Thursday, October 27, 2011

sew, mama, sew!

Sewing is a handy skill to have. My mom knows the basics, enough to make some small projects. She signed me up for lessons at Beverly's when I was younger and I ended up making a drawstring bag and I think some shorts or something. I didn't keep up with it, but I remember learning a little. Well, for the past few years, my mom and I have had conversations about getting a new machine and getting to work on some easy projects for our homes and the kids. Then, my dad stepped in. He decided that he could also benefit from such an arrangement and they talked it over. My dad bought me a new machine for my birthday and my mom bought me all the sewing accessories a girl might need.

I kept the box laying around for a few months, gathering dust, but also quietly encouraging me to think more and more of all the things I could be doing. When I ripped a shirt, I looked at the box. When I started thinking about curtains and new pillows for my living room, I think I moved the box to a more central location. I did this because I was now lazily planning on eventually opening it up and to see if I could figure the thing out. I couldn't. Not with having about 15 years pass between my first sewing lessons and this new endeavor. I tried following the quick start guide, (I'm usually really good with any sort of set-up on electronics) but this machine is nothing like what I had used in my youth. My dad bought me the Brother Sew Advance Sew Affordable machine. I decided I needed someone to help me and maybe even to make sure I didn't break the contraption.

When looking around for anything, like most of you, I just google it. So, I googled Bakersfield sewing lessons. Up came a few different things, but nothing caught my eye. I started calling around, but sitting in a class with other people didn't seem so appealing. Then came Queen's Knight Seven, lessons by Judi Carrejo, out of Jo-ann Fabric and Craft stores. I checked out her website and I knew this would be perfect for my needs.

So far, I have taken four lessons and I already have the confidence to at least attempt to start some of my own projects. With her help, I completed two projects (pictured below). Let me just say, she is awesome. She is skilled and experienced. She makes so many of her own things and they look amazing. She taught me how to use my own machine and so many basic techniques she taught by leading me through the projects of my choosing. Also, I should add that she is a delight to hang out with during the lessons. We are cracking jokes the entire time, and she laughs at all my jokes (bonus for me). She is one cool lady. I would recommend her for anyone who is interested in taking lessons.

Because of my newly acquired skills, I not only completed the projects I chose below, but I am making my daughters' their Halloween costumes this year, all on my own, in the comfort of my own home. I'm so happy, and the looks on their faces when they see what their mama has made is worth so much more than the time, money and effort I put into learning as much as I can.

Skittles the Cat
Details, details.

It is a pretty big cat/pillow/riding apparatus.

Luci's Blanket
I told her mean moms don't make blankets like this.

It is a big comfy, super soft, lined in satin blanket of looooove.

Monday, October 24, 2011

more pink...

There are quite a few topics I've been wanting to write about lately but now that I've gotten some free time there is one thing I can't put off any longer!

We are having another baby! And to top it off, we just found out we are having another girl! I'm laughing out loud right now, because yes, that means girl #4. She is due February 15th, which also means that I'm already 6 months (24 weeks!). I have been anxiously awaiting the freedom to talk about this on my blog and even in just my regular facebook updates because I always have a lot to say about everything, right? And now, I can finally share the news.

Here's the backstory: I've been nursing Roslyn so I didn't know I was pregnant until I was already over two months. Then, I waited until I went to the doctor to confirm everything was going as it should and with appointment waiting time that took almost another month by itself. We told most of our family and friends within the next month or so, but we were waiting on one final reveal before we made it 100% public. Not that I could hide it out in public (I'm showing quite a lot already), but we were waiting to tell Erik's mom in person. She had been planning her move back from Florida for the past three months and getting her affairs in order, so we just kept waiting and waiting. Well, she finally moved back last Friday and we were able to tell her. Erik went to pick her up from the airport and when he got back, he walked her into to the living room and told her we had a surprise for her. Then, I lifted my blanket and he told her we were having another. She definitely had a surprised reaction but it was a mix of surprise and excitement.

Now, I'll be able to share all my pregnancy glory with everyone. Like the fact that I cry over everything, even just really touching commercials, or that all I want to do is eat, eat, eat. You know, the good stuff.

