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You know the story I'm talking about.  The one your child insists on reading EVERY night before he goes to bed.  The one you could read with your eyes closed (and probably have).  But kids love repetition.  It help them connect patterns and create stability in their world.  So here's some ideas on how to survive (and maybe even enjoy) that same bedtime story over and over.

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A lot of times when people think of art they think of strange abstract paintings that are difficult to understand, or marble statues depicting ancient gods and goddesses.  But do you ever look at art as a link to our past?

One Saturday my husband took our little family out to our local art museum.  Being a new mother, I was more than a little nervous.  I was afraid when I rolled in a stroller carrying a bottle and an infant that we would be promptly asked to leave.  But I was relieve to find not only did they allow us in, we were instructed on the easiest paths to navigate with a stroller and every door in the museum was held open for us.

We were there to see the daguerreotypes, an early form of photography from the mid-nineteenth century.  I enjoyed being able sneak a peak at life in the 1840 & 1850s.  Things like circus performers and rich children photographed with their nannies.  As they became more popular, some photographers would even create lighthearted daguerreotypes of poker games or dentist visits.

Robert Louis Stevenson daguerreotype portrait as a child

But the daguerreotypes that made the deepest impact on me were of mothers holding their babies or small children that had passed.  In an age where we can snap a selfie with our cell phone, we forget that at one time in our nation's past, having an image of your child was very costly.  This was the only time that many of these children would be photographed.  I got choked up looking at the image of a mother holding the lifeless body of her daughter, and imagining myself in her place.  Then I thought about all the photographs that were taken of my own daughter before she even left the hospital, and I felt incredibly blessed.

But that was quickly disrupted by a group that had come up behind us.  As someone was trying to explain to this group of adults the meaning behind these daguerreotypes, I was disgusted to hear comments such as: "Gross!"  "Why would anyone want a picture of a dead baby!?!"  "I wouldn't want one of those!"

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This is my favorite time of year to shop--the off-season!  While stores are making room for winter clothes, I am out catching bargains!  Buy the larger sizes now and store away for later!

Summer-fall clearance is my favorite because my daughter, like myself, has been blessed with long legs.  But when it comes shopping for clothes, it creates more of a nightmare!  "Long" pants and "long-sleeves" are never quite long enough.  But with shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops that not really an issue.

Here's a look at some of my amazing finds!

Walmart

 Shopping In The Off-Season | Higdons' Happy Home

A tutu swimming suit and 2 pairs of flip-flops (with the back strap), all for $3!

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Celebrating Baby's First When You're A Working Parent | Higdons' Happy Home

Being a working parent definitely has its benefits.  I enjoy being having a break from the temper-tantrums, letting someone else take care of the diaper changes, and talking to people with a vocabulary of more than 4 or 5 words.

One of the things that causes anxiety to a lot of parents when handing over their baby to a child-care provider is the thought of missing out on your child's firsts.  First step, first word, you get the idea. 

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This morning, while driving my little one to daycare, a news reporter came on and told of the memorials planned today to honor those who died in the Twin Towers.  It has been 14 years since that tragedy transformed our nation, but it still gives me goosebumps to see and hear the news clips.

It's like I'm back in middle school.  In French class.  And we're trying to explain to our teacher that it wasn't a replay of the first tower.  The second tower had fallen.

Even as I type this, I get a little choked up and tears start to come to my eyes.  For two year after college I served as a volunteer firefighter & EMT.  I can't even begin to image the horror of coming on-scene to find your fallen brothers and sisters.

But that's not really what I wanted to talk about.  Because I also remember that the Sunday after, our church was full.  We were bringing in folding chairs.  And as you drove down the street, every house was flying the Red, White, and Blue.  And as our troops sought out terrorist in the Middle East, there were yellow ribbons around every tree.

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My daughter loves laundry day.  She has a little washing machine set up in our laundry room so she can do laundry for her dolls, while I do laundry for our family.  Then, while I sit in the living room and fold clothes, she likes to climb up on the mountain of laundry and take a nap.  But her favorite part is pulling her clothes out of the dresser as I put them in. 

Searching through piles of laundry to find a matching outfit just doesn't fit into my family's crazy schedule.  So now, as I folder her laundry I slip a rubber band around each outfit.  So after my daughter has tired of terrorizing her dresser I can throw all the outfits back in without having to re-sort or re-fold anything!

Keep Outfits Together With Rubber Bands!

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You've probably seen the various images I've posted to my Facebook page of different yard art creations.  This past week I got to spend some time with Deborah Abernathy (my mom!) of the Hypertufa Chicks learning how their craft is made.

We started by collecting all the things we would be using as molds.  The items we would be using included plastic cups, gelatin molds, a snack tray, a cake pan, leaves, a plastic bowl, bubble wrap, and a special mold created by combining a plastic container and a plastic face mold.

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Polly Plastic Footprint Flower | Higdon's Happy Home

Disclaimer:  I received the Polly Plastics Moldable Plastic & Chef Remi Digital Thermometer in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  All other products used for this project were purchased with my own money--or my husbands.  :)

When my Polly Plastics Moldable Plastic Pellets arrived on my doorstep, I had what I thought was a cute, but simple project in mind.  I wanted to use imprints of my daughter's hands to make a sunflower.  I heated up a pan of water on the stove and monitored the temperature using a digital thermometer.  Once the temperature was above 140 degrees (F) I dumped the plastic pellets in and watched them melt.

That's when I heard a knock at the door.  One of our good friends was standing there with parts he had brought over for our motorcycle.  I tried to be a part of the conversation while working on my masterpiece, but I don't think I did very well at either because I ended up with something that looked like this:

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To celebrate the end of our Youth Vacation Bible School, my husband and I sat down to watch a little TV and sip Iced Carmel Mocha Coffees.  This is one of my husband's specialties.  Even though making them isn't that complicated (or precise), they always taste great!

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 Lost socks are an ongoing problem at our house.  Baby socks washed in a front-loading washer have only compounded the problem.  My husband and I started putting all our miss-matched socks in a shoe box in the laundry room.  The problem was, we never thought to look there when were folding clothes, so what started out as a holding spot for stray socks was starting to overflow, but had never really reunited anythings.  So to keep the socks in place where they were easily visible I hung some twine along the wall above our washer and drier and used clothes pins to display the socks.  A simple solution to a frustrating problem!

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