Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby Losavio: 32 Weeks

Wow, 32 weeks.  This week Baby Losavio weighs about 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long.  Since last week, that's a gain of almost half of a pound and more than six inches!  More than six inches in a week!  I think that's incredible.  The baby will gain a third to half of her birth weight over the next seven weeks.  My belly is about to get a lot bigger!
And now for the baby name hint of the week:  Baby Losavio shares her name with a 19th century queen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 27, 2008

This is Joey two years ago today.
It was her first Thanksgiving.
She was nine months old.
Look at those teeth!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lauren's Pregnancy and Baby Picks: Where to Find a Deal

After 1 3/4 pregnancies, I somehow became the resident expert on pregnancy among my friends.  Not really, but my newly pregnant friends have lots of questions about maternity clothing, pregnancy, essential baby items, etc.  So I figured I would share my knowledge in a blog post.  Five, actually.

This is post five of five.

Where to Find a Deal: 
I do not like to pay full retail.  I don't negotiate for a better price in Target, for instance, but it's important to me to comparison shop and to use coupons when available.  I (heart) Amazon, and often find that I can get great deals there, but K-mart surprisingly has lower prices for many toys.  And the sale/clearance prices at babyGap are almost always lower in store than online, so support your local Gap.  My point is, be an educated consumer.

These daily deal sites offer one baby or maternity product each day until it sells out:
Baby Half Off
Baby Steals

These flash sale sites have limited time boutiques:
Gilt Groupe.  Gilt has children's clothing, toys, and books for limited-time sales at up to 70% off retail.  Keep your eyes open for free shipping promotions, such as for inviting 10 friends to join.  When a friend that you refer makes their first purchase, you get a $25 credit.
Zulily.  This flash sale site is geared exclusively toward moms and kids.  Find clothing, shoes, toys, etc. for a fraction of retail value.  Refer your friends and get a $10 credit when they make their first purchase.

Ebates.  Sign up for Ebates.  Before you visit a website to shop or make a purchase, access the site via Ebates.  You will earn back a percentage of your purchase.  Ebates is also a reliable source for online coupons.
RetailMeNot  Before you make a purchase online, check RetailMeNot for coupon codes.  I also check this site whenever I order pizza.  Because I do order pizza online.  The Domino's Pizza Tracker makes me happy.

I like to enter giveaways.  I've even won a few things.  Here are my favorite bloggers who like to give things away on a regular basis:
Feisty Frugal and Fabulous
Freebies for Mom
Melissa & Doug

These bloggers find deals and share them:
Baby Cheapskate keeps track of hot deals for baby necessities, toys, etc. 
Birmingham Bargain Mom
The Budget Mommy

What are your secrets for scoring great deals?

Also see:
Maternity Clothing
Stuff for Mom
Stuff for Baby
What to Bring to the Hospital

Sticker Face

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lauren's Pregnancy and Baby Picks: What to Bring to the Hospital

After 1 3/4 pregnancies, I somehow became the resident expert on pregnancy among my friends.  Not really, but my newly pregnant friends have lots of questions about maternity clothing, pregnancy, essential baby items, etc.  So I figured I would share my knowledge in a blog post.  Five, actually.

This is post four of five. 

What to Bring to the Hospital:
It's recommended to have your bag packed at 8 months, since you really could go into labor at any time after that point.

For you:
Nightgown or pajamas.  The hospital provides gowns, which are conveniently open in the back and great for flashing your visitors.  If you plan to nurse, nursing tops or pajamas are especially nice to have.  I brought a robe when Joey was born and wore it for most of my stay.

Undergarments.  You'll need nursing bras if you plan to nurse.  And your doctor will probably tell you not to bring thong underwear.  That's good advice.


Toiletries, makeup, and a hairdryer.  Your picture will be taken and you'll want to look good.  Samples from the cosmetics companies are great for the hospital bag.  Don't forget your glasses, contacts, and contact solution.

Going home clothes for you.  When you have limited maternity clothes, it's hard to pack away an outfit for possibly a month.  You can expect to look six months pregnant when you leave the hospital.  If you just can't spare an outfit for the hospital bag and you live near the hospital, send someone to bring you a change of clothing.  Or just go home in the clothes you came in.  Who will care?

For the baby:
The hospital will provide everything that you "need" for your new baby.  Don't bother to bring diapers and wipes from home; in fact, bring home everything that's not nailed down.

Mittens.  Some hospitals won't trim baby's fingernails and Joey's were quite jagged.  She scratched the heck out of her face until we put socks on her hands.  You might even want to bring the baby's nail clippers or an emery board to do it yourself.

