Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Freya's First Birthday!

Freya carried on the family tradition of being sick for all those important days. Poor little girl was running a high fever, refused to eat, she just nursed constantly. My butt is now imprinted onto the couch cushions. I felt like it was those first two weeks when Freya was first born when she nursed every 2 hours but took an hour to an hour and a half to nurse. At least she is much easier to nurse now.

The good news is she had a wonderful party that she wasn't sick for a few days before her actual birthday. She loves lambs so I tried to give her a lamb themed party the best I could. I also had a color theme of pink and gold. I will post some how to info on the decorations I made at another time.

Right now I'm dealing with a sick little girl that just wants to cuddle. She loves hugs but they are usually very short hugs. When Freya is sick it's like her hugs never end. She has such a tight hold on me it melts my heart. She has these new toys from her family that she played with for all of a few hours before she started running a fever and hasn't really played since. But in true Freya fashion, no matter how sick she is she will dance.

We put up our Yule/Christmas tree yesterday. While we hung decorations I put on music to get us in the holiday spirit. Freya was sitting in front of me when she started bouncing up and down on her knees. She smile this big toothy grin which I hadn't seen in two days at that point. She then started to shake her shoulder and dance to the music. I was so happy to see my happy little Freya again. Nothing will stop my Freya from dancing! She also loves playing her dancing Care bear she got from her auntie, uncle, and cousins. It sings the Care bear theme song which Freya sang "care bear" after a few minutes of playing with it. She's not as talkative as Morrigan was at this age but Freya is more of a doer. But Freya will say plenty in song. It's so funny to hear her sing and sing words that she won't say.

I'm hoping today is better for my now one year old princess. Freya has finally been staying cool without Tylenol. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that the fever stays away. Maybe she is well enough to eat her little lamb shaped cake pop from her party. For right now, I will let her continue to brush my hair no matter how much she is actually tangling it and ripping it out because she is calm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I'm in the sick kid time warp!

It's like one minute it's 7 a.m, the next minute it's 2 o'clock and my slow cooker pot roast has yet to be simply be placed inside the cooker. My house looks like a bomb went off and for once it's not due from toys being thrown about. It's from the 101 things I had started today that I've dropped for my two sick munchkins.

It really doesn't help that I'm sick on top of it. My husband is sick also and the sky looks sick. I haven't seen a single ray of sun shine all day. It has been gray and rainy which really zaps my energy. Combine it with the fact I have been taking down my Halloween decorations and putting up some Thanksgiving and my Christmas village. Also, Morrigan has to build a model of a atom due next week but she has a bunch of things going on so we are doing a little bit every day.

Well, that was at least the plan before we all got sick. Now, my table is covered in craft supplies and tiny fake trees. My living room is being taken over by all the unfolded clothes, and my kitchen still has the pots and pans from dinner last night still in the sink.

The kids have been difficult, to say the least. Morrigan's coughing is driving me up a wall, her constant sniffling has gotten on my last nerve to the point that each sniff sounds like someone is running sandpaper over my eardrum. We have been yelling back and forth because the girl would rather sniffle then blow her nose.

Freya has been crying for hours because she wants to eat the faux candles I have in the windows. She won't nap today, did I mention she was up until midnight last night and then woke today at 6 am? So she's a bit sleep deprived as am I.

Of course, my husband walk in the door as soon as Morrigan finally stopped fighting me about the saline drops and blew her nose to the point the sniffles are quiet for now which also quiets the cough. Freya was finally nursing into a nap, and I sat back looking through Pinterest on my phone for some overly ambitious American Girl doll projects. Go figure! I looked at the clock, 3 pm? Guess the sick kid time warp jumped me ahead another hour. Crap!

You know what? These days happen...I'm ordering a pizza!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Never Too Young To Give Children Choirs

I give my 10 month old choirs...

