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Friday, April 4, 2014

April 2014 Update



Brynlee is, 90 percent of the time, a happy baby. Occasionally she gets a little fussy, but for the most part, we got lucky.

Look at this photo I got of her yesterday, while she was playing with a toy. With how often I am taking pictures of her, we know that she won't be afraid of cameras when she is older.



She gets so excited. Especially when she is pulling on your hooded sweatshirt's strings. She just loves that.

I think I am enjoying this stage of her life a little more than when she was first born. She has a personality now, and she recognizes me. She is more fun to interact with. I can play with her and she will respond with sounds, or smiles, or laughs. Kind of like a puppy, but a human version.

She eats puree'd foods now. She really likes mangos. Rice cereal works to fill her up, too. Still loves her bottles though. She knows when it's time, and she will start kicking with joy when she notices the bottle in your hand.

Her Grandma, and her Great Aunt help us babysit when we are at work. Sometimes I think that she is more excited to see them, than she is to see us. She really enjoys her time with them. It's safe to say by the look on her face when she makes eye contact with them both. We are very grateful.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is her very favorite television show. We try to limit her time in front of the TV, because studies show that it isn't great for children under 2. But, how can you keep her completely away? You never will. When the Daniel Tiger theme song comes on, she knows it. She will freeze whatever she is doing, and turn to watch. It's pretty amazing. Her memory is fantastic.

Image from PBS.org

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

6 Months Photo Update



Can you believe it? I feel like it was yesterday, at 10 weeks pregnant, that I started writing this blog. Brynlee is a few days past 6 months old. Let our family be proof that so much can change in a year's time.

Here are a few recent pictures, because she changes so much, and so quickly.










Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Let Nutri-Grain Start Your Hectic Morning Right!

“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Nutri-Grain. I received product samples and promotional item to thank me for participating.”








I have never been much of a breakfast person. I know how important it is, however, as an essential part of your nutrition for the day. Breakfast starts your metabolism early in the day, and helps your body stay healthy, and maintain weight. Also, sleep deprives you of key nutrients that you need to function. Breakfast replenishes these. 



So many Americans (or anybody, really) skip breakfast. Not normally because they want to, but because there is no time. Schedules are tight, and mornings can be hectic. Who has time to cook up a meal? Not me. Not if I'm working that morning. Luckily, there are lots of grab-and-go options available these days.

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain is especially tasty! Their new Fruit & Oat Harvest bars are made with whole grains, and contain 4g of protein. I can honestly say that they fill you up, and are perfect size for a morning on the go. I had a hard boiled egg, my favorite cup of coffee, and a Nutri-Grain Fruit & Oat Blueberry Bliss bar, for my breakfast today. Between feeding Brynlee, playing with her, and trying to get her to nap, I need something quick, that I can enjoy while she is sleeping. If you have ever tried to balance making eggs, and pancakes, with taking care of a baby, something is bound to go wrong. 



A coffee, an egg or fruit, and one of these Nutri-Grain bars are a healthy way to start the day. Oh, did I mention they contain NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Man, I hate that stuff. It is the enemy of any healthy diet. Thankfully, none here. Two flavors are available - Country Strawberry, and Blueberry Bliss. Both taste great, but I am partial to the Blueberry Bliss. 

I will remember these when I am running out the door to work early in the morning. I can easily eat one of these in the car with my coffee. I find that I am more productive at work when I have had something to eat, especially nutritional. Remember, these little bars are filled with REAL FRUIT and WHOLE GRAINS. What more can you ask for?


I caught my wife sneaking out with a bar in her hand. Sneaky!


Be sure to check out the Official Nutri-Grain Facebook page for news and offers - https://www.facebook.com/NutriGrain

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sick Parent. Happy Baby. FLABY.



Last Friday, I felt like crap.

The kind of crap that makes you stay in bed all day. You'd do ANYTHING to not have to do anything. DayQuil and NyQuil become your life savers, and you cling to the bottles like an alcoholic does a pint. Vomiting is not voluntary, but necessary.

I'm not positive at what the problem was. I'm leaning towards the flu, but maybe it was food poisoning? I'll never know.

One thing is for sure, I don't wish it upon anyone.

I don't get sick very often. It seems like at some point, in every February, I come down with something. It never fails, my once per year illness shows it's face. This year, near the end of the month.

I thought I made it through. I thought that I had beat out the cold this year. February was almost over and I had no signs of this monster. Im assuming that the flu checked the calendar and noticed that it had not effected me yet. Late, but not forgotten.

Thanks.



Something is different this year. This year it's not just the flu. There is a baby involved. I didn't have "the flu".

I had "the FLABY".

A new term that I just developed. The flu + a baby. I think any parent would agree that symptoms of the flu are amplified with the presence of a child. Kids/Babies don't know what sick means, especially if it doesn't involve them. I'm pretty sure my daughter thought that me being ill, was sort of funny.

She wanted to play more. I wanted to sleep more.
She needed a diaper change more often. I spent more time in the bathroom.
She spit up. I threw up.
She ate. I didn't.

It's funny how when I want to take a nap, she doesn't. These kids are smarter than we realize. I don't think she took any naps all day. Normally, she has at least three.

I tried to avoid touching her as much as I could. I don't know much about sick babies, and I don't want to if I don't have to. Luckily, she has been fine since I was sick. I'm crossing my fingers that it never spread to her, because that's just not fair. Or fun.

Maybe it was food poisoning?

