Surprise You Are A Mom !: April 2013

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Looking back...

How Did We Do It ?



As my daughter's birthday approaches. It makes me think back to her first year. The challenge it was to adapt from being a young adult with no real responsibilities and then being completely blindsided with the birth of our daughter. 
Many parents had 9 months to plan, read and research what they would be getting themselves into. But my husband and I just used common sense and our instincts. We didn't read a million baby books. I personally feel that those books freak other parents out and makes them more nervous than they really should. I am not condoning from parents to not to read them. You are more than welcome to do so. And it also doesn't hurt to read a little just to see if your child's development is on point. After all you are new parents and want to make sure everything is normal. 
One of the few things we used to do to our daughter was to always have noise around. I am not saying loud obnoxious noise. We would but music on low when she would sleep or nap. My mother-in-law didn't like that. Cause she is old school and feels that babies are too delicate with noise. But we decided to do what felt right for us.
We would watch movies with her. Even go to the movie theater with her. I remember we went to see The Avengers and other action/loud movies. The most she would fuss was probably once. We kept training her with this technique from the moment she came home from the hospital. And it has paid off.
People would always compliment us on how quiet our baby was and of course how adorable she is too. When my husband would travel to Tampa for work, we would stay in this historic district called Ybor City. My husband and I love this little town. You can walk anywhere. There is this one restaurant called The Laughing Cat. It's a very well known there. But it is very noisy. People talking, music playing and sometimes you can hear the chef argue (its kinda of entertaining). Our little one decided to go to bed for the night while all this noise was going on. It was quite amusing. When the chef of the restaurant came by to see how the food was, he was shocked how easily she slept with everything going on around her.
Pandora was great tool we used as a resource of music. The channels we used were Interpol, Death Cab for Cutie, The Cure, KT Tunstall , and  Pampers Baby lullabies. Just to name a few. 
For new parents, I hope this helps with your new one. Just remember to keep it low. 

More Cleaning

My  Crazy Cleaning continues...



This week I accomplished a lot. I am quite proud of myself. I've deep cleaned my bathroom and my daughter's/guest bathroom too. I did it within the 2 hour nap time that my daughter takes.
Cleaning my daughter's bath took a little longer cause I had to give our dog, Harvey, a little hair cut, a bath, and completely dry his hair (if not he would of looked like a big fuzz ball lol). My husband helped me out with our little one so I could finish. But nonetheless it got done. I got rid of any medication that expired or any items we no longer use. 
Earlier this week I decided to tackle the laundry room. The bottom pictures is proof that I do get disorganized. When I clean daily, I usually grab the items that I need and then shove them back onto the shelf. After a while, I either forget what items I need to purchase or when I want to grab an item a million things fall on me. So I got tired of that and decided to organize it.

Disorganized washing machine side of the laundry room.
Disorganized dryer machine side of the laundry room. 
Just like with the bathrooms, I got rid of some things we no longer needed and re-organized my cleaning supplies. I also reused some boxes we had in there to store our extra brown bags/gift bags and for our daily cleaning supply items. I am planning to go to the store to purchase a plastic bin for my daily cleaning supplies cause I know the box will get damage easily. But for now the box will do.
In the process of organizing the shelves, I noticed the amount of dust/dirt the back of my machines had. Just like what I did with the fridge the previous week, I moved it forward so I can get to the back. It was pretty bad. Since my laundry room is really small, I was limited in space. Which made it difficult for me to physically get back there. So I invented a tool for myself. I took the rod from the dustpan and rolled a rag with a old hair tie (a rubber band should work fine too) and sprayed the floor with Lysol. I used my new nifty tool to get the areas I couldn't get to. 


And these were the results !


This is how my laundry looks like now :) Makes it easier to do laundry now and get a hold of the items that I need too.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Time Craft

Flowers!



I saw this in Pinterest and again in a couple of other mom blogs doing this craft. So I defiantly needed to do this too! My 22 month old loved painting these egg cartons. It was a bit challenging for her cause she would paint them but at the same time push them away from her. But she got the hand of it.
We did the painting part before her bath time. I knew she would end up having paint everywhere. After she was done painting, we let our "flowers" dry while bath time. And this is how pretty they turned out.! 

