Oct
22
2011
Posted by Crystal

Even though I’m not totally a natural blonde I still fit the mold sometimes. We don’t necessarily have to say “dumb blonde” now do we :) It’s called having a “blonde moment”.

Let me just tell you about one of my “blonde moments” that happened a few years back.

My husband and I were driving down the road when we saw this sign…

Sean pointed it out to me and said I should call the number for a manicure. I was like, oh awesome! Free manicures! Then quickly started dialing the number on my cell phone.

It rang and rang until it went to voicemail.

The voicemail was a man saying he’d gone fishing and to leave a message. I thought it was a little strange so I just hung up.

The next day I decided to call again.

Still no answer.

So I thought, oh well, I’ll just leave a message. This is what I said:

“Hi my name is Crystal and I’m calling about your free manicures. Give me a call back when you get a chance, here’s my number $#@^%!#^”

Later that day I recieved a phone call from a man. He was laughing as he said, “Hi, is this Crystal”?

Me: Yes, this is Crystal.

Man on phone (still laughing): Hi Crystal, I’m returning your call about the manicures.

Me (a little confused): Oh… uh yah, okay. Well I was wondering if I could make an appointment.

Man on phone: hahahahahah, well I’m sorry, I can’t give you a manicure, but I’ve got plenty of “MANURE” for ya.

Me (feeling unbelievably stupid): Oh, haha…

oops, hee hee…

guess I read the sign wrong didn’t I…

Sean got the biggest kick out of this whole thing. He loves to play tricks on me and is the best at holding a straight face. So he just sat back and watched as I made a complete fool of myself.

Makes for a pretty good story though :)


 
Oct
19
2011
Posted by Crystal

Remember the days when you’d spend hours on end playing with those little dolls we call Barbies?

Nothing better than pretending to BE something we’ll never live up to, with those perfect long legs, tiny little waist and perky boobs.
…and we wonder why we grow up with body image issues.


Well, besides the fact that I felt inferior to these plastic toys, I never got sick of dressing them up, setting up the house and playing out a life of glamour and ease. With nothing more to do than try on beautiful evening gowns and brush long locks of gorgeous hair.

Here’s a short video for your enjoyment :)


 
Oct
10
2011
Posted by Crystal

I never thought I’d be the homeschooling type. Always admired the people who did it, but to be honest, I was looking forward to the time when all my kids would be in school. I’d daydream about the many things I’d ACTUALLY get to do.

Older people are always telling us, “Enjoy this time while your kids are young. It goes by so fast”.  Well this has been a hard thing for me to fully grasp I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and adore my kids, but what I’m trying to say is that I still find myself saying things like, I just want to get the pregnancy over with, can’t wait to be done nursing, can’t wait til he/she’s done teething, crawling, walking, potty trained, ect.  My attitude about motherhood isn’t always where I want it to be. Sometimes it’s more like WORK instead of something I truly enjoy.

I think as time goes on, I’m learning to more fully appreciate my role as a mother.  I’m not sure how, maybe it’s just one of those things in life where you begin to realize what you’ve been missing out on.  My biggest fear is waking up one day and having regrets about not spending enough time with my children.

Once it’s over, it’s over.

So with this fear and the thought of Lily being in school ALL day next year made me realize that the time really IS going by fast and it’s only going to go faster once she’s gone all day, has homework, dance, soccer, piano, ect. When would I ever get that time with her? It just doesn’t seem realistic in my opinion.

The thought of homeschool kept coming up. I’ve spent time over the past couple years entertaining the idea and researching it a bit, but fear kept me from actually making a decision.  Some of my thoughts included:

What if she hates it?

I don’t want to be the one solely responsible for her education…

Lily doesn’t like to listen to me…

She loves school and is incredibly social. She’d hate being home all the time.

What if she misses out on important social interaction…

Everyone will think I’m weird…

We’ll be the only ones in the neighborhood doing it…

Lily will be left out and won’t get invited to birthday parties and playdates…

I’ll never have time to myself…

It will be too stressful, especially trying to do it with more than one child…

So these thoughts kept creeping in which made me so wishy washy about the whole thing. I was just too chicken to commit to it.

I’ve always been the type that likes to be where the party is. And homeschooling didn’t seem to be “where the party is”. I think one of my biggest struggles in life is the unnecessary need to be accepted, liked, and part of the crowd. But I’m learning how to overcome that, and I think one of the best ways to overcome it, is to really DO what I feel I should do without second thought of what others will think.

