Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October Craft - Footprint Art - Candy Corn

Gotta do this... this week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Options

Something overtakes me when the weather changes and Fall begins to show.  Halloween may be my favorite holiday... even more than Christmas.  Before I had children I always dressed up and went out with my friends to the best house parties around.  Now that life is over... but I make the whole month making pumpkin everything and going out of my way to drill everything Halloweenie to my little ones.  We go to at least 3 pumpkin patches for a fun run around that isn't the typical park situation.  I also like  to take pictures in their Halloween costumes in the patch.  The final pumpkin patch trip is the whole family and we've been making it tradition to go with some friends of ours and their kids.  LOVE this month.  Here are some of my favorite patches in San Diego....

TLC Pumpkin Patch in Tierra Santa - This place is small and rustic and I really like it.  Best of all it's not on the "pumpkin patch" lists when you google or look around for them which means limited people.

This year I also like Summer Past Farms in the Foothills of East County in the community of Flinn Springs.  I went on a weekday- the 18th and there was nobody there which is kinda amazing since it is totally badass.  http://www.summerspastfarms.com/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Annual Touch a Truck event at Qulacomm Stadium San Diego


San Diego’s Original Touch A Truck is geared up and ready to roll! This family-friendly car show is a sure hit with kids and parents alike, as all the vehicles are open for you to climb in and honk the horn! From the Wells Fargo Stage Coach to Robosaurus, military vehicles to monster trucks, Harley's to HumVees, classic cars to emergency vehicles, big rigs to construction rigs – we’ll have it all and more. Touch A Truck will please your palate, too, with 20 gourmet food trucks, an old fashioned bake sale, lemonade "experience", plus two live music stages, roving entertainment, Star Wars Characters, Shamu and even Ronald McDonald. The funds raised at this event go to childhood cancer research. Join us!

List of Things You Need to Prepare for a New Baby

When I was pregnant with N - I kept searching for the ultimate list of everything I would really NEED for a baby.  I mean I wanted to know what I needed beyond the obvious stuff on the typical registry.  I am finally going to break down some of the essentials  and skip some of the obvious stuff  .  The ones that may not be on your typical baby list but were definitely helpful for us with both kids....

  • Nose Frida
  • Swaddle Blankets ( Aden + Anais muslin style)
  • wipe warmer ( those wipes are cold on a lil baby bum at night )
  • bouncy seats x 3 - one for every main room if possible - search CL they are cheap
  • stretchy wrap ( Moby / Ktan up to about 12 weeks or so then upgrade)
  • Soft structured baby carrier such as a Tula, Ergo, Boba, WCMT
  • Twighlight Turtle ( great for getting a good latch at night without waking everyone up and it's relaxing)
  • White noise machine that makes ocean, heartbeat, rain sound  (mostly used with our 1st)
  •  Nipple Shields & Lansinoh (very helpful with my 1st  while learning to BF- didn't need for my 2nd it all came much easier)  
  •  Handsfree Breastpump bra (Simple Wishes or something similar) .  Very helpful if you pump,  makes it a lot easier
  •  Nursing stool / glider

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Fourth Trimester


Baby Boo #2 is Here!

Well...I had so much stuff I have been wanted to blog about regarding preparing for a baby and pregnancy in general. A little too late for that now since new baby boy #2 Isaac was born a month ago!  I am pleased to announce that it is actually much easier than I had expected it would be to have a toddler and a newborn.  It is genuinely awesome.  More on that later of course....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fairy Festival at Summers Past Farms (Annual Event)

Such a COOL event that I will continue to attend every year.  I cannot even begin to explain how much this makes me want a little girl in the family.  What a great day!
will post pics soon...


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Uhhh. What Did You Do All Day?

"A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found ...an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?...
''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting Your 2 Year Old to Sleep in His Own Bed ( with ease)

May 18, 2012
UPDATE::  Natey has been sleeping in his bed easily and comfortable for a couple months now.  He likes his "big boy" bed, as he lovingly calls it.  Things are much much better than I expected them to be at this point.  He is sleeping through the night consistently now on his own for the last 2 weeks.  After lying down with him in dim lighting and reading a few books, and then telling him what's going to happen next after each step... "ok last book and them I am turning the lights out".  The little twilight turtle is on giving off just very very little light... sometimes we have light sleep music in the background, sometimes none.  I snuggle with him about 5 minutes and usually just kiss him and tell him goodnight.  I purposely have been leaving while he is still awake.  He doesn't like this and tells me "no and to get back in bed with him".  I calmly tell him "now it's bedtime, I'll see you in the morning and I will leave the door open for you".  He very rarely fusses for more than about 20 seconds now.  As soon as I'm gone he pretty much stops.  A couple of times when we first started this he came out of his room, but I just take him back and put him back in bed without talking saying much or giving too much positive reinforcement.  It really works nicely.  I must say I am shocked that it has been working... but it's great!  I think kids KNOW if you mean it or not.  You have to stick to your guns and be consistent, or they will take advantage of your weakness.  If he actually cried or fussed often I would just go in every 5 minutes for a reassuring pat and tell him he's ok and that it's bedtime.  I never really needed to do it... he just goes to sleep. yayayaya!


