Welcome to my crazy life

Just a quick welcome from me to you and a thank you for reading and following along on the crazy road which I call my life. Here you will be able to follow along the ups and downs of our little family's life and adventures as we grow, learn and travel. Plus I will give up some advice on things I have done that seemed to have helped with getting my daughter and son to learn different functions, from sleeping through the night to eating all her food and beyond. Also if you have a question please feel free to leave it in a comment and I will happily make a post just to answer your question. Also keep a look out for new and old product reviews as well as special events. Here's to the family life and to a crazy adventure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gabe's 1st Bite...oh boy!

So, I had the bright idea to try some rice cereal on a spoon with Gabe.  I figured the only foreign part would be the spoon since he is use to the rice being in his bottles to help keep his food down as he is a little colicy still.  Well, as you can probably guess my bright idea got shot down with the first spoon full.  Now I got the mixture just right and it was a perfect slightly warm temperature but he wasn't going for it.  Shortly after he made this face (see photo) he began to scream his head off and of course I calmed him down and tried again and made him even madder.  The interesting part is that once I cleaned him up and he calmed down the second time what he hadn't drooled out on to my shirt he ate and seemed to like so maybe there is hope for him eating rice cereal yet.  I figured I will just have to keep trying until he is 4 months old which is just around the corner and then we will try mixing the rice cereal with a little added apple or banana baby food, this was the only way I could get Kenzi to eat rice cereal.  Its amazing that we are already at the intro to solid foods step didn't we just have him?  Well, life sure does fly when you have 2 under 2, or just kids in general.

So, I have been asked how I got the consistency to the rice cereal and here is my trick, I use a formula scope in my rice cereal. I take a full scoop of rice cereal mixed with a full scoop of formula then I add warm water a little at a time.  Pretty much following the directions on the rice cereal container but not to the full extent.  I mix the dry rice cereal and dry formula 1st then add the water just a little at a time to get the creamy (cream of wheat) type consistency. Keep in mind that you want to stick with your brand. I use Gerber formula so I use Gerber rice cereal too. If you formula doesn't make a rice cereal then chose what ever jar food you are planning on feeding your child and use their rice cereal. There are organic rice cereal as well from Gerber as well as Best Earth(I think is the organic brand for baby food) if you are planning on making your own baby food and don't want to use the regular stuff. I plan to make my own food but will continue to use Gerber rice cereal and puffs and everything because I am a brand junky and love the Gerber products. 

The other little bit to know is that most babies don't like the rice cereal by itself or mixed like this but they get use to it pretty fast you just have to keep trying (this is what Makenzi's doctor told us when she was at this stage).  If you find that its just not happening, like we did with our first child, our doctor suggested we add apple or banana baby food to the rice cereal mix just to give it a little flavor and it worked like a charm literally a baby spoon full.  Also, I found after you feed your child a successful meal let them sit for about 15 minutes where they are, or until they burp on their own, that way their food settles before you move them around and reduce the risk of it coming back up (again something we learned the hard way with our 1st child). 

Also don't stress your child out with shoveling in the food.  If they don't calm down to swallow the food immediately don't put more in try setting the spoon on their tongue or lips and get them to swallow that bite before you give them anymore and keep the bites small, remember they have no understanding of what you are doing to them so explain as you go and keep calm because they probably wont be.

Well, good luck to all of you taking this step either with me or shortly to follow.  I wish you all great success in your child's first bites and will be keeping you up-to-date with our progress.  I am also open to answer any questions you might have, whether that is about products I've used or anything at random too.  I'm here to help.

Stay tuned next big post will be Gabe's 4 month update, see how he's grown and find out the accomplishments he's gained.  See you soon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kenzi is 21 months old

So today my Makenzi is 21 months old and time is just flying. Everyday she adds more words to her vocabulary. She loves reading and coloring and is very polite with always saying thank you even of she doesn't want something. She also says please when she really wants something. She is very loving and happy and helpful beyond belief. She likes to steal her brothers bottle but only when I've set it down with the top on it and brings it back to me almost as soon as I ask for it. She enjoys her quiet play time and often will take a nap at the point in her day also. She just blows me away how fast she is learning things and even sings along to her favorite theme songs though the words aren't really clear yet. She also likes to dance and will grab your hand an say lets dance when ever there Islamic on she wants to dance to. Lol. She is also liking to play doctor and house with her stuffed animals ber since the new Disney show doc mcatuffins came on so I may be getting her a doctor set to play with in the near future. Well that's it for now stay tuned for next months updates and quick blurbs of the kids. We have gabe's 4 month check up coming up as well as hitting our half way mark. Stay tuned for the next post. I promise it'll be worth it but you'll have to check back and see for your self.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gabe At 3 Months old

