Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Make Ramen Noodles Healthier

As much as we would love to eat healthy foods all the time, sometimes we don’t have the time or money. Ramen noodles are very cheap and quick to make, but are not very healthy. It is possible to increase their nutrition with these simple tricks.

  1. Add frozen vegetables (mixed veggies work really well) to get in a serving of fiber and to fill you up faster. Pour them in when you put in the noodles—they will heat up from the boiling water.
  2. Make your own mix of spices (such as celery seed, basil, and rosemary) instead of using the included packet, which contains an excess of sodium.
  3. To keep the meaty flavor but decrease the sodium content of the broth, boil the noodles in reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth instead of in water and throw away the packet. If you don't want the meaty flavor, use vegetable broth.
  4. Eat the noodles without any broth or packet at all. After you boil the noodles, drain the water. Rinse them in cold water and eat them cooled with just soy sauce and a sprinkling of green onion or seaweed. Or eat them warm topped with stir-fried vegetables and/or meat for a healthier meal that will keep you full longer.
  5. Add cubes of tofu to any of the ideas above as another healthy option.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Play with Your Newborn Baby

When Bugaboo was born, I didn't know what to do with him. My friend shared this video with me and now I would like to share it with you. Number nine made me laugh! Other ideas on how to play with your newborn:
  • playing or singing with hand/finger puppets
  • gently bouncing on an exercise ball
  • checking the mail or taking a short walk and pointing at things as you pass by
  • watching something rhythmic like a ceiling fan, mobile, or fire
  • looking at photos of family members
  • looking at black and white pictures of shapes and patterns
  • making silly faces
  • imitating your baby's sounds

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Disadvantages of Not Sleep Training

To be fair, I thought I would also discuss the disadvantages of not sleep training your baby. Although I prefer the Pantley method (The No-Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley), it does have its drawbacks (though I think the benefits far outweigh them).

Note: These are general statements and do not apply to everyone.

1. Your baby may take longer to learn how to fall asleep on his or her own. Letting your baby cry it out, while not the best way, is definitely the fastest, I hear. So if you do not want to sleep train your baby, you need to have a lot of patience and realistic expectations of progress.

2. It requires more effort and work. Leaving your baby to cry it out in the crib is easier. You do nothing or very little, such as checking in once in a while. It can be emotionally and physically taxing still, because no one enjoys a bawling baby. However, not sleep training is even more so. Nevertheless, I think it stretches you in a good way, helping you develop and refine maternal qualities: love, patience, compromise, kindness, dedication, perseverance, etc.

3. You may get more negative outside feedback. Unless you have friends and family who support your approach to babies and sleep, you will most likely get a lot of crap from people, because not sleep training is not the social norm. Some people may be outright judgmental of your methods, others well meaning but discouraging. You must remember that what you choose for your baby is best, no matter what other people say (same goes for mothers who sleep train). Ignore the negativity and remain firm in your decision to help your baby fall asleep without crying it out.

If you decide to try the Pantley method, be aware it is not always easy and it takes time. But it is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Disadvantages of Sleep Training

Training a baby to sleep is most commonly done by letting the baby cry it out. While this may work for some babies, there can be negative consequences.

Note: These are general statements and do not apply to all sleep-trained babies.

1. Your baby may sleep only in the crib. Most mothers I've talked to shared that they can place their baby in the crib and the baby will fall fast asleep on his or her own. I admit I am a little jealous. However, that baby falling asleep anywhere else is out of the question. My baby does not like sleeping in his crib (mostly at night), but he can fall asleep anywhere: in the car, in my arms or lap, in a highchair at a restaurant, etc. I'd much rather deal with a cranky baby at home than in public!

2. Your baby may be less affectionate. One mother told me that because she sleep-trained her child, the girl is a self-soother in other ways as well. She does not like her mother hugging and cuddling her most of the time. Another mother's girl does not come to her when she cries because she was taught to soothe herself. My son, on the other hand, loves to snuggle, spend time with me, be held and kissed, and be comforted by me when upset (even when he's upset with me).

3. Your baby may be more attached to the bottle. Most mothers who sleep train also bottlefeed their babies. That is not a problem except when they give the baby the bottle to fall asleep with. I'm very surprised at how many mothers do this when all pediatricians recommend not to. That habit is very bad for babies' teeth. The formula or milk pools in their mouth and can cause cavities even before teeth appear. (Babies who nurse at night pull of when done, so no milk continually drips into their mouth as with a bottle, though breastfed babies should still have their gums and teeth brushed or wiped daily.) Babies should be weaned from the bottle and using a sippy cup by one year, if not sooner, but it usually takes self-soothers longer because they become emotionally attached to the bottle.

If you decide to let your baby cry it out, consider these consequences and actions you can take to prevent them, such as helping your baby fall asleep in different places, being extra affectionate during the day, and weaning your baby from the bottle early.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Q&A with the OB/GYN

Here are some pregnancy FAQs you may find helpful:

Q: Am I more likely to get pregnant if my husband wears boxers or briefs?
A: You'll have an even better chance if he doesn't wear anything at all.

Q: Does pregnancy affect a woman's memory?
A: Most of the ladies I asked don't remember.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper quickly enough.

Q: Does pregnancy cause hemorrhoids?
A: Pregnancy causes anything you want to blame it for.

Q: I'm three months along. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: Ever since I got pregnant, my chest, feet, and butt have grown bigger. Is there anything that gets smaller during pregnancy?
A: Yes, your bladder.

Q: The farther along I get, the more strangers smile at me. Why?
A: Because you're fatter than they are.

Q: Under what circumstances can sex at the end of pregnancy bring on labor?
A: When the sex is between your husband and another woman.

Q: How do I know if my baby has dropped?
A: She will start crying. Be more careful!

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kid is in college.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy

Q: How does one sanitize nipples?
A: Bathe daily and wear a clean bra. It beats boiling them in a saucepan.

Q: What are the terrible twos?
A: Your breasts after baby stops nursing cold turkey.

Q: What is the grasp reflex?
A: The reaction of a new father when he sees the new mother's breasts.

Q: Can a mother get pregnant while nursing?
A: Yes, but it's much easier if she finishes nursing and puts the baby to sleep first.

from several joke sites

Thursday, September 1, 2011


The Gift of Life

I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.

For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you the gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.


Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a minute,
You didn't grow under my heart--but in it.

~Fleur Conkling Heylinger

From The "Official" Mom Book by Martha Bolton
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