My two favorite travel products & a baked salmon recipe for your toddler!

This is probably a weekend of travel for many families so I want to list all the things that make our family trips easier. The two things that we cannot absolutely travel without is the JEEP diaper backpack and the Guava travel bed. When my little one was just a couple months old I started to search for the perfect travel bed as our family lives far away. My friend told me about the Guava travel beds and I fell in love. We got the Lotus Everywhere travel crib. It was perfect and safe! I wanted a travel crib that was easy to fold and light to carry, but the most important part was for it to have mesh everywhere and even at the bottom. Most travel cribs have solid lining around the bottom and I was uncomfortable with that. I wanted to make sure that my baby was safe. As a new mom I was worried about SIDS and my little one loved to sleep face down with his nose stuck into anything he found. I didn’t have to worry about that with this travel bed because everything is open. Not only was it great for travel but my little one loved to play in it too! It is on the pricey side but it has been a great investment.

2 words to describe it: Light (for travel) & Safe (for sleep and play)

Here’s the link if you are interested:

http://www.guavafamily.com/products/lotus-everywhere-travel-crib

The other product that I love and wish I knew about in the first few months when I had my baby is the JEEP diaper backpack. I went through three diaper bags before I found this one. Not only is it easy for travel and your significant other won’t be embarrassed to carry it around, but also it has many storage pockets. There is a special pocket for wipes on the side to make them easily accessible as well as plenty of other pockets to fit pacifiers, snacks, diapers, and a bottle. It helps me organize and know where everything is so I can grab it fast if I need to. It also has attachments to hang on the stroller if needed. Being a new mom I have learned that accessibility and organization is so important, especially when your little one wants their pacifier and you can’t find it.

 

2 words to describe it: organized & spacious

jeep

 

lunch

 

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

 

Baked Salmon with Sweet potatoes & Broccoli

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the salmon (choose wild salmon when you can). Cut a slice for your little one. Depending on the size of the piece add a little bit of mayo. For one small slice I used ½ of a teaspoon. Massage the mayo into the salmon to prevent it from drying in the oven. I added a pinch of pepper and oregano for flavor.  Approximate time is 25-35 minutes. It depends on your oven. Check for the salmon to be fully cooked with a fork.  Along side throw in washed sweet potatoes in their skin and covered in one layer of sunflower oil. Bake until ready approximately 15-20 minutes. Check with a fork to see that they are soft on the inside. Steam some broccoli in a steamer and serve.

You can enjoy it too with your little one, except for our salmon I add more spices and lemon.

Enjoy! Have a great weekend 🙂

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! …SLEEPY DREAMS & Recipes

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the beautiful mommies out there! Being a mommy is a 24/7 job. I hope your day if filled with love and happiness, but not just today every day!

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Here’s something special for Mother’s day. Our secret sleep solution…

My little one slept in a bassinet until 4 months, of course waking every 2 hours to breastfeed. Then he outgrew his bassinet and we transferred him into a small crib that fit into our room. Yes, call me crazy but I’m one of those moms that will stand and check if he’s breathing while he’s sleeping so he had to sleep next to me. We decided that we would try to do sleep training because we heard it really works and some of my friends’ babies were doing really well with it. I kept pushing it back though, saying we would do it next week or the week after but for us we couldn’t find a perfect time. With sleep training you have to have stability, and we were constantly in the process of finding a good nanny. Besides, I was also balancing school so I wasn’t home all the time. When I finally decided to try it out at 6 months I felt like it was too late. I read about how infant’s separation anxiety peaks at 5.5 to 6 months, so we decided to wait a couple of more weeks. Honestly, there wasn’t a perfect time to start and I think hubby and I were starting to get frustrated; our little one was taking over our bed. One night when I was exhausted and my husband decided to put our little one to sleep, he decided to put him on our bed, and he fell asleep right away. He was about 4 months. We stacked pillows everywhere and let him sleep. Transferring him wasn’t an option because he would wake up right away so we decided to co-sleep, it was easier on me too because then I could just feed him and go back to sleep. Little did I know it was going to be a hard journey to change this habit.

At six months when we began to introduce solids, my husband and I decided we wanted our bed back. We put his crib next to our bed and tried to sleep train. Sleep training lasted five minutes. I couldn’t let him cry. Cry out method was horrible. It was just plain torture. So we had to do something else. We started to put him down in the crib and teach him it was time to go to sleep. We would do a routine. Always starting at 7pm. First, was bath time (not every day of course because babies’ skin is too sensitive), feeding, a book, and then music. I would lie next to him and pretend I was sleeping. It took maybe a week but then he understood that once I closed my eyes it was time for sleep. We played music on his mobile but as he got older we turned on Pandora lullabies. Jewel was his favorite singer, and still is. As soon as he fell asleep I slipped away. As he became older and stole my pillow from me around 9 months it became easier. He knew the routine and he knew it was bedtime. Once I started to decrease breastfeeding, especially night feedings we transferred him to his own room and to a big crib. We started getting him used to the big crib by first playing in there and then napping. Finally when he was ready to sleep there by himself we decorated the room. His love of cars made it easy. We threw car decals onto the walls, a car picture, and a car night light. We added music and he was ready to sleep on his own. The routine stayed the same and I still pretended I was sleeping when I put him to bed and I lay on the couch. Yes, there were still screams sometimes but only for a few minutes and then he plumped back on his pillow held onto Elmo and went to sleep. That was another important aspect of bedtime, was to find the right toy. I went through 3 toys until I found one he loved to cuddle with. It also helps if the toy has a melody. Knock on wood but we’re pretty lucky. Probably our next one will be the loud one.