Okay, now that may be excessive, but I'm not going to stop her. Except when she actually does get strong enough to pull those plates out of the rack. I will end up with a bunch of broken plates if that's the case.
I did however start Morrigan with choirs at age 4. It was simply dusting the surfaces in the living room. I may have had to go back over everything but it gave her a sense of pride not only in her self but also the home she lives in.
I can't say she kept that sense of cleanliness as her room always looks like a tornado just ripped through it. But what I do see is a pride in the communal living areas like the living room and dining area. She treats my furniture with care.
Choirs should not be used as punishment but rather a teaching tool. Teach your kiddos the value of pride in their home and you will raise children that are respectful of your house and the stuff you have that makes it a home.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Why I Love the Day After Halloween!

I have a secret, I'm addicted to the deal. I love a good sale! I hate buying things at the regular price. I live for clearence which is why I wait until the day after Halloween to buy decorations.

My husband and I collect Lemax Spooky Village pieces. My spooky village is getting to the point where I can't fit any new pieces. So we are currently working on terrain and small pieces. But I wanted the dilapidated barn and I was hoping to find it discounted the day after Halloween.

We went to 5 different stores looking for discounted Lemax pieces. Two were Ace Hardware and a Sears which we had no luck but at the two Michael's we found three mound pieces, two rolls of ground, fencing, benches, coffins, and some Michael's brand accessories like pumpkins and hay stacks, most at 80% off. But our best find was two display Lemax pieces at a Michael's that had no box and the big piece was missing it's light. I got the dilapidated barn I wanted minus it's light for only $5 and the gory grillin figure for $0.25! I am so thrilled!

I get holiday decorations on clearance every year. I just wait for the day after the holiday and I go out first thing in the morning to Michael's or Walmart or Target and load up on holiday stuff at a fraction of the cost I then just pack it in when I take down my holiday stuff for next year. The only holiday I don't do this for is Thanksgiving because I hate black friday with a passion. It comes from being in retail management before I was mom.
My decorations for Halloween...
To this for Thanksgiving...

That is how much I despise going out on black friday! My Thanksgiving decorations will have to wait. Most of these were bought when A.C. Moore was liquidating their store in Hanover MA.

So this is my advice, never pay full price for holiday decorations go clearence shopping the day after instead.

I plan on posting the instructions on how to make some of my home made decorations for Halloween. I have to do my ghost and zombie over again so I will do step by step  instructions. Also, you can follow me on Pinterest to view some on the crafts I have done for the holidays.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tomorrow, I will have a 9 year old!

Tomorrow, I will have a 9 year old! When did this happen? It wasn't that long ago I was holding my sweet little Pumpkin for the first time. Now she is a big girl capable of so many things. She has grown into such an amazing young lady that I feel both excitement to see what this next year will bring her but also I am sad for that little girl that she will never be again.

Childhood is so short, its fleeting. In a blink of an eye your babies will be an adult. No more tucking them in at night, no more kissing boo-boos all better, no magic on Christmas morning when their eyes light up in amazement at the sight of all the gifts Santa brought. I know its kind of cliche but time does fly. I can't help but dread my children's birthdays.

From the first moment I met her, Morrigan had changed my life forever. She made me a mother. I had always dreamed of the day I would become a mother and Morrigan made it easy for me. She was an excellent baby. She didn't cry much as a baby though she rarely slept. She would just sit in her swing or in her bouncer and take in the world around her. Morrigan was healthy, happy, and sweet from day one. I watched her curiosity grow as she examined everything she encountered.

 As Morrigan grew she showed just caring she can be. Not only did she show empathy at an early age, she cared about the environment. She always wanted to help. She was obsessed with recycling and reusing things. She fixes broken toys rather than throwing them away and asking for a replacement. Come to think of it, I don't think we actual have thrown anything away, she has always made something new out of a broken toy. This is probably why her room is over run with toys. She would save containers for crafts. She was a Pinterest queen before Pinterest. Morrigan has always been a creative person, she amazes me still with her creativity.

