Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bathroom Ikea Hack

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ikea kitchen used as a bathroom vanity

I have been meaning to share this Ikea hack that I did for my parents over a year ago.  They had a problem with their shower leaking and had to have all of the shower and pan ripped out and redone.  The bathroom was original to the house so it had a 80's style to it. The shower tiles matched the bathroom floor, so everything needed to be replaced. My parents decided to also do a new bathroom vanity.  They looked at the local hardware store for a vanity that was premade and didn't find anything that would fit the space nicely.  There used to be one cabinet under the sink and then a counter top that continued all the way to the wall.  I had the idea to look for a kitchen cabinet so that you could also use a larger pantry on the side of the vanity and have a custom built in look.  I convinced my Mom to go to Ikea and she loved the cabinets that they had there, so we designed the entire vanity on a tight budget.   

ikea kitchen made into a bathroom vanity

What we used from the Kitchen Cabinets section at Ikea
AKRURUM Base Cabinet for Single Sink Bowl

AKRURUM Base Cabinet with 4 Drawers

AKRURUM High Cabinet with 2 Doors

ikea kitchen made into a bathroom vanity

We had a custom Granite top cut and put the same sink bowl and faucet that we had from before and purchased the handles from Home Depot.  I chose a rectangle shape to mimic the shape of the cabinets since I knew that the mirror, light fixture and faucet would be round.

ikea kitchen made into a bathroom vanity

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Guest Post- Hosting Mom's Monday Mingle Blog Hop H

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Baby Bear Hugs is hosting a blog hop, please feel free to join in even if you are not a blogger and check out these other great blogs
Welcome to Mom's Monday Mingle!
Last week we had 234
 Moms ready to mingle!
Please help spread the news on this growing hop!
Please tweet about this hop!
1. Please follow each hostess. They are 1-6 in the list!
Naptime Review-Hostess
At Home Take 2- Hostess
Pushing The Lemons
Baby Bear Hugs
Mummy Rawles
The Chirping Moms
We do FOLLOW back and we really love all the comments!
 If you are new let us know and leave your blog address so we can return the follow ;)
2. Try to visit at least 4 blogs that interest you. Just don't throw your name into the link up, hoping to gain followers. Participate, make friends, and have fun! I know I have made a lot of great blog friends ;)
3. Feel free to grab the NEW button and display it on your sidebar or link it to the post.
Would YOU like to "Co-host" with us?
Email Jessica athometake2@gmail.com
at At Home Take 2. 
We are scheduling now
 for middle of November!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Raising a Bilingual Child {2 years old}

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raising a bilingual child 

 I know that every time I post about Baby Bear's Language it seems like I am amazing by how her language development is changing, but it is such an incredible process to watch.

Now Baby Bear can speak in large sentences in both Hebrew and English. He imitates what we say like a parrot until she can use the words in a sentence for herself.  She also LOVES to sing songs and will sing along to the songs on her kids song CD.  Mr. BBH and I can't stand it when she does this because it is so cute with her little voice singing. 

She loves to use the words for 'me, I, and mine' or sometimes just uses her name in the sentence.  But it has changed more to her using pronouns in place of her name.  She loves to point out the people that she knows or to name them.  If we are all together as a family, she will go around the table and have everyone do something like 'clink' her glass and she will repeat what she wants each one to do using their name.  

Today, so told my Dad how to say something in Hebrew when he asked her what the Hebrew word for something was.  I couldn't believe that she understood that he wanted her to say something in the other language that she knows.  I know that she understands that these are two different languages, but I did not know that she understood the name of the two languages and understood what he wanted to know.  

The one thing that really bugs me with her translating is that she will call me Ima {the Hebrew word for Mom} and then will call me Mommy to people that speak English or refer to me in conversation as Mommy.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

5 Must Haves When Bringing Home Baby

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5 must haves when bringing home baby

You honestly don't need very much at home to bring home a newborn. It is our custom that we don't buy anything for the baby until after they are born.  We were told that if people give us things then it was OK, but we should wait until baby arrives to buy everything we need.  I know that most people have baby showers and get all of the loot before the baby is born, so this list is a good way to register for products that you will need and to have all of these things ready when bringing home baby.  Also, you don't need to buy everything new.  There are great resale stores like Once Upon a Child or shopping on Craigslist where you can find things in almost new condition {saving the earth and your money}

A Car Seat

baby in a graco metrolite car seat
Baby Bear as a newborn
graco car seat and base
We personally have the Graco MetroLite with 2 bases that we used for Baby Bear.  I also think that the new Graco Click Connect 40 for bringing home baby would be a great option (read about it here).  I highly advise AGAINST the stroller system. The strollers are really bulky and heavy to lug around for using with the car seat. Instead get a Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame or other Snap and Go stroller (they even make double for twins).  There is a large storage bin under and it is really light and easy to use.

