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Oregon Coast 2010

July 27, 2010

Rather than take a few months to resize the pictures from our trip I’m embedding a quick Youtube of it. You can tell it was a tad bit windy but we had a blast regardless. We spent most of our beach time hunkered down behind a sand dune and dug a fox hole for the kids to play in.

First Original Artwork

January 9, 2010

Working hard on it.

Pancake man draws

End result with some slight assistance from Chicken Little and Dad. But the concept was all Pancake Man’s.

Pancake man draws

Happy New Years!

January 5, 2010

New years eve 1
New years eve 2
New years eve 3
New years eve 4

More Winter 2009

January 2, 2010

Bowling for Beer
Apology letter
Boxed out by big brother
completely innocent
In front of whales
Whales in ice

cookies 1
cookies 2
cookies 3
cookies 4
cookies 5
cookies 6
Grandkids
Mariner moose
My three guys

Christmas Season 2009

December 26, 2009

After many months and several hours of hair pulling I finally managed to get into this account for updates! My computer crashed in September and I’ve been getting by with a laptop, none of my favorites or bookmarks, and some serious confusion.

I hope this post finds everyone well, warm and safe and now realize I have no further excuse for not updating this blog more frequently. :)

Last week despite Christmas preparations of making goodies and gifts we made a quick trip to the Science Center (post Disney’s Christmas Carol at the Imax.) We saw Santa vs. The Snowman in 3D and played at the water table.

A little brotherly cooperation while driving the helicopter.

Everyone is getting so strong!

We visited the Christmas train exhibit at the Center House

Two grown up bottom teeth in, two top baby teeth getting looser daily. M is doing great in kindergarten, writing all his own letters and sounding out words while writing his journal.

Meanwhile L is running wild and doing his own thing. The chickens are always there like lap dogs.

Santa was good to us this year and both boys are fully immersed in the wonder of Christmas. We wish you all could have been here – it was magical!

Summer Vacation 2009

August 4, 2009

The only thing better then a trip to the beach is one that lasts all week long.
Oregon coastline
digging
Fellas

Happy
Lander walks
running
Oregon coastline
rolling
sand angel
sand flies
Max's kite
Lander's kite
Oregon coast 2
My boys
Splashing
All smiles
lost my skim board
Jared riding the skim board

Summer Pleasures

Some simple childhood pleasures:

selling lemonade

Selling lemonade door to door – $1 a pop.

tug of war

Tug of War ending badly for Chicken Little on the slip and slide.

Toddler Turns Three

presents
light the cake
eating cake
Lander skates
Lander falls

Product Review – Stranger Safety Video

July 7, 2009

My Chicken Little is the friendliest of friendlies. He thrives on external stimuli and loves to meet new people, sharing his whole life with them in the first few minutes. Even as a toddler he would invite people home with us at the grocers, the library, out on the street. It was to the point that we made up his own “calling cards” so that he could give out our phone number and email for potential playdates.

He was so fragile of spirit that I was afraid to explain the concept of stranger danger to him. It seemed unimportant since he was with my constantly, holding onto my pants and afraid to leave my side. That gave me some comfort. But I knew he needed to know more about it – that there were people out there who would do him wrong given the chance. I was at a loss to explain what might happen in a way that would not frighten the friendliness right out of him or give him bad dreams since he was already prone to night terrors.

Then I came across this stranger safety video. It was created by the John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted who started that show after losing his child to a stranger and Julie Clark, the creator of the Baby Einstein videos. This video is up to date, compelling enough that even a nearly 6 year old Power Ranger fan wanted to watch it again, and clear enough that he was able to repeat for me everything he had learned correctly.

Stranger video

The information is presented in a non-scary format yet by the end of the video he understood the very real possibilities that could happen and what to do to prevent them. This is something I plan to watch with him at least several times a year since kids frequently forget.

What I particulary love about this video is that it has instant credibility. I could explain things to him until I’m blue in the face and they wouldn’t sink in. For some reason this information needs to come from someone else, someone outside his circle of safety, and the fact that it was presented in a media-rich format makes it real to him. Sadly, kids really do believe almost everything they see on TV. Use that to your advantage.

This video is a must-have for every household with kids over the age of 3, even though the video says 4 and up. If you have put off having the stranger danger talk, or even if you haven’t, please consider this video today. You can find this and other great child safety products at www.MyPreciousKids.com.

Another product, very worthy of a practical parent pick award!

Practical Parent Picks Award

Product Review – Hug Me Joey

June 18, 2009

Refluxers are notoriously bad in the car. The second you fit them down into the carseat well and begin to buckle the straps they spit up and typically scream or cry for the entire car ride. The reason for this is that most infant bucket style car seats are designed for older babies and despite that the seat puts them in an upright position it puts pressure on the tummy which can cause refluxing. In a bouncy seat or swing it’s possible to roll up a hand towel to fill in the well and relieve some pressure but it’s not safe to do that in a carseat.

I was excited to come across the Hug Me Joey car seat support which can alleviate the pressure on the tummy and has been extensively crash tested and hospital-approved. The Hug Me Joey has a wedge that goes into the well of the carseat to minimize it, lifting the baby up and out of the well. It also has a positioning roll that keeps the baby from slumping over to the side. The roll creates a cozier sense of boundaries in the carseat for newborns that makes them feel more secure.

