Monday, September 30, 2013

Reef Indy Goes Skateboarding

Reef’s first real outing

Yesterday was Reef Indy’s first real outing. Mom and Dad took Reef to the Pala Skate Park. Dad really loves to skate.

Since opening in April 2008, the Pala Skatepark has been providing skateboarders with a safe, fun place to skateboard.

The park was designed by award-winning skatepark designer Wally Hollyday and features rails, drops, ramps as well as a carved out bowl modeled after an abandoned pool that was a favorite of local skateboarders in the 80s and 90s.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians invested $570,000 to build the park at the Jim Banks sports complex off Pala Mission Road in Pala, CA.

Of course Reef was sporting his Van’s.

Of course Reef was sporting his Van’s.

Daddy and Reef found time for a nap.

It was a long but fun day; Daddy and Reef found time for a nap.

Look Out Addy Pastrana - Reef Indy is already at the Skatepark. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Two Free EBooks from Kite Readers

Not a deal to be missed!

Two of Kite Readers' best children's illustrated stories, are available Free for a limited time. Read them on iPad, Kindle Fire, Android Tablet, Mac or PC.

Click Here To Get Started

  1. You will receive “Julio Bunny and the Foreign Lion” when you sign up for Kite Reader’s Newsletter
  2. Receive your second Free EBook “Sleepy Hollow and the Road You'd Better Not Follow“after you invite 5 Facebook Friends to like Kite Reader.

Julio Bunny and the Foreign Lion

There's a new character in town! Meet Lenny the Lion! Join Julio Bunny and his friends as they graciously welcome Lenny to their town and learn about their new, foreign friend. This heart warming tale demonstrates the power of hospitality and kindness, and shows that even though you may not speak the same language, you can always make a new friend!

Sleepy Hollow and the Road
You'd Better Not Follow

Have you heard about the road you'd better not follow? Let's take a walk through the deep, dark hollow! Legend says a headless horseman wants your head. I don't think he's aware that he's actually dead!  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow comes to life and turns into a chilling nightmare. This fun and frightening adventure is a night like no other for two curious friends who go in search of the legendary Headless Horseman.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why does Reef cry?


Seven Reasons Babies Cry 

  1. I'm hungry
  2. I just feel like crying
  3. I need to be held
  4. I'm tired and need a rest
  5. I'm too cold or too hot
  6. I need my diaper changing
  7. I don’t feel good



What Can You Do 

  1. Find a constant sound
  2. Rock-a-bye baby
  3. Try a massage or a tummy rub
  4. Try a different feeding position
  5. Don't demand too much of yourself

Sometimes, babies just cry. Relax, as Reef grows, he will learn new ways of communicating his needs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Valley View Casino - Jackpot

Oma and Opa took a quick break from the bustle of everyday life and headed to the casino last night.
Valley View Casino & Hotel, Southern California's premiere gaming destination, combines the thrill of 2000 of San Diego's only Certified Loose slots and your favorite table games with beautiful luxury hotel rooms, seven delicious restaurants and impeccable guest service. Take a step away from the ordinary and take in every detail we offer, from free live entertainment nightly, breathtaking views, expertly-prepared meals, remarkable amenities and so much more.
Valley View Casino - Jackpot

Well the slots paid off well for us last night. The photo above is of my biggest jackpot of the evening – Oma won $172.00 on a 50 cent bet!

Valley View Casino -  It was a fun evening that included a “free lobster buffet!”

Free Children's E-Book by Spencer Cluff

Newt Newsberry Black Ops Campaign

Free Children's E-Book - Short description

An average kid, with average friends, takes on the extraordinary goal in becoming America's FIRST kid senator but he must first get through the evil and powerful mayor, Mort Axes, a man who has never lost a fight and will win at all costs. But Newt gets some help from some unlikely friends. Meet them all, starting with Hu Flung Pu, "T-Bone", Alistair Crumpet, and Brooke McVitty.

