section in the beginning of my bullet journal. In past months I just had an open page where I would list every purchase. However, this month I decided to do something a little different – I sectioned the spread off into the categories I like to track.

My next spread is my habit tracker and my brain dump page. The habit tracker is great for keeping track of whatever you need. I plan on keeping track of when I floss (I am trying to remember to do it every day and the tracker is a good motivator) and also simple things like when I water my plants. The brain dump is just that – a place where I can write down whatever is on my brain. Sometimes it helps to just get it down on paper.

bullet journal set up habit tracker

Weekly Spread

The final spread I have is my weekly lay out. I have decided to give this version a try this year. In past years I gave each day a lot of space and wrote a to do list on each day. So this month I am going to try having a smaller section to record events for each day with a larger section for a running to do list for the week. I also include a section for a shopping list and a tracker for my posting.

Bullet journal Weekly Spread

So what do you think of this bullet journal set up for January 2020? Let me know in the comments below and check out my post on my bullet journal set up.

Getting Organized in 2020

Getting organized in 2020 seems to be a topic on everyone’s minds for the new year. The question is – how is one to get organized? One of the most useful tools for organizing my life is the bullet journal. A bullet journal is a a cross between a journal and planner. It allows for the flexibility to create spreads (pages) that can help you reach your goals.

This will be the third year that I have done a bullet journal. I have had much success with keeping track of my life, like keeping track of important dates, important information, keeping lists, and tracking my goals. The best thing about a bullet journal is that it is completely customizable to fit the needs of each person.

Inspiration

This year I spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to organize myself and how to best utilize my bullet journal for this blog, too. In the past I took to Pinterest to find ideas for spreads. However, this year I am mixing things up.

One of my favorite Youtubers is Shayda Campbell. She, for example, is doing a year of flowers. Each month is inspired by the flower of that month. I decided to take inspiration from Shayda and also do a month of flowers following her drawings. This year I will be mixing it up, though, to create spreads that help me organize my life. I will be using the flower drawings to bring continuity to my bullet journal. I do like the feeling of opening nice pages – it motivates me to get things done! Check out Shayda’s page, where she has great tutorials on how to draw each of these flowers.

One of my other favorite Youtubers is Amanda Rach Lee. I drew some inspiration from some of her spreads for my own, as well. She’s definitely worth checking out.

2020 Bullet Journal Set up

Bullet journals can be a great place for you artistic types to have a place to doddle and make creative spreads. Bullet journals can also be quite minimal (you could have the essentials without taking time for sketching). While I like to do some drawing on my spreads, I hope those of you who want to use a more minimalistic style can still use the layouts to help you reach your goals.

I also have a section of spreads that are specific to blogging. That is the great thing about bullet journaling – you can customize it to whatever you are focused on!

Beginning Set Up

So with out further ado, here is the set up for my 2020 bullet journal…

Bullet Journal

This is the cover page. I followed Shayda’s tutorial for this one. I loved how simple it was and how it set up a nature-centric feel for the journal.

2020 Cover page

This is my cover for introducing the new year. Again, I was pretty faithful to Shayda’s design. She does a dutch door for this page, which is awesome. However, I wanted to do something different for the page after so I didn’t make a dutch door.

I also like to include a yearly calendar in the front of the bullet journal. Next to it I included a quote that hopefully will help me keep perspective this year.

Future Log
Future Log

These last two pictures are of my future log. This is one of the most used spreads in my bullet journal. I am constantly flipping to it to write down important dates and refer to it when creating my monthly layouts. I got a little over-excited and wrote down all my events, so those white boxes are just covering those up for me.

This next spread is a grid spacing sheet. I got this idea from Amanda Rach Lee. It helps when making spreads so you don’t have to count out the spaces. Next to it I included a Harry Potter quote (you have to take a look at my Harry Potter nursery to know we are obsessed). I intend to make the last page in my bullet journal “Mischief Managed.”

Yearly Tracking/Note Pages

This spread is for my budget and expense tracker. In each monthly spread I include an expense tracker and then take those results and log them in this general tracker. It is nice knowing where the money is going each month!

This is a budget tracker strictly for the blog and also a growth tracker where I can record my monthly results on Pinterest and other tracking systems. I also included a tracker to document the posts I have published, which is below. The last of my blogging spreads is a blog post ideas page and a Pinterest boards tracker.

Bullet journal published post
Bullet journal blog ideas spread
Bullet journal pinterest spread
Bullet Journal home spread

The last page is my home projects page and my home cleaners page. You can get the recipes to all my Eco Friendly home cleaners here. I left a page blank after this one for a spread to plan our family vacation this year. I am not ready to start planning yet, but I wanted to leave some space before I started my January monthly spread.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of the bullet journal? Is it something that you could use to help organize yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay tuned for my January spread set up. Is this something that you would like to see more of? Let me know in the comments!