Starting at 13 months old we continued our routine, said goodnight, and closed the door. I no longer have to stay in the room. Try it out with your little one if you can’t get them to fall asleep. It’s not sleep training but it’s our sleep method. There’s no wrong or right. Do what works for your little one and you. It was a way that we got him to sleep through the night early on, actually very early on. We made him Mr. Independent from just a few months and now I miss my cuddle bug. Too late to look back we have a little man running around in toddler’s shoes.

SLEEPY DREAMS METHOD

  1. Establish a bed time routine
  2. Start early around 4-6 months to make a routine. Even if your baby is small, you can still read to them. Reading can help them with their vocabulary later on, as well as provide some quiet time together. I started reading to my little one around 4 months and his love for books has grown tremendously.
  3. Time matters. Estimate an hour of bedtime routine and falling asleep. I always started at 7pm to make sure he was asleep by 8pm. Many sources say that babies will get cranky by 8:30pm so putting them to sleep before that is very important.
  4. If you are breastfeeding, expect the baby to wake up in the middle of the night no matter what, that’s just how it is.
  5. After the routine, lay them on their crib and turn some quiet music on. We love Pandora!
  6. Rub their head. If they are older and sleeping on their stomach then rub their back.
  7. Lay next to them and close your eyes.
  8. If they cry reassure that your next to them and say it’s sleepy time
  9. It will take a week or two to get used to the new sleeping method but if it works then the next steps are to let the baby fall asleep on their own.
  10. Happy baby! Happy Parents!

This is just our way and what worked for us. Wishing you nights filled with many hours of sleep!

Quick & easy SUMMER SALAD FOR YOUR TODDLER

1 handful of mixed organic greens cut into small pieces

5 chunks of cooked organic butternut squash

5 organic cherry tomatoes

(add cucumber if your toddler likes it)

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Pinch of pepper

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix

Boil an organic egg for the side of protein!

*Note if toddler doesn’t like salad, make it into an egg salad sandwich using organic multi grain or whole wheat bread. Cut the egg into pieces. Add a teaspoon of mayo. Add to the bread and the salad on top. Cut into slices for your little one to enjoy. Love to listen to “mmmmmmmm YUMMMY” from my little one as he stuffs his face with mini egg-a-licious sandwiches!

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Can I have a side of GUILT-free?

 

guilt free

It was a Friday morning and I didn’t have a chance to pack the night before as I always do because I was working at a pregnancy workshop. I thought about the past week and when I could fit everything in but it was impossible. There are honestly not enough hours in a day when you’re a mom and all of the above. I had twenty minutes to pack and as I threw everything in hoping not to forget something essential, I realized my little one just went down for a nap. I ran into his room but he was fast asleep. I patted his back gently told him that I love him and flew out the door. I was late. Nothing new but there was just a slight problem, LA traffic. I got to the airport a few minutes before boarding was going to start. As I was rushing to find the airport gate (of course they switched it last second and the other gate was located on the opposite side), I noticed a mom and a little toddler. Their interaction was so simple but sweet, made me miss my little one. The toddler was showing the mom that he needed to wash his hands, just like my little one rubs his palms together. I took a deep breath in and out and continued to my gate. I missed my little toddler.

As I sat down in the airplane next to the window, a rush of thoughts entered my head. What is my little one doing right now? What will he eat for dinner? What will he do tomorrow? I felt overwhelmed. I was excited to finally have a mini vacation and hang out with the girls for one of best friend’s bachelorette party but I felt like I was doing something wrong. A feeling of heaviness lingered around. GUILT had struck me. I was absolutely 100 % confident that he was in great hands spending the weekend with his dad, but I was disappointed that I didn’t have enough time during the week to be with him and now the weekend. When is there ever enough time for anything? Spending time with my little one is always a priority and these two weekends have been hectic. However, sometimes as a mom you just have to stop, push those horrible feelings aside that drive you with guilt, and know that you need some time for yourself as well. It’s like they always say on the plane, or in Virgin America’s case “sing” that you have to put your oxygen mask on first and then put it on your little one. I might be over exaggerating but if you don’t take care of yourself then who will take care of your little one if your not there? You need to have some time to yourself, and this was my time this weekend. To be a better mom, to be a better person you have to have ME TIME! Don’t let those feelings get to you. Just know that you are doing it to benefit you as well as your little one. Get out and do something for yourself whether it be a manicure/pedicure or a simple stroll outside. Take care of yourself so you can give that 110 % to your little one. I feel very lucky and blessed to have such a support system that I could be stress free on my mini getaway (after I pushed those thoughts out of my head of course).

How to be worry free on your next getaway:

  1. Make sure you trust the person/people taking care of your little one while being away. Be comfortable with them following your little one’s agenda.
  2. Leave at nap time. Even if you want to say goodbye, goodbye is always hard for a toddler. Mine always cries when I leave out the door. You don’t want to hear that when leaving for a few days because it will just want to make you drop your bags and stay.
  3. Call in but not too much. Hearing my little one on the phone before my flight made me just want to hold him in my arms. You can’t imagine how mad I felt when the pilot announced we’re having a half hour delay. It’s good to know that he’s ok but calling too much will make you home sick.
  4. Get a little something on your way back before the airplane to give to your toddler. I found a stuffed animal, a duck to be exact. That’s his favorite word to say so he was pretty happy.
  5. Spend some fun time with your toddler when you get back!

WHAT’S FOR DINNER FOR YOUR TODDLER?

KATLETKI (or chicken hamburgers)

You will need:

half a tray of organic ground chicken

1 organic egg

2 tbsp of farina

Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Clump into your hand and form into an oval, then pat it down. Don’t make it too thick because you want it to fry through. Add coconut oil to the pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides (about 15 minutes) then add half a cup of water to the pan. Cover it with the lid and let it fry on low heat for 5-10 minutes. It will make it softer. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. Quick, simple, and yummy for your little one. 🙂

katletki

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