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Friday Peanuts – Busy Busy Busy

Friday Peanuts

Well, every weekend I’m determined to catch up on the blog and every weekend I’m swamped and haven’t had time to do it. I’m going to try my hardest to catch up this weekend though! But if I don’t, know that I am still thinking of you!

In lieu of a meaningful post here’s some things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week.

Would Jesus Have Joined a Fraternity? – As a proud sorority girl I enjoyed this article and made me think about missed opportunities during my college years. But kudos for reminding us that stereotypes are not always true and we should be searching for ways to show Jesus’ love to others in all situations.

Siri Reads Kindle – If I was ever in the car by myself for an extended period of time this would be awesome! Those who have the luxury of driving by themselves…take advantage of this!

Center of the City Dress – Think this is too sparkly for our Christmas party?

The Ongoing After School Activity Dilemma – This is going to be a struggle as the kids get older. With three I can only imagined how crazy our lives are going to be with after school activities. This post has some good thoughts about considering what to do and things to consider when we’re signing them up. What’s right for our family might not be right for yours and vice versa but right now we’re trying to figure out what’s right for our family.

I’m Glad I’m Not The Same Guy Who Wrote Blue Like Jazz – I’ve never read the book and know nothing about Donald Miller but I liked this post and all that it says. People change and that should be our goal. To learn and grow into better people. Let’s not stifle others growth but embrace it and encourage it.

Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Parents Who Don’t Allow Sleepovers – Not sure but I think I might be this parent…

Everything Etsy’s Deals of the Week – Tales of a Peanut has a discount code in there!

Best Events for Family Olympics – I want to have an Olympics! Any family or friends want to join us?!?!

Have a good weekend!


Charlotte, Family, Mommy Advice, Personal, Shopping, TalesOfAPeanut

Friday Peanuts

Friday Peanuts

Well, I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks.  Sorry about that! The getting back into school routine has thrown me for a loop and I’m just now getting somewhat settled into a new schedule.  For now, a list of some things going on will have to suffice.  Hopefully new posts will be forthcoming next week!

Alabama Women Bloggers

– I’m the Blogger of the Month for September over on the Alabama Women Bloggers site.  The topic of the month is “Back in My Day” and my first post went live on Monday with some reflection on what I learned about parenting from my parents.  Check out my post and let me know what you learned from your parents and are putting into practice with your family!  I’ll be posting there every Monday in September so be sure to check back next week to see what I’m talking about!



– I love Courtney DeFeo.  She has a heart for Mom’s and for helping us parent the best that we can.  She has a new book coming out this fall (In this House We Will Giggle) and I’m on pins and needles waiting to read it.  I know that it’s going to be awesome!  We have a mutual friend, Lindsey, who her girls calls Izzy, and Courtney has started featuring Lindsey the first Wednesday of every month.  Lindsey is one of my favorite people and has so much to teach Mom’s from all of her time spent babysitting and nannying.  I LOVED her idea about a donation basket from this month’s post and am going to implement it in my house ASAP!



– Courtney is also featuring a Q&A from Tara Concelman from Home First Behavior once a month.  Another great parenting resource! Make sure to read the comments for even more nuggets of wisdom!



– There are apparently 940 Saturday’s in your child’s life from when they are born until they turn 18.  This journal is a way to keep track of what you do with each of those for your child’s life.  I LOVE this idea and think that once a week record keeping is more manageable than every day like some suggest.  A lot of ours in the fall would show us in Tuscaloosa but that’s fun to record as well! This would make a great baby shower or Christmas gift!


– I’m already getting nowhere with the “how was your day” question after school.  I’m going to start trying some of these questions and see if they get me further!



– Look at these cuties featured over on the Baby Be Blessed blog with their namesake dolls!

Tales of a Peanut 9-14


– I’m advertising over at Everything Etsy for the next few months! Check out their Directory for other great Etsy shops!

That’s it for this Friday! Enjoy your weekend!

Mommy Advice, Personal

15 Things I Want My Kids To Remember When Starting School

Tales of a Peanut 15 Things To Teach Kids


My oldest daughter is starting kindergarten today.  While most of these things won’t come in to play this year, I’ve been thinking about what I want her to remember as she goes through her school years.  These are only a few of the things that I hope to teach her over the years but I think that these are all critical to her success in life.

Your academic performance does not determine your value.

Excelling in school is important, but it is not everything.  And your grades will never mean that you are more or less worthy.  We want you to try your hardest, but as long as you are doing that we will always be proud of you.

Your teachers deserve your respect.

