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Bring on the Similac…maybe

crying babyI’m thinking of quitting, nursing that is. Well, I’m tempted anyway. Aisling, my dear precious little daughter has a severe case of the crying and screaming and make you wanna pull your hair out. All. The. Time. She is getting more aware of us at all the time. She’s smiling at us, which I think is awesome since she’s only 2 1/2 weeks old. But I’m afraid she’s got what pediatricians like to call “colic”.  I’ve taken dairy out of my diet and it doesn’t seem to have helped. I’ve been trying to think of what else I could cut out of my diet but I’m at a loss. I’ve gotten the gripe water, it seems to help a little. I’m drinking my Mammas Milk Tea with fennel in it. Can’t tell a difference.

The thing is, I’ve been through this before. Ben (my 1st son) had colic something awful. At three weeks I started using formula as well as nursing cuz I didn’t know what else to do. By 6 months he had completely weaned himself from me and a few weeks later Luke (my 2nd son) was on the way. But I don’t remember his colic stopping and him sleeping through the night until he was about 4 months old.

I have to say that it never entered my mind that I might have another baby like Ben. Luke and Ethan (son # 3) were such dream babies. I mean DREAM babies. There were the kind of babies that you dream of when you are a kid. Scott and I just assumed that Ben was a difficult baby because we were such sucky parents to him. But as it turns out, maybe that wasn’t it.

So anyway. when she is crying so hard and I am so frazzled and tired, my back hurts etc, I start thinking about that can of Similac that I have in the cabinet. Dear sweet Similac sent me in the mail. I think maybe in the long run I’ll be glad if I stick it out. But what if she doesn’t get better soon? Can I really keep this up? I’m so tired. Tonight I was unable to give Ethan the attention he wanted because I was trying to soothe Aisling who was on a 2 1/2 hour crying kick. Usually when I see babies who are bottle fed I feel sorry for them. I know that nursing is SO much better for babies but isn’t a sane mommy even better? I can do this. I CAN do this. This is not my first child, I know that there is an end to all of this crying…

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Home Schooling is Hard

24/7 home schoolingI’m learning that homeschooling is a 24-7 job. For me, it’s not just about making sure that they get in the required school subjects. It’s a whole lifestyle. It has forced me to pay a lot of attention to how we live our lives, how we should answer our children when they ask us questions. What kinds of things should we teach them? I mentioned in an earlier post that many of the things I’ve been reading have suggested that we come up with a homeschool philosophy. I had a few ideas of my own, but then I came across these verses in Titus.

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.  Titus 2:6-8.

The more I read and think abut these verses I’ve come to realize that this is how I want to teach my little boys. This is the end result that I want for my sons. I love the power in the words like integrity, incorruptibility, etc. I guess if I had to make a home school philosophy or even a vision for my home and family, this would be at the top of the list.

The next question would be how do I do this? Well, I don’t have the answer to that yet. But as I’m praying about it, things are starting to change in us. For example, we haven’t gotten our satellite installed in our new house yet. The more we think about what kind of TV we’d like in our new house, the more we think maybe we’d like NO TV in the new house. Anything that is good on TV we can get on the internet and the rest is just noise filled with innuendos and garbage that we don’t need in front of the eyes of our little ones. One thing I’ll start doing for sure is just praying this verse over my kids. That would look something like this…

Ben, Luke and Ethan are young men who are sober-minded, in all things they are a pattern of good works; in doctrine they show integrity, reverence incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, and one who is an opponent would be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of them.

Tips on Flying Your Pet

traveling with petsSometime back in 2011, a few friends and I planned a trip overseas. We had all earned a bit of cash and wanted to spend it somewhere far from home and everything that reminded us of our childhood. In spite of our enthusiasm we almost never traveled at all.

This is because a few individuals wanted to travel with their pets; some had cats, while others had dogs. We all know how hectic traveling with a pet overseas can be, especially when using an airplane. Most airlines politely refused to sell us tickets unless we ditched our furry animals claiming that the pets were too many and some passengers could be allergic to fur. None of the pet’s owners were willing to abandon their pets and we were forced to seek other means of travel.

We were later to understand that most airlines actually allow passengers to travel with their pets (as long as they are small or tiny) for an additional fee. However, you must contact the airline beforehand because there are limits to the exact number of pets allowed in a cabin. Calling in advance will also enable you to know their size requirements.

