Simple idea from post at EverydayFamily.com

Just read the post 5 Cleaning and Organizing Tips for Messy Families (like mine!) and just took away one very simple idea that is quite genius. Like many families, we take our shoes off and store them by the door. But it never occurred to me to keep a bin for socks there, too!

So simple, so brilliant. Thanks Sara McTigue!

Posted in Organization

We made a jellyfish

Jellyfish in a bottle from Bhoomplay's Blog

Photo from bhoomplay.wordpress.com

Saw this post about make a jellyfish in a bottle (see picture above) on Pinterest awhile back and today I thought was a perfect day to try it out. Its hot and any activity with water is a good thing. We tried to do this and it is pretty cool.

Even with instructions it took several tries to get it right. You’ll definitely want to use a smooth bottle (not one with ridges) in order to see the jellyfish inside. I could not make it work with string no matter how hard I tried. So I ended up using a twisty tie and that worked quite well.

Also, to make it a little more interesting (mostly because my jellyfish looked quite lame no matter what I did) we put food coloring in the water that we filled the jellyfish up with, too.  Although not a beauty, my picture does not actually do the jellyfish justice… it does look better in person.

Added bonus play: food coloring and water mixing fun!

Posted in Craft

Gummy bear aka Gummibar

My son definitely loves his music and loves to dance. So when I came across the gummy bear songs he has been in heaven. He asks to watch them frequently and as cheesy as they are, they really don’t bother me that much.

Thought I’d share the link in case any of you have a little dancing machine.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL51BAA27C34F0EB73

As an added bonus they have done almost all of the songs in other languages including Spanish, Czech, Hebrew, French, German… the list goes on and on.

Posted in Parenting

Klout

Have to say just heard about Klout and it seems pretty cool. My friend already got FREE tickets to Legoland! We had such a great time when we went I’m hoping I can get enough Klout to go again for free!

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Posted in Miscellaneous

New Britax B-Ready 2012

I’m sooooo excited. I finally ordered our new stroller, the Britax B-Ready (2012 model) in navy blue.  I’ve been wanting this stroller ever since I saw it. I didn’t get when they had their sale last year since we were still just trying to get pregnant.  Then when we were pregnant I had heard that Britax was going to have their Free Ride Event at the beginning of the year, but they ran another promotion.

Well finally as of today, the Free Ride Event is finally here. So if you buy the stroller you get either an infant car seat or the second seat for FREE!  And to top it off, Amazon has REALLY good prices on the strollers.

Posted in Miscellaneous

Trying to do a summer school schedule

Now that my son is on summer break, he wakes up every morning and asks me what we are doing that day. I realize it is definitely time to get a calender and get organized. I found a calender I really like on Amazon (Smethport Calendar Pocket Chart (English/Spanish)) and I’m hoping this will help my son start to understand days, weeks, etc.

At the very least, hopefully he’ll understand the difference between yesterday, today & tomorrow. Right now he says yesterday for anything that has happened whether it be yesterday, last week or earlier that morning. At least he understands that yesterday has already happened.

I love how a little toddler mind thinks. They’re so brave and have no insecurities when it comes to taking a chance when speaking. My mother-in-law (she’s from Israel) speaks English REALLY well but she is so worried about making a mistake that she often doesn’t engage in conversations with people. Besides the occasional vocabulary word, I’ve always been able to understand everything she has said. My son on the other hand has not mastered the English language yet he is fearless when it comes to his speaking. I definitely think we should take cues from our youngsters and remember to be fearless!

Back to the calender…

I’m aiming to do a field trip every Wednesday, an art “class” every Thursday and I really don’t know what else to do on the other days. We definitely have to keep busy because we’ll drive each other nuts if we stay inside too much. Maybe just getting the calender will spark some ideas.

Posted in Miscellaneous

A baby with a fever is very scary

This past Sunday I was totally laid out by a nasty virus. I was running a temperature and achy all over – you know when your skin hurts achy. Luckily, I woke up Monday morning feeling fine.

During this little bout of sickness, my milk supply ran a bit low so my baby didn’t sleep well because he was up frequently wanting to nurse. He seemed fussy during the morning and didn’t have very wet diapers. By afternoon, he was sleeping. I realized he’d been sleeping A LOT and the moment he stirred after the afternoon nap I picked him up, kissed his forehead and realized he was burning up!

I took his temperature – it was 101.7. I immediately called the nurses hotline and they told me to take him in right away. So called my husband, looked up the closest urgent care covered by our insurance and the moment my husband walked in the door I took my baby to the ER.