Whatever it was, it's over.

...until next February. (and I will have to call it "floddler")

Friday, February 21, 2014

TheBouqs.com Valentine's Day Success

I received a free bouquet of flowers in exchange for an honest review of the company. All opinions are 100% my own.







Valentine's Day was right around the corner. I knew I wanted to get something for my wife, because I believe it's what all good husbands do. Usually for me, it means digging up some saved money that I have somewhere, because if I use our joint checking/debit, she will see it right away. What kind of surprise would that be? That's what I did when I had flowers sent to her work for our Anniversary in January. 

Sending more flowers to her work a month later, would be kind of repetitive, so I decided against it. I have seen ads for TheBouqs.com before, and the products looked attractive, but I never followed through with investigating further. Surprisingly, they reached out to me. 

They said, "Hey, we are very confident in our flowers, and we want to show you and your readers why we are better." I figured, why not? Free flowers? How much better than a local florist could they be? I will give them to my wife for Valentine's Day, and save some money at the same time. 

I accepted the offer.

And, here we are. I am extremely impressed with the roses that arrived. I ordered the "Fireworks" assortment, because it contained the essential red roses, but also switched it up a little with these really cool small blue flowers. I'm a guy, I don't know much about flowers, but they did look pretty neat. 

The order was placed about a week ahead of time, but the flowers didn't ship out until two days before. This is to insure the quality, and freshness. Straight from South America, my package arrived early in the morning on February 14th. Perfect timing, just like what was promised. 

I was able to see the box that they arrived in, because I started work a little later in the day. But I did not open it, I left it for my wife to find when she got home.



She was ecstatic about them. (Also thankful that I saved her the embarrassment from more flowers arriving at her work!) She explained that they were very nicely packaged, and that she was impressed, and I should have seen it. I'll take her word for it.



The quality was above and beyond any flowers I have seen before. Just yesterday, February 20th, I was still able to get a cool photo of the wilting roses. 



My favorite part about TheBouqs.com is that their arrangements start at $40. Flat fee. It's not $40 + tax + shipping + delivery + whatever else the other places charge. It's just $40. Straight forward, and simple. What most guys look for when ordering stuff for their wife!


Check them out and give them a chance, even if it's for yourself. They have a lot of cool varieties to choose from, something to fit everyone. 




Monday, February 17, 2014

Empower Your Child's Future with Cord Blood Registry

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central for the Cord Blood Registry. I received promotional item to thank me for my participation.”






When we were preparing for Brynlee, we had a lot of choices to make. One of those choices included Cord Blood Banking. Did we want to do it, or skip? What do we even know about it? Is it beneficial? Is it worth it? Luckily, we had all the information at our fingertips.

Cord Blood stem cells are used to treat many life-threatening diseases. Leukemia, anemia, and other types of cancers for example. They also have the potential to help heal serious conditions like brain damage. 

As you can see, the benefits are extremely powerful. But the downside is that it is quite expensive. However, no price tag can outweigh the health benefits that they can provide, now or in the future. 

CORD BLOOD REGISTRY is giving my readers a $200 discount when you visit cordbankingbasics.com and complete an information request. Do NOT miss this FREE opportunity!

Even with all of this life-saving information, we were unable to have her cord blood banked. We just simply would not be able to afford it.  (They do have payment plan options, though)

They are currently trying to put into legislation a Family Cord Blood Banking Act, which would allow the services to be recognized as a qualified medical expense allowing families to apply tax-advantaged health funds for the collection, processing, and storage of these life-saving cells. This would, without a doubt, empower many more families to be able to use these services, potentially saving lives in the future. 

Cord blood is easy to collect. The doctor will do it for you, they just save some from the umbilical cord, after it is cut. It is put into a special container that is supplied, and you send it off. There is no harm to the baby to collect it, and is recognized by just about every doctor out there. Hopefully, insurance will realize how important this precious blood is, and help parents collect it without breaking their wallets.

Maybe by the time we have another child, the Act will be recognized, and we can save our next child's cord blood. My wife, nor I, would ever hesitate to do it.

You can find more information on Cord Blood Banking at www.cordblood.com.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Get Rid Of Poop Stains in 3 Easy Steps



I don't know about any other baby, but Brynlee seems to get poop out of the back of her diaper. We have tried putting them tighter. We have tried different brands. Bigger sizes. Nothing helps. A few times a week, we are cleaning the stains out of her onesies.

Luckily, my wife showed me an easy technique for cleaning all of those stained onesies. As long as you do this while the stain is pretty fresh, it will take it right out.





Step 1.

Get the clothes off of the baby, and bring it over to your sink. Run some warm water over the stain for a few seconds. Just enough to wet.



Step 2.

Put some dishwashing liquid on the stain. We use Dawn dish soap just because it's what we have handy. Any of them work. Add another splash of warm water to the spot, to allow the soap to foam and spread a little better over the stained area.




Step 3.

Fold the stain over into itself like a book. Vigorously rub back and forth, so you are scrubbing cotton against cotton. Add more warm water as needed. You might have to add more dish soap, and scrub again, but eventually it will fade away. Then just add them to your regular laundry with the rest of the baby clothes, and you will never even know it was stained.






Hopefully that helps. No need for expensive stain removers, or to brush it with special tools. I wanted a better photo of the process of rubbing the stain against itself, but I couldn't get a picture and do it at the same time! So if you have any questions, please ask.



A clean baby, is a happy baby!


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