July 24, 2014

The Voice and CLEAR Scalp & Hair

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Global Influence Network.

I'm a sucker for reality T.V.  Luckily, Matt loves competition shows as well, so I can watch my weekly shows without complaint.  Our newest favorite is The Voice on NBC - which is returning again September 22nd, thankfully!  There's something so addictive about the edge-of-your-seat eliminations; we also love a good performance.  I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that Christina Aguilera wont be returning for the new season; she was my favorite judge.  I've always loved her voice, and she was the one who gave the best advice to the contestants.

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Strawberry Lemon Paletas

I've been promising my three year old all week that we would go to the park so he can play on the "boo dinosaur roar" slide.  Unfortunately, it's been raining every afternoon and we haven't gotten to play outside much.  I feel horrible, having been busy with school work and blogging; we haven't gotten to spend much one-on-one time together lately.  So today, I decided that we were going to make some homemade popsicles.

One of my favorite things about summer was running after the ice cream cart, getting a strawberry paleta, and going for a walk to the park with my dad.  I've had a set of popsicle molds sitting in the cabinet, unopened, for about a year.  It was time to break them out and try my hand at making a good summertime popsicle recipe.

We had a bunch of fresh fruit in the fridge, so I figured a strawberry lemon paleta would be simple to make and delicious.  I wasn't wrong.  These just taste like summer, and the kids loved them too!  (Momma scored some cool points today!)

Strawberry Lemon Paletas

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, simmer the strawberries, water, sugar and lemon juice for about 5 minutes or until the strawberries begin to soften.  You don't want them to reduce too much, but make sure they're soft and releasing their natural sweetness.  Add in the lemon zest and simmer for another two minutes.

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and puree.  You want the mixture to be smooth (unless you'd prefer a few chunks - in that case, coarsely blend the mixture)

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 4-5 hours.  Enjoy!

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July 22, 2014

Sleep Training Night Two: The Break

Sunday night, I attempted the Ferber-based "Cry-It-Out" method.  I felt like a total failure.  I'm frustrated with myself, because I know that she needs to learn how to sleep on her own, without me.  I feel so guilty for letting her cry though.  So guilty, in fact, that I decided that we would take a break last night.  I know some of you were looking forward to hearing how night number two went, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  

I do have a plan though, to try and help this go a little smoother.  I am moving her crib from my room to the play room (formally Sammy's room, but his toddler bed is now in our bedroom as well.)  I'm hoping that maybe if she doesn't see me as soon as she wakes up, that it will give her the opportunity to try and find a way to calm herself down.  

Last night, we cuddled and co-slept.  She was snuggled in my arms and I was able to smell her baby-scented hair as I fell asleep.  I'm going to miss that.  She's getting to be a big girl now, wanting to be independent with everything; she's entering that toddler stage and I need to be strong for her.  I laugh when I think about the $300 crib she has sitting in our room that she's not slept more than four nights (none of those being full nights.)

The thing children need most is consistency, so I'm not going to be able to cave and let her co-sleep any more.  Starting tonight, I will re-visit this journey to getting my baby girl to sleep through the night.

Wish me luck...

July 21, 2014

Sleep Training: Night One

I'm hoping you've read my last post, where I talk about how I decided to start sleep training my sixteen month old.  For the next couple of nights, I plan on sharing with you my thoughts and our experiences as we work on helping Kaya learn how to sleep through the night.

She fell asleep easy tonight.  Much easier than I was expecting.  She cuddled with me for a while, and when she started getting really sleepy, I laid her in her crib.  I was sure that she would start screaming as soon as I let go of her, but she surprised me by snuggling her blankie and falling right to sleep without protest.  Whew! Now I can work on getting big brother Sammy to sleep and might actually enjoy a few hours of peace and quiet.

I figure I will share our bedtime routine, and then add to this as she wakes up throughout the night.

6:00pm - Kaya and Sammy shared some oatmeal (snacks before bedtime to help keep her full)
6:15pm - Bath time and some lavender lotion
6:30pm - Milk, snuggles, and a book
7:00pm - She gets fussy and wants to play.  I give her a few minutes to run around and she climbs back into my lap for more cuddling.
7:30pm - She's sleepy so I lay her in her crib.  She goes to sleep without protest.

(written the next day:)

Now this is where the night got rough.  Kaya slept in her crib for a couple of hours.  The first time she woke up was 9:43pm.  That two hour stretch had me confident, relaxed, and thinking, "hey, I can do this!"