Questions You Should Ask the Airline

  • Will they allow you to take your pet into the cabin?
  • Do they have any immunization requirements or any other special health requirements for your pet to travel?
  • If they don’t allow pets inside the cabins, do they transport them in the cargo space?

Precautions to Take When Flying With Your Pet

  • Your pet must pass through airport screening with you. You can either harness it securely so as to be able to contain it as it gets X-rayed, or you can ask for secondary screening where the pet remains inside its carrier.
  • Be aware of the dangers associated with keeping your pet in the cargo hold. Every year, countless animals get injured or even killed as they are being transported in the cargo areas of planes. This is usually because of excessively cold or hot temperatures, rough handling and poor ventilation. In most cases, deaths and injuries are caused by rough handling. Many other animals get lost on commercial flights ever year.

Tips To Follow If You Must Transport Your Pet by Air

  • Use a direct flight, this way; you will be able to avoid any mistake that might occur during transfers and delays.
  • Travel in the same flight as your pet. You can even go as far as requesting the airline to allow you to watch as they load and unload your pet into the cargo hold.
  • Make sure your pet’s collar fits well and cannot get caught in doors and the likes.

Whenever possible, it is better to transport your pet by car as long as you keep them in the backseat. This is because a pet can easily get injured should an airbag get deployed when it is in the front seat. Some people may avoid transporting their pets in their expensive cars for fear of soiling the seats with cat or dog hair. Luckily, and as the vacuum guy can attest to, pet hair can easily be gotten rid of with an excellent vacuum cleaner.

Fighting Salmonella Infections

The other day, a friend’s child went down with a fever that seemed to get worse by the day. By evening, the fever had advanced to serious vomiting. The mother, being a close friend and a neighbor as well worriedly called me seeking my counsel. Judging from the little boy’s symptoms, I suspected a salmonella infection and advised her to take him to a doctor immediately.

steam mopsMy suspicions were to be confirmed later that evening when the mother called to let me know of their return from the doctor’s office. The boy had been diagnosed with a salmonella infection and treated accordingly.

Salmonella infection is a very common infection among children with the United States alone reporting around 50, 000 cases every year. A third of these cases have been identified as children aged 4 years and below.  This food-borne illness is usually transmitted through the kitchen surfaces of our homes where food is prepared. The salmonella bacteria are present in raw meats and eggs, water, soil, water and animal feces.

The infection normally affects the intestines and causes fever, vomiting and other symptoms that vary individually. Transmission can be avoided by serving well cooked meat and eggs, observing high standards of cleanliness and getting rid of any reptile pets.

Hand washing is also plays a huge role in the prevention of salmonella infections and it is therefore important to teach your kids hand washing and bathroom tips, especially when it comes to handling food. As we have already seen, our kitchen countertops can be a great source of salmonella infections. This is because it is where we prepare our foods and we sometime ignore or forget to take thorough sanitary precautions.

To keep our kitchens and our children free from these bacteria, we should always have sanitizing bleach available to use every time we finish preparing food. Before using sanitizing bleach, always use warm, soapy water to wash your counter to remove food particles and also to kill the bacteria. Afterwards, use a couple of terry cloths and clean water to rinse off the soap.

Most household germs including salmonella can be killed by warm water and soap alone but to be thorough, spray all kitchen surfaces with your bleach solution and leave it for 2 minutes or so. Use a damp terry cloth to rinse off the bleach and allow the surfaces to dry. This process will eradicate any lingering germs and sanitize the counters and surfaces until the next meal time.

The floor and carpet can also harbor salmonella bacteria especially if you have pets, and more so if they are of the reptile kind. To clean and deeply sanitize your floors and carpets, make use a good steam mop as they have been known to deeply sanitize and kill 99% of all household bacteria, especially salmonella. Steam mops are also ideal for people who have allergies that are aggravated by detergents and other chemical cleaning solutions because they only use steam to sanitize and kill germs. Looking around the web, I found some good models on this site.

How I Fixed My Leaking Kitchen Faucet

kitchen tapThe other day, my husband, Scott travelled for a few days and that’s when my reliable kitchen faucet chose to misbehave. I immediately called the plumber and waited 72 long hours before grudgingly concluding that he wasn’t planning to show up even in the near future.

