Friday, December 21, 2012

Waterproof Training Pants...aka Cloth Pull ups!!

We are in the early stages of potty training sweet Lyla. Now that we are past the stage where she thinks her belly button is the that her big brother uses to water the world!

This is her 'dotta doe potty' this summer!
We pretty much have it figured out...Lyla and Mommy are "hims" and Daddy and Brother are "hers"...ok we don't have it figured out...but we at least now know that Mommy and Lyla are the same as are Daddy and now you get me!
Well, thanks to Pinterest, Gramma Deb had the great idea of waterproof training pants. When Lyla's birthday and Christmas went by with no waterproof training pants made by her...I took the hint and starting looking for the pin she was talking about!
So I found it...and it's really quite easy...time consuming...but easy!
I followed her instructions pretty much word for word...but there are a few things I'd change...but first-We brag!!


 So cute right!?
So here's the run down. They are Gerber Training Pants from Wal-mart, I added 3 layers of flannel to the insides and 1 layer of PUL to the outside. PUL stands for something to do with any rate it's for making cloth diapers (stay tuned!!)  I waterproofed 6 pairs of Gerber Training pants. Mom bought some for her birthday and I lined two of them with flannel but as I was sewing the 6th white/cupcake pair, I realized that this will probably not be a very long lived potty training endeavor. So decided to stop while I was ahead!
Things I learned:
-I am NOT good at making patterns! (I did finally make one...which I will gladly share with anyone who wants it! Just ask!)
-I read up on PUL and the 'net recommends using polyester thread to keep it from making too big of holes in the PUL to cut down on leaks....however, polyester thread is no es bueno to work with! It broke and skipped stitches periodically. So once my enormo spool of polyester thread is done, I doubt I'll buy it again!
-My daughter has zero I had to take them in on the sides quite a bit to make them work. Also when I put them on her since they are a little bulky/stiff I push the leg bands into the folds in her legs. (If that makes sense)
Otherwise the PUL is pretty easy to sew with. Pretty stretchy so easy to make work without pinning a bunch.
So far we've had 2 accidents and the first time, only the leg bands were wet but her pants stayed dry. Second time, in a pair I hadn't taken in it leaked out more. But kept the floor and couch dry.
Now for the cost break down:
2- 3 pks of Gerber Training Pants @ $8/each= $16
1/4 yard (with some left over) PUL @ $11.99/yard= $2.99
1 yard flannel @ $4/yard=$4
Total for this project is: $22.99
Which is the equivalent to just over one box of Pull Ups.
**In the time that I've been writing this blog we've had 2 just pee and one poop and pee. Pants got slightly wet but floor/couch did not. Ly still got the feel of wet panties although she's developed this sweet little "sorry I wet my 'cupcakes' but I am still the cutest thing in this room" face that makes it really hard to reprimand her! This is only day two. At any rate, I can handle wet unders and pants if I don't have to handle wet couch/carseat/floor/lap/etc!
Have I mentioned that I'm doing cloth diapers with Babe? Well this is REALLY good practice for me! Wow! I just keep watching that 'diaper pail' fill up with laundry!
Stay Calm and Save the Environment!!
Ok so now you all think I'm nuts! And I gotta go sew a waterproof bag to put these babies in and a cloth liner for the diaper pail. I'm beginning to wonder if two liners is perhaps a good idea!
I'd love to hear your input about potty training, on the go and at home....oh and no I won't make these to sell! But the gal with the tutorial above makes them to sell...for $30 for 3 pairs.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas #3

This is our 3rd Christmas without Addy. It seems strange to me that I miss her so much during the holidays, especially since she was never with us during them. The Christmas after we lost Addy, we had a maybe that's why my heart tends to hurt a little bit more at Christmas time.

I'm such a planner so I had made plans for that first Christmas. Like thinking about the new baby's stocking and so on....maybe I'm not a planner but just an optimistic dreamer. At any rate, she was already a part of our Christmas celebrations in my head. So that first Christmas was so hard without her.

When you lose someone, whether sudden or expected, young or old, it's hard to know what to do. There's no manual on the right or the wrong things to do. Shortly after she passed, we started receiving newsletters from a local grief support group. (Which made me mad...but that's neither here nor there. I just hated that the mail man knew that my name was associated with loss.....) While I didn't appreciate the newsletters at first, there were some great ideas to see what others had done during the holidays, whether the first year or many years later.

