Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Olivia's Winter Skincare

I am newly obsessed with the California Baby product line. I've had my eyes on this stuff for a long time now, but I never gave it try because I already had an over load of other baby care products that I received as gifts. In fact, I am just recently getting through half of my supply and Olivia's 14 months now.

I remember at one particular point,  I reconsidered changing products not only because  her doctor recommended it, but Olivia suffered a terrible "baby rash " episode and that didn't come about until I started bathing her on a regular basis with these so called "delicate" baby soaps and lotions. My only thought was,"it couldn't be the soap, its made for babies!"

So now, here we are in the cold dry winter months,  our well heated apartment,  and still an abundance of that baby care stuff. The perfect concoction to send my baby's smooth skin into eczema overload, NOT HAPPENING this time!

With the winter being so cold and dry here in NY it doesn't help that we have dry heat in our apartment as well. Therefore my humidifier is always on,  keeping our sinuses intact and our skin soft and supple. Besides the humidifier, here are the products by California Baby that I have tested out thus far and love:

  • First I set her bath with the California Baby® Calendula Shampoo & Bodywash already in the warm water. I put a little extra on a wash cloth and lather her body from head to toe then rinse her off.
  • When I take her out the bath, I give her a good towel pat down and then I coat her skin with the California Baby® Calendula Cream (helps with eczema too, thanks Letannya). 
  • I immediately follow that up with a mixture of 100% all natural Shea Butter mixed with Jojoba Oil to seal in that moisture. 
  • I then dress her and if it's night time, I use the California Baby® Overtired & Cranky™ Aromatherapy Spritzer. I spray it on her clothes, and on her neck and sometimes her face, I also spray it on her sheets right before i put her down to sleep. 

And there you have it, thats my bath time skincare routine for Olivia, so far it's been amazing, the products smell wonderful, her skin is softer that ever before and that spritzer really seems to sooth her when she's tired and cranky. I look forward to buying tons more of the California Baby product line for Olivia, and her baby sister.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day

This year was Olivia's second christmas, but really the first one she's able to participate in. Last christmas she was only 2 months old.

Christmas morning was great. I must say that I got into the spirit very late. Like seriously, I didn't even decorate the tree until the night before. On Christmas Eve, Rakiem, Olivia and I made whole wheat sugar cookies. I know, why the whole wheat, right ? Well because I don't normally use white flour, so it's all we had, but they were great! After we ate the cookies and watched a few movies, Rakiem and Olivia went off to bed. That's when I started to get into the christmas spirit. I wrapped the gifts, decorated the tree, cleaned up Olivia's toys, hung our stockings,  placed the remainder of the cookies on the table for santa, turned on Rakiem's Christmas music playlist, lit the tree and went off to bed.

On Christmas morning, Rakiem woke up first and then woke up Olivia and I. We had a big family hug and wished each other a Merry Christmas. We made our way over to the living room where Olivia just walked over to the tree and begin pulling the ornaments off.

And then she began to open her gifts, we didn't even have to help her or tell her what to do. It  was so funny.

She even cheered as she opened her gift.
After playing with her toys and wrapping paper, she sat and ate some of the ginger bread house that we made. earlier in the week.

 Here are pics of Olivia's ornaments. She loves them so much that she wont even let them hang on the tree.

 Overall, we had a great Christmas, one of the best that I've ever had before. I made a great breakfast  after opening gifts and then we laid around watching old movies before heading out to dinner with family.

So that was our Christmas in a nutshell, hope you had a great one as well.
Happy Holidays!

Styling Olivia's Hair

Just a few months ago, Olivia barely had any hair on her head for me to play with. She had lost all of her newborn hair around 6 months, which is normal. Her new hair began to sprout in late August to early September. Since then, I've been very careful about how I've been grooming her hair. I know for many parents, this is the least of their concerns. African American hair care is very different from other races, as far as its needs for constant moisture and delicate handling. Because of our extremely tight coils, our hair tends to be extremely dry and delicate. 

I've worn chemically straightened hair for almost 20 years, and out of those 20 years, I had spent about 2 years experimenting with my natural hair only to return to relaxed hair. Now that I have a little girl whom's hair I do not plan on relaxing, i've decided to stop relaxing my hair as well for many reasons that I will blog about at a later date.