Author Spencer Cluff

Having a middle grade son that blows through the Wimpy Kid, Big Nate books I felt the market needed more books in that style. Those other books come out annually and a few books for an entire year just does not fill that need of even an average reader. My books are longer than the others currently out there (8-10,000 more words) and I also use a secret code throughout that the kids can use to see the messages between the characters not written in the book. I thought it would be fun to bring back the top secret decoder of the old days and makes the book unique.

Click Here to Get Your Free Children’s E-Book

 Use coupon code AF55C at the checkout to get it free


 Newt Newsberry Black Ops Campaign


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grandparent Plays Critical Role

Reef enjoys his homemade quilt
In this day of frequent job transfers and a global business economy, many families are forced to maintain long-distance family relationships. However, one cannot discount the value of a Oma – Kleinkind (Grandmother-Grandchild) Relationship.

Reef - 2 Weeks Old
Grandparents have come to be known as “secondary attachment figures.” According to the article “Back to the Future: How Early Attachments Shape Your Relationships” in the Summer 2007 issue of Attachment Parenting: The Journal of Attachment Parenting International, all attachments whether parent-child or grandparent-grandchild play a crucial role in shaping what a child’s perspective of what “normal” relationships are like.

But even grandparents whose grandchildren do not live with them can have a critical role in supporting their grandchildren’s parents. Grandparents can be great sources of parenting tips and affordable childcare to their grandchildren’s parents.

What Determines a Strong Grandparent-Grandchild Bond?

These elements prove to be crucial in developing a strong grandparent-grandchild relationship:

  1. The child feeling a sense of emotional closeness to his grandparent;
  2. The child having regular contact with his grandparent;
  3. The child viewing his grandparent as a source of social support.
Oma and Reef - Bonding Time

Oma is blessed to have Baby Reef close by. Since his birth, Reef, my first grandchild, (two weeks old) has made me more peaceful and appreciative each day. What a joy. Oma looks forward to nurturing that special Oma – Kleinzoon relationship. 

Opa gets Reef to smille

Friday, September 20, 2013

Check your mood - Keep Smiling

I absolutely love and live by this piece of child rearing advice:

Cranky Baby?  Check Your Mood:

Children take many emotional cues from their parents. That’s why cheerfulness is one of the best ways to respond to a cranky child (newborn), and why a big smile is often the easiest way to sweeten a sour face. But it’s difficult to provide the emotional sunshine your child may need when you’re in a bad mood or when the pressures of the day are making you cranky and short-tempered yourself. If your child seems persistently unhappy, do a quick assessment to see if you may be part of the problem, and then take a few moments to calm your mind and reset your attitude.

When grand-baby Reef Indy gets fussy and cries, Oma first makes sure his needs are met (dry diaper . . . correct temperature . . .); then Oma just relaxes and talks to the newborn.  

It is important to remember that a crying baby who can't easily be soothed can put a lot of stress on the adult caretaker.  You need to remember that crying is normal and take the time to take a few good deep breathes before soothing the child.

Happy Grandson - No Crying
 Hello Oma - I am two weeks old today!
The more calm and confident you are in the situation, the easier it will be for your charge to return to his/her happy state.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Free Ruby Tuesday’s Cheeseburgers

Oma is the only person in Reef's Escondido Family who eats meat.  Both Mom and Dad are vegetarians.  Even Opa has stopped eating meat.  While Oma has cut back on eating red meat, a good burger or patty melt does capture the palate every once in a while.

That is why a "Free Cheeseburger at Ruby Tuesdays" sounds perfect for Oma. This Wednesday is National Cheeseburger day and Ruby Tuesday will be giving away a possible 100,000 free cheeseburgers.

Be Sure to Thank Ruby Tuesday for their generosity

Like Ruby Tuesday on Facebook
Follow Ruby Tuesday on Twitter

*Reminder, if you get the free cheeseburger, be kind and don’t forget to tip your waiter or waitress, they still have to work hard!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Reef's First Halloween Outfit

With a name like Reef - what could be more appropriate.

chasing fireflies Catalog Photo

If you have a little guppy at home, here's a costume you could have lots of "fin" with. Our delightfully plush hooded bunting has a full front closure and soft teeth around the face. Polyester, polyester-cotton. Imported. One size fits 0/6m. (text from the chasing fireflies catalog)

U Can Find It Here

****WARNING:  Oma ordered Reef Indy's outfit today because she received a free shipping offer in the mail.  I was going to buy it anyway, but the free shipping offer got me on it!

