Thursday, March 31, 2011

a must have!

I know you are probably sick of hearing me talk about colds, but frankly, I am just as sick of having one. With Little Miss L. down sick again, I watch my daughter run around with goop pouring from her nose. As a parent, you hate to sit and watch your children be uncomfortable. We all know what a challenge it can be to teach our young ones how to blow that junk out with or without our help. When our children are unable to relieve their noses and their sinuses are unable to breathe, we are setting ourselves up for infections such as rhinitis and sinusitis. That brings me to todays post- for all you parents out there, I am going to talk about a must have item for your home... the HUMAN-POWERED Nasal Aspirator.

The human-powered nasal aspirator does wonders, let me tell you, we couldn't live without it. This handy gadget was purchased when we were living in Portugal, but you can find similar products here in North America. I receive many different reactions when I tell fellow friends and family about the contraption we use on our daughter. I am not talking about the traditional nasal aspirator (like using the hand pump), I am talking about the human-powered nasal aspirator you use by placing one end of the tube in your mouth and then proceed to suction. This is great because you are in control of how much suction you apply. Many people wonder where the mucus goes, but there is not need to worry as the hygiene filter prevents transfer from the child to the user. This product is easy and safe (because you are not inserting anything into the nose) to use. Plus, it gets all of that goop out in no time flat, which is a bonus when dealing with a squirmy child. If someone asked me what is a must have gift for a new parent, I would recommend this product hands down. So, if you have a stuffed up little one, then hit the stores and purchase one of your very own. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
I have tried other products out there like the above but I find  they just don't work as well. They do not have enough suction which means the process has to be repeated leading to an unhappy child.

I also find products like these are hard to clean.


This is the winner... a human-powered nasal aspirator that lets you suck out the culprits in no time.
Little Miss L. demonstrates on her daddy.



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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

colds...weddings...

Yet again, Little Miss L. and I have been hit with a cold which started Thursday and continues on. It was a diasppointing start to our weekend, but Saturday afternoon arrived and we needed to shake it off and head to a family wedding. It was small, intimate wedding held at an 1860's Inn built with fieldstone - I love love love venues like this! The Inn was decorated beautifully with off-white liens and touches of berries everywhere you turned. It was great to spend time with our family and by the end of the evening, Little Miss L. and I could not wait to hit the sheets. Sunday was spent in lazy mode, as our nephew came to join us for the day. Little Miss L. was dying to spend time with her cousin, as he had just returned from a family vacation. I had some fun with grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry ( I bet you are all jealous now). This week, I am hoping this cold will leave because I am not in the mood to deal with another two week cold... geesh we just got over the last one!
The bride and groom had several flower girls - they were too cute.
They said "I do!"
Little Miss L. singing Fado
Cousin Gloria - so beautiful.
My little girl and I - she wasn't in the mood for photos.
Off-white liens made everything look crisp and clean.
Loved the sweeping circular staircase that was adorned with berries.
Loved the centerpieces. Sprinkling peppercorns on the table added a nice touch.
Yum- this was some good blueberry cheesecake.
Our little cousin baby A - I love those cheeks!
The girls are all smiles.
In training...
That's right kids, clean that floor!
Our little nephew - so peaceful. 
Little Miss L. is having a party with all her friends.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

20 weeks

Weekly e-mail update: He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).
How far along?: 20 weeks
How big is baby?: Baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana
Weight gain?: I have gained 5 pounds.
Stretch marks?: Not yet. Lathering up the lotion.
Maternity clothes?: Still using the belly band. I can't wait for summer to get here so I can wear my sundresses!
Food cravings?: I love love love frozen grapes.
Sleep?: Feeling awfully congested lately - wakes me up several times a night.
Movement?: The little bean has been laying low this week.
Gender?: Hoping in the next few weeks we might be able to find out.
Exercise?: I have managed to keep up with the 30 minute walks a day :)
What's been going on?: Woohoo, I made it to the half way mark. I can't believe how fast this pregnancy seems to be going by. I guess with a 17 month old running around, I don't have as much time to sit and analyze everything like I did with the first pregnancy. This week I received good news from my doctor.  Some background - I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in my second month of pregnancy. I knew something else was going on besides the normal pregnancy symptoms. I was extremely tired all the time ( I mean once 12pm rolled around I couldn't even keep my eyes open and I was in bed at 6pm), felt like fainting, my skin was so dry it looked like the desert and my weight was increasing at an extremely rapid pace. Once I was able to find out what was going on with my body and take immediate treatment, I have been feeling a million times better. This week I got my monthly results back and everything is looking up. I'm excited for next Tuesday as I have my appointment with my ob/gyn - hopefully I will be able to hear the little ones heartbeat.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

