Thursday, October 27, 2011

Insufficient...

Low milk supply, mastitis, working full-time, pumping...Breast is best but sometimes even our best efforts don't yield enough.


Somedays I have to remind myself that some milk is better than none and that I need to let go of the frustration and embrace the moments I'll have with this little one while she's a newborn.

Only comfort is knowing I'm not alone with the struggle. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review- JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES


A few days ago we got a copy of the FIRST MUSIC SOUNDTRACK & DVD of Disney’s #1 series: "JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES: Yo Ho, Mateys Away!"". After watching the whole DVD (which contains all the episodes currently showing on Disney Channel) my 3 year old daughter decided that we also needed to listen to the CD so I set it up while she ran to her room to put on her pirate dress-up (a hat and an eye patch) so she could sing and dance along with the songs. Needless to say she LOVES both. She is already a fan of the show and we have watched almost all of these episodes... but being 3 she is a creature of habit and repetition so having a DVD she can play as many times as she likes when she likes made her extremely happy. The DVD contains seven episodes from the series which include two cartoons each.

The Album released on SEPTEMBER 20 and the DVD is set for release on SEPTEMBER 27. In a nutshell, we highly recommend this DVD/CD combo pack. Kids love the songs and visuals while parents can really love the story lines that provide teachable moments on everything from sharing to playing fair.

According to Disney, Jake and the Never Land Pirates is cable's #1 series among Boys 2-5 and is on track to be Disney Channel's #1 preschool series ever. It is the most co-viewed series among all Disney Junior and Nickelodeon series, with 47% of Moms watching with their preschooler. A music-filled interactive treasure hunt, the series introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney's classic "Peter Pan." Every episode features the animated Sharky and Bones characters as they pop up throughout to perform original pirate ditties, and each episode concludes with a live action music video featuring The Never Land Pirate Band. Retailing for the suggested price of $19.99 in the U.S. and $24.99 in Canada, the Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Yo Ho, Mateys Away! DVD also comes packaged with a bonus 7-track CD sampler and a pirate eye patch.


About the Album:


The album is written and performed by Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, a.k.a. Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band, the album features 18 swashbuckling tracks sure to thrill any young pirate. Also included are downloadable activities and games to plan the perfect pirate party, a Sing-Along version of the show’s theme song and a bonus track from a future episode. The deluxe edition includes a pirate bandana. The album arrives at stores and online retailers September 20.


The album features a variety of songs that kids and parents can enjoy together. Songs include the kooky, comical "Hot Lava," “Aw Coconuts,” "Pirate Password,” and the arrrghhh-rated “Talk Like a Pirate.” Some songs refer to popular characters in the show, such as “What’s Cookin’ Smee,” "Captain Hook (Is A Cranky Crook)," “Tick Tock Croc” and “Bucky’s Shanty.” Others capture the island spirit of Never Land, such as “Castaway on Pirate Island," "Shipwreck Shuffle" and "Never Sky," as well as the "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" theme song. All songs can be heard in episodes of the show.


The Jake and the Never Land Pirates soundtrack will be available wherever music is sold on September 20. For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, please visit www.Disney.com/music, become a fan at www.Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow them at www.Twitter.com/disneymusic  .


*Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of the DVD/CD to review. No other compensation was received. This is a review based on my opinion (and from watching my 3 yr old’s reaction) of the product.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome home little one

There is nothing sweeter than tiny ears and a tiny nose, tiny fingers and tiny toes… Today our baby is 12 days old.  She has spent almost every moment since birth in my arms: feeding, sleeping… being.  

Her new baby smell and tiny features are achingly beautiful to me because I see not just her beauty but the moments I was too overwhelmed to absorb with our first.  Truth be told I’m just as tired & overwhelmed as before if not more (juggling two seems harder even with my husband’s help) but I now know just how quickly time passes and I’m determined to absorb, enjoy & etch it in my memory.  The sleepless nights will pass and before I know it we will be chasing a toddler and then a preschooler and then…  well I better enjoy this time along with all her tiny bits.

Welcome home little one.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Expecting & WBW


In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I want to make you aware of two great resources. One is Shari Criso and the other is her www.mybabyexperts.com site and TV show. Shari Criso is a real mom, real expert with real advice. An award-winning author of the "Simply Breastfeeding: The Criso Method" DVD program who has had tremendous success helping other moms breastfeed. As many of you know I am expecting baby #2 any day now (will be induced on the 11th if she doesn't come on her own) and in preparation for her arrival I found Shari.

I was fortunate enough to have found her just in time since I had MAJOR breastfeeding issues with my first daughter and was (am) trying to do all I can to be better prepared this time around. I watched her two hour My Baby Experts web TV special the other night (in honor of World Breastfeeding Week and her friends attending BlogHer11) and was among the 1st to find out about her really exciting & fun Fan contest for the month of August. Anyone who LIKES her page on Facebook can participate in their chance to win an iPad2 or $500 cash!!!

That's right, they are going to pick one lucky winner to receive a super cool, brand new iPad2 OR $500 in PayPal CASH. Now I don't know about you but I for one could use the $500 cash with another baby just arriving although the iPad is so cool I might just HAVE to opt for that if I win. 

