Drink more water!

Okay, we all know that drinking water is important!  There are so many benefits to keeping our bodies hydrated.  Studies show the benefits and I have seen the benefits first hand in my life.  When I drink enough water I eat less junk food, don't over-eat, have clearer skin, feel more energetic, and feel better about myself!
I know water is important but sometimes I just don't drink enough of it!  Here are a few simple ways to make sure you and your family are getting enough water each day!
-Make it easy, carry a water bottle with you.
-Track the water you drink.
-Cut out other drinks and replace them with water.
-Make up a reminder...When I get a text message I'll take a drink of water!
-With the awesome technology we have these days it's easy to set up daily reminders, I just downloaded a free app called water lite that helps me track the water that I drink.
Check out this article, it's a short and concise article on why and how we can help our kids drink more water.

What do you do to make sure you are getting the water your body needs?


Week 5: Blanket or Laundry Basket Rides

Have you ever been on a blanket ride!?  My kids just love them! ; )  The pictures will explain a lot if you have no idea what i'm talking about.  All you need for this activity is a blanket and some muscle power!  Let the kids hop on the blanket and take them for a ride.  : )  If I had the endurance, my kids would do this all day.  If you live in a mostly carpeted area you can take the kids on laundry basket rides.  The basket will slide much easier on carpet then the blanket will.

Thanks for stopping by the 5th week of
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Pregnancy Stretches

I have lots of aches and pains from pregnancy and have found that stretching really helps me.  Here are a few of my favorite stretches.  I really like the back stretches and have found that stretching my legs helps me have less back pain. Also, stretching my upper body helps relieve a lot of the tension I get in my neck/upper back.

Back Stretches
Torso Rotations 
Muscles: Back, Upper Torso
Instructions: Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Hold your right foot with your left hand. Then move your left hand behind you, slowly twist your upper body to the right. Hold for several seconds, then return to the starting position. Switch hands and repeat on the other side.
Reps: 10 on each side

Backward Stretch 
Muscles: Back, Pelvis and Thighs
Instructions: Start on your hands and knees, keeping your arms straight and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Curl backward slowly until you're resting on your knees. Tuck your head toward your knees and keep your arms extended. Hold for several seconds, then return to the starting position. 
Reps: 10

Dromedary Droop
Muscles: Lower Back
Instructions: Get on hands and knees and relax back while keeping your head straight and making sure your neck is lined up with your spine. Arch your back and let your head droop down. Return to starting position.
Reps: 10

Standing Pelvic Tilt 
Muscles: Lower back
Instructions: Stand up straight with your back against a wall, your feet about shoulder-width apart. Then push the small of your back against the wall. Hold for several seconds, then return to the starting position.
Reps: 10

Leg Stretches
Seated Buttocks Stretch 
Muscles: Buttocks
Instructions: Sit on the edge of a chair, straighten your back and relax your shoulders. Lift your left foot off of the ground, and place the outside of your left ankle on your right knee. Place your left hand on your left knee; this will prevent it from lifting during the stretch. Lower your chest toward your knees, stopping when you feel a stretch in your left buttock. Hold for 45 seconds, then do the same with your other leg.

Hamstrings Stretch 
Muscles: Thighs
Instructions: Sit on the ground and extend your legs in front of you. Widen them 45 degrees and straighten your back. Relax your shoulders and lift your arms in front of you. Slowly lower your chest toward the floor while reaching your fingers toward your toes. Widen your legs to accommodate your stomach if necessary. Stop when you feel a stretch in the back of your thighs, and hold for 45 seconds.

*I also like to do this stretch standing up. Stand with feet hip width apart.  Bend knees slightly until both hands lay flat on floor between legs. Slowly try to straighten knees while keeping hands on floor. When you begin to feel stretch in hamstring stop and hold for 30 seconds.

Standing Leg Stretch
Muscles: Hamstrings
Instructions: Stand near an object you can support yourself on such as a chair. Bend your left knee bringing your foot up and towards your buttocks. Grasp foot with your left hand while brining heal of left foot to your buttocks while extending your thigh backwards from the hip joint. Keep back strait and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with opposite leg.

