Caileigh CrazyPants Carney

And then Reality Slapped Me in the Face

Ever have one of those moments when reality just hits you and changes your perspective in an instant? That happened to me today. Before I tell you what happened, I want to make a confession to you. I have a tendency to think mean, judgmental thoughts about other people. I pretty much always keep my opinion to myself, but the thoughts are still there. I’m not under any kind of impression that this makes me very different from a lot of people. I think that subconsciously judging others is something that just happens naturally. But it embarrasses me to admit that to you. So what does that tell me? That something needs to change.

Today I had to drop a package off at the FedEx store. It was a pretty big box, one that required two hands to carry. I also had my one year old son with me. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to get both the box and my son from the car to the store, but I would figure it out. I pulled the box out of the trunk and went to get my son out of his seat. And that is when a man probably around my age, dressed in a tank top and jeans, offered to take the box inside for me if I would watch his daughter. I gladly accepted his help. He opened up the side door of his van to where his daughter was sitting in her car seat and then picked up the package for me. His van was old, run down, not very pretty. The little girl inside had messy hair  and the cutest smile.  This little girl looked so happy and sweet! And her father, a total stranger, had offered me help when I really wasn’t sure how I would manage on my own.

During the thirty seconds that I was exchanging smiles with this adorable baby I had a realization. I have a very bad tendency to judge people and particularly parents, based solely on what I see of them in passing. This man was polite and offered to help when he could have just gotten into his van and driven away. It seems rare to encounter even the simplest acts of kindness these days. Every one is in a hurry, stuck in their own little world. And that man’s act of kindness pulled me out of my little world. I realized that judging him by how he was dressed, the condition of his vehicle or how disheveled his daughter was wrong and unfair. 

I can’t even count how many times I’ve left the house in sweats and with my hair a mess. Or how many times my toddler has had stains on his clothes or around his mouth from the snack I let him eat just to keep him quiet while we ran errands. My husband and I are proud to own nice things, but that hasn’t always been the case. We recently bought a new car and that new car is pretty freakin’ nice. But the car we replaced was in not so nice condition for the past couple of years. And I can honestly say that I would be taken aback by someone judging me just based on what my car looks like.

We’re human beings and we live in a very… interesting society. The amount of money a person has or the quality of their belongings does not make a person who they are. I have a nice tv. And a lot of my clothes are secondhand. What does that say about me? A whole lot of nothing. So why on earth would I be such a hypocrite to judge someone else based on the clothes they are wearing when I happen to encounter them at the grocery store? I know absolutely nothing about that person. Nothing. 

So it’s about time I made the conscious effort to catch those negative thoughts and put an end to them. With a little bit of mental training anyone can learn to change their way of thinking. And that’s exactly what I am going to do. 

While Kat is being awesome and doing a whole foods challenge, I’m over here deciding that I need to make smarter choices about what I put into my body as well. At my house we eat decently healthy. I cook from scratch most days and I try to buy fruits and vegetables and healthy snack options instead of chips and cookies and the like. I’d love to have the drive to embark on a whole foods journey too but… I don’t. So I’ve decided instead to conquer one of my food demons: soda.

And yes, I call it soda. Not pop. 

I’m well aware of how bad soda is for you. All that sugar plus who know what other gunk they put in that stuff. I also know that I love the taste. And the fizzies. The fizzies make me happy. I don’t drink diet soda. That stuff tastes awful and despite what all those marketing gimmicks want you to think, it’s not better for you at all. It just takes away one bad thing and replaces it with another. 

For some strange reason, soda just makes me happy. Continue reading »

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Moms

A friend of mine had a fantastic idea. She would host a sort of arts and crafts play date at her house and have our toddlers paint pieces of beautiful art. I thought it was an awesome idea, went and bought some canvas and dug out some old clothes for Aaron to paint in. It sounded like a great experience for Aaron, who has only painted once before, about a year ago. 

Of course it helps that Aaron and my friend’s son Jameson are pretty much BFF’s. Their birthdays are only nine days apart and they are two peas in a pod.  Getting those two together is always an interesting time and I was sure that adding some paint into the mix would really make for an adventure. 

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Spinach Artichoke One Pot Pasta Dish

I recently discovered the magic that is one pot pasta dishes. You cook your pasta along with all your other ingredients so the pasta absorbs all these wonderful flavors and it’s just fantastic. These meals tend to be fast and easy and since it’s all in one pot, cleanup is a breeze.

I have recently tried a tomato basil pasta dish, chicken chow mein, and taco pasta, all of which were delicious. But today I am going to share with you the super yummy spinach artichoke dish that my whole family loved. 

