2.25.2012

Newborn: Sleeping Through the Night!

I get a lot of requests for newborn sleep advice, so I thought I would write this down and keep it on here before I move on to the next phase and forget! Here are some suggestions I have been successful using for getting my babies to sleep through the night- it is somewhat based on Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I have had all three girls sleep 8 hours through the night at 8 weeks (actually the last two did it at 6 weeks) and the 12 hours through the night at 12-13 weeks. I am blessed with good babies, but I also put in effort from the start to establish a routine for them that encourages them to sleep through the night. I have said it before on here, it doesn't matter what plan you use, but I believe you will be a lot more relaxed and your baby will be a lot happier if you have a plan. It is very rare for my babies to cry- having a routine gives them- and us- security to know what is coming next. I must say before you read this or Baby Wise; you do not need to be rigid with this plan, be flexible and relaxed with it. If you follow the basic idea and do what works for your family, you will be successful. I was a lot more rigid with my firstborn and I am forced to be really flexible with my third- and they both successfully slept through the night! Here are my suggestions based on what worked for me: 
1. Schedule: Baby Wise uses "PDF: Parent Directed Feeding", I assume this is the main "controversy" with this plan- people don't like to wake a sleeping baby. At first you need to wake them up at 3 hours to eat (until the 10pm or night time feeding)- this simply gets their days and nights in the right place- if you let them sleep all day- they will not sleep all night- seems logical to me. I think it also establishes a good expectation from the start- the parent runs the show, not the baby. The hospital and probably the doctor will say to feed the baby when they want to be fed- this is great at first when you are establishing milk (if nursing)- but after the first few weeks until week 12- I am most successful with the 3 hour cycle (of course if your baby is starving at 2 or 2.5 feed them and start fresh at the next cycle): change diaper (to get awake), feed, 1.5 hour from start of feeding is wake time, 1.5 hour nap time: here is a sample- (times vary based on morning wake time) 
{Week 1-12 or 13}
- 7am wake and change diaper (get them really awake with the diaper change)
Feed (they will try to sleep after feeding, lay them down and try to get them awake right after feeding)
- 8:30am nap (if possible lay them down in a bed or somewhere safe- if they are held through the whole sleep it not only gets them used to that for later, it will probably not allow them to wake or sleep "naturally"- they are all snuggled in and don't want to get up! I have had to rip babies out of people's arms to have success with wake time! *Obviously this is flexible- sometimes just hold them and sleep and let others do the same- just not every time.
- 10am wake, change diaper, feed
- 11:30am nap
- 1:00pm wake, change diaper, feed
- 2:30pm nap
- 4:00pm wake, change diaper, feed
- 5:30pm nap
- 7:00pm wake, change diaper, feed
***try to keep awake during this period- give a bath, lay down- if you pick one period to not let them sleep on you or a family member- this is the crucial one- as soon as they get sleepy- feed and put them down-  try to get close to 10pm, but if you need to feed early that is just fine. 
- 10:00pm (or when sleepy) change diaper, feed
*lay down for sleep and do not wake them up, feed when they are truly awake. A lot of babies wake up crying a little but are not actually awake- make sure they are truly awake before getting them up. I always wait 15 or 20 minutes before getting them up to make sure they are truly awake (this is after the 4 week mark, the first 4 weeks they will probably eat every 3-4 hours at night). Most of the time they go back in to the restful sleep and do not need to get up. This is where having them in a room other than your room is helpful. I have even put my girls in the living room outside my room- they can sleep anywhere and through anything as newborns.
{Week 13}: switch to 4 hour schedule- for example: wake/feed 8am, nap 10am, wake/feed 12pm, nap 2pm, wake/feed 4pm, cat nap 6pm (for a couple of months), 8pm feed/bedtime
2. Feeding: I believe a full baby is a happy sleeping baby! If you are nursing- mind your milk! Make sure you are getting enough calories to feed the baby- the theory that you will lose weight immediately when nursing is not necessarily true if you want to mind your milk. I nursed my first two girls for a year each and it wasn't until I stopped nursing that I lost all of the baby weight.  There are a lot of foods that upset babies tummies- dairy, coffee, etc.. so you have to be particular what you eat and you need extra calories to make the milk- frankly you are starving so this isn't a problem! And drink a TON of water! If you cannot or do not want to nurse- don't stress about it- the important thing is that your baby is receiving adequate nutrition and you are enjoying it!! I don't use feeding as my first response to crying, see where they are in the cycle and attend to their needs based on that- lots of times babies act hungry when they are really just tired. 
3. Days and Nights: I said it earlier but getting the days and nights in order is huge at the beginning. I just make sure to wake them at the 3 hour mark and get them REALLY awake to eat and I make them eat a full portion- not snacking. If they fall asleep after feeding and you cannot get them awake- just let them sleep and start over at the next feeding- but really try for a little wake time- probably means laying them down! After a feeding they are all snuggly and warm and just want to sleep with you (at least all 3 of mine did) so I found if I lay them down right away they wake up and if they still sleep, clearly they need sleep. I call it natural sleep vs. artificial sleep- artificial because they are not naturally needing to sleep, they are responding to the snuggly environment!