So, anyway, the fear of the unknown was holding me back. I thought, well maybe I’ll homeschool her for 1st or second grade since Kindergarten is only 3 hours a day. Then suddenly it happened… it was like night and day. I woke up one day and was ready to make the commitment. I just had no doubt in my mind anymore. I still had a little fear dwelling, but I KNEW this was what I needed to do.

As I’ve spent time researching about homeschool I’ve come to find out the many benefits it offers both me and my children.

First of all you can get all your school work done in about 3 hours, then the rest of the day you get to just explore, be creative, go on fun educational field trips, develop a talent, play with friends, and most importantly, be with family.

“To be creative, an individual must be free to chart his or her own course” -Ira Brodsky


I remember feeling tired and stressed out a lot back when I was in school. I never felt smart and didn’t know what any of my talents were. How could I have, there was never any time to figure out what they were. I also don’t remember a single thing I learned. None of it stuck in my brain. I can read, write and do basic math, but anything beyond that has been left wandering around somewhere in my brain, or maybe even found it’s way out somehow.

Here is a list of some homeschooling facts that helped me make my decision.

The bold text is from www.pahomeschool.com, followed by my own thoughts.

*Parents have more quality time to train and influence their children.
Isn’t that what we really want?

*There is opportunity for each child to receive individualized attention and instruction.
I think I would have done really well if I had more individualized attention from my teachers. But it’s really not possible when you’re in a class with 20 other students.

*Children develop respect for parents as teachers.
I’d hope so, since teaching our children really is our responsibility.

*Spending more time together increases family unity and closeness.
I’ve already seen a difference in how Oliver and Lily are getting along. There has been much less fighting. Even between Lily and I, sounds funny to say, but we are fighting less too :)

*It provides a good environment for development of confidence and independent thinking.
Now this gets me really excited. We all want our children to grow up feeling confident and to develop into the amazing person they were meant to be.

*There is enhanced communication between all age groups due to the diversified learning environment.
There are so many different classes for homeschoolers, and most of them are groups of all ages. I love that she is interacting with younger and older children as well as some her own age. I can see how this would be a good thing. She learns from the older and has the opportunity to teach the younger.

*Home-schooled students demonstrate excellent academic progress.
I’ve been reading a ton of books on homeschooling and each book shares the statistics on the acedemic success of homeschoolers.

*School hours are flexible to accommodate family schedules and vacations.
PERFECT, since we just bought that home in St. George. Now we can actually go when ever the heck we feel like it and stay as long as we want :)

Here are a few testimonials I found on pahomeschool.com. Comes from a teenagers perspective.

“First of all, I can accomplish so much more in a day. It has been stated that every six hours of institutional school is equal to two hours of home-school; so that gives me more time to involve myself in not only academics but also Bible study, research, writing, voice lessons, piano playing, oil painting, and sports, as well as learning and using home economic skills.

Second, in answer to the question most asked of home-schoolers, “But what do you do for a social life?” I’ve met my best friends at our home-school support group. There are also church and sports activities where I interact with others – not only my age, but older and younger too. I feel my energies are spared the draining effect of peer pressures that I have experienced in the past in an institutional school. I have channeled that energy into learning different skills that I will be needing when I graduate and am on my way into the real world and life.

Third, we have more opportunities to take educational field trips. Over the past six years, we’ve taken trips to historic Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Boston, and Lexington. We’ve also gone on a five-week camping trip to the western United States, during which time we not only worked on our studies; but we were able to see our history and geography lessons come alive. Many never get the opportunity to see some of these things. Within our own state our family has visited the Valley Forge National Historical Park and toured Philadelphia, as well as many other fascinating places.

Fourth, a “social life” every day can be bad for children in schools. From my experience at school, I know that there are students who are the “picked-on” ones and are damaged by the social life. In home-school, not only are children spared unnecessary harassment by peers, but they have the positive advantage of learning to relate to their parents and other adults on a full-time basis. This is good because they will be spending the rest of their lives relating to adults.”

I understand that homeschooling is not right for all parents and all children. People have different education goals and needs. Homeschool is what I’ve chosen, and  I believe it will help my children learn how to study and think independently, and give them opportunities to explore their own interests at their own pace. We’ve been doing it for two weeks now, and already I’m feeling more fulfilled as a mother. I go to bed each night feeling so good about the day and the time I was able to spend with them. I’ve also really enjoyed being a part of Lily’s learning. There’s nothing better than seeing the excitement on her face as she’s learning to read and write words.

To be continued…


 
Oct
07
2011
Posted by Crystal

We celebrated Lily’s birthday this week. I planned it a week early hoping to catch the nice weather we’ve had lately. But unfortunately Fall decided to join us the day of the party. We were going to have pony rides in our back yard and Princess Amerah. The pony rides didn’t work out, but we had a blast with Princess Amerah.