Clothes for the baby.  Pack several outfit changes just because it's fun to dress the baby up.  Most hospitals will only provide a paper shirt for the baby to wear.  Kimono-style tops are especially nice for the early weeks because you don't need to pull clothing over the baby's head.  Be sure to pack socks if the outfits you bring don't cover the baby's feet.

Boppy.  We got a lot of use out of ours when Joey was born.  If you're not sure that you'll want/need it, at least pack it and leave it in the car.

We enjoyed having a little entertainment during my labor with Joey.  The laptop was essential, and we were pleased that our hospital had free wi-fi.  We got a lot of use out of our baby name book because we were undecided on Josephine's name.  Many expectant parents bring iPod and speakers, and some make special baby mixes.  I brought magazines, but they weren't even touched.

Camera.  For obvious reasons.  If you don't want to keep your digital camera packed in your hospital bag, consider packing a disposable camera as a backup.

Chargers/batteries for electronics.

Change for the vending machines and for parking.

Snacks.  The hospital will feed you, but my experience was that hospital food was disgusting.  Non-perishable snacks can be packed in the hospital bag, but you should also be able to bring in other snacks, such as fruit.

We'll pack a gift for Joey from her baby sister.  Joey will give a gift to her baby sister in return. 

Also see:
Maternity Clothing
Stuff for Mom
Stuff for Baby

Coming soon:
Where to Find a Deal

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lauren's Pregnancy and Baby Picks: Stuff for Baby

After 1 3/4 pregnancies, I somehow became the resident expert on pregnancy among my friends.  Not really, but my newly pregnant friends have lots of questions about maternity clothing, pregnancy, essential baby items, etc.  So I figured I would share my knowledge in a blog post.  Five, actually.

This is post three of five.

Stuff for Baby:
Babies need lots of stuff.  They need clothes, cribs, carseats, strollers, high chairs, pacifiers, bottles, diapers, shoes...and the list goes on.  Even if you choose not to buy everything under the sun, your tiny new baby still needs lots of stuff.  There are so many options that it's mind-boggling.

Here are some more things to add to your registry.  Not all of these things are essential, but they do serve a purpose.

Bottles.  There is a resurgence in glass bottles mostly because of concerns that harmful chemicals, such as BPA, are in the plastic in baby bottles.  We used BPA-free Avent bottles and those worked well for us.  Joey had no problem taking a bottle, but some parents have to try several types of bottles to find one that's a good fit.  Some people recommend buying one of each type of bottle to see which one works best, but I find that to be wasteful if your baby doesn't have a problem taking a bottle.  Just keep your receipts until you know that your baby will take the bottles that you have.

Cloth Diapers, if that's your thing.

Bassinet, co-sleeper, or Moses basket.  The new baby needs a place to sleep!  It's nice to have a small, portable bed so that the new baby that is near you.  We didn't have one for Joey, but we plan on getting a co-sleeper for Baby Losavio.

Drying rack for bottles, etc.  You really don't need a special drying rack, but I think that this one is fun.  A bottle brush is also good to have for washing bottles.

Boppy or other nursing pillow.  This pillow helps to support your baby in a comfortable position when nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, and can be also used for tummy time.  Of course you could support the baby with a regular pillow, but using a nursing pillow is much more comfortable.

BabyLegs leg warmers.  These are adorable with onesies and great for frequent diaper changes.  Check RetailMeNot for coupon codes, or follow them on Facebook for special offers.

Sophie the Giraffe.  For some reason I am obsessed with this teether/baby toy.  Babies do like to chew on things, and this doubles as a toy and as a safe object to teethe on.  It's on my wishlist for Baby Losavio. 

White noise generator.  When Joey was an infant, she was soothed by the sound of the vacuum cleaner.  So that we wouldn't prematurely burn out our vacuum motor, we purchased an mp3 of vacuum cleaner white noise.  It was $10 well spent.  Or you could get the Cloud b Sleep Sheep, which has four soothing sounds, such as a heartbeat.  A heartbeat is preferable to vacuum noise, so I think that we might need to get this for Baby Losavio.

Also see:
Maternity Clothing
Stuff for Mom

Coming soon:
What to Bring to the Hospital
Where to Find a Deal

Baby Losavio: 31 Weeks

At 31 weeks, our due date is 2 months away.  I am officially seven months pregnant, I think.  It's kind of confusing how gestation is 40 weeks, but if there are 4 weeks in a month, that's 10 months, not nine.  Here's a handy resource for determining how far along you are in "months." 

The baby is about 16 inches long and about 3.3 pounds.  That's a weight gain of 1/3 pound since last week!  And this week she's headed into a growth spurt!  Baby Losavio is taking up so much room already that I'm becoming short of breath sometimes.  The baby is developing her sleep and wake patterns.  I do notice that there will be several hours of inactivity punctuated with a little while of intense activity.  Since babies can sense light from inside the womb, I wonder if I shined a flashlight on my belly during preferred "wake" times if the baby would be born with our preferred sleep and wake patterns.  My doctor doesn't think so, but she'd be very interested to know.

