Days Off From School For My Family Are….


Most people are inconvenienced when their children have days off from school.

Whelp not me!  For I have the best of both worlds!  My kids not having school means 5 GREAT THINGS TO ME!

1. I GET TO SLEEP IN (running around doing a happy dance)

2. I get to spend some quality time with my kids (cooking breakfast, making a craft or just cuddling on the couch watching tv.)

3. The “SCHOOL BUS” is parked and that saves money and gas.  None of my children have every ridden a school bus, I have transported each and every one of them to school in different districts, to different schools (as many as 3) for over 10 years now!

4. I eat WAY WAY WAY better…shoot I EAT PERIOD! When I cook for my kids, I’m very mindful of including fruits and veggies, and I make sure I/we cook 3 meals that day, therefore the likelihood of me skipping a meal is absent.

5. My diva gets to dress down!  She loves getting girly and has such limits when she wears a uniform everyday.

With that in mind, I’m looking forward to our next sleep in day off from school!

Co-Sleeping Is Fun Until they Turn ONE!

Co-sleeping is the sweetest thing on earth when you’re breastfeeding in the early months.  Heck, even if you’re bottle feeding, it’s sweet and convenient.  I mean who wants to get out of bed, when you can just reach over???

My pillow taken OVER

Well as these little bundles of cuteness grow, your space in your SPOT in the bed SHRINKS, or cease to exist in my case!

Having my first two children be premies, they never really took to the co-sleeping, cuddling thing.  So when I had my first full-term (technically she was pre-term but didn’t have to go to the NICU), baby be able to stay in the room with me, well I went crazy.

From day one, I didn’t let my princess out of my sight! She slept with my husband and I in our King bed in her own little spot.  I vaguely remember having her on a schedule and sleeping in her crib…but it seems more like a dream.

My daughter is 5 years old, and still can’t understand why she can’t sleep in the bed with us!

NOW I have this one year old who is picking up where she left off, and it’s ALL MY FAULT! I sleep in a body pillow that that I had since pregnancy with my 4th and he has made it his own personal boppy pillow.  Where does that leave me?? On the edge, or couch when I’m desperate for sleep.

If I can offer any advice it would be this DON’T DO IT! Or at least start a routine once they are able to sleep through the night

5 Rules For Cooking With Kids

Unbeknownst to my children, I HATE COOKING! However, I love the results, especially when they are helping me.  Never fails when I get in the kitchen, 1 of 4 will ask to help out…the baby even crawls around and hoovers.

I found myself always telling them no because
1. I hate cooking
2. I just want to get it done and over with
3. The mess they are going to make will make me have to do even more cleaning (I despise dishwashing just as much).

After watching one of them walk away with the sad puppy dog look, I said, “Self, all they want is to spend time with you.  Take the time, cherish the time, and be grateful they want to be with you.”
So the next morning I set time aside to cook breakfast with my little ones and guess what??


It was fun being able to incorporate a way for the smaller ones to help me with a task I care nothing for.  It made me laugh, smile, and find joy in something I loathed.  I now take the time to cook with each child at least once a week (it’s also a way to give them one-to-one mommy time).

My 5 Rules for Cooking with Kids

1. Simple Recipes
2. Breakfast is best (you’re at your best and fresh with maximum patience)
3. Have Fun and Be Prepared for a mess
4. Prepare for imperfections
5. Find a way to incorporate all age groups

Childhood Memories

As I watch my children interact daily and do simple things like eat cereal, do homework, play outside, I find myself reminiscing on my childhood.  In comparing the two, it just amazed me how “little things”, that meant a great deal to me as a kid, is extinct in my children’s childhood.

I’m going to take you down my childhood memory lane….