Hello Kitty cupcakes.

And fun little witches broom party favors that Lily and I made together.

These were actually a lot of fun to make. First we went on a little scavenger hunt looking for the perfect size sticks for the broom. Then we cut the paper lunch sacks together. Lily insisted on putting the rubber bands and bat rings on all of them herself. Here’s how to make them.

Directions:

  • Collect sticks about 2 feet long.
  • You’ll need two paper sacks for each broom. Fill one bag up with candy and dollor toys.
  • Cut the bottom off of the other sack, then cut thin vertical strips, leaving about 3 inches of the bag uncut towards the top.
  • Slide the second bag (the one that’s cut) over the top of the candy bag.
  • Wrap a rubber band around the top, not too tight.
  • Then gently slide the stick into the bag, be careful not to rip the sack.
  • Add a spider or bat ring around the rubber band.

And here’s a little belly picture for you, well I guess it’s not so little :) . These days I’m feeling HUGE!!! I’ve got 8 more weeks left, can that be possible?

Now I’ve got a little gift for you. Princess Amerah gave me an extra copy of her book so I would like to give it to one of YOU! Just leave me a comment below and I will randomly select one of you. The one I select will get a copy of this awesome childrens book about Princess Amerah’s magic dress.

You can purchase a copy of the book HERE.


 
Sep
28
2011
Posted by Crystal

I wanted to tell you about a great company I discovered called Blog2Print. I was searching the web for a place where I could easily print off all my blog content into a nice quality book. I want to be able to have all the stuff I’ved posted, in an actual book form to pass on to my children.

I couldn’t be more impressed with this company. First of all, it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It literally took me like 10 minutes from start to finish.  You’re able to pick from two page templates, over 35 covers, and you can also pick exactly which posts you’d like to print. You can even include the comments in your book if you want. Blog2Print does all the work of taking what you see on your computer screen and turning it into a printed book. If you’ve been blogging for quite some time and have a lot of blog posts waiting to be printed, you know how helpful that can be.

The prices are competative and they even offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders in the US. Gotta love that free shipping :)


 
Sep
25
2011
Posted by Crystal

I just love this picture of Oliver and my grandpa.

A while back I made a video for my grandpa and I wanted to share it with you once more. I posted it WAY back when I first started this blog when I had about 2 readers :)

I never really took the time to get to know my grandpops, so one day I had the idea of interviewing him about his life growing up. I video taped it, gathered some pictures of him growing up, then put it to some music. I think it turned out pretty good, all except for the fact that I wish I had attached a wireless microphone to him so that I could hear him better. I still think it’s going to be a great gift to pass on for generations to come.

Now I need to do one of my own parents. I’m realizing I don’t know a whole lot about them either. Man I was a selfish child. There’s a lot to be learned by the old and wise :)


 
Sep
19
2011
Posted by Crystal

“Everyone Says Childbirth Is The Most Painful Experience, Yet Thousands Of Women Birth ConfidentlyComfortably and Without Pain.”

Well that’s comforting. Natuaral Childbirth WITHOUT pain?

I’ve heard plenty of good things about hypnobirthing and thought I better give it a try. I looked around online and found a great birth relaxation kit that I’ve started using the last couple of weeks. And I even found this one to be the best price compared to the other kits out there.

It’s supposed to help eliminate fear which is what I desperately need, and teach you deep relaxation techniques.

“Through hypnosis, positive affirmations, and deeply relaxing music with subliminal messages, you can unlearn and eliminate fears about childbirth ingrained in you from years of negative media portrayal. You will birth confidently as you tap into your natural and intuitive knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth and mothering…

Once you eliminate fears and gain the ability to relax when you want, your body will be in the most receptive state to have an easier, faster and more comfortable birth.”

 

Every night before I go to sleep I’ve been listening to these audios with my ipod, I even got Sean to listen to one with me :) and I’m already feeling better about the idea of going natural.

I’ve always been a little skeptical about hypnosis, mostly because I once tried to be hypnotized and it didn’t work at all. I was with my sisters and I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time, I was only 12, so maybe that had something to do with it :) . Well, the more I’ve read up on it, the more I believe that it can help with many aspects of life.  Listening to these positive affirmations regularly can train your brain to think differently.

Here are some interesting facts on hypnosis.

 

Hypnosis F.A.Q.

 

Does Hypnosis Really Reduce Pain In Childbirth?

 

Yes!  Study after study shows that hypnosis combined with childbirth education leads to positive birth outcomes! Women use less epidurals….little or no painkillers….rated lower pain scores….have a much shorter first stage of labor!

