eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: July 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sleeping in his own room!

Jaxon is sleeping in his own bed tonight. Or rather, In his own room. He's been sleeping in a pack and play next to our bed for several months, and before that, a bassinet. He ends up in our bed almost every night at some point. Sometimes it's as early as 1, sometimes as late as 6:30 am (which is basically sleeping through the night in my book)

But he's getting bigger and more mobile and our queen size bed is getting a little crowded. He also doesn't need to nurse during the night but he does anyway and I think he is doing it because I'm right next to him, not because he is hungry.

His room is at the other end of the house from ours so I refused to put him in his room until we got a monitor.

Today the monitor came in the mail.

I have no more excuses.

So he's asleep in his own room and doing well so far.

Me? Not as well. I'm not sure how to sleep and still watch the video monitor all night long...

Update: he slept until 4 am in his room! And amazingly enough, I slept too! 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Tips and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

What parent doesn't struggle with this? My kids are good eaters compared to some other kids I know, but we still deal with a lot of pickiness. We also get stuck in a rut, with my kids eating the same green beans and corn all week long. 

Here are some things we have done to get the kids to eat more vegetables:

1) Serve it first. You know that hour before dinner when everyone is starving? Put out some raw veggies and dip and watch how fast your kids gobble it up. My kids once ate an entire bag of celery while we were waiting for my husband to bring home pizza. They will say they don't like it, but when they got hungry enough, they thought it was great. 

2) Let them help you make it. Three months ago, if you had told me my son would ASK for zucchini on a regular basis, I would have told you that you were crazy. But one day when our produce box came with zucchini, I let him help me peel the zucchini (using a special peeler made for children), and he was thrilled to try it. I was happy he was trying it. It made it even better that he ended up loving it! 

3) Try it a different way. When we serve broccoli, we serve it raw to one kid and cooked to the other two. It's the way they eat it best. My kids don't like cooked carrots but love them raw. You can also try your veggies in different shapes. Instead of carrot sticks, try carrot chips. Make sweet potato fries or "kale chips" (I haven't tried this yet, but I saw a recipe for kale chips a few weeks ago and it looked yummy! 

4) Salads. Most kids like lettuce and love dressing. Find a dressing they like and let them build their own salads with toppings like grated carrots, bell peppers of all colors, and cucumbers. 

5) Eat it yourself. You know how the kids always want what you are eating? Yeah. That works even with veggies. 

6) Don't introduce too much at one time. And don't give up after one try. You know how they say it can take up to 10 tries for a baby to get used to a new food? Apply the same logic to your toddler or preschooler and keep trying.

7) Let them dip. Ranch is a popular choice, but my kids also like to use Italian dressing. They will also eat celery with peanut butter. You can make a cheese dip for broccoli or cauliflower. Some kids love salsa as a dip for veggies (bonus: salsa also counts as a veggie & you can sneak green peppers, onions and other veggies into it!) And don't discount the power of ketchup. I have a weird child who will eat almost anything with ketchup, even green vegetables. Another note about dips: hummus is a dip, and is made from beans, right? My kids always beg for my hummus because it involves dipping pita bread. They have no idea the hummus is made from beans. 

8) Take a picnic. Another way I can get my kids to try new raw veggies is by letting them eat outside. They love to eat outside and are usually more open to trying new things when they are eating at a picnic table or on a blanket. Pack up some raw veggies like sweet peppers and cucumbers and have a snack at the park! 

9) Make a deal. As in "Try the asparagus and we'll go to the park." Just don't use other (more tasty) food as a reward. You don't want it to seem like the ice cream is better than the asparagus (even if it really is). 

10) When all else fails, sneak it in. Grate carrots or puree squash, peas, or zucchini and add it into spaghetti sauce or soups. They won't notice. You can also sneak grated veggies into most muffin mixes without altering the taste. 

These are my favorite tricks and tips. What are some things you do to get your kids to eat more vegetables? 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wordless Wednesday: First Time to Sit in a High Chair

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Beach!

I love the beach. It's so relaxing for me. I'm not sure what it is about the beach that makes me feel better, but I feel younger and healthier when I am here. My husband knows this so he took me for my birthday! I could think of no better present than a trip to my favorite place!