The nurses were great (which by the way it happened to be Nurses Week) and took care of us and helped me feel less scared. Unfortunately, the hospital I went to didn’t have a pediatrics department. So when the doctor came in and told me that my baby was REALLY sick, my heart sank. I knew he was sick but to hear those words “REALLY sick” nothing can compare. My mind started to spin in a million different directions.

With a baby so young, there’s no way of knowing what’s wrong just by examining him. So began a barrage of tests including a spinal tap. To be honest, I wasn’t on board with the spinal tap and needed some clarification as to why it was necessary. However, once I realized that its basically the same as an epidural and its necessary because with such little bodies infections can spread very quickly and can spread into the brain (meningitis).

Luckily, within about 15 minutes of getting some fluids and some Tylenol, the color returned and Max started to seem normal again. I knew he had gotten worse as the time had passed but I didn’t realize how bad he had gotten until I saw the difference after receiving the fluids and fever reducer.

We eventually got transferred to Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach (its far from our place but its a straight shot on the freeway). During which Max received multiple rounds of antibiotics. He received fluids for the first 10 hours but they stopped because he didn’t need them after awhile (he was nursing great and output was enough). They had to continue the antibiotics until the test results came back. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to get the results. The tests are comprised of allowing the fluid samples obtained to grow. It takes at least 24 hours for bacteria to grow.

As it turns out, every test came back negative – YEAH! So most likely Max got the nasty virus that I had.  If Max had been older, they would’ve released him after 24 hours (actually, if he had been older I would’ve been able to give him Tylenol or Motrin to see if his fever would go down) but they just don’t mess around with babies. For good reason – it really doesn’t take hardly any time for a baby to spiral out of good health.  I watched it with Max and that was just a minor virus – can’t imagine what it would be like with something a bit nastier.

So once again my little bundle of joy has given me a near heart attack. They say that all kids will give their parents problems… I’m just hoping this has all happened so that we’re getting everything out of the way now.

All is well that ends well, right?!

Posted in Health, Personal

Moussaka Recipe: Eggplant, potatoes, meat & bechamel

When I went to Israel for the first time with my husband a few years ago, his grandma made me Moussaka. I absolutely fell in love with it! However, it is a very daunting dish and I never dared to make it. That is until recently when I realized that I have made all the parts of it separately. I highly suggest you practice with the two steps below before proceeding to make Moussaka.

To make the first step, you basically make eggplant parmesan. However, instead of frying the eggplant, I bake it in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes. Turn the eggplant over halfway through cooking (after 10 minutes).

A good friend of mine taught me how to make Bechamel sauce (which by the way is quite easy, you just have to be able to be by the stove to stir frequently) and I’ve become a pro at it. It is such a simple thing to make and my son LOVES it. I always have frozen chicken and vegetables on hand. So while those are cooking, I make the sauce and pour it over. Its great over pasta, chicken, veggies, fritters, potatoes… pretty much anything. When I’m making it for a meal sauce, once its ready, I turn off the heat and I usually add some shredded cheese (parmesan, mozarella, etc) to it. Its truly delicious!

The recipe that I use for the Moussaka is http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/moussaka-recipe4/index.html.

I have only needed 2 eggplants (because I cut them quite thin since my husband doesn’t like the texture of eggplant very much).

Also I don’t separate the eggs.  I use 3 whole eggs for the eggplant and 4 whole eggs for the bechamel sauce.  Maybe its not authentic that way, but my husband couldn’t tell the difference and it does save some time. Especially if you do it in steps instead of in one long cooking session.

Posted in Recipes

My second son’s crazy birth

Besides some minor issues (feeling queasy, being so tired because of having to chase after a toddler, some back pain, etc) my pregnancy was easy which led me to believe I would have an easy delivery, too. This wasn’t an unreasonable thought considering we practically special ordered my son’s delivery: he was born on the day we wanted him to, I went into labor at the time I wanted to, it took exactly 12 hours (that’s how long I thought it would) and besides having a short umbilical cord, it was a very easy delivery.

Of course, Max (that’s my second son’s name) had a totally different plan…

To begin with, I was determined to eliminate the clutter from our house before Max came. We still had some accumulated “stuff” that we hadn’t dealt with since before Milan was born. And I was actually getting a lot done and everything seemed to be on schedule. I had one week left of organizing and then I could focus on getting everything ready for Max.

On Tuesday, I was taking a break from cleaning out our huge, disorganized desk and was doing some laundry. While going up and down the stairs, I felt Max move in a weird way. Didn’t think much of it, so I fixed some ice cream while I waited for the laundry to dry.

But then Max seemed to keep moving funny. I started to think I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. I also almost peed my pants while sitting on the couch. I quickly realized that those funny movements were actually contractions and they were coming 3 minutes apart!