We are really excited to have another little girl join our family. We love the idea of a big family, because not only do these kids fill our lives with love like we could never have imagined, but because when we are older, we will have many more family members to love and join our lives. So now, we sit back and wait for her to come and we can't wait to see who she is and how she fits into our family. She is already loved by her sisters, who are all so glad she is a girl. We will have to wait until she is born to see how Roslyn takes it, but she LOVES babies and I know this baby will be no exception.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

good news

This post is for my Bakersfield peeps:

When I wake up in the morning, I usually grab my phone to check the time. If the sun is up and my eyes are adjusting normally, I usually check my email inbox in case there is anything interesting. This time, there was!

I received confirmation from a group called Mommy Parties that I was selected to host a Mega Bloks Party! They will be sending me a party pack so I can host a small party for up to 10 kids. The kids will be invited to come to my house and try out a few new products from Mega Bloks. I will be sending home some special gifts, there will be a cool raffle, and we will be doing some really fun activities. I am really excited to be able to do this, I think it will be a lot of fun!

I plan to do this party in a few weeks, in November. The kids I will be looking for will be preschool aged, at least one year old, but not yet starting Kindergarten. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please stop by my Facebook Page to submit your information. You can also visit my page, "Like" it, and then use the "Share" feature in the bottom left hand corner to share the news with someone who has a child that might be interested. I will take information until this Sunday, and announce the lucky kids on Monday. It's gonna be funnnn!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

make room, sister

I totally neglected my blog for the past two days. I had a lot of organizing to do and between that and doing the daily routine with the girls, I didn't have much time left over. On Sunday, we took on the task of moving Emme back into Luciana's room. She had moved in there for almost two months when we had relatives staying with us temporarily, and it really worked out well. Although we were able to leave quite a few things in Emme's old room the first time, this time we are completely moving her into Luciana's room. This means, two beds, two dressers, lots of toys and tons of books. We decided to do this for two reasons. First, Erik's mom is moving back from Florida and will be staying with us for awhile. Also, Roslyn is just about ready to transition from co-sleeping with us to her own bed (update to follow in the near future on that!). So, eventually, our plan was to move Emme and Luci into a room together and give Roslyn her own, at least until she was sleep trained. Emme transitioned so easily from one step to the next, as she often does so amazingly, so we wanted to get Roslyn on the same track.

Luckily, Erik is so helpful and we make a great team when it comes to doing the kids rooms. We are like the East side version of the Novogratz family. We worked all day Sunday and were so excited for the finished product. Luciana and Emme were both extremely excited too, and are doing really well together. However, Emme tends to wake up earlier than Luci so we are trying to get her to stop waking her sister up too early in the morning. The last thing we need is more than one grumpy, tired female in the house. All in all, everything is falling into place. All we need is a grandma to fill our empty room.

I don't have any before pictures of Luciana's room the day we started, but I have a picture of what her room looked like when we first moved in. Since the first picture, we added a big dresser, curtains, and a few other details but for the most part, this is the way her room was for a long time.

 Her bed and reading area

 Her desk

Small storage solutions

Seeing as to how this was over a year ago, she has taken on so many new possessions. Random toys, a zillion books, a thousand stuffed animals, and other stuff. Now, we had to streamline her things, as well as combine everything with Emme's. This is how the new room turned out:

 The view from the door.

 The new reading area. Roslyn spends most of her time there.

 See, she loves it.

 We moved the desk to maximize space and minimize Roslyn's climbing temptation. Emme's dresser is on this side of the room.

Luciana's dresser, a few books to minimize mess, the rest are in a drawer. We bought one of those toy slings to keep their stuffed animals out of the way. 

 Luciana sleeps on top bunk and we moved Emme's toddler bed down to bottom so she stays safe.

Emme wishes this was her bed. She doesn't realize she'd fall off on night one. 

Streamlined compartment storage for loose toys. Most of these are for Roslyn. The rest are put away so I'm not picking up 30 toys a day. 

Besides the closet, this is it. In the closet we have a hanging storage organizer for shoes. There are three built in drawers which hold art paper, writing paper, coloring books (no colors though), and more books. We like to store messy toys like blocks, puzzles and games up in the closet. We take those out for them when they want to play with them and put them away right after they're done to keep things clean and organized. 

I realize to some people this is meaningless, but for me, this sort of organization makes my life 10 times easier and more manageable. I can't imagine not having things neat and easy with all these rugrats plotting to take me down mentally. Mama's sanity is here to stay girls!

