Category Archives: Life Experiences

A Real Life Fairytale

On Valentine’s Day, I shared a video on Youtube in which Colin and I tell our love story.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! I meant to post this on Valentine’s day, but it’s been a crazy week. I hope you all had a great V-day. So, this is a video we created specially for the holiday. Colin and I tell our love story as briefly as possible. People have told me to write a memoir about it. I’m still considering that πŸ˜‰

Hope you enjoy!

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Why We Named Our Son Drake

What’s in a name…

I made this video a couple of days after my birth story video. I was inspired after watching Mama Natural’s video on youtube about why and how they chose the name Paloma for their new baby girl. So in this video I discuss the reasons behind why we chose Drake’s first and middle names. Hope you enjoy the video.

Comment below and let me know how or why you chose your names for your children. Also let me know what you think of these video posts. Should I add a transcript of the video? Is it good as is? Should I write an article related to the topic? Advice and suggestions are much appreciated πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by the Rebel House!

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10 Tips & Tricks for Teething Infants & Toddlers

 

This picture is a little old (from last year), but I felt like the Toothy Grin went with what I'm writing about today.

This picture is a little old (from last year), but I felt like the Toothy Grin went with what I’m writing about today.

So, Drake’s last 4 molars are coming in. The molars are meant to be the most painful. On the bright side these coming teeth mark the end of teething! Drake got his first two teeth at 3 months old (top, front). The rest came in quickly after that. Β By 10 months old he had almost all his teeth, except these molars coming now. It wasn’t easy, but I feel like now we’re pros at it. The hardest part is always the helpless feeling that you get when your baby is in pain.

With his first few teeth we were using baby Ora-gel to try to ease that pain. Big mistake! Besides the fact that it’s not in the least bit natural (which we hadn’t considered that when we first used it), Drake hated it. It numbed everything and caused him to gag. It was a pain in the ass to get him to let us rub it on his gums. Plus it was too expensive. When we started looking into natural living, I found a variety of different opinions on how to handle teething naturally. We tried a few and some we didn’t get around to trying. Most of the ones we tried worked. So today i want to share 10 tips and tricks with you. About half of these we tried with Drake and the other half we want to try with future babies.

10 Teething Tips & Tricks We’ve Tried and Want to Try

  • Wash Cloths:Β We had tons of wash cloths and burp cloths for Drake that we had accumulated throughout my pregnancy. A simple trick you can try is to wet a wash/burp cloth and let your baby chew on it. This will massage their gums and release some of the pressure. You can also Β put a piece of ice Β in the center of the cloth and then wrap it up and secure it with a rubber band. The cold helps to furthur relieve the pain but numbing the gums. This did work for Drake. We found that a cloth with Ice wrapped in it worked better when he was able to hold it himself (Drake started teething at four weeks old)
  • Teethers:Β Good quality teethers are another great option. You can refrigerate or freeze them. Just make sure you get teethers that are right for your child’s age. This works similar to the cloth, it massages the gums and when cold numbs them as well. We freeze ours and then let Drake gnaw on them until they go warm. If you don’t mind loads of drool everywhere, this is a good quick trick.
  • Sophie the Giraffe:Β This thing was all the rage when I was pregnant. My mom bought us one for Drake. It’s meant to smell like vanilla, which is supposed to be soothing, but I’ve never been able to smell it. It’s completely safe and marketed towards natural/crunchy parents. Drake loved to chew on it’s legs and squeeze it so it would squeak. He doesn’t chew on it much now, but he loves to play with it and make it squeak. Even my three and a half year old niece still likes to play with it. It’s on the pricey side, but that just might be because we live in NYC. The quality is great though so it’s worth it.
  • Amber Teething Necklace:Β We unfortunately never got to try this. I only learned about it last summer. Drake had already all but the four teeth breaking through now, so I didn’t bother to buy one. We plan to try it with our next child. How this works is that the amber releases succinic acid which relieves pain, and is anti-inflammatory. The necklace should be worn against baby’s skin. It shouldn’t be worn at sleep times, however you can loosely wrap it around an ankle and secure it with a sock and it will still be effective. Some companies even make matching mommy healing amber necklaces.
  • Frozen Pops (Breast milk/fruit juice or formula):Β This trick is a simple trick you can do yourself. Simply freeze fresh fruit juice (cut with water if your child is under 2 years old) or breast milk. Some say you can do this with formula as well. Once it’s frozen solid, you can let your infant or toddler suck or gum the frozen pop. This will numb the gums for a short period of time.Β We tried this when Drake was old enough to drink fruit juice, but we plan to try it with breast milk with the future babies. Drake really enjoys them and they give him instant relief. They can be messy though, so if you’re cool with that give it a try.
  • Hard Frozen Fruits and/or Veggies:Β This is another yummy way to relieve teething pain. If you have any hard fruit or veggies (i.e. carrots), you can freeze these too. This will both relieve pressure and numb the gums. We tried this when Drake was older and able to chew and swallow solids, so his first frozen fruit was strawberries. They did work for him though.
  • Feeding Teether:Β I believe Munchkin is one of the companies that makes these. We never got to try this, but again we plan to next time around. Basically, these have a handle and a little mesh part that can hold solid food. The mesh prevents large piece of food from getting into your baby’s mouth and possibly getting swallowed. They can chew on the mesh part and taste the food. This will relieve pressure and if the food is frozen or cold it will numb their gums as well.
  • Razbaby Teething Binky:Β These are great! We stumbled upon them when Drake was just starting out with teething. They’re hard bumpy/ridged binkies that are shaped like raspberries. They are a bit bulky so we found that prior to six months, Drake didn’t like it. It didn’t fit in his little mouth and it was too heavy to hold. But as he got older he grew into it and it really did help. It relieve the pressure by massaging the gums. There is no plastic parts so the whole binky can be chewed on, even the handle/hook piece. These are great for on the go relief.
  • Massage Jaw, Under Ears or Gums:Β This really helps and you can do it any stage. Drake doesn’t like us putting our fingers in his mouth, so we would massage his jaw and under his ears. This works great if your child is in full freak-out mode or if you have absolutely nothing else (like if you’re out and about). Drake calm down very quickly whenever we give him the massages. It’s relaxing and soothing for baby. It might even put them to sleep (it does occasionally for us).
  • Humphry’s Tablets or Hylands Teething Gel:Β last bur certainly not least, are homeopathic natural remedies. The two mentioned above are ones we tried and love. First is Humphrey’s Tablets, which you dissolve in a little water and then massage into your baby’s gums. We tried these when Drake first started teething. It worked great for the first six months. Eventually he needed something more, which is when we found Hylands Teething Gel. This works like oragel, but it is completely pure and natural. The numbing is not as intense so baby won’t gag. Like Humphrey’s you massage this into your baby’s gums (and around teeth if they have a few already). They both numb the gums and based on Drake’s experiences, I assume they are different levels of intensity. We love them though. They are way better than Baby Oragel. You can find them at any health food store, Whole Foods Market and even some drugstores carry them now.