Now, normally I try to take pictures of each step when putting together a post for a recipe or tutorial. But this time… I dropped the ball a little. Sorry guys! I was in such a rush to get dinner on the table that I didn’t think to start snapping shots until about half way through. 

But anyway, on to the good stuff!  Continue reading »

Boy A Noise With Dirt On It

 

My son is pretty much your stereotypical little boy. He loves dirt and he’s pretty loud. Listening and following the rules is against his nature. He loves to snuggle with his momma and play rough with his daddy. And he is the sunshine of my life. 

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Because I’m feeling sappy and nostalgic, I’d like to talk about my son and his life so far. All 21 months of it. 

I found out I was pregnant in March 2012. My pregnancy was uneventful and easy. My worst symptom was some awful heartburn. I can remember the joy of seeing him on ultrasounds and feeling him kick. The pregnancy was a breeze. Fast forward to the end of my pregnancy and it seemed as though Aaron was refusing to come out. He was due November 18th and my doctor kept voicing his concerns of birthing a “post due” baby. Despite the fact that it was the exact opposite of the birth experience I wanted, I consented to a scheduled c-section. 

Aaron was born at 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 and a quarter inches long. He came out with a full head of hair, looking like a little old man. He was so calm for the first couple days of his life but that didn’t last long. Two new parents who kinda thought that maybe they knew what they were doing brought home this fragile little human being and a whole new chapter began. Jason and I have been on a roller coaster ride ever since. 

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A Gazillion Uses for Coconut Oil

You may have guessed that I don’t actually have a gazillion pieces of advice to give you. And you’d be correct! Especially since a gazillion isn’t an actual numerical amount. Even if it was a real number I imagine it would be a rather big one; and I am going to assume that none of you would be interested in reading an encyclopedia of knowledge about coconut oil any more than I would be interested in writing it.

Coconut oil is this magical substance that I discovered along the path of my cloth diapering journey. And in the past two years I have found many wonderful ways to use it. Some might surprise you! So here we go, a list of ways that I personally have used coconut oil in my household. Hang onto your hats, folks! 

  • Cooking – this one might seem like a no brainer since coconut oil is a consumable sort of oil, along the same lines as olive or vegetable oils. You can fry and saute with it, add it to sauces, whatever tickles your taste buds. Adding coconut oil to your diet has been shown through studies to have amazing health benefits.
  • Baking – Again, pretty straightforward. Use it in place of butter or other types of oils for a healthy alternative.
  • Diaper cream – This is what first brought coconut oil to my attention. Many moms swear by using coconut oil on their baby’s bums to fight off rashes and dryness. I have had much success with it myself! 
  • Hair moisturizer – Earlier this year I tried my luck with the whole “no ‘poo” hair cleaning method. I will admit that I am back to using store bought products but I did learn that you can use a tiny (and I mean tiny, don’t over do it!) bit of oil to soothe your hair if it is a dry, frizzy mess. 
  • Remove cradle cap – My son had a touch of cradle cap when he was itty bitty. I would take some coconut oil and rub it onto his scalp and then brush gently with a soft baby brush. Worked very well for us! 
  • Add to homemade soaps and lotions – Coconut oil is very moisturizing. If you get the itch to make your own soaps, add in a little bit of oil for some added silkiness. You can also apply the oil directly to your skin for a soft, smooth result.
  • Deodorant – Coconut oil makes an awesome base for homemade, natural deodorant. I have some that a friend made and I was surprised and pleased by its effectiveness! I don’t know the recipe personally, but it’s definitely something worth looking into. 
  • Toothpaste – You can also make your own toothpaste with coconut oil and baking soda. Does a great job whitening your teeth. But it doesn’t taste very good. 
  • Oil pulling – This is a topic that deserves a post all of its own . Swishing some oil around in your mouth for a few minutes every day has some astounding health benefits. I do it when I start to get a toothache and the pain vanishes pretty quickly. 
  • Shaving – I hate shaving my legs, not going to lie. But using some coconut oil diluted in water makes an awesome shaving oil that leaves my legs silky smooth! Please use caution if using oil in your bathtub though, as it does make the surface slippery. 
  • Cough syrup – When my son or myself start coughing or getting an itchy throat, I whip up a batch of equal parts oil and raw honey. We take a couple spoonfuls a day to soothe our throats and suppress coughing.
  • Eczema rashes – During the winter my little guy breaks out in some awful rashes. There are different types of eczema, keep in mind, and not all are helped by oil. But it’s definitely worth a try if eczema is flaring up. 
  • Carrier oil for essential oils – I am a huge fan of using essential oils. Want your house to smell amazing? There’s an oil for that. Want to fight off a fever or a stomach ache? There’s an oil for that! But it is often times recommended that you not apply oils directly to your skin, so you need a carrier. Coconut oil is a great one! 
  • Remove gum from your carpet – Yep, tried it. Just a dab a little bit of oil on the gum and it’ll pull up. But be careful you don’t pull up your carpet fibers with the gum! 
  • Remove sticker residue from glass – We recently bought a new car and after bringing it home I peeled off all those stickers they put on the windows. There was a little bit of gunk left behind so naturally, I grabbed the coconut oil. Dab some oil on the residue and it rubs away nice and easy. 