One goal that I know many people are working on this year is being more Eco friendly. Check out these other post that might help you reach those goals.

Little One Birth Story

When things don'e go as planned a emergency c-section birth story

I remember when I was pregnant, I would read birth story after birth story to help me prepare for what was to come. Everyone’s story is so different and beautiful. I thought I would share my own unique story and experience.

To anyone who is family or friends who don’t want to know the coming details about labor, I suggest you turn back now. For those of you who are reading birth stories to prepare for your own. I will try to ride the fine line between sugar coating and sharing.

Pregnancy

I was extremely pleased to find myself having a relatively easy pregnancy. I had some nausea but not much morning sickness in the first trimester. In the beginning of the second trimester, I found myself spending days wondering if I was still pregnant because I couldn’t feel kicks yet and was feeling so much better. The third trimester brought on the usual aches and pains but altogether went okay.

I have read and heard about expectant moms being sick all the way through. However, I wanted to put out to the universe that some pregnancies are not too bad. I did experience many changes (as you do with pregnancy) but it was all manageable.

Little One Coming

I went into labor three days before my due date and we started on Little One’s birth story. I was brushing my teeth, getting ready to go to work at 7:30 in the morning. Having just used the facilities, I felt my water break and there was a moment where I thought maybe I didn’t do a good enough job. That was not the case, my water broke! I then spent the next 30 minutes on the toilet with water coming in small gushes. Every time I though it was done, a little bit more would come.

During this time I yelled for my husband. He was fast asleep but woke with a start. He said that there was something in the tone of my voice when I said “honey” that he knew it was time. My husband worked on gathering our bags and getting the car ready to go. I asked him to lay a towel on the seat, due to us having a 45 minute drive to the hospital.

I first called the hospital and told them what was going on. It had been my plan to labor for a while at home. With my water breaking it changed those plans. Due to the risk of infection my doctor wanted to come to the hospital right away. At this point I did not feel any contractions.

I also called my work and my mom to tell them it was time. After loading up with pads we headed to the hospital!

Baby Hand

At the Hospital

Being that I went into labor during business hours, we parked in the parking ramp and walked to the labor and delivery floor. If I had when into labor after hours I would have had to enter through the emergency room. We got all signed in and were shown to a room.

I had a very helpful nurse who just happened to go to school with my husband (small world!). She got me all set with the monitors, checked little one’s heart rate, and gave me wrist bands (maybe six of them all together, but I’m assuming they were all necessary).

The doctor came in to check me over. Only one centimeter…I had a long way to go! For those of you not in the know, you need to reach 10 centimeters before pushing. I was given a medication to help the contractions along. At that point I still wasn’t feeling them too bad. I spent the next several hours contracting. I used the exercise ball and the bath to ease some of the contractions. Also, I depended on my husband for support and back rubs. I know some people don’t like being touched at all, but for me it felt good.

At some point in the afternoon, they checked on me again. Only two centimeters this time. The doctor increased the medication and boy, did the contractions start coming then. I also then made use of the laughing gas (nitrous oxide). When I first started using the laughing gas it was very helpful. A couple of hours in, though, I found that it wasn’t working well and I forgot to do the correct breathing. However, at that point I had been in labor for hours and hours and couldn’t really think straight.

Bring on the Epidural

Around 1 in the morning I finally had enough. I had rolling contractions for hours and was in a good amount of pain. I was also exhausted. At this point I also had been in labor for 18 hours, so I asked for an epidural. Unfortunately the nurses told me that I had to take in a whole bag of IV fluid before I could get the epidural. But the anesthesiologist came eventually and I did get the epidural. It was magnificent! I wished I would have gotten it hours earlier. The pain dissipated almost immediately and I was able to lay down and rest a bit.

During that time the nurse checked things over again, checked the baby’s heart rate, and inserted the catheter. I was barely aware that she was doing all of this. I do recall her turning me from side to side, trying to get a better read on baby’s heart rate. It was a bit sporadic. My husband also took this opportunity to lay down and rest a bit.

Emergency C-Section

While I was being turned from side to side, the nurse also got the doctor because Little One;s heart rate was dipping. He needed to come now! The doctor checked me again – only 2 centimeters (if you have been adding this up we are at over 20 hours of labor and only reached 2 centimeters). So off to surgery we went. My husband later told me he literally woke up to the word C-section.