However, forgetting that you always have to read the small print and even though the online shopping cart reported that my "Free Shipping Code" had been accepted - I was charged the full price.   My order did not total $50.00 or more.

*Free ground shipping on orders of $50 or more that are placed by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, September 16, 2013. Enter promo code BOOFREE in step 2 of the checkout process

After calling their customer service center, the nice lady who answered the phone stated that there was nothing that they could do for me.  

Oma will let you know about the quality of this product as soon as it arrives.

Talcuim Powder or Cornstach?

Last night Oma and Opa enjoyed watching their kleinzoon (grandson), Reef Indy. This session was much more tranquil. Reef only got fussy once when he was hungry and  after each bowel movement.

Since Reef’s mommy is breast-feeding, Reef’s poop is mustard colored, seedy, and runny. His diaper area looked a tad irritated and chances were Reef was starting to develop a little diaper rash. The best defense against diaper rash is a dry bottom, so Oma changed Reef’s diaper as soon as possible after it became wet or soiled.

Disposable diapers have come a long way since 1961 when Victor Mills, a P&G chemical engineer, first created a disposable diaper to help him better care for his own grandson. The Pampers we are using have a “Color-changing Wetness Indicator” which makes wetness detection much easier. When the yellow line on Reef’s diaper changes to a blue line, Oma knows it is time to change Reef’s diaper; sure beats placing a finger inside a soiled diaper!

Reef Indy - Age 9 Days

Since Reef is a natural baby – Oma put a little organic corn starch on his bottom between changings. Oma heard that talcum powder dust could be harmful to a child's lungs. Therefore, we chose to use cornstarch. Oma put the cornstarch onto her hand, away from Reef’s face (never directly on or near him) and gently rubbed the corn starch on his bottom to help absorb moisture.*

Reef Indy's Dad & Mom

When Mommy and Daddy returned to collect Baby Reef Indy, he was happy and serenely sleeping in his swing.

*At every diaper change, carefully wash away any powder that accumulates in the folds of your child's skin.

Talcum powder is usually made up of various combinations of zinc stearate, magnesium silicates, as well as other silicates which are finely ground. The size of particles is so small that they are both easily carried in the air like dust and can reach even the smallest areas of the lung.

There have been numerous reports of babies having life-threatening episodes from inhaling the powder. And in fact, there have been many deaths reported from aspiration of the powder. A good number of these cases occurred during a diaper change when adult supervision is usually very high. But as every parent knows (including myself), infants and toddlers can be awfully quick sometimes, so reaching for and spilling the powder bottle is not such a hard thing to do for the little ones.

So, clearly talc can cause pneumonia, inflammation (or swelling) of the airways of babies, and even death. But what about cancer? When the link to asbestos and cancer came to light, it was noticed that a lot of the exposure to asbestos was accompanied by other inhalable fibers and dust including talc. However, a specific link to talc exposure and lung cancer has not been established. On the other hand, there has been some interesting research into a possible link of talc to ovarian cancer. (Robert W. Steele, MD, is a board certified pediatrician)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Disney Characters
FREE Autographed Pictures

Oma read that you can send a letter to Disney asking for autographs and they will send them to you!  What a great idea for Reef Indy's Christmas Stocking.  Oma is going to send off her request this weekend because it will probably take four to six weeks for them to respond.

Below are the addresses to send the letters to Disney World and/or Disney Land:

Walt Disney World Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

Walt Disney Company
Attn: Fan Mail Department
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Oma will follow up on this post as soon as she gets a response.

Get your FREE Autographed Picture of
Your Favorite Disney Character !!!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Babysitting - Mission Accomplished!

Last Night's Oma / Reef babysitting session did not go off without a hitch. The baby was with us less than three hours. Reef went through four diapers - two outfits – and believe it or not, a blanket! That is not to say that our time together was in anyway a fail!

Quite the contrary; our time together was enlightening and very bonding. 