I've read 2 books about maintaining my natural hair, and I found that many of the practices are very opposite of what we're taught about our hair from generation to generation. I've adapted these new practices and used them on the both of us, and I've seen dramatic difference.

Here is one of the styles that I do in Olivia's hair that save me time from combing her hair on a daily basis.
It's not the normal cornrows, this is actually a two-strand twist, which puts less stress and tension on her delicate hair line.

The twist are very soft and loose, because of that, they don't last very long. I actually don't mind being that I wash her hair at least every week.

So there it is, we went from having very little hair to almost a complete full head. Still waiting for her hairline and nape to grow in.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Toddler Schedule

So my mother said to me: "YOU NEED TO HAVE A SCHEDULE FOR LIVY!" Yes, just like that in a very stern no nonsense voice, and me being me, I didn't take kind too it. I was a bit offended because my mom doesn't live with me (or even near me) to know whether or not I have a set schedule for my daughter.

At the end of the day, no matter how offended or upset I wanna get, she's right. Everyone needs a bit of a schedule especially when dealing with children. I have a schedule, but its completely outta wack at the moment, and I have a perfectly good reason: I'm 8 months pregnant! What does this mean ? I am always tired, sleepy, hungry, and a bit lazy. So when it comes to meeting the demands of my 1 year old, it's not easy! It may not get done on time, but it gets done!

So I'm interested in finding out from other SAHM's, What's Your Toddler's Schedule?
Leave me a comment, and I'll create a compilation of some of your schedule to re-create my own, and I'll share it with you guys!

Thanks In Advance!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How To Relieve a Baby's Stuffy Nose

I found this video to be very helpful. My daughter is 13 months old, and we still use these techniques on her.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Happy Thanksgiving

This is where I spend my Thanksgiving every year since 2006. It's my home away from home, my parent's house. This is also where Rakiem proposed to me, Thanksgiving 2006. Although this is really Olivia's second Thanksgiving, it's the first time that she's able to part take part in the eatings and other festivities.

This was Olivia's first time visiting Grandma and Grandpa's home,  and she had an amazing time running around and exploring her new surroundings. My dad stayed up late with her a few nights just to play and spend quality time with her. My mom made her a very comforting pot of cornmeal porridge or oatmeal porridge every morning.

On thanksgiving morning, my Dad went into his garden and picked some of his finest crops, including the delicious collard greens. (That's my mom in the background cooking a big ol' pot of cornmeal porridge for Olivia.) My Dad has a pretty elaborate farm behind that house, He's got sweet potatoes, collard greens, peppers, cabbage, rosemary, and much more.

Olivia sat in the living room and played with her Lego's until her breakfast was ready. She hung out around the kitchen all day and pretty much tasted everything before Thanksgiving dinner was ready. 

Here's a shot of everyone getting busy in the kitchen. Dad's prepping food, Mom is cooling down that porridge, Lisa's laughing at jokes, and Livy's just waiting for her food!

After all the cooking was done, we sat down to a lovely meal that everyone contributed to. It was so much fun, and I was so thankful to be able to share this day with loved ones.

Our Thanksgiving Menu:
Oven Roasted Turkey
Baked Ham
Fried Chicken
Sweet Potato Casserole
Garden Salad
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Steamed String Beans
Collard Greens
Fried Tilapia
Bulgar Wheat & Peas
Red Wine
White Wine
Egg Nog
Apple Pie
Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Casserole from the Garden

Garden Salad

Fried Chicken

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Steamed String Beans

Collard Greens from the Garden

Fried Tilapia

Baked Ham
Olivia sat in my brothers lap for dinner, and munched on her dinner right out of her own plate. She had a few bites and then she ran off to play.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, and wishing you Happy Holidays to come! From my family to yours.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Olivia's Vocabulary - 13 months old

  • Bella - her first word, used in correct context.
  • Daddy - used in correct context.
  • Mommy - she just chants mommy here and there but does not refer to me as mommy
  • Mama - used in correct context, yup that's what she calls me!
  • Yeaaaaaahh - used in correct context when I ask "Do you love me?"
  • Uh Ooohh - used in correct context.
  • Baby - another word she just chants just because I call her baby
  • Bobby - she refers to everyone as such, its so funny!
  • No - unfortunately, she uses this word correctly, LOL!
  • Gabba Gabba - another rambling of hers, she loves to watch Yo Gabba Gabba!
  • MyBaby - strangely this means pick me up and hold me.
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