Leg Lifts
Muscles: Thighs
Instructions: Lie on your left side with your shoulders, knees and hips lined up straight. Support yourself by holding your head with your left arm and placing your right arm on the floor in front of you. Slowly lift your right leg as high as you can.
Reps: 10 on each side

Muscles: Legs, Rear
Instructions: Standing with feet parallel and hip-width apart, take a big step. Tighten the butt cheek of the rear leg, keeping the hips level. Put your hands on your lower back as shown. Lower into a lunge, keeping the front knee behind the toes. Hold for four slow breaths, contracting the lower abs on the exhale
Reps: 4 on each side

Upper Body Stretches
Chest Stretch
Muscles: Chest
Instructions: With arms bent at shoulder level grasp both sides of a doorway. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold 10-20 seconds.
Reps: 5

Shoulder Stretch
Muscles: Shoulders
Instructions: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Bring your left arm out in front of you at chest height and bend it slightly. Take your right hand, place it on your left elbow, pull your left elbow toward your right shoulder as you exhale. Hold 20 seconds, switch sides.

Neck Relaxer
Muscles: Neck
Instructions: Sit up straight or stand and try to relax. Tilt your head to one side and let it slowly drop to your shoulder. Don’t raise your shoulders to meet your head or force your head down. Hold for 10 seconds, switch sides.
Reps: 4 on each side

Plank on Knees 
Muscles: Abs, Arms and Shoulders
Instructions: Rest on your hands and knees with your neck, back, and thighs forming a straight line as shown. Pull your abs toward your spine to prevent your back from arching. With your shoulders over your hands, do a slow push-up, going about halfway down to the floor. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Reps: 4

Hope these help!



My baby is teething!

My baby is teething right now.  I thought it might be helpful to share information I learned about teething while earning my BA degree in Dental Hygiene as well as things I have learned about teething from my little ones and being their mommy.

My family and I moved about a month ago.  The only things left to unpack are books so this was not an easy task but I found my old Dental Hygiene book from school and this is what it says.  The book is written in dental terms so i'll translate it into English for you. : )
Signs your baby is teething:
Excessive drooling
Change in appetite
Interrupted sleep patterns
Fever or diarrhea usually are not symptoms and require consultation with a physician to assess the presence of a systemic illness.

When will I see my babies teeth coming in (Erupting)?
 Just FYI these ranges are months...not years.  Your baby will get teeth before they are 8. : )
Top teeth:
Central incisor (2 front teeth): 10 (8-12)
Lateral incisor (2 on the sides): 11 (9-13)
Canine (Vampire teeth, corners): 19 (16-22)
First Molar: 16 (13-19 boys) (14-18 girls)
Second molar: 29 (25-33)

Bottom teeth:
Central incisor: 8 (6-10)
Lateral incisor: 13 (10-16)
Canine: 20 (17-23)
First Molar: 16 (14-18)
Second molar: 27 (23-31 boys) (24-30 girls)

How do I help my baby?
1-Chewing on objects
cold wash cloth, 
Hard, solid teething ring
2-Numbing Solutions
Over the counter numbing solutions are not recommended,  products contain a strong anesthetic that is difficult to control.  It may numb the entire oral cavity and, if swallowed, suppress the gag reflex.

Now, that's what the book says....and it's true but as a mom I want to share some of the things that I have learned a long the way.  One of my boys was really fussy while teething and the other hasn't been too bad...so far.  Remember that all children are unique and will be different.  The first sign, I notice when it comes to teething is the drool.  Isn't he cute, drool and all!

Another way I can tell their are teeth coming, is EVERYTHING goes straight into the mouth!

Other Signs I notice:
Loss of appetite or more picky eating.
More needy, not necessarily fussy.

I know the book says fevers are not usually symptoms of teething, BUT both of my boys have had low grade fevers when their teeth are erupting.  Maybe it's just coincidence or because they are sucking and chewing of EVERYTHING and get sick.  I'm not 100% sure...just saying!

I have documented some of the things we do to help ease the teething pain.  This will differ depending on what age your baby is when they get their teeth.  Remember you probably know what your child is capable of and which methods will work best for your child.  

Ice Pops
A stick of celery, I like to keep a bag in the fridge.  This is one of my favorites, because it's not too cold for him to hold on his own.
Frozen Bagel...be prepared to clean up a little mess.
Frozen or refrigerated Go-Gurt. 
String Cheese.....he loves to gnaw on it as he eats it....HIS FAVORITE! 
Cold Watermelon...this is a juicy mess (notice no shirt) but he loves it!
He is holding a toothbrush...yes, chewing on it makes him very happy!