We went to the beach when Jaxon was 3 weeks old. But Jaxon was obviously too young to get in the water and I couldn't swim then anyways because of my stitches, so Jaxon and I just sat and watched the others play in the water. 

But now we're here again, just Jaxon, my husband and me. We miss the other three kids, but it's very relaxing just having the baby with us. The weather has been perfect, and we've enjoyed our time in the water, though there seems to be more algae and seaweed in the water than normal...possibly remnants of the oil spill? I'm not sure, but it means that every time we swim we need a shower immediately afterwards!

Jaxon really seems to like the water. He is very content to let us hold him while we bounce around in the waves.  

He also seemed to like the sand, though it was hard to keep him from eating it! 

Look how cute he is!

He wasn't too sure about his feet sinking in the sand as the waves crashed around his feet! And believe it or not, that outfit is a size 1 (12 months) and he is maxing it out, as you can see! My baby boy is getting so big!

The worst part this trip? We got there on Tuesday afternoon and on Thursday morning, I woke up with mastitis. This makes the third time I have had it in 11 weeks. It's very frustrating to keep dealing with it. And painful. If you haven't had it, it makes you feel like you have the flu. Not what you want to deal with on vacation! 

The last time I had it, the doctor gave me a refill on my antibiotics so I could take some if I had a recurrence without having to visit his office (love that!). However, I had left it at home and had used the little local pharmacy to fill it. But my husband called Publix, and they not only called and transferred the prescription for us, but they also filled it for free! So great! I love Publix and wish we had one in our area. After a couple doses of antibiotics and a long nap, I was feeling a good bit better. Thankfully, our beach vacations consist of eating, laying around by the water, reading, swimming, and napping. We take it easy. And apparently, that's what my body needed this time!

In other news, I have several giveaways coming up! I'm so excited to be hosting my first giveaways. So be on the lookout for those posts coming in the next couple of weeks!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Confession: I can't cook. Or rather, I don't cook. My husband does the majority of the cooking around here, and we eat out more than I would care to admit. I really do not spend a lot of time in the kitchen except to clean (what I lack in cooking skills I more than make up for in cleaning skills!) Anyway, I said all of that to get to this point: if you see a recipe posted on here, then you can be assured that it is very EASY to make. I also don't do well digging out cookbooks and measuring things out (shaky hands and little measuring spoons do not mix). So I eyeball lots of things and estimate amounts and usually just pour ingredients straight into the bowl. If I can do it and have tasty results, anyone can!

We've had lots of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in our produce boxes this summer. What better way to enjoy them than in a salad? My kids love tomatoes and cucumbers and so they gobble this salad right up! 

Tomato Cucumber Salad 

2 medium tomatoes  
1 large cucumber
1 medium or large onion
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Approximately 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (you can also use olive or canola)
Approximately 2 tablespoons white vinegar

I find it works well to use a casserole type dish because more veggies can be in the dressing once your pour that in. Chop up your veggies into your dish. Mix your other ingredients in a small cup and then pour it over your veggies. Stir the veggies up to mix the dressing over everything. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Everything tastes better after it marinates in the dressing. Ideally, you'll want to leave it in overnight, or if you are serving it at night, make it in the morning and let it marinate in the refrigerator all day. I estimate my ingredients for the dressing and truthfully, I probably use about 4 tablespoons vinegar because my daughter and I love it!

Here's the one I made today. We had no onions but lots of green peppers. So I added a couple of those, one red tomato, one orange heirloom tomato, two small albino cucumbers, and one small regular cucumber. That's the beauty of this "recipe" - if you are missing something, just adapt the recipe or if you have other fresh veggies on hand that you think would taste good, just toss them in! Doesn't it look colorful and yummy?

Do you have a favorite summer salad you like to make?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jaxon's first food!

Jaxon has shown a lot of interest in eating for over a month now. I've been putting it off for a couple of reasons. Allergies, for one. I didn't want to introduce solids too early since some doctors say that it can cause food allergies. I've had a kid with multiple food allergies and it is no fun. Thankfully, she has outgrown all of her allergies now! The other is really just laziness. Let's face it, breastfeeding is super easy. The milk is always available, always the right temp, always fresh. It's just easier. We travel frequently and eat out often. So once he starts solids, I'll have to start bringing stuff for him to eat and that can be kind of a pain. 

