Category Archives: Family

Rest for my soul.

It’s April, y’all. APRIL. And while I thought our winter would never end, I can’t believe that it’s actually Spring. Cabin drive

Spring Break has already come and gone. For the first time, we decided to take a little trip to get away from cold Indiana Spring. We went to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for a few days and had a really wonderful time (even with Cami & Adam having the stomach flu).

We hiked on trails…

Adam and kids hiking

…and off. Kids in waterfall

We rested at our cabin with beautiful scenery… steps

…took scenic drives through Cade’s Cove…Cade's Cove

…and took a picture of Alaina with her boys. Little did she know that meant Adam too. photo bomb

April will be over before we know it, which means Isaac’s birthday is right around the corner. 21 days to be exact. I think he’s going to be 12.Isaac

I’m hoping to take some time to really rest during Spring. I’m not talking about taking naps or relaxing in the sun, though I definitely plan on doing both of those! I’m talking about letting my stress levels drop. Having more fun with the kids. (Yelling is getting old. And it’s not even summer break yet!) Really letting my soul relax in this stage of life. There are just too many (last) firsts to miss by getting caught up in the little nothings that I so often let take hold of me each day.

(I’ll be using #lastfirst on pictures and posts on Instagram & Twitter {follow me @katieunscripted on both} if you want to follow along.)

 

Adventures in cloth diapering (and a giveaway!)

Where does time go?! This (not so) little guy? Nine months old already. Nuts.Isaac 9 months old

It feels like forever ago, when I was about 5 months pregnant, that I started considering what it would look like to switch to cloth diapers for Isaac, simply because of the cost of disposable diapers. Adding an unexpected FOURTH child to our family sent chills up my spine when I thought about how it would affect our family financially.

But after my beginning internet searches and social media polls, I felt totally overwhelmed by all the choices and the HUGE price differences in the cloth diaper world. I mean, a single cloth diaper can cost up to $40. But you can also find them for under $10 on Etsy. I just couldn’t figure out from online research if the expensive diapers were really any better than the cheapo ones. I even had contacted a company about their diapers, trying to figure out if their cheaper diapers held up to the more expensive ones. They kindly sent me one to review.

And I kindly gave up on the idea once Isaac was born. I just couldn’t handle the thought of more laundry. And then I looked at our budget, shrinking because of so many things, but one HUGE change was of course buying disposable diapers SO. FREAKING. OFTEN. It was seriously money thrown in the trash can. 5-6 times a day. Every day. With no end in sight.

So I pulled out the diaper Glow Bug Cloth Diapers sent to me so long ago and bought some gently used (bumGenius 4.0) cloth diapers from a good friend and committed. Adam, not so eagerly, let me do it.

I was curious to see if the Glow Bug diaper (priced at $12.50 each) held up to the bumGenius 4.0 diaper (priced at about $18 each). I’ve been amazingly surprised and actually prefer my Glow Bug to the bumGenius 4.0. Here are a few reasons why:

First: Double Gussets. The only consistent problem I’ve had with cloth diapers is a small amount of leaking around the legs. But I have less leaking with my Glow Bug diaper and I think it’s because of the double gussets. (Now, they have recently changed the gussets and now they have a 360* gusset that is supposed to help keep the pooh contained better. It still provides the same double gusset around the legs, which is the most important part to me.)Glow Bug double gusset

There are two openings with waterproof flaps to help prevent leaking as well. This is a pretty standard feature on cloth diapers from what I’ve seen.

Another feature that I love is the wing snaps, which help prevent drooping and gaping around the waist. The bumGenius 4.0 doesn’t have this extra snap and I think it’s a great, simple addition to the Glow Bug diaper.Glow Bug wing snaps

I also love LOVE how stinking cute the diaper is. I really didn’t think I’d care what the diaper looked like since it’s under clothes, but I just want to let Isaac hang out in just his diaper because he has cassette tapes on his bum.Glow Bug pattern

One other thing I love about this diaper is how it fits. I really don’t like the bulk of cloth diapers, so having a slimmer diaper is a great option for us. Glow Bug uses a new SlimDry™ fabric that keeps baby’s skin dry without the bulk. The elastic at the back of the diaper is also much stretchier on the Glow Bug diaper which I think is helpful when you have a baby who’s packing a little extra chunk.Glow Bug Cloth Diapers

I do have to say, I know there’s wear on my bumGenius diapers since I bought them used. I really should point that out, that I don’t have NEW bumGenius. BUT STILL, if I were buying cloth diapers again, I’d truthfully buy these over the bumGenius 4.0’s. I’m that impressed. Here are their design features from their website:

  • Each set of 12 diapers are packaged in a free wet bag!!!
  • Two sets of cross-over snaps through the waist band for a perfect fit around newborn tummies
  • Double rows of snaps with square tabs for a trim fit through the hip
  • 2 hip snaps to prevent “wing droop”
  • Four size settings fitting babies from birth through potty training (7lbs-35lbs)
  • Coordinating colored snaps for every print
  • Waterproof flaps in the front and the back of each diaper to prevent leaks
  • NEW Revolutionary 360° Gusset design – 360 degrees of protection!
  • NEW SlimDry™ fabric keeps baby’s skin dry without the bulk
  • Two openings in the pocket makes it easier to get the absorbent inset in and out
  • Snap-in inserts to keep it in place while baby’s on the move

That being said, one thing I don’t love is that you can’t buy a single diaper right now. They only come in packs of 12. So not great if you just want to add a few to your stash. And not great if you are really specific about patterns, because you don’t get to pick and choose which 12 you want. The patterns are super cute though, and brand new patterns are being released on March 1st and April 1st. (You can preview them on their Facebook page.)

(Update: They do have a sale once a month where you can pick and choose single diapers through their Glow Bug and Friends group on Facebook.  Here is a link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlowBugAndFriends/)

But you can WIN one Glow Bug cloth diaper right here thanks to Glow Bug! Simply enter by using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Details: The contest is open through Monday, February 10th. The winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Tuesday, February 11th (so please make sure your email address is correct so I can reach you). The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen. No exceptions. 

Want to get a great deal? Because Glow Bug is releasing new patterns on April 1st, they are having a great sale on their diaper sets. You can get a package of 12 diapers (plus a wet bag) for $137 or 2 packages for $257. That takes the per diaper price down to $11.42 and $10.71, respectively. Click here to order: Glow Bug Cloth Diaper Store.

 

Disclosure: I received a free cloth diaper from Glow Bug Cloth Diapers in order to complete this review. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are mine.

‘Tis the season…

There’s only 10 more days until Christmas. TEN DAYS. Yikes.

Right before Thanksgiving, I was really looking forward to this holiday season. I was excited about visiting our parents, shopping, buying a tree and decorating our home for Christmas. And then I started to feel totally overwhelmed when I realized all I had to accomplish in the less than 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That overwhelming feeling pushed me into a crappy place, which was worsened by the dark cold winter that so quickly fell upon Indy. I started going to bad places, taking things out on my kids and myself. Being short with people I love and even shorter with people I don’t.

And then this happened.larry santa (929x742)

We don’t push Santa at our house. Only our stockings and one present come from Santa. If our kids ask, we tell the truth. But we never stop playing Santa because it’s fun and special. 

There’s something special about Santa. There’s something special about *this* Santa.

When we left the first church home we had in Indianapolis about a year and a half ago, it was rough. I struggled with many things – leaving the only church home we had ever really had. We left a community in which we felt very comfortable, knowing so many people and being known by so many as well. The location was even in our neighborhood, which meant many of our neighbors were not only our physical community but also our spiritual community. But it was time for us to move on.

Walking into a new church is never fun. It’s something we had been putting off for quite awhile before we actually make the move. It’s uncomfortable. It’s new. It’s isolating. You question whether or not it’s the right choice. The right place for you. The best fit. And you walk into a new church over and over while searching for that right place and best fit.

And when you finally find the right place, it’s still uncomfortable, new and sometimes isolating. Even a year later.

But then Santa comes to your community group.

Friends, we have been very blessed to find our new home. We’ve been placed in a church with all these new and different people whose names we still don’t know but we’ve found a small group of amazing men and women in all different walks of life and in all different places with God. They have turned our new church into more than just our new church. They’ve turned it into a family. One I wasn’t sure we’d be able to find after leaving our last church family.

What does Santa have to do with any of this? Well, “Santa” is a member of our community group and when he showed up this week to group to surprise the kids, Lucas ran at top speed to him and literally jumped into his arms. I almost cried. I so wish I had it on tape. It was total abandon. Leaping into the arms of someone who truly loves him. It was so beautiful and it reminded me of how loved I am by the people around me and by God. And it totally changed my outlook on being overwhelmed.

I’m still overwhelmed – I still have SO MUCH SHOPPING to do. So much work to do with the end of the year approaching. So much cleaning from slacking for too long. No lie – I’m still overwhelmed. But it’s not consuming. I’m trying to enjoy the season with my kids. To not only give love and good parenting, but to give some grace where I normally wouldn’t. Because I’m given grace every day. And my kids won’t learn what grace is if they aren’t shown it.

So at Target tonight I enjoyed shopping for the kids. I thought about how much each would love the things I was picking out for them. I thought about the joy we’d see on Christmas morning.