Last week our exterminator came by for our bi-monthly service.  He told me that I've really thickened up.  He can tell that I've gained weight in my arms and legs.  Thanks, Bob.  But women look better with a little meat on their bones.  Gee, um, thanks Bob.  Please take note:  NEVER comment on a woman's weight, whether she's pregnant or not.  "You look beautiful/fabulous/stunning" will suffice.  

And now a baby name hint, and it's an earful:  Baby Losavio's name is the feminine diminutive of one of the names of one of her grandfathers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lauren's Pregnancy and Baby Picks: Stuff for Mom

After 1 3/4 pregnancies, I somehow became the resident expert on pregnancy among my friends.  Not really, but my newly pregnant friends have lots of questions about maternity clothing, pregnancy, essential baby items, etc.  So I figured I would share my knowledge in a blog post.  Five, actually.

This is post two of five. 

Stuff for Mom:
In the three years between the births of my babies, there are a lot of new things on the market, and also a lot of things that I didn't know about the first time around.  Here are some of the things that I plan on using for myself when Baby Losavio arrives.

Udder Covers nursing covers.  Get a free one (plus shipping) with a coupon code from RetailMeNot.  I didn't use a nursing cover with Joey -- just receiving blankets -- but one sure would have come in handy.

Lily Padz reusable nursing pads.  I didn't have these when I was nursing Joey, but I've heard wonderful things about these.  Rather than absorbing leaking milk like other nursing pads, these stop leaks.  While on the subject of nursing pads, know that washable cloth nursing pads are an alternative to disposables.

Gel nursing pads.  When I was first nursing Joey it was extremely painful and I had no idea that these even existed.  I have not tried these, but plan to use them with Baby Losavio if I have pain from nursing.

Belly Wrap.  During pregnancy your abdominal muscles stretch and might tear.  Belly wraps help to tighten your muscles and get all of your parts back to where they're supposed to be.  While I would obviously love a top of the line Wink Belly Compressor, there are many others on the market that will get the job done.  I plan on using something like this in an attempt to heal faster, since I do have a two-almost-three-year-old to chase.  There is a little vanity involved, as well.

Breast Pump.  Even if you are a SAHM like me and plan to breastfeed exclusively, you'll need a pump.  Otherwise you will never be able to be away from the baby for more than a few hours.  I had two: a manual pump and a single electric pump.  Both of those worked great for me for occasional pumping.  If you plan on pumping a lot, the Rolls Royce of pumps is the Medela Pump in Style.  Pumps are often available for rent from the hospital.

Under-eye concealer.  I spent about $20 for Dermablend after Joey was born, and it was the best thing I could have spent our money on.  While you might be sleep-deprived, you don't have to look it.

Diaper bag.  Babies need lots of stuff when you're on the go:  diapers, wipes, bottles/milk/formula, pacifiers, blankets, spare clothes, etc.  You'll need a cute bag to tote all of this stuff around in.  And don't forget about the man in your life.  Do you think your baby-daddy really wants to carry your diaper bag?  Get him the Diaper Dude.  He'll thank you.  As your baby grows, you won't need to tote so much stuff around.  I liked using a diaper clutch when I only needed diapers and wipes.

Also see:
Maternity Clothing

Coming soon:
Stuff for Baby
What to Bring to the Hospital
Where to Find a Deal

My Husband's Nuts

That title is per his request.

Paul has been sitting at our dining room table shelling pecans for at least an hour.  He shows no signs of slowing down or stopping.  Every once in a while I'll hear, "This is a beautiful pecan.  Just perfect.  Look at this one.  I think I'll have to eat it.  Ack!  This one pinched me back.  I think I'll have to eat it.  Oh, this one's rotten.  That's probably why it pinched me."
Photo credit:  Josephine Losavio
Two days ago I made Rocky Road Brownies -- from scratch -- for our house guests using a recipe from a blog called Our Family Eats.  This morning, as Paul and I were fighting over the last one, I told him that I would make another batch if he would go out into our yard to gather pecans.  I really just needed half of a cup.  Our neighbors on two sides of us have pecan trees, and tons of pecans fall in our yard each fall.  I happened to have pecans (from the store), but I tapped into my stash the other day and I need what we have for my Holiday Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving.  And I really don't want to go back to the store.  Except...I do need butter, in the event that any of our Thanksgiving guests wants to butter their bread.  And if we're going to have cranberry sauce I'll need to buy oranges.  And we really don't have non-Thanksgiving food for this I guess I'll be going to the store anyway. 
Paul's Nuts
These Rocky Road Brownies from Our Family Eats are divine.  I had initially disregarded the recipe because it calls for using a double-boiler, which I don't have, and seemed too complicated in general.  In fact, a make-shift double boiler was no problem to rig and this recipe consists of nine basic ingredients:  butter, chocolate chips, sugar, brown sugar, salt, eggs, flour, marshmallows, and nuts.  The recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I used dark-chocolate chips because dark chocolate is good for you, right?  Other than that I followed the instructions and my brownies came out perfect.
My make-shift double boiler
I've finished baking the brownies, but Paul is still shelling his pecans.  And he's talking about going back into the yard to pick up more nuts.  What will we do with all of these nuts?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lauren's Pregnancy and Baby Picks: Maternity Clothing