If anyone has any cool tips or advice on better organization for siblings sharing a room, please share. With birthdays and Christmas coming up, I know I am going to have to keep up with new ways to organize their room.

Oh, and I apologize for the poor quality pictures. Please direct all complaints to Erik, so that he can buy me the nice camera I so obviously deserve. Thank you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

what they ate: vol 3

My kids have a favorite go-to phrase around here, and it is "I'm hungry". Now, before you call CPS because you think I might not be feeding them enough, give me a chance to explain. Ever since Luciana could speak, the second her eyes would open in the morning she would say, "I'm hungry". I am not joking when I say the second they opened. I think she might have even said it before they opened on one or two occasions. I used to have to sleep with a sandwich bag of dry cheerios she could snack on in the early morning hours so I could get an extra hour of sleep. Yes, this was back when I had one child and twice as much sleep as I get now. Now, Emme, in true follower fashion, utters this phrase at every stagnant moment. It's like her "filler". If it gets too quiet, "Mama, I'm hungry". If she is sitting in one place for more than five minutes, "Mama, I'm hungry". And of course the baby walks right in the kitchen, points at the pantry (where I keep the cookies) and grunts her desires to me. So, I try to keep snacks and meals interesting. And of course, healthy and filling and all that CPS friendly stuff. I find that if they enjoy the meal more, they stay satisfied longer. Not just because they are eating more, but because they are paying attention and it seems to affect their satiety. Go ahead, google it, no one else can see you.

This week I have been a little busy watching Mad Men doing a lot of important tasks around the house so I have two simple meals with the same ingredients. I have been getting into the Halloween spirit around here (no mom, not with seances or Ouija boards), so I decided to make it a Halloween themed lunch.

Meal 1
"Jack O'Lantern Sandwich, Moon Cheese and Pumpkin Chips"

First, let me settle your fears, no the chips aren't made of pumpkin. They are just plain old BBQ flavored potato chips, but calling them pumpkin chips made Emme more excited. I bought a 2 dollar pack of Halloween cookie cutters and Walmart and cut a moon shape out of Colby Jack cheese. I made a regular turkey sandwich and cut the pumpkin shape and then used small pieces of apple and cheese for the eyes, mouth, and nose. She ate it last because she loved looking at it. EASY!

Meal 2
"Scaredy Cat Sandwich, Apple Spears and Pumpkin Chips"

For Roslyn, I made an open faced turkey sandwich because I only give her one piece of bread. I used the scaredy cat cutter. I sliced some apples and spread some of Emme's leftover cheese edges from her moon shape as little decoration around her plate. Just put a few chips and voila, done. This one doesn't have so much of a theme as Emme's but Roslyn is only 1 and to her, I'm Picasso, baby.

So, that is it for this week. If you excuse me I have more important tasks I must attend to. Queue Mad Men!

For more ideas see what they ate: vol 1 and what they ate: vol 2

Also, feel free to share your favorite fun with food site with me because I am always looking out for new ideas!

Friday, October 14, 2011

babywearing 101

In honor of International Babywearing Week, I thought I could talk about a part of my parenting style that I love, love, love. Babywearing! Just how does one wear a baby, one might ask. Well, first you find the zipper for the removal of their baby skin and... okay, I'm kidding. It's simple, really. Babywearing International, defines it as "holding or carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier". But, I will say there is much more to it. It's the benefits that make it so wonderful for me. What better way to offer comfort to your baby than wrapping them in a tight cloth held close to your body? For newborns, it is the position they have been in for many months of a pregnancy. They feel comfortable and secure. Trust me, a lot of newborns have emailed me about just how much they love it and wish their parents would wear them more. That's not true either, but I am positive that if they had the manual dexterity and communication skills to execute such a task, my inbox would be flooded.

Who can wear their baby? Anyone can wear a baby, as long as they can find a baby to wear. Please ask permission from the parents first, if it is not your baby. Seriously though, babywearing is for anyone. They have slings with patterns for the hipsters out there, and they have solid colors for those who like to keep it neutral. I have a plain black one that Erik coordinates with his hat and shoes. Well, it works out that way at least. And boy does he look cute wearing our cute babies.