It was then that the reality hit me; I had to replace the leaking faucet myself, or risk further damage, including the accumulation of mold which is toxic.  After a few phone conversations, Scott finally convinced me that if I had managed to handle three little kids (all boys) without any mental issues so far, a leaking kitchen faucet would be a piece of cake.

According to Scott, who also happens to be a very talented handyman, the first step would be to compare the top kitchen faucets here, which I did, and identified my own faucet as a 8″ Kitchen Deck Faucet, 2-handle, Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish, Washerless Cartridge.

I realized that it is important to get the name of manufacturer of your faucet so as to get the appropriate repair kit. Nevertheless, Scott advised me to take a few clear photographs of the faucet and to bring them to our local hardware store. Here, they immediately identified the brand and advised me on what repair kit to buy.

Having arranged for a babysitter all afternoon, I had more than enough time to handle this new challenge. First, I had to shut off the main water supply before unfastening the faucet. I could have used the valves under the sink to do this but I settled for the main water supply. I also had to place a rag below the sink to ensure that no parts escaped down the drain.

Based on Scott’s advice, I had to pay close attention to the sequence in which I separated the faucet so as to reverse the same process when rebuilding it.

Just like many kitchen faucets, mine is a washerless faucet, where just one handle controls both the cold and hot water. Usually, this kind of faucet leaks around the handle or the spout. My leak was from the spout and it therefore required more work. I removed both the handle and cap and I immediately noticed a nylon and rubber carn followed by a seal, which was then followed by a stainless-steel ball that had a stern.

I carefully pulled out all these components which I had to replace according to Scott. The next components I came across were two little rubber seals that covered two springs. I carefully removed them with a pair of pliers and laid them aside. I had to replace these too. The next step was to gently pull out the spout and I immediately noticed it had some o-rings. I immediately cut them out and replaced them with the new ones I had acquired from the store.

I thereafter replaced the new springs and seals and reversing the whole procedure, I reassembled the ball, the new carns and the new seals inside the faucet. After ensuring that everything was tightly done, I switched the water supply back on, opened the newly repaired faucet and allowed the water to run freely. Three minutes later, I noticed no leaks at all; I allowed it to run for two more minutes as I admired my handiwork after which I called Scott to brag.

Are HCG Diet Injections Safe?

Many people have questioned the effectiveness and safety of the HCG diet injections since it limits calorie intake to about 500 and 700 calories per day. While such a drastic cut in calorie intake guarantees huge a amount of weight loss in a relatively short period of time, there are health concerns such as irregular cardiac activity and formation of gallstones. But, having been in the market for more than a decade is the HCG diet safe?

HCG Diet Results

If the numerous HCG diet reviews published on the web are anything to go by, then it is wise to say that the HCG diet plan does work. Most people who have used the HCG diet plan to lose weight concur that the weight loss plan is not only effective, but sustainable. For instance there are loads of people who confess that they lost up to 50 pounds while on the diet plan. While most people agreed that the first few days were challenging, they got used to the plan with time.

Then again, only a handful of experts are willing to give the HCG diet plan an approval stamp. This is because there are no studies to support the fact that HCG doesn’t cause side effects when in long-term use. Still, there is no documentation to support that HCG actually aids in burning excess body fat. Basically, there are no scientific studies to back-up the claims made by HCG users. Only results.

Is the HCG Diet Safe and Effective?

The key source of concern is not just the absence of study to support the claim that HCG diet recipes can help increase weight loss, but the restriction of the kinds of foods that you can eat thereby the reduced calorie intake is a source of concern. There is also concern that you need to use an injection kit for the HCG diet if you want to achieve the maximum weight loss results while you are on the hcg weight loss program.

According to HCG diet info, the HCG hormone suppresses the appetite in addition to burning fat reserves, thus providing the user with the required calories for normal body functions. Nonetheless, since this fact is yet to be proven, a majority of experts concur that there are risks of malnutrition. This is because the diet restricts you to a maximum of 700 calories per day and promotes low-carbs, proteins and raw vegetables as the main foods.

hcg diet injections

Whereas you will be able to cut weight, you will be denying your body with the required nutrients. On a normal day, the body requires about 1,200 calories to enable it perform most of its functions. Taking less than the recommended calories can lead to starvation. Besides calories, your body requires nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

The other source of concern is the fact that the FDA has not approved HCG products being promoted by the HCG diet plan proponents.