After 1 3/4 pregnancies, I somehow became the resident expert on pregnancy among my friends.  Not really, but my newly pregnant friends have lots of questions about maternity clothing, pregnancy, essential baby items, etc.  So I figured I would share my knowledge in a blog post.  Five, actually.

This is post one of five.

Maternity Clothing:
I loathe the idea of spending a lot of money on maternity clothes.  I'm very frugal and I don't think that maternity clothes are a good value.  They can only be worn for a few months at most and a lot of them just aren't cute.  I feel like I wear the same items over and over, but as a SAHM, I'm really not out to impress anyone with my extensive maternity wardrobe.  I do try to look nice, but I really do wear the same things all the time.

For the early months, sometimes you don't really need maternity clothes, just a little extra room.  My advice is to look for regular sized items that can be worn for early pregnancy and post-delivery.  See what's already in your closet.  Repurpose a dress as a maternity top over leggings.  Use a belly band or use a rubber band in order to wear your prepregnancy pants a little longer.

When I was pregnant with Joey I bought a lot of cheap, ill-fitting pieces because I was going for quantity over quality.  When I unpacked them for this pregnancy I really couldn't bear to wear them.  I sold a lot of things on eBay.  A few basic pieces, like tanks, fitted tops, and turtlenecks will go a long way when you pair them with cardigans and accessories that you already have.  I would suggest buying clothes that you will enjoy wearing, since there is definitely a resale market.  Buy a few trendy pieces and consign them after you deliver.  You'll at least feel good wearing them.  When your whole body is changing it's important to do something to feel good about your appearance.

When buying maternity clothes online, be sure to check the size guide.  Most companies tell you to buy your prepregnancy size.  But if you buy premium denim, for instance, you'll need to go one to two sizes larger than normal.  Toward the end of your pregnancy, you might need to buy pants a size larger than your prepregnancy size.  With the exception of leggings, you probably won't be able to wear the same pants throughout your entire pregnancy.  Maternity pants also come with a variety of waistbands:  adjustable waist, demi-panel, full-panel, back-panel, under-belly, over-belly, etc.  It may take a little trial and error to figure out what is comfortable for you.  Different styles are suggested for different stages of pregnancy. 

Here are some of my favorite maternity clothing items/stores:

Maternity Jeggings.  These look like skinny jeans, but feel like leggings.  Enough said.  I ordered mine from Old Navy.

Milan Maternity.  I cannot vouch for the quality of the clothing, but I stumbled upon this site and the clothing is cute and reasonably priced.  They sell a lot of ruched tops, which accentuate the growing belly.  A lot of maternity tops fit like a tent and just make you look, well, fat.  These tops scream, "I'm pregnant, not fat!"

Gap Maternity.  Gap quality and style, with room for a baby bump.  Some of my favorite maternity pieces come from Gap, and they often will offer coupons.

Gilt Groupe.  Every once in a while Gilt will have a maternity boutique and will sell higher end clothing for up to 70% retail.  They will also sell nursing bras and nightgowns on occasion. 

Zulily.  This flash sale site, geared toward moms and kids, often has maternity and nursing boutiques.

Rue La La.  Yet another flash sale site, but this one is great for finding premium denim.  

Coming soon:
Stuff for Mom
Stuff for Baby
What to Bring to the Hospital
Where to Find a Deal

What to do with leftover ham.

I've spent a lot of time in grocery stores over the past few days in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I've seen hams for sale, and while turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition, I'm tempted by the ham.  If I didn't have an 18 pound bird thawing in my fridge I might just throw tradition out the window and serve ham.  I doubt that I would get any complaints from my husband.

If any of you are serving ham, you might have some left over.  "Leftover" and "ham" are two words that don't go together in my house, but I thought I'd share a recipe that uses ham steak.  It's been part of my rotation for a few years now.  I will often make this the day before cooking it.  Real Simple suggests omitting the ham if you'd like to make this a vegetarian side dish.

Cauliflower and Ham Gratin
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced (I dice, or better yet, buy a bag of frozen diced onion)
8 oz ham steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk (I use 1%)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled (I use feta)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (I use a bag of frozen cauliflower florets)
3 tbsp bread crumbs (I omit)
8 sprigs thyme (I omit)
2 - 3 tbsp flour

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute for about 6 minutes, until softened and light golden brown.  Add the ham and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add cream, milk, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes.  I often add flour to help the mixture thicken -- probably because I use 1% milk rather than whole.  Add cauliflower and remove from heat.

Transfer to a 2-quart casserole and sprinkle with bread crumbs and thyme.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes.  Let it rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Sigh of Relief

When Joey was six months old, I brought her to the doctor with an unexplained fever.  Her doctor tested her urine and it was determined that Joey had a kidney infection.  Her doctor prescribed a round of antibiotics, along with a daily low-dose antibiotic, and referred us to the Urology Department of Children's Hospital in Birmingham.
Sick six-month-old
At Children's Hospital a number of tests were performed to determine that Joey had grade II kidney reflux in her left kidney.  Her urologist felt confident that Joey would outgrow the reflux by the time she was five, but until then she'd need to take a daily antibiotic and have a yearly VCUG and a renal ultrasound every six months.  If she didn't outgrow the reflux by age five she would need to have surgery.

For those of you who do not know, the VCUG is a horrible test.  A catheter is inserted into the urethra and dye is inserted into the bladder.  X-rays are taken to determine if there is reflux from the bladder to the kidneys.  Once the catheter is removed the child has to empty her bladder while still lying on the x-ray table.  I would not wish this experience on anybody.  There is nothing worse than holding your child down while she is looking into your eyes and screaming in pain and/or fear. 

Today was Joey's appointment at Children's for the horrible yearly VCUG.  Since I'm pregnant I'm not even able to be in the room for the test.  So Paul took her.  Brave man.  Joey was very well behaved during her appointment and though she was obviously uncomfortable, she didn't scream.  Since she's more or less potty trained she had difficulty emptying her bladder on the x-ray table.  But she did it.

Today we got good news.  Great news, actually.  JOEY HAS OUTGROWN HER REFLUX!!!  She'll need a renal ultrasound in a year, but we are done with the VCUGs!  And we are through with the daily antibiotics! 

Our urologist told us that our future children will have a 25% chance of having kidney reflux also, so Baby Losavio will need the work up when the time comes.  But there's also a 75% chance that she won't have it, so I hope that the statistics work out in our favor.

The Elf on the Shelf

For a couple of years I've been intrigued by The Elf on the Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf is Santa's special helper who moves into your home during the Christmas season and reports back to Santa whether the kid(s) have been naughty or nice.  The elf travels to the North Pole each night and then comes back each morning to a different spot in the house.  The elf is not supposed to be touched or it will lose it's magic.  The elf is named by the family who adopts him, and you can register his name online and get a message from Santa.  I'm voting to name him Crumpet.

Last year I stalked Barnes & Noble and Amazon waiting for The Elf to go on sale, but didn't have any luck.  This year, armed with a B & N coupon, I bit the bullet and ordered this for our family.  It has excellent consumer reviews and I hope that it will be an effective motivational tool for good behavior.  I think Joey will have a great time searching for the elf each morning, and I also think that Paul and I will enjoy finding new places for it.  We will probably need to use a little creativity by the time Christmas rolls around!

Joey is almost three, and I think that this year will be the first Christmas that she is really aware of what's going on.   It's important to me to establish our family traditions for the holidays.  Maybe the elf will become an inherent part of Joey's Christmas memories.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am thankful for my husband, Paul, who provides for our family and puts up with me.  It's not easy.  I am also thankful for my husband's job, even though it requires a moderate amount of travel.  I am also thankful that Paul is able to collect Sky Miles for all this travel. 

I am thankful for my daughter, Josephine.  She's brilliant, creative, silly, and, most importantly, healthy.  I struggle with motherhood sometimes, but I couldn't imagine my life without her.

I am thankful for a healthy pregnancy and for excellent health care.

I am thankful for our home.

I am thankful to have my mom and stepfather nearby to help with Joey, and soon, the new baby. 

I am thankful for Caillou for entertaining my kid and giving me breaks throughout the day.

I am thankful for my wonderful friends and that I'm able to share in their life changes, like marriage, pregnancy, and babies.

I am thankful for my parents, my brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

I am thankful for great in-laws and fabulous brothers- and sisters-in-law.

I am thankful to have a dog who puts up with tail-pulling.

I am thankful that Joey likes to order vanilla milk at Starbucks and isn't yet hooked on the Frappuccino.

