Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fun Facts

Because "smart" is such a vague term, I thought I would break down the brain-boosting benefits of motherhood into the five most likely "smart" attributes: perception, efficiency, resiliency, motivation, and emotional intelligence. All of these categories have been supported by many animal studies as well as some human studies designed to show how mothers have an edge. 

The category of perception deals mainly with the five senses. A study I found very interesting showed that pregnant women had sharper "visual acuity" than women who weren't expecting. This study certainly didn't imply that expectant women suddenly had 20/20 vision, but they were more aware of detail that they may have overlooked prior to pregnancy. Other studies have also showed that pregnant women have an enhanced sense of smell which researchers believe serves as a way to protect the unborn baby from foods that are potentially harmful.
Furthermore findings show that expectant women can experience a boost in motivation, fearlessness, and the ability to multitask and cope with more stress. Exciting new research also suggests that oxytocin — a hormone important to labor and breastfeeding — improves a moms' capacity for learning and memory.
Emotional intelligence is the most definitive category in which mothers benefit. This brain boost for moms acts as the ability to see the world through someone else's eyes. In most of life's relationships, if you don't agree with a person you can just walk away, but you can't walk away from your child. At least, not if you want to be a good parent. Instead, you've got to stretch your mind to understand their point of view. In no way did any of these studies suggest that women who weren't pregnant were lacking in any of the five researched areas but instead they simply confirmed that the changes women were noticing in themselves were in-fact valid and accurate. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Fun Facts

When someone says to you..."that they're as strong as an Ox", I'm sure a baby is not the first visual that come to mind. However pound for pound, babies are stronger than many animals including an ox. As unbelievable as it may seem, an oxen is actually the best example of comparable strength in the animal kingdom. A baby's strongest muscles are in their legs. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fun Facts

As hard as this may be to believe babies can't cry. They can scream and holler for what they want or need, but newborns technically can't cry. When baby is born his or her tears ducts are not fully developed. Tears don't actually begin to flow until babies are about three weeks old. In some cases, it isn’t unusual for babies not to shed their first tears until four or five months. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Fun Facts

You may not know it when you hear goo-goo ga-ga but babies actually try to communicate almost all the time. It isn't easy because they can't make the same sounds that we adults understand as words. Because of this we often assume the sounds they're making are meaningless. On the contrary the sounds your baby is making are not just cooing & wooing, it IS language, all sounds are language.  Babies do not waste their breath saying nothing, remember just because you don't understand their language doesn't mean they don't clearly understand it and know what they are saying.  It is very important to listen & respond to your baby's effort to communicate. It is vital for a baby's communicative development that their caregivers acknowledge that they are in fact talking and being heard. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

It may seem as if baby is completely distracted when you try to get there attention. But truthfully babies actually have superb attention, interest, and enthusiasm for everything that surrounds them. 
Babies can pay attention to up to 10 things at once instead of focusing on one thing at a time like adults do. This is one of the primary reasons why babies learn so quickly. Don't be fooled, babies may not pay attention to what we want them to, but they ARE definitely paying attention. As parents and caregivers if we can determine some of the things that they pay particular attention too we can share in the joys of their discoveries. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

After doing research on the topics I post in my "Friday Fun Facts" blog feature I can usually come to a conclusion that I agree with and feel confident about supporting, but this subject has me seeing and agreeing with aspects of both sides...what are your thoughts? 

PRO: "Motherese" is a brand of chatting better known as "baby talk" and can be important to development. Together, the wide smiles, high pitch, exaggerated expressions and repetition succeed in drawing and holding a baby’s attention. This encourages babies to become an active part of two-way interaction, motherese seems to be an important tool in building and deepening the emotional bond between adults and babies, and serves as baby’s first introduction to language and communication skills. 

CON: A recent study suggests that speaking to your baby or young child using "motherese" instead of more complex sentences may set a poor example and could possibly hinder their communication skills. The same research shows that by using more complex sentences some babies will learn the right terms and forms of language early on and develop a higher ability for language comprehension as they grow. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Born Free Baby!!!