Gabe turned 3 months old and it feels like just yesterday he was turning 1 day old. He is growing by leaps and bounds and I cannot be prouder. He can roll over, hold his head up, sit with support. He can stand for short periods of time with a little help. He smiles and coos at me and actually will follow me with his eyes around the room.  He also loves playing with his Mickey Mouse security blanket, something I hear him do in the morning when he wakes up and chews on throughout the day. He is starting to teethe and, thanks to the Born Free bottle, we have much fewer spit up episodes. I have switched him into the size 2 diapers already and slowly switching him into 3-6 month clothing.  As I find clothing getting a little tight on him I remove it from his clothing rotation and as I notice something getting into range for him to wear it goes into rotation.  Though Gabe is still sleeping in our room, he is starting to sleep in his room for naps and I am about to move all his clothing up stairs so that our room slowly starts getting back to normal.  for the most part he sleeps through the night but with him waking up at 6 am every day for breakfast and my knees not being up to par I decided to keep him downstairs for a little longer as to avoid my knee blowing out because I am not paying attention so early coming down the stairs.

Some of the things I have been trying with him is having him sit without assistance, this works for a small period of time until he pushes himself to one side and falls over so I only do this on the couch which I think he likes falling back on the couch since he kept doing it. Another thing I'm doing with him is having him spend time in the exersaucer, he gets to work on balance with his head and get some leg exercise as he likes to go in circles in this. He also has started to laugh today which is technically 3 months and a day old.  Another thing I have been adamant about is keeping him to a bed time and for the most part a bed time routine. Even though I don't bathe him every night I do make sure that he gets lotion put on him, that he gets that super clean diaper (regardless of when I changed his diaper last), he get put into pjs, and then a warm bottle, a little rocking and then normally he is off to sleep, all this is done by 7pm too.  I know early bed time but he sleeps until 6am and I noticed that if he gets to bed to far after 7 that he ends up waking up at 3 am and then 6 am and then 7 and 8 and 9, thus he goes to bed by 7pm and then Kenzi and I play until 7:45 at which she gets into her pjs and we go up to her room where she get a story and tucked in with a kiss and a wish and off to sleep she goes by 8pm. 

Schedules like these are important because they let your kid know hey its time for you to sleep and get some rest for tomorrow.  This is also the best thing you can do for your child every night, have a set routine of what you do, you can always deviate a little from it like not bathing every night or adding some cuddle time in should they have a tough day. I also try to keep them eating meals around the same time every day though this doesn't always work out I still keep it as close as I can.

So Gabe is now taking 5 ounce bottles during the day and a whopping 8 ounce bottle at bed time, though I may be making 6 ounce bottles for day time and 9 for bed here soon.  Also I was told to give him a little rice cereal in his bottles to help keep it down which I think coupled with his bottles has majorly helped.  Oh and he gets 3 meals and 1 snack bottle which right now is just a little 3 ounce bottle but will be going up to 4 ounces soon as well.  He is starting to get fussy with how quickly he can drink the #2 nippled bottles and has been continuing to search for more after he empties the bottle so upping his amounts may be just the ticket.  Today with his breakfast and dinner bottles I had to give him his pacifier (which he never takes) to sooth him and get him to go to sleep. 

Like I said I am so proud of Gabe and how far he has already come.  He is starting to sooth himself and understands that I can't always hold him right when he wants to be held though he picked up Kenzi's quirk with when she sees me running around the house and wants my attention she cries at me, well so does he now, but after I give them both a little attention and adjust everything for them he continues to cry at me (no tears just making the crying sound) for a good 15 minutes.  Something he has taught me is that he will scream at me when he wants his diaper changed and when that happens he doesn't stop until its changed.  Already being demanding.

Makenzi is being a great big sister as well, she like to take his favorite toy and bring it to me which causes him to cry.  I am working on getting her to stop doing it.  She also gives him kisses and hugs and when he is on the couch she likes to sit with him too, even if every time I see her get up with him and try to get a picture she is too fast to get down.  She talks to him when he starts to get upset and shows him her toys and lets him play with a few of them. She also likes to try and put her sunglasses on him which I also had to put a stop to as she stuck him in the cheek and made him cry yet again, I felt bad because I was just sitting next to him watching her go to put her sunglasses on him, after I got him calmed back down I explained to her that he doesn't like purple sunglasses. She also enjoys patting him on his head lightly to show affection to him.  It is so cute because when she does this she normally is saying "It otay."

