Baby’s got glasses and what we, as parents, should know about sight!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience

Baby got Glasses

About a few weeks ago, we made a decision to get Lexi glasses. After a yearly trip to an ophthalmologist, we found out that Lexi was nearsighted (she can see well close up but not far away) and could possibly need glasses. The doctor didn’t seem so sure that she HAD to have them, if we didn’t want to get them, but after figuring out how she must be seeing and reading up on some studies, we decided that it was necessary.  So that same day, we took her to a local lens store and got her two pairs of glasses.

We had an idea that it would happen sooner or later, as Andrew’s side of the family have all  been in glasses since a very early age, especially the females. Given that childhood onset myopia (nearsightedness) is primarily genetic, we figured she would need glasses at some point, but, of course, hoped that she wouldn’t, since no one in my side of family was myopic before 17 years of age (which is the age where the line between a genetically inherited childhood onset myopia and adult myopia gets drawn).

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Baby’s got glasses and what we, as parents, should know about sight!

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

My kitchen help

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Cooking, Health and Fitness, Other, REVIEWS

kitchen helpers

I wouldn’t be able to cook and get meals done the way I do if it wasn’t for these handy appliances.

Here is what I use virtually on daily basis.

kitchen helpers

Fagor Juicer

{holy crap, it’s on sale on amazon for 42% off!!!)

I’ve only recently started making my own juices but that was something on my to-do list for years. Little did I know what a difference it makes in the taste of the juice. If you haven’t tried squeezing your own apple juice or orange juice, come over to my house and I’ll do it for you, because it is SERIOUSLY night and day. It’s like the juices you drink at restaurants and buy at the grocery stores aren’t juices at all, even if they are organic and not from concentrate.

fagor 3

The biggest two complaints I’ve heard about juicers from friends and online reviews are that they are hard to clean and assemble/take apart or that they are too hard to use ( especially when it comes to manual juicers).

I have zero complaints about our Fagor Juicer. Once I figured out how to take it apart, it was a breeze – 5 different parts to clean that easily snap in and out of the juicer and rinse clean with simple water, as long as you don’t let the juice bits sit on it for hours. I am not kidding: you just run them under running water and voila (Depending on the fruit sometimes you have to help the stuck skin from under the disposal shute)

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The juicing part is easy. You throw cut up fruit inside and it pours juice out of one end and waste out of the other. It rarely gets stuck or clogged. I honestly have zero issues with it and it makes perfect juice.
It’s considered a slow juicer which means it takes its time to get out every possible drop of juice from the fruit, preserving vitamins, minerals and all the nutrients. All the materials that come in contact with food are BPA free.

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While for those of us who eat fruits and vegetables on daily basis, juicing  might not be such a big deal, aside from  the taste standpoint, for average eaters who rely more on meats or processed food, juicing is almost a must because you can cram so many more fruits and vegetables into a glass of juice than you can actually eat in one sitting. So if you or your baby isn’t a fan of the green stuff, juice it with something sweet and have them drink it – perfect solution! You can find a ton of tasty recipes online by googling “juicing recipes”.

BUY HERE / LEARN HERE

Cuisinart Multi-cooker

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I heard about multi-cookers from my sister who lives in Russia who swears it’s the solution of all world’s problems.
It really is pretty neat. I have a Cuisinart 3-in-1 multicooker (as you can see from the sticker that I didn’t bother removing for months. lol. Also it’s on sale on Amazon as well.) I am not sure if everyone is familiar with the concept, because I didn’t know what it was prior to her mentioning it. It’s basically like a slow cooker with several settings: slow, steam and sautee/brown. It really is as simple as it seems. You throw a bunch of food inside, close the lid and set the correct setting and the timer. On the saute function they recommend that you stir occasionally but otherwise it really can be left to its own devices.

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It is especially helpful because I barely have any time to cook, but it’s something I HAVE TO DO, so I try to find ways to make it less of a time consuming process without sacrificing food quality.

This cooker works well with both veggies and meats on both slow and saute functions. It’s huge and the finish does not contain any cancer causing chemicals (PTFE/PFOA) that are commonly found in non-stick surfaces (I emailed the company and checked). Cooking beans is a breeze on the slow cooker option, vegetables do great on the sautee setting and I would imagine meats would do great in it too.

multicooker

The pot itself is removable so you don’t have to move the whole appliance to clean it or serve food. Temperature can be set custom, there is a timer and my favorite “keep warm” feature.