Reef’s life is pretty simple at the moment: eat, pee, poop, and sleep. Let us not forget crying and crying a lot! Oma knows that for Reef, crying is the best and only way to communicate his needs. Oma and Opa’s challenge was to learn how to decode Reef’s cries so that we could tell the difference between "I'm hungry" and "I'm uncomfortable."

By the time Mom and Dad had returned for their bundle of joy, Baby Reef was sleeping quietly and comfortable. Mission Accomplished!

Reef Indy - Age 1 Week

FREE Snicker-Bites

If you are on Facebook and like Snickers; be sure to check this out.

Not sure how long it will last, but Oma was successful in snagging a  free bag! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Newborn - Six-Week Survival Guide

It has been a long time since Oma has taken care of a brand new baby. Therefore this article from fitpregnancy prove very useful!

This postpartum survival guide culls our favorite experts' tried-and-true tips about how to make the best of this challenging rite of passage. Here's what you'll need to know:

Baby Reef Indy at Home
Brace Yourself
At the hospital, your baby is examined by the pediatrician, who will explain to you any obvious curiosities (for example, birthmarks or a pointy head shape). After you get home, however, your baby may produce some unexpected sights and sounds; most are normal.

The umbilical cord
The stump of the cord may seem very black and unwieldy for such a tiny infant. This is OK; it will disengage within three weeks. Until then, keep it clean (fold diapers down clear of it), dry (give sponge baths only until it falls off), and dab the base with alcohol twice a day.

Daddy is a big help
The spit up
Not to worry, just keep lots of cloth diapers at the ready. Two effective ways to diminish returns, offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) Caring for Your Baby and Young Child (Bantam Books, 1994) are to burp your baby every three to five minutes during feedings, and to place the baby in an upright position in an infant seat or stroller right after feeding her. Or just do what comes naturally: Hold her.

The color poopoo
In the very beginning, it's blackish green, and then it approximates certain shades of green, yellow or brown, and it can be runny, pasty, seedy or curdy. Unsettling as this may be, it's all normal. An early breastfeeding bonus: Baby's poop usually doesn't smell at all.

Baby's breath
You won't believe how you'll crane to hear your baby respire. Any fewer than 60 breaths per minute is normal, as are pauses of about six seconds, according to Barton D. Schmitt, M.D., in Your Child's Health (Bantam Books). Take note of any wheezing or rapid breathing, since this could indicate a respiratory problem.

Bathing a newborn can be a challenge. You can either do this by holding her in a big bowl or plastic tub or by wetting a washcloth and washing her on her changing table. Here are some other tips: Baby needs a full bath only about once or twice a week, but she needs to be "topped and tailed" (a Penelope Leach term) every day. This means washing the baby's head, face and bottom.

Make sure she's been fed (but not right before the bath), that the room is warm and that you have everything at the ready (you can't leave her for even a nanosecond to retrieve something you've forgotten).

Shampoo the scalp first (only once or twice a week), shielding the water from Baby's eyes. Supporting her head, start washing Baby from the top down, using soft cloth and tap water or mild baby soap. Moving down, be sure to get in all those nooks and crannies. Be sure to wash her face well. Left around the mouth, milk and spit-up may cause a rash. Wash eyelids and under the chin. Rinse baby well and pat her dry with a towel.

Getting Through the Night
Since their tiny tummies cannot hold much milk, newborns must be fed often, which is one reason they wake so frequently. Still, you can begin the process of getting the whole household on the same schedule.

  • Establish a routine early on: Bathe, dress, play and stroll around the block at about the same time every day.
  • Place your baby in the crib while drowsy. This way he learns to fall asleep on his own and associates the crib with bedtime.
  • Swaddle him. An unswaddled baby's own movements may startle and awaken him. In Your Baby & Child (Knopf, 1984), Penelope Leach writes: "At night you want him so securely wrapped that he will not wake even during the normal periods of light sleep." Keep him face-up to reduce risk of SIDS.
  • "Keep night feedings as sleepy and brief as possible," Leach also suggests. "When he cries, go to him immediately so he has no time to get into a wakeful misery. Don't play or talk while you feed him." Bring him to bed with you if you want to fall back to sleep quickly.
Expect Reef to sleep alot
Newborns often sleep for four hours at a stretch and a total of 16 hours or more a day. As for how quiet the house should be while Baby sleeps, Leach says the following: "A sleeping baby need not mean a hushed household. Ordinary sounds and activities will not disturb him at this early age. However, if everybody creeps about and talks in whispers while he is asleep, there may come a time when he cannot sleep unless they do. It is therefore important to let him sleep through whatever sound level is normal for your household so that he does not come to expect a quietness that will make all your lives misery."