Original Post:

The amount of hours I used to spend researching the best ways to get my baby to sleep in his crib with the least trauma was crazy.  I thought I had finally got it down to a beautiful system that was working just about perfectly for nearly a year.  Ah but eventually it all changes.  Mounting paranoia of him eventually climbing out of his crib right at the exact same time I was nursing a newborn in another room with a debilitating c section has spurred me to get it done now.  Because of the new baby on the way we switched him out of his crib last month to give us a little time to deal with the transition now while we have the stamina.  After contemplating the toddler bed... I decided with the help of my amazing parents and our neighbors who donated a sweet loft bed with a twin mattresses.  This thing is so cool... copied from the Kura bed at Ikea (see pics below) but better because up one side is the stairs and the other side has option to put a slide.  It will be so fun to see my little guys enjoying their bunk beds as they get older.  We made it such a cool little reading nook with lights and stars and pockets for books.  The most comfortable blankets, sheets and pillows of course win out over character sheets anything in our house.  It's now been a month of turning off the lights after the last book is read and looking at the stars from his twilight turtle. We've opted to lay down and chill with him till he falls asleep.  Knowing this will need to change at some point though because as our pediatrician pointed out last week at his 2 year check up -- he is waking up at 4am ish 3 x's a week and needs one of us to go back in there and lay down with him to fall back asleep. "This cycle will continue until you get him to go to sleep on his own" Doc said. She urged us to get it together before this baby is here because it's going to be hard.  Ugh.. so much harder now since he calls for you "mama mama mama".  Real, full tears rolling down the face.  Damn I just can't do it.   Sparing the details for now...I have basically been following Supernanny techniques on this... but I loved this women's reply on a post I found on BabyCenter.  The Goodnight Moon analogy hits home nicely since he loves that book so much.  Hope this helps if anyone is going through the same thing.

Reply to post:  by   ( found this on babycenter)


  First, I have seven kids so I have a lot of experience getting them to sleep in their own beds. :-)  I know that this age can be difficult (I had 2 ADHD kids, tell me about it!) but that doesn't mean that you have to use harsh methods to teach them how to sleep alone. 
What worked for me was to put them in bed and sit down in a chair in the room with them with only a reading light on.  I either read to them (stories without pictures, so they wouldn't keep their eyes open), sang to them, or just sat and entertained myself by doing needlework or reading a book to myself or just humming softly. They were free to wiggle around as long as they didn't get out of bed.  If they did, I just put them back in bed gently and sat with them until they calmed down and started over.  Sometimes I talked to them in a quiet voice about their day, their favorite foods, their favorite TV characters. (you love Elmo, don't you? Who else do you like? Blue? Big Bird? Dora? Diego? Boots?)  Sometimes I told them a story from memory like The Three Little Pigs or Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This worked especially well once they became really familiar with the story, so they weren't listening to find out what was going to happen, they just liked the familiar words.  The key is to keep their minds occupied so their bodies can start to relax. Keep your voice very mellow and low and don't let yourself get frustrated or anxious, because that will make your child more alert. 
After they got used to falling asleep with me there, I would do it with the door open.  Then I would do the story and/or song and then find excuses to leave the room while my child was still half awake, reassuring them that I would be right back. (I just have to put this book in the living room, I'll be right back!  I just have to run to the bathroom, I'll be right back!  I have to get something, just a minute.)  I would make plenty of noise (not loud, but enough that they could tell where I was) so they would be less likely to follow me to see where I went.  If they did follow me, I would just put them back and we would practice staying in bed with me in the room for a few more days and try again.  YES, it is a time consuming practice, but the idea is to help your child make good associations with bedtime so they will become comfortable with going to sleep on their own.  Eventually they will get used to the idea and forget how things used to be, but that does require TIME and PATIENCE on the parents' part.  For a child who needs extra physical contact, sitting on the foot of the bed or even right next to them while you read, talk or sing may be necessary in the beginning, then as they get used to being in their own room you can transition to the chair, then to leaving and returning, then eventually you will be able to just read the story, say goodnight and they will go to sleep on their own.
When I think about putting little ones to sleep, I always think of the "quiet old lady whispering 'hush'" in the Goodnight Moon story ....its an image of an adult staying with a child until they started to fall asleep, going through a bedtime routine (saying goodnight to everything in the room), then leaving when the child was ready to nod off.  You could see by the pictures that it took some time, the fire had slowly died down before it was over, making the room gradually darker. :-)  Yes, this is just a storybook, but I decided that this was going to be my personal goal.
I have to admit, I have used harsh methods myself in the past, I tried CIO, I tried swatting them or threatening them if they got out of bed. I was the hallway police for a long time, standing outside bedroom doors and growling threats at naughty children who would not go to sleep.  I even did the "don't look at them, don't talk to them, just put them back in bed" thing. It was MISERABLE, and I hated every minute of it. It made me dread nighttime and resent my own children.  I was so relieved when I started finding more gentle, respectful ways to get them to bed. I don't try to FORCE my kids to go to sleep, I try to find ways to HELP them go to sleep. It works 100 times better, even though it takes more time for some kids.  I'm not looking for a quick fix, I'm trying to do what is healthiest and most respectul for my kids. Sometimes that means that I have to give up my evenings for a few weeks... or even longer.  I don't regret it at all. 
I'm 42 years old, and most of my kids have been going to bed on their own for years (I still have a 4yo and 2yo to work with)  I did not lose anything vitally important during those time I spent helping my kids learn to sleep, and I believe that I invested some very important things in them by giving them my love, time and patience in this area.  Life goes by a lot more quickly than you think, and before you know it your kids will be grown up and gone. Take it from someone who has been there.  My oldest is almost 22, and I still remember fighting with him when he was a toddler about going to bed.  Looking back, it seems like such a sad use of my time, it would not have killed me to just spend a little more time and effort to help him learn gently. I feel stupid for thinking that if I didn't make him do it, he would "never learn", and I would never sleep again. :-P  If I could go back and do it over, I would take my little boy in my arms, kiss his curly head and spend as much time as it took to help him learn how to fall asleep.  I turned something that could have been pleasant and sweet into something bitter and regretful because I would not be patient.  I will not make that mistake with my youngest two.
Just some thoughts from an old veteran mom.  

