Sunday, December 28, 2014

Vacation Begins: On the Road


This is the beginning of our Christmas vacation to Wyoming and Utah to visit Phil's family and see the lights on Temple Square. We rented a car and were supposed to spend 2 days driving with one hotel stay. Wyoming though, is a cruel stretch of interstate and we stopped for an extra night due to weather and the interstate being closed for a wreck. 
Selfie while waiting in traffic
I just liked Pete's snarl smile. 
Nora snoozing. I took it from the front seat without being able to see through the camera. 
Wyoming landscape. 

The kids were both surprisingly great for the driving on the trip. Pete only watched about 1 movie a day and played with his toys the rest of the trip. Nora just got fussy when she was hungrym, so we'd stop and I'd feed her. She never got mad about driving. Thank goodness my kids are amazing at this!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Halo SleepSack Review

HALO Innovations is dedicated to putting the health, safety and well-being of babies first. In fact, over 1,200 hospitals use our HALO® SleepSack® wearable blankets through the HALO Safer Way to Sleep Initiative.  This summer we launched our new bassinet, the HALO™ Bassinest™ Swivel Sleeper, furthering our commitment to helping babies sleep safely.

This is Nora on one of the first nights that she was home from the hospital.  She's in her Halo SleepSack Swaddle that we were given in a goodie bag from our hospital.
KCH (Kosciusko County Hospital)is one of the hospitals that uses the Halo SleepSack Swaddles instead of the traditional swaddle blankets for use while in the hospital.  We absolutely loved them while we were in the hospital and were very excited to have one to bring home.  Alas we didn't get to use the one from the hospital for long because it was June and we don't have an air conditioner so fleece really isn't optimal for us.  We had some leftovers from Pete that were another brand, but we discovered that Nora was quite the Houdini and wouldn't sleep unless she was swaddled.  We tried the Halo SleepSack Swaddle and discovered she wouldn't try to get free.  Sleep was again a possibility in our home! We ended up purchasing a cotton jersey one from amazon.

Now that Nora is getting bigger and older (almost 6 months!). It was time to stop the swaddling. Luckily for us Halo had asked us to try out their SleepSack and review it on the blog. I never used a SleepSack for Pete so it was new to me as well as Nora. 
 
We've been trying it out for the last couple of weeks and have been happy with it for multiple reasons.  First the fleece is nice and warm for the winter weather. The SleepSack doesn't have sleeves, which seems like it would keep Nora too cool, but it also makes it possible to put her in jammies and customize her warmth so she doesn't get overheated.  


Halo embroiders "Back Is Best" on all of their SleepSacks and SleepSack Swaddles, which I have found great for grandparents that watch her because of the change in sleep suggestions from when I was a baby until now. I like to have it written out so there is no question for caretakers so they don't have to worry and neither do I.

 The SleepSack wearable blanket is ideal for Nora since she would pull a regular blanket over her face. She tries to do this in her carseat but she has a big brother who doesn't mind pulling them down while we're driving. Also the SleepSack is "hip healthy" so it doesn't interfere with proper hip development; this is something we are concerned about in regards to the carrier and products we put Nora in like jumpers as well. She spends much more of her day sleeping than in a jumper or carrier so it should also be okay on her hips.

The zipper is another feature that we are sold on.  It seems backwards at first to have the zipper start at the top and zip down, but middle-of-the-night diaper changes are so much faster since I don't have to undo the whole SleepSack to get to her diaper for the change.  Personally, quick diaper changes make the difference between a good night's sleep and a very long night: If Nora wakes up too much while changing her diaper then you can kiss sleep goodbye.



 
All in all the Halo SleepSack and SleepSack Swaddle are a must in our house.  I know she will be comfortably warm and safe.  They wash nicely and have the instructions listed on the tag so it doesn't get ruined or get stuck to anything else in the wash. Plus do you see how cute that ladybud is?!
 
If you would like to learn more about Halo products they have a great website and active social media, including facebook, twitter, instagram, google+, youtube, and pinterest.
 