One idea was to fill her stocking with good deeds written on strips of paper. Each person was to draw a good deed to do during the year, as a way to remember her. Since we couldn't give gifts to her, we could share God's love and peace for us with others. Some ideas were to donate school supplies to a local classroom, adopt an animal shelter and provide supplies or services to help them out, plant a tree, pick up trash, pay for the person behind you in line, visit a nursing home, spend time with your family during a special family night. We had our family members draw a deed to perform during the year. This wasn't as successful as I had hoped but it did give us a chance to fill that void a little bit. (There are some family members who continue to help out shelters in need, in her memory. And some who donate money in her name to children's funds of various kinds.)

Another way we remembered her was to decorate a tree at the grave. It was hard for me as her mom to imagine her all alone in that cemetery without some token of remembrance. At the time, there was a small tree next to her grave, so we decorated that. Grandparents/Great grandparents gave ornaments for the tree. Some of them were just too pretty to put on an outdoor tree. Last year, I bought a small artificial tree to decorate. It's pink and babyish and is dubbed our Addy tree. I love it! I framed a picture of her and I put it underneath. While I know that she's not actually with us, it makes me happy to be able to do something during the holidays to include her in a healthy way. I say healthy because the tree is happy and doesn't make me plummet into a deep depression to put it up. I'm able to celebrate her life and the joy that she gave me in her short little life. (Update: While I am still sensitive to the outdoor and biological matters of death, I no longer feel the need to dress up her grave. She is not there, she is not feeling cold or loneliness; and I can warm my home with her memories and fill my soul with the light and the joy that the Lord has provided us since her passing.)

(A couple of favorite ornaments besides all of them are the bell my dad bought ('Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings') (I sometimes ring it just for her!) There are several gorgeous angels on the tree. I love the letter A. I love the pink and the shimmery ornaments....I love the baby ornaments...and the ice skates.ok I just listed all of them!!)
 **It occurred to me that this would be a great way to keep our soldiers close to us as well. Especially those daddies and mommies who are away. Decorating a tree in red, white and blue would help to remind his or her little ones that the reason they are away is for our country. Adding pictures of those soldiers would be a great way to keep them a part of the festivities...out of sight but not out of mind!!
Part of the hardest part of losing her was the loss of the dreams I had for her...watching her grow to be daddy's little princess, giving her a wedding, sending her to prom....just simply watching her make the world around her a more beautiful place. These are things that I will never get to experience, but I feel so strongly that she is still making my world a more beautiful place. I know she is dazzling as the Light of Heaven smiles down on her; no earthly prom or wedding could ever compare to the glory as she dances with her Creator on the streets of gold. Christmas is such a time of beauty and joy, I feel that as painful as it is, we're slowly finding that balance in life and death in our journey.
Since our loss, I have thought so much more about Mary, our sweet savior's mama. Christmas was his birthday which means in the years after his death (and I remember that his mom was a young one with many years of life to live), she endured many Christmases/Birthdays without her sweet boy. She has become an example to me. She was obedient to God's will, even knowing how much pain it would cause her and her family. She gave her son up to God and trusted that God would carry her through the hard times ahead. She was able to grieve the loss of her son, while also maintaining her faith in God. I can only assume that she went on to live well--she had other children to continue to live for and judging by the writings of James she taught her sons well. (This may be a gross assumption on my part.) In the beginning of our journey, I was so mad that God would allow me to carry and give birth..a painful experience, just to take her from me. Why not save me the physical and emotional anguish? But just like Mary, there are so many blessings in that bonding of pregnancy, birth and nursing. I still don't know why...but I guess I feel like I'm in the 'Mary, Mother of Jesus and Fellow Griever of A Child' support group. She perhaps had the same questions. Why did God allow her to lose her integrity with her family and community, and birth the Savior in a lonely and lowly way? Why not 'pad' the experience with a little comfort to even out the hurt? Maybe it's to maintain humility, maybe it's the effect of sin in the world. I don't expect answers to these questions...I only aim to verbalize questions that seem so wrong to ask.
I thank God that He is a caring and loving God. He doesn't condemn me for asking questions...I'm not questioning His will, per se. He asks only that I love him and follow Him with a willing and obedient heart. I have felt him close to me in my times of deep hurt and sorrow. I have seen His hand in our life and felt His joy in my soul. I thank Him for trusting me to walk this journey. I thank Him for His promises of eternity. I thank Him that He sent His Son to bear our sins on the cross. I thank Him for His grace.
It is my prayer that not one person who reads this blog, whether grieving or not, misses out on the grace and peace that is extended to them through our Lord. He came to Earth as a mere babe, to grow up to give His life for you. Please put your faith in Him. Don't deprive yourself of the unconditional love, peace and joy that is waiting in His outstretched arms. Ask Him to be your Savior! Thank Him for His love for you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whoooo loves owls!?