Real men wear babies

So why do I like it so much? Well, besides the fact that it keeps my babies close to me, calm, and comforted, its extremely convenient. I can have my hands free to do anything I need. Clean, make a sandwich, browse through department stores but not committing to any purchases, play Xbox with Erik, you know, things I need both hands for. The brand and style of sling I bought even allows for discreet nursing. No peeking! It really is an awesome way to incorporate your baby into your everyday life without having to push an extra stroller around. NO WAY I'm pushing a triple stroller. I draw the line at the double. 

If you want to get into the research about the benefits, there are always resources for that. Just check out and they have fact sheets and a lot of other information about babywearing. They talk about how babywearing is a skill and the different types of slings or carriers there are. 

So, I just wanted to share this information because I have seen a lot of happy babies snuggled closely to their caregivers and all babies should be happy. I honestly don't even know how I stumbled onto this practice. I was only 20 when I had Luciana but somehow I just KNEW I had to wear her close to me like this. I've been wearing babies ever since.

Look at that face of pure joy

Remember, its not just for infants. Older babies can be worn too. I mean, I'm not wearing Luciana anytime soon, her days of me wearing her are over. Now she's just wearing me OUT!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'tis my season

I love Halloween time! It marks the first holiday of fall and means that my other favorite holidays are close by. Of course, my kids love seeing all of the cool decorations and deciding what costume they want to try this year is a lot of fun.

We started decorating a little this past week. I am ready to add more and more as the weeks go on though. I can already feel Erik rolling his eyes, but I can't apologize for wanting this holiday to be fun, fun, fun! But, I am also excited at the idea of building up our decoration arsenal each year for these fun holidays. I usually buy most things at the 99 cent store if I can. I will splurge here and there for something cool from Target or Walmart though. When I'm all done with our decorating, I'll share some pics of our creations. For now, I'm still browsing the web for cool DIY crafts that the kids can help with. I added a bunch to my "Halloweenie" board over at Pinterest, so feel free to take a look. Here are a few snapshots of the crafts I recently added to my new board obsession.

Happy Decorating!

Monday, October 10, 2011

learning at home

I found myself in a discussion the other day about whether or not I was planning on putting my (almost) 3-year-old in preschool any time soon. Eek. I have thought about it before, when someone asked if I considered using some kind of drop in care for errands or appointments I had, and I said no. Now, thinking about "preschool" in the terms of starting a somewhat formal education routine seems a little more serious.

I'm scared to take her. There, that is one reason I don't plan on it, right there. I am scared of my little angel being any kind of victim. I can't imagine getting a call or finding out that she had been hit, bitten or bullied by some child. I mean, I don't expect her to live in a bubble. She plays a lot with my two nephews who are the same age as her, and they all take their turns fighting over toys, being too rough, and just being the crazy little kids they all are. But, those are our family members. We know their parents are nearby, and I can easily step in and offer the loving correction they would offer my child in the same situation. But a stranger's kid? I know I am not the only one who feels that way. Will this person discipline their child? Will they even find out their child did something to mine? Besides that, I just don't know what kind of kids she will be around. At the preschool age, there are some kids out there who just plain misbehave. Of course I don't hold it against a kid, but I don't want my impressionable little baby to pick up any habits, new words I might not like, and I don't want her to develop her own way of expressing herself based off of the impressions of a child I do not know. I know my nephews, and my friend's kids, and I get to watch and see how she learns in social situations, and teach her what is appropriate and what isn't even if I can't control what my family or friend's children do. I'm there. Or another adult I know is.

Why does she need preschool when her mother is at home to teach her? What can a preschool teacher teach her that I can't? People argue that socialization of children is important and that the main place it happens is in the school system. I have heard this same argument again and again when talking about my wish to eventually homeschool my children. Well, I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. How does sticking my child in a room with a bunch of other kids, fighting for personal attention, competing for academic success, navigating their way through all the other morals, lessons and oftentimes sheer GARBAGE that other children bring from their families, all into one place, equal socialization? I think the best way to view socialization is in terms of teaching them to function in a healthy way, out in the world. There are many places and ways to do this. Teaching citizenship isn't exclusive to the school yard or the classroom, and it certainly doesn't require the leadership of a teacher, however qualified to teach academic fundamentals, to take responsibility for such an important part of my child's personal development.