It is often thought that it is good for a baby to spend time in a playpen, jumper or walker for stimulation. Although these devices can be quite helpful for very short time spans they can actually hinder a baby from learning how to move and explore the new world around them. When babies are given the opportunity to be on his belly on the floor, they will move and love every minute of it. All too often a baby is placed in a high chair, backpack carrier, playpen, car seat, or stationary walker, but a baby should be free to move on their bellies as much as possible, and confined, bundled up, or restricted as little as possible. This type of free movement stimulation promotes a sense of security, confidence and curiosity all while strengthening important neck and upper body muscles. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

While it may seem at time that your baby is just laying around not doing much...nothing could be further from the truth. Babies do a huge number of things internally, they are very intent human beings determined to overcome difficult circumstances such as blindness, deafness and immobility. At birth, a baby is born functionally blind, deaf, and immobile. Baby's bodies & brains are full of sensory and motor pathways that grow and develop through stimulation. Interacting with your child through verbal communication and eye contact really help with stimulation but even without your constant attention human instinct for self preservation is strong. Babies can self stimulate, by looking at their surroundings, listening intently to noises and by kicking and moving their arms & legs. While many of these movements may be involuntary they are inner connected to the sensory pathways that need to be strengthened.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hold on Baby!

It's been said that if a mother doesn't hold or nurse her newborn child in the first few hours of life the bond between mother & child may not be as strong. Fortunately many experts agree that this is pure myth. It's been suggested that there is only one chance to do things right as a mother and although research does show that the first few hours of baby's life are an important bonding time these hours do not dictate the bonds that will last a lifetime. Experts have seen time and time again that mothers having 
C-Sections, cases where newborns are in need of immediate medical attention apart from their mother or in the instances of infant adoption, very strong life long bonds are developed quickly. A loving relationship over the child's lifetime more than make up for those missing few hours, days or even weeks of separation at the beginning of life.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Don't let the heat get to you!!!

Summer pregnancies can be difficult for a couple of reasons. There are so many more scheduled events that you feel obligated to attend but your energy levels are low and on top of that the summer heat & stickiness can be unbearable. Even when you in air-conditioning it may never feels quite cool enough. Happily with a little preparation and these simple tips can help keep you cool and enable you to manage and enjoy your summer pregnancy.

Tips for staying Cool & Healthy during your Summer pregnancy

  •          Schedule outdoor tasks in the early morning or evening when the sun is lower and temps are not too high.
  •           Avoid going out of doors when temps exceed 90F try to be near a fan or in air conditioning. 
  •           Wearing light-colored clothing will help cut the heat.
  •           Keep yourself well hydrated. Adding sports drinks can help to replace essential electrolytes.
  •           Sipping on a yummy “mocktail” is a sure way to stay cool – try out the delicious recipe below.
  •           Carry a spray bottle of water with you at all times.
  •           Sunscreens not only protect against over exposure but also can help keep you cool. Start with a SPF 15 or higher 20 minutes before you go out and then reapply throughout the day.
  •            Take several quick showers to keep cool.
  •            Keeping your feet up will help reduce swelling.
  •            Being careful of your salt intake will also help to minimize swelling.
  •            If you take several short naps throughout the day your energy levels will stay elevated.
  •           Asking for help when you’re feeling tired is a MUST.
  •           Don’t make unnecessary commitments, if it doesn't absolutely need to be done don't do it.

Pina Colada Smoothie: Combine 6 ounces frozen coconut yogurt, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1/2 of a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, and 1 cup milk; blend until smooth.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

In many areas of the US, August can be the hottest month of the summer. In this kind of intense heat your baby’s skin can burn fast. Fact is that even using sunscreen labeled specifically for children does not mean your getting the protection your baby’s skin needs. 

Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind to help insure your child gets the best skin protection possible this summer. 
UVB Rays are the shallow penetrating rays of the sun. They are responsible for tanning and even burning the skin it can also contribute to skin cancer and aging. UVB protection is measured by the Sun Protection Factor better known as SPF. The number that follows signifies how many times longer you can stay in the sun without getting burnt as apposed to going out without any sunscreen.

UVA Rays penetrate much deeper and they do not physically tan or burn the skin, but they are the rays that are the primary responsible for skin cancer and premature aging. Because the UVA Rays are so powerful SPF will not protect against them. There are only four ingredients proven to protect against UVA Rays; zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, and mexoryl. Be cautious however as avobenzone and mexoryl are highly unstable and break down quickly in the sunlight. When selecting a sunscreen that will protect your little one from the harsh sun parents should look for sunscreens that contain no less 7% zinx oxide or titanium dioxide.  Even in direct sun these ingredients will protect against UVA rays for at least two hours.

Be sure your not using the best products on your baby's precious skin...check out  EWG's 2012 Sunscreen Guide (Environmental Working Group) 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

A Short, Sweet & Chubby Little Fact...
Although May 2011 has passed the following baby fact is true each & every May. If someone asked which month of the year the heaviest babies are born you might answer January or February after all the holiday eating, but truth be told the lovely month of May produces the chubbiest babies. On average babies born in the month of May weigh over a 1/2 pound more than babies born in any other month. The jury is still out on why this is so but I thought it was a very interesting fun fact worth sharing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

It is often said that instinctively parents know by the sound of their baby's cry weather they are hungry, needing their diaper change or just tired. Don't worry if you still trying to figure out your baby's first language, it may take a little time to recognize the different tones of each cry. As time goes by you'll become fluent in "CRY" and will easily identify your baby's unique way of communicating their needs. From the loud shrieking of discomfort to a more subdued whimpering of fatigue, each request will be made with a different cry. Although "CRY" is the universal language for baby's they all "speak" it a little differently, in fact some baby's will howl for no reason at all. But no matter what their need may be more often then not you'll be able to meet it. just by the sound of their cry. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Than Monday

Every pair of sweet little feet is an inspiration to me! Look at how those little toes flex and bend to grip and balance as they walk.

This is what inspires me to create Mini-Mocs! See how the supple soft premium leather flexes easily with every natural movement of baby's walking feet. I never imagined that those tiny little toes could bring such BIG INSPIRATION! 

Inspiration comes in different ways on different days for all of us...
...What inspires you? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Take a deep breath baby...
Babies look like little angels when they're sleeping. But often new parents spend a good part of each night bent over the side of their baby's crib, checking to make sure their angel is still breathing. Until you learn your infants breathing patterns, watching your baby taking irregular breaths can be nerve wracking. Rest assured that those slight pauses and then periods of rapid deep breaths are perfectly normal.  Occasional moments of irregular breathing is part of the development of the diaphragm, the muscle that enables breathing.  Pauses of up to 20 seconds are considered normal. By the time your baby is about 6 weeks old they should develop a more regular breathing pattern. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Let's Go "Skin"ny Dippin'... 
Before babies are born they are suspended in a warm & lovely pool of amniotic fluid. During pregnancy your baby's skin is protected from this watery world by a coating of a white waxy material called vernix. After baby is born & their skin is exposed to the air and the vernix is rubbed away, the upper layer of their skin dries out and begins to peel. A baby's entire body may peel (but it's most noticeable on the hands and feet). it is important that you don't try to pick off the flakes -- by doing so you may end up removing skin that's not ready to be shed. Baby lotions do not stop this shedding and are not necessary. This "skin shedding" usually lasts one to two weeks.

Monday, July 2, 2012

More Than Monday

It's a bird... It's a plane... It's SuperMoth...   

...and it's amazing to watch.