Calming a Crying Baby
Crying is the only means an infant has to communicate. Your quandary: What is she telling you? Check her out. Is she hungry? Too cold or hot? Is her bedding or clothing tangled? Is her diaper dirty? Are the lights too bright, noises too loud? Is a burping in order? Is she ill? If you've run this gauntlet and put things right and she's still inconsolable:

Experiment to discover the most comforting way for her to be rocked (side to side, back and forth), spoken and sung to.

  • Pat or rub her back.
  • Walk the floor with her.
  • Offer a finger, breast or a pacifier to suck on.
  • Swaddle her.

All babies have their fussy period during the day (for many it's between 6 and 10 p.m.); at a certain point there is nothing you can do. Although trying to calm a distressed infant can be exasperating, always respond to the cry. "You cannot spoil a young baby by giving him attention; and if you answer his calls for help, he'll cry less overall," suggests the AAP.

Remember to let others help
What to Do for Yourself
The physical recovery from giving birth along with sleep deprivation can conspire to make big dents in your maternal self-esteem. Particularly for a new mother who has previously spent years being independent, the realization that you are responsible for another human so dependent on you can throw you for a loop. To help you get through this period, you owe it to yourself to...

  • Get enough sleep. Yeah, right, you're probably thinking. However, "the way to avoid sleep deprivation," proposes Schmitt, "is to know the total amount of sleep you need per day and to get that sleep in bits and pieces. Go to bed earlier in the evening. When your baby naps, you must also nap."
  • Take breaks. Take a walk, no matter how short; run your own errands, to get away. Of course, this involves asking your spouse, other family members or friends for help. If you have to, hire someone. Consider it money well-spent.
  • Get Dad into the picture. Allow him to care for the baby so that you get time alone. (You might even be able to enlist him, another relative or a friend to prepare a meal for you.)
  • Continue to eat properly, and keep taking your vitamins. accept that progress now is incremental. Break projects into smaller tasks. Wash a couple of dishes at a time if you have to.
  • Wear a snug-fitting, nonpendulous front baby carrier so you can work while holding Baby. Being close to you is familiar; she'll love the sounds and sensations and maybe even nap.

  • Delegate more. Enlist any and all visitors. Remember what they say: It takes a whole village to raise a child.

You may be vulnerable to uninvited advice as well as the most well-intentioned misguided comments of friends and family. If someone doesn't approve of your mothering techniques, Leach suggests lending him or her a parenting book that supports your philosophy (then soliciting a discussion about the differences in your opinions).

Hang in There
The first six weeks can be a real trial. You and your baby are getting to know each other, and you and your partner are adjusting to your new roles. Hold on to the thought that right around that six-week mark you will be rewarded with one of the most gratifying milestones in your entire parental career--your baby will beam a genuine smile at you. Yes!

"Win" a Free E-Book

Oma found a Sweepstakes where everyone is a winner!  Yup you read that correctly. 

Kite Readers is hosting a Tablet Accessories Giveaway with more than 20 kid-friendly prizes! Plus, every entrant gets a FREE E-BOOK!

Oma entered yesterday and downloaded "Julio Bunny and the Foreign Lion" for her Kindle.  Oma can not wait until she can read this cute story to Reef Indy.  It has awesome colorful illustrations too!

If you want to "win" your own FREE E-Book, just click here to go to the Kite Reader Website.   Enter the contest and you will receive a link to your free "Julio Bunny and the Foreign Lion" download.

Oma downloaded the Kindle version and is thrilled with its quality. 