Your teachers work so hard and they deserve your respect.  That means they deserve your attention and quietness.  They are trying their best to teach you and your classmates in a way that will benefit you all and in order to do that they need you to respect them each day no matter how you feel.  If you have a question or don’t understand something, by all means ask them about it.  But always express respect to them in your tone and attitude.

Your peers can not tell you what to do.

Your friends will be so important in your life.  It’s critical that you choose your close friends wisely.  Those who you associate with will shape how others your age and adults view you.  And no matter if the person is your best friend or an acquaintance, if they tell you to do something you do not have to obey them.  If something feels unsafe or unkind to you, leave the situation and find new friends.

Regardless of your feelings, treat everyone with kindness.

There will be days when you don’t feel good.  When you’re tired or angry or upset.  Remember that everyone else has those days too.  By showing kindness to everyone even when you don’t feel especially kind, you can show Jesus’ love to others and can make a positive difference in their life.

You are free to make your own choices but know that every choice has a consequence.

As you get older you will have the freedom to make more and more of your choices.  Choose wisely.  Consider the implications, both good and bad, before you make a decision.  Know that God gave you free will and as you earn our trust and respect, we will give you more and more freedom to express it.  But always remember that every choice that you make has a consequence and you will have to live with that consequence for the rest of your life.

The adults in your life only want what’s best for you.

Even now there are times when you seem to question whether a decision that I’ve made for you is arbitrary or not.  But I can promise you that every decision that I make is because I think it is the most beneficial decision for you.  The other adults in your life, family, teachers, youth group leaders, friends, all want the same.  We want you to succeed and so every choice and decision that we make will be to advance that goal.  Sometimes you won’t be able to see the big picture and will not understand our reasoning, but I promise you that we are only trying to do our best to help you succeed.

You don’t need to be like everyone else to be awesome.

You are you and that is awesome.  God made you EXACTLY like he wanted you to be.  Your big heart? God’s idea.  Your creativity? A gift from God. Your stubbornness? Something that God placed in your life to allow you to use it to your good and overcome any negative impact.  You have a unique sense of style, humor, thought process, intelligence, feelings, and goals.  These don’t need to look like anyone else’s to be great.  You are great because you are you.  And please never believe it if anyone tells you otherwise.

Sometimes people will be mean.

I want things to be always rosy and easy for you.  I want to protect you from harm and from meanness and from anything bad that might happen to you.  But that isn’t real life and sometimes those hard things will be what helps us grow and learn the most.  People can be mean.  It’s an unavoidable fact of life.  Some days, you might be the one being mean.  Try to let the things that others say in meanness roll off your back and give them (and yourself when you mess up) the grace to correct their behavior and learn from it.

You will mess up.

On that note, know that you are going to make mistakes.  Some of them will be little and won’t cause many problems.  Some of them will be huge and you’ll still be reeling from them years from now.  When you make those mistakes, because you will, I want you to remember a few things.  First, the only perfect person on this planet was Christ.  And He was perfect to forgive you of your imperfections, no matter what they are.  Second, your Daddy and I aren’t perfect either and we don’t expect you to be.  Do you hear me?  We don’t expect you to be perfect and our love is in no way conditional on the mistakes that you do or don’t make.  Just like Christ will always forgive you, we will always forgive you.  Thirdly, while we need to learn from our mistakes, God forgives and forgets for a reason.  Give yourself a break and forgive yourself.  Take time to examine your mistake and learn all you can from it and then give it to God and get it out of your head.

Above all else, we are most concerned about your relationship with Christ.

Do we want you to get good grades? Yes.  Do we want you to choose good friends? Yes.  Do we want you to make good choices? Yes.  But more than any of that, we want you to love God.  God loves you more than anyone else in this world ever will.  And His love will never, ever change.  He sent his only son to die just for you.  He wants to have a relationship with you every day of your life.  In the end, and every day that you are alone, it is just you and God.  We pray every single day that you fall more and more in love with Jesus every day of your life and that you choose to accept him into your life as your Savior.  There is literally no decision that you will make that is more important than this one.

Extracurriculars are just that, extra.

There might be a time when we tell you that you can’t do an activity or join a group or do something that you’re sure will be the best thing to happen to you.  While we believe that there are things outside of school that are important, we also believe that school is extremely important.  If you’re falling behind in class because you’re too busy outside of class then something will have to change.  It is not a requirement that you participate in every sport or activity or club.  Our top three priorities for you will always be church, our family, and school and if other things need to be cut in order to prioritize those things then they will be.

You can’t be everything to everyone.

You also can’t be everything to someone.  Don’t let anyone manipulate you or place all of their responsibility on you.  You are not responsible for making anyone else happy.  You are not responsible for the decisions that anyone else makes.  Never get too dependent on anyone to forget that you are smart and capable and that the only one who you are responsible for is yourself.