4. Be flexible: if they wake up early and are hungry or you have somewhere to be and can't feed there- feed them and start the cycle from that feeding point. You can manipulate the schedule based on what works for you! After the 13 week mark, every day should be pretty predictable- wake time at the same time, naps at the same time, feedings at the same time and bed time at the same time- so you can schedule accordingly! Just relax and know that you can always start fresh at the next feeding!
5. Bed: I like to put the baby down in various locations- sometimes in a Pack N Play by a window, sometimes in the crib, sometimes in the bassinet- they will sleep anywhere when they are newborns and this gets them used to sleeping in various spots. I always try to put them down in the crib for at least 1 nap when they are newborns, that way it isn't a transition when they move in there. I move my babies into their crib at 1 month. It is hard (for you, emotionally) because it is a big bed and tiny baby- but you will sleep better and they will not have to adjust to the new place when they are older.
6. Sound Machine: All of my girls sleep with sound machines- Ocean noise to be exact! Crank it up loud- they can sleep anywhere with anyone in the room and with noise- dogs barking, doorbell ringing, siblings crying, etc.. not an issue. And I believe it gives them the constant familiar sound no matter where they are that signals "bed time". (yes, my kids can sleep without it anywhere, yes my 5 and 7 year olds still use them, yes, I use it at naptime and sometimes long car rides (there is a great "white noise" app to use), THIS is my favorite one- ocean to be exact- I think that covers all of the questions!!)
7. First Month: Just enjoy and relax the first month- try to get them awake enough for feeding- but just enjoy the baby and worry about the schedule at 4 weeks! If you want to let them sleep on you or a loved one- go for it! As long as they are having wake time during the day and you wake them up every 3 hours to eat (again, working on days and nights)- just enjoy!
8. Bath: They say to give a bath every other day, I like to give a bath every evening (when it works for my schedule and energy level) with just warm water and a wash cloth. I only soap every other day. My girls had cradle cap and Mustela makes a great foam shampoo for cradle cap, I like to lotion after every bath (again, love Mustela for newborns)- here is an article on baby massage it helps a lot with development and I use this time after bath with lotion to do the massage.
9. Sleep Props: I think blankies (for older kids) and binkies are fine sleep props, if it gives a baby comfort- great! My first daughter loved the binkie and it was no problem to break her of it at 2. I made sure to always leave it in the bed only- no walking around the house with it. (of course airplanes are a different story- bring the binkie), my other two want nothing to do with it- so that is fine (I really wish my 3rd wanted one)! I had a few different blankies the girls slept with, they have their favorites but they are totally fine to sleep with another blankie if their favorite one is in the wash. This comes in handy for school bags later on- you can keep one in there and wash it and not have school germs in their beds. This also works well for travel- they can have their blankie at sleep times but you can wash it or give them a clean one later on when that one has travel germs! Lots of people love swaddling, I do a loose swaddle at the beginning, I like them to have their arms free and legs able to move around- so I loosely swaddle mainly for warmth! I also like the vibrate button on the bassinet to help them settle in to sleep the first month. Again, do what makes you feel comfortable. I like to rock my babies sometimes, I think it is fine to rock them to sleep, just not every single time- don't let it be the only way they fall asleep. But I love a little rocking time once in a while (see #10)!
10. Laying them down: I think it is important to lay them down in their crib completely awake (at nap or bed time of course) and let them sooth themselves to sleep most of the time. Sometimes it is just delightful to rock your baby and snuggle- but most of the time, simply lay them down and let them work themselves into sleep. Baby wise says there is a period of active sleep and restful sleep during each sleep period. Make sure to let them fuss a little to make sure they are awake and not just active.
11. Naps: I wrote my nap thoughts down here- Nap time starts when mom says it starts and ends when mom says it ends. When you have a schedule, you will have the confidence to know when they need naps- you are absolutely meeting their needs by allowing them to sleep at nap time. If they cry at nap time- guess what they need..sleep! 
12. Wake Time: Sing, play, read, mobile, swing- but make sure to let them chill out and discover things around them- too much stimulation is not good for naps. Stimulate after feeding and then chill when nap time is approaching
13. Growth Spurts: If you baby is waking at night and not soothing back to sleep or wanting to eat more often than usual, it is either a growth spurt or you need to "mind the milk"- they go through several growth spurts, so just feed them and they will go back to normal after the growth spurt. I haven't had to adjust my schedule very much for growth spurts.
14. My final word of advice is this, let your baby sleep! Don't jump up every time they are sleeping and cry- make sure they are truly awake- this goes for nap or nighttime sleep. They will usually go back to sleep if they need more sleep. Once you know they CAN sleep 8 hours or 12 hours (nutritionally) it will make you more relaxed to let them cry a little bit and go back to sleep.

