Original Sprout Curl Calmer

417KtD44agLI have previously written about my daughter’s beautiful, silky blond curls and my hunt for the best products for it.  Last week, while we were getting her hair cut, the stylist recommended Original Sprout Curl Calmer as a finishing product.  Now, I think it’s a must-have for any littles with curly hair.  After combing the Shea Moisture spray through my daughter’s wet hair, I run the curl calmer through it.  It gives her hair the finishing touch it needs.  Her locks are soft and frizz-free and they smells heavenly.  Plus, it’s safe and environmental-friendly, formulated sans sulfates, soy, gluten, honey, peanut, or dairy.  My next experiment will be to see if it works on my crazy curls!

Zutano Fleece Booties for Babies

All of a sudden, it is minus 1000 degrees in the Northeast. Natually, I am ill prepared. I drop my older son off at school every morning, with the baby along for the ride. He is nice and cozy in his stroller with his BundleMe, but when I have to take him out and walk into school, he looks frigid. I recently saw another child wearing the Zutano Fleece Bootie and I knew they would be perfect for the days where he did not need to wear a snowsuit, but it was still pretty cold.

zutano bootie

The booties are super soft and really warm. They are easy to take off, but actually stay on because they button. Plus, they look super cute and can stay on when you go indoors. No more cold toes!

If My Kids Ruled The World

if my kids ruled the world via @twohappymamas

1. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner shall be abolished. Only snacks made of cheese may be consumed.

2. Subjects may only eat on blue plates. No purple ones. No blue. Purple. BLUUUUUUUUE.

3. Sharing is expressly prohibited. If you want something that your friend is currently playing with, grab it and lay on top of your friend until they surrender.

4. At bedtime, all subjects must make up at least 5 excuses before surrendering to bed. Excuses such as “I am thirsty,” “I have to go to the bathroom,” “My arm hurts,” and “I can’t find my (insert stuffed animal no one has ever cared about before)” are all acceptable.

5. At bath time, you must ensure that more water ends up outside of the tub than inside. Soap should not touch any areas except your elbow. Bonus points if you throw water in your brother’s face or make your mom have to change her clothes.

6. If you are dressed to go outside and your mom and dad are in a hurry, announce that you need to go to the bathroom. When you get into the bathroom, forget why you are there. This does not apply if you are going to the park or for ice cream.

7. At least once per week, throw yourself on the floor and cry hysterically. Under no circumstances are you permitted to tell anyone why you are crying.

8. If a grown up accidentally curses in front of you, repeat that word at least 50 times and preferably in front of other grown ups.

9. When choosing what book to read before bed, choose the longest book you own and interrupt every third word to ask a question. The question does not need to relate to the book.

10. Just when your mom and dad can’t take it anymore, give them a hug and tell them you love them. They live for that stuff.

If You Plan on Breastfeeding

I am lucky to have a whole host of family members and friends who are pregnant with their first babies in the coming months.  It’s so fun to watch them prepare and experience the excitement of first-time parenthood through their eyes.  Many of these soon-to-be mamas have asked me for advice on how they can prepare to breastfeed their little ones.  Here are some of my tips!

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1. Take a breastfeeding class and establish a relationship with a lactation consultant.  Many hospitals offer a prep class on breastfeeding in conjunction with birthing classes.  I also recommend finding a lactation consultant who will provide invaluable support in establishing and maintaining your breastfeeding plan once your little one arrives.  Ask other moms for recommendations for a lactation consultant in your area or contact your local La Leche League to find a good one.  You may also want to bookmark Kelly Mom which is a go-to resource for breastfeeding.

2. Contact your insurance company to order a breast pump.  When I had my daughter three years ago (before Obamacare), I purchased a Medela breast pump for several hundred dollars.  Now, many health insurance plans cover double electric breast pumps for free!  Once you know your options, you can research, ask other moms or speak to your prospective lactation consultant to determine which pump best fits your needs.

3. Stock up on some nursing gear.  I suggest not purchasing too many items until you know you will be breastfeeding for the long haul.  Some things you may want off the bat (and will want to bring to the hospital) include at least one set of nursing pajamas (I loved having this set for the hospital!), some nursing tanks, a few nursing bras, some nursing pads (I prefer reusable ones), and a few sleep nursing bras.  Once you get home and figure out what you like best, you can purchase more of these items.  I also used My Brest Friend for the first few weeks to help position my babies for breastfeeding most comfortably.

4. Express to your OB and delivery nurses your desire to have skin-to-skin contact right after your baby is born.  Whether you deliver naturally or via c-section, so long as there are no emergencies, you should be able to have skin-to-skin contact with your newborn as soon as he is delivered.  I vehemently insisted on this during the births of both my children.  Skin-to-skin contact has been proven to stimulate the production of milk and comfort your newborn, in addition to numerous other benefits.  It’s amazing how they have a latching instinct from the time they are born!

5. Lastly, be patient!  Establishing a breastfeeding relationship with your newborn can be challenging, but in my eyes it is definitely worth it.  Lean on your mama friends for support and enjoy the special bonding experience it provides with your baby.  There’s nothing like it!

Image courtesy of Jomphong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Red Beans and Rice

This meal is very easy to make, but takes some time to cook. I like to make it on a Sunday and serve it reheated for weekday lunches and dinners. It actually tastes better the next day!

red beans and rice via @twohappymamas

You will need:

Extra virgin olive oil (approximately two tablespoons)
1 lb Kielbasa
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 16 ounce cans of kidney beans
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning blend
3 cups cooked brown rice (for serving so if you make it ahead you won’t need to make the rice)

Heat the olive oil in large skillet. Add Kielbasa, onion and garlic and cook until the onion is brown (approximately 20 minutes).

Add in the beans and their liquid, chicken broth and seasoning. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until the mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. It should take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Serve over rice.

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