Saturday, February 23, 2013

36 Week 3D 4D Ultrasound Photos

I showed these photos in my 37 week pregnancy update vlog on YouTube, but I thought I'd share them here in case you wanted a closer look.  I think he looks a lot like my husband - from his chubby button nose to his receding hairline - and I love William's chubby fingers and big lips.  I can't wait to meet him!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Easy Pineapple Cake Recipe

Trying to find a 'Pineapple Cake' recipe that isn't a Pineapple Upside Down Cake is more challenging than I expected.  I was looking for a sheet cake that was thin and fairly dense, moist with crushed pineapple, and smeared with a cream cheese frosting.  After reading that description, can you really blame me?  It sounds delicious!  If only I could find the recipe...

My last employer had a policy that the birthday boy or girl had to bring in treats for everyone.  We all pretty much agreed that this policy sucked, because the last thing you wanted to do the night before your birthday was prepare snacks for a bunch of non-birthday boys and girls.  However, it was a good opportunity to try other's family recipes, and one coworker's birthday was my favorite - His wife sent him to the office with the pineapple cake described above each year on his birthday, and I looked forward to it all year.  Isn't that pathetic?  But seriously, the cake was tasty.

I've tried a few different pineapple cake recipes, and this is the closest I've found so far.  My first attempt at this recipe tonight resulted in overbaking it by about 5 minutes.  Thus it was too brown and the sugars were too caramelized.  But the moistness, denseness, and overall flavor was there.  I think if I adjusted the baking time bake from 40 minutes to between 30 and 35 minutes, it would be perfect.  This cake should be light yellow to pale golden - not brown like mine.  Boo.

Cake Recipe

2 Cups Flour - sifted
2 Cups White Sugar
2 Eggs
20 oz Crush Pineapple
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla

Dump everything into your mixing bowl and mix until blended.  It can't get easier than that!
Pour into a greased sheet cake pan, and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Let sit until cooled.  You could also add some shredded coconut for a tropical flair.

Icing Recipe

8 oz Cream Cheese
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Powdered Sugar - sifted
1/2 stick Butter - melted

Beat until smooth, spread on cooled cake.  Top with chopped nuts if desired.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tips for Taking Better Baby Pictures

In preparation for this little boy, my To Do list seems to be never ending lately.  Considering how many pictures and video clips I'll soon be taking, I've been cleaning out my memory cards and stalking Pinterest for newborn photo ideas.

That's why I was so excited when I was approached by Mom Central and SanDisk about sharing some tips for taking better baby photos from photographer Erin Manning.  Erin gives you advice on setting the scene and getting close to the baby for those perfect images, as well as using a SanDisk Ultra SDHC card to make sure she never misses a shot.

I only use SanDisk Ultra SDHC memory cards to capture my videos, and am excited about receiving another one for participating in this blogger promotion. One thing I've learned about having a newborn in the house is that you can never have enough memory cards, and investing in a high quality memory card really is worth it.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for SanDisk. I received a product sample to thank me for participating.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Battle of the Nursing Pillows

Hannah was labelled a 'lazy nurser' very early on. She'd fall asleep at the breast unless I actively kept her awake during feedings. Combine that with the fact that she wasn't a dainty baby - nearly 9 and a half pounds at birth - and I was recovering from a c section, I quickly found that a nursing pillow was a necessary tool while we both learned how to breastfeed.

I used a boppy pillow because it's what I had and what others had recommended. Nowadays, there are a lot of alternatives on the market, and I think it's worth a look at your options.

Boppy Nursing Pillow with Slipcover 
The Boppy pillow is consistently hailed as one of the best baby products to own.  Not only can you use it as a nursing & feeding pillow, but it can also be used as a lounger, a prop for tummy time, and as a support while baby is learning to sit up.  Some complaints against it as a nursing pillow is that it might not fit well around your stomach if you're larger, and it might not provide enough support.  As a 6' tall woman with a long torso, my main complaint was that it did not raise Hannah high enough off my lap to properly latch onto the breast, and I still had to do most of the heavy lifting during those extended nursing sessions.  While this pillow is useful over the course of the first year, I'm not sold on using it again for my nursing pillow.


Boppy Travel Pillow

Boppy has a new option for the mom on the go.  When unzipped the pillow is very similar to the original Boppy, but this pillow folds in half and comes complete with a shoulder strap which is great if you regularly feed baby outside the home.  


My Breast Friend Original Pillow
The Breast Friend pillow comes highly recommended by many lactation consultants.  The built in back support helps you to maintain proper posture, and the belt assures a secure fit.  The pillow is firm, which supports the baby while nursing, and the built in pocket is good for keeping shields, lanolin, or burp rags close by.  There are also many slip cover options available, so you're sure to find one that fits your taste.


Balboa Baby Nursing Pillow

This pillow is obviously taller than the others featured in this post, which is something I'm looking for as a long waisted mother.  However, one review noted that while the outer edge is nearly 6", the inner edge is significantly shorts at about 3.5".  This will aid the baby in rolling towards the breast, but probably won't provide the type of support I'm looking for.


Kushies Nursing Pillow

This pillow features a contoured shape to fit around mom's tummy, and a firm flat platform for baby to lay on.  It is nice and tall, which is what I'm looking for, and at $30, is one of the more affordable options on the market.  It is currently available in pink, blue or cream polka dot pattern.


JJ Cole Paisley Feeding and Nursing Pillow
Because Hannah was a 'lazy nurser' I often fed her in the football position so that I could rock her head up and down to keep her awake.  For that reason, I like the 'paisley' shape of this pillow as it would fit nicely along the side of your body, but could still be used along your tummy for a cradle hold.  It features a contoured top to help roll the baby towards the breast, and an overall higher pillow height than some other options.


Dr. Brown's Gia Nursing Pillow

Similar to the JJ Cole pillow, the Gia pillow would work for both football and cradle holds with it's 'paisley' shape.  A unique feature is that the pillow goes from thick to thin, so that the baby nurses at an angle.  This could be useful for babies prone to acid reflux or spitting up.  


After comparing these pillows, I think I'm leaning towards the JJ Cole pillow because of my preference for the football hold.  I would also consider the Dr. Brown and Kushies pillows.

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