So this year for Christmas, thanks to Pinterest, I've been 'pinspired' to make ornaments, and gifts, and food, and crafts, and traditions, and...well you get the picture! So when a friend of mine posted on another friend's wall about the Christmas Owl...yeah I was what!?...the wheels started pinning, I mean turning!

If you haven't heard about the Christmas Owl, here's the little 'story' thingy taken from this blog post:

 “I’m a little Christmas Owl. Please hang me in your tree. I won’t say much while I’m here, but my eyes have much to see. When Santa starts to check his list, you know he checks it twice. He sends an owl to be his eyes and see whooo’s naughty and nice! So, every time you see an owl with his eyes so wide and bright… be on your best behavior for that owl is Santa’s sight!”

My sister in law LOVES owls! And she's a teacher so it's super fitting! I figured she'd have a tree in her classroom of 1st graders who would LOVE the idea of the owl. So back to pinterest I went and I found this little beauty.....
The full tutorial is at The gal who made them had super easy instructions...I don't do things that are hard to handle!
In all I made 7 owls, with one 'special order' on the docket for later.

 You can really see how small these are in the top left picture. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to do the group of three...sorry bout the bad quality picture...I was being lazo and didn't go get the good camera. The left one in the trio is maroon and turned out quite pretty! The right one, as painful as it was, is for our Iowa State friends. 'Santa' survived but just barely! In the top right picture, the blue one is ours for our all blue and silver and boring beautiful tree! The pink one is for a friend who just found out she's adding girl #3 to their family! So just had to do pink to celebrate!!

I didn't realize until just today that the lady used different colors for her wings and eyes....I just used brown for all of them. Mrs. S might get a funkier one for her classroom!
My changes/pointers for this tutorial:
1)Print the pattern on think you'll only do one but you'll love them and you'll find white sparkly rick rack at walmart and you'll do 7 more....before Dec 1 even!
2) I left out the belly on mine. I just did the rick rack on the main body part. I like it just as well...but your call. Just adds a step.
3)I used rick rack for the ribbon which is not a cost effective idea but oh so cute! But you could use ribbon of any kind.
4) The tute calls for small buttons for the eyes....I didn't have any and this was a "I have to do this craft right this instant" I just stitched my eyes. Just did a 4 part star thing.
I loved this ornament so much! In the tutorial, the gal mentions making one bigger for a lovey...I just may do that...especially since I just found some jumbo rick rack in my stash. Can't be too hard and would make a cute pillow/lovey for a nature type themed room...or owl lover...ahem my dear friend Jenni!!! :)
**The owl has worked wonders for the kids' behaviors...except for when the boy child hits the girl child upstairs and says, "I bet the owl missed that one!" I have visions of making one for every room...but that may be a bit too scary! I don't want to scar the poor kids!
For the ones I gifted, I hooked the saying (Just printed on computer paper) to it with a small safety pin and either hung it on a door knob, wrapped it, or mailed it. (They are really light so they don't cost much to send!)
(Also it was super fun to go 'Santa knocking' on people's doors yesterday....knock on the door, hang the owl and run!)
Enjoy the owls!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A little thing I like to call "Mommy Phenomenon"

So the flu bug hit Paxton last night. And this stay at home (aka not the one that has to get up and go out in public) mom got to do full shift last night. And after about the 15th trip to dump 'the bucket', something occurred to me. In my pregnant glory, I have gotten sick over many things....the deer hanging in my front yard, the texture of potatoes, my own tongue in my mouth....but I didn't get sick once last night. How is that even possible? With my eldest in the next room, 'giving it all he's got' I just stayed calm, got up dumped it, even got some on me once. And not even one hint of a gag. (This morning is a different story....Thankful for Zofran!)

So as I was laying there trying to sleep all I could think about was this is it possible that I can go from gagging over a PEE diaper one day and dealing with El Sicko with zero trouble? I know there are many parts to this mommy phenomenon beyond dealing with sick kiddies, like the eyes in the back of the head, knowing by the look in their eyes that they have a fever, knowing when they're snatching a treat out of the treat jar. Something happens when one becomes a mom. And it's awesome! God really knew what he was doing! (I wonder if Mary had the mom sense what with her son being part God and all....)

Being pregnant with my fourth kid I feel somewhat like a mom I'm gonna share some of my 'night time sickness warrior' supplies.......