I received the Halo SleepSack for free in order to review, but all comments and reviews are my own and not that of the company's.  Some of the pictures are my own while other are courtesy of Halo.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. We stayed home as usual and went to my parents' house. Matt and Tashina and the kids came up and the grandmas came over. I didn't take many pictures but but I couldn't resist these two. 

Lactation cookies

1 1/2 cups flour ( I use up to half whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla 
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
4 tsp brewers yeast
3 TBL ground flaxseed 
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup walnuts
1 bag chocolate chips or a mix of different chips butterscotch is great with the oatmeal. 

In mixer combine shortening and sugars mix well. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Finally add chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. 

Also this recipe works well for "slice and bake". Make the dough into a tube and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze and cut off what you want to bake for fresh cookies without the mess. They may need baked a bit longer if baking from the freezer. Also they make great gifts for new moms or breastfeeding moms during growth spurts. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Nora visits Santa

Tonight Santa came to visit the kids after the nativity play at church. I'll post about it later because I can't load videos on the app in using on my iPod. 
Amazingly enough no screaming! Pete's first couple years he freaked. My kids seem to be opposites of each other!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

So Much Love

I know I've bragged on Pete's big brotherly ways before but man he is good with Nora. She seems to adore him and is always trying to watch him play or do whatever thing Pete does. They are just so good together. I'm hoping that stays that way and we won't have issues (yeah I know I'm dreaming)  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pete's Preschool Program

Last week Pete had his Thanksgiving program for school. The kids sang a couple songs, told the story of the pilgrims with a color bracelect they had made. The class also made the snack for the event during school-pumpkin pie and pumpkin ice cream. White Grandma (my mom) and Skypopo and Skypopo Grandma (Phil parents) came as well, I love it when trips line up so nicely!
Pete in his costume he painted. 
Pete, Mommy and Nora
Pete and White Grandma
Pete modeling with his class turkey. Every family made a feather. Ours is the bottom one on the right. 



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Boogie Wipes and Mist Review and Giveaway!

Nora has been sick again.  Apparently Pete is great at sharing germs from his preschool friends with her. That lucky girl! Again, though, luck would have it that my review kit for Boogie Wipes and Boogie Mist had just arrived in the mail a couple days before. Check out the bottom of this post for a chance to enter in a giveaway!

Boogie Wipes are moist saline wipes.  I think they work great on noses that are raw and sore from the dripping and wiping. Nora did a great job of letting me wipe her faucety nose over the weekend with the boogie wipes, not so much with the regular tissue, which made her scream.  We have been using boogie wipes in our family since Pete was a little guy.  They work great for kids that are either learning to blow their noses or that are just too young.  I've even been known to use them when I've been sick for awhile to prevent a Rudolph nose.  I also use them on the kids to get off crusty boogers when they wake up.  The saline seems to do a good job getting them off without scrubbing and rubbing.

This was my first time using Boogie Mist. Normally I do use a nasal saline solution on the kids when they are sick, mostly the squeeze bottle kind that you spray by squeezing or drip into a kid's nose by holding upside down. Really, either way with that style made the kids freak out.  Nora seemed to not mind the Boogie Mist, maybe because of the grape smelling nozzle (they call it a Shnozzle, oh the puns!) or because I had better control over the stream and timing.  Either way, I was able to loosen up the mucus and suck it out for her.  My kids sleep so much better if I can get them to breathe easier at night without a stuffy nose, and if they sleep better so do I. 

In general I think both the Boogie Wipes and Mist are great additions to our cold-fighting arsenal.  Pete's preschool days will probably continue to bring home lots of germs even with taking precautions and trying not to. Nora will still manage to get sick, so I'd better be prepared to help her feel better.

I received the product for free in order to review, but all comments and reviews are my own and not that of the company's.  The pictures are courtesy of Boogie Wipes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Interested In More Contests and Giveaways by Boogie Wipes?
Boogie Wipes is currently running a contest if you are interested in entering the, "Motherhood's Snot Easy Contest" visit: http://www.boogiewipes.com/motherhood-contest/

You can also enter monthly giveaways on the Boogie Wipes blog:  http://www.boogiewipes.com/blog/
 
Take The Pledge! 
Take the pledge to save your sleeve at www.boogiewipes.com.  We will be giving away 1000 pledge kits each month!  Each kit contains fun Boogie Wipes swag and a backpack badge!