Kid Friendly Prizes That You Could Win


Remember - Ebooks save trees.
That is one of the many environmental benefits
of digital publishing and reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oma’s Easiest Ever Salmon Recipe

Today is a busy Oma day, however, since Oma and Opa are having leftovers for dinner, Oma decided to take the time to cook that special piece of salmon that a friend caught and delivered fresh!

Oma’s Easiest Ever Salmon Recipe

Baked Wild Salmon with Brown Sugar, Butter, and Lemon

  • 1 – 2 Lb. Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets
  • Lemons
  • Brown Sugar (to taste) Butter
  • Fresh Parsley, Rosemary, and Oregano
  • Garlic

  1. While preheating oven to 350 degrees; melt ½ a stick of butter in 9×13” baking pan in the warming oven.
  2. Add 3 or 4 crushed garlic cloves.
  3. Cut up lemon in thin slices and lay out in baking pan.
  4. Sprinkle ½ of the brown sugar over mixture.
  5. Lay salmon fillets in the buttered pan.
  6. Cover salmon with remaining butter, brown sugar and sliced lemon.
  7. Season with Fresh Parsley, Rosemary, and Oregano
  8. Bake at 350 for about 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Cook until just cooked through.
  9. Juice half a lemon over top of the salmon fillets and serve.

What an EASY, Yummy and nutritious Lunch.

TIP-Do not throw away the lemon slices; the brown sugar candies them into an awesome desert.

9/11 - God Bless Us All

Reef Indy - 4 Days Old
It really does not matter if what your beliefs are as to the why of 9/11 - Every year since then, our nation has mourned the victims of the Al Qaeda attacks, which felled both towers of New York's World Trade Center, injured the Pentagon, and caused a jetliner to crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

While I will spend a moment today to remember the tragedy, my new grandson fills my life with hope for the future. God bless us all.

Monday, September 9, 2013

7 Cardinal Rules For Life

This was shared by my friend Stephen from “Who Eat My Blog.” He “borrowed” it from the Biggest Loser Resort Facebook page. It is just too perfect not to pass on.

Oma would love to go to the Biggest Loser Resort some day.

“Sweeping” Is No Longer What Your Crazy Grandmother Does

How to Win a Life of Luxury through Sweepstakes

“Sweeping” is no longer what that crazy grandmother down the street does. With the advent of online sweepstakes, the participants of this lucrative “hobby” have averaged out much younger in the last 10 years.

Point in fact, this Oma started her hobby as a sweeper in 2008 at the age of 53*. As my participation in the hobby grew, Oma has noticed that a lot of her sweeps friends and acquaintances are forty years of age or younger! It is Oma’s personal belief that the emergence of Mommy Blogs** has propagated this trend.

This weekend Oma had the opportunity to read a paperback book entitled “Sweepstakes Millionaire” by Johnathan Wyka-Warzecha.

Opa and Oma pose in front of Buckingham Palace
Enjoying Their Free Vacation (August 2009).
Oma considers herself an accomplished “sweeper.” I have won many trips, including a vacation to England. My biggest win was from Sears. They outfitted Oma’s kitchen with Energy Saving Appliances: a refrigerator, double oven, cook top AND dishwasher! (ARV $10,000).

If you do not know what ARV stands for, you need to purchase this book. It closes with a handy “Glossary of Terms” (ARV = Approximate Retail Value).

Although not a newcomer to Sweepstakes, Oma found this fun paperback book chocked full of useful information. It is the perfect gift for a Sweepstakes Newbie or that Sweepstakes Expert. The book was easy to read and organized so that the reader can easily locate the section most pertinent to the task they were attempting.

My favorite part of the book was the interesting testimonials from actual sweepstakes winners. Oma wished that there were more such stories and that the accounts contained more details to motivate people to this exciting and rewarding hobby. A few photos would have really enhanced the testimonial experience as well.

Another must read chapter if you wish to experience the thrill of winning a sweepstakes is Chapter 3 – How to increase your chances of winning sweepstakes. It offered priceless advice which covered Online Sweepstakes, Video Sweepstakes, Instant Win Sweepstakes, Mail-In Sweepstakes, In-Store Sweepstakes, and Computer Game Contests. Who would have thought that there were so many different types of sweepstakes and that each had its own strategy.