Meals I usually make in it are any type of vegetable combinations, potatoes and mushrooms, beans and peas. It works out really great because I often make 2-4 meals at a time and this doesn’t have to crowd the stove surfaces.

BUY IT/ LEARN MORE

MiTutto Hand Blender

Oh wow, what a tool!

I always despised using those big kitchen appliances that chopped things because they were a pain to clean. At the same time, blenders were not up to par either, because they would only puree/chop up the bottom of the food pile and leave the top untouched. You’d have to shake it in order to get the top food down to the blades.

MiTutto is like this kitchen “wand” that does pretty much everything. It has a bunch of adapters for aerating, whipping, mixing, chopping, crushing, pureeing food, so it replaces many appliances and can be used in any dish not just the provided one.

mitutto

The two major uses of MiTutto for me are to make purees for popsicle and smoothies and to get vegetables chopped evenly. The even chopping part is pretty self-explanatory and it’s most likely due to the small and evenly sized bowl. But where it really shines, at least for me, is the pureeing part.  See, because it’s a handheld wand, when you puree fruits or vegetables, you can control the angle and pressure of it. That makes it easy because you can push down on the fruits/vegetables to force them to mush even if they are “resisting” like it often happens in traditional blenders.

Does that make sense? It takes seconds to get things pureed. It comes with a convenient measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring: seriously a great tool starting from baby pureed solids to any kind of daily cooking.

BUY IT/LEARN HERE

Homemade Popsicle recipe

I wanted to share this amazing popsicle recipe I came up with using the MiTutto wand. The ingredients are really interchangeable and I only came upon this because those were the only three ingredients we had in our house. I would not necessarily recommend any of these brands of ingredients specifically. Normally I would go for an organic peanut butter and soy milk creamer, because the coconut one turned out to have titanium dioxide in it (what?). So if you try this recipe, just replace the ingredient brands with the ones that you like to use. I’ve been asked for this recipe a few times on Instagram - it’s really delicious.

popcicle

Ingredients:

1 pear

1 spoonful of Peanut Butter (other butter)

1/3 of a cup sweetened creamer ( coconut, soy, dairy- whatever you use)

Add to the blender or MiTutto cup and blend. Pour into a popsicle mold, freeze.

Lexi ate the whole thing in one sitting. A huge hit.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: My kitchen help

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Week in Food

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, Cooking, Daily, Health and Fitness, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience

toddler food

I’ve been asked to do this post by multiple people, I’m just sorry it took me so long.

Warning: I am not a good food photographer. In fact, I kinda suck at it! I just don’t have the time or the patience (I’m super impatient!) to stage and snap pretty shots. So if you’re weirded out by food or whatever, skip it. If you wanted to know what Lexi eats on a weekly basis, read on.

toddler food

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Week in Food

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Toddler Routines: Meal Times

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, Daily, Health and Fitness, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience

Continuing the routines series, I would like to write about our current eating/feeding process, and a follow up post with an average week of meals.

COOKING PROCESS

The “cooking for Lexi” process really happens randomly and is almost never planned, sort of like for us. I try to make enough food to for her to last 2-3 meals and it’s usually rounded enough that she could eat it all day long if we needed to and still get plenty of nutrition and vitamins. According to what I read, at 18 months a breastfed toddler still gets 50% of his/her nutrition from breastmilk which is a staggering number for me. In the morning, when Andrew takes her and I either catch up on sleep or get an hour or two of work done, he usually gives her fruit (per my instructions, though he does tend to forget sometimes) while he quickly cooks hard boiled eggs, peas and broccoli. Those are his staples, and those are the foods she likes to eat now (along with many others). The reason for fruit in the morning is something I have written about in the past, but I’ll mention it again.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Toddler Routines: Meal Times

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Nature vs. Nurture – A Shocking Discovery

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, HEALTH, New Mom Experience

Nature vs Nurture- A shocking Discovery

I was at the airport in Vegas getting reading to board the plane to fly back home to Florida….