The HCG Diet Possible Side Effects

Is the HCG diet safe? To get a better grasp of this question you need to first of all understand the possible side effects caused by HCG, for example, exhaustion, headaches, and irritability.

Still, these are just but concerns that have been raised by people who doubt the effectiveness of the HCG diet plan. Foremost, the HCG diet plan encourages users to eat at least 6 to 7 times a day. In addition, they are required to take at least 1 gallon of water and consume fruits and vegetables. Therefore, the issue of malnutrition rarely arises.

Cleaning Your Area Rug

rug cleaning napervilleBuying a new rug can be exciting and fun but you shouldn’t just go out and buy any rug. You have to consider the area your rug will be in and how much dirt and damage it will be exposed to. While its often easy to get a professional to come out and clean your rug, if you don’t treat your rug right you run a high risk of doing permanent damage to it.

If you wan to get an expensive fancy rug you should make its not in a high traffic area or near an outside door. No matter how good the rug cleaner is that you call to come and clean your rug in Naperville, if you have been stamping mud and dirt into it there is a high chance that the rug will have some permanent irremovable spots.

Try to keep your rug dry so you avoid any build up of mould or mildew. This can be removed of course by a professional rug cleaner but if mould or mildew if left in your rug for too long it will begin to damage the firers of the rug and once the fibres are damaged you will have to either repair or replace the rug.

Rugs can be repaired so it’s not the end of the world, but it’s just another costly expense that you will have to pay for when you can easily just take care of your rug in the first place and prevent it from being damaged.

When you look after your area rug or Oriental rug, it will look stunning and add a great deal of character to your home. With that being said, always do your best to look after your rugs and make sure you get them regularly cleaned buy a professional rug cleaner.

Take Two

Applebee's gift cardOk, so I already posted- and deleted that post for today. I’ve remembered what I actually wanted to post about. Thank you Lori for commenting on my pretty dull post from earlier.

Last week, I took my glucose test to check for gestational diabetes which should be all fine as I’m always trying to keep myself and my family healthy, but it’s just one of those things that has to be checked. Here’s the rest of the story…

I had been fasting since midnight the night before. My appointment was at 8:30 am. I walked in, signed in, and had a seat in the waiting room. It was a very busy day in the midwife’s office. Person after person walked in and person after person got ushered back to see the midwives. Finally, at 9:30 I walked up to the desk and informed the lady that I had been sitting there an hour waiting to do my glucose test. She had no idea I was even out there. After a little bit of scrambling, they discovered that somehow, my file had been sent to the bottom of the pile and forgotten about. I was immediately taken care of.

With my first two babies, I always had to wait at least an hour, maybe two for my appointments. Every visit. With my third, it wasn’t that bad, but there was usually some kind of wait. With this one, I have never been left out in the waiting room for more than 10 min. I also had to see a different midwife that day instead of the one I usually see. That mixed with some other things and by the time I got home, I told Scott I was ready to find a new care provider, but I didn’t do anything about it.

Yesterday, I got a card in the mail from the midwife’s office. It was an apology note for misplacing my file and leaving me in the office for an hour along with an Applebee’s gift card! It was signed by the office manager.  I was shocked! I adored my previous midwife with the last baby, but not one word was ever spoken to me about wait times. I had never seen behavior like this from any kind of Dr.’s office before. It was awesome!

By the way, is anyone as excited as I am that the season premiere of Lost is on tonight?!?!

More Like Stinksparilla

Gasparilla paradeWe recently went to the Gasparilla parade in  Tampa. This was supposed to be a pirate parade for the family. The weather lady said it would rain at 3:30. We were supposed to meet our group at 2:30 and the parade started at 4. We can face a little rain, I thought. I packed the ponchos and the umbrella.

Our group met near a parking garage downtown where there was a free shuttle to the parade route. We are not normally shuttle people. We like to have our own transportation nearby because with all the little children we have, you never know when we are going to want to leave. Plus, we don’t like being crammed on a bus with a bunch of strangers, all the while trying to handle strollers and backpacks and the children. But, we were with a group so we were going with the flow.

Everything started fine. We could see the clouds coming in, but we were prepared. Then we heard there was a “severe weather warning” for Tampa. But, the parade was getting started so we decided to see how it went and get a few funnel cakes. Let’s just say, the parade itself was less than exciting. The floats themselves were just okay. Something you’d expect to see in a small town Memorial Day parade- not a major city parade that has been advertised on every news channel for the last month. Since it was a pirate parade, every float was throwing out bead necklaces. No candy. At all. My kids were NOT impressed. People kept offering to let them down front, but they refused. They’d just sit back, eat the funnel cakes, play on the strolli, and tolerate the noise.