Baby Wearing Wrap
babies in wrap and carrier
Me on the Right with Baby Bear in the wrap

I think that some of Baby Bear's even keel personality is due to the fact that I 'wore' here almost constantly for the first few months.   Not only was this great for her, but I could also go around and do whatever I need 'hands free'! You can use the wrap in a myriad of different ways and you can also do some incognito nursing in them.  I recommend that you only purchase a WOVEN wrap.  The popularly sold jersey material ones stretch out very fast and you have to keep adjusting. I originally purchased a Hoppediz brand wrap from Be By Baby  in Chicago {love that store!}. I chose a boring brown color one since Mr. BBH also wore Baby Bear.   I also made some lighter weight wraps with my Baby Bear Hugs Label {email me to order $40}

baby bear hugs wrap

Nursing Gear

If you are planning on nursing your baby, it is great to be prepared with a few things right off the bat.  Some hospitals have rental machines and give out some of the parts during your hospital stay.  I have a Medela Pump in Style and it works great and can travel anywhere with you (has a battery pack attachment).  

The best nursing pillow is a Boppy Pillow.  I originally got a Breast Friend, but it only really worked well for me for the first month and you are limited in how you can sit and nurse.  

You may want to add some Nipple Cream to your hospital bag.  I like the Motherlove Herbal Nipple Cream  since I know that it is safe for me and baby to ingest.   My other secret for sore nipples are the Medela Breast Shells.  A friend told me about them and it helps them to dry so you have less chance of chapped or sore nipples.  You will also need some nursing pads.  I suggest the eco friendly re-usable ones.  They are much softer and better for the environment.  I found some cute ones on Etsy by DingandKennie.

dad with baby in arm's reach cosleeper

We didn't have a crib set up for Baby Bear until she was older. We used the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper so I could easily nurse her.  She also slept great knowing that we were right near her. Learn how to do a good swaddle or get a Swaddleme so that they sleep good on their backs.  


One of the keys that I found to keep Baby Bear calm and happy was her swing.  We had the Fisher-Price Cradle n Swing, My Little Lamb.  It was adjustable so that you could lay it all the way back like a cradle and you could adjust the swing direction.  For the first few months, this was a great way to get Baby Bear to settle down and take a nap.  

PS.  Read The Happiest Baby on The Block by Dr. Karp to see other reasons that I love my swing and swaddle so much!
baby bear hugs on pregnancy and birth

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baby Bear in A BOX

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Baby Bear loves small spaces and to crawl in and play!  

Kids don't need anything special to make believe and play.  Give them a few recycled containers or boxes and they will make believe all day!

Here are a few fun shots of her trying to squeeze into different places

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Your Child's Name as a Blessing

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This is a lesson plan that I did with my students recently.  It deals with a Jewish baby naming custom but is so beautiful that anyone can do it.  This carries special meaning for me since we need to decide on a name for #2.

I am teaching my 6th grade class about the different events in the lifecycle of Jewish Traditions.  We are beginning with Brit Milah and naming of a Girl.  One of the traditional blessings that you give a baby is "May this Child be Great". 

 Students each got to ‘have a baby’ make a poster like my sample drawing below. 

They got to choose a Hebrew name for their child and find out the meaning of the name.  They had so much fun that most of the kids decided to work on their posters during our break time!!

This is a great time to have a discussion with your child about their name and what it means to you and how you interpret the blessing 'to be great'. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Packing a Bag for Hospital Baby Delivery

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Packing a Bag for Hospital Baby Deliverythings to pack for a hospital baby delivery

With all of my due date confusion, I haven't put much thought to what I was going to pack for the hospital. I noticed that it may be a month from meeting #2 (plus she has already dropped really really low), so I got everything together today and can relax. 

Here are the things that I have packed in the bag:

things to pack for a hospital baby delivery

{1} Copy of you Birth Plan
Your practitioner should already know your wishes for birth, but you will want a copy to give to the nurses so that they are aware of what you want so that they are on board. Some things may sound silly, but you don't want to have to explain in the moment.  I really don't want any counting while I am pushing and I want to hold the baby right away, so I put that in the plan. 
{I found a great site to create a free printable birth plan at Earth Mama Angel Baby if you need some help}

{2} Snacks for your partner
It may be a long haul in the delivery room, so you will want to have quick snacks on hand.  My mom tells a story of how my dad got black licorice out of the vending machine while she was in labor with me and she freaked out from the smell. You may want to get some neutral smelling snacks just in case your nose gets sensitive.   