my little baker

Yesterday, the weather was still a little chilly to be playing outside for hours.  Fingers crossed, we won't have to spend too many more days indoors. I decided we needed a fun activity we could do in the house.  After thinking about it for a few minutes, the first thing that came to my mind was baking...who doesn't love to bake?! Little Miss L. and I decided on the perfect recipe - apple cinnamon muffins. Little Miss L. loved putting on her apron and stirring the batter. I think I may have a little baker on my hands... that's okay because we all know I have a sweet tooth! The muffins turned out beautifully and I love love love that the house was filled with the vibrant aroma of apple and cinnamon.
Mommy and Little Miss L. working hard.
Now this is fun!
Look mommy, I am making muffins.
I asked Little Miss L. to smile while making her muffins, and this is what I got.
All ready to go in the oven.
Wow - I made this with my own two hands!
Let's see if they are any good?
Yum, I make good muffins!
This is my silly face.
My cutie.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

stuffed peppers... the lazy way

How many of you out there, like I, love love love stuffed peppers? Every once in a while, I have a craving for those yummy peppers bursting with meaty goodness. I often try to ignore these cravings because I simply don't have the time to make them. I needed to think of an easy-to-make alternative so that when that sudden urge approaches and I am short on time, I could still get my fix. I played around with a few simplified options to make this dish, and this one seems to work best. The feedback has been positive as everyone tells me it tastes just like the original, more time-consuming, recipe.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lb (750g) extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups of Minute Rice long-grain white rice
  • 2 cans (680 ml) tomato sauce (I prefer Hunt's Tomato Sauce, but you can use whatever brand you prefer or have on hand)
  • 1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese grated and divided
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Italian seasoning
Preparation
  • Use a large skillet on medium heat to cook meat, garlic, and onions.
  • Drain excess liquid.
  • Add red and green peppers. Cook until peppers are tender.
  • Stir in salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and tomato sauce, bring to a boil.
  • Once sauce has come to a boil, add in Minute Rice, and stir. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes, transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Serve hot.
Cook meat, garlic and onions. Drain and add peppers.
Once tomato sauce has come to a boil, add in rice.
The finished product. Serve hot. A garden salad is the perfect side for this dish.


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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

st. patty's day continued...

I know St.Patty's Day was a few days ago, but I thought I would share with all of you how we spent the rest of our day celebrating our Irish heritage by going green. We started off our day with green eggs (check out my earlier St. Patrick's day post if you missed it) and then we headed to our local Chapters to enjoy the festivities they had planned for the little kiddies -  during the week of March Break, Chapters set-up several stations of children's activities such as colouring, lego and games.  Of course, it is a great opportunity to for the little ones to meet new friends. Our cousin joined us for the day and Little Miss L. had a blast colouring with her. While hitting up Chapters, we worked up a huge appetite, so we headed home and made some homemade pizza and milk-shakes. The rest of the afternoon was spent jumping around the house like leprechauns. To end the day, the hubby had to have a good ol' glass of green beer! All and all, it was great day and I am looking forward to celebrating it again next year.
Little Miss L. and her cousin Gloria colouring up a storm at Chapters.
Little Miss L.'s doing her side glance- this means one of two things. 1) Don't think about coming near me or 2) Wow, you really didn't just do that?
My baby loves to colour. She was so proud of her artwork she couldn't wait to give it to her daddy once he was home from work.
I was a little disappointed that I did not have more green in my wardrobe, the green socks had to do.
Lunch time- green peppers made the pizza and we loved our mint chocolate milk-shakes (they lost their green colour once we added the milk)
The hubby enjoying his green beer!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

say it isn't so...


Officially the first day of spring and I wake up to this. It just doesn't seem right!
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Friday, March 18, 2011

19 weeks

Weekly e-mail update: Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.
How far along?: 19 weeks
How big is baby?: Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato
Weight gain?: Still holding strong at 4 pounds.
Stretch marks?: Not yet. Lathering up the lotion.
Maternity clothes?: Not yet - still getting away with using my normal clothes if I use the belly band.
Food cravings?: I haven't really experienced any cravings this week.
Sleep?: Knock on wood - things have been going well in this department.
Movement?: Little flutters here and there.
Gender?: 95% sure we will find out the sex.
Exercise?: Spring is finally here which means I actually want to go outside. My goal now is to walk at least 30 minutes day.
What's been going on?: Nothing too exciting has been happening this week. I must say that my nausea has been a bit better. During this pregnancy, my sense of smell has been out of this world. I can pick up a scent from a mile away - this makes changing Little Miss L.'s diapers not a very fun process.  
My famous belly band!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

happy st.patrick's day!

HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY EVERYONE!
Green eggs to start off St. Patrick's Day.
Eating my green eggs and toast. Look at how I use my fork like a big girl.
Little Miss L. and her cousin Gloria enjoying their green eggs.
It is finger licking' good!

More St. Patrick's Day festivities to follow...

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