Monday, December 27, 2010

Weird Scary Behavior

Last night was not a good night in the Sabin home.

About 4:30 pm, Mary started acting up. She was fussy and crying. She wouldn't let you hold her or put her down. Her hands, arms, and legs were jerking around a lot (but not in a seizure sort of way). Mary was pulling on her hands and feet. Even though she slept through her lunch, she wouldn't really eat either. In other words, nothing seemed to make her happy or comfortable. We described her behavior as manic, like she was having an episode.

Around 8 pm, after trying to put her to bed without luck, I took her for a drive. She always falls asleep in the van. 30 minutes later, she was still screaming. While driving, I remembered that a bottle of shoe cleaner had broke while I was cleaning earlier and I began to worry that she had gotten into it. So to google we went.

Eventually, we ended up at the emergency room. (Side note: If you live in Lakeland, drive to the ER in Orlando. It will be quicker.) They drew blood. They put in a catheter to take a urine sample. Every thing came back clear. She had not ingested the cleaner. Nothing could explain her strange behavior. She had been screaming and crying since 4:30 pm. It was overwhelming for Bruce and I to handle.

I'm sure that the nurses and doctors couldn't figure out why we were there. But they don't know Mary. She is typically a chill baby. She goes with the flow. Crying only happens when she is hungry or tired. And it quickly disappears once she is fed or put to bed. The only thing that calmed her down was emptying and refilling her diaper bag. She sat on the hospital room floor and did this for over an hour.

Take the diapers out. Take the wipes out. Take the cream and drinks out. Put the drinks back in. Put the diaper in. Put the wipes in. Over and over and over again.

We finally got home about 4 am. She did not fall asleep until around 9 am. It was a long night. She slept until about 2 pm and now seems to be acting normal. Though her voice is a little froggy from all the screaming.

I'm sharing this for two reasons. First, I don't want to forget the details when we follow up with her regular pediatrician. Second, I thought there might be someone out there reading this who could explain why my 15-month old daughter would suddenly act like a manic,crazed person.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Inglesina AVIO Stroller

I have a great jogging stroller. I worked hard to find the money to pay for it. As much as I love it though, sometimes when we are out, Charlotte doesn't need to be strapped in. She is so much better at obeying us in public places that I decided we were ready for a single city-style stroller for short walks or trips to the mall and farmer's market. So, I was waiting patiently to find the money to buy one because a simple, $15 umbrella stroller didn't quite meet my needs.

Then, my friends at Mom Central asked me to review the new Inglesina AVIO stroller. They even let me pick the color! I wanted to pick purple, but that color wasn't available so I settled on the fuschia stroller.

When it arrived, both girls happened to be napping so I happily opened the box to assemble my new "toy." About 10 minutes into assembly, Mary woke up. Despite that, it took me about 30 minutes to put it together, which is less time than I spent putting together my Graco before Charlotte was born.

First impression - The color is awesome and the sun shade is huge. I definitely can not open and close it with one hand as advertised. I like the size and accessibility of the bottom basket (way better than the BOB!).

First time out - I took the girls to the local children's museum and since it was near Mary's nap time brought the stroller in. The slim profile (about 19 1/2 inches wide) made it super easy to navigate around displays, games, and children. We finished with lunch in the park (pictured above) and the crumbs Mary left behind were easy to clean up. If I had needed to though, the seat is fully removable and is hand washable.

After I used it a couple of times, I am really glad it can turn so easily. On a dime really. Mr Graco could do that and I wouldn't expect anything less of new strollers these days. I think my favorite feature of the inglesina avio stroller (besides the awesome bold color) is the huge sun shade. My least favorite part is the lack of a cup holder. I always have a drink of some sort with me and I miss not having a  place to put it. It does have a handy place to keep the baby's bottle though.

Oh, and if you ever get a stroller like this, I do not recommend trying to teach your husband how to open it via text message. Especially if the bottom basket is caught on a wheel. It won't work and your husband will not properly appreciate the beauty and ease of the stroller once he does eventually get it open. Just sayin'. I have no idea how this happened but it was easy to fix so he could get the stroller fully open.

One last piece of good news before I go. Right now, is offering 10% off to new customers using coupon code GET10PCT. After looking at the offer details, it seems you can indeed use this on the Inglesina AVIO strollers and get free shipping as well. Yay!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Inglesina and received an Avio stroller to facilitate this review.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today Is Important

Today is important.

The main reason today is important to our family is because it is the day in our faith that we go to church and honor "Lottie" Diggs Moon by giving an offering to support international mission work.

Who was she you ask? Read my husband's essay about her and why we chose to name our first daughter after her.

And while there is no special offering associated with the namesake of our second daughter, you can also read Bruce's essay about why we named her after another international missionary. Continuing our tradition of giving our daughter's strong namesakes and legacies.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick & Easy Christmas Wrapping Paper

My kids love Christmas. It means our daily Advent calendar activities, special parties, extra time with Dad, and presents.

One of the ways I am trying to instill the joy of giving into Charlotte is by allowing her to help wrap and then decorate the gifts she is giving. (I find no need to help her find the joy in receiving... its built in!)

So, I bought some plain rolled paper and set out stickers and markers and let her go to work. This makes the gift extra special for the grandparent receiving it, keeps her involved in the entire gift giving process, and occupies her time while I am on my endless chore of cleaning.

The Christmas rainbow paper is for her gift to Mary. She wanted to put stickers on it, but I was afraid Mary would try to pull them off and eat them. I don't usually, but I did limit her to 2 colors so it would like neater.