At 4 something in the morning my room became really busy with doctors and extra nurses getting things ready to go. I don’t remember a whole lot, but I remember being scared, scared for my baby, and just hoping it would be alright. I was also scared about surgery however I remember being shaky as they wheeled my bed down the hall and into an elevator. They then brought me into an operating room and got things ready. The anesthesiologist checked my epidural and gave me something to help with my nausea…it didn’t work. They put a curtain up at about shoulder level on me and got my husband outfitted in disposable medical gear. They gave him a chair and he was able to sit next to me throughout the ordeal.

The team was amazing and got Little One out very quickly at 4:39 am. The doctor did tell us that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. This could be the reason that I was not dilating at all. I remember they were holding him over the curtain so I could see and they took him and my husband over to their station to check Little One over. It took them a bit longer to close things back up. I remember being really cold and shaking.

Little One Birth Story
(Stock photo)

Recovery

When they finished me up, they moved me off the operating table and back onto my bed. They handed me Little One and wheeled me to the recovery room.

We were in the recovery room for about an hour, where we then started skin to skin contact. I don’t remember if they had me start trying to feed him at this time or if we waited until we were back in the room. In the room with us was my nurse who was with me throughout and another nurse who was doing paperwork. Again, I’m a little foggy here but I believe he took out my epidural and gave me some pain medications, as well. My nurse also gave me heated blankets at this time. As I said before I was shaking and cold in the operating room so the blankets were awesome!

They wheeled me up to my room and got me all settled in. We spent the next three days in the hospital, learning about our new Little One and how to nurse. It wasn’t going well until a nurse said that he might be tongue tied. Sure enough, he was. A pediatrician came and did a short procedure to clip the tie. After a little recovery time Little One latched on like a champ.

Little One

The emergency c-section was a bit of an ordeal. As I mentioned a couple times throughout the post, some of the details are a bit fuzzy to me. It’s true what they say that the body has a way of making you forget. My husband and I are so overjoyed with his arrival and couldn’t be more in love with him.

So 21 hours from start to finish and ending in an emergency C-section. It definitely didn’t go as planned, but thanks to the amazing team at St. Luke’s Hospital we welcomed a beautiful little boy into our hearts and both of us are doing fine.

The recovery from a C-section is not the easiest process in the world, but I think I have rambled long enough. We will have to save that for another post.

So that’s the our Little One’s birth story! If you’re comfortable with it, share some of your experiences down below in the comments.

Hey before you go, we decided to cloth diaper our Little One, you can check out that post here.

DIY Dry Shampoo

DIY Dry Shampoo

Let me start with this – I love dry shampoo! I have fine hair that tends to get greasy very easily. It has been a goal of mine to take better care of my hair. My switch to all natural bar shampoo has helped immensely. Washing my hair less frequently is also helping it look and feel better. However, after one day of not washing my hair it is one giant grease ball…enter dry shampoo! I use this recipe 2-4 days a weeks as a part of my morning routine. This DIY dry shampoo is very easy to make and it uses ingredients you can find in your pantry.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart .

Supplies

Below are the supplies needed to make DIY dry shampoo. This is going to be a fairly short list because it is that simple!

  • Corn Starch (This one is vegan, gluten free and Non GMO) Some people use arrowroot powder instead of corn starch. I have never tried it but if you have some, give it a try and let me know how it goes!
  • Cocoa Powder Note this is for dark hair only. If you have blonde hair you can skip this ingredient.
  • Essential Oil You can choose any scent of essential oil you want (lavender is popular). If you don’t like having a scent you can go without essential oil.
  • Glass container. I personally use a candle jar that had been used up from Ikea that has a nice silver lid. You can use any glass container as long as it has a lid of some kind.
  • Make Up Brush The make up brush is used to apply the dry shampoo. I highly suggest having one dedicated to only the dry shampoo and not to mix it with your foundation brush.

Instructions

For dark hair, mix one part corn starch (1/8 or 1/4 cup) and 1 part cocoa powder (1/8 or 1/4 cup). Next, add a couple of drops of essential oil and mix. Put the dry shampoo mix into a glass container and it’s ready to use. Simple, right?

For light hair, take 1/4 cup of corn starch and add a couple drops of essential oil. Set it into a glass container.

How to use dry shampoo

To use DIY dry shampoo, take your blush brush (remember, only used for the dry shampoo) and gather a small amount on it. Shake off any excess because you don’t want to have it clumpy in your hair. Next, working in small sections use the brush to rub the dry shampoo onto your roots. Repeat as needed for all the greasy sections of your hair. Give your hair a brush and shake off any remaining dry shampoo.

That’s it for DIY dry shampoo! This is such an easy DIY that has a great result for your hair and a better impact on the environment than the aerosol cans. What do you think of this dry shampoo? Let me know in the comments below.

Next, check out my other zero waste switches at Little Family on the Big Lake.