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While she was taking a nap I got some pipe cleaners.
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And cut them in half. You don't need to be symmetrical. Uneven lengths are ok too.

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Then you poke a tiny hole at the bottom of the egg carton.

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See tiny hole. I honestly thought how can a pipe cleaner go throw there? 

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But it was more than enough room for it. Once the pipe cleaner goes through make a ball like shape of the top tip of the pipe cleaner. I've seen some blogs where they glue the pipe cleaners but I honestly didn't feel like doing that and wasting glue. But if you feel better doing so you can. 

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Pull down the pipe cleaner until you can't. And this is what you get !

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It looks so pretty when you have a bouquet of "flowers"!

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My daughter loved them! She FaceTime with her grandma and was trying to give it her through my phone. That was just too adorable!

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Another idea you  can do is make a flower headband. I saw this idea in one the Arts and Crafts communities. You can probably play dress up with your little ones and be fairies or princesses.
Once my daughter is tired of the bouquet, I'll convert them into a headband. But for now she is happy with what we made. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our journey so far..

House Hunting


Last year we were looking into purchasing a house. (We are starting to run out of room here!) Prior to looking, for a year (almost 2) my husband has been fixing his credit with one credit score company. Once we saw that we were in the credit score range we felt comfortable we then proceeded to house hunt with our Realtor. 
It was so exciting and frustrating at the same time. Some houses had an amazing size kitchen but the rooms were really small or it would be the opposite. After a few weeks we finally found one house that we fell in love with! It's a pre-construction home. So everything would be new! :) (we were honestly surprise how affordable these homes are!)
Once we agreed on the lot we thought we were set. But unfortunately we got bad news. Apparently our mortgage consultant said he could not find any credit history of my husband. It was very odd! So my husband called the other 2 credit score companies and they had old accounts that should have been resolved since it was deleted with the other credit company that we were working with. This was all going on during November of last year. We dealt with those accounts but it takes 30 business days to get an official response per account. By then it would of been the end of December. We crossed our fingers hoping no one takes our lot. 
Then early January hits. Our mortgage consultant tells us we have to open at least 2 credit cards so we can have active credit and to bring up our credit score ( cause they take the average not the highest score) So it's another waiting game at that point. It was so discouraging! :-/ At that point we knew we had lost our lot space.
Then yesterday my husband contacted our mortgage consultant to see where we stand. We got the best news ever! He said our score is perfect for the loan that we are looking for and he will start our pre-approval forms. Basically (from what I understand) that means that if we find a house ,lets say tomorrow, we can have the go ahead with the paperwork with no problems :-) We called our Realtor to tell her the good news. She then called the company of the house we wanted to see if the lot is still  available.  (It doesn't hurt to ask !) We haven't heard from them yet. In the meantime, we honestly tried looking at other homes and nothing compared to this one. But we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping there is a lot available. It would be amazing if the lot we chose is still there. 


One tip that our mortgage consultant gave us about credit cards is to only use 25% of your credit limit. So for example, your limit is $500 you then use $125. No more, no less. This will help you with bring up your credit. We have been doing this since January and it works!
 Thought I'd share :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Recipe

Ropa Vieja



The other day I made Ropa Vieja. For those who don't know what it is it's a Spanish beef stew dish. This is not a dish from my parent's country but growing up in Miami you would always see it. My mom never tried to make it. So I would indulge it at a friend's home or at a local restaurant. After moving away from Miami, I miss it more than ever and other Latin cuisine that I can't get anywhere else! 
A couple of years ago I had enough courage to try to make it. So I started looking online for recipes. I found a handful of recipes of Ropa Vieja. I read a million of reviews to make sure it tasted really good. And I finally found a recipe. It was simple and easy to make. This recipe is amazing. I, of course, altered it a bit to our family's liking. 
This is what I did:
Instead of 2 cloves of garlic I added 5-6 cloves of garlic (My family really loves garlic!) I added 2-3 extra teaspoon of cumin and cilantro. I would add extra cilantro if you are using dried cilantro and make sure crush it to bring out the flavor more. I also added about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of seasoned pepper or crushed peppercorn (it's whatever I have in my spice rack). My husband loves peas so I always add a can of peas (without the water) about 10 -15 minutes before its done. You can also add which ever vegetable you desire but I've only seen diced carrots and peas put in this dish. 
This dish goes well with tostones ( fried plantains) and rice.  