  • Ladies, remember being in the house and hearing those ropes hit the ground from a distance (tick, tack, tick, tack), and without even looking, you knew double dutch was being played.  Then you hear the famous..”Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around..
  • Who remembers catching lightening bugs and putting them in a jar to watch them light up?  I can’t even remember the last time I saw a lightening bug!
  • I know you remember fighting with your brother or sister over who’s going to get the prize from the cereal box!  Now you have to enter a code from the box online…blah blah blah
  • If you read my other blog post streetlights  then you already about what I’m talking about!
  • OH, for a WHILE, I kept buying my oldest son “BOOK COVERS” for his books, but after a couple years of them just lying around I got the hint!
  • To piggyback on number 5, how about having your back CAVE IN from having a book bag packed with books??? (My son has ONE book he brings home!).
  • PLAYGROUNDS???? They did NOT EXIST, we MADE UP games to play, or played TAG, KICKBALL, RACED!!!! 
  • I remember the boys big thing was FLIPPING! Flipping off and out of anything raised off the ground..trees, roofs, old mattress sidewalks and the list goes.
Coming up with this list was oh so bitter sweet….my boyfriend and I was up on the phone to 3 in the morning (he was traveling for work) reminiscing about these memories from our childhood.
Oh how time changes….I wondering what will be extinct from the next generation’s childhood, and how modernization will take over from living the “Simple Life”.
Please share if you have any other memories…

My Baby Has Food Allergies at 4 MONTHS!

While this is not a new experience for me, it is a frustrating one.  Since my baby boy was little, I was concerned if he was having a reaction to the string cheese I could not stop eating  postpartum.  However, the craving went, and the concern went with it.

Then 4 months came and the new milestone of introducing foods was here.  My Duke’s bedtime schedule is eat, bath, play, bed.  Once we got to bath, I noticed on several occasions from his neck on down, he would be RED, itching, crying, and sometimes have whelps on him!  So I of course stopped the foods causing the reaction (EVERYTHING) and mentioned it at the next well-baby visit.

The Nurse Practitioner who I absolutely LOVE, recommended going to home-made organic baby foods……well that did NOT go over well with the Duke or ME! He did not like the flavors, and still continued to break out, and I did NOT like the process!

Next we went to the allergist, who I was NOT to fond of either.  Against my better judgement, I saw a different doctor than the one who treats my princess. After a bunch of questions,  the doctor concluded his allergy had to be from my diet alone, and tested him for soy, milk, egg, wheat, nuts etc.  The results concluded….

Well here was the doctor’s treatment plan
  • Mom avoid EVERYTHING with eggs and milk or
  • STOP BREASTFEEDING and give him formula
  • Follow up in 6 months
I was looking at him like 0_o, “did he say stop breastfeeding???”  Yes, I understand he has to give me the options, but he made it seem like it was just that easy.  Try telling my son no more “boo-boos”!  
I’m very grateful I’ve been through this with my daughter and know how to treat outbreaks, because he offered NONE!

Natural Delivery: 6 Ways to Cope

There are those who want to experience ALL of what labor and delivery has to offer (looks the other way and whistles), and then there are those who want to be pain free and on cloud nine (raises hand like a child in elementary school, oh oh oh me me)!  I have experienced them both and will like to give some encouragement to both sides of the fence.

Natural-Does it hurt? YES.  Can you do it? YES. For me, having a natural birth was not planned, it just happened.  However, I did it, I made it, and it really was not that difficult.  I genuinely understand that everyone has a different level of pain tolerance, so this is MY EXPERIENCE, not to over shadow or under shadow anyone else.

Here’s what got me through NATURAL LABOR…( and what I heard helps 🙂 )

  •  Visual Distractions and Meditation.  I focused on that clock in the room as if my life depended on it.  I watched T.V, and read books. Yes, I still felt the contractions and did stop what I was doing to deal with them, but I immediately refocused on something else (ultrasound picture, picture of favorite vacation etc).’