I am thankful that Gilt Groupe likes to send me account credits, and that I can occasionally get nice things for my girls for free.

I am thankful for my education.  I may not be "using" it, but things that I've learned have made me who I am.

I am thankful for modern plumbing and the high standards for sanitation in the US.

These are just some of the things that I'm thankful for, and not necessarily in that order.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Plain White Onesies

When I was sorting through our baby clothes the other day I found a ridiculous number of Plain White Onesies.  Seriously ridiculous.  At least 15.  And that's just for sizes 0 to 6 months.  Some of these probably haven't even been worn.  Seriously.  I know that I bought them all, but why?  Did I think that Joey needed a Plain White Onesie to go with every outfit?  Regardless, Paul and I figured that we could do something fun with these Plain White Onesies.  Fun as in creative.

Paul's idea was to screen print or stencil designs on the Plain White Onesies.  I suggested creating designs on the computer and using iron-on transfer paper.  Paul is a talented designer (if you didn't already know) and I'm sure that his designs will be awesome.

My idea was to embellish the PWOs (Plain White Onesies) with scraps of fabric, ribbon, and buttons, all of which I had on hand.  I've also been wanting to attempt applique, and practically free PWOs would make a great medium.  And considering that I've got lots of fabric just lying around, I wouldn't feel wasteful if the outcome wasn't perfect.

For the applique project, I found simple images on the Internet and printed them.  I cut the fabric and fusible web (available at fabric stores) to the approximate size of the image and ironed the two together.  I pinned the image to the fabric and then cut it out.  I then ironed the fabric to the onesie and then stitched it for reinforcement and to prevent fraying.  I believe there are "no-sew" options that would probably be worth looking into, since the stitching was the most time-consuming part of the project. 

I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome:
"C" Onesie: 
Font: Adobe Jensen Pro Bold
Crow Onesie: 
Fish Onesie:
Fabric:  Michael Miller Tortoise Plaid

I also created some yo-yo rosettes to embellish the PWOs, but thinking that they won't launder well I didn't bother to attach them to the PWO.  I think that they would make adorable headbands or hair clips.

Baby Losavio: 30 Weeks

Baby Losavio is about 15.7 inches long and weighs 3 pounds, give or take a few ounces.  It certainly feels like there's a three-pound something in my belly!  Pregnancy is getting more uncomfortable each week.  I'm noticing that it's becoming more difficult to lift Joey.  She is 32 pounds, after all.  It's also getting tough to lean over, crouch down, and crawl on the floor.  Unfortunately, you do a lot of that when entertaining a two-year-old!  And cleaning up after one.

At this point, I have made it through 75% of my pregnancy.  This baby only has ten more weeks at most to cook before she's "evicted."  Yesterday I sent Paul to our underground lair to fetch our bins of baby clothes.  We have two months to go, yes, but I need to sort and launder the baby's clothes while I still have the energy to do it! 
"Cheeseburger;" 29.5 weeks
And now a baby name hint:  Baby Losavio's name is of French origin.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Joey is Joey

Paul snapped these pictures of Joey just being Joey this morning.

I (heart) Gilt

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Gilt Groupe and how I snagged $50 worth of account credits.  Today in my inbox was another $20 account credit, and I was able to finagle free shipping by inviting ten of my nearest and dearest to join.

Seriously, you should be subscribing to their emails.  If you'd like to sign up, click here or ask me for an invitation.

This is what I bought for a dollar:
MiYim organic knitted teether rattles for Baby Losavio, retail value $36.
Do You Have Gilt?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, 8:12 p.m.

Toys, Toys, Toys

Every year I have difficulty deciding on Christmas gifts for Joey.  When choosing gifts for children other than my own, the decision is even harder.  With all of the options available today, it's difficult to anticipate which toys will be loved and which ones will gather dust.

To make things easier for all of us, the folks at Baby Cheapskate have polled hundreds parents and compiled a list of "Toys That Get Played With."  I think that these lists are fabulous.  I think that Joey would enjoy many of the toys suggested for her age group because she has loved so many of the toys on the lists.  I also like that so many of the toys on the lists are not battery-operated and that they encourage children to use their imagination.
Here are links to the Toys That Get Played With 2010:

Toys That Get Played With:  6 to 12 Months
Toys That Get Played With:  13 to 24 Months
Toys That Get Played With:  25 to 36 Months
Toys That Get Played With:  3 to 4 Years
Toys That Get Played With:  4 to 5 Years

I hope that these lists will help you if you're having difficulty finding the perfect gift for a child.