While spending some time in my yard this past weekend I found myself hypnotized by what I thought were the tiniest hummingbirds in the world.  After doing a little "googling" I discovered I had been watching the infamous and very cool Clear Winged Hummingbird Moth. What a brilliant impersonation...  and totally inspiring to me.

Inspiration comes in different ways on different days for all of us...
...What inspires you? 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Pucker Up Baby!!!
It is a common occurrence for many newborns develop a blister from vigorous sucking on a bottle or breast called a nursing tubercle. These blister are sometimes present at birth because of thumb-sucking in the womb. A sucking callus causes no discomfort to your baby. In fact, the overgrowth of skin stiffens the lip and may make grasping the nipple easier. The callus will disappear on its own in a few months, or it might come and go from day to day.

Monday, June 25, 2012

♥ ~ More than Monday ~ ♥

Even when the waves of Life are Overwhelming to me the Awesome Power & Majestic Beauty of God shows itself and reminds me I belong to Him!!!

Inspiration comes in different ways on different days for all of us...
...What inspires you? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

~ ♥ ~ More Than Monday ~ ♥ ~

My beloved mom is having out patient back surgery today. This is her 3rd in less than 7 months. Praying for God's total healing and when I'm looking for His Angels this photo inspires me...

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I have decided that this will be my annual Father's Day post. My Father's love lives on in me day after day even though he has passed from this life to the next. I can be content if my life is even a small reflection of what he taught me.

I lost my beloved Daddy on November 23rd of 2009, for me it still feels very much like yesterday. I had published this blog post years ago, quite some time before he past away, to celebrate the amazing person he was and him overcoming a major medical stumbling block,  I think Father's Day is the perfect day to republish it.  I miss you ♥ Daddy!!!! 


he deeply loved his family (that's me on the bottom girl on the right 1 of 7 kids)
he was an amazing artist and loved his gift to create fabulous works of art

he loved his daily newspaper and didn't go a day without the comics!
And when i was a little girl i could curl up in his lap and he'd read them to me!

as a architectural illustrator he loved the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

he loved fine dining and his favorite was fresh lobster. We share SO MANY amazing
meals together, he definitely influenced my love and passion for cooking.
his love for fine dining included fine wine - his favorite was pouilly fuissi!

he loved classic styling and the straight 12 jaguar was his all time favorite!!! 


Monday, June 11, 2012

More than Monday - It's A Little Kitchen Chit-Chat Day!

Things are moving along - I'm sure it's a little slower pace than some remodeling jobs (but faster than others i've heard about) but that is because hubby & I are doing some of the work to keep our dream kitchen within our budget. As you can see we have all the patching & priming done now...


Hubby did such a wonderful job on the soffits - they were in really bad shape. 

1.) Paul put the first Coat of Floor Sealer

2.) Second Coat of Floor Sealer / 3 More to go after the cabinets & stub walls are installed. ( check out hubby's fabo soffit work - he's da man!)

3.) This is a close up of the Historic Pewabic Tile Install I did in 1999


Friday, June 8, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

After spending nine months directly attached to mommy, maternal hormones still course through baby’s chemistry make-up for a few weeks after birth. During these weeks baby girls can sometimes experience a small amount of bloody vaginal discharge. This is brought on by the same hormones that cause swollen testicles and labia in newborns. You can find that earlier post here . Finding a small smudge or smear of blood in your baby girls diaper is nothing to cause alarm, these mini mentural periods should last only a few days. Also there are times that highly concentrated urine can appear quite dark and look like blood especially in the folds of the diaper. Signs of bright red blood is not common and in this case you should take your baby to their pediatrician for medical attention. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Chuckle

Sorry to break it to you, but your tweets don't
mean as much as you wish they did! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Little Kitchen Chit-Chat

Well it's been a bit since we looked at the kitchen remodel progress and a big part of that is because scraping a kitchen floor is a LOT of work. We removed the 3 layers of tile and were faced with 50+ year old hardened glue that was covered in green tile backing paper! 