You can ask me anything and I will try to be as open and honest with you as is age appropriate.

I want you to come to me with anything and everything.  Boy problems? Come to me.  Questions about school? I’m your girl (or if not I can find someone who is).  Wrestling with a decision? I can try and help you figure out the way that you should go.  Confused about the lunch table gossip? I want to be the one to help you make sense of it all.  Know that a lot of what you hear at school is not going to be true or factual or realistic.  When you’re hearing something from a peer you’re hearing it from their skewed perspective that can be influenced by many different things that you don’t know about.  I will always try to answer any question without embarrassment and with honesty in a way that is beneficial to you at your age.

Your Dad and I really do remember what it was like to be your age.

Right now you think that Daddy and I are the coolest.  You want to dress like me and do things that we do and be just like us.  I know that soon, sadly, that will change.  Even if it doesn’t seem like it, we remember what it was like to be your age.  Even if it seems like it was eons ago, we were your age and faced much of the same experiences that you will be facing.  Sometimes we’ll be able to look at a situation and see more of it then you can simply because we’ve already lived it and learned from it.  Give us a chance and we’ll try to help you as much as we can.

This life is a gift.

You were born with a purpose.  I don’t know what you’re going to do.  Maybe you’ll cure cancer.  Maybe you’ll be President.  Maybe you’ll be a Mom with three beautiful children.  Whatever you choose to do, know that life is a gift and you only get one of them.  You will be important and can serve God just as well from the kitchen as from the board room.  And you can change your mind and go from one to the other.  But also pursue the things that God places on your heart because you only get to live this life once.


What did I leave out? I’d love to hear from you!

Mommy Advice, Parenting

How to Cloth Diaper Your Newborn

How to Cloth Diaper Your Newborn Tales of a Peanut

So I’m about six weeks in to cloth diapering for the first time and Hadley is approaching 9 pounds.  I feel like that this point we’re moving out of the newborn stage (especially in diapers) and so now would be a good time to let you know how it’s gone for us so far.

Our Motivation

To give you a little background, other than my cloth diaper review back in the winter, we have never attempted them.  When I think of how much money we’ve spent over the last five years on diapers…well, I don’t want to do that math for fear of hyperventilating.  Since I’m always looking for ways to cut back on our grocery budget, I decided to cloth diaper with Hadley to save money.  Plus, I’ve heard lots of other great things about it including the ease, that it reduces or eliminates diaper rashes, and how cute a baby’s bottom looks all swaddled in cloth.

Research Beforehand

Being the OCD, type A engineer that I am I spent a good amount of time researching cloth diapering.  I created a Pinterest board on cloth diapering and started polling friends who were cloth diapering.  I put out calls on Facebook and Twitter for advice and got lots of it.  Some of my favorite posts that I found were on the Cotton Babies blog, Kitchen Stewardship’s review of 25 diapers, and Kitchen Stewardship’s Cloth Diapering Rookie post.

What We Have

After all my research I decided two purchase just a few newborn diapers and more one-size diapers.  I decided to start out with a small “stash” of all-in-one’s (just like a disposable diaper in style) and see how it went before purchasing more.  So I purchased:

2 Lil Joey’s 

6 BumGenius Freetime Newborn

14 BumGenius Freetime One-size (4 with snaps, 10 with velcro)

Grovia Magic Stick All Natural Diaper Ointment

Diapering Method

Over the last 6 weeks we’ve tried to use cloth diapers during the day and disposables at night.  The last thing that we want to have to worry with in the middle of the night is rinsing poop out of a cloth diaper.  Hadley also had thrush which caused a bad diaper rash so we used disposables until we got that cleared up because you can’t use traditional diaper rash creams with cloth diapers because they will stain and hamper absorbency.

Because of Hadley’s ongoing diaper rash and sensitive bottom, we go through a lot of diapers — typically 10-16 a day (changing during/after feeding and right before putting her down for a nap).  This meant that I definitely didn’t have enough newborn cloth diapers to even exclusively diaper in cloth during the day much less the night too.  Because I didn’t want to purchase more newborn sized diapers and the one size BumGenius were still way too large, we just supplemented with disposable.  In my opinion, it’s important to be flexible, especially in this stage and not worry too much about having to go exclusively cloth all at once.

To do everything we could to mitigate the diaper rash we ordered the Grovia Magic Stick and started using it during all diaper changes.  Because it is all natural and without ingredients like petroleum which most other diaper rash creams have you can use it with cloth diapers with no harm.  We found that it worked great and helped clear everything up even if it did take a few days of using it for it to clear.

