An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Henry Turns 4

Happy birthday to the boy who first made me a mommy, my sweet Henry! This post is an ode to him, talking about all he's accomplished and all that is in his four trips around the sun

Happy birthday Henry (May 16 to be exact)! You're four years old now and so proud of it. You're honest to goodness THE sweetest child I've ever known - yes, even more so than your brother and even more so than the angelic little neighbor girls I used to babysit for in high school. You are turning out great, kid! Here's what you've been up to and how you changed this last year.

You're now fully potty trained! WHOOHOO! I was a tad worried for a while there... We have so many friends your exact age (seriously, all my girlfriends in Dallas had kids at the same time! As in, within months of each other) and you were the last one to be "trained." Maybe it's because I don't believe in "training" humans and therefore never forced you to do anything, never read a stupid book on the subject and never implemented the "weekend training" but I also never had to ride around with a kids toilet in my trunk and you only had ONE accident, ever. You now don't even need my help to go to the bathroom, which I have to tell you is pretty awesome.

You can ride a bike without training wheels! In fact, you could do this well before you were even 3 and a half. Balance bikes is where it's at, other moms! No training wheels ever, your kids just learn how to balance and ride. Anyway, you love going fast and beating your brother in races. Enjoy it now because he eats so much more than you, it's only a matter of time before he's bigger than you are...

You eat meat sometimes! You spent the first three years of your life spitting out any and all meat I attempted to feed you. I literally could only get you to eat dairy, hummus and fish as sources of protein. Now you'll eat chicken! Still no beef and you're on the fence about bacon, but you're trying new things, more so than you ever did before. It makes me so happy that you're willing to try!

You are my easiest child; my helper; my listener; my caring one. If I tell you no, you don't do it again. If I ask for help with something, you jump right in and help me. If your brother is being a handful, you help me calm him and entertain him. Your teachers absolutely ADORE you, and tell me on the side and "hush hush like" that you're their favorite student. You're a May baby and the trend in Texas is to hold back boys to the next school year (which I think is not only a load of crap, I think it's disservice to the child, but that's another post for another time) but you're so advanced both in your education and social skills, you only have one more year of preschool left before you're off to kindergarten. I'm going to savor this last year with having you with me most days of the week!

Frankly, you were my most unpleasant, most challenging pregnancy. I got a 180 different birth with you than I had hoped for (planned for a natural birth with midwives at a birth center; got an emergency c section with a preterm baby). I was SO unprepared for you! I was plagued with postpartum depression when you were an infant too. Then sometime around 9-10 months, I emerged from the PPD darkness and we clicked. We had a rough start, but ever since then, you've been the BEST baby, the BEST toddler and soon to be, the BEST child!

A face full of food remnants and he's still a handsome boy!

Most moms complain about their toddlers at some point. I can honestly say I've never, not once, complained about you. You are an absolute joy to be around. I look forward to times when we get to have "mommy-Henry days" where it's just you and I running errands because I LOVE having you with me! You've never thrown a tantrum in public (and at home, I think you've thrown two in your whole life) and strangers actually stop me to comment on what a wonderful, well behaved and polite child you are - and of course mention your insanely handsome good looks. The ease of caring for you and the joy you bring me is what made me want to have more children.

Now if we could just get Otto to be less like me and more like you... Kidding! Kinda.

Happy 4th birthday, my sweet, handsome, kind, compassionate, rule-following son. The world needs more people like you in it! My world would not be complete without you in it. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

DIY Refrigerator Freshener

Spring and summer means more fresh fruits and veggies in our fridges... Which can be smelly! Use this do it yourself freshener to keep your fridge smelling clean

It's our last full week of school here in Dallas, and that means summer break is right around the corner! For most people that means a slower pace and lots of vacations, but for me in my current season of life it means a FASTER pace with kids home nonstop - toddler aged kids that need help with everything and regularly scheduled activities and who don't know the meaning of sleeping in, either... Anyway, what it usually means for all of us is an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies are readily available and in season! Which is awesome, but if you've ever left some fresh broccoli sit a tad too long in your veggie drawer, you know how rank that can make your refrigerator (and even your whole kitchen) smell. This is a super simple DIY you can use all spring and summer long to keep your fridge de-stinkified despite it being full of fragrant produce.

There's really two great ways to go about this DIY refrigerator freshener. First, you can get a small mason jar and poke holes in a cute pattern on the top lid to release the ingredients. Or, you can keep the mason jar ring and toss the flat lid part, and sub in a cute piece of fabric. Both work equally well; the fabric is easier if you have some laying around but the cut in design makes this more of a fun arts and crafts style project (perhaps you're looking for something to do with your kids at home, eh?!)

DIY Refrigerator Freshener
- small mason jar
- small piece of square or circle cut fabric OR long sewing needle/small sharp knife to cut design into mason jar lid
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 10 drop lemon essential oil

Place baking soda in  mason jar. Add the essential oil drops, and shake the jar to evenly distribute the oil amongst the baking soda. I used my hand to cover the top of the jar so that I could vigorously shake the oil into the baking soda. If you're using the fabric, place the center of the fabric over the middle of the mason jar and secure with the screw on ring. If you're using the lid like I did, cut enough holes the top for the baking soda and essential oil to circulate your refrigerator.

Place one or two in your fridge. I did one on the top shelf, and one on the bottom shelf, closest to the produce drawer. Once or twice a week, give the jar(s) a shake to expose new baking soda to the air. This will keep it working longer! Every six weeks or so, empty the baking soda into the trash and start over with fresh soda and fresh essential oil. This would also be great with orange, grapefruit, bergamot, or lime essential oil - or a combo of them! Citrus oils are great for freshening a room and for cleaning.

Check out this spring breeze room freshening spray and DIY garbage disposal cleaners you can make with citrus essential oils too!

Spring and summer is a great time for eating tons of fruits and veggies. Everything is in season and most produce comes down in price because so much of it is grown locally (and the bulk of it from being in season drives down prices, too.) But it can make your refrigerator smell a tad funky. Especially if you let it sit for too long! Use this DIY refrigerator freshener to keep your fridge and kitchen smelling great.

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