 The thing about Morrigan that I certainly brag the most about is her ability to learn so fast. I know if I heard someone saying their child achieved what Morrigan did I wouldn't have believed them before having Morrigan. I had always believed that parents are a child's first teachers and its a part of parenting to challenge your children every chance you get. I can't say I am the reason why Morrigan is so smart. Her curiosity was the driving force for her learning, I just offered the source of knowledge and let her set the pace. She ate up every little thing I taught her and was constantly starving for more.

Before her first birthday Morrigan was speaking in sentences. She had a vocabulary that I couldn't even count. By a year an a half she could count to ten and she could identify every letter of the alphabet. When she was 2 she could read some words and I gave her the challenge that year to identify her gifts under the tree at Christmas time. At 2 she learned about ecosystems, the water cycle, and plant growth. She was approaching her third birthday when she wrote her name all by herself for the first time. By three, Morrigan could read an entire Dr. Suess book all by herself. She loves history! We went to all sorts of historical sites and she read books on American history. When she was four she told me she loved reading about the civil war era the best.

Besides the books smarts, Morrigan just has this natural wisdom about her. I say that Morrigan has an old soul. She has always been able to understand concepts far beyond her years. Its like Morrigan has been born with the gifts of reading people. She always knows the right thing to say. She is also a natural model. Since she was a toddler I could say nothing more than stating I was going to take a picture of her and she would get into the perfect pose. That is the reason why I love photography. I have the easiest subject built in. She understands what I want to achieve in my photos and just do it.
This brings me another great thing about Morrigan, her creativity. I said she was the Pinterest queen before Pinterest but there is more than just crafts to Morrigan. She is a true artist! I see how she creates things and its more than just keeping busy. She envisions things and sees things differently because of her natural creativity. She is a little rebel. She has always walked to the beat of her own drum. She loves to get a good laugh and loves doing things that will make people feel good. Even at Morrigan's young age she sees the other side to life. She knows it can't be rainbows and sunshine all the time. Few people know that Morrigan actually loves to read and write poetry. She is also an amazing story teller and writes her own short stories. I remember her teacher in the first grade during parent teacher conferences telling Chris and I how gifted of a writer Morrigan is. That she loves to read Morrigan's assignments because she writes poetically. Even in the first grade her writing was descriptive and she used imagery. I was surprised, I had no idea at the time my little girl was so talented.

Another way my little girl is talented is in dance. For a kid with two left feet when walking, she does amazing dancing on stage. I love watching how well she dances. She has loved to dance since she was a toddler but we feared she was too shy to take dance classes. But when she was 4 we enrolled her in ballet and tap and she did amazing. I was so proud of my little girl on stage. Every year she gets better and better and she amazes me every recital. I tear up with pride as I watch her perform.

 Although Morrigan has so many things to be proud of in her 9 years of existences, the most important quality about her is how incredibly caring she is. I have never seen my daughter shine more than as her role as big sister. She was so caring and understanding while I was pregnant. She wanted to be a part of my pregnancy every step of the way. She went to doctor appointments, ultrasounds, even witnessed the birth of her baby sister first hand. She was the first to hold Freya after me and I have never seen her more proud and overjoyed. She has been amazing with her little sister, being a second set of hands, being a second mommy, and she is always willing to help whenever I need it. I am just blown away by her love for her sister. It makes this momma so proud!

As much as I hate that my little girl isn't so very little anymore, I wouldn't trade all the wonderful times I have had with her. She has grown into an amazing girl and has shown me how to grow as a mother along with her. I may not get to see three year old Morrigan ever again which does make me sad but I get to see what else Morrigan is capable of and experience all the wonderful moments her future has in store for her.

Happy Birthday Morrigan!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Super Foods Salad

In my attempts to eat better I have been looking to eat at least one meal a week loaded with super foods. I plan on doing a post about super foods. But right now I will give you my latest super food meal.

This is Super Food Salad...

