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Monday, December 29, 2014

A New Years Adventure

Call me crazy, but I'm headed to Philadelphia to bring in the New Years, in the dead of winter, on a plane, by myself, with my three kids. This should be interesting...

Stay tuned for my I Guess Im Due tips to surviving plane trips with kids. Yup, I'm crazy loco! 

Happy New Years!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

!Feliz Navidad!

Wishing you and your family a Christmas filled with I Guess Im Due moments! 
From our family to yours, Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Some Hives and a Little Super Glue

Excitement was rising. It was just two days before our day to set sail on our first family cruise! I had meticulously packed and organized four suit cases for our five day journey and felt confident that our trip would be a success. I was determined to have our trip be I Guess Im Due free!

The next morning, my confidence was soon deflated when I awoke to see Lilliana’s face and legs covered with hives. 

Just great. I can’t take her on a boat for four days with an unknown rash. We were staying at my Mom’s before we left for our trip, so going to our pediatricians was out. With the advice from my husband, I took her to a walk in clinic to have her checked out. After spending an hour an half at the clinic the doc prescribed her an antibiotic and assured me that all would clear up soon. Ahh, I could finally breathe again. Our family trip was saved!

The following morning we packed the car and headed to the port. I could smell the sea air already! We boarded the ship and quickly got ourselves settled in our little room. As I got Lilliana dressed for dinner, I noticed that her rash was getting worse instead of better. It had now spread all over her body. Just perfect. Lilliana was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. So much for this clearing up quickly. Luckily, Jason had come prepared just in case this happened (yes we were a walking pharmacy). We loaded Lilliana up with some meds to counteract the allergic reaction and prayed that Lilliana’s voyage would soon get better. Twelve hours later she was beaming like her normal self.

I was determined that life was going to be grande on the ship for Lilliana from then on. Between kids camp, swimming, playing with cousins, and fancy dinners, she would have a blast. 

The ship arrived in Cozumel, Mexico on our second day at sea. We gathered our things and headed to a water park resort. This place was truly paradise. Water slides, pools, a wading area, inflatable water obstacle course, beach side lounging, and a water playground. My mother-in-law, Lisa, took the youngest three to the water playground, while I supervised the three older kids at the water slides. After the kids seemed waterlogged from sliding, they decided they wanted to try out the playground area. As I walked towards the playground, I excitedly perused the equipment to spy my little ones. That’s when I spotted Lisa waving me down. In her lap she held a screaming Lilliana. Two paramedics were standing over her as Lisa gripped Lilliana’s bloody chin. Apparently just minutes into playing, Lilliana was so excited that she slipped on a slide and fell chin first, busting it open. Luckily, Lisa, being a nurse, in her calmest voice she asked me to run and get Jason (doctor Daddy).

With Daddy investigating the situation and discussing what needed to be done with the paramedics, I felt like I could finally breathe as I held my injured baby girl. I was so thankful that Lisa was there for the initial incident, because yes, I would have been that hysterical mother. And I of course, was relieved Jason knew what his daughter medically needed (otherwise Lilliana would have ended up in a Mexican hospital with stitches- apparently most physicians in the U.S. don’t use stitches on kids faces.) 

Since the paramedics didn't have steri-strips that Jason needed, they patched her up with some butterfly tape for the meantime. Within an hour, and with some hugs, kisses, and a few virgin strawberry daiquiris, Lilliana perked up, played in the sand, and even got a fancy hair braid. 
On our way back to the ship, Jason stopped at a Mexican Farmacia and grabbed some materials he needed to seal Lilliana’s chin. And wouldn’t you know, with a little bit of Mexican super glue and some medical tape Lilliana’s chin was about as good as new.

It’s funny to think (now it is), that most kids come home from a trip with a souvenir, like a trinket or a toy. But not Lilliana, her souvenir, was well, the sweet memories of hives and her newly super glued chin. She’s so proud to tell others that in Mexico her Daddy had to superglue her chin shut- a memory that will literally last a lifetime.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No Soup For You!

It was a typical Wednesday. The girls and I were eating dinner at Panera while Jakson finished his two hour gymnastics practice. Since there were no booths open we sat at a table and started digging into our soups and salads. 

Raina was being her normal crazy self, jumping around, talking loudly, and basically just being a busy body. She of course refused to sit in a booster chair, so instead of making a scene I sat her in a big chair. As Raina begin to make a mess of her soup, I stood up to grab a wipe from my diaper bag. As I was digging in my bag, Raina begin to fall between the two chairs. I felt like I was seeing the whole thing is super slow motion. As she started to make the fall she tried to hold onto the tables edge. However, instead of grabbing the table she gripped the plate that held my broccoli cheese soup. In a matter of seconds Raina was screaming on the floor. As I helped her up I grabbed a napkin to help clean her off. That's when I realized that soup was dripping off her hair, back, arms, and legs, this napkin wouldn't even make a dent. 

With the feeling that a million eyes were staring at me, I grabbed Raina and Lilly and headed straight for the bathroom. First thing I checked was for any burns from the soup- none, hallelujah! Next, we started the clean up process. I didn't know where to start, the soup was everywhere! I decided to strip Raina down to her bare bum and placed her in the sink. I washed out chunks of broccoli and carrots from her hair and skin. Great, now she's clean, but now I have a naked baby! We couldn't just leave Panera (although that's exactly what I wanted to do at this point) because Lilliana was already asking if she could go finish her dinner. I needed to find her something to wear. I checked my diaper bag to see what options I had to work with. As we walked out of the bathroom, Raina wore a diaper, a bib, and Lilly's gymnastic shorts, it was quite a sight. 