If you are interested in finding Boogie wipes check out Walmart. They currently have them on Rollback in grape scented 45 count packages.
 
 
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

A First

This is a first for Pete from last week. He fell asleep on his own randomly (well it was around bedtime). It made for a great night for mommy! 

Sickie.

Poor little Nora has been sick again. It seems like I get about a week off then have it start back up again. This time it is yucky nose, fever and a cough. Thankfully she seems to be feeling better today. 

Daddy cuddled the little girl to sleep on Friday night. 

All cuddled up in her hoodie after church on Sunday. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

5 Months

Yesterday marked 5 months for Nora. Look how big she is getting. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nora's Firsts

This last month Nora has had a couple of firsts. First she learned to roll over!- October 8th 

On Sunday November 9th, she sat in the high chair for the first time! She likes it which really surprised me. Yes she is wearing Pete's old jammies but aren't they cute on her? 

Then on Monday we discovered that she is teething, which explains a lot! Soon my baby's toothless grin will be filling in. 

How is she getting so big?!

Friday, November 7, 2014

NoseFrida Review

Nora was sick last week, just before her check up. She does have good timing at least so I can't complain there. Luckily for both of us I had contacted the makers of NoseFrida about doing a review earlier in the month, and they kindly agreed to send me one for free to try and review on the blog. 

These did exist when Pete was born and I did know of them but was completely disgusted by the thought of using my mouth to suck snot out of his nose.  Sounds so gross, so I wasn't going to try it out.  I used the little bulb syringe thingy and tortured him.  Eventually I bought and tried a powered nose sucker which was okay but promptly died right after the limited warranty period.  Along comes Nora and I'm hearing even better things about it and decided to be brave and try it out.

This thing is amazing at getting snot out of baby's nose! I was able to get adult-nose-blowing amounts of stuff out of her nose with very limited work and screaming.  She did scream while doing it, but as soon as I was done she calmed right down and was able to breathe without sounding like Lord Vader.  The whole week she was sick I did not get a single drop of her snot in my mouth. At one point I left the house and forgot the Nose Frida and only had my emergency bulb syringe in the diaper bag and had to use it on her.  Poor baby, even after getting a little bit out and putting it away she still kept crying. Her cold only lasted just under a week in all, even though the doctor said the other babies her age had it for at least 2 weeks.  She was actually able to sleep because she could breathe, which I was very appreciative of being able to sleep as well.

It is easy to use and I promise I did not touch snot once.  There is a spongy blue filter and long tube between baby nose and your mouth. The large tube goes against the baby's nostril; the red mouthpiece goes in your mouth; and you suck and swirl the tube at baby's nose.  Then be amazed at the amount of mucus that your sick baby can produce! I briefly considered taking a picture or video then decided I liked having friends. We also used nasal saline solution (not the same stuff for eyes and contacts) to thin it out before sucking.  I have some that is packaged for individual use so I don't have to worry about cross contamination either, just to be careful.

I received the product for free in order to review, but all comments and reviews are my own and not that of the company's.  The pictures are courtesy of the NoseFrida company.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pete Leaves

We went to my parents house this weekend and helped clean up the leaves and sticks.  Pete loves coming and helping by riding the tractor with grandpa, raking with grandma and watching daddy burn them. (I'm here as well but Nora was taking a nap so I stayed inside and helped with dinner) Eventually he wanted to ride on his little powerwheels 4 wheeler and then wanted to be like grandpa and help out and drag leaves to the burn pile.  Grandpa and grandma got him all hooked up! video

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Four Month Check Up

Nora had her four month check up and shots last week.  She's weighing in at 14 pounds 8oz and is 25 inches long!  She is looking good and growing like a weed.  She learned how to roll over from tummy to back a couple weeks ago and can rotate herself in a complete circle and work herself off a blanket.  EEEkks! I'm not really ready for her to become mobile, luckily it should still be awhile before she can do much more but still she's getting too big too fast! She seems to be much more sensitive to the shots than Pete ever was. I've been trying to find where I had Pete's measurements written down but haven't found them yet. 
Nora trying to give "kisses"

smiley girl after church today

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Halloweens

Nora from her first Halloween from last night. (4 1/2 months)
Here is Pete from his first Halloween in 2010. (2 1/2 months)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

4 Months Old!

Miss Nora is now 4 months old!

