Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What works for us

Here are some products that helped us through Olivia's first year and still use to this day. I also included an alternative recipe for formula. I know each child is different. What works for us might not work for your little one but I thought it would be good to just throw out some alternatives if you're looking for some. I wouldn't mind if anyone has some more suggestions to add. Thanks!

Of course, I know I'm missing a bunch more but these are the ones off the top of my head.

  1. Baby Bjorn // this link is for one similar to the one we had. If you can find one second hand, buy it!! 
  2. Children's DHA // We give Olivia a dose everyday. It really makes a difference.
  3. Sound Machine // I'm obsessed with the ocean sound, it really puts the whole family in a more relaxed state.
  4. Liquid Multi-vitamin // We also give her a dose of this everyday. It has a lemony taste.
  5. Little table and chairs // Olivia eats at her little table every morning. She loves to push the table exactly where she wants it. 
  6. Snack box // This is great for a grab-it and go. Fill it up with lots of goodies and take it to the park, bike rides, playdates... anywhere.
  7. Bug spray // we all use this stuff. I love it because it's light and smells good plus no chemical crap :)
  8. Diaper area wash // we started using this as soon as it was put on the Target shelves. Its great because it freshens her up and helps wipe the crusty stuff (yep, all types of textures down there)
  9. Bla Bla doll // She hugs her Suzette all night long. We want everyone of these dolls... okay I do. She could care less. 
  10. Moccasins // These are great for winter months and they're soft on her feet.
  11. Tea Tree Oil ointment // THE BEST! We could live without most (ok maybe not the vitamins)of this stuff but this one. We use it alllllll the time... bug bites, scratches, bruises, bad diaper rash (it's on my top favorite baby things)
  12. Evenflo Car Seat // We had a cheap car seat when she was an infant. She hated that thing, don't blame her. We bought this thing and boom! new quiet child. Make sure it's comfy in the butt area.
  13. Toms toddler shoes // She runs a lot in these shoes.  
  14. Chinese Herbs // This is a great alternative to antibiotics. Of course, consult your doctor or acupuncturist. 
  15. Black Elderberry Syrup // great use during the seasonal changes (mix it right in with some juice and water)
  16. Shampoo/body wash // doesn't sting in eyes and has a very light fragrance.
  17. Re-usuable Diapers // Not shown // This is a great baby shower gift to give. We got a variety pack. I wish I was one of those moms that only used these but I'm a 50/50 mom. We use disposables at school and re-usuable at home. 
  18. Music Album - Do Fun Stuff - Vol.1 // Not shown // add this to your iTunes. It's great for all to sing plus you're donating to a great cause. Olivia swings her hips and claps her hands to most of these songs.
  19. Alternative Formula Recipe: Again with my 50/50 mom style, Olivia was only breast fed for 2 months. So I had to think fast with an alternative for the breast milk. We made this mixture for her around 4 months, after 2 months of stomach cramping, gas, crying, colicky and acid reflux. It totally worked for Olivia. Now, it might not work for any baby and so I should write again to consult a pediatric nutritionist or acupuncturist. Most doctors will probably deter you from doing this so go with your motherly instincts. I will say that most formula on it's own is very cold natured so adding these ingredients with help warm the baby's stomach which helps with digestion and bowel movement.
  •  1/4 cup of goat milk kefir
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of black strap molasses
  • 1 cup of chamomile tea
  • 2 tbsp of organic coconut oil
  • 32 oz of distilled water
  • 16 scoops of formula (Earth's Best or Gerber Good Start)
At 12 months, we switched out the formula mixture to half Goat milk and half Almond milk. 

Any suggestions are welcome! What really helped you out during the first few years? Would love to hear! Lately we are on the look out for a potty training chair and some great books/toys for learning colors, shapes, ABC's and 123's. Also music for her... some classic sing-a-longs w/o the cheese (if you know what I mean). Have a nice day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

This is a really good recipe I got out of a magazine--->Cooking Light. I have to share it because I think it's worth cooking. The cakes are baked not fried and the quinoa gives it a really wholesome flavor/texture. I've never made Crab Cakes before so I have nothing to compare them to except for now! I love love love them and the yogurt sauce is hot peppery goodness... a bit spicy but nothing the yogurt won't cool down. I'm going to make these again and again and again. So here's the recipe: Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Trip to Raleigh, NC

We had such a great time visiting North Carolina this past week. It was such a smooth trip (well, kind of). Smooth meaning that we were able to hop on a plane and in less than 1.5 hours in the air, we went from Orlando to Raleigh (nonstop=thumbs up). We were picked up by our lovely friend Michelle and taken straight to the Videri Chocolate factory. yummy... dark, milky, salty chocolate... emmm. We're so excited for them. I really love the name and logo----> Check out Videri. They're relatively new so I think the website will be more extensive in the coming months.

Boy oh boy, we love Raleigh and its parks. Olivia was boucing from one playground area to the next. They really dedicate a lot of space for kids in the community. Love that. We visited a children's museum... so awesome! Check out Marbles Children Museum. Kids galore smiling, laughing, learning, playing... just a wonderful and creative place for kids to be. Zach and I wish we had a place to take Olivia like this in Florida. She is bored with some of the parks plus it be HOT outside.

Michelle and Chris were super sweet to let us stay in their cozy home. We had a ball playing music, making food and petting Miss Maggie the cat. Olivia enjoyed meowing all week. It was pretty cute to hear. I hope she didn't traumatize Maggie too bad. Let's see... Michelle took us to North Carolina Museum of Art. We took a stroll around the Museum and found such amazing sculptures and structures all over the grounds.

One of the days, we went to the Rose Garden. So pretty and super relaxing. I imagine the locals coming here for a romantic picnic. The layout is like a maze which can be fun and scary with a toddler. She's now a runner (which wears her and us out easily). She's fast and I sometimes for a second or two can't find her (very scary) I keep asking her to hold hands and she's beginning to nod her head yes and lifting up her hand. I hope she continues to do this :). // As you scroll down, her face is hilarious in the second photo (so cute).

Pullen Park is awesome for kids to run around... hop on trains, go on carousels, play on swings... so many things to do. Crazy, how much there is at this place. We could have easily spent the whole day here. This is a nice place to meet up with other families and chill out together while the kids go insane.

Here's some around town photos:

Alright so this is mostly what we did. We look forward to going back in May/June. I think next time it will be just the two of us. It was hard to go to restaurants, have long conversations, observe people and places as much as we wanted with little Miss Olivia. She definitly wants your full attention... as we should be but, I think we need another visit to seal the deal and look for jobs up there. So we'll be seeing you soon, Michelle and Chris! Here's some more random photos from the trip.

Time for a nap after this post... good day! Up coming posts topics: 18 month update, Stuff Olivia likes, and Artwork update. Thanks for reading.

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