 

Can Anyone Be Hypnotized?

 

Yes!  Have you ever driven to work without thinking how you got there? You knew the route so well that you could lose yourself in thought? That is hypnosis! You actually experience this “trance” several times a day, while cooking, cleaning, working, or driving. When you do a guided or self hypnosis session, you are simply achieving this “trance” state on purpose. In the “trance” state, you can focus on positive messages and images that will help you achieve this is real-life!

 

How Does Hypnosis Work for Childbirth?

 

When you are in that “trance” state or that profound state of relaxation, you are very open to suggestions and learning.  It is in that state that you can unlearn fears you may have about pain, long labor or other concerns!  Using guided imagery during hypnosis will help you envision your birth experience exactly how you want it to be.  When you focus your subconscious mind on something while in a hypnotic state, such as a positive birth, you will achieve your outcome!  Practicing guided imagery or hypnosis regularly during pregnancy will stop the fear-tension-pain cycle that is so common during childbirth!

 

Is Hypnosis The Same As Sleep?

 

Hypnosis is different from sleep.  Hypnosis is similar to the alpha state you experience when you are crossing over from awake to asleep at night, or asleep to awake in the morning.  When you enter a hypnotic state, you are in a state of profound relaxation. But you are still conscious of everything that is going on around you!

 

Is A Person Who Is Hypnotized Still In Control?

 

Yes! At all times!  Sometimes people associate hypnosis with those silly antics where the hypnotist on stage makes someone bark or act like a monkey.  This is far from the case!All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis.  In other words, you choose to relax, you choose to deepen that relaxation and you choose to be open to suggestion.   When you are in a hypnotic state, you are fully conscious and in control of your mind and body.  The hypnotist or hypnotherapist is simply an experienced guide.

For more information on this Birth Relaxation kit just go to www.birthrelaxationkit.com or find them on Facebook.


 
Sep
09
2011
Posted by Crystal

I’ve got to get a handle on a few things before this baby comes. My little two year old is chronically addicted to his binky AND blankies. Yes, he has TWO that he absolutely can’t live without.

Here he is,  not so patiently waiting by the washer for them to get cleaned.

And as far as the binky goes. We actually got rid of it a couple weeks ago, but it only lasted a couple days. We gave in one night at 2am when we tried EVERYTHING to get him to sleep.

So we’re back to square one.

I think I’m actually more addicted to the binky than he is. It’s just so nice to have something that will soothe him to sleep, or soothe him when he’s cranky… or when we’re in the car… when he scrapes his knee… or to bribe him to be good…

Is it really that bad? Why can’t he have his binky til he’s 5? Who cares if it messed up his teeth, it’s the price we pay for relief in desperate times.

Okay okay, I know I need to get rid of it. I will soon, I promise. Probably tomorrow…

Well maybe I’ll try next week…

I think one more month sounds good. Yah, that’s the plan.

On another note.

Since I’ve moved over to this new blog and made all these changes, I removed myself from top mommy blogs. I needed to get the url working right, so now I’m back on and would LOVE to have your votes :) Just click this little brown icon and that click counts as a vote. But ONLY if you like my blog of course :)

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

And one more week to enter my Lil’ Star Boutique giveaway. Thanks for helping my mom and I spread the word.

 


 
Sep
07
2011
Posted by Crystal

How many of you have wanted to start a blog but don’t know where to begin?

It may seem a little overwhelming at first but trust me, it’s not as hard as it looks. You’ll learn a lot as you go too. I know many of you have something amazing to share with others and I encourage you to put it down in a blog.

Blogging can be a very therapeutic activity. It provides a much needed outlet in our lives as moms, and allows us to express ourselves in many ways.  Each one of us has something different and unique to share, and with the internet being so prevalent these days, what better way to share it than on a blog.

Today I’m going to share with you a few things I’ve learned over the past 2 years to help you get started yourselves.

First all you have to do is choose a platform. There are many out there but the ones I’m most familiar with are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. I started out with blogger and recently switched to wordpress. I would recommend blogger because it’s very simple and easier to understand, but I’ve found wordpress to be much more advanced which can be a good thing if you know what you’re doing. I’m glad I started with blogger, but it was such a pain transferring over to wordpress. So if you feel you’re pretty computer savvy then I would definitely suggest going straight to wordpress.

Second, you need to decide on a theme. What are you most interested in? What would you like to share with the world? What are your talents and how can you use them to serve others via blogging? Or you can simply share things you’ve learned in your life through trial and error. That’s kind of been the theme for my blog. There are so many things I’m interested in and I’m just learning and sharing as I go.

Third, find a way to be consistent. You don’t have to spend hours on end blogging, but I’ve found it best to blog regularly. It’s the only way to keep the inspiration flowing, as well as keep people interested. Figure out what works best for you, even if it’s just once a month.

Benefits of blogging:

1. It can save you time. I know what you’re thinking… yah right! Well if you’re blogging about recent happenings in your life and your kids lives then it’s pretty much taking the place of a journaling AND scrap booking. I’ve learned that scrap booking is just a huge waste of time and money, sorry if I’m offending any of you that love to scrap book. This is just my opinion and I’m just thinking in more practical terms. I’ve spent TONZ of time and money in the past on scrap booking and only found it to be overwhelming and I could never seem to get caught up. I keep a family blog as well as this one and I simply print it out every year. It’s so simple to do. I’ll tell you more about that next week since I should be receiving another one of my blog books in the mail soon.

2. It’s a great way to make new friends and connect with other people who may share similar life stories and interests. I make my way around to other blogs about once a week. I’ve made a lot of friends that way and continue to learn from them. Blogging is not all about yourself :) It’s also about expressing interest in others and taking the time to see what they have to offer. It’s also a great way to find inspiration. There have been many times I’ve stumbled upon someone else’s blog and read an article that totally struck a chord and ignited a whole new topic I felt inclined to share on my own blog.

3. It can help you grow and improve. I’ve come so far over the past two years. I’ve become a better writer, a better photographer, videographer, cook, dancer, have become more organized by using the Day Planners I developed, I’ve become more creative, I’ve been better about making regular meals and planning fun activities to do with my kids, and just recently started learning the guitar. It has somehow opened up my mind to new possibilities. By sharing these things with you, it’s provided the much needed motivation to pursue them. I’ve learned that by SHARING what you learn,  it’s more likely to stay ingrained in your memory. Blogging about my goals has also kept me more accountable to follow through with them. Nobody likes to fail in front of others :)

4. It can be a great way to promote your business. I hate saying this because I don’t like coming across like I just want to make money, but it has been extremely beneficial to our business. And just so you know, I wouldn’t share anything on here that I don’t believe in 100%. I’m just keepin it real :) And as far as my new little business venture (Lil’ Star Boutique) goes, the main motivation was to help my mom earn money with her incredible talent. All proceeds go to supporting her way through school.

Well I hope this helps get you started. Feel free to ask me any questions, I will be sure to address them either in a comment or via another blog post.

 


 
Aug
31
2011
Posted by Crystal

In my attempt to prepare myself for natural childbirth I’m reading all kinds of books. At the moment I’m reading  Painless Childbirth: An Empowering Journey Through Pregnancy and Childbirth. This book can get a little too deep for my liking but I’m still learning a great deal from it. The part that stood out to me the most is when she talks about letting go of negative feelings to better prepare yourself for a painless childbirth. She explains that hypnotherapy can be a great way to get to the root of these unwanted feelings, and how powerful our subconscious mind can be. It’s really helping me analyze my life and release the negative feelings that are causing me a bit of stress.

There are a few things I’m working through right now (in my mind) and one of them has to do with a long lost friend. Someone I became really close to at one point. I haven’t seen or heard from her in over 5 years, and the last time I saw her was when I ran into her at a store. She was very cold and acted as if she didn’t even know me.  I knew instantly that something was wrong, this was not the excited bubbly friend I knew. I never saw her upset, and she was always so enthusiastic when ever we got together or talked on the phone. I left the store feeling overwhelmed with sadness and confusion. I didn’t know what happened. I replayed our last conversation over and over in my head, trying to come up with some sort of explanation for the way she acted towards me. I couldn’t figure it out, everything seemed to be fine. We haven’t spoken since that day. I’ve thought about her many times over the years and lost plenty of sleep over it.

A couple weeks ago I had this dream I got to see her again and I asked her what upset her so bad. In my dream she still seemed upset and didn’t really give me an answer. I woke up feeling like I should try to find her. I looked her up on Facebook… couldn’t find her. I emailed a mutual friend to ask if she knew where I could find her… no reply.

Another week passed and I was still bothered. Then I had another dream, and in this dream I saw her again and we actually talked and everything was good again. I woke up the next morning feeling totally refreshed and at peace with everything, which was amazing!

This is exactly what the author of this book talks about. She explains that we can do a lot of healing through our subconscious because many situations in life are completely out of our control. So if we can get our subconscious minds to create the outcome we hoped for then it can make us feel as if it really happened. It can provide tremendous healing and much needed closure.