Here is the gift she prepared for G-ma. Inside is something she made almost all by herself. And the decorated paper was done AFTER we wrapped the gift. I learned last year that the foam stickers don't bend well around the edges of the boxes.

A good tip is to buy Christmas stickers on clearance after the holidays. They don't take up much storage space and you don't have to worry about fighting the gift shopping crowds at all of the stores. This particular pack of foam stick-ons is going to be enough for all of her gifts this year.

What do you do to teach your children the joy of giving?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Long, Cold Walk

First some photos of Mary going for a walk... using her special arms in the back flying technique.

Now Charlotte rolling in on her scooter...


Stopping to pose for the camera. She's been doing that a lot lately. I am not quite sure where its coming from, but am glad because it gets annoying to have her hide every time the camera comes out.

And she suggested we stop and smell the flowers. More so, she wouldn't let me keep going until I stopped and smelled too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hope for Haiti

My friend Ida is going to Haiti in less than two weeks. I can't go and am living vicariously through her because I think what she is doing is great! Since she has shared her story at her blog, eat drink and be jesus, I won't repeat it here. Go read it in her words.

But before you do that, would you consider buying one of these two canvases that she inspired me to paint?

They are acrylic and mixed media on canvas. The top one is about 10x12 and the bottom one is about 8x10. They are $15 a piece, plus shipping, unless you live locally and can pick it up. These are the first two pieces of "art" I have ever created. I am pretty happy with how they turned out, but keep in mind that an amateur hand created them.

She leaves soon and lacking the funds to give her myself, I am offering these pieces of folk art to raise some money for her. Leave a comment with your email address is you are interested.

Test Post for Comment Luv

I am testing a new comment system and want to know if it worked. Feel free to ignore this post, or try to leave a comment to let me know if it worked.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent Toy Donation

Our Advent activity for the day was to choose and donate 5 toys. Here is the story of that donation, mostly through pictures.

One step at a time, she wanted to carry it up herself.

Knocking on the door...

Saying good bye to her toys and letting them know where they were going, "to boys and girls who don't have a home of their own." (We took the toys to the Florida Baptist Children's Home.)

Praying for the boys and girls who would get these toys.

I was praying too, but she looked so earnest I had to snap a picture!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Charlotte Singing at Church

This post is to indulge the grandparents... but the rest of you should feel free to stick around to look at the pictures and watch the video. You can ohhh and ahhhh over them all you like as well. 

Waiting for instructions from her teacher...

Making sure her hair is neatly tucked behind her ear.
Waiting for church to start so they can sing... seems to be a fairly relaxed group.

 There's a good message in the song and some cute facial gymnastics around 3 minutes.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Purple Hair Dilemma

I love my purple hair. It makes me happy. It is an ice breaker with strangers. It keeps me from being pigeon-holed as a typical suburban, conservative stay at home mom.

But I miss my no 'poo routine. I liked using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean my hair. It felt a little softer and was cleaner.

However, the purple highlights mean no baking soda in the hair. It would strip all the color I just spent money putting in. So what to do... how should I keep my curly hair soft, manageable, and lovely? I only wash it on average twice a week right now because otherwise it gets dried out.

I was doing some random blog hopping tonight and found this book called Curly Girl: The Handbook. And it sounds like exactly what I need. What really got me is that one of the bullet points on the cover is the "No Shampoo Epiphany."

So mom, you wanted to know what was on my Christmas list. Well, now you know at least one thing. And you can just print the order confirmation for me since it won't be available until January 11, 2011. I don't mind waiting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Giveaway: Z Windups

For Charlotte's 3rd birthday party, I included some really cool wind up toys. These are not the windups you remember from your childhood either. Not only can they go forward or backward, but they can spin, dance, sway, and some of them can even swim! These are way cooler!

Of the dozen or so I received to review, I did keep one Z Windups for Charlotte to play with in the bathtub and it is a regular favorite to wind up the little swimming alligator and chase him around the tub. I've thought about getting her some more but hadn't gotten around to it when I found them at Michael's craft store. Yay! I think I know what she'll be getting in her stocking this year. One thing to note though, due to small parts, these are children 3 and older.

The selection of Z Windups available appeals to all ages. I am pretty certain the adults in our house had much fun playing with them before we put them in the goody bags as the kids who received them did. You can either purchase them online or check their store locator to find them near you in case you need them in time for stocking stuffers.

Z Windups has offered to give away 3 sets of wind up toys to 3 different lucky winners! Yay! Since it is Christmas time, I picked out holiday themed sets for my winners. If you are one of the lucky ones, you'll receive a set of  Jinglebops, including one each of the Snowy, Cookie, Cool Yule, and Santa. Perfect for holiday fun.

How to Enter: There are five ways to enter and you can do any of them you like, for up to five entries:

1. Visit Z Windups and leave a comment telling me which item you might like to order,
2. 'Like' Z Windups and then leave a 2nd comment telling me you did so,
3. Subscribe to my RSS feed or subscribe by email, and leave a 3rd comment telling me you did so, or already are subscribed,
4. Link to my giveaway on your own blog, leaving another comment with the permalink to you post, or
5. Follow Family Musings on Twitter then tweet this giveaway and leave a 5th comment with the permalink.

That's it. 5 ways to win and 1 lucky winner. This giveaway will end Thursday, December 16th at midnight. Read all contest rules here.

FTC Disclosure: I received a sampler pack of Z Windups to facilitate my review.