5 c. fresh Brussels Sprouts, very thinly sliced
3 c. large kale leaves, ribs removed, and finely chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 T. whole-grain mustard
salt to taste

In a large salad bowl, combine the sliced Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and crumbled bacon. Toss together.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Whisk with a fork until well mixed.
Pour the dressing over the Brussels sprouts mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also a good source of folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Kale is a good source of protein, fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development. Also there is alpha-linolenic acid, and omega-3 fatty acid, and minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

Sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin B1, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, just to name a few.

That is just a few of the nutrition of the ingredients in this salad.

It's important we try to eat healthy even if its once and a while. If this salad replaces a night you would have had burgers or take out then you have improved your eating. Just remember, we only have one body, we should treat it like our most precious possession.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Make Your Own Moonsand!

We had a great time last night making and playing with our own homemade Moonsand. Best part was it was made with 2 ingredients I had just lying around. Its super simple and fun. Its a bit messy but nothing a broom and a dustpan can't fix, oh and a bath, they will definitely need a bath!

All you need is

8 cups of flour
1 cup of baby oil

and a container to put it in.

Take off your rings and mash it all together. Make sure to really work the oil into the flour. It only takes a moment and things start forming together

That's it, now let the kids take over and have fun. I throw in some plastic cups last night but you can add so many things that can scoop, poke shapes, add dolls.

When the kiddos are done, you can bag it up in a large ziplock bag and save it for another day of play.

This sand is a great sensory craft to do with toddlers, Even my 8 year old loved playing in it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Surviving Staying At Home the Facebook Page!

Now that I have a few posts behind me I've decided to make a Facebook page so I can share my blog posts and organize things. I've made it easy to find recipes by putting the food photos into one album and adding the link to the recipe.

It's still a work in progress! But you can like the page and easily find my previous posts under the photos.

Also, I like to share relevant links, personal updates, discuss related topics, and more.

Here is the link...Surviving Staying At Home Facebook Page

You can also easily click the Facebook button on the right hand corner as well.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Its The Top Teeth That Will Get You!

I thought my daughter and I got past the teething issue while breastfeeding. Her two tiny pearly whites on the bottom are out and she has figured out not to bite the nipple that feeds you. All was going well. I thought I had mastered this breastfeeding thing. Then came the top teeth.

Honestly, its not her fault. Nothing has been in her way before. She knew how far to open her mouth to fit all she needed of my flesh to eat. But now there are two little barriers that are in the way. She isn't biting but as she pulls my nipple into her mouth she rakes my skin over those razor sharp brand new teeth. It still hurts! Nipples are tender! As much as people say that nipples toughen up with breastfeeding, they don't. They shouldn't have to if mom and baby are doing it right.

With the bottom teeth, the tongue covers those teeth. If baby doesn't bite then there isn't anything to worry about. But those top teeth, those don't have any buffer.

So, my advice to you new to breastfeeding moms out there. Be warned! Top teeth hurt too!

I found that my daughter wasn't opening her mouth wide enough to get the nipple past the top teeth. With any problem that arises during breastfeeding, its back to basics. Get baby to open up nice and big before latching. Even if baby has been doing well self latching. Until they learn to open up so not to scrape you with teeth then you may have to work on latching all over again.

Remember, breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. When it does, you need to fix something. Go back to the basics and figure it out or seek a lactation consultants help. Good Luck Mommas!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Soaking Up The Last Few Days Of Summer

Though the rest of the area is no longer experiencing heat. My towering apartment is anything but cool. With my eight year old home for the long weekend I had to come up with something fun that will cool us off.

While giving the baby a bath I thought to myself at least she will feel cool. Then I figured why can't we all take baths. After her bath I put her down for a nap. Once she was out like a light I drew myself a bath with a bath bomb from Lush. If you haven't been to a Lush store you have no idea what you are missing. If there are no Lush stores near you, order from them online. They are amazing natural products.

I soaked in the now pink scented water with little seaweed paper pink hearts floating around me. Loreena Mckennitt played softly from my phone. I was in bliss!
Then came time for my oldest's bath. She loves baths and had already used her own bath bomb and a half of mine. So I had to come up with a different bath for her. The girl loves bubble baths but I took it a step further.