Sleep mask: #1 can't live without! Blocks out all the light of the 'Brighter than the Equator at noon' nightlight....the night light itself is a must. Nothing is worse than El Sicko fumbling around in the dark to find El Bucket...NOTHING! (Also I almost always have towels that need washed for some reason....put those on all sides of Sickie...just in case)
Popcorn Thingy: Helps with the inevitable crick in the neck from couch sleeping (and also to ward off the headache I had to start with...Mommy's just can't win!) (Also helps with the 'Darn I'm sleeping by myself and not with my super warm blooded husband' chills.)
I have quite possibly THE MOST COMFORTABLE COUCH in the world. I'm not even kidding. 'Nuff said!
The Good Doctor is a must for this am. Coffee is more of a 'feel good' drink for me. Nostalgic really. Dr Pepper is really where it's at. (Blah blah pregnant blah blah not good for you..yeah yeah)
There you have it in a nut Mommy's gotta go get ready for the day! (Aka put on make up and pretend like I didn't spend the whole night playing nurse!)
And my local gals...I can in fact hook you up with either a sleep mask or a popcorn thing or both!
I'd love to hear from you on your 'tried and true' Mom Tricks!

Monday, November 5, 2012

3+2=5 Biermans that is!

So most of you know by now that the Bierman's are adding another babe to the mix in early May!! This is my primary reason for being so absent. It's been a rough couple of months for this mama! So here's the scoop on preggers here....we found out Labor Day weekend...I felt great for a couple of weeks..and then BAM sick! But like with every other pregnancy of mine, I finally learned 'the rules' of this baby which are as follows 1) Drink Orange Juice...LOTS of orange juice! 2) Wake up at 330 AM every single morning just to hang out...(and go potty and drink more OJ!) 3) Cravings galore!! And tears....but that's another story!

So the kiddos are just completely estatic about this! You should see the sweet grin P gets when he rubs my belly. Ahhh it's just too much! Lyla talks to baby every day...and yes I melt!

This coming weekend is the start of hunting season...which means family coming and us ladies will hopefully get so sew some, shop some and eat some! After working on mom's quilt, (I'm gonna turn her into a quilter one of these days!!!) I'm hoping to get a start on the cloth diapers! We have the supplies to do three...and I hope that they are easy enough so I don't change my mind about cloth diapering! Well anyways...I hope to have some photos to show you soon...of something. Coz this blog is getting boring...but energy is running low these days!

For the record Baby Bumble B is about the size of a lemon....and judging by my crazy hunger, growing every day! I have told the hubbs that in order to stay strong and not find out the gender next month...he will have to go to the appointment with me....because I'm really losing my resolve!

Ok well I'm off to get some housework done before Daddy and Brother get home!...see you SOON I promise!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Travel Kits for the kiddos

I realize Pinwheel Pioneer has been AWOL for a while! Like a whole MONTH!!! I have good reasons I promise...I'm not just avoiding you!
This morning I got inspired....I get inspired at the strangest times with the strangest things. Like right now I'm sitting in a chaotic house full of dishes to do and laundry to wash and just general picking up to be done...but the kids are happy! And we're going on a little trip this weekend so for some strange reason I decided to make the kids little travel kits for Grandma's house. (These will make excellent stocking stuffers too...I am my mother's daughter and Christmas is coming RIGHT up!)
The original idea came from the Hobby Shack in Broken Bow. I found this cute little toothbrush holder made out of a large washcloth folded up a little ways from the bottom.....
.....then a ribbon stitched to the middle to tie it closed..... favorite part is how you can roll it up so that no one's toothbrush head touches the other ones!
Oh yes and the fact that you just toss it in the wash if it gets tooth pasty
or otherwise germy...hello! They're toothbrushes! Gag! 
I started with a cool washcloth that Paxton got from somewhere (I'd wager to bet it was Grandma...but she's innocent til proven guilty!)
I stitched a black ribbon to the middle (paint the ends with clear nail polish to keep it from fraying)...
Since I'm a cheapo and I just buy the 4 pack of tooth brushes and not kid sized ones I had to alter the pattern a bit since the kiddy washcloth was a smidge smaller. I just cut a washcloth in half and stitched it to the bottom half of his. (His I did right sides together and turned...Lyla's I just stitched...I think her's is better...) Then stitch the middle of the lower half and make four 'slots.'
I put in his tooth paste, tooth brush and a small bottle of soap.
Roll it up and viola!
His closes weird since the bottles are so short and the toothbrush is so tall. So I moved the ribbon down for Lyla's. Repeat the same steps....
I like how her's closes a lot better.
 I also stitched the ribbon with the dividers so it stays in place better.
 I put soap, toothpaste, tooth brush and a small thing of powder since she's still in diapers...
Grandma can powder her post bath bum.
Now we're all ready for our trip!
**Next time I do a kid sized one, I think I'll just buy the shorter toothbrushes and fold the bottom of the washcloth up a little bit...I think everything will fit better. (I'm thinking this will be GREAT for my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes this year!)
Every year we pack a shoe box full of goodies for a less fortunate child in various parts of the world. We have done this since Paxton was one and since then he's helped me pick out the items for 'his boy'...this is a great way to teach kids the importance of helping those in need, as well as show the love of Christ. Please consider packing a shoe box this year!!
Visit for more information on how to pack a shoe box, where to send it and just what the Samaritan's Purse is achieving with all of these shoe boxes!
Happy Travels...or Stocking Stuffing....or Shoe Boxing....!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Keeping the Spark Alive