By the time my friend came and we got checked in to the hospital it was 1:30 am. Contractions continued to be about 3-5 minutes apart. By about 5 am, I decided to get an epidural. I really felt like I was slowing down the delivery. Although the pain wasn’t horrific, every so often a contraction would knock the wind out of me and then it’d take me about 15 minutes or so to really catch my breath. During the time it took to get back to normal, I was soooo tense.

In case you don’t know this, when you decide to get an epidural it actually takes quite awhile to get the doctor, get you prepared and get the epidural in. It took quite awhile with me because I got myself worked up and almost passed out. Eventually I relaxed and the epidural was done by 6 am. They checked to see how far along I was and I was at 7 cm. I talked to my friend that was taking care of Milan at 6:15 and then I decided to start meditating since I knew I still had quite a bit more work to do and figuring I had a few more hours before I would deliver.

While in a half-sleep meditative state, two nurses came rushing in yelling “don’t push, don’t push!”  I didn’t even realize I had gone into the second stage of labor: pushing! I looked at the clock and it was only 6:35!

One of the nurses checked to see if Max’s head was fully descended. I will never forget the look on her face as she whispered to the other nurse. It turns out, Max was breech and already fully descended!

The funny thing is I told the nurse that checked me in that I had gone to the doctor that morning and told my doc that I had thought Max had turned again. But the doc checked me out and said all was good. When the nurse checked me she had said all was good. So either Max turned at the last minute or I was right and he had turned the morning before.

Anyways, they couldn’t get hold of my doctor because he was already on his way to tell him about Max being breech. They asked if we had talked about it and we had. I knew that my doctor would want to do a cesarean. So my poor nurse, by herself started wheeling me and the baby cart to the OR. They transfer me to the operating table and are trying to get me set up when Max’s heart rate stops!

My doctor starts barking orders at the staff, a nurse escorts my husband out of the room, he tells me that he’s going to DELIVER Max and I realize that more than ever I need to be strong. I take a look at my doctor, close my eyes and wait for instructions. I’m able to push most of Max’s body out on the first push. But then his shoulder got stuck. They got his shoulder out on the third push, but now his head was stuck. So a nurse literally gets on top of my belly and tries to push Max’s head while my doctor tries to guide him out. They instruct me to take the deepest breath I can and push like I’ve never pushed before… so I did. Max pops out!

I open my eyes and I see Max. He’s purple, you know the color of an eggplant purple! They put him on my belly so that they can cut the umbilical cord and his left arm just flops over. My heart sinks because I know that he’s not breathing and not moving.

The team quickly takes him to the corner of the operating room and they intubate him. He’s so tiny and purple and still not moving. I close my eyes and in a split moment, I’m thinking about all of the mothers that have lost their child during birth. But I quickly shake that thought out of my head and stare at my unmoving child. I started chanting (in my head) “come on Max, you can do it, you can do it, come baby.” Then someone says “we’ve got a heart beat.” And then he turned pink! I have never been so happy to see the color pink. But he still wasn’t moving. Then I started chanting “Come on Max, just move, just move, momma needs to see you move, just move your arm.” And as soon as I said “just move your arm,” he did!

I started crying. He still wasn’t breathing but they were breathing for him. I knew that it was just a matter of time before he’d be breathing on his own and I knew he was going to be okay. They let me get a good look at him before they took him to the NICU. He was so little, but he was alive!

They finished sewing me up and then the doors opened and I saw my husband. He starts walking towards me and bursts out into tears. For a moment, I froze because I thought that something was wrong. Then I realized that he was just overwhelmed by the whole experience. He leaned over, gave me a kiss and told me that Max was okay.

You’d think I would be ecstatic at this point but I wasn’t. We still needed to wait and see if there was any brain damage. The best way for them to get an idea was to analyze the umbilical cord and see the ph level. Then they’d know about how long he was without oxygen and if there was a high risk of brain damage.

Now to top it off, Max was born right at the shift change for all of the staff. The next hour was torture. As soon as the shift change was up, I sent my husband to go check on Max. By that time, my doctor came in and had the results of the umbilical cord. He was only without oxygen for about 4 minutes.  I finally felt like I could breathe.

My son was alive, breathing on his own and the likely hood of their being any brain damage was slim. I still had to wait quite awhile before I could get someone to wheel me to the NICU so I could see my son. By the time I got there, it was about 3 hours since he had been born. I wasn’t allowed to hold him, but I was able to touch him.

In the end, I have a beautiful son that I absolutely adore. Of course, it would’ve been nice to have a less traumatic birth but all is well that ends well.

Posted in Personal

Baby Gizmo YouTube Giveaway Extravaganza Day 27 – Valco Baby TriMode

I just entered Baby Gizmo’s YouTube giveaway day 27!

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Posted in Give Aways