Cloth diapering is also easier when the baby is exclusively breastfed. Breastfed baby poop is water soluble so I can just toss those diapers in the wash and never deal with the poop. Love it!

But Jaxon is really interested in eating. The other day he swiped a stalk of steamed asparagus off my plate and immediately stuck it in his mouth. He's fast. 

We get a box of organic produce each week and this week we ordered some bananas. I thought that would make a nice first food, so I used my brand new Baby Brezza (this thing is pretty sweet!) and set out to make some banana baby food. Ok, let's face it. Making banana baby food is not that hard. Bananas are already soft and mushy. But I was still pretty proud of myself. It definitely tasted better than jarred baby food.

And most importantly, Jaxon LOVED it!

First bite!

I ate it all already? 

I love that little messy face :)

So I'm about to start making more baby food. What should I do next? If you have any baby food recipes to share, post them below!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tummy Sleeper

So this is Jaxon's new thing:

Yes, he is sleeping on his stomach. Here's what happens. I lay him down. On his back, of course, because who hasn't heard of "Back to Sleep"? I was even given a sleepsack that says "Back to Sleep" on it. I'm appropriately terrified of SIDS, as I'm sure many of you are. 

So anyway, I lay him down. And then he flips. Almost immediately. He's like a little sleeping acrobat - he's so fast. Here's the worst part. He not only flips to his stomach, but he usually buries his face in the mattress. 

So of course I always fix his face so it's at least turned to the side. But last night when I did that, he just kept burying his face back in the mattress. 

And so I flipped him back to his back. And he flipped back to his stomach. And I turned him back to his back. And he flipped back to his stomach and then lifted his head and cried because he was tired of me messing with him. So then I brought him into bed with me. At least in my bed, he's nestled in the crook of my arm and there's no way he's getting to his stomach. If he can't flip to his stomach, he can't bury his face in the mattress, right? 

So here's my problem. I want him to sleep in his bed. I don't really want to co-sleep. I just can't sleep when he's constantly trying to suffocate himself! We bought one of those baby monitors that detects movement. But when I went to set it up, I discovered that it won't work on the type of crib we have (which is a pretty standard crib, but it has springs and the movement monitor only works on cribs where the mattress sits on a flat surface, not on springs). Ugh.

And honestly, I don't sleep too well when he's in bed with us, since he seems to wake up and want to nurse more when he's right next to me. 

We're looking for the right video monitor to buy but I'm not sure that will give me the peace of mind I'm looking for. I was scouring Amazon reading reviews on video monitors today and found this Snuza Halo Baby Movement Monitor

It's a little device that clips to your baby's diaper and works as a movement monitor. It vibrates after 15 seconds of no movement (to try and rouse the baby) and after 20 seconds it sounds an alarm. It looks like it would be helpful.

I think I'd still need a regular monitor to be able to hear him (or see him), but this could at least keep him from suffocating himself (or alert me if he started to). Have you used a movement monitor? Or do you have any tips for me on how to keep my baby on his back?

Friday, July 8, 2011


Have you heard of Zutano? Zutano makes the cutest kids and baby clothes. Their clothes are soft and come in sweet, adorable prints. Each print has at least one   coordinating stripe and several coordinating solids. This allows for lots of mixing and matching so that your little one can have their own unique look. Check out these super sweet styles:

I love Zutano! That's why I'm super excited about the giveaway that "The Bragging Mommy" is hosting. It's for a $75 gift card to Zutano. Head on over and enter if you'd like a chance to win!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rockin' a Soak!

So my diapers were starting to smell like ammonia. I first noticed it after a long night, so I wasn't too concerned. Then I started noticing it during the day. I wasn't sure if it was Jaxon's urine changing & becoming stinkier or if it was build-up on the diapers. But one day when my husband noticed it while Jaxon was wearing a "fresh" diaper, I knew I had a problem. So I decided it was time to rock a soak. Since we have a front loader, this is easier said than done. I have tried soaking stained clothes in my washer in the past and it really doesn't work. There is just never enough water in the machine to really soak things. 

