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Don’t Grow Weary!

I know it’s been quiet here at MyBusyHome… mostly because my busy home has been, well busy. I’m in a tough, demanding, active, crazy, overwhelming season of life. I have busy kids who hurricane around the house overwhelming me constantly with their endless energy.

There’s a four-going-on-thirteen-year-old, self-declared princess, who creates and perpetuates drama, but also initiates sweet conversations about God and life. There is a little boy running around in big boy undies, so busy with playing and jumping and laughing he sometimes forgets to do his business in the potty. And don’t forget the adorable, mobile baby who is as fast as lightning and has a fascination with electrical cords…

Some days I drop into bed at 11pm and I wonder how I made it through the maze of another day, and if I can muster the energy to do it all over again tomorrow.

So, I haven’t felt very inspired to write here about how to manage a Busy Home, because more days than not it feels like my busy home is managing me instead.

In days and weeks like I’m having lately, I find the greatest comfort in verses like Galatians 6:9:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

I cannot express in words the comfort that this promise brings to my heart.

I shouldn’t grow weary. I must not give up. I don’t need to stop doing what I’m doing. I can’t stop sowing into my children. I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other… And, one day, when it’s time, I will reap.

Isn’t that a precious comfort? Don’t give up! It will take hard days, and long weeks, and toil and struggle and tears, but WE WILL REAP if we don’t give up!


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DIY: Homemade Baby Food

When Ladybug was beginning to eat solids, I somehow decided I was going to make her baby food (maybe I was inspired by a mommy blogger out there somewhere? I can’t remember exactly!) I made Ladybug’s baby food, and once I realized how easy and cheap it was, I never looked back! I made Stinkbug’s food, and now I’m making baby food again for little Doodlebug.

My favorite resource for baby-food-making is Wholesome Baby Food. There is a wealth of information and tons of great recipes for making your baby’s food. (When I looked over there this week, I’ve noticed they’ve added a ton of new stuff since the first time I made homemade baby food in 2007!)

Basic Tips to Making Baby Food:

  • Some fruits and veggies don’t need to be cooked to be made into baby food– like banana and avocado.
  • You can bake, boil, or steam fruits and veggies before pureeing. (The Wholesome Baby Food website gives tips for preparing each fruit and veggie.)
  • A food processor or a blender will work to make your purees.
  • Freeze the baby food in ice-cube trays. After frozen, transfer to a labeled Ziploc bag in the freezer. (Each cube is about one ounce of baby food.)
  • If your baby doesn’t seem to like a food when you first introduce it, don’t stop trying!
  • When baby starts eating solid food, you can also try giving her a sippy cup to figure out. (It will probably take a while to get the hang of it!)
  • Once baby is a crawler (7-11 months), you can introduce finger foods. Cooked peas, banana chunks, avocado pieces, etc. At first baby may get really frustrated as he learns to use the pincer grasp to pick up these things, but he will get it with time and practice!
  • Keep some wipes or a wet rag handy to clean up the mess– and there will be plenty of mess!
  • Have fun! Enjoy introducing your baby to a wide range of foods, spices and flavors!


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Why Is My Baby Crying?

When your baby is crying and you’re not sure why, take a few simple steps to figure out what might be going on:

1. Take a deep breath.  Say a quick prayer asking the Lord to give you wisdom to figure out how to calm baby down.

2. Think about what just happened.

  • Were you dressing your baby?  Could a zipper have pulled some skin, or is a toe be bent in a sock? Check baby all over while talking quietly to him.
  • Was baby in a new or busy place– maybe she was overwhelmed by new sights/smells/people. Take her to a quiet and dim place.  Remove some of the stimulation to help calm her down.
  • Did baby just eat?  Maybe he has gas in his tummy and needs to burp. Put him up on your shoulder or lay him across your lap and pat or rub his back gently.  Try giving him Mylicon gas drops.
  • Could a loud noise have startled her? Hold her close to you and talk reassuringly to her.

3. Think about how long it’s been since baby slept. Babies are usually only awake for 1-3 hours at a time during the day before they are ready for a nap.  Is your baby ready to lie down and rest? Take her into her room, dim the lights, swaddle her, and lay her down.  If she isn’t calming down, try to rock her or hold her while walking for a few minutes.  Sing to her. When she stops crying, try again to lay her down in her crib.  Speak slowly and gently to her– tell her you know she’s tired and she’s ready for a nap.

4. Think about how long it’s been since baby ate. Is baby hungry?  (Before you discount this thought since baby has been consistently eating on a “schedule”, remember that babies have growth spurts that cause them to be hungry more frequently than normal.)  Usually if I go through all the things above and baby is still unhappy, I feed him, guessing that he must be hungry.  Generally this calms him down, and sometimes he sucks for a few minutes and then drifts off– and I assume he must have just wanted a pacifier and a nap!

5. Think about what else could be going on. Could he be teething?  Could she have a fever?   Could she be constipated?  Has his schedule been changed– out past bedtime, skipped bath, new caregiver, daylight savings time, etc?

Other Ways to Soothe your Baby:

  • Figure out how baby likes to be held.  Both my boys loved it when I cradled them close and held them tightly.  Maybe your baby likes to be upright over your shoulder, or wants to face out and see what’s going on.
  • Stand up and walk while holding your baby or sit down and rock your baby, sometimes movement helps to calm babies.
  • Go for a drive with baby in her car seat.  Most babies love the movement of the car.
  • Swaddle your baby.  Often the tightness of a swaddle feels comforting to them like the close quarters they exited from!
  • Sing or making a comforting shhhhh shhhhh shhh sound.
  • Offer a pacifier.
  • Place baby in a swing or vibrating bouncer seat.

It can wear down even the most put-together mother if baby is constantly crying and nothing seems to help. If you feel like you’re losing control, put your baby in her crib and leave the room.  Your baby will be OK crying for a few minutes in her bed while you gain control over yourself and your emotions.  Call your husband or a friend to come and help you if you need to– there is no shame in asking for help when you need it!


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DIY: Tag Blanket

Each of my kids have a special “lovey”.  The thing they sleep with, take most everywhere, and calm down with.  It was especially helpful to have a lovey when we spent eight weeks in training for our current job and Ladybug and Stinkbug went to the nursery everyday.  They did much better without mommy around when they had their special thing with them!

Doodlebug has a soft little bear and a funny stuffed monkey and I thought one of them might become his special lovey.  Lately though, I’ve watched him grasp burp cloths and blankets draped on his lap and bring them to his face.  It seems he’s a blankie guy!

I looked around online and decided I could undertake the project of making him a little blankie with taggie ribbons– maybe this will become his extra special lovey!

Note: I do not have a sewing machine, so all the sewing was done by hand, and I completed the project in about an hour and a half.  Trust me, if I could make this, almost any human being could– I’m not a great seamstress!

I had a soft, flannel receiving blanket at my house– one of those really thin ones.  (I have had this particular blanket since Ladybug was born and decided to use it since I love the dot pattern and wouldn’t have to buy new material!)

I purchased a few feet of satin ribbon in varying colors and widths to make the tags.  In all, I spent about two dollars on ribbon.  I did not add as many ribbon tags as my tutorial suggested, I like how mine turned out though!

I followed the directions I found at Chica and Jo.  (I appreciated the pictures they included!)

And I did it!  I wanted to dance like Dora when I was done– I did it!  I did it!  I did it! Yea! It feels really good to make something by hand!  And it was pretty stress-relieving to sit and sew while the kids played one evening.