This time next week, many of us will be staring at a basket full of decorated eggs wondering what we will do with them all.  You can only eat so much egg salad before you’re sick of it, right?  Well, we went ahead and dug up a few less ordinary recipes that will have the whole family gobbling down those eggs!

Click the images for recipes!

Scotch Eggs

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Egg…good. Meat…good. This yummy recipe makes a great snack or lunch dish.

English Muffin Egg Pizzas

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The kids might really like these. Key word here is “pizza”.

Egg Salad Celery Bites

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Fun finger foods for the kids and so easy to make.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Use those leftover hard boiled eggs to whip up a batch of delicious cookies the whole family can enjoy.

Egg Salad Wraps

Simple, easy and yummy take on the classic egg salad sandwich.

Soy Sauce Egg

Quick snack with an interesting kick. Easy to make too!





FRIDAY FUNNY: Baby Poop Chart

April 11th, 2014 | Posted by Lauren in FRIDAY FUNNY - (0 Comments)

In the spirit of yesterday’s informative post on baby poop, Poop Happens, we present you with today’s FUNNY–brought to you by the always hilarious, How To Be A Dad blog.

Enjoy!!

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Poop Happens

April 10th, 2014 | Posted by Lauren in Everything In-Between | Newborn | Toddlers - (1 Comments)

Poop Happens
Admit it. You’re obsessed with your baby’s poop. First you wonder if baby is pooping enough, then you think baby might be pooping too much, then the color is troubling, next you obsess over the consistency–and even the smell. Once baby is on solids, all bets are off, because she might go days without a bowel movement (which is pretty terrifying for Mom and Dad), and you must figure out how to strike a balance between certain foods in baby’s diet.

For us, it’s a daily puzzle providing the right amount of fiber-rich food alongside constipating culprits like cheese, bananas, and milk (Bubba’s favorites, of course!), but at nearly 19 months, we now know when it’s been too long, what consistency is troublesome, and which colors to actually freak out about.

Because you are all wondering the same thing: Is baby’s bowel movement (or lack there-of) normal?, Kristin and I decided it was high time for a “baby poop guide” — loaded with info from several reputable sources, and totally worth bookmarking.

FREQUENCY
Poop Frequency for Newborns
Pediatrician, David Geller, reports via Baby Center that a newborn can have as many as eight to ten bowel movements a day, but as long as she is having at least one, she’s probably all right. He assures readers that one day without a bowel movement is usually no cause for concern.

“As long as your baby is feeding well and wetting her diaper five or six times a day, then she’s most likely getting enough to eat. If she starts to become uncomfortable or has a persistently swollen abdomen, then she may need some help with pooping, and you should speak to your pediatrician about how to facilitate this,” says Geller.

Poop Frequency for Infants and Toddlers
Baby Center recognizes that there’s a wide variety of “normal pooping behavior” among babies.  The website assures us that some poop after every meal and some only once or twice a week. What’s most important is that your baby’s poop is coming out reasonably soft. (If it’s hard and dry, your baby may be constipated and need some help getting her pooping process back on track.) When we need to get things rolling with Bubba, the process typically requires encouraging him to drink extra water, and munch on a minimal amount of any of the following: raisins, prunes, pears, broccoli, apples, carrots, or greens (spinach or kale). And if a day or two passes, and still nothing? I sprinkle ground flax or chia seeds (sparingly) onto oatmeal or yogurt.

If you have tried all of the above, and there is still nothing happening, call baby’s pediatrician. He or she will most likely administer a stool softener–or ask you to perform the task at home. It sounds awful, but imagine how much better baby will feel after the fact.