And since it is a Thursday how about a throwback!

Zoo Video

I took this video the other day when we were at the zoo.  I thought it was amazing that the tortoise was so close and moving.. 
video

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Boy in the Red Boots

Today a good family friend called to ask what size shoe Pete wears. I told her after looking at his shoes. Later on in the afternoon she stopped by to drop off an early Christmas present for Pete. Red Case tractor boots!


He is loving them. Phil took him in a walk around the block to try them out. His feet stayed dry but the rest of him didn't! I see lots of puddles in our future...more so than usual!

Chinworth Bridge

This afternoon the sun came out and I couldn't handle being inside at the house another minute. Pete has been begging to see "the big bridge" the Mackinac Bridge. Not really possible currently but I do know where to find a cool old red bridge that we can throw rocks off of!  Pete had a blast and Nora got a much needed nap and mommy was able to catch a breather for a second. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Last Zoo Trip

Today we went on our last zoo trip of the year. It was chilly to start out with but warmed up nicely by the time we were leaving. I think we all had a fun time and we will be sad about losing a fun activity during the cold weather coming up. 




Monday, October 6, 2014

Little Girl.

My oh my this little girl. She can be so sweet and smiley. She kinda has a cold right now that has gone through the whole family this past month. But really she is doing well just snotty and snugly. I snapped this picture this afternoon and really liked it. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nora's Excited about Something

Maybe about being mostly naked but she has been kicking up a storm on the changing table lately. video

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Big Brother

Pete is such a wonderful big brother for Nora. She adores him as well, she only has eyes for him when he is close enough. He always wants me to tell her stuff for him and normally pulls a toy out of his pile to show her. I love it when he tickles her and talks so sweetly to her. Today he asked if she could take a bath with him, I didn't mind doing it. (I didn't have to clean out the sink! Score!) Pete loved it and thought it was great fun and even helped with rinsing her off. After they were both washed and dressed I thought we needed a picture for the occasion.
Nora even had a bow on... Until it slid over her eyes and she freaked out. 

Thumb sucker

I think Nora's going to be a little thumb sucker. I've tried about every pacifier brand possible eventually gave up and considered myself defeated. Then she threw me the worst blow of all her thumb!  It will seem like a nice thing to have her enjoy it for now, but I dread trying to stop it once she gets older!

Family pictures

I've been wanting to get family pictures taken since Nora was born, that's been 3 1/2 months ago now. We finally buckled down and did it on Tuesday. My dad took them for us and I think they turned out great especially considering getting Pete to cooperate and having Nora happy. I still need to get them into photoshop and edit them, so not too much judging you pros out there. So far I've only done a bit before posting to Instagram. Pathetic, I know!
Pretty close to real life here. Luckily I've got a whole string of this shot with all the various contortions of Pete's face. Some of them into smiles even!
A different shot. Can you tell everyone in the family, but me, was done?



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pete's First Primary Program

Pete had his first primary program at church. He was the first kiddo to say his part, which once he got up to the podium and tried to say it sounded more like a Vader impression. Poor little boy was freaked by the number of people in the congregation I think. He spent most of the program making faces and problems for the teachers. Those included picking his nose, trying to hold hands with others kids and play fighting with one of the girls. She'd barely touch him and he'd fall back onto the pew and his feet would fly up. Oh such a goofy boy!

Safety Fair Fun!

The local fire department sponsors a safety fair every year, they been doing it since I was a kid.  This year e were actually able to go and see what they had, which was a lot! They had zip lines,bucket truck rides, rescue boat rides, information booths with free stuff, the hospitals helicopter, a line up of the towns rescue vehicles, and antique fire trucks all for the kids to climb into and check out!  Pete had a blast and heck I did to they do a great job catering to adults and kids. 

They had a raffle as well and I won! I got a set of child proofing stuff which will come in very handy in the future. We picked it up yesterday at the fire station and they gave Pete is own private firetruck tour. He didn't have to share or rush through.