This is the plan that has worked for me, Baby Wise has so much helpful information and Baby Wise 2 has a lot of helpful tips on manners, etc.. it really helped me. Finally, sleep training is the first step in the child training process. Keep things like- teaching them self control, obedience and patience in mind from the beginning and you will be grateful you did when they are toddlers!

*HERE IS A GOOD ARTICLE ON Crying It Out: LINK
** HERE ARE SOME ANSWERS TO FAQ'S: LINK
*** HERE IS A LITTLE CLARIFICATION: LINK

***I have received a lot of traffic on this post recently- thanks for stopping by- please check out my blog and feel free to follow on Facebook or Twitter!  I just need to say to those of you who wish to comment negatively- I am not interested in hearing you tell me that this makes you sad and I do not want this to be a place of arguments or division- I have three of the happiest babies I know, I adore my children and I believe that teaching them self-control and allowing them to actually sleep is being the mother God called me to be. If this isn't for you, then please do not read it- I am sure you have a wonderful plan for raising your children and they are wonderful babies. I am simply sharing what worked for my three babies and what worked for ME- because when the mother is relaxed and thriving- so are the kids! God Bless you as you find what works for YOUR family! You know what would be so much more fun than arguing- what if moms join together and support each other and pray for one another and accept each other for the individuals God made us to be! *I will gladly delete and not respond to any "hate mail"  
Just in case you need to know- here are pics of my three babies at 6 months old- pretty sure none of them were starving by not feeding on demand (see rolls below!)- I nursed the first two for a year exclusive of any formula and the third is on month 9 with no formula- no starving children here! 

2.22.2012

Give it up!