And I thought about how many people love me and my family. And it made me happy for the hustle and bustle of the season. So I’m going to embrace it. Join me?

Celebration Crossing at Indiana State Museum

So I kind of take pride in that I’ve taken my kids to most all of the museums in Indianapolis. And we try to hit each of them at least once a year (with the exception being the Children’s Museum that we go to ALL THE TIME). And in order to keep my kids interested so we’re not just looking at the same things over and over, we try to visit at different times of the year.

But I have a confession: We’ve never been to the annual Celebration Crossing festival at the Indiana State Museum.

I really don’t know why. Sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed by holiday exhibits because SO. MANY. PEOPLE. go to them. And I don’t really like being around ALL. THOSE. PEOPLE. Especially with ALL. MY. KIDS. So we generally stay away from holiday exhibits.

But for some reason, I’m super excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and it’s overflowing into my desire to go to all the holiday exhibits we’ve totally missed out on.

Like Celebration Crossing!Celebration Crossing

This November and December, the Indiana State Museum will host its annual Celebration Crossing festival from Friday, Nov. 29th through Tuesday, Dec. 31st where visitors can enjoy holiday food, fun, sights and sounds. Below are the top eight reasons not to miss Celebration Crossing this year, according to the museum:

1. Celebration Crossing Opening Day: On Friday, Nov. 29th, the celebration opens with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands and choirs to the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the front lawn by helicopter. Children of all ages are invited to ride the Santa Claus Express, make crafts and rekindle memories of holidays past as they gaze into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows.

2. L.S. Ayres Tea Room: This year, the historic L.S. Ayres Tea Room will be converted into the perfect holiday place to have the perfect holiday meal. From Friday, Nov. 29th through Tuesday, Dec. 31st, walk-in diners will be invited to celebrate the season with friends and family and select from a menu of amazing appetizers to devilish desserts, all while enjoying the festive decorations, music and scheduled entertainment. Reservations required.

3. Santa’s Holiday Breakfast presented by Macy’s: During the first, second and fourth weekends in December, guests will get to start their mornings off with delicious holiday breakfast as Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and other holiday characters entertain the young ones before they visit Santa Claus and ride the Santa Claus Express. Reservations required.

4. Santa’s Holiday Brunch presented by Macy’s: On Sunday, Dec. 15th, adults and kids alike will join in the fun during this holiday brunch featuring traditional brunch dishes and festive holiday mimosas(!!). Brunch also includes a visit with Santa and access to the rest of the Celebration Crossing activities. Reservations required.Santa Smiling

5. Santa’s PlaygroundThroughout the month of December, guests will be treated to Santa’s (Imagination) playground in the Earl Goode Education Center on level 2. In addition to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based activity area, there will also be crafts and a place for caregivers to sit and relax while their children play.

6. Hoosier Radio Hour : A 1940’s Christmas: During the first, second, fourth and fifth weekends, guests will get to join the Indiana State Museum Legacy Theater Troupe as they celebrate the holidays with “Hoosier Radio Hour: A 1940’s Christmas.” Original skits and familiar carols are part of this heart-warming production, suitable for Hoosiers of all ages. Audience members will be invited to join the fun onstage as members of the sound effects staff.

7. Holiday Sounds: School and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists perform holiday music in the museum’s Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall each day. Enjoy holiday sounds in a spectacular atmosphere.

8. Celebration Crossing: A Family New Year’s Eve: End the year with a bang with a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration in the Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 31st from 6 to 9 p.m. Activities include face-painting, arts and craft, games, door prizes and a special musical performance by Indianapolis band The Tides. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows little ones to celebrate the New Year in style. Reservations recommended.

I know the kids are going to love visiting Celebration Crossing. And for the first time since Alaina was little, I’m going to have the kids’ picture taken with Santa. I can’t wait.

Seriously, for some reason I’m really excited about this. I don’t know why. It just feels good. It feels magical. And I can’t wait to share this feeling I have with my family. Won’t you join us?

 

Disclosure: My family is receiving free entrance into the Indiana State Museum to visit Celebration Crossing and the rest of the museum. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are mine.

 

Goofballs, Space Cadets & Super Weirdos (Giveaway!)

I make the girls’ lunches most school days. And with few exceptions, their lunches consist of the same four things each day: sandwich, chips, fruit, yogurt. Plus milk.

Yeah, yeah, I know there are tons of blogs out there sharing great, fun, new things I could put in their lunches each day. You go ahead and do that. Ain’t nobody got time for that in this house.