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon

My heart goes out to those that passed away and were injured due to this horrible act. But in time chaos we will always find the good in people. As many people seen those horrible pictures of the injured you also see the good people trying to help each other. 




Monday, April 15, 2013

Cleaning adventures continue

Little One's Room


I wish I had a before picture of her room. But any parent can imagine it. Legos, books, stuffed animals all over the floor. My daughter is not the only one that plays in this room. Our furry family member Harvey hangs out here too.


As you see this room has carpet and his hair gets everywhere! I normally vacuum every 2 days. But this time I brought in carpet cleaner and many more items to make sure I cleaned the room right.
 I start cleaning from the top and work my way down. First was the fan. I used my Swiffer dry refill sheets. I know that these Swiffer sheets are meant for the floor but it picks up the dust very well. A plus on using these sheets is that I don't need to use a spray! Once I was done there I saw that some of the corners of the walls were dusty. So I got another Swiffer sheet and step ladder so I can reach those spots and wiped it down. Next thing to tackle were the blinds. I honestly hate these blinds. But they need to get cleaned. Again I used the Swiffer sheets. Next was wiping down the lamp, frames and the bookshelf. I took out all the toys from the shelves and used Pledge wood cleaner and a towel and wiped it down. After dusting and wiping down everything I moved furniture to vacuum. I did this in sections to make it easier. While vacuuming, my daughter was in her crib. Our dog thinks the vacuum is devil. Barks at it every time I pull it out. So in the bathroom he went so I don't have to deal with him and vacuum in peace.  
And this is my cleaning results! 




I know the toy disaster will be there the following day but at least she will playing is a clean room :)


She Said Papa!

Not Mama!


My daughter said Papa again to my husband! Yay! This is very exciting for us as parents. When she was younger she was learning a handful of words. The first few were mama and papa. But for some unknown reason around the time she turned 1 she decided to not say papa at all. She called him mama too! It was funny at first. But it started to concern me. And like any parent would do is research online to see if this was normal.
Luckily, I had a developmental therapy appointment set ahead of time. The doctor and therapists assured us that it is normal and it will come back to her. It is something that just happens with babies. The doctor and therapist just told us that our daughter calls us both mama because we are her "peeps". It's a funny way of looking at it. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's Cayenee Pepper not Kanye Pepper

Dinner Recipe!



Looking for an easy recipe?! Well this Glazed Pork Chops Recipe might do the trick! Not only is it easy but has tons of flavor! Would of posted personal picture of my meal but we were all so hungry! Besides the pork chops we had rice and corn. It was delicious! Even my husband wanted to know if we would have leftovers for tomorrow. Unfortunately I didn't make that much this time but the next I will make sure to do so. For those who are sensitive to spicy food this does have a small kick so be advised. 
On a side note my husband kept making fun of me cause I would list all the ingredients in the recipe. When it came to Cayenee Pepper I would say Kanye Pepper. Of course my husband would respond "Kanye is a rapper not a spice" with a laugh. 
Oh well ! Hope you enjoy this recipe :-)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cleaning inspiration

Cleaning like Crazy! 



Thought that I'd share that for some reason I've been on this journey of deep cleaning our home. I honestly did not know what got over me. But it all started with a need to clean the back of the fridge. It was driving me insane. At night I would visualize how disgusting it might be back there since I last cleaned it about 10 months ago. 
So what is a mom to do ? Wait till the little one takes a nap and start cleaning it! 
I had to remove everything that was on top of the fridge. And I found some hidden treasures there. Japanese gummy candies that my husband purchased when he went to California for a business trip. They were so delicious at first. But he purchased soooo much that we got sick of them and stored them on the top of the fridge behind our cereal boxes. Fast forward almost 2 years, now they are all expired and in a dusty container! (eeww!) Rest in peace candies that didn't fulfill their destinies. In the garbage they went! 
Another treasure were Cliff granola/power bars. I personally don't eat these cause for some reason these bars get me sick. But my husband decided to purchase a huge box of peanut butter flavor. (Yuck! I personally don't like peanut butter ) It was suppose to be his "go to" snack when he is working. But of course he got sick of it. I tried to remind him about them months after  he purchase them but I was tired of being a broken record so I stopped. So they laid there with the Japanese gummy candies getting all dusty until they expired as well. 