If you have ever thought of investing your time to enter and win sweepstakes, Oma urges you to read this book. It will provide you with the information needed to start winning quickly. It took Oma years to gather this insight!

You can find this book by clicking here.

*Click here to read about the win that started Oma on her sweepstaking career.

**Mommy Blog: Family-and-homemaking blogs are weblogs which feature commentary and discussions especially about home, family, and parenting. Appellations in media reports of "mom blog," "dad blog," "parenting blog" and "family blog" refer to blogs of this type.

As a blogger, my integrity is one of the most valuable things Oma owns. Therefore, reviews will contain both positive and negative aspects as is appropriate. To put it in a simpler manner, this review is meant to help my readers (editorial) more than to help a brand (advertising).

However, it should be noted that Oma was given a copy of Sweepstakes MILLIONAIRE: How to Win a Life of Luxury through Sweepstakes to read and review.

Enough To Clog The Pipes

What a mess!!!! Still kinda cute tho!!

The diaper says there is enough to clog the pipes. (Really funny when you remember that this sweet baby's father is a plumber). And at 2:50 am this morning, this is the diaper Daddy grabs. Thanks Auntie Sierra!!

Reef was full of poo and right when Daddy was finished cleaning up, Baby Reef  he went again !!!! 

411 On Baby PooP

A newborn can have as many as eight to ten bowel movements a day, but as long as he is having at least one, he's probably all right.

One day without a bowel movement is usually no cause for concern. As long as your baby is feeding well and wetting his diaper five or six times a day, then he's most likely getting enough to eat. If he starts to become uncomfortable or has a persistently swollen abdomen, then he may need some help with pooping, and you should speak to your pediatrician about how to facilitate this.

In the early days, a newborn's bowel movements are thick and dark green in color. This is due to a substance called meconium that has been building up in his intestines during pregnancy. As the baby starts to feed and have bowel movements, he will finish expelling the meconium and his stools will start to turn yellowish. It is not uncommon for an infant's bowel movements to vary in color from day to day. The color of the stools can depend on a variety of things, including what a breastfeeding mom is eating, how hydrated the baby is, and the type and frequency of formula the infant is being fed, if applicable.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Oma and Opa Day!

Opa gets Reef to smile!

Yesterday, Baby Reef came home from the hospital. His first day at home went well. Of course, why wouldn’t it; Mom and Dad are prepared and very patient.

Today is Grandparent’s Day. Oma has never paid much attention to this “holiday” before. However, Reef has changed that.

The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife from West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

“A Song For Grandma And Grandpa" by Singer/Songwriter Johnny Prill
is the official song of National Grandparents Day.

Happy Oma and Opa Day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Which path will these tiny feet
stamp upon?

Three Generations of Smiths - Dad Zack and Opa frame Baby Reef’s Feet
Future skateboarder or plumber or racecar driver like his uncle Moses? A combination of all three?
Which path will these tiny feet stamp upon?  Reef’s voyage began yesterday – his world will be filled with love and comfort; safe in the knowledge that his path is lined by the persons, who like trees, will stand tall to willingly shade his way.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Reef With Opa

Opa meets his grandson, Reef for the first time. Everyone is well - thanks for all the well wishes and positive thoughts!

Welcome Baby Reef

Reef Indy Smith was born today at 9:11 a.m. PST. He weighed 9 lbs. 7 oz.

Oma received the phone call at about ten p.m. on 09/05/2013. Mommy’s water broke and Reef’s parents were on their way to the hospital. Oma got dressed and drank a mug of Bombay Chai Tea and then also headed out to the hospital in Fallbrook, CA.

We were joined by Grandma & Grandpa Syniski and Auntie Heather. To quote Reef’s Grandmother, “Attention! Attention! Today was a very happy day for me! My family welcomed into our family my second grandchild and first grandson...Reef Indy Smith!! Mom and Dad...Amanda and Zack did a wonderful job of bringing this beautiful boy into our lives,( with no small help from Amanda's sister Heather), and I couldn't be more proud of all of them. He is soooo handsome and he will be much loved by all of us! Congrats to Amanda and Zack!!!! Love you all!”