After all of our eating was done, we decided to hit the road. Maybe if we left early, we’d get back sooner. About halfway to the shuttle pick up spot, we noticed that there were no more floats going down the parade route. Is it over already? Then suddenly, it got VERY crowded. Then I heard someone say, “they canceled the parade.” Apparently two tornado’s touched down somewhere in the Tampa area.  So everyone left the parade at once. Which left about 1,000 people waiting under two overpasses for shuttles. We stood for 2 hours in the cold rain waiting for those shuttles. By the way, in Tampa, there is no dirt, only sand. So by the time the two hours were up, my sandals were filled with wet sand. Also, no one cares that you have 3 small children and that you are pregnant. They are getting on that bus ahead of you if it kills them. Our children informed us that not only was it the worst parade ever, it was also the worst day of their lives.  Stupid Pirates.

Spending Christmas Giftcards

christmas shoppingThis weekend we were at the mall with the kids to get them hair cuts and spend some gift cards we got from Christmas….. Yeh I know right, we were slow to spend them lol. During our time, Luke said that he had to go to the bathroom. The mall near us is a Westfield mall and has a wonderful family restroom. When I walked in, there was a woman who was -by my best guess- in her 60′s with no children using the microwave to warm her coffee. This bothered me. It’s not that I’m opposed to this particular woman being in there. I’m bothered by the idea of the breach of sanctuary that I feel when I go into the family restroom. I really appreciate the family restroom. I feel like it’s a safe place for my kids and I to use the restroom, or to nurse or change a baby. There’s plenty of room in there for us, it’s kid friendly, and I feel safer knowing that the only other people in there are other moms like me with little ones. When people come in and start using it for whatever they want, I might as well just go into the regular restroom. When I am at the mall by myself I don’t use the family restroom.

The bathroom door was locked inside the family restroom. So, we moved aside and waited. As I waited I stewed about how inappropriate I felt it was for this woman to be misusing the family restroom only to be interrupted by a man coming out of the bathroom. Now, in all fairness, I do have to say that his wife and small children were using other areas of the family restroom. So, I guess, he did have a good reason or a right to be there. But it still weirded me out. I tried to make myself be more open-minded. But then I thought of my own husband who would never step foot into one of those places. He might sit in the waiting area on the outer edge of the family restroom, you know, where the tv and chairs are. But, I’m pretty sure, that he would not use the bathroom when there is a men’s room just out the door. There are places for women to nurse in there, I just think a man being in there changes the whole atmosphere of the place. I have seen men go into family restrooms in other places all by themselves, but that was when it was just a big bathroom, not a full service baby area. But that was completely unacceptable.  What do you think? Do you think it’s perfectly fine for a man to be in the family restroom with his family? Am I over reacting? Or do you think, like me that it just changes things a bit.

It Takes Me Back

You know how there things that take you back instantly. A smell, a taste, something that sucks you right out of the moment and drops you somewhere in your past to relive. I just had one of those.

I sat down at the computer to do some facebooking and turned Pandora on on my phone. Then a song came on. it was Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter.   It’s not a great song but I know every word. Hearing it sucked me right back to my teenage years. I think I was a junior in high school when this song came out. My best friend at the time LOVED it. So, it became part of our soundtrack. Along with a lot of angry Alanis Morissette (warning this is the explicit lyrics version).

What I remember from this time was a feeling of freedom. We practically lived in my car. Anytime we weren’t in school or at work we were in my car. Going wherever we wanted and enjoying every minute of it. We were always at each others houses. We shared wardrobes. If one of us had money we both had money. We shared lockers at school. We took my car to the mall, to visit boyfriends, to Illinois to get our belly buttons pierced, to the gas station, to Taco Bell. Just everywhere, we were together.

Now I have a new girl that rides in my car with me everywhere I go. Only it’s not an 89 Pontiac Grand Am, but an 05 Buick Terraza minivan! We don’t share wardrobes yet but we do have dance parties in the bathroom while I do my hair and make up. The only boys we’ll chase together are her three older brothers but we do love to shop together. We probably won’t get any piercings done together but she is getting into my collection of Coach.