Photo of the Week! (11/15/15)

CameraZOOM-20151115200804815It has been a rough week with my 14 month old being sick. The top photo is my daughter Alana playing a Sesame Street episode for Noah, to make him feel better (while waiting for his motrin to take effect, as his temp had climbed to 104 as you can tell by his flushed cheeks). The bottom photo is my oldest son Vincie cuddling with his baby brother to make him feel better! I couldn’t possibly choose between the two photos…and it shows just how our week has been…so I made them into one photo!

See you next week with another photo!

How to Make a Tornado in a Jar!

 

Tonight’s experiment was so fun for the kids! Basically you vigorously swirl the jar to create cintrifugal motion. It is actually quite amazing how defined the tornado was! Our first try didn’t work because we used a tad too much soap. You need the smallest drop you can produce and then you’re in business! Watch the video to see how it’s done!

The sleep deprived mom chronicles

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Since autumn arrived my kids have gotten sick more times than I care to admit. And it is only November 12th. It is so hard for my boys because they have bronchial flare-ups. My oldest son Vincie has had them since he was born and Noah is proving to have inherited the bronchial flare-ups, too. It’s so hard lying here right now, listening to their noisy breathing. No wheezing thankfully, and I know they’re both getting plenty of oxygen, but I just hate to see them uncomfortable. Both of my boys should technically be my healthiest, being Breastfed 32 months between the two of them (and counting). However, you can’t fight genetics. As a kid I suffered terribly with the same affliction. The sound of the humidifier pumping steam into my bedroom is forever ingrained in my memory. I loathe cold and flu season because my boys are especially vulnerable. Hoping tomorrow will be a much better day!

Another thing keeping me from sleep these days is the fact I have been summoned for jury duty. As a Stay at home mom, my job is to be with my kids. I have sent in a request for an excusal, so all I can do I hope and pray that they grant it. Otherwise I’ll be forced against my will to pay a stranger 10/12 dollars an hour, full time, for a month…while earning a mere $15 a day. It would be a huge financial setback, and during my oldest son’s birthday, and Christmas. My fingers are crossed the courts will see it my way…

Why breastfeed after your child’s first birthday?

 

FB_IMG_1441667742553Despite the increasing awareness of extended breastfeeding, there are still occasionally some people who do not understand the importance of it. Some people think it’s only beneficial for those first few months, and some people think that it’s not important to breastfeed at all. My youngest is 14 months old and there are still so many benefits he is yet to receive from breastfeeding!

I only nursed my firstborn for a couple of months, and I started supplementing when she was only 1 week old. I have experienced both having a negative breastfeeding experience as well as a really positive one with my middle child for 18 months. Even with my 14 month old I have had so many struggles with breastfeeding that I myself can’t believe I still am going strong!

I was honestly devastated when breastfeeding didn’t work out with my daughter, but it didn’t take long to realize that it wasn’t the end of the world. My daughter has always been so healthy and well taken care of and there is no question about that. I have learned that if you are able to breastfeed that is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not…well, life goes on!

With that being said, I am obviously not here to downplay the benefits of breast milk! And not just the benefits of breast milk in general, but breast milk AFTER the first year! Here are seven of my favorite reasons to continue breastfeeding after 1 year:

1) In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
29% of energy requirements
43% of protein requirements
36% of calcium requirements
75% of vitamin A requirements
76% of folate requirements
94% of vitamin B12 requirements
60% of vitamin C requirements
– Dewey 2001

2) Breastfed toddlers between the ages of one and three have been found to have fewer illnesses, illnesses of shorter duration, and lower mortality rates  (Mølbak 1994, van den Bogaard  1991, Gulick 1986).

3) Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation” (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Lawrence & Lawrence 2011, Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).

4) There is nothing else that will comfort your baby like nursing! When they get hurt, when they’re tired, when they’re scared, or when they’re sick, breastfeeding will always comfort them.

5) The bond. When your busy toddler stops to nurse, that is precious bonding time that is guaranteed at least a few times a day.

6) It is good for mom, too! Most moms find that they get back to their pre pregnancy weight much faster from breastfeeding, and the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer goes down substantially every year!

7) It is so convenient! This one is most beneficial in the early days, but it’s very convenient even still. My son still wakes to nurse at least once a night and since we also co-sleep, I don’t even have to get out of bed! Can’t beat that!

As you can see, the benefits are far too great to dismiss. Even though your child is eating 3 regular meals and snacks everyday, they still benefit greatly from the immunities and so much more!

Photo of the Week!

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This week’s photo of the week winner is: Noah messing with momma’s curtains! He knows he’s not allowed to mess with my curtains, so he looked at me as if to say, “What do you think you’re going to do about it!?” Lol. He has such a big personality! This is a daily thing for us, which is why I have to pin them up every morning…lol.