COLOR
What do stool colors indicate? In the beginning, newborns experience a wide range of colors, and depending on whether you are breast or formula feeding baby, the colors can definitely vary. Below are two excellent resources that map out common poop hues and what they mean:


CONSISTENCY

In a WebMD article, The Truth About Baby Poop, author Lisa Zamosky assures new parents that there’s often a large amount of liquid content in babies’ stool, because before six months, doctors recommend that babies get their nutrients exclusively from milk. The feature article quotes Kenneth Wible, MD, describing formula-fed newborn poop as a “jar of mustard mixed it with cottage cheese,” but with breastfed babies,  Wible says that there is “a lot more liquid and the milk curds in the stool are a lot finer and smaller.” Yum!  ;)

All jokes aside, feces consistency is important in growing babies, and a parent can typically identify when something seems awry. If baby’s diaper contains hard, dry, “pebbles” or “rocks” (especially after baby has been stopped-up for a couple of days) this most likely means baby needs more water and fiber; in our experience with Bubs, this also indicates that there is more poo coming our way! Diarrhea is a huge red flag that baby is not well. WebMD reports that baby diarrhea can be caused by a number of things, ranging from a change in diet to an intestinal infection. Any of the following can cause diarrhea in babies:

  • Infection caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Babies can pick up the bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhea through contact with contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces and then placing hands into mouths.
  • Food allergy or sensitivity to medicines
  • Drinking too much fruit juice
  • Poisoning

The website recommends frequent hand washing–especially before and after eating, after changing diapers, and after using the bathroom. It also reminds you to keep bathroom and kitchen surfaces clean and maintain safe food handling.

We hope this post serves as a helpful resource that provides insight and relief next time baby’s bowel movements have you scratching your head. Hang in there, Momma!

 





Almost every woman who’s been pregnant can agree that belly touches aren’t always welcomed. Especially when they are accompanied by annoying comments. This video goes where we often wish we could.





Mr. Independent

April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Lauren in Toddlers - (0 Comments)

Nobody told me that the 18th month would be this hard. Technically, this rough patch started around 16.5/17 months, but who’s keeping track? When the toddler tantrums began, I learned to breathe through them, and try to help Bubba navigate through his emotions and frustration–but now it’s on a whole new level.

Everything’s a drama. The moment my son wakes and is lifted from his crib, he’s in hysterics for milk, Daddy…you name it. And don’t even think about cutting his food into small, safe pieces–he will absolutely lose it if you don’t let him eat it whole, like a “big boy.”

Everything’s a fight. Changing diapers and getting him into his high chair has become an Olympic sport. Mealtimes have become frustrating, due to the fact that my once-perfect-eater is now a very picky eater.

The above daily battles, mixed with major separation anxiety and the return of sleep regression (oh, how I loathe you, sleep regression!), our days have been pretty emotionally and physically exhausting. But, this post isn’t supposed to be a negative vent-fest, its purpose is to address the positive that is coming from this major developmental change in my son, and hopefully shed some light for other parents dealing with this rough patch.

Mr. Independent
A very wise friend of mine, who also happens to be a Mom (of 2 toddlers!), listened to my rant, and said: “When my oldest started behaving that way, we figured he was seeking independence.” She went on to tell me about how she ordered step stools, faucet extenders, a booster chair, and so forth, so her son could do everyday things more independently. Once this was in motion, she saw a change in him.

A light bulb went off in my head. Of course! This wasn’t anything I had even considered. I guess I assumed it was terrible twos starting early, and there was nothing to be done, but merely survive.  Once I heard this from my very wise friend, I knew she was onto something. I took notes on what items she had purchased, and as soon as I got home from our play-date, I loaded my Amazon cart with essentials. A few days later, I received a booster, stepping stools and faucet extenders. Since then, whenever Bubba fights getting into the high chair, we try the booster at the family table; 9 times out of 10, he will sit in the booster. Magic! He loves having step stools to help him get to things, and is much more excited about washing his hands.  In addition to the new items, I took notes from my good friend about providing him more opportunities to do things on his own, like walking to the car, putting toys away, bringing me items (always thanking him for being a “big helper boy”), and so on.

Mr. Independent

Also, I have been better about giving him space to “ask” for things, and show me what he wants and needs, before he has a meltdown. It’s definitely a work in progress, and at times my husband and I cannot, for the life of us, figure out what Bubba wants/needs, but we have seen a lot more joy and a tad less frustration in our toddler.