I was in the hurry at the time, with the gates literally closing within 5 minutes, but I knew that my husband was running behind after having to drop off the rental car, so I wouldn’t get on the plane without him anyways. I had Lexi in a my Emotion stroller ( which is by the way ridiculously awesome for airplane travel) and 3 carry-ons with me, but I was determined to get some water and reading materials for the flight. After browsing their magazine stand and not finding anything that would interest me, I made my way to the book area and after skipping all the romance novels, I saw this book, called “How Children Succeed” and I thought the title was good enough for me to make it an entertaining and at the same time educational read while Alexis sleeps on the plane.

Little did I know that that book would become the kind of parenting science/child psychology/biology book that you devour and then recommend to all your friends and blog about.

So here I am, so impressed with it, that I am writing this post while riding in the car from Orlando.

Let me start with a piece of advice for everyone reading this:

Go on Amazon.com ( or wherever it is you buy books) and order this book immediately! It does not matter whether you are 16 years old, 50 years old, or childless. It is seriously that impressive and interesting to anyone who has ever been interested in why people turn out they way they do and what makes some people successful and well rounded individuals while others seem to struggle at everything they do, how much parenting really influences us and our children. This book has insights,  parts of which I have read in numerous parenting and psychology books I have gone through over the year, yet no one book has ever summed everything up and traced it from the beginning to the end, rather than rely on us trusting its conclusions.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Nature vs. Nurture – A Shocking Discovery

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Breastfeeding Giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, New Mom Experience

Had to share with you guys! Enter before it’s too late!

 

“The Daily Mom team is exclusively pro-breastfeeding, and we have put our heads together to come up with some of our favorite products that help support a healthy breastfeeding lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for tools to help initiate that bond, or are a seasoned mommy who may be looking for things to make it easier, this post has something for everyone- with a chance for one person to win it all at the end!”

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Breastfeeding Giveaway

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Baby Proofing: Challenges and Solutions

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, Best for Baby, HEALTH, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, REVIEWS

     Baby Proofing 101, easy way to go about making your house safe.

Babyproofing…. such a weird concept to me.

Protect your child by locking up EVERYTHING imaginable and moving it out of his reach. It doesn’t seem so overwhelming when you’re in the pre-crawling or even crawling stages.

But once they walk, you realize “HOLY SHIT! There are hazards everywhere!“. I mean seriously!

To me, babyproofing is more like a managed protection spanning the range of  “watching the energizer bunny constantly” to “lock everything away”.

Our challenge was….

wait, who am I kidding?

Our CHALLENGES (plural) were the following:

  • a large staircase
  • a zillion cabinets
  • another zillion drawers
  • a large house.
  • a super active baby

That means hazards were EVERYWHERE.

So instead of going crazy, attempting to baby proof everything and then break down and cry because it is impossible, I took things a few steps at a time.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Baby Proofing: Challenges and Solutions

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Non-Toxic Pool Toys

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, Best for Baby, HEALTH, New Mom Experience

NON TOXIC POOL TOYS

Have you found any pool toys for babies that isn’t toxic?” is one of the most frequent questions I get on this blog.

The reality of the pool and water related toys is very bleak with nearly 95% of the items made out of PVC/vinyl (Why PVC is bad? Read here). And yes, some companies go as far as to say that their pvc is phthalate complaint ( which means they can still have extremely harmful phthalates but in lower doses), or phthalate free, but that does not rid the products of potential lead contamination along with the off-gasing of PVC.

When it comes to pool toys, sometimes we simply don’t have a choice. Sometimes phthalate free PVC is all that we get.  Which is fine as long as you make an educated  decision and know the risks.

So I have compiled a few products that I have found in the sea of toxic items. This time I didn’t get to take personal pictures of Lexi using these items for lack of time and the desire to not take too long before I get this post out.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Non-Toxic Pool Toys

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Full Term Breastfeeding: the wonders and challenges of breastfeeding a toddler

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, HEALTH, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience

Breastfeeding a Toddler
This post is about breastfeeding a  toddler in general. Specifics like when, how, how long will be coming next week in the “daily routines” post.

I could start this with a typical sentence that you hear from the majority of women who are still breastfeeding at a year and a half  “When I first had my son/daughter, I never thought I would breastfeed for this long!”.

It would be a lie, though. I always knew. I knew that if it was up to me, I would breastfeed well into toddlerhood. It was an obvious, a given.

But I actually respect the women who say they never thought they’d breastfeed for this long, because that means they  adjusted their plans and expectations as they went, and more importantly did what was best for their baby.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Full Term Breastfeeding: the wonders and challenges of breastfeeding a toddler

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved