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Happy Memorial Day

We’ll be taking Memorial Day off but will be back tomorrow with our regular posting schedule. Hope you have a great one.

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DIY Father’s Day Fingerprint Portrait Keychain

Fingerprint Portrait Keychain

This Father’s Day, make dad a cute and useful gift that will touch his heart! Each circle on this keychain is one of a kind because they’re made with fingerprints and happy face doodles.

Thumbprint and fingerprint doodles like this are reminiscent of some of Ed Emberley’s drawing books, so if you need some inspiration, those are a great place to start. But I’m willing to bet that once you show your child an example or two, they’ll have no trouble enhancing their own fingerprint!

A Fingerprint Keychain Gift for Dad

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Safe ways to dye your hair during pregnancy

I have gotten my hair done every 4-5 months for as long as I can remember. Even when I am planning to get pregnant, I have a Hair Plan so that there will be a smooth transition to my next hair phase. For instance, when I knew we were planning for Baby #2, I decided to have dark roots and a subtle ombre since I knew I would probably not be able to dye my hair for a really long time. I have a lot of gray hairs on top of my head so I like to at least get my roots done when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding. Now that summer is coming, I thought it would be nice to discuss some healthier hair dying options for pregnant/nursing moms. There are a few safe ways to get this done!

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Henna Hair Dye: This is really easy to find on the internet, and even LUSH offers bars of these henna dyes that are super easy to pick up! I’ve never done it by myself, but the instructions seem pretty easy to do on their website. I’ve found that the Henna & Vegetable Dyes are pretty similar. The ingredients for these hair dyes are blends of henna (lawsonia inermis), indigo (indigofera tinctoria), cocoa butter and raw materials like coffee, irish moss and essential oils. The fact that it’s pretty natural should give you a sense that the color won’t be super vibrant or work to lighten hair. (So it won’t work on blonde hair.) However, it’s perfect for a temporary fix for pregnant/nursing moms if you’re uncomfortable with regular hair dyes. It will get the job done!

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Why I’m Glad I’ll Have an “Old” Kindergartner

Little Cotton Candy was born in November 2012, meaning he is a couple months past the cutoff for starting kindergarten this fall. Because he started preschool in the fall of 2015, this means he will have three full years of preschool before entering kindergarten. (Side note: Looks like baby #2 will be following in his footsteps, as his due date is  in late September of this year!)

For a while, I had mixed feelings about Little Cotton Candy having what is considered an early birthday. This would mean an extra year of (possibly private) preschool, and therefore preschool tuition. Additionally, this will make him 18 for the majority of his senior year of high school, which could be a bad thing if he is ready to get out from under our roof but still waiting to graduate. I myself have a late birthday, so I was 17 for my entire senior year, yet I still had such major senioritis and was ready to just get OUT of my small town already. I think about how much that would have been exacerbated if I’d been nine months older.

On the other hand, having a baby with an early birthday means they get to stay a baby a bit longer, meaning I get to cherish these irreplaceable moments when Little Cotton Candy is a carefree kiddo who doesn’t have to worry about public school curriculum, homework, or extracurriculars. It also means that Mr. Cotton Candy and I will get an “extra” year with him at home before he starts his adult life and moves away forever (tear). It will also allow him to develop more emotional maturity before entering public school. Finally, it will mean he has an extra year to mature academically as well.

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Little CC on his first day of preschool, and last week

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Giving birth: you never know whats going to happen

As it gets closer and closer to baby’s due date, I find myself thinking more and more about labor and delivery. This will be my third birth, so I’ve been through this twice already, but I still have so many questions about what will happen! The thing about birth is every baby is a completely new experience.

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I know this particularly well because my first two births were total opposites! Both times, I was planning on having a vaginal birth with an epidural. How many times did that actually happen? Zero. Instead I ended up with one C-section delivery under general anesthetic and one med-free birth. Definitely not what I expected.

When I was having my first, I didn’t have a lot of expectations of birth. I just knew I didn’t want to have a C-section if at all possible. When I was 39 weeks, I went in for a routine appointment with plans to have dinner with my husband afterwards. Instead I found myself headed straight to the hospital to have our baby! My amniotic fluid was too low and the cord was around the baby’s neck so my doctor decided we really needed to go ahead and induce. Twenty four hours later, I had still only dilated to five centimeters and nothing much seemed to be happening. So, it was decided we needed to do the one thing I didn’t want: a C-section.

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Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks

It is hard to believe I am already well into my third trimester. Only a few more weeks to go! I haven’t shared a lot of updates this pregnancy, so it seemed like it was definitely time to share how things are going before the pregnancy is over!

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Photo taken by Family Tree Photography

Baby’s sex:  boy  (boy #3 for us!)

Position: Head down. yay!

Symptoms: At this point, I am firmly in the ‘generally uncomfortable most of the time’ phase. My back and ribs often hurt, especially after sitting for an extended period of time. Sleeping is getting more and more difficult. And keeping up with my preschooler and toddler is definitely getting harder. With my previous two pregnancies, I developed carpal tunnel in both wrists during the last few weeks of pregnancy and it didn’t go away until several months after birth. I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen this time around, but I’m just starting to notice some tingling in my hands at random times so I’m not very hopeful.

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End of school year reflections

After watching a Daniel Tiger episode on “mixed-up feelings” the other day, Lila told me, “Mommy, I have mixed-up feelings. I’m excited for 1st grade, but I’m sad that I won’t see Mrs. S. anymore!”

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Mrs. S. is Lila’s kindergarten teacher who has been the BEST elementary school teacher I have ever met in all my years as a student and parent. She sends pictures and updates daily, genuinely raves about all our kids, and encourages Lila to do her best work everyday.

Here are a couple examples: one day Mr. Juice went to be mystery reader for Lila’s class in the afternoon. Before he even got home, she had sent pictures and an email about how much the kids enjoyed The Lonely Phone Booth (a really fun book about the last real phone booth in NYC). Mrs. S is truly a whiz at communicating, and isn’t that what all parents want to know — what their kids really did in class all day?

Another example was when, to our surprise, Lila was somehow chosen to be in the Math enrichment program earlier in the year to work on 1st grade concepts. Mrs. S. said it was due to her test scores and her own observations in class. This was pretty surprising to Mr. Juice and me, since with Lila being our youngest, we don’t spend much time working with Lila outside of school… actually none at all really.

Well, what was more of a surprise, was a few months later, when I asked Mrs. S.  how Lila was doing in the math enrichment program. I fully expected a, “Oh, she’s doing great…” response. But Mrs. S. was honest with me and said, “Well, she’s struggling a little bit! We’ll see how she does. Maybe you could work with her on it at home.”

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