So those are my tips and tricks. As you can see for the most part everything we’ve tried so far, worked for us. So I hope this helps if you’re a new mommy or daddy and you’re not sure where to begin with teething relief. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried or plan to try any of these tricks. IF there’s something you’ve tried that is natural and not on this list, again let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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Merry Christmas!

Drake on Christmas Morning.

Drake on Christmas Morning.

I know, I know… Christmas was technically last week. This post is late. I had every intention to slap this up here either on Christmas eve or on boxing day but that just didn’t pan out. So I’m doing this now.

Christmas Eve
Our Christmas eves aren’t usually eventful. Mot of the time it’s prep for Christmas day. This year was no exception. Colin and i woke up early baked Pumpkin Cheesecake and hung out with the kids.The kids were supposed to bake cookies for Santa with my sister but she ended up doing that on her own. They were playing all day and ended up passing out. Drake didn’t stay asleep as usual, so he had to hide in the room with me while Santa (aka Colin, my sister and her husband) set up all the toys in our living room. The end. That was our Christmas eve.

Christmas Day
Christmas day is when we celebrate. What an exhausting day. We woke up early, despite the fact that Drake went to bed at like 5:00AM. We had to enlist our niece Gabbie to help us wake Drake up. Then it was time to open presents. Our favorite part of the day. I love seeing the joy on the kids faces when they see eveything Santa left them and start unwrapping presents.

Santa brought Drake a wooden Chuggington train set, Cars, The Octonauts Octopod, and a few other things. We bought him some transformers toys and games. Basically Drake got lots of toys, a couple of movies and a few books. He had two overflowing stockings with candy and little toys and things. Even with all of that, wouldn’t you know it, Drake spent most of the time playing with his cousin’s kitchen play set.

Pretty much the whole morning was spent watching the kids play. After that we started setting up for dinner. We expected more guests than what actually came, which happens often. My mother and sister prepared a delicious mostly polish dinner of perogies, kielbasa, and so on. We also had ham and some salads. There was lots of treats like babka, cakes and cookies. And now we have plenty of leftovers. Well not now… after Christmas we did.

That’s about it. I’m making this a quick overview because I’m so late. I did manage to get a litt bit of footage on Christmas morning so I’ve made a little video for the channel. So be sure to check it out.

Mostly I’m writing this because I wanted to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Oh, and a happy New Year!

Thanks all, enjoy the rest of the holidays.

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Journey Through Santaland

We went to Santaland on Tuesday!