Save Money with Ebates

If you shop online, you should consider setting up an account with EbatesEbates is an online shopping site that offers up to 26% cash back when you shop online.  Ebates has partnered with more than 1,200 stores, including Macy's, Overstock, Wal-mart, Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic, and eBay, to give you cash rebates for shopping online.  Ebates is also an excellent source for reliable Internet coupons, free shipping offers, and limited-time sales.  If you sign up now, you will receive a $5 bonus when you make your first purchase. 

To earn cash back, simply visit Ebates and click on their link for an online retailer rather than typing the retailer's URL in your browser's address bar.  When you make a purchase through Ebates, they earn a commission, which they pass on to the consumer.  Four times a year, they will send you a check or transfer your earnings to your Paypal account.  Or, you can donate those earnings to a charity.

Why not get cash back for purchases that you would make anyway?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

I realized today that Thanksgiving is barely more than 2 weeks away, which means that I've got a lot of work to do over the next two weeks.  Since we've lived in our home we've hosted dinner each year.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I love having friends and family over to celebrate.  The company and the menu are usually the same.  We achieved perfection early. 

This recipe for holiday sweet potatoes is a Losavio family tradition and is a definite crowd-pleaser.  I usually assemble it Thanksgiving Eve, and then bake it the next day while the turkey rests.  I look forward to eating it all year.

Holiday Sweet Potatoes
Serves 12

2 29 oz cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs, beaten

Mix the above ingredients and spread in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Add topping of:

2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups broken nuts, such as pecans
1 cup self-rising flour
2 sticks margarine or butter, melted

Mix above ingredients and spread over potato mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for stretchy maternity pants.

November 9, 2005

Five years ago, Paul created his "LSUA Tidegers" shirt to wear for the Alabama vs. LSU game that weekend.  He was torn between supporting the LSU Tigers and the Alabama (UA) Crimson Tide.  He has worn the shirt for every Alabama/LSU game since then.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Demolition on 24th Street, Part Deux

More than a week ago, demolition on the old Tuscaloosa County High School was slated to begin.  There have been several setbacks that have prevented the crew from doing their work.

First, student records were discovered inside the buildng.  Second, the gas had not been turned off. 

Some former students decided to pay tribute to their old school:
Here is the extent of the progress:
For further reading:
Demolition on 24th Street
Old Tuscaloosa County High records left unsecured

Potty Training Update

Last Saturday we began potty training and haven't looked back.  We packed away our cloth diapers and pulled out the big girl underwear.  We armed ourselves with apple juice (a very rare treat for Joey), M&Ms, and the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day.  We meant business.

We had been casually potty training for probably more than a year.  Every once in a while, Joey would show interest in the potty and want to use it.  She has known what to do on the potty, absolutely.  We were advised to give her rewards.  She had a sticker chart in the bathroom, but didn't show much interest.  We were advised to let her run around naked.  She'd figure out what to do, we were told.  She loved being naked, but also loved peeing and pooping all over the house.  I feel that by taking a casual approach we not only delayed potty training but caused ourselves a lot of unnecessary stress.

Since Saturday we have had a lot of "accidents" and done a lot of laundry, but Joey is very close to being completely potty-trained.  We are still having at least one "accident" each day, but they are becoming rarer.  Joey has only had one bed-wetting incident and has no problem pooping in the potty.  We often have to prompt her to use the potty, but she is also asking to go or going on her own.  We have not potty trained in "less than a day," but using the methods outlined in the book have been valuable.

I'm not going to go into detail about the method that we used since there are numerous resources available at the library, bookstore, or on the Internet.  I suggest that once your child exhibits signs of readiness, choose a method, research it, and stick to it.

Baby Losavio: 29 Weeks

At 29 weeks, Baby Losavio weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is just over 15 inches long.  Her lungs are maturing, her head is growing to make room for her growing brain, and she's continuing to fatten up.  Over the next 11 weeks, the baby will likely triple her weight.  She'll grow rapidly until about 36 weeks when her growth will slow down.  From here on out we will be spending a lot of time at my doctor's office.  We will have appointments every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, when we'll have appointments every week.
Thanks to naturally low blood sugar, I did pass my glucose screening test last week.  I was a little concerned that I would fail since I did indulge in sweets the day before my appointment.  Failing the test was a risk I was willing to take!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Football Party

Yesterday we hosted a party to watch the Alabama vs. LSU game.  Since Paul was born and raised in Baton Rouge, and his entire family supports LSU, he obviously rides the fence when it comes to his team allegiance.

We enjoyed having our friends over, and it gave us a good reason to clean the house.  The outcome of the game was a disappointment to us Bama fans, and probably a nice surprise to LSU fans.  We had a good time nonetheless.