Welcome Baby Reef – You are loved and you will be blessed!

Oma gets to hold Baby Reef for the first time
Reef's Mommy and Daddy did a wonderful job bringing baby Reef into the world in a calm and loving environment.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

88-Year-Old Grandmother Celebrates Her Birthday Driving a Racecar

Frances Anderson, left, jokes with her grandson Jim Boucher
before her on-track adventure. (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
On September 1, 2013 spectators in the infield of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway may have noticed a peculiar occurrence involving car No. 8 as it sped past the pit area along the eastern straightaway: a petite, wrinkled left hand performing a parade wave out of the driver’s side window.

Frances Anderson, who lives in Belmont and turns 88 years old today, seemed less enthralled with accelerating than with checking off one of the last items on an extensive bucket list, which has included trips to 45 states and more than 20 countries. There was the rafting vacation in Canada, the twin-engine flight over Alaskan glaciers, the Blarney Stone she kissed in Ireland, and the hilltop fortress she hiked to in Israel.

“This is just another thing,” she said yesterday, shrugging. Anderson has 11 grandchildren, and two on the way.

The plan, conceived by Anderson and organized with help from her five children, was this: eight laps around the track alone in a professional stock car, ideally topping out around 88 miles per hour, to commemorate her impending special occasion.

Anderson, who has two artificial hips and a pacemaker, had arrived at the infield about 11 a.m., and was still waiting for a vehicle by quarter to one. She wore a jumpsuit and sat in a folding chair in the pit area, an entourage of a dozen family members and close friends standing around her.

“I’m a little nervous,” she admitted. An employee had mentioned earlier two minor crashes that had occurred on the track in the morning.

Jon Haney, a driving instructor who had coached Anderson – when to accelerate, when to brake, how to maneuver on the track – said he wasn’t too worried.

“I’m more concerned with these young guys who play X-Box and come out thinking they know what they’re doing,” he said.

Haney said Anderson was the oldest woman to race the track.

Just before 1 p.m., her car arrived at the pit stop. It was red and blue and had the name “Budweiser” emblazoned on the side. A young man with cut-off sleeves and a Chevy emblem tattooed on his arm helped Anderson into the vehicle. He fastened several straps across her body, and she glanced over at her support group.

“You know where my papers are,” she said, joking.

The ride itself was perhaps less exciting than her family had expected.

“I think she’s actually slowing down,” her son Fred Anderson said as she passed the pit area for the fourth or so time. A handful of other cars on the high side of the track whizzed past her.

Afterward, when Anderson emerged from her car, a crowd of mostly strangers waiting to drive themselves or witness others do so gave her an ovation. She hoisted a detachable steering wheel into the air and beamed. Then she found her old folding chair and unzipped the top of her jumpsuit. Her cheeks were flush and someone handed her a bottled water.

“I didn’t chicken out, did I?” she said, looking at a few friends.

“No, you didn’t,” they replied.


Side Note:

December 3, 2011 – NASCAR Race Mom (Oma) participated in the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPE) at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
To report that NASCAR Race Mom was anxious would be an understatement. I was downright scared. However, I was the oldest of the group and wanted to represent my generation well! I was determined not to chicken out as well. 

The Richard Petty Staff informed us that our No. 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal racecars were capable of driving about 170 miles per hour. However, we would be limited to the 130-135 range. I remained petrified while I struggled through the window to get into the racecar; then a strange kind of calm settled over me. 

Lap after lap, the Richard Petty Experience became more and more fun and exciting. Before I knew it we were pulling into the pits. I was not the fastest on the track, but to my surprise, NASCAR Race Mom was not the slowest either! 

The experience really supplied me with an altered and more cognizant perspective as to what a real racer faces in each race. I cannot imagine the difficulty of doing what I did with forty-two other drivers trying to pass you. 

Oma would recommend the Richard Petty Driving experience to all NASCAR fans! It was the funniest off-season activity I had and I would love to tackle the challenge again. I bet I could go even faster!