Washing Our Cloth Diapers

Everything online says that you can throw exclusively breastfed babies diapers straight in the wash without rinsing.  However, that seems to me like it’s a lot of poop going into your washer which makes me a little uncomfortable.  I’m sure it’s fine but, since we have a big sink in our laundry room that’s right next to our room where we’re doing all of our diaper changes, we’re rinsing our diapers out and then sitting them next to the sink before we wash them.  This is just our personal preference and I don’t think is required.

I wash a load of diapers about every other day and then hang them to dry.  I have a front load, high efficiency washer and wash them on a normal cycle in hot water with a cold rinse and an extra rinse.  I use Charlie’s Soap on advice from a friend and really like it (as a bonus is has a really cool dispensing mechanism that is very easy and makes no mess).

During Hadley’s battle with thrush, Cotton Babies posted a post on their blog about How to Sanitize Your Cloth Diapers.  This post mentioned that if your child has had a rash or infection that you need to sanitize your diapers before putting them on your child again.  I was glad that they posted this at this convenient time for us because Hadley was just getting better and I didn’t want to prolong our experience because the diapers were giving the thrush back to her.  So I washed them with 1/4 cup of liquid bleach dispensed from the liquid bleach dispenser in my washer.  I felt good about putting the diapers back on her and also was amazed at how the bleach didn’t harm the outer colors of the diapers but eliminated any lingering stains on the interior of them.  The post also says to not use bleach more than once a month so make sure not to overuse if you’re going to sanitize your diapers.


In an effort to save more money and eliminate any chemicals that might make a sensitive baby’s bottom get a rash, I made my own wipes a few weeks into our experience.  I cut up a bunch of old t-shirts for wipes. And I purchased a glass canister similar to the middle size of this set.

I used the cloth diaper recipe from The New Lighter Life.  I typically stuff the jar about a third of the way full and then pour some solution over the wipes and continue with the other two thirds of the wipes.  Sometimes I even mix the wipes up with my hands when pouring in the solution to make sure they all get damp.  For our big jar I use more like 1 1/2 cup of water with  1 tablespoon of baby wash and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.  This tends to get them all wet enough but doesn’t leave the ones at the bottom of the jar sopping wet.

Our jar is pretty large and, depending on how many really dirty diapers we have during a day, I need to remake wipes every two to three days.  It only takes about 5 minutes to make a jar of wipes so it’s not time consuming.  I have enough cut wipes to be able to wash an entire jarful with diapers and have them ready to go into the jar when the jar is empty.

Because we rinse our diapers we use a wet bag like this to hold our wipes between washes.  And then when I wash diapers (or sometimes other laundry) I just dump them into the wash and throw the bag in also.

We have found that you want to make sure not to cut the wipes too small as the t-shirt pieces curl up in the wash and are a little hard to unfurl if the pieces are too small.  Something around a 5×5″ wipe is a good size.  Any bigger wipes you feel like you’re wasting space in the jar and any smaller they are hard to work with.

Where We Are Now

At this point, growing towards 9 pounds and 6 weeks old we’ve quit using the Lil Joey diapers.  Even though they say online that they’re good for 4-12 pounds, we started getting leaks out the sides much smaller than that.  I love the look of them but I wouldn’t purchase them again unless you have a preemie or super small baby.

The BumGenius newborns still fit well and we are using the BumGenius one-size diapers as well even if they look huge when Hadley has them on (that’s what she’s wearing in the picture).  They both seem to fit well and, for the most part, contain all the messes.  We’ve had a few instances where the diapers have leaked but we’ve had them with disposables too, that’s just part of it.  The one-size diapers are all snapped down into the smaller size on the front to make them a little smaller.

I’ve found that the snap diapers are much harder to put on than the velcro ones.  I probably won’t purchase any more snaps but I wanted to try them because, as she gets older, they will be harder for little fingers to open themselves if we end up with that problem.

I bought all of my BumGenius diapers from Cotton Babies and am looking in to trading in my newborn diapers there when the time comes.  It won’t recoup all of the expense but will help offset the cost of additional one-size cloth diapers.  The Lil Joey diapers I purchased from Amazon since Cotton Babies doesn’t sell them.  I also purchased my wet bags, Magic Stick, and Charlie’s Soap from Amazon due to price and non-availability at Cotton Babies.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way that the cloth diapering process is going for us so far.  I don’t ever see us being exclusive cloth diaper-ers — think the church nursery or grandparents houses — but I like the savings that we’re reaping by not having to buy as many disposables.  The initial cost output to start cloth diapering is scary but, in the long run, we should be much better off this way.  I also feel better knowing that I’m putting natural fibers with no chemicals or additives on her bottom the majority of the time.