Here are some pictures of our party.  I wasn't very diligent about taking photos, but next time I'll hire a professional.
Joey and Adelyn having fun on the swing
Andouille sausage, cheese, and pineapple
Homemade French bread for Gumbo
Chad and Mandy's contribution
Our "tent chairs"
Inflatable goal post
If you or someone you know has a drinking or drug problem...
Roll Tide!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Got Swag?

We all like getting something for nothing, right?

For a couple of months I've been using the search engine at Swagbucks to earn swag.  You periodically earn Swag Bucks as you search, which you can redeem for prizes.  You can also earn Swag Bucks by participating in daily polls, taking surveys, installing a Swag Bucks toolbar, and more.  Once you accumulate enough, you can redeem them for e-gift cards and other prizes.

You can click on the link here or the image below to sign up.

Search & Win

After many months of sporadic use, I finally saved enough Swag Bucks to get two $5 Amazon gift cards.  This is what I bought:
Pretty special, huh?

I'm not going to lie:  the search engine is horrible.  I don't recommend using it if you actually need to search for something.  But you can still use Swagbucks to "search" for sites.  Rather than typing a URL in your browser's address bar, set Swagbucks as your homepage and "search" for sites you plan to visit, such as Facebook or Yahoo or even Google.  Earn Swag Bucks.  Buy stuff.  Like a piggy kitchen timer.  We all need one of those, right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Old Wives Tales

Earlier in my pregnancy, before we knew that we were having a girl, I was very interested in the gender-related Old Wives Tales.  It's hard to wait until 20 (or 40) weeks to find out the gender of your baby, and these just-for-fun guesses are, well, fun.

Heart rate:
If the baby's heart rate is below 140, it's a boy.  If it's above 140, it's a girl.
Both of our girls have had heart rates above 140 in utero.

The Drano Test:  
Mix a tablespoon of Drano crystals with your urine.  If it turns green, it's a girl.  Blue, it's a boy.
I don't endorse trying this, but if you do, get someone else to do it.

The Garlic Test:
Eat a clove of garlic.  If the smell seeps through your pores, it's a boy.
Um, no thanks.

The Ring Test:
Tie your wedding band to a string and hold it over your belly.  If it swings in a circle, it's a boy.  Back and forth, it's a girl.

First Words:
If your first child's first word was "Mama," it's a girl.  If it was "Dada," it's a boy.
Joey's first word was "kitty-cat."  We're not having a kitten.

Hairy Legs:
If the hair on your legs grows really fast, you're having a boy.

Salty or Sweet:
If you crave sweets, you're having a girl.  Salty and sour, it's a boy.

I Feel (Not So) Pretty:
You're having a girl if you have acne, gain weight in your face, or just feel unattractive.  They say that a girl steals her mother's beauty.
I can agree with the fuller face and feeling ugly, but I really haven't had acne. 

Morning Sickness:
If you have nausea or morning sickness, it's a girl.  Smooth sailing, it's a boy.
I haven't really had morning sickness with either of my girls.  Just a little nausea.

(His) Weight Gain:
If your husband/partner puts on weight during your pregnancy, it's a girl. 
I read somewhere that it's because he eats what you can't because of the morning sickness.

Chinese Gender Chart:
The Chinese Gender Chart uses the mother's age at conception and the month of conception to predict the baby's gender.
This was accurate for both of my pregnancies.

Mayan Gender Predictor:
This ancient method compares the mothers age at conception and the year of conception.  If both numbers are even or odd, it's a girl.  If one is odd and one is even, it's a boy.
True for both of my pregnancies, as well.

What do you think?
Mother's intuition is correct 71% of the time.
True for me.

Have these been true or false for you?  Are there any good ones that I missed?

I think this should be my next vehicle.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
The Madsen bike company is having a giveaway.  Click on the picture to find out how you can win.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby Losavio: 28 Weeks

Welcome third trimester!

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant.  From this point forward, I'm sure to be fatigued, uncomfortable, and moody, but I will be able to indulge in the occasional glass of wine, so it's okay.

I have my 28-week prenatal appointment tomorrow, where I'll have my glucose screening test.  For those of you who don't know, it tests for gestational diabetes and every pregnant woman has to do it.  I'll have to drink an awful sugary drink, wait an hour, and then have blood drawn to determine how my body handles sugar.  If the results are abnormal, I'll have to go back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test.  I fully expect to pass the test, as long as I don't binge on Joey's Halloween candy tonight.

Baby Losavio is now about 14.8 inches long and 2 1/4 pounds.  And she has eyelashes!  How cool is that?

Baby Losavio is longer than an LP,
 and longer than the width of a newspaper,
 but not as long as George.  Yet.
And now a baby name hint:  Baby Losavio's name means "little woman."  However, she is not "Meg," "Beth," or "Amy," and we already have a "Jo."

Also, happy birthday to my dad!


Related Posts with Thumbnails