  • Massage...My mom was was massaging my back throughout contractions, and I would rub my abdomen. I think just the touch of someone that I love and cared about was comforting and distracting.
  •  Words of encouragement.  While massaging my back, my mom continually encouraged me, and insisted I was okay and i could do it, therefore i believed it. I didn’t want to let my mom down so I pushed through.
  • Water Birth.  When I was a Mom-Baby nurse, many of my clients went to The Birthing Center (a place for natural holistic births), and was very impressed with the calming effects of delivering in a warm jacuzzi bath.
  •  Lastly, I need to mention I was in premature labor and was getting Magnesium Sulfate to stop my labor.  Every time I rang the bell to let the nurse know I was in pain, she kept telling me I was okay, the medicine I was getting was stopping the contractions. So I believed her.  I did not get indignant and insistent about them doing something about my pain until I was about to jump out my skin, and at this point..I WAS 10CM DILATED.  So the only thing left was to push.

I can’t comment on the effect it had or didn’t have on my baby, because he was whisked away to the NICU, and I couldn’t even hold him immediately.  I know, I felt great afterwards, was able to shower and walk around immediately. I did not have any residual pain from where the epidural goes.  Nor was I groggy or sleepy.

For me, I had a natural delivery ONCE, out of FOUR, because I did not feel the need to be in an excruciating amount of pain unnecessarily!  I say kuddos to moms who go this route VOLUNTARILY and REPEATEDLY. I sincerely tip my hat off to you.

The Princess

This page will be about my experiences with my pre-schooled age (4 going on 14) daughter named Azizah (Uh-zee-zuh).  With her in my life, there is NEVER a dull moment!  This little bossy lady was my first full-term baby.  I always dreamed of having a little girl and what she would be like.  Thankfully, she is everything I imagined and sooooo much more!  After having two brothers, then two sons, she was like a breath of fresh air.  I could never imagine life without her!  

How To Get Baby To Sleep All Night

It’s one thing staying up all night because you WANT TO, but staying up all night because you HAVE NO CHOICE, just plain SUCK!


Being a former Nurse Family Partnership nurse (basically a mom-baby nurse), I know just about everything there is to know about caring for a newborn up until age 2.  I say this because up until recently, you would think I was an amateur!  My Zander, was seriously keeping me up ALL NIGHT LONG!  I knew exactly what I needed to do to change this, but just didn’t and couldn’t because of sleep deprivation!

I do want to give a big THANKS to dad for his support (and determination of getting sleep), for helping me to implement what I KNEW would get us ALL sleeping through the night.  The irony of it all is it only took TWO DAY to do it!

So here are the tips to getting a restful night sleep:

1. First, you and your partner need to establish a bedtime schedule with days assigned.  I’ll give you ours for example:  Since I”m off during the week, I am in charge of the routine Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri.  Dad has the weekends since I work, and Wed, to even things out (it’s his baby too!).

2. Now you need a routine, that again is mutually agreed upon.  My son’s bedtime routine goes like this

  • 7:00 pm  fed off the spoon
  • 7:30pm-8:30pm playtime in the floor with his toys or siblings
  • 8:30pm-9:30pm he gets a bath EVERY NIGHT (no exceptions)
  • 9:30pm 9:45 he is nursed
  • 10:00pm  he is put in his bed with the Scout Puppy playing bedtime music for 10 minutes
  • 10:10pm SLEEPING BABY

Now these times are what works for my family based on our schedule.  You should start your routine what fits your needs and your baby’s temperament and adjust it accordingly.
3. Understand a baby sleeping all night is approximately 5-7 hours depending on baby’s age.
Do realize your baby may still wake up in the middle of the night until their body adjusts to the schedule, so the next steps are key to KEEPING YOUR BABY SLEEP:
1. NEVER EVER TURN THE LIGHT ON! To baby, lights on mean party time! You can keep a dim night light in the room to help you navigate if necessary.

2. First let baby cry for no more than 10 minutes to see if she can calm herself.

3. If that does not work and baby takes a pacifier, offer that next. Try this a couple times before moving on.

3. If that doesn’t work place your hand on baby belly or stroke her hair letting her know you are there (In a whisper) and she is okay, while offering the pacifier again. You can also try playing the Scout Puppy music (or whatever music you have) if baby does calm down.