So I decided to use the bathtub. I followed the instructions on my Rockin' Green bag. I am not sure what I was expecting from this. I just wanted the diapers to stop stinking. I honestly didn't think that my diapers could be that dirty after just 4 months of use. But after just 45 minutes in the tub, I found this:

 And this:

Um, gross. But at least it was working! After the diapers soaked for 2 hours, I put them in the washer and rinsed them. Then I ran a regular wash cycle.

It must have worked because they no longer smell like ammonia...not even when he wears them overnight! I am so happy it worked because I didn't know what else to do to get the smell out. Have you ever had ammonia smells in your diapers? What did you do to get rid of the stink?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Even though we have only been cloth diapering for 4 months, I feel like I have become somewhat of an expert on traveling with cloth diapers. In the short time since Jaxon's birth, we have been on two week-long vacations and two extended weekend trips. We moved out of our house for four days following the tornadoes in our area. We have stayed in condos, hotels, and with family. I've travelled by car and plane.

For our first two trips, Jaxon was less than 3 weeks old. We only had a small stash. So I just brought everything that fit. Since my 2 Applecheeks, 4 Rumparooz, and 4 Lil Joey's fit him best, I did laundry every night to keep those washed and ready for use while we were out and about during the day. 

Jaxon with his daddy at the beach - 2 weeks old
Wearing a Gro-Via on vacation at the beach
On our fourth trip, I had a larger stash, so I didn't have to do laundry every night, which was great because I ran into an issue: no laundry facilities in our condo. We had stayed at this complex before and had a washer/dryer in our condo, so I thought we would have them this time. There were facilities on site, at least. But walking down the hallway to do laundry was a pain, especially at night. It didn't make me want to go out and get disposables, but it did make me wish I had confirmed that we would have a washer and dryer in our suite.

After the Flats & Handwashing Challenge, I felt like I had found the missing piece for traveling with cloth: flats. I normally take a lot of prefolds, which are great for inserting inside all kinds of covers and don't take up a lot of space to pack. But prefolds take FOREVER to dry and I've found that dryers in vacation condos, especially those at the beach, do not usually work very well. Discovering flats has solved that problem for me. Flats also solve the issue of no laundry facilities because you can, if necessary, wash them in a sink. I would have preferred to handwash in the sink over using laundry facilities outside of our room. 

I personally would not want to deal with flats on an airplane or in airports, because except for the pad fold, I don't find flats easy to put on the baby. Since changing on an airplane is cramped and changing in public facilities is always something I want to finish quickly, I would prefer a pocket diaper. The good news is, you can use your flats as an insert for your pocket diaper, which would be easier to handwash than a microfiber insert.  

Here are a few of my recommendations for traveling with cloth:

1) Decide how often you want or will be able to wash and then calculate how many diapers you need to be able to go that long between washings. Then, pack more than you think you need. Vacation is a popular time for upset stomachs or your plans may change and you may not be able to wash on schedule. You don't want to run out of diapers. 

2) If space is an issue (isn't it always when you're packing for vacation?), take diapers that allow you to reuse covers for multiple changes. This could be a system like Gro-Via or Flip (with reusable or disposable inserts) or flats used inside Bummis, Econobum, or Thirsties covers. Other systems that offer the ability to reuse covers are Applecheeks and Itti Bitti.

4) Don't forget your detergent and make sure your wet bag will hold all your dirty diapers. Sample packs of detergent are great for travel.

5) Bring diaper rash cream (and liners if your cream is not safe for cloth diapers). Like upset stomachs, rashes are also common on vacation.

6) For an easy drying rack on vacation, use clothes hangers - most hotel rooms and condos provide some. Each hanger can usually hold two covers and you can hang them from almost anywhere (chairs, shower curtain rods) and they will typically dry within a few hours. Hotel rooms typically have very dry air which is great for allowing diapers to dry quickly.

7) Don't worry about stains. A quick spray of Bac-out on the diapers can help prevent stains (and will also help with odor from your wet bag), but the important thing is to get the diapers clean. You can sun the diapers when you get home to get the stains out. I bring my Bac-out along in a travel size spray bottle.

8) When we have a long car ride, I keep a few diapers in my diaper bag, along with my medium sized wet bag. I also bring my hanging wet/dry bag with clean diapers packed on the dry side. After my smaller wet bag gets full, I move the dirty diapers to the large wet bag & replenish the diaper bag with clean diapers from the dry side.