But I do try to sneak little notes in every once in a while. Okay, so maybe once a month. Lunches aren’t my forte, don’t judge. It’s just that mornings are crazy nuts and trying to find a napkin and a marker (because pens and pencils are hard to write with on napkins without ripping them) to make a sweet little note to my kids who NEVER say “Hey mom, thanks for that sweet note to let me know you love me in my lunch today” is just NOT WORTH IT.

And then I heard about Lunchbox Buddies. Oh my gosh. They’re awesome.Lunchbox Buddies

Lunchbox Buddies are little pads of goofy cartoons with funny little captions. You tear one off and pop it in the lunch box. The one above makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. “Give me five!!!” Ha!

Lunchbox Buddies was developed by Jim & Monika Adorney, when Jim would draw goofy cartoons on his daughters’ lunchbox notes, which quickly became a hit at school. So the family began developing new characters and themes for Jim’s designs.Goofballs & Space Cadets

The first two character lines – Goofballs and Space Cadets – were launched in 2012 on the East Coast. Now you can pick them up in one of my favorite toy stores in Indy – Mass Ave Toys. And later this fall, a new character line of superheroes called Super Weirdos will launch. All three lines define my girls completely. 🙂

What did the girls think? I got the exact reaction out of each one: “WHAT did you put in my lunchbox today?!” with huge smiles on their faces. They cracked up. Cami said “I’m going to keep them all and make a collection.” She made all the kids at her lunch table high-five her character. And since they come in black and white, she informed me that she’s going to color them. They both wanted to look at the rest of them, but I wouldn’t let them so they’d be surprised each time they found one.

Want to test some out with your kiddos? Win some here! One lucky reader will win a 2-pack of Lunchbox Buddies characters! Just enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Details: The contest is open through Thursday, November 28th. The winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Friday, November 29th (so please make sure your email address is correct so I can reach you). The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen. No exceptions.

Want more chances to win? Visit my friend Michelle’s giveaway on her blog over at Gotchababy and Crystal’s giveaway at Mom for Less.

Disclosure: I received two packs of Lunchbox Buddies for this review. I was not paid for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are completely mine.

The Advil Shake

Isaac is a pretty happy kiddo, but he just doesn’t laugh very often unless I’m tickling him for some reason. But Friday night, I was carrying him down the stairs with a bottle of Advil in my hand and Isaac started giggling like crazy. I realized that he was laughing each time the bottle of Advil shook.

So I share, because there are very few things that beat a laughing baby.

You’re welcome.

Celebrating Lucas with Turbo

This baby?lucas baby

He turned three today. So crazy. He brings me so much joy, this one.Me & Lucas

Lucas wanted to celebrate his birthday with a Turbo party. Specifically, Turbo cupcakes. And since I started making the kids birthday cakes about five years ago, I had some Pinteresting to do in order to find something I could make. The problem? I’m scared of fondant. And everything I found required some crazy fondant skills or Turbo rings stuck in the top of a cupcake. So we came up with our own Turbo cupcake vision.The vision

The plan was chocolate cupcakes baked in blue cupcake liners to mimic Turbo’s racing shell with orange icing for his head/face and raised orange marshmallow eyeballs.

Lucas and I made the cupcakes and right after baking I realized the liners had darkened so much they didn’t look blue anymore. If I would have known that the bright Wilton primary blue liners I bought wouldn’t hold their color, I would have bought blue foil liners (like these) instead.

While they cooled, we dyed miniature marshmallows orange. I made a concentrated dye from only water and orange food coloring. I wanted the dye to be really concentrated so I didn’t have to soak the marshmallows for too long since I didn’t want them to disintegrate. Then Alaina and Lucas stuck 48 marshmallows (2 eyes for each of the 24 cupcakes) on wooden toothpicks. We dipped the marshmallows in the dye for 10 “Mississippi” seconds, then stuck them upright in styrofoam to dry for about an hour or so.Dying Marshmallows

Once the marshmallows were dry, I used frosting to “attach” a candy eyeball to each marshmallow. I laid them down on a plate so that the frosting could harden to keep the eyeball from falling off.Turbo eyes

I then tinted my frosting to match the orange of the marshmallow snail eyes and frosted the cupcakes. I stuck two eyes in each cupcake and added a little grin on each Turbo face with an orange glitter icing tube I found on clearance after Halloween. And since the party store didn’t have Turbo birthday supplies (even though their website had them), we went with checkered flag plates and Indianapolis Motor Speedway napkins (since that’s where Turbo races in the movie).Turbo Cupcake

I think they turned out pretty cute. And Lucas liked them, which is all that really matters. 🙂

I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for Lucas. He’s such an awesome little boy who adds so much joy to our family. Here’s to another year buddy.birthday boy

 

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