My bottom line: I simply do not feel right in my heart about having any of my children leading themselves through the complicated world out there, at least while they are so young. A 7-year-old, my 7-year-old, is young, impressionable beyond measure, and her innocence is being whittled away by things I cannot control, which I understand will be the case sometimes. But with her out there, alone, without me even trailing a few steps behind while she explores the world for herself, she will encounter things that will shape her views and I may not even know about them. That is terrifying to me. Really, I could cry. Just seeing some of the things my 7-year-old has gone through in these first few years of school has taken a toll on me, and her.

So while some people might raise their eyebrows at the controlling mother, or flip their hair at the foolish idealist, I say, these are my kids. I'm not putting them in danger, I'm not crippling them. I think about every decision for them, and while I always listen to feedback from valued sources, I, ultimately, know what works best for my kids and my family.

Just look at these faces!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

sunday, sunday

What a great weekend. Lots of relaxing, a couple weird movies, errand running, and some good food. Now to end it with a little more good food...

"Grilled Salmon a la Me"

I love grilling fish in foil packets. While the red-meat carnivores in my life feast on grilled tri-tip, I opted for some lighter fare. I threw together a quick recipe of things I had on hand and BAM! That's all I can say. 

In case you're wondering, this is what I did:

First, I took out enough foil to double over and have extra to seal off the top when it is ready to be cooked. I put some sesame oil down on the bottom and laid the salmon on its glorified death bed. I spread a little more sesame oil on top, followed by some soy sauce. I sliced a few lemon pieces and also squirted some on for good measure. I laid them on top, and also added a few small pieces of butter to go on top of the slices. I sprinkled a little black pepper, and finished with some fresh cilantro sprigs. I also had a bit of rice wine vinegar to spruce it up, but I'm just weird and it can easily be left out. I just sealed it all up on top and threw it on the grill, for about 20 minutes. 

Awesome fish, hot rice, and a fresh salad. Great way to end the weekend. 

I feel like sending myself a thank you card. Or at least a text. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

kind of a funny story

So, my loving man decided to cook dinner for our family the other day. Hamburger Helper, yay! Luci's favorite. In exchange, I ran to the store for his evening refreshment. On the way there, I was in a light and jovial mood. Until...I drove up to a bunch of children playing in the street. There were four of them, age range of 5 - 12 or so. They were playing jump rope in the middle of the street. I would always expect any driver who approaches kids playing in the street to slow to a crawl. First, for obvious safety reasons, and also almost just out of respect for their parents. I wouldn't want anyone driving by my children who might impulsively run after something or decide to cross the street at the last minute. Well, I smiled at the kids as I inched by. It seems I had to inch closer for them to keep moving, almost like they were playing chicken with me. I looked at the oldest, a girl, who then yelled at me like a deranged banshee, "HURRY UP!!!" Wow. The little girl was so mean and I just made the weirdest, most confused face and in fact, did kind of hurry so they could continue this game, which was obviously more pressing than the safety of the little ones who hovered nearby. After her battle cry, another little girl about  7 or 8 decided to flee after my car waving her arms like a spider monkey and shouted some incoherent audibles. I was flabbergasted, if ever a person could be. I automatically thought of telling their parents, but that's just the mother my mother in me. I just drove off, dazed from the encounter.
I guess some of us forget to teach our children how to act in certain situations and how they should be respectful to people. It is sad when a child screams at an adult for no good reason. I don't know what's worse, that or the fact that I drove another route on the way back because the little girl scared me. Yikes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

what they ate: volume 2

Here's another look into a few easy lunch ideas for toddlers and kids.

The first recipe is basically one lunch, two different ways. The first is for older toddler and the second is for a younger toddler.

Meal 1 : Version 1

"Heart Sandwich, Salad, and Strawberries"

Emme just about squealed when I set this pretty plate in front of her. This one is super easy. Just make a sandwich (I used turkey here) and use a large cookie cutter (the larger, the less bread you waste) to shape the sandwich. You might have to use a  knife to make sure the edges are neat. I used a big cupcake paper for the salad and put a dab of Buttermilk Ranch dressing. I had a few strawberries, so I put a small amount of whipped cream and set the two strawberries in it. Done. She gobbled it up. 