I took the Dawn and with a bit of water in a bowl I whipped up a bowl full of foam. This is not like a normal bubble bath bubbles, these are dense soap foam. I then added food coloring all around the bowl (it didn't mix well so I learnt you can just dump the food coloring in the middle) then I later the foam on top of the already drawn bath water. I had to do two bowls for one color. I did this for another two colors. You could make the foam bigger or do more colors.

In the future I think I will make bowls of colored foam and add them one after another. The first color I put down ran all over the place by the time I whipped up the next color.
She had a blast. The color washed into the water after a bit of playing but it was fun. She enjoyed mixing all the colors making swirls.

Give it a try. It's a mess if you are not careful with the food coloring. I think I dyed my bathroom sink green. But I still enjoyed surprising my daughter with this cool bath. Messes are a part of life, thank goodness for rubbing alcohol!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Feeding an 18 pound Mexican Jumping Bean.

At least that is what it feels like. My youngest is a far more wild child then my first first loved hugs and cuddles and sleeping in my arms. My youngest can't sit still for a moment. Hugs include hair pulling and kisses involve teeth. I feel like I've been attacked by a pack of wolves for 14 hours by the end of the day. Just as play time with my youngest got harder, since she rather pin me to the ground and gnaw on my face for fun then play with toys, so has nursing.

Nursing now involves her standing on my lap and flopping over from one side to the next taking my nipple in her mouth with her. She twists her head all about and tries to climb up my stomach and chest all while she has a good latch going on so if she falls over I'm going to get clamped down on by 3 tiny but razor sharp baby teeth.

I was struggling to explain this to my friend who just started her nursing journey with her newborn. I struggled to get a picture since there is so much moving, jumping, tossing, and climbing. I tried my best so here is the result...

I didn't think my boobs could face up like that but she managed to get it so she was standing and leaning on top of my chest and nursing. I can't say this wasn't painful but it certainly isn't the worst she has done. She is also a pincher and likes to pinch my boobs and under arm while nursing. She leaves little bruises all over my arms and boobs.

When I pull the baby off carefully, sometimes not carefully and then OUCH!, I get this baby that comes at me like a piranha with her toothy mouth wide open swaying her head back and forth looking for the best position to lunge at me. It would horrifying if you went trying to keep it alive with your breast milk.

I have now spent a half hour googling what to do about this. I have finally found someone with an actual solution. A nursing necklace! It keeps fidgidy nursing babies calm by giving them something to play with and its silicon covered so baby can chew it. Brilliant. I found these on Etsy Silicone Nursing Necklace Chewable Teething Breastfeeding Necklace Beads for Mom to Wear and Baby to Chew.

So if you too suffer from an attack of wild nursing baby then here is your solution. Let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments below.

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Alive!!!

I'm a terrible pack rat! I admit it! I am okay with throwing away my own stuff but my kids stuff, that is the hardest things for me to let go of. I have eight years between my two daughters so, if I was a normal human being I shouldn't have that much stuff from my oldest. But I'm not a normal human, I'm a toy hoarder.

I kept just about every toy my oldest has ever owned. It all came in handy when I babysat my friends' twin girls. Then those toys were outgrown all over again and put away.

Now my youngest is really starting to play with toys. I brought out the baby toys again and all the Little People. I was so happy to still have all these toys in such great condition. Most just needed a good scrubbing but there were some that needed a bit more love.

One of the biggest issues were battery erosion. I made the mistake of leaving batteries in a few toys and the exploded. The worst case was the Little People Plane.

I took a magic eraser to the outside on the white areas. My oldest had gotten Sharpie on the face which I got off with some rubbing alcohol. Then I went to add the batteries.