Hello friends, happy first day of lent! The dates for lent this year are 2/22-4/5 (Easter is on 4/8). As I explained last year (see below), I know it is not "required" for me to give anything up for lent, when Christ died for me there were no strings attached, nothing required of me to gain salvation- simply the free gift of grace! When I give up something for lent, it is simply my way of refocusing my priorities and offering a small sacrifice to the Lord as a reminder of the HUGE sacrifice he made for me. Last year I did a series of posts on Easter, check them out here: EASTER SERIES. SO...this year I have decided to "unplug"- no twitter or Facebook (again, read below) and I am adding scripture memory to my Lent "activities"! I have been trying to memorize a scripture every week for the last few weeks (I am horrible at memorizing scripture) but I am working on it (I started with Deut. 31:8, and it has come in handy SO many times!). So for lent, I am going to memorize 1 John 4:7-21:
Week 1: 
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 
Week 2: 
10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Week 3:
 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 
Week 4:
15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 
Week 5:
17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 Week 6:
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:7-21)

As I said last year, lent is also a great time to practice integrity- doing what I say I am going to do even when no one is looking. I am a little bummed to give up Facebook, I will miss so many important birthdays and status updates, which is confirmation that I have made the right decision on what to give up- it will be a constant reminder! Again, you will still receive blog updates on FB and twitter because I don't have to log in to update those! Happy Easter! 

2011 Post: 
I am thinking about Lent today, as a non-denominational follower of Christ, it is not "required" for me to give anything up according to the church- however, I love the tradition of giving something up during this season to remind us of the sacrifice God made when he sent Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. As a mom, I appreciate this sacrifice all the more- I have felt so blessed that He pulled me out of and gave me freedom from my pit of sin- but now that I am a mom I realize- God sent his perfect, unblemished son as a sacrifice for a bunch of kids who are whiny, ungrateful, selfish sinners! I am amazed that God loves me that much! So for lent, usually I will give up chocolate/dessert or shopping, which does remind me of God's sacrifice each time I am tempted to shop or bite into a cookie- however at the deepest depth of my heart, it is a win-win. When I give up sweets, I get to jump start my swim suit diet and with shopping I am saving up money to BLOW OUT when Easter is over and I get some darling spring clothes! So this year, I thought, what would I really miss? What is taking time away from the Lord that I could give back to him during this season? The answer...Facebook (and twitter, although I rarely look at that). I love facebook, I love to be reminded of birthdays, I love to see pics of my friends and their sweet families, I love to get updates on friends from the past, I love to reconnect with friends, I love to hit the "like" button, I love to hear about businesses/products/deals, I love to upload photos for my sweet 81 year old grandma- I love it all! I believe I probably spend more time on FB than I think, even though it is a quick 2 minute "check in" throughout the day, it adds up. SO, every time I think of "checking in" on FB, I am going to check in with God instead and express to him my gratitude for this gift of grace that I in no way deserve. Yes, it seems silly in comparison to his amazing sacrifice to simply give Facebook up, but I am excited for the extra sweet time with the Lord! Happy Lent- and Happy Easter, I LOVE this time of year!

side note: you will probably notice updates on FB and Twitter for the blog, I simply hit a button to update, I don't have to go on to do that. If you need to make a comment or get a hold of me- email me at jenica@cox.net. This is such a good time to practice integrity- doing what I am supposed to do even when no one is looking (although HE is!!!)



Here is a blog (thanks to my friend Amy for sending this to me) with other great Lent ideas: http://rachelheldevans.com/40-ideas-for-lent-2012



2.20.2012

Recipe Monday: Chicken Enchiladas and Salsa!

I have been a little out of it on the cooking front lately with the birthdays and girls being sick! I am putting this one up today, my college roommate gave me this recipe and it has been a staple ever since. Everyone always loves these enchiladas and the salsa is a huge hit and SO easy (thanks to my friend Jessica for teaching me years ago). So here you go! 


Chicken Enchiladas:
(I usually double the recipe)
-12 flour or whole wheat tortillas (I use whole wheat)- or corn for the gluten free lovers
-3 cups diced chicken (I get a rotisserie chicken and use all of the meat from that)
-2 cans cream of chicken soup
-1 cup diced green chiles
-3 cups sour cream
-3/4 lb jack cheese
-3/4 lb cheddar cheese
(12oz = 3/4lb, so I buy a cheddar jack mixed 24oz bag)
-3-4 green onions
-1/2 can chopped olives
-dash of paprika
-1 small chopped onion (optional)


*Combine soup, chiles, onion, olives, sour cream, and 1/2 cheese mixture. Reserve 2 cups. Place chicken in a bowl, mix with other ingredients. (I sometimes just mix it all and use the chicken with the topping). Fill tortillas, cover with reserve mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, green onion and paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 




Easiest Salsa Ever: 
2 cans of rotel (mild rotel for mild and regular for spicy)- drained
2 cans diced tomatoes- drained
1 bunch chopped cilantro
*blend in an blender or food processor 
Squeeze the juice of one or two limes and stir (depends how much lime you like- taste and decide)
I always get a ton of compliments on this salsa- so easy and yummy! 