4. If this doesn’t work QUIETLY in the LOW LIT ROOM, pick baby up, change her and then offer a bottle/nurse.  Once baby is done IMMEDIATELY place her back in the crib with the pacifier and music playing, then exit stage left (like a thief in the night).
You and your partner should takes turns with these steps so sleep don’t allow you to skip to just picking baby up holding her.  The key to this game is giving baby the least amount of stimulation so she can learn to self modulate herself (calm herself).
Good Luck, persistence and teamwork pays off!


Introducing Solid Foods for Baby

Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, spoon feeding is such an exciting milestone for many reasons.

1. For nursing moms, the “boo-boos” get a well deserved break
2. For bottle feeding moms, you cut back on amount of bottles used and washed, and money is saved on formula
3. You finally get to make the AIRPLANE NOISE!!!

Mealtime with daddy!

A few simple things to keep in mind when introducing your baby to the spoon:

  1. Most pediatricians do not recommend beginning solids until your little one is 4 months OR able to hold head up and sit upright with support.  So always check before starting.
  2. Invest in a plastic bib and wipe down high chair for easy cleaning.
  3. Introduce foods ONE AT A TIME waiting about 5 days before trying something new.  WHY??? To pinpoint allergies. If your little one has a reaction you will be able to name the culprit.
  4. Pay attention to baby cues….WHAT ARE BABY CUES YOU ASK?? It’s the language your little one uses to communicate to you.  During spoon feeding, if your baby turns their head away, spits the food out, push the spoon away, and bust out with the back arch, I promise you they are telling you they do not want any.
  5. Keep a toy nearby for baby to occupy his hands to allow you to feed without him grabbing the spoon out of your hand.
  6. If you baby does not like a particular food (veggies especially), continue to try it, or mix it with something sweet (put the veggie on the spoon first and then the applesauce etc.)
  7. Be prepared to walk away possibly wearing whatever you just fed baby in some shape or form.
  8. Wait until bath time to introduce foods, because it WILL GET MESSY!  So after the new milestone is tackled, you can go in for the clean!
  9. Lastly HAVE FUN! Talk, smile, laugh, encourage baby, and make the AIRPLANE NOISE, to make this an enjoyable new milestone in your lives! 
I think he was saying (REALLY MOM??? Can I eat in peace???) 

Teething!!!! Ouch!

The dreadful days of teething…for some.  I say some because of my FOUR kids, only this last little REBEL, chooses to be a traditional teether.  All of my other children by 4 months, just got teeth and went on about their business.  At my daughter’s 4 month visit, the doctor showed me her teeth, didn’t even know!

So in honor of my lost night of sleep last night, here are some signs and symptoms to look for and remedies to try to get  you through this lovely time!

  • First, welcome back to sleepless nights.  For this, I highly recommend, some tylenol if your child is less than 6 moths, or Motrin, if he or she is 6 months or older just before bedtime.

  • Next, the drool!  Your little one will have buckets of drool, to go along with this milestone.  Therefore, get PLENTY of bibs, and keep change of clothes.  Always keep baby neck area clean and dry, or the skin around the neck and chest area will become red and irritated.  Just think, “would you want to walk around with a wet shirt all day?”

  • Finger biting.  Typically around teething time, comes the developmental milestone of putting, EVERYTHING in the mouth.  Therefore a “teething” baby usually chomp down on those fingers and give you a side of drool.  For this, I recommend, chew toys, COOL, NOT FROZEN teething rings/toys (put in the refrigerator), so baby can hold and enjoy it.  Just make sure everything is kept clean to avoid germs and illness.

  • Loss of appetite/loose stool.  Some babies do not want to eat and may develop diarrhea. If you find yourself down this sticky road, try using a medicine syringe to encourage fluids and if baby is still refusing fluids and having diarrhea consult with your pediatrician to avoid dehydration.
With any developmental milestone, please remember all babies will erupt teeth when they are good and ready, anywhere from 4 months on out! If you ever are in doubt always call the pediatrician for medical advice.