Wow! Long time no post! Not because life has been uneventful...but who wants to hear about (or see) the aftermath of the flu!? Not even me...and I know coz I was there! At any rate.....

The Hubbs and I have been married for seven years as of May 29. We've had a happy marriage despite many (and sometimes severe) downs to go with the ups. We are a 'budget' family thanks to several student loans, our vehicle/house expenses, not to mention life with 2 kids. Money aside, we are both very busy and highly involved in the community. Amidst all of that, we feel that date night is extremely vital to the health of our relationship. But due to highly busy schedules and dwindling checkbook balances, we can't always afford date night out.

Plus it's evident all around us that you can't just put your marriage on auto pilot and expect to be on the 50% of marriages that survive. This scares me that in my group of friends it's very likely that at least some of them will be victims of that statistic.

In an effort to maintain our togetherness times, I started searching for some night and popcorn gets old after matter how many efforts to 'change it up...' (Red faced wink!) Living 45+ minutes away from a McDonalds makes even the lowest cost intention not so low cost. We even tried making out grocery night and our date night one in the same....again not so good.

Plus as a stay at home mom it is very easy for me to view my husband as Daddy. You know the second string quarterback to give me some relief. Or as my complaining bucket....or as my back up chef...or as the enforcer. And while he is all of those things...I don't want to forget the spark that started our relationship. I don't want to lose the US in all of the chaos of life.

Plus I'm so keenly aware that he needs to be encouraged and built up too. He needs to know that I still find him attractive and I love him for him. Not just for the things that he does...or the fact that he's half of the reason I'm dealing with this chaos! Us ladies expect our men to shower us with compliments and encouragment...but we desperately need to return the favor. And isn't he just so wonderful! I still love and need him as much as I did almost a decade ago! ( right back...I drooled a little!)

So I found a few websites that I'd like to share with you. I hope that you and your hubbs will be able to carve some time (and resourses) out of LIFE and get reconnected! It's SO important! God created us for each other to love each other. So without further adew....I give you my top 5 'date your husband' sites.....

5.  Pinterest: a great place to find great ideas to love on your spouse. (If you aren't a member let me know and I'll send you in invite!)

4. Happy Home Fairy: This gal has a zest for life, her family and her husband. There are many many good ideas not only for loving her man but for her family and her home as well. Good Christian input which is vital for me. I especially love her free printables. (Join me in praying for her and her family. God is doing amazing things for them: their second baby was born with some health issues. She's been so faithful to share their journey of faith through this.)

3. Women Living Well-  This is more of an article about the importance (and 'evolution') of date night. LOVE this! Don't forget to read through the comments: there are a few good ideas that just might fit for you.
(Please also look through her's amazing!!! Oh how your heart will swell!)

2. GraceFull Mama: (marriage tab) Joy has a beautiful heart for her husband and the Lord. Lots of good articles from her as well as guests.

1. The Dating Divas: This is a blog written by I think 11 married gals with ideas from dates, to gifts, to beauty tips....and everything in between! This is not necessarily a Christian sight but from what I have read a wholesome pro-healthy marriage site. I will warn you (which they do as well) some of the post may make you blush and aren't for everyone. But some really great ideas! I love their motto which is "Strengthening Marriages One Date at a Time."

I hope that you will take the time to find some great ideas to do with your husbands. Second to our relationships with the Lord, our marriage is the most important relationship to keep healthy! I believe that when those two are healthy, the rest will fall into place. (I said I believe that, not that I'm always confident in it!)

Leave a comment to share your ideas and favorite date nights with the rest of us!