Shari is launching this contest along with the support of her blogger friends Baby DickeyMamaB, and Little BGCG) who represented her at BlogHer 2011.  To enter this giveaway, simply follow her on Facebook: Shari's Facebook Fan Page and add yourself to her weekly newsletter. There are plenty of ways to gain additional entries listed here, which are totally optional, but I'm sure you'll want to take advantage of them!

BTW… I bought her streaming DVD (before she put it on sale for half price this weekend) and LOVE the format and info. Even if you have already taken a class if you are serious about breastfeeding you NEED to watch her video. Best of luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Disney with a 2 yr old

Disney with a two year old?  Why?  That’s just too young.  She won’t remember anything so it’s a waste of money.  She’ll be overwhelmed and you’ll be miserable! These were the comments we heard from many people when we shared that we would be taking our two and a half year old to Magic Kingdom and then on a four night Disney Cruise.
Some of these comments held true but most were oh so false.  Our trip consisted of flying in on a Friday, spending the evening at Downtown Disney, going to Magic Kingdom on Saturday and then boarding the cruise ship on Sunday.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Thankfully our daughter is a great traveler.  She has her share of frequent flier miles and is the kiddo telling other kids not to cry and not to be scared because the plane, train, boat, etc. are fun.  Mom and dad are frequent travelers but I think her great attitude has a lot to do with her personality more than anything. We booked direct flights and brought snacks.  We stocked up on all sorts of things to keep her busy and prepared for the worst but on the way over she played with mom’s iPhone almost the whole time.  She sat in her own seat with her CARES on.  (Keep reading for more info on CARES and other travel tips below.)  On the way back she slept for two hours in her own seat.  No crying, no freaking out, no kicking someone’s seat or trying to run up and down the aisle.  Just a little conversation with us about the trip and a lot of resting… it had been a very busy week and she was exhausted.

So here is the quick recap of the true vs. false part of the comments we heard before our trip.

1.)  Magic Kingdom can be overwhelming for a little one.  TRUE.

Gaby is very tall (38 ½ ) so she could actually get on all of the kid rides however she had no patience for the long waits (best was 30 minutes and some had a wait over an hour long).  She liked a few things so much she didn’t want to get off so that was a struggle because she cried and got mad at us for making her get off the ride and BACK in line. Also, at the park the characters are around so you can meet them BUT there is usually a long line and they only stay about half an hour so if you’re in line but it’s time for them to go they leave and your kid wants to know why there was no payoff for the waiting and why Pinocchio or Snow White or whoever left without greeting them.

2.)  Too young, not worth it. FALSE.

We ran this by our pediatrician.  We told her our plan and asked if she agreed and she surprised us by reminding us that we don’t WAIT to take them to the park until they are older because they can’t play on everything or won’t remember.  She told us that experiences like these are just part of a child’s development so travel, parks, adventures; any new experience is just part of how they learn. Why would we delay or wait on that.  The reality was just that.  She loved so many things about the day at Magic Kingdom that she is still talking about it with us almost nine months later.  Every time she sees the Disney Castle she says, “I went there.  That was fun.  Can we go again?”  She remembers the rides, the parades, and mostly the time spent with us and her grandparents who came with us on the trip.  Seeing her smile and hearing her ask to go back makes it that much more worth it for us.  We may have only been on 4 rides (I don’t know how many times) and watched the two parades but that in itself was worth it.

On another note, I want to explain that she also loved downtown Disney but that her favorite and our most enjoyable part of the trip was the cruise.  She was too young for the kid activities (3 and up) so there was little time for JUST adult fun but we had a blast regardless.  She loved the schedule.  She would ask to go back to the room for a nap.  She looked forward to the shows and the diners and the movies and all the non-stop fun.  She ate great and tried all sorts of foods. 

Another great feature of the cruise was that ALL the characters were on board and you knew exactly when and where you could greet them.  If you got in line you got to greet them no matter how long it would take.  They would cut off the line so as long as you got there before they closed the line you would be able to have your picture taken with the characters including all the princesses, etc.  Great payoff for our little one!  She loved swimming and making sand castles with grandpa and again is still talking about it and asking to go back. 

So in a nutshell… I would highly recommend this trip schedule to anyone.  The cruise was especially nice and we think that the 3 or 4 night one is perfect for the little ones.  Of course if your kids are a little older there are even more reasons to love it since they get to do kid activities and you get to enjoy adult time and this cruise is top notch in every aspect from great beds to excellent food.  It was worth every penny.  We hope to go again when she is a little older but we loved this trip and will forever remember her first time at Disney.


Quick tips for traveling with a toddler

Aside from all the usual prep with food, medicine, carry on clothes, games, and activities for travel here are a few other tips that work wonders for us.  If you need a list of the other items you can review them here.

  • Use a CARES air travel harness for kids between 1-4 yrs old and check or rent a car seat for when you arrive.
  • Gate check an umbrella or other favorite travel stroller
  • With any child older than one, discuss your upcoming trip with your children.  Tell them about the modes of transportation, what order things will happen in, and what you will be doing when you get there. Start this discussion as soon as you can so you might spend a month talking about the trip before you go.
  • Show them videos, read books, or review pictures of the places you will go and the forms of transportation you will use. 
  • Get them involved.  Ask what they’d like to see or do when you get there.  If they are very young give them two or three choices and let them pick then encourage them to share their “plans” with other family and friends.
  • Let them pick items that are to be used specifically for the trip… whether it is a new jacket, a new book, or a new friend give them lots to look forward to.