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post and I didn’t receive any of these products for review.  All opinions and advice are my own.  Please see my link/review disclosures for more information.

Mommy Advice, Shopping

Zulily New Mom Must-Have’s

I’m partnering with Zulily again today to share some things that I love from their “Welcome Baby” sales.  As some of you know, Jason and I were pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago to find that we will be having another baby in our family.  We had been trusting God to add to our family if he saw fit and it appears that he did!  So, as hard as it is for me to believe, I’m thinking about some of these things again.  A lot has changed since we first purchased our baby must have’s five years ago!


My first find from this sale is the Owl Babies board book and soft toy.  My parents have this book and Charlotte read it a lot when we were living with them.  When we told her that she could “name” the new baby until he/she got their “forever name” she thought for about 14 hours and then chose “Percy” which she said was from this book.  So I’d love to have this for the new baby’s nursery!


Charlotte never grew that attached to a blanket, but James has one that he sleeps with every day and night.  This chevron gray and blue blanket would be beautiful for a boy or a girl.  It looks so soft and blankets this size tend to be perfect for strollers or for laying over them in bed once they turn one.



I’m determined to get this child to take a passy and these passy holders would be great for it.  Charlotte took a passy when she was little but I took it away right around when I weaned her and she went to sucking her thumb (disaster!).  James never would get the hang of a passy and is an even bigger thumb sucker than Charlotte.  I want this baby to take a passy so that I can take it away and avoid the whole thumb thing if at all possible!

zud2795415_img2057505_main_1379372823And every new Mama deserves to feel at least halfway cute in the hospital after delivery and these nursing pj’s would be perfect for that. Cute and soft with a ruffled hem, don’t ever underestimate the ability of a new, cute set of pj’s to up the emotional stability of a new Mom.

*Affiliate links are used in this post.  Please read link/review disclosures for more information.

**For more information than you probably would like to know you can also check out previous posts like this such as Newborn Must Haves, Infant Must Haves, and the whole category of Mommy Advice has a lot more advice than you ever needed!


Mommy Advice

Superhero or not?

I’ve been struggling this week, y’all.  We’re battling allergies at our house and the adjustment back into school has been a lot harder than I imagined.  Charlotte is worn down at the end of the school day and needs a rest, but she was determined to do dance and art and so I scheduled them for afternoons (time suggested and only time available for her age) so she’s missing her rest time on those days.  Combine the lack of sleep with a stuffy nose and you have a little girl who is cranky along with a brother who doesn’t feel great and is learning to exert himself and a Mommy who feels yucky.  Recipe for disaster.

Tales of a Peanut - Superhero or Not

As I was waiting in the carpool line this morning to pick up my kid’s, I thought back on Lisa-Jo Baker’s posts recently about motherhood and that a friend sent her a Superman cape.  And I sit and wonder, what am I missing?  Why do I not feel like the superhero in our family?  Why do I feel like I’m still chasing to-do lists and struggling to keep the house tidied in addition to all the little things that I’m doing around here?

Why can’t I cut myself some slack?

Yes, there are currently loads of laundry that need to be washed, but the only one who might actually need something washed pitches in to help with the laundry when he needs something.

I might not feel like I’ve accomplished something when I’ve unloaded and loaded and ran the dishwasher and still have a sinkful of dishes, but I have.

I think I have this vision that being a Mom, being a woman, being a wife, being an adult, means that you’re perfect.  But it doesn’t.  Not even close!

I’ve got to figure out the balance of this life.  The one where I’m waking up early to make lunches and grab a few hours of time by myself before I pick kid’s back up at school.  The one where I have so many creative ideas in my mind but not enough hours in the day or energy to get them into my computer and into my shop.  The one where I have to remember that not everything has to be perfect and sometimes the most fun moments come from those imperfect  moments that just happen to happen along the way.

If God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, why do I expect it of myself?

I don’t know the way to balance this right now.  I’m not sure where to set my limits and say “this is enough” and move on to the next task.  I’m having a hard time prioritizing what is worth my time and energy and what isn’t.


But I’m going to start with prioritizing my “to do” list.  Give items a date and list them as such and set manageable goals.  I’ll always have a wish-list to do list out there, but I don’t need to look at it every day in the midst of all my imminent tasks that need my attention.

How do you balance?  Please give me help and suggestions! I’m praying for you and for me that we can get this balance down and be the best us that we can be.  And remember that we don’t have to cross off everything on our mile-long wish list to do list to be the superhero of our family!