{3} Snacks for you
You need your energy too since your body is working overtime.  They don't always 'let' you have food, so you will want something in case you want to eat.  They usually have juice and other things like jello that they may let you eat, but be prepared just in case.  You will also want lollipops to suck on.  I love Preggie Pops since they also help with nausea. 

{4} Things to Ease Labor
You probably won't know what you want until it happens in the moment, so bring a bunch of things with you.  I put some lotion, massage tool, some essential oils like lavender, ipod with music, a bathing suit for your partner in case you want to use the shower or tub, and my exercise ball is also in the closet to come with us. Hair bands to make a pony tail. {I got the idea to hold my hair bands on a clip from pinterest, and I use it also on my gym bag clipped to the handle.    For Baby Bear our doula brought a crock pot to put essential oils in and also warm towels. 

{5} Baby Outfit
Bring a comfy outfit to bring home baby in that is weather appropriate. 

{6} Change of Clothes for You
This is hard to decide what you need to bring to go home in.  You will still have a belly, so you will want a maternity outfit and something that is comfy.  Also bring a nursing bra if you plan to nurse. 

things to pack for a hospital baby delivery with text

Anything you want to add? Let me know in the comments!

baby bear hugs on pregnancy and birth

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Car Seat Safety NB-Age 2

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Research Says Rear Facing Car Seats Until 2
car seat safety

The American Academemy of Pediatrics {AAP}  now recommend that you keep a your babies car seat rear facing until they are 2 years old.  "Children are 5 times safer in a rear facing car seat. "(AAP)

When your baby grow out of the infant car seat you have to purchase another car seat that is rear facing for toddlers.  We purchased the Graco MetroLite for Baby Bear with 2 bases and could only use them for a short amount of time.  She was too long to fit before the met the weight limit and we needed to get another 3 rear facing car seats to use (Mr. BBH, grandparent, & I).  The toddler seats do not click into a base, so you have to purchase an entire car seat for the cars that you need unless you want to undo the car seat every time you switch cars.  

How wasteful is that?  

Now the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 can be used birth- age 2 {4 lbs to 40 lbs}.  Only one car seat with multiple bases, making it a little more friendly on the earth and your wallet.

SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40

There are so many simple but brilliant changes on this car seat.  There is a one handed push that adjusts that adjusts the harness straps up or down to make sure that you have the correct fit.  {The older models had to be re-threaded every time that you wanted to change the strap height.} 

SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40

Another change that makes a huge difference is the shape of the base.  It has a curve that is shaped to better fit the 90 degree L-shape of a car seat.  You can use it with the latch or with a belt.  Just listen for the click to know that it is secure on the base or a compatible stroller. 

SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 base

You can take the car seat from infant to toddler in a few simple clicks.  There are 8 recline settings to choose from and more leg room with a foot rest to protect your car from dirty feet.

SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 features

Check out all of the great features for yourself and see it in person in store at Babies R' Us or online

look at my HUGE belly {photo from the Graco/Babies R Us event} 

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

baby bear hugs on pregnancy and birth

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beading for Fine Motor Skills Practice

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beading for small motor skills

I found a box of old large wooden beads in my parent's basement {that used to be mine} and showed them to Baby Bear.  She loved the sound that they made in the box and immediateness started exploring the different sounds that they made inside the metal box they were stored in.  We peeked inside and saw the beads and I got a big "wow" from Baby Bear and "What is this?".  She loved jewelry so she was thrilled to know that you make necklaces with them.

box of colored wooden beads

Large wooden beads or Cherios 
Waxed Linen String

bead tied to the end of a string

I took out the ball of waxed linen that was on the shelf by the box of beads and tied a bead on the end so that she could string them without beads falling off. 

hand holding a string

Then I cut the other end off in a slant. Since the linen is waxed, it should keep its shape for a while, but you may need to keep cutting it for easy beading.

toddler playing with wooden beads

Then I let Baby Bear put on a bead while I was holding it.  She wanted to hold it and was able to still thread the beads.

toddler playing with wooden beads

We talked about the different colors and sizes 'big' or 'small' as she picked out the beads.  

toddler playing with wooden beads

I also let her just experiment with beads and string herself. 

toddler playing with wooden beads

When you are finished tie it for a necklace, or we just put the beads back to play again another day.  

I understand that that this is not an activity for every 2 {just turned} year old to do since many kids still put things in their mouths.  Baby Bear is really good about this, but I still keep a close eye on her while she is touching the beads.  

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