When it comes to food…well, that’s still a challenge. I am finding that it’s best to not push it too much. I have to present him with food (not cut too small!), and then walk away, so he thinks eating it is his idea. If he throws it on the floor, and decides to be difficult, I try a few other healthy options, and if there’s still a meltdown, we end mealtime. I am a believer that he will eventually be hungry enough to eat whatever is given to him. Please post below, if you have any other picky-eater-tips!

I must mention, I am currently reading Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Toddler on the Block, and so far, I have found it to be helpful when dealing with Bubba’s tantrums and crazy toddler behavior, plus, it is nice to read before bed–after a rough day–to motivate me to keep working through this stage. I will definitely post my findings, once I finish the book, and put Karp’s ideas to the test.

I truly believe that once my husband and I can understand how his little mind operates, and once Bubs can verbally express what he’s feeling, things will get MUCH better. Until the next phase… ;)





The 1st Prank

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by Kristin in Everything In-Between - (0 Comments)

Why wait for Friday for your funny fix? This April Fool’s Day video will have you laughing at this adorable father and baby.

 





Some of us younger moms may not realize just how differently mothers (women in general), were viewed 50 plus years ago. Check out these vintage ads targeting mothers and have a laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

Amazing! The thought of giving our babies Cola so early is crazy nowadays.

Sure, baby WANTS you to light up.

Wow…this has danger written all over it!

Choose that toilet paper well, or be judged as a mother for it.

What?! The idea of feeding a 3 week old meat is insane, right? Boy, we were so uneducated back then!

I guess the sweet, gentle mother holding baby image makes those smokes totally safe…haha. We’ve come a LONG way!





When your toddler is taking just one nap, it seems the day never ends–especially when you are both stuck in the house (illness, weather, or waiting for the plumber). Don’t panic. Here are 10 ways I have entertained Bubba, that do not include TV, or any of the toys he’s grown bored with:

1. Balloons - Helium or not, these little suckers serve as AWESOME entertainment for your tot. I have leftover balloons from some party in a junk drawer, and I have been known to blow one up in order to perk Bubba up. They love them for days, and then find a way to pop them, of course.

2. Bubbles - Inside or outside, this is the ultimate distraction for a stir-crazy toddler! Make your own bubble solution, or opt for the type of bubbles that last forever, like Gymboree’s.

3. Chalk/Crayons - Self explanatory, but an art session is always a fun activity. Worried about LO and crayons indoors? Try taping paper to the high chair tray (I used the back of some old wrapping paper) and let your kiddo sit in the high chair and safely color the paper or a coloring book, without taking the wax to your walls.

Setting up a coloring station

4. Ice - Want to keep your kid entertained for 10 minutes or so? Give ‘em ice! Again, put the kid in the high chair or a booster–if it’s hot, let him sit outside–and have at it! Give your tot cubes in a cup or a few different size mixing bowls, and maybe a spoon, and watch her go to town. Best part is, if she’s teething, these cubes will feel great when she eventually pops them into her mouth!

5. Listen to music - Easy. Set up a speaker, or simply turn up the volume on your smartphone, and blast Pandora’s Toddler Radio station throughout the house. Dance, sing along, and simply watch your LO listen and connect to the music. Bubba sometimes stops in his tracks to listen to a tune he recognizes, then turns and smiles at me. It’s magical. Sick of kid songs? Blast your own favorite tunes! No joke, Bubba loves Bruno Mars, Arcade Fire, and Daft Punk.

6. Paper - Whether it’s toilet paper, or gift wrap tissue paper, your curious toddler LOVES to tear it up! So…let him! The clean-up is worth the peaceful distraction and joy…even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Ripping-up toilet paper RULES

7. Junk mail - Along the lines as the above idea–let your kiddo rip those ads to shreds! You were going to toss it anyway, right?

8. Anything that makes music - Pots, pans, a wooden spoon on the baby gate, an acoustic guitar…you name it! We make music in this house, and Bubba goes BANANAS! It’s a great way to reset a cranky toddler, and it feels good to Mom and Dad too!

Play guitar for Baby

9. Photos or photo album - We now call our wedding album the “Mommy & Daddy Book,” because Bubba loves to thumb through it and look at all of the familiar faces. He smiles, points, gets excited. It’s great. I also like to slowly walk him around the house and show him all of the pictures on the walls or shelves, and say each person’s name as I point. He loves it, and it’s helping him with facial recognition and speech.