As we walked back to the table all eyes were on us. I wanted to crawl under the table. I was frustrated for not putting Raina in a high chair, annoyed with myself for getting up,  and smelly from all the soup! I just wanted to go home. As I sat there waiting for Lilly to finish, I begin to wonder- why is it that when catastrophes happen with my kids I always have to deal with them by myself?! 

Luckily, after we all recovered from this I Guess Im Due moment, Raina was not traumatized, and she still loves broccoli cheddar soup. It did however, take a week of multiple showers to completely get all the grease and smell from the soup out of her hair. And lesson learned, from now on high chairs or booster chairs are non negotiable when we eat out, or there's no soup for you!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A New Use For Gumballs

"I earned a gumball!" For my kids, that phrase is music to their ears. I know what you're thinking...why on earth would your kids earn a gumball?! Well, it all started about a year ago when I would find the kiddos doing random acts of kindness or had strangers compliment my kids behavior while we were out. I wanted to find a way to "reward" them for those small (but very important) moments. So I came up with the gumball jars.

The concept is simple. Anytime we catch the kids being kind or helpful without being prompted they earn a gumball. One goes in their jar and one they can pop in their mouth. If we are out and about and someone compliments them on their great behavior, another gumball! However, a gumball can be removed if we see them being unkind or disobedient (it's never pretty). Once the kids earn 15 gumballs they earn a reward.
We celebrate by letting them pick an activity from "the list"! They empty their jars and it starts all over again.

Gumballs will never be the same in our house. Even my little nephew wants in on the gumball craze when he visits. Who knew that a simple gumball would be such a great motivator?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Boring Blues

As I looked in the mirror this morning I started asking myself {again} why I couldn’t look more like “Timmy’s” mom. Her hair was always styled just right, her skin always glowing, and her body perfectly sculpted. Why couldn’t I just look like her?! 

Then, on the way home from school drop off, it took a conversation between my two toddlers to shake me out of my boring blues...

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Sweet {Mexican} Treat: Embracing Tradition

As a kid, my family and I would travel every year to San Antonio, Texas to celebrate La Navidad {Christmas}. Sleeping on the floor of my Nana's one bedroom apartment, eating pan dulce for breakfast {Mexican sweet bread}, drinking cans of Big Red, and the aroma of homemade empanadas in the oven bring back sweet memories of family traditions. This holiday season my goal is to embrace our family traditions, both new and old. The first step, the kids and I baking my Nana's delicious empanadas!

Nana’s Empanadas {turnovers}
For the dough:
4 1/2 -5 1/2 cups unsifted flour
1 tsp sugar (if you prefer sweet empanadas, use 1/4 cup sugar & 1 tsp. cinnamon)
1 tsp salt
1 pkg yeast {rapid rise}
1/2 cup soft margarine
3 eggs, room temp
1 cup hot water & 2 Tbsp warm water

For the filling:
1- 16 oz can sweet potato (drained) or canned pumpkin- Or steam 5 fresh sweet potatoes and reserve the softened inside
1 large piloncillo {Mexican brown sugar} or 1/2 cup brown sugar & 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. ginger {optional}

Makes approximately 3 dozen
1. In a large bowl mix 4 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt & yeast.
2. Heat margarine with 1 cup water until hot to the touch, then Stir hot liquid mixture into dry ingredients. 

3. Mix 2 eggs plus 1 egg white {save unused egg yoke}. Add egg mixture to reserved flour to make a soft dough consistency. Using your hands knead for 8-10 minutes. Use additional flour if needed until dough is no longer sticky.
4 Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. 
5. While the dough rises begin to make the filling.
6. In a saucepan mix all filling ingredients well. Cook over low to medium heat. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Set aside.
7. After dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into egg sized balls, then roll them out.
8. Place 1 Tbsp of filling in center of dough. Pinch the seams together & place them on greased baking sheet. 

9. Cover them & let them rise until dough doubles in size {approximately 30 minutes}
10. Now combine reserved egg yolk and 2 Tbsp water. Brush each turnover with egg white mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet & cool on a wire rack.
11. ‘!Buen Provecho!’ {Enjoy!}

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

25 activities for Christmas

Here are some great ways our family likes to add some holiday cheer during this time of year. Maybe you'll find one to add to your list of traditions. 

Alright, so they may not be "Griswold" style, but they're still fun nonetheless. Enjoy! {Be sure to click on the links to find the recipes or directions!}
1. Go see Christmas lights
2. Make a cinnamon hand print ornament
3. Visit a live nativity
4. Make hot cocoa with marshmallows
5. Watch favorite holiday movies
6. Bake Christmas cookies and then share them with our neighbors
7. Make snow slime
8. Create a gingerbread house
9. Help the kids make a Christmas list: something you want, need, read, give, & wear
10. Build a snowman- over and over again!
11. Make scented pine cones
12. Make outdoor ornaments
13. Make our own wrapping paper
14. Make reindeer food
15. Drink apple cider smoothies
16. Create a birthday cake for Jesus
17. Adopt a child or family in need
18. Create a candy nativity scene
19. Read our favorite Christmas stories

20. Pick out the perfect Christmas tree
21. Blast Christmas carols in the house
22. Put up Christmas decor all around the house

23. Play with snow clay
24. Sit by the camp fire and make s'mores
25. Sleep by the Christmas tree