Some important things to remember when using coconut oil: I personally only buy virgin, unrefined oil. It is less processed, more pure, and offers more health benefits.

Coconut oil has a low melting point at 76 degrees, so you may notice your oil transitioning from liquid to solid very easily. There’s nothing wrong with your oil and it won’t go bad from heating and cooling.

Use caution when pouring coconut oil down your drains, it is generally advised to dispose of it in a trash can or something similar. But if you do have oil go down your drain, rinse with hot water for a minute or two to help prevent the oil from solidifying and clogging your pipes. 

Do you use coconut oil? What uses have you found for this magical stuff? If you’d like any more information about the tips I’ve provided, please leave a comment and I would be happy to answer your questions! 

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This past weekend was Labor Day weekend. This is usually when people try to get in one last hurrah before summer unofficially ends. I wish I could say we went camping or took a road trip to the beach, but that’s not the case. But hey, we still had fun! 

First, I am going to backtrack to this past Wednesday just because, well, we did something awesome. Have you ever heard of a play cafe? I hadn’t until I started interacting with a group of local moms. On Wednesday Aaron and I went on a play date at one of these play cafes and I can’t believe it took so long for me to check one of these places out! Seriously, this place is amazing. 

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It’s pretty much an indoor playground with different stations and good quality toys. 

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Naturally Aaron went for the giant firetruck first. He also loved the market station with the play food and cash register.

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If you live in central Ohio, you should definitely check out the Little Green House Play Cafe. Or Google play cafes in your area. We did have to pay $5 but that buys you as much play time as you’d like. We stayed for about two hours and I felt that I got my money’s worth. Aaron really loved it there. And I love that I found a safe place for him to run around and play where I can keep an eye on him and chat with fellow parents at the same time! 

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I first began buying cloth diapers while I was pregnant with my son. My whole stash when he was born was comprised of pockets. In the beginning they were great, they worked great, I really had nothing to complain about. But many cloth diapering parents might tell you that they find themselves curious about other types of diapers, different brands and other methods that best handle all the pee and poop that their tiny human produces. I am one of those parents. 

Over these past two years I have tried several different types of diapers, though right now my stash mainly consists of covers and flats. And one type of cover that I recently discovered are Buttons Cloth Diapers. They are super cute, very well made and very affordable.  Continue reading »

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It’s sad to say that one thing that seems to just go hand in hand with motherhood is being judged. Some of us are more susceptible to it; other moms couldn’t give a flying hoot about what anyone thinks of them. Either way, one thing everyone seems to have an opinion about is how we feed our babies. 

 If you choose not to breastfeed, you are uneducated or selfish. If you breastfeed in public, you’re an exhibitionist. If you breastfeed too long then you are harming your child’s mental state. If you don’t breastfeed long enough then you are depriving your child. What a load of ridiculousness. 

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I’d like to share with you some insight on my breastfeeding journey. I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed my son. Quite frankly I didn’t want to pay for formula and I believe that “breast is best”. I was determined to make breastfeeding work, no matter what. My son was born via c-section (that’s a story for another day) and it wasn’t until an hour or two after his birth that I finally had the opportunity to try breastfeeding. It was a little awkward and uncomfortable but it happened! His latch wasn’t perfect and I had a hard time figuring out the best way to hold him but there we were, trying to get the hang of the whole breastfeeding thing.  

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I’d like to take some time to talk to you about something that I hold very dear to my heart. Books. All those different fictional stories that are just a different arrangement of the same 26 letters. They have had a huge impact in my life. 

I have been a bibliophile for as long as I can remember. As a child I found solace in a good book. I can remember my grandmother sending me tapes of her reading books while I followed along with my own copy of the story. I can still hear her reciting Dr. Seuss’ “Great day for up!” Some of my fondest memories of elementary school are the teachers who took time every day to read chapter books to the class. In middle school and high school I spent my free periods and lunch time as a library assistant. As a mother I don’t find the time to read as often as I wish. I try to read a chapter or two every night before bed and some days it’s what I look forward to most. I love knowing that at the end of the day I will be rewarded with a good book. 

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