Chipotle’s Corn Salsa Recipe

Just a quick recipe for tonight! I was craving Chipotle tonight, so I decided to make their corn salsa. I have never made it before and didn’t look up a recipe. I just threw in what I thought would go in it and it tasted precisely likes theirs. I didn’t measure anything, but I’ll do my best.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package of frozen sweet corn
  • About 1/3 of a red onion, minced
  • About 1/8 of a jalapeño  (I removed almost all of the seeds because you only want subtle heat)
  • About 1-2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • About 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
  • The juice of half a lime

Just mix it all together and adjust to taste. I’m going to use it for taco night and to eat with some tortilla chips…yum!

My most treasured photos…

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I wanted to share with you all my most treasured photos that I carry with me on my phone! I have them all saved in clouds, computes, phones, tablets, and hard drives. The first two are my older two kids Christmas portraits that I took in 2012. Next is my older kids holding their new baby brother in 2014. Then a photo I took of my daughter at her Christmas concert for school last year. She looks stunning in the photo and it truly captivated her beauty. Next is a photo I found of my daughter when she was only 3 years old (I treasure this photo so much because it is SO her at that age…back when she was an only child; a true princess). Next is a random candid photo of me and my husband at our wedding in 2005, both of us look so young! Then there is my youngest Noah on his 1st birthday a couple of months ago. And lastly…an irreplaceable photo that I treasure so much of my brother Mike and I dancing to Coldplay’s “Fix You” on my wedding day. I remember everything about this moment…the way the crisp autumn air smelled, the pride I felt when my big brother asked to cut-in and dance with me at my wedding, and that comforting/safe feeling that I felt when hugging him. My brother passed away just over 4 years after this photo was taken. Someday soon I will write about him because I have SO MUCH to say…about the grieving process, being a bereaved sibling, and so much more. This January will be 6 years since I lost my only brother! This photo of us is my favorite of us as adults…

How to Make Homemade Play Dough (DIY Recipe)

This recipe actually comes from Brooke at What’s Up Mom’s! They did a lot of experimenting to find the perfect recipe for play dough. I have tried a couple of recipes myself and nothing is as good as this one. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make it!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A mixing bowl
  • A nonstick skillet
  • A spoon for mixing
  • Zip lock bags for storage
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/4 C salt
  • 2 t cream of tartar
  • 1 C water
  • 1 T coconut oil (or vegetable)
  • Food coloring (optional)

20151104_143951Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add in your dry ingredients. 20151104_144025
  2. Add in your water and stir until combined. 20151104_144815
  3. Preheat your skillet and heat up your oil on medium heat. 20151104_144913
  4. Constantly stir until your mixture comes together (should take a few minutes). 20151104_14502020151104_145254
  5. Remove from heat and turn out onto some parchment paper.
  6. Knead your dough until smooth, roll into a ball, and then flatten into a disc. If you aren’t going to dye your dough, then place into an airtight container or zip lock bag and store at room temperature. 20151104_145501
  7. If you wish to dye it, divide your dough. I divided mine in 3 and dyed them red, blue, and green. If using liquid food coloring, you’ll need roughly 5-7 drops. Push the dough with the heel of your hand to stretch it and distribute the color. Fold and repeat until it is all one color. Store and have fun! 20151104_15024720151104_15023020151104_150620 20151104_150844 20151104_162441

 

 

 

 

Wet Socks to Break a Fever?

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Yesterday I took my nine year old daughter to the pediatrician for a persistent high fever. She was already being treated for strep throat and had been on antibiotics the entire time. I was desperate for her fever to break and for her to feel like herself again. Her doctor gave us a really strange suggestion…wet sock treatment. I know what you are thinking…it sounds extremely bizarre! At this point I was ready to try anything!

Wet sock treatment is recognized by top physicians and hospitals (University of Maryland for example), so I knew it must be an effective treatment if doctors are actually endorsing it. The instructions are to take a pair of thin cotton socks and wet them with room temperature water. Wring out all of the excess water so that they are just damp, and then put them on your feet. Over top of the damp socks put on a pair of thick wool socks and go to sleep.

The purpose of a fever is to increase your metabolism so that your body will fight off the source of infection; however, a prolonged high fever can be dangerous. Physiologically what happens during the treatment is this: in response to having wet feet, your body sends blood and lymphatic fluid circulating through your body. What this does is boosts your immune system and allows your body to rest and heal. You can actually do this treatment for five nights in a row, and then take two nights off before starting again.

I can only speak for my own experience. I was so worried for my daughter with a fever of around 104 for days on end. We did the wet sock treatment exactly as directed by our physician. I checked my daughter’s temperature one last time before bed and it was 102.6 at that moment (this is while on Motrin). When she awoke this morning the socks were dry and her fever gone! There is no doubt in my mind that the wet sock treatment is what broke her fever.

I absolutely recommend this treatment. It is so simple and harmless. I honestly can’t imagine how any harm could come from trying this, but I believe you should always ask your doctor first before trying home remedies. This is definitely one to add to your repertoire. We definitely have!