I am so happy that I have been given the chance to stay at home with my babies and raise them with a good steady life.  Though Daddy has to be away we make sure that he is part of their every day life one way or another.  Kenzi gets to hear his voice every day when we read the book he recorded for her, and they get to talk to him from time to time on the phone as well. I also show them pictures which we have all over the house and Kenzi is good at pointing out who everyone is in the pictures too.  If you show her a picture with Daddy, mommy and Kenzi in it then you ask where is Kenzi she points herself out, the same with mommy and daddy and Gabe if he is in a picture, though she calls him baby or bubba. 

Anyway, I am starting to get off subject so I must wrap this update up.  Gabe is doing great and I can't wait to introduce food to him.  First up will be rice cereal next month for sure.  Stay tuned to see how I get Mr. Gabe to eat solids and what Makenzi might say next.  Life is ever changing with 2 under 2.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Working out with bad knees

So I know many of you know about my infamous knee problems and that since my husband has deployed that not only does my right knee fall apart from time to time but my left knee has decided to join the game and fall apart when ever it feels like it (normally when I don't want it to) as this fun game goes I have 2 knee braces to wear on bad days or when they decide to fall apart on me so that I can keep going.  You may be asking why is she giving us this little back story but its important to understand that I have a issue before I go on.

So down to the point: when you have bad knees your exercising routine has to be flexible so I find different low impact ways of working out and really pay attention to placement when I have to do anything that requires squatting. 

So if you are like me and want to lose weight and work out there are a few simple rules to follow to avoid a full blow out. Watch your foot placement and when needing to do any form of squatting or lunging make sure you keep your leg straight and by all means do not let your knee fall in or out depending on injury.  If your knee is sore take a night off and work on core stuff that doesn't require you using your knees. When possible and necessary chose to do the less impact form of the workout instead of the full workout, as long as you are getting that heart rate up and staying up for the same amount of time you will still be losing weight or building muscle. Also something I found to work better than doing the same workout every day, which gets boring and when something gets boring you tend to not put your all into it which will lead to injury if you are not careful, is to mix up the workout, maybe do your in home work out a few times then get outside and go for a long walk around your neighborhood or on the boardwalk, or some where different to help spice up that workout.  If you have a reliable baby sitter try getting to the gym for some weight training or again just some different surroundings.

The number one rule I follow when working out is to not push my knees too hard.  I do at the most 60 minute workouts a day and when my knees start hurting I don't workout hard until they feel better.  Injury happens for me when I just keep pushing, even when my knees are screaming at me for a rest, so this time around I am listening and allowing for rest.  I have had a few scares while working out already where my knee has started to fall out but I have been able to correct it and keep it from getting too bad with wearing my brace and resting it.  I encourage those with knee issues to look at the reason behind the issue and to make the necessary changes that will allow them to work out or at least get out and walk or run again.  I know part of my knee problem was that my weight had gotten up there and my knees couldn't take it and am already seeing an improvement with them as my weight goes down.

Some of the workouts I do consist of low impact aerobics,  low step aerobics, low impact cardio, core sculpting, muscle sculpting(this is making lean strong muscle not bulk), stretching, a little yoga, and a little walking outside.  This plus taking the NV diet pill and cutting back on how much and what I have been eating has helped me already drop almost 20 pounds. So if I can do this you can do this because I am a foody, I love to eat and I don't like to have to limit what I am eating, but with careful watch and cut back on the amount of food I am doing great.  I eat what I want to eat but I have cut back on portion size big time.  The funny part is that I am not hungry, I have more energy (which is a miracle since I don't get a whole lot of sleep anymore) and I am constantly on my feet all day with the kids.  So, if you are just starting your transformation to a slimmer you or you are at your breaking point in trying to find something that works, try my way, you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

One more bit of inspiration, in January I was in a XL shirt and now I am in a Medium top.  Also I was in a size 14 and now I am in a size 10 for bottoms.    I am not afraid to say my sizes or even my weight because its not been super easy or easy at all but I worked hard for it and though I still have a ways to go before I hit my ideal weight, I am proud of the work I have done and happy to share it with you in hopes that everyone will start taking the steps to having a healthier life. 

Remember one step at a time, a good diet and workout schedule must be built on not jumped into so take it one day and step at a time.  I started with just working on portion control then added the workout and finally add the NV pill.  Better to take your time and do it right than speed through it and not have it work at all.

Good luck out there and if you have any questions about what other products I use, workout DVDS and equipment just leave me a comment I am happy to help.