Carrots frozen or just cold.
A frozen spoon, or just share some ice-cream and you will both be happy!

If you are worried about your baby choking on small pieces of food, then try putting it in a mesh bag like the one munchkin sells, or a clean sock works as well.

Teething toys can be life savers.  They are my favorite for church or when we are on the go.  Here are a few favorites.

I have used teething tablets and baby orajel, but try to use them as a last resort.  It seems like nights are one of the harder times when it comes to teething so I use Ibuprofen to ease the pain so my little one can sleep.  I hope this helps!  If you have any other thoughts or ideas, I would love to hear them! 


Week 4: Finger Paint

I had an awesome time with my boys this week. We made and played with super easy homemade finger paint.

I had a can of expired sweetened and condensed milk so we added some food coloring to it, mixed it up and had some fun!

One of my favorite things about this mixture was that my little guy could eat it and I didn't have to worry about what was in it....I made it so I know! ; )

We painted a few pictures and had a blast.  It's kinda messy so be prepared for some sticky clean up.  Also prepare to let your pictures dry for about a day.  We did some pretty thick painting though so i'm sure that drying time varies depending on how thick you apply the paint.

We didn't make this finger paint this week, but shared this activity in a previous blog post.  It's a good one too if you want something that's thicker or not quite as runny.  Give it a try! ; )  How did it go?

1/2 cup of cornstarch OR 1 cup of Flour
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of cold water
Food coloring
Pinch of Salt
Directions: Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium pan. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring the mixture until it is smooth and thick. Once it has thickened turn the burner off and let it cool. After cooling divide the finger paint into separate storage containers and add food coloring. Make sure the lids are on tight while storing so it doesn’t dry out.

This was a really fun activity for me and my 2 year old! It was fun for him to help make it and see the colors change as we added coloring. It was fun all over when we got to color with it and get all messy. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! ; )
Here is the recipe with pictures and some of my son digging in….so fun!


Thanks for stopping by the 4th week of
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Gender Reveal

I am excited to share some fun gender reveal ideas today. 

No, I won't be sharing what gender baby I will be having because I don't know. As many of you know I already have a boy (4) and girl (2) so my husband and I decided to keep the gender of this baby a surprise until it's born.  Yes, it has been hard not knowing especially after seeing so many cute ways to share the news with family and friends.

Balloons in a box: Fill a box with pink or blue balloons then open it to make the announcement.
Black balloon with confetti: fill a black balloon with pink or balloon confetti then POP it.

Room full of balloons: Fill a room with blue or pink balloons.

Picture with balloons: keep it simple by snapping a picture of you and your baby bump with either pink or blue balloons. 

Blow it up: Mom holds pink balloon, Dad holds blue...blow up the balloon that shows the gender of your baby.

Cut into a cake to revel

or bite into a cupcake

Unwrap a baby outfit in front of guests.

Have a child wear a shirt that says "excited to have a baby sister/brother."

Have family wear  pink or blue clothes to share the news. 

Take a picture of families feet with an extra pair of blue/pink shoes added to the picture.

Dress up an ultrasound

Take a picture with your baby/baby bump

Handout Hershey bars with either Hershey or Hershey showing. 

Dish up pink or blue ice cream for friends.

Share a photo like the one below.

Pinata Party
Break open a pinata filled with either pink or blue.


Week 3: Play in the Snow

I can't believe it, next week is spring break for us and we just got tons of snow!  Me and the boys have been battling sickness after sickness this winter and haven't been able to get outside and enjoy the snow...until now!
We just moved into a new place and have an awesome sledding hill right out our back door, so we decided to make the most of the snow and have some fun! ; )  

Here is a list of things that you can do with your children in the snow!
~Go sledding, or tubing
~Take turns rolling down a hill
~Make a snow angel
~Have a snow ball fight
~Build a snow man 
~Build an igloo, or snow fort
~Build a snow castle (whip out those beach toys)
~Catch snowflakes on your tongue
~Ice cube scavenger hunt!  Make your own ice cubes with food coloring and water and hide them in the snow in a designated area and then search for them.
~Use spray bottles with water and a  food coloring mixture to spray on the snow
~Write in the snow and take a picture
~Shovel (let the kids help)

Don't forget to end your snow time with hot coco or cider!

Thanks for stopping by week 3 of:
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