original post:

I'll post pics of his bed soon! But here is the similar one we copied form Ikea... we blocked off the stairs with a dresser so he doesn't even know that there is an option to sleep up there or climb up there yet.  The mattress is right on the floor which is great in that if he rolls out of bed he rolls onto a body pillow.  The hard part is my big pregnant self getting up off of the floor when sneaking out of his room when he's asleep.  It's hard and hurts my back.  If I have another C-section it will for sure be impossible for a few months.  just sayin.

San Diego Botanic Garden - Ladybug Day April 21

I was extremely happy with this event!  It really exceeded my expectations and was well worth the drive out there.  Even if there was no event, just running around the gardens (jungle) is fun in itself.  However they have a rad toddler/ preschool area to explore ( Seeds of Wonder Children's Garden).  He LOVED it.  Dare I say even better than Seaworld, or The Zoo....then add on the whole Ladybug theme, it really was cool.  We did stamping and coloring,  and he made his very own flower arrangement which we brought home for Daddy.  It was quite beautiful actually ( and LOVED making it- so cute and proud of himself).  We also beaded a necklace which is really quite his thing lately since he always wants to hold the ones in my jewelry box (and break them).  He's been carrying his necklace treasure around all day.  Getting to see the ladybugs released at noon was fun as he got to hold them and put a few in his little cup to free again later in the garden.  There were a bunch of other great crafts as well that we just skipped over to run around. The highlight?  Probably the mini TRAIN set running for my choo choo obsessed child.  We didn't even have time for Hamilton's Children's Garden or much of the whole park itself considering naptime was closely approaching.  I quickly made our escape to the car while he enjoyed a frozen strawberry Mexican Leche bar thingee.  I cannot wait to go back out here for another event.  Considering the possibility of have his 3rd Birthday part here next year since it's right around the same time. *This is also Earth Day weekend.... so maybe there were less people. Wonderful!

pics to be up soon...

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

This runs Mar 1- May 13 this year and is VERY cool.  We went the first week of March so I would have been about 6 months prego.


At lunch in Oceanside on the way to The Flower Fields

The have a wonderful sand playground with all kinds of little houses and mushrooms and cool things..  It would be prefect for snapping pics of a little girl dressed in fairy wings.
yummy lemonade~

My friend Cassi ( also pregnant) with her son 
It's really hard getting a young child to understand that you can't pick the flowers

Miles and miles
My prego belly

Surfing sand gnome

My silly guy

Of course we bought strawberries on the way out. They also were serving strawberry shortcake and different stuff like lavender flower shakes.

Napped all the way home.... beautiful day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Parent Connection Family Swap Meet

I have been hearing about this swap meet for a while.  I think it happens twice a year.  I am going to check it out finally...

5951 Village Center Loop Rd
Canyon Crest Academy

San DiegoCA 92130 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ocean Beach Kite Festival - Saturday March 3, 2012

The weather is supposed to be around 75 degrees tomorrow.  Nattybaby loves kites... we gotta check this out!  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Drink More H2O

I am doing this today!

2L water, 1 medium cucumber, 1 lemon, 10-12 mint leaves. steep overnight in fridge 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Don't Friends With Kids Have the Time?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines and Strawberries For Daddy

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mei Tai Baby Carrier

 I had to break down and get it.  The colors are so pretty.  It seems to be well made, and the price is reasonable - being shipped from the UK. I am looking for complimentary wrap fabric to eventually make into an Ocah / Obimama conversion carrier / or something similar.  Just looking for some other babywearing options this time.  I sold my Ergo and want to try new packs.  Gotta have options...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nuk Animal Print Baby Bottles

ahhh.  I rarely get all excited about a baby bottle.  But these are super cute... and we are gonna need a couple at some point anyway... so I may as well get the cute ones.  3 pack for $12.97