2.19.2012

Help Yourself..Help Someone Else!

I just love products that are "necessities" that I can purchase for me AND help someone less fortunate. I already discussed A.ker.fa and Mica Gem (Read Article Here) and you know I love Toms (darling kids shoes). I recently received a toothbrush from "Smile Squared"- I love what they are doing, for every toothbrush you purchase ($5.95- children and adult brushes available), they will send one to a child in need. The toothbrushes are made from bamboo and are completely biodegradable- so they are good for this beautiful planet God has made as well! 


This is their mission- make sure to visit smilesquared.com to check it out:

"At Smile Squared, our goal is to offer practical, sustainable solutions to help improve the overall health and educational needs of children around the world.  The Smile Squared toothbrush emerged from the recognition of such a need and the idea that we could turn a small product into something that makes a big difference in people’s lives.
We buy toothbrushes without giving it a second thought. At Smile Squared, we encourage everyone to think about the products we buy: Where will this product end up when I’m done with it? Is it a fair trade product? BPA free? Can my purchase have a direct impact on someone else who needs it?
At Smile Squared your purchase protects the environment and, most importantly, helps children in need. Anytime you buy one of our products, we give one to a child. It may be one of the most basic things we’ll ever do, but in changing the way we purchase hygiene products, we can meet a growing need and impact lives.  You buy one, we’ll give one, and together we’ll bring back smiles, one at a time."

2.16.2012

Five Years..Let's Party!

Today is Ellie's 5th Birthday- five years ago today the Lord trusted me to be the mom of His precious girl and I am so grateful! At this phase of life I feel like the days go by slowly and the years go so fast! We had a red and white Ariel party for her last weekend, so I thought I would share some pics with you- we hired "Princess at my Party" and the sweetest "Ariel" came and ran the party! She did a treasure hunt, face painting, had fun goodies for all of the kids- it was so much fun, Ellie was in heaven! Here are some pics from the party (thanks to my friend Krista for using your gift to bless us with some fun pictures!)

 {I did red and white food}
{My little confectionery table- not as beautiful as a professional cake, but I love baking them!}

 {Aren't these party cones darling- from Sweet Lulu}
 {Paula Deen says that boxed cakes are better when you substitute the water for buttermilk (I substitute milk for water in all packaged mixes) and it makes cakes delightful!}
 {5 year-old cocktails- sprite with cherries! The paper straws are from Sweet Lulu also- they were a hit}
 {Izzy as Cinderella Bride}
 {Yes, Ellie needed clip-on red hair for her Ariel costume!}

{the Girlfriends all dressed up!}

 {Opening the treasure chest}
{Izzy getting her face painted}
{The whole family before the party} 
 {The girls with cici and pops}
{This pretty much says it all...all smiles at her party!}

There you go, we had a blast...and have been celebrating ever since- I am exhausted from celebrating! Happy Birthday Sweet Ellie!

2.11.2012

Recipe: Healthy Cookies!

I finally found a recipe that I like for "healthy" chocolate chip cookies! I say "healthy" because there is still white sugar and butter- but as far as cookies go, these are pretty good! Here is an article on Canola Oil and why it is a healthy fat to cook with, and I love the whole wheat flour substitute. I added natural peanut butter (TJoes has a great natural peanut butter, the only ingredient is peanuts- no salt, sugar, etc..) and it made them divine!


Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies: 
Ingredients: 
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Then, blend oats until smooth, and add other ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are blended. Drop the dough in teaspoons, about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes :)
*JM NOTEI added 1/2 cup of peanut butter and it really makes them yummy! 
These are also great frozen- then pull a few out to bake. DO NOT over bake- if anything pull them out a little under done! 