For the baby, I made a few changes. Here is what she had: 

 Meal 1: Version 2
"Heart Bread, Meat Rolls, and Strawberry Flower"

She was so anxious to eat this she was whining and crying while I took a picture. I used the same ingredients for this, I just left out the salad (no molars for Roslyn yet) and cut the strawberries. I still shaped her bread and put a little mayo for flavor. I used Iron Kids Bread, enriched with fiber and calcium so I didn't want her to miss out. I rolled two pieces of turkey and one of ham. I sliced the strawberry from the top, and assembled them around a small dab of whipped cream. She devoured it all. 

Then came 2:30pm. Little Miss Luci came home from school, hungry as ever. I feel guilty when she has to miss out on fun food, because hey, she deserves some fun in her life too. I asked what she wanted and she said peanut butter and jelly, so I got to work on a variation for her. 

Meal 2

"PB & J Heart, Banana Coins, and Dipping PB"

I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and used the same cutter. I sliced banana coins and made them look as pretty as possible. I put a few spoonfuls of peanut butter in a cupcake paper. That's it! She was speechless over something so simple.

It's amazing how special a meal can be when you put a little time and effort into creating something fun for them. These little girls all had huge smiles when they were eating and didn't even have to be asked to clean up their messes. Well, the baby threw her plate off the high chair. But at least she threw it toward the kitchen! 

Check out the last What They Ate post for more ideas.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

best shoes for children

My good friend Maurina asked me a question:

"I need help with buying shoes! I know my daughter is barely learning to walk and they say barefoot is best, but at her daycare she HAS to wear shoes everyday. Now, with this being my first [child] I am all about the best and newest of everything, reading all the books, articles, etc. I just have yet to come across something telling me if it's really necessary for my daughter to wear the $40 pairs of shoes that she's going to outgrow in a month or so and that are approved by the American Pediatric Association. I mean, how much harm could it do to sneak in a Target pair every now and then?"

This is my answer:

That's a GREAT question, Maurina. First off, I'll start by saying that I am infamous among a couple of my girlfriends for never putting shoes on my girls, as infants. Even when they have super-cute outfits, I usually opt for just socks because, well, I hate putting them on again every five minutes after they kick them off! Besides, I lose so many socks and baby shoes are just about the same size, so you can imagine how many loose shoes I also have around this place. Also, my mom taught me early on that feet shouldn't be constricted and should have ample room for proper development. I carry this on into toddler-hood as well. Unless I know my early walker is actually going to be on the ground somewhere walking, I don't put shoes on her. So, trips to the store, to pick up sister and little things like that, she stays barefoot (or socks if its cold).

Enough about me. Onto the experts! To get the best insight, I would look to the American Podiatric (rather than Pediatric) Medical Association. They know all things feet. What I learned from doing a little research is first, just how important good foot care for children (babies, toddlers and older ones) is. They say that the first few years are the most critical stages of development for little feet (or feetsies as we call them in my house). They also say that for young walkers of any age, shoes are unnecessary indoors. Allowing your child to walk barefoot as much as possible encourages the healthy development of their feet. Foot musculature, strength and grasping actions of toes are important, according to their recommendations. As far as rate of foot growth, do not be surprised if you need to go up a size every 2-3 months. For proper fit, you should be able to push down and have a thumb sized space between toe and edge of shoe. Make sure you choose the proper width as well. If you take your child's shoes off and notice red marks, the shoes may not fit properly.

So, to get to your situation. Since she is a new walker, but required to wear shoes at daycare, your best bet is to look for a shoe that is lightweight, flexible and made of natural materials. This is their recommendation for proper foot care. Now, do you have to spend $40? Hopefully not! But I have to admit, I do. For shoes that I know my kids are going to wear on a daily basis, I totally splurge on Stride Rite shoes. It is what my mom did for me, and what I do for them. Although, Luciana, at the fashion-conscious age of 7, prefers style over foot health. So, I try to sneak in a good pair for her, every now and then. Will a Target pair hurt every now and then? No, I don't think anyone would say they do, as long as they fit and protect properly. But again, for consistent day use, your daughter's rapidly growing foot is best served in a shoe designed with quality in mind. Besides, you might as well indulge her possible life-long expensive shoe habit now while you still get to pick the style. I can only imagine the "shoes of the future" that our daughters will opt to wear. Glow in the dark lace-up Twinkle Toe Boots, anyone?