I took one look at the bottom and went "Oh no..." There was crusted battery acid on the outside which had rusted everything. The nasty battery acid that was all rusty leaked all over one wing. (I was wondering why one wing was discolored.) When I opened it up, my first impression was the plane was a goner. But with some work I was able to clear off enough of the rust crusted on battery acid to get it to work and I cleaned off any leaked rust.

I used rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and held it against the connecter. It took it off a little bit but I didn't feel like it was doing the job. So I went to old faithful...vinegar. I did the same thing. I held a cotton swab soaked in vinegar again the connector for a while. Then I used a flat head screw driver and chipped away at it. Then I cleaned it with more vinegar. It did just enough for it to work again.

So don't throw away that toy just yet. Give it a second chance at life. Try  cleaning it with a little vinegar and some elbow grease.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Healthy Alternative: Soda

Here is my first Healthy Alternative post. I'm very excited to share this new journey with you. I am hoping you find my reviews useful when deciding what recipes and products work best for you.
My first Healthy Alternative is a product. It makes a good soda alternative. Sparkling Ice is a naturally flavored sparkling mountain spring water that has zero calories. It contains vitamins and antioxidants. Looking at the nutrition facts on the back of the bottle, I was surprised.
In comparison to my caffeine free Pepsi which has 150 calories per serving, 30mg of sodium, and 41g of Carbohydrates. Sparkling has none of any of those bad things. In fact it has vitamins D, B3, B6, B12, B5, and Biotin. The Pepsi contains things like high fructose corn syrup and Sparkling Ice has juices to sweeten the taste.
I had the Coconut Pineapple flavor which was pretty tasty. Would of been better if there was rum in it but still it was a great refreshing carbonated drink. There was green tea extract in there as well which gives it that antioxidants boost. The only problem I found with it was it had yellow #5 and yellow #6 in it. These are the same dyes that are why I have stopped eating the US version of Kraft Mac and Cheese. I failed to read the whole label before buying and drinking.
There are plenty more flavors to try which I plan on doing and I will continue to post my reviews on those and other healthy alternatives.
Thank you for reading. Comment below with any suggests on healthy alternative for me to try.

Summer is coming to an end but I'm beginning something new!

This summer was a great summer because I got to have so many great first experience with Freya and I got to share something I loved as a kid with my family.
As the summer ends and fall will soon begin I found the need to make a change. Being out so often this summer we ate terrible. We ate more take out, drank more soda, just had terrible eating habits. It was time we change that.
I have purposed we, as a family, try to find healthy alternative as often as we can. I enjoy the food I eat so I don't want to stop eating them. But a healthy alternative is an adjustment I can make.
I want to share with you my reviews on products and recipes that are healthy alternative and tell you what actually worked for me.
I will be making a special post when I find something and it will be labeled Healthy Alternative.
I would also love some suggestions from you. So leave comments either below or on any Healthy Alternative post.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Our Visit to Battleship Cove

We visited Battleship Cove in Fall River MA. as a part of the Highland Foundation's Free Fun Friday exhibit. I have toured the battleships before when I was a kid but this was the first time for Chris and the kids. It was extremely hot on the battleships. The reflection of sun light on the the deck made it feel like you were walking on the sun. I thought my face was melting! Then we went below deck and it was like any amount of air was sucked out of the room. This is why we only toured one ship. But the ship we did tour was a lot of fun. We got to see many of old military memorabilia and how these WWII ships where like. It really made you think.

My husband said he was surprised at home much they actually let you go through in the ship. It was the larger ship so there was plenty of hallways and rooms to go through. Just as you think you have seen it all you come across another hatch door and a ladder going down yet another level. You could climb into the guns on the main deck area. Chris and Morrigan went into the large gun in this picture. It was too hard to climb up with Freya so I stayed with her.

The front half of the ship had the captain's chair which Morrigan had to climb up on to sit.  Many of the displays were not that unique for Chris and I but for Morrigan, it was very different than it is today. Phones with cords on them? What's a type writer? There was so much for Morrigan to learn  about the technology let alone the experience of the battleship and its workings.

Morrigan was able to climb onto a gun on the side of the main deck. It was great that Chris explained to her how the gun would shoot off multiple rounds and how it moved to target things like plains flying over. Chris showed her how to a solider would target the planes and fire multiple rounds. I was surprised Morrigan was tall enough to actually fit. Some areas were a tight squeeze which made you wonder how grown men where able to navigate the ship. Can't imagine what it would be like if they were being fired upon and having to scramble to their stations inside some of these guns. It was kind of funny watching my tall, mildly out of shape, husband crawling into these areas with Morrigan. I didn't even dare try. I'd break my back! I used the baby as an excuse to get out of the more difficult areas to get into. Shhh.... Do tell my husband. *wink,wink*

Even Freya got to experience how it would be to sleep on a battle ship. I wore miss Freya most of thetime, It would have been impossible to take a stroller through most of the ship since the way you got from one level to the next is all ladders. She slept most of the time in the wrap. She woke up when we stopped at the cafeteria on the USS Massachusetts. The crowd of people sitting in the only public air conditioned room was crazy. But that sweet cool air was great! We cooled off and drank some water before taking off for the front of the ship.I highly recommend this exhibit. It was a great chance to explore something that otherwise, a person might never get a chance to in their lives. It was a great time, an educational experience, and it was something that brought a sense of pride and respect for those that sacrificed so much for us. At the gift shop Morrigan picked out a Air Force teddy bear since we have had many members of the Air Force in our family. 

After we left the Battleships we took a walk through of The Marine Museum. There were so many amazing models  of different ships on display. They did a great job offering crafts and games for the kids. As we left they handed out ceramic models of the Titanic.

If you are interested in taking a tour at Battleship Cove or the Marine Museum, click on the links provided for information. And don't forget to check out the list of the Highland Foundation's Free Fun Fridays for more free events going all around Massachusetts. To see what it coming up, click on the link to view my previous post about Free Fun Fridays.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Help! She has teeth!!!

Freya got her first two teeth last month. I thought it was adorable to see those little two pearly whites rise up out of her otherwise toothless smile. I was also happy that all the screaming and crying in pain was over for now. I just didn't anticipate how these tiny little teeth would impact my breastfeeding.
Morrigan was so easy cutting teeth and as a bottle fed baby I didn't have to worry about biting during feedings. I do remember being fearful of her hugs after she bit my thigh while hugging me. So getting bit on the nipple while feeding Freya didn't just scare it can frustrate Freya. I made the mistake of thinking she was crying because she was tired and wanted to fall asleep while nursing. I was in a hurry trying to clean house before guests were due to arrive. Freya has distinct cries for each of her needs and if I actually slowed down enough to pay attention to what she was trying to tell me I would of realized she just wanted to be down and playing. Instead, I laid her down on my bed with me and popped the boob in her mouth while she was tearfully fussing. That was when I saw her face change. If you are a parent, you know what I'm talking about. Your child goes from cute little cherub to growing horns with flames in their eyes in 5 seconds. I knew she was going to bite me before she even did it but it all happened too fast, I couldn't stop her. She bit, I screamed, she cried because I screamed and I cried from the pain.
The truth was it hurt but I didn't cry, but it triggered tears in your eyes like when you close toes in a door or get elbowed in the nose. There was blood, which I think surprised me. I didn't think she bit me that hard but apparently she broke skin. Those baby teeth are razor sharp, they have to be to cut through the gums.
Lucky for me, my lactation consultant and I had just talked about how to respond to getting bit. She instructed me to make sure I screamed (Like I had a choice on that one.) Then I had to end the nursing session. She had to know that biting equals no boob, you can't bite the hand that feeds you or the boob that feeds you for that matter. She didn't have to tell me not to pull, I don't think I could have when she bit me. Or that I should tell her NO! firmly, it came out automatically. Even young babies, like my 6 month old, can tell mommy is not happy with what she just did.
It's been a month since then and she has tired to bite me two more times. She didn't bit hard but I felt her teeth. I noticed that she has to not only change her hold on my nipple to bite me but she tightens her jaw just before. I have been working on teaching Freya "NO!", its getting there but I wouldn't say we have had that much success. I could say anything in that tone and she will look at me. I could yell "Spinach!" and she would give me the same look. But she goes right back to doing what I was telling her not to do. Tone is all babies can understand but at least we parents have that.
Even though it's a challenge dealing with a teething baby while breastfeeding it's not the end of breastfeeding. Freya is no where ready to be weaned.  I'm hoping at least 6 more month but I prefer another year. Breastfeeding has not only made my life easy but it has been so great to cuddle up with my baby while she eats and falls asleep in my arms. It's truly an amazing experience.
Though I don't think my relationship with my first born would be any different if I had breastfed her,  it's the certain moments that are about a bonding moment.  I never liked those articles that said breastfeeding gives you a better bond with your baby. Its not a better bond over all,  but it is true that YOU feel closer to your baby while feeding her when you are breast feeding. They cuddle into you, hold on to you so tight its like they would never let you go. Those moments fills your heart with so many feelings. Its a moment you just can't duplicate.

Friday, July 10, 2015

New England Historic Genealogical Society Free Fun Friday!

As genealogy is one of my hobbies it was expected that we would just HAVE to go to the New England Historical Genealogical Society on Free Fun Friday. As I mentioned in a previous post (Free Fun Fridays Are A Must This Summer) Free Fun Fridays are free events around Massachusetts during the summer every Friday. This Friday was the New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury street in Boston.

We didn't know what to expect and at first the placed seemed overwhelming. It is 7 stories of books, databases, microtext, and lectures on various sources of records. I was impressed and anxious all at the same time. But the staff was amazing. They approached us, explained the organization of the building and how we can find things. Also, they had genealogist on staff to help us. We made an appointment, which was only a 20 minute wait, and we were able to sit down with Dr. Meaghan Siekman who helped us. She explained how their database worked, tips on how to search, and offered information about how the memberships worked. 

The collection of books are amazing. I can't even begin to describe it. But the value of the membership is found in the databases. The membership gives you access 400+ millions records on which can be accessed at home. This includes services such as which is $149 for 6 months. A membership on is $89.95 for the year (For a family membership $119.95 for the year) and they have far more on their database than Ancestry. Plus, this will give you access to their library and microtext. I'm impressed, we are buying the family membership!

Morrigan enjoyed the trip. She colored a family tree sheet and made her own family crest. Then there was a scavenger hunt and a prize at the end. I was surprised when she said she just enjoyed being at the New England Historic Genealogical Society because she felt like it was just a beautiful place. It certainly was. Painting lined the walls and there was busts of famous historical figures. Leather covered arm chairs were tucked into ever corner and behind every large wooden desks. The computer were a huge contrast to the old world appearance to the building.It was worth the walk through by itself. Wish Miss Freya felt the same as her big sis. She got frustrated with all the sitting so we left.

We walked around Newbury street and Bolyston street. We strolled through the common taking in the sights and sounds of the city. Standing on the foot bridge we watched the swan boats pass by. It was scenic.

Then we had lunch at Fire and Ice. If you live in the area and have never been to Fire and Ice, you are truly missing out. You pick your own dish from an array of fresh food, pick one of the many sauces available, and bring it to a large donut shaped grill where your food is cooked right in front of your eyes. There is a salads bar and a ice cream bar. Best part, its all you can eat! Morrigan loves it! She can eat her two favorite dishes in one restaurant, stir-fry with white rice, chicken, broccoli, carrots, and sweet peas then a plate of bow-tie pasta, broccoli and alfredo sauce. Chris loves making his own stir-fry with sea food.We had a great time!

Don't forget to check out the list from the Highland Foundation for more Free Fun Fridays events available on my previous post, Free Fun Fridays Are A Must This Summer and keep checking back here, Surviving Staying At Home, for new post on the events that I attend with my family.