(via fitnessmag.com)

2.08.2012

CoWorkers: godparents

If you missed my post on Parenting: "Who's The Boss" feel free to check it out- if you read it you will remember me talking about coworkers- these are some of my favorite coworkers!


One of the greatest blessings in these early years of parenting has been walking through them with our children's godparents. My parents chose godparents for us who prayed for us and supported us in our walk with Christ. I found it to be such a blessing and I wanted my children to have praying godparents as well! We prayed for Ellie's godparents while I was pregnant, we wanted a family who would be committed to pray for her and who we could go to for support as she is growing up for wisdom and advice. The Lord confirmed our choice and Ellie has awesome godparents who pray for her (and all of us) on a daily basis. I have been praying about Kindergarten recently and it was so wonderful to be able to call her godmother and ask them to pray with Dave and I on this decision. There is nothing like authentic friends whom you can trust to pray with you and support you and Ellie's godparents are just that! Not to mention they spoil all of the girls rotten! When it came time for Izzy's godparents, we really prayed about it and the Lord confirmed that her godparents were some of our oldest family friends, who happen to be my godparents as well! They are another couple who authentically pray for the girls and are always there to support us and encourage us. (Of course, they spoil the girls rotten also!) It is amazing for my girls to have the love and support of godparents- and the girls quite simply have a blast with them! Since Dave's mother passed away at such a young age, it is a blessing for my girls to have that extra loving family outside of their parents and grandparents to have such a special bond with! We are currently praying about Milly's godparents- it seems impossible to match the first two couples, because they are so wonderful to us- but we have an idea and know that Milly will have wonderful praying godparents as well! I wanted to share this with you because it has been so amazing for us, I encourage you to pray about godparents for your children- it is absolutely one of the best decisions we have made in parenting! Here is a pic of my girls with their godmothers!

2.07.2012

Eight Delightful Years!

Eight years ago I made the best decision- to marry Dave! We have come a long way in 8 years- (we were such babies in this picture)- time flies when you are having fun! 


2.06.2012

Recipe Monday: Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

It is recipe Monday! This is another recipe from my Real Simple February issue, I am having so much fun with the slow cooker! This was really yummy, my husband was a big fan! I think day two was slightly better than the original! I have also discovered a delightful "healthy" chocolate chip cookie recipe so stay tuned for that this week! Happy Monday!


Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • carrots, finely chopped
  • medium onion, chopped
  • celery stalk, chopped
  • cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (JM NOTE: I will add more than 1/4 cup next time- just make it a heaping 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup dry white or red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • bay leaf
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti (JM NOTE: I used Whole Wheat Angel Hair)
  • grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together the beef, tomatoes and their juices, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, tomato paste, wine, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the spaghetti according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot. Toss the spaghetti with the Bolognese and sprinkle it with the Parmesan.

2.05.2012

Gube!

Just a quick little note, if you haven't checked "Gube" out yet, you need to! It is an app you purchase (I think it is around $4 but worth every penny) and it is YouTube for kids. It is "designed and developed by parents of toddlers for parents with young children". There are TV shows, clips from movies, educational videos, funny animal clips and so much more. I have clicked "favorite" on several so far- various songs from Cinderella, "Tomorrow" from Annie, songs to teach Phonics, a butterfly video, etc.. You need to check it out-  I am so pumped about it!! I haven't found anything inappropriate yet- that is so refreshing being as how I was sitting with my fingers on the remote through the whole Super Bowl waiting to quickly turn it at the first inappropriate commercial or half time blunder! Yea Gube!

2.03.2012

Reservations!



Just a little friendly reminder, if you and your sweetie are blessed enough to get a night out on Valentine's Day, it is exactly 10 days away and restaurant reservations are filling up. I love Opentable.com, you can put your zip code, date and time in and they will tell you what is available. Even if you haven't secured a sitter, make your reservation now and work the details out later- you can always cancel (but hopefully not!)
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