After removing everything on top of the fridge I saw how dusty it was. You can so tell the area that I wipe down daily. After cleaning the top of the fridge I had to move the fridge so I can get to the back of it. Yes, I did that on my own without any help. Mind you I am about 5'4" tall and the fridge is bigger and heavier than me. It took some time to move but it got done. 


Then the horror! :-O





There were more dust to clean up and old spills too. I found a couple of coupons and papers on the side. I wiped down the walls with Lysol swept the floor a couple of times. I even got on my knees and used my mini brush and dustpan to make sure I got everything out of there. ( I would of used my vacuum but our dog barks at it so that wasn't an option)
 After cleaning the back and sides of the fridge it was time to put everything back. I almost kicked the dumb fridge out of frustration of it not budging. I felt like Ross from Friends when he was moving a giant sofa through the staircase and kept yelling 'Pivot!' After a couple of different attempts and positions of moving the fridge it finally decided to be nice to me and move back into its place. 
Once I was done putting everything back, my little one decided to wake up from her nap. Doesn't she have good timing?! 
There will be many more stories of my cleaning adventures to come!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY

Mickey & Minnie Shirts




One of the blogs that I am following posted up this DIY Mickey & Minnie shirts for her Disneyland trip. I always see these kinds of shirts on Etsy for 30 bucks or more. And to be honest I don't want to spend that much for a shirt that my kid will ruin at the end of the day. You don't have to only do it with Mickey and Minnie themed you can do Spongebob or any sesame street character that your child may like. Just a neat idea. I wish I would of thought of it!

Song that I found

John Frusciante

 Thank you Pandora again to introducing me to other music. This song Murderers is instrumental. To be honest it reminds me of the song from Ocean's 13 scene where the French robber was stealing the painting. But nonetheless great song to listen to. Thought that I'd share :)


Baby Products Review

Boon High Chair


 Our family was very generous and purchase a lot of the important items we needed since our pregnancy was extremely short noticed. But one item that we never really thought of was the high chair. It wasn't until our little one was getting closer to eating solid food that it occurred to us that we needed one and soon. 
Like many parents, I went online for hours to find a high chair. We went to the typical websites like babies'r'us, Amazon and many more. Just to see what is out there. Compared prices. Read a million reviews. But there is one that caught our eye. The Boon Pedestal Highchair. I really wanted to get it but was too pricey in my opinion. So I showed different options to my husband and he didn't like any of them. So I showed him the boon high chair. He absolutely loved the look of it. Very modern looking. Then we read the reviews and we were completely sold on it. 


When we received the item we unpacked it as quickly as we could. My husband assembled it within 30 minutes. The quality is great. The highchair is material free of the following Phthalate, BPA, Latex, PVC, and Nitrosamine. 
It's very easy to clean. I just take out the padded seat and wash it by hand and let it dry till the next use and wipe down the chair with Lysol. The other high chairs we looked at had a fabric padding which would of required to wash in the washing machine. That sounded like such a hassle.




The trays are dishwasher safe but I barely use the dishwasher so I also wash it by hand. Some people complained that the tray were too small but its the right amount of space for a plate and a cup. A baby doesn't need no more space than that. It does come with two trays. The first white tray clicks in to the actual chair and the second tray is see through which goes on top of the first tray. The second tray makes it even more easier for clean up. I would sometimes use the second tray as a plate. I'd place the  cheerios or any hand picking food item and when she was done I would just lift the second tray and wash it. Instead of two items to wash all i would be cleaning just one.  


We always adjust our daughter's chair so she can color or paint at our dinning table.The chair's height can be adjusted by pressing the button that is located on the base. It's almost like a barber's chair. But make sure you don't adjust it while the baby is in it. If the chair is at it's lowest level and you press the button it springs up the chair to the highest level quickly.  


One feature that I saw on other high chairs was the recline. The boon highchair has no recline. To be honest we didn't really need it. My baby of 6 months at the time was fine eating without the recline option.

As you probably noticed in the pictures that the highchair doesn't have the seat-belts/harness. The boon chair does come with it. It has straps that come over each shoulder and the hip area.  I personally decided that my daughter was old enough that she did not need them. The only time I would put a seat-belt/harness is when I'm not using the tray. But that is a rare occasion that I do that. 
If you don't like the color of padded chair you can always purchase a different color. There are now pink, light blue, green and white on Amazon for about $30. Even though this chair is a little pricey it's worth purchasing it! My daughter uses this chair a handful of times throughout the day.
I hope you found this review helpful. And makes it easier to make your decision :-) 




Sunday, April 7, 2013

Funny

YouTube




I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend ! Found this video that is of a cat walking a dog home on a leash . It's just too cute and funny to not share. :-)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Recall

RECALL: Eat High Chair by Babyhome


If you have this item please discontinue use. It causes strangulation if the baby slides down between the seat and the tray. More information is in the link above. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Parents can relate

How many times has this happen to you?

Thought this was funny. I'm personally not at this stage with my little one but soon enough it will happen. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

Eggs, Jelly beans and Chocolate! Oh, my !




Well Easter was so much fun! This was the first Easter that my daughter could participate on an Easter egg hunt :) We didn't see family this Easter cause my husband was working most of the weekend. But that is alright! That's why we have our lovely Facetime devices :) 
We started our Easter festivities after my daughter's nap. I was surprised that she didn't want to wake up after sleeping for 2 hours. My husband wanted me to leave her be but I know what would be the consequences if I didn't wake her. It would of meant that she wouldn't want to go to  bed at her normal time. So I compromised that I would let her sleep for another 20-30 minutes extra. 
In the meantime, I started hiding the 18 eggs that I bought and stuffed. I decided to do this egg hunt indoors cause first off we don't live in a house so we are limited to yard space and second lately I've been seeing more and more ant piles forming outside when I walk our dog. Our friend Liz (Auntie Liz) contacted us and wanted to come over. She told me ahead of time that she got our little one a few things for Easter. So this year our little one got 2 baskets! yay! 
By the time our friend and her boyfriend came over it was time for our daughter to wake up. Boy, was she grumpy! 20 minutes later she started to officially wake up. I knew she was wake cause she was pointing at one of the eggs that I have hidden. 
So the egg hunt begins! She found a couple of them on her own but the other ones I guess you can say I hid them well (oops!) So everyone helped guide her to find the other  eggs. She loved finding the eggs. My husband purchased her an Elmo Easter basket for her weeks ago and she used that to place her eggs gently in it. It's funny to see her discover that there is a surprise inside the eggs. Then I guess it clicked in her head that all of them must have a surprise inside. She started shaking them and handing them out to everyone. What can I say, she loves to share.


Next came the baskets! I have been collect items for a month and last night I didn't realize how much stuff I purchased ! Everything that I bought her minus 2 items were only a dollar!  She got an Elmo Coloring book ($1), bunny ears ($1), Easter Sticker Booklet ($1), Pearl Necklace ($1),   Multi color star bracelet ($1),   Hello Kitty Sticker booklet ($1), 1 small bag of Jelly Beans ($1), Magnifying glass ($1), and a set of 3 bubble solution in shape of bunnies ( $1). The basket was about $6 at Walmart and the Elmo Easter tattoo egg was about $2. I couldn't resist purchasing these Sesame Street items. She absolutely LOVES Elmo and his friends. And the basket will work as an organizing bin for her toys ! 

Now on to Auntie Liz's basket! She got her Easter themed Leggos! yay! She was very considerate and cleaned the Leggos for us beforehand. The eggs had Starburst Jelly Beans (they were so yummy! Might purchase myself a bag tomorrow). Liz also added a few chocolate eggs and small stuffed animal. 
Once my daughter tasted those jelly beans she wanted more and more and more. I had to make her stop if not she wouldn't eat her meal. Of course she had a little fit but I distracted her with her new Leggos. 
We didn't do a fancy Easter lunch/dinner. Just kept it simple by eating our leftovers! Which makes it easier on this mommy :) My daughter had so much fun this Easter. It was a simple but a family time Easter! I hope that next year we can spend it with her two cousins Bella and Maddie (who is due to arrive this August ! yay!)