0This past Tuesday we went with my family to Santaland at Macy’s on 34th St. The kids (Drake and my niece), had a blast. We took them to see the window displays and then we went up to Santaland. Drake loved it until we got to Santa’s cabin. Yup, he’s still skiddish around Santa Clause. It okay though, Santa wasn’t upset. He even told Drake he was still coming to our house Β on Christmas with presents for him. Β He did shake Santa’s hand so that’s progress. Anyway, this vlog contains all the footage I got from our journey. Hope you enjoy.

Again, let me know in the comments if I should add transcripts with these videos or what all you experienced bloggers would do to make it better. I’m a newbie and I’d love some advice. Thanks!

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Drake Is 2 Years Old!

Drake blowing out his Birthday candles.

Drake blowing out his Birthday candles.

 

Drake is 2 years old!!
On December 5, 3013, my little boy turned two years old. It’s hard to believe that two years has already passed since that cold, rainy day I brought him home from the hospital. I am so proud of everything he’s accomplished in the last two years. He’s an amazing little boy; smart, handsome and incredibly kind-hearted. Β Colin and I are truly blessed to have him. He has given us hope for the future of this world.

I often hear first time parents say things like “after this I’m getting my tubes tied” or “I can’t handle being pregnant again”. Things along those lines. Whether they mean it or not is another story. Colin and I, however, feel completely the opposite. From the moment I got pregnant to now we’ve never once considered not having more children. If anything Drake has made us want more children a whole lot more. He is a great kid and he’ll be a great big brother.

So the Parties…
Yes, parties. Well, I wouldn’t call what we did on the day of his brithday a party. We had dinner as a family, with the rest of my family (even my aunt came from DE), and we had a small cake. The kids got to play all day and that was about it.

His actual birthday party was the Saturday after his birthday. We decided on a Spider man theme after about two months. We were going to go with a Rescue Bots theme (which is favorite TV show), but we would’ve had to get the decorations and favors online. We didn’t have enough time for that. This was all very last minute. So his favorite super hero seemed like the next best option. We didn’t have as big of a party as we did for his first birthday. This one was just in our house. We invited a few cousins and family friends. There was about six kids including Drake. Β He had a lot of fun running around with them. He even learned how to sing the Happy Birthday song. He’s been singing it ever since (including right this moment). Now if only I could get him to say “Merry Christmas”.

Drake and his Cousin Gabbie, his best friend in the world

Drake and his Cousin Gabbie, his best friend in the world

Drake Update…
So at 2 Drake is really well developed. He’s brilliant, we think. Since he was born, he’s hit all his milestones early and he still continues to do so. He has been walking now since he was 11 months old and he’s recently started trying to frog hop. I’m assuming that’s the first step towards jumping. He’s been speaking in full sentences since about 20 months. He started with 2 or 3 words phrases at 18 months and now he’s got the gift of gab. He’s always talking. He sings too. He knows the lyrics to the songs from all his favorite shows and movies. He’s even learned the lyrics to a song that he likes from a band called Icon For Hire. He’s exhibiting early signs of musical ability. He’s been mimicking my melodies on the piano, sloppily, but noticeably. I think if his hands were bigger he’d be able to copy exactly what I do. What else… oh, he counts to 20 and he knows his ABC’s. He’s very polite; always saying please and thank you. His best friend is his cousin Gabbie. His favorite TV shows are Rescue Bots and Spider man. Drake’s favorite movies is Wreck it Ralph and Nightmare Before Christmas. He’s a eclectic with music like his mommy. And lastly, he’s picky, not because he doesn’t like the food we give him but because he just always wants to play. When i say he’s picky I mean he’s picky about where and when he eats.

So yeah, we are going to try again with potty training. We started when he was 18 months but he lost interest and we don’t do force. He’s still a co-sleeper and we’re in no rush. He’s taken an interest in his bed though, ever since we put Jake & the Neverland Pirate bedding on it. Like I always say, whenever he’s ready we’ll support his decisions. For now we are keeping his guardrail on our bed. We have so many plans for the spring. There are museums we want to take him to and parks, and zoos, etc. We treat everything as a learning experience Β and it’s been working so far. He’s so curious and adventurous. We can’t wait for what the future holds.

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About the Rebel House (First Official Vlog)

Our first official Vlog is live on Youtube.Β 

Yesterday I uploaded our first real vlog to the Rebel House’s channel on Youtube. It’s an introduction to the Spring Family. You’ll get to here my reasons for starting this channel and you’ll learn a little bit about me. You’ll meet Colin, Drake and Ariel the mouse.

This is my first blog post in relation to a video on youtube obviously so I’m not to sure if I’m supposed to transcribe the video here. Comment and let me know. I appreciate all your suggestions and advice.

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Halloween Musings

At the Children's Fall Festival in the pumpkin patch.

At the Children’s Fall Festival in the pumpkin patