Monday, August 26, 2013


Years ago I bought some totally boring microsuede pillows at Target on Black Friday. They were square and solid and boring, but fancy pillows are so dang expensive and our funds were tight. I think I paid $5-$7 per pillow, which still isn't super cheap considering they were so boring and blah. But there they sat on my couch for years until I just couldn't take it anymore! Those blank faces staring at me day after day! It was maddening I tell you! Maddening!
Well this weekend I got Pinteressed (Pinterest possessed) and decided to dust off the old sewing machine and try a SUPER EASY pillow cover tutorial I found at Teal & Lime. Time is a rare commodity in a house with a preschooler, so the ease of this project warmed my heart. 
My first attempt at pillow making 9 years ago went something like this.

Pretty sad.
However that was in the days before Pinterest, plus I'm totally older and wiser and have gotten over my sunflower phase. So my latest attempt turned out like this! I've graduated to way cuter flowers. 

It was incredibly easy and mega cheap free since I already had the fabric on hand!
First measure across the top of your pillow to find the dimensions. Mine were 17"x17".

I typically would go with an 18" measurement to allow for a half in seam on each side, but I wanted the covers to fit snugly since the pillows were a little flat from years of wear. So I stuck with the 17" measurements.

Next measure your fabric. One side will be exactly the measurement of your current pillow. So my short side was 17". Your long side will be twice the length of the side plus 6" for the overlapping part.

Short side = 17"
Long side = 17" x 2 = 34" + 6" = 40" total

Next fold down a half inch seam on the short sides and iron it down. I used to skip the ironing bit, but oh. my. GAWD. does it make a difference. Get out the dang iron and stop being so lazy. It takes two seconds and will save your life. Don't be a hero and try to sew this seam without it.

Now run a quick seam down your ironed hems in two shakes of a lambs tail.

Bring your fabric back to the mat and it's origami time LEVEL 1. Turn the fabric with the pretty side up and fold one side in about a third of the way. Then fold the other side in so that you make a 17" x 17" square. So you now have the pretty sides facing each other and it looks like an inside out pillowcase.

Now get your iron back out and press your square. DO IT. You are spending 15 minutes on this pillow, don't just leave a rumpled heap on your couch after all this work.

Pin your open edges and take 'er back to the sewing machine. 
Run a stitch up those open sides and stand back. It's about to get amazing up in here.

Turn that sucker inside out and make sure you take your digits and poke out those corners into beautiful little points. I want 80s Madonna boobs, not 2013 Madonna boobs.

Now stuff your pillow inside the case and smooth it all out. Mine fit snugly, so I make sure to get all the corners filled with pillow and smooth out the overlap.

Voila! Your non-surgical pillow facelift is complete! Now put the iron away before someone gets hurt. 


Poor Sunshine. While most kids are accustomed to fresh squeezed orange juice and omelet stations every morning, her sorry mom just offers cereal or fruit and scrambled eggs. I wish Morton's was taking breakfast reservations, but until they do she'll just have to deal with my sorry excuse for la petit dejeuner.
Still I felt slightly ambitious this morning, and I'd just downloaded a free Kindle book called
Sunshine is a nut for French toast, but I always manage to have three soggy pieces and a pile of charred remains. I never have mastered the art of temperature control, and the griddle is so cumbersome (a.k.a. I can't throw the whole bit in the dishwasher).
I still cook dairy free since Sweet Pea is still having trouble with cow boob juice, so I tweaked one of the mug french toast recipes and came up with a hit!
small pat of Earth Balance butter
2 slices of bread cubed
one egg beaten
1/2 cup almond milk
hefty dash of cinnamon
less hefty dash of nutmeg
spoonful of brown sugar or agave (can honestly be omitted, but Sunshine has a sweet tooth)
little splash of vanilla extract
splishy drop of almond extract

Coat the inside of your mug with the butter then add the cubes of bread. Don't totally pack them down, but get them all in. You want to leave space for the magic egg goo to get through.

In a separate bowl beat the rest of your ingredients until it forms a delish brownish golden goop. Slowly pour your goop over your bread, and pop it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Depending on how squishy or dry you like your toast it could take less or more time. It should fluff up nicely.

I added raisins to mine and topped it with maple syrup. Sunshine opted for chocolate syrup and agave, and since she was being super helpful and sweet this morning I said what the heck. Why not?

It ain't gourmet, but it put a smile on my girl's face, and I could throw the entire prep station right in the dishwasher. #breakfastwin

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Sunshine is one of those kids that makes you feel maxed out at one. Don't get me wrong, she's a ball of fun wrapped in bacon. But oh Lord that child wears me out.

So when I found out I was pregs with Sweet Pea we started calling her the immaculate conception. How I even found the time to conceive is still a mystery.

When we brought Sweet Pea home I expected some major backlash from Sunshine. I feared she would jealously lash out at SP. I even worried about leaving them in the same room. After all Sunshine had been the star of our show her whole life. What would she think of her new co-star?

See I remember vividly when my brother was born. He was 3 months premature, and technically could've been legally aborted. I guess the fact that he survived at all went to his little pin head because he was all drama with ventilators and survival until he left the hospital two months later. 

The day he came home from I arrived home from school and saw the blue stork sign in the front yard. I raced through the door and was promptly instructed to scrub in. It was time for a diaper change and they enlisted my help. 
There has never been a prouder big sister in all the world. I quickly scrubbed my hands, wrists, arms, elbows, face and even my teeth just in case. 
As I tiptoed into the bedroom there he lay. The fragile little life I'd been waiting for for 5 long years. My playmate and confidante. I was so excited as I peered over the side of the bed at his soft little head. 
Mom told me to come on up and I could hold the baby wipes while she changed him. I'd have one ready for her because this was our baby. It was my duty and honor. 
As mom undid the diaper I peered into his tiny face and our eyes met. He giggled softly...and then that sweet little cherub shot a stream of urine straight in my eye. My freshly washed eye!!! I struggled but there was nowhere to escape. My face, hands, and yes even my mouth was thoroughly bathed in pee. Everyone was all concerned about me getting germs all over this kid and he is the one channeling R Kelly. 
Well readers rest assure that revenge was mine. There were nail polish facials and hairbow/dress slip fashion shows in his future. And now we are the best of friends. 

So when I brought Sweet  Pea home I thought for sure Sunshine would have serious hard feelings against the noob. 
But from the moment they met Sunshine was in love. She was never mean or spiteful at all toward Baby Sweet Pea. She has been a textbook big sis. 

I felt so proud that my little girl was handling all this change so well. A little too well I thought.

Until one day when I sat down to nurse little Sweet Pea and Sunshine wanted me to play. I explained that I had to feed the baby but we could play as soon as I was done.

That was obviously not the correct response because she immediately ripped the cushions from the couch and started bouncing on the springs screaming at me to get up and play. I told her to get her little butt down and put my cushions back. 

Which she responded to by climbing on top of the cushions, looking me straight in the eye...and peeing all over them. 
New baby initiation complete. 

Monday, August 12, 2013


Today's problems were really all my fault for not following my dreams to be a baker. You see we ran out of sliced bread, and all Sunshine wanted in the whole world was a PBJ. She was very tolerant at first, and explained "It's ok Mommy. You can just make me a sandwich with one bread." But when I explained we had not even the heel, her world came crashing down.
Luckily I have survival training from my college days, and I wasn't about to let a little thing like bread stand in my way of a tantrum free day. Instead I flew into action and concocted what I now call Jelly Rolls (something I am quite familiar with since the birth of my children).
I slapped some PB on a tortilla and smothered that in a liberal layer of J...boom. Success!!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013


Today's tantrum was brought to you by the letter C as in Clothing.
You know how angry you get when someone buys you a present? Well lately Sunshine's biggest beef has been with my mother-in-law who insists on showering her with gifts. The problem? The gifts are sometimes...brace yourself...articles of clothing. 

In preschool world there is apparently nothing as offensive as disguising body coverings as presents. If it ain't a toy, it ain't a gift. 
It's gotten so bad that I have to prepare Sunshine anytime anyone gets her anything.  If so much as a sock is in the bag the whole thing might as well go straight in the garbage. 
We've tried to talk about being thankful that someone thought of us and that we don't want to hurt feelings. Homeless children were mentioned to which she replied earnestly, "maybe we can give them my clothes and go get me a toy on the way home for being thoughtful." 
I've been so frustrated because I pride myself on generosity and gratitude. Those are attributes I want so desperately to implore to my offspring. But so help me God if the girl gets a t-shirt instead of a Polly Pocket heads are going to roll. 
I have talked and pleaded and reasoned until I'm blue in the face, but getting this child to understand gratitude is like teaching a goldfish to whistle. 
Then my Nana reminded me of a certain little spoiled first-born granddaughter who had her very own gift drawer at her grandmothers house. The moment I walked through the door of my Nana's house I made a bee line for that bedroom with MY gift drawer. And each time as she slowly opened it and said "Crissy I have something for you!" I would cautiously step back in disgust, and in my most indignant voice ask "Ugh is it a dress?!"
Sunshine might not understand the value of a free fabulous wardrobe, but she comes by it honestly. 

What are #preschoolproblems anyway?

I am a domesticated freelance writer with two brilliantly beautiful daughters and a world-domination-smart hubs. This blog is for my children, Sunshine and Sweet Pea, who hold all my hopes and dreams for the future on their knobby little shoulders. Before I met them, I had already outlined our lives and the accomplishments we would reach together. But my preconceived notions of parenthood have...well they have been smashed into play dough and covered with boogers.
While pregnant with my first-born, I envisioned sitting at the kitchen table eating homemade pancakes while my darling angel practiced writing her letters. She would be potty trained by 18 months, know her alphabet by 2 and reading by 3 at the very latest. She would like to color and I would braid her hair every morning while she read quietly at a third grade level.
But my Sunshine has other plans.

I've created this blog for you to meet the Real Sunshine. Real Sunshine likes the idea of pancakes, but would rather have a bowl full of Lucky Charms. Sounds legit, except that she only wants the marshmallow bits and the bowl must be filled to the brim with milk. If the cereal doesn't float you might as well toss the whole damn thing out the window. No she doesn't want to drink all that milk, but presentation is everything with this child.
People don't always understand Real Sunshine. Dream Sunshine would just eat whatever was placed in front of her or politely ask for adjustments to be made to the current offerings. However Real Sunshine will seriously flip her gourd because in her mind it's not a bowl of cereal if it's not floating in milk.
Some would say I need to just tell her tough titty. Others might suggest I get down on her level and calmly explain why she doesn't need one and a quarter cups of milk for four pieces of cereal she has no intention of eating in the first place. But that's not what this blog is about.
I don't need parenting advice. I know with that kid my best defense is a good offense. I have to just stay one step ahead and choose my battles. Does that mean I cater to tantrums? Nosireebob. It means I give her a freaking cup and a quarter of milk because she is 4 and this world can be a real beach sometimes.

I am a full-grown woman, and sometimes when it's been a long day and it's 107 degrees outside and the kids are screaming in the backseat, I drop my keys in between the seats just out of reach of my outstretched middle finger. And you know..I want to throw a freaking bowl of cereal myself. I want to kick my feet on the steering wheel and scream and throw my purse out the window. Now 99 percent of the time I just get a Barbie leg to kick my keys to freedom and move on with my life. But even as an adult, who has had decades of practice at appropriate reactions to disappointment and frustration, I sometimes lose my spit.
As a wise preschool director once told me, children are people. But they are uncivilized. And it is our job to gently and patiently civilize them.
There are so many kids who have "normal" reactions when things don't go according to plan. Those mothers do not know the blessing they have, and to them I must say "I hope you at least have horrible stretch marks."
But for those of us who have ever witnessed a toddler meltdown simply because Sid the Science Kid comes on AFTER Sesame Street instead of BEFORE Dinosaur Train, I give you #preschoolproblems. A place for us to just breathe, laugh together in comeraderie and remember that civilization didn't happen overnight.