Next to tear and barf-free car rides, my favorite thing about the Hug Me Joey is that you can also use it in a bouncy seat, swing, or stroller and the roll can be used to help position a baby for side sleeping or can be placed around the baby in a U shape to prevent a tiny baby from rolling down a slightly propped crib or bassinette mattress, which makes it a great value.

Practical Parent Picks Award

If you are tired of cleaning the carseat and baby each time you take a quick car trip try the Hug Me Joey. Another practical parenting picks winner!

Acid Reflux in Children – Sleep Solution

Sleep solutions are hard to come by with reflux kids and if you’ve had one you understand what I’m talking about. For the parent of an older baby, toddler or child with reflux, sleep can be elusive and frustrating – especially given how the lack of it can both affect their development and household temperaments.

If you have a younger baby who is placed on a wedge with sling from an early age they adapt very well to it. However, some babies aren’t diagnosed with reflux until they are older and by then they want nothing to do with a harness. For them and the unfortunate toddlers and older kids who are too big for baby reflux wedges there aren’t many propping solutions.

It takes a 30 degree plus angle to provide real relief from reflux. An adult can simply recline with their torso on a wedge and remain that way all night. Children are very active sleepers so that solution doesn’t work well. They either roll off the side of the wedge or scoot down to the flat mattress, rendering the wedge ineffective. To make matters worse a baby may roll down and become wedged against blankets or crib railings, increasing the risk of SIDS.

I was so excited to learn about a fairly new sleep solution for acid reflux in children and pediatric reflux – an ingenious foam bed comprised of a series of stacked wedges that allows babies 12 months on up to 5 years old to sleep on an angle without either rolling off the side of a wedge or sliding down to the foot of the bed or crib.

Comfy Lift Bed

The Comfy Lift kid’s reflux bed is basically a series of wedges at the head sloping down towards the feet with another series of wedges at the feet sloping the opposite direction back to the bum to keep the child from sliding down. As the child grows and the wedges at the feet are no longer needed they can be removed. There are also wedges at the sides sloping in to the body to prevent the child from rolling off the sides of the wedge.

The bed comes with a waterproof cover and one fitted knit cotton sheet. It has a rather large footprint (48″ x 28″) but does fit in standard American crib and toddler bed frames. It can also sit directly on the floor. At it’s highest point it is 16″ high so once an older baby starts climbing you should use a secure crib tent to prevent any falls, or move the whole wedge to a toddler bed frame or the floor.

Karen over at www.InfantReflux.org has an extensive review of the bed with images. If you have never been on her site before it has an amazing forum for parents and caregivers of infants with reflux that I highly recommend.

Practical Parent Picks Award

For the toddler or older child with low oxygenation levels, pediatric GERD, sleep apnea, congestion or other breathing troubles that cause frequent and/or painful night wakings this bed is a blessing and worthy of a practical parenting pick!

Reflux 101: Book Review

June 17, 2009

Reflux 101:  A Parent's Guide to Gastroesophageal Reflux

I just recently finished reading Reflux 101: A Parent’s Guide to Gastroesophageal Reflux by Jan Gambino, aka Reflux Mom. I’ve followed Jan Gambino for the last 5 years since she’s been a driving force behind the PAGER organization, a non-profit pediatric reflux website. She’s also written many articles on reflux and writes a weekly reflux blog for the HealthCentral Network so she knows a bit about infant reflux.

The book was an easy read that I wish I had when my first was born. It covers what is normal and what is GER versus GERD, sleep issues specific to reflux, positioning, testing, medications and prepares you for conversations with the pediatrician. There is a section for reflux in older children and information on high needs parenting, returning to work and taking care of yourself.

Jan covers all the topics a parent with a refluxer would be experiencing and then some, based on her experience from years of monitoring reflux boards. What I particularly love about this book is her easy writing style, non-judgmental or alarmist approach to the topic and the useful tips and stories from the trenches that other GERD parents have shared.
Practical Parent Picks Award

This book is the perfect thing to make you feel less isolated and see what has worked for other parents in your same situation. It definitely ranks as a practical parent pick!

Trike for Two

May 21, 2009

trike for two

T-Ball

WHIFF!

Whiff!

A Day at the Zoo

feeding penguins
penguin swimming
I have no idea what they were looking at
watching flamingos

Piggy Back on Grandma

piggy back

First Tooth

first tooth

First tooth gone – and now I’m out $2.

A Day at the Beach

May 12, 2009

For mother’s day we went to the beach and poked around the tidal pools at Discovery Park. The sun made a rare appearance and we had a scrumptious picnic. Best. Mother’s. Day. Ever.

My beach boys
Brothers Take 1

Brothers Take 2

It was this big!
Vanishing Crab
Last pair of pants

Cloud Gazing

May 7, 2009

cloud gazing

Perhaps dreaming of chickens?

Easter Antics

April 14, 2009

Grandma finally made it back from Arizona just in time for Easter! We did a little Easter wrestling with cousins
wrestle
Some hunting
Egg Hunt
Some eating
Eating Easter Candy
Some impressing of the ladies by being able to work the radio while not paying attention to driving
Young love
Some surveying of law breakers
Police motorcycle
And as much force on the accelerator as possible
High Kick
Acceleration is fun