Baby Feet

If anyone has anything to add about their own kids shoe philosophy, please feel free!

Also, here is a link to the American Podiatric Medical Assocation's website where they list approved brands of shoes. You might be able to do some hunting to find sales? I would recommend always trying on the shoes before you buy though, so look for some local stores that carry the brands you're looking for! Good luck!

Monday, October 3, 2011

what every new parent should know

It is one of the first decisions you have to make for your child after they are born, and there are a lot of people who have never heard of it, or prepare for it. Shortly after your baby is born, barring any unforeseen emergencies, you will be asked to sign a consent form about the Hepatitis B vaccine and Vitamin K shot. My intention here isn't to sway you either way, but just to give you a "heads up" about an important medical decision you will be faced with so you can take the time to research and are comfortable with whatever decision you make. Last thing any new parent wants is to be confused or concerned with a medical decision for their baby, while they are still basking in the glow of meeting their baby for the first time.

The main goal here is to make sure you know which risks are involved in any sort of medical decision you make for your child and also to understand the alternatives, if any. In my case, I never knew I had a choice until my brother informed me after I already had two children. Now, as a parent I have read credible information and feel comfortable with my choices concerning these shots which are routinely given at birth.

Why is this important? Well, this is definitely not a scholarly article, or a persuasive argument under the vaccine debate. This is just one parent to another asking if you know all the facts. For example, I was surprised to know that the Hepatitis B vaccine is really only seen as necessary at birth if the mother is at-risk for or confirmed to have Hepatitis B. As pregnant women who receive prenatal care, we are screened sometimes multiple times throughout pregnancy for STDs and Hepatitis B falls under that category. I realized that because my Hep B-free status had not been compromised, I didn't think it was necessary to subject my delicate newborn to a vaccination at birth. As we should all know, all vaccines carry with it a risk-factor. The risk factors for the Hepatitis B shot kind of scared me, to be honest. The shot is not recommended for individuals who are ill or who might have an allergic reaction to baker's yeast or any other component of the vaccine. So, logic tells me three things. First, we have no way of knowing at birth whether our children are allergic to baker's yeast. That would be something we would not normally discover until they are on solid foods. Second, I do not know the components of the vaccine and they have not yet been exposed to them. Therefore, my child may be at risk for a reaction to this vaccination. Third, if my child happens to be one of those children who are born with any sort of difficulty breathing or infections (like from the common occurrence of swallowing meconium), I should definitely postpone this vaccination as per the recommendations by the CDC. All you have to do is research the CDC website and you can see for yourself. Inform yourself. You don't have to change your decision to vaccinate, but it never hurts to have your own knowledge base from which you make these important decisions.

Again, the key here is to do your own research and make the best decisions you can for your child. I am confident in the decisions I make regarding my children and their vaccinations because I know my own situation, our own family's risk factors and the risks involved in both vaccination and non-vaccination. I encourage anyone who has the best interest of their children at heart to do the same. The information is there.

 My Roslyn, on her birth day.

If anyone knows of any great resources to link to regarding this information, feel free to do so in the comments. Also, I encourage you to share this with any other expecting parents you might know, so they can make the best decisions for their baby, too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

things i'm doing this weekend

Come on, you care. First off, I had a good Friday night. Had some takeout food (no cooking or cleaning, yay!), played a nice little family game (I dominated), and had a chance to watch a chick-flick with my sweetheart, Roslyn, tucked under my wing while everyone else was sleeping soundly. Also, I tweeted the funniest tweet I'll probably ever tweet (say that 10 times fast). I've been feeling so productive lately, so I thought I'd keep up the self-motivation with a little list building exercise. If I post it here, it feels more concrete, you know. So, here goes. Today:
 On Sunday:
  • Sleep in til at least 7am
  • Eat donuts (plural)
  • Complete thrift store frame project and blog about it
Of course I'm going to try to do these things while my house stays clean, my kids stay somewhat stink-free, Erik stays full and well-rested for another week of hard work, and I stay in the best mood possible. You know what they say, Aim High!

See, I won!

Sounds like a good weekend to me. Anyone else doing anything fun or exciting this weekend?