Thankfully, Paul the builder we're working with was willing to help us take on this challenge and made things happen.

So now we're at the patching/primer stage of the project. The patching should be complete later today or tomorrow...then we prime the walls, ceilings & soffits! After that, one more light sanding of the floor and we'll be watching those beautiful 58 year old red oak floor planks come to life with the first of 3 coats of super strength wood floor finish.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

More than Monday

I took some time to this weekend to play in the yard! I spotted these beauties outside on Saturday - as more & more blooms appear they are a happy inspiration for me. 

Inspiration comes in different ways on different days for all of us...

...What inspires you ?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Is eating your baby's favorite thing to do?

For the first few weeks it might seem as if you're feeding you newborn infant around the clock. This endless hunger has as much to do with your baby's hungry tummy as it does for your ability to meet supply & demand. These frequent feedings will increase your milk supply in order to meet your baby's growing appetite. Babies that are breast-fed babies tend to eat more frequently, because breast milk is more easily digested and more completely absorbed than formula. Your baby has a lot of growing to do and this feeding frenzy will give them the huge caloric intake they need. You can expect that your baby will double their birth weight in the first six of month of life. You may also notice your baby's appetite become particularly ravenous during growth spurts; the first usually happens between 4 to 6 weeks of age. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

♥ ~ More than Monday ~ ♥

They made it their duty to
protect & serve... 
it is our duty to honor and remember!!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Sweet Little Wiggle Worm 

After spending 9 months curled up and cozy in your womb, a newborn can now move with absolutely no restrictions on their limbs. Babies don't know quite how to control their body movements in this new free range world. A small wave of a baby's arm can become a wide swinging motion. Babies are also born with a natural reflex called Moro, or the startle reflex. When an infant feels like they are falling or if they're startled, they will react suddenly with jerking back & forth motions of their arms and open hands. This natural reflex fades at about 3 months of age. Because prior to 3 months your baby's neurological system is still developing, there are more electrical impulses being sent to their tiny muscles than are necessary. This electrical impulse overload can cause a baby's chin to quiver or legs to tremble. As development continues and the neurological system becomes more organized, your baby's movements will begin to calm. Most quivers are nothing to worry about, but see a doctor if your baby's shaking is rhythmic or if a trembling limb doesn't stop when you touch it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kitchen Chit-Chat

We are moving on! Today the electrical, lighting wiring, ceiling fixtures & plumbing have been that means we're officially moving onto the floor! This is going be a HUGE undertaking because we have to scrap the floor by hands before we can sand...but oh how I'm longing to see those pretty oak floors come back to life after being covered with glue and 3 layers of ugly flooring!!!

Our beautiful new LED lights are in and shinning brightly. They're so soft on the eyes, yet way brighter then our old fixture and 4 of the LED'S use less electricity than just one bulb from the old retina burning fixture we used to have. CHA-CHING on the $$$avings. Paul did tons more wiring to get ready for the overhead sink fixture and the under the cabinet lighting too but it's to hard to show in pics. 

Our beautiful copper plumbing now place behind the wall instead of coming up through the floor...this will add 9" more inches of cabinet space under the sink. Everything Paul is doing is ALL about maximizing every inch of our kitchen. YEAH!!! 

SIDE NOTE: Happy Anniversary Sweetie!!! Thank You for 15 WONDERFUL Years!!! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kitchen Update we're a little further along now than these pictures show but between work, the remodel and all the other household stuff I'm a wee bit behind. We're still focusing on the electrical - Paul found quite a few issues that had the potential of being really dangerous... so while we're down to the bare bones he is making the necessary repairs! glad we're getting this done. Three of the electrical boxes he found were wired incorrectly & had actual solder marks on them from being SO hot... very scary for sure!!! Thank you Lord for protecting our home! So the photos below are from last Friday. We now have LED high efficiency lights in the ceiling and we're wiring for the outlets, overhead sink task light and under the cabinet lighting today! (we took yesterday off)