10. Supervised play in “forbidden” areas of the house – This is the latest for us. There are certain areas of the house that are not “Bubba-proof,” so he is forbidden to enter. With that said, I have been letting him explore those spaces when I run out of entertainment options, and watch him like a hawk. I end it after a few moments, and we move on.





That oh so pleasant morning sickness.

That oh so pleasant morning sickness.

Don’t let the phrase fool you – morning sickness doesn’t just strike in the morning. For most expecting mothers who experience it (that’s right, some pregnant women don’t get morning sickness…lucky!), it comes on around the same time each day.  Some bouts may be stronger than others based on environment, odors, etc.  Morning sickness could be as bad as vomiting several times a day or perhaps just constant queasiness. For those of us who have been through it, we may forget how truly awful it was.  And for the newly expecting mothers out there, here are some notes to prepare you for this yucky downside of pregnancy.

Find the rhythm.  You’ll notice that the nausea creeps up around lunchtime or maybe before bed, so prepare yourself in advance.  Eat well in between because you will not want to eat a thing when you are in the thick of a morning sickness episode. Unfortunately for me, mine was at it’s worst during my shift at work.  Providing friendly customer service with a smile on my face while completely sick to my stomach…well, it was brutal.

How to eat.  Just like having a stomach flu, you’ll need to be sure to stay hydrated and get a good balance of sodium and electrolytes. Eating several small meals and snacks throughout the day is easier on your tummy and not as harsh if it comes back up. Also, nibbling on a cracker first thing in the morning instead of jumping into breakfast could help. Some experts also say that eating food warm or cold is better than hot food which emits stronger aroma.

Foods to stick to.  Bland is best when dealing with nausea. Saltine crackers are very handy to keep around and nibble on slowly.  Also, lemon hard candy, ginger, peppermint candy, lemonade, and of course water will help. I must have eaten plain bean and cheese burritos and french fries every day for a month, as they were bland and warm.

Other aids and remedies.  Fresh air is a huge help in easing the nausea.  There are also Sea-bands (I personally used these daily), which are bands that apply a bit of pressure to your wrists and are said to assist with motion sickness and nausea.  Other possible aids include hypnosis, acupuncture and aromatherapy. Many women may find it necessary to take prescribed medications for extreme vomiting or nausea.

I’ll take the headaches, back pain, heartburn and even constipation any day over the nausea – I’m a wimp in that department. My morning sickness was the constant feeling that I would vomit, although I rarely did.  I was always running to the bathroom but nothing would come of it. And you read it right, I would MUCH rather have the other symptoms (which, lucky for me, I did) than the continuous nausea. When it was getting worse and I was struggling to get through my day, I saw my OB/GYN who prescribed Zofran for me.  It was a medicine known to be safe for expecting women that I could use on really rough days.  It was so handy!

Some cases of morning sickness could stretch throughout all trimesters while others may be as short as a month. In my experience, it was 2.5 months and thankfully ended in time for the holidays so I could eat the yummy treats!

Get more detailed information regarding morning sickness at mayoclinic.org.





FRIDAY FUNNY: Babies & Dogs

March 21st, 2014 | Posted by Lauren in FRIDAY FUNNY - (0 Comments)

Bubba doesn’t have access to a family dog, but, boy does he LOVE dogs! I cannot figure out how this came to be (Mommy has always been timid around dogs) but whatever the reason, it warms my heart to see him light up excitedly at the very sight of a dog…or “gaga” as he would call it. Just this morning, my husband had Bubba in his lap and they were cracking up over dog videos on YouTube. Bubba’s Nana even took video clips of her and my father’s dog, Rio, and sent them to me via email. Believe me, those clips have gotten me out of some major jams!  ;)

The following video is not of my Bubs, but a very excited little guy and his sweet family collie. My mom forwarded this to the family this week, and we all fell in love. You may have already seen this viral video, it’s a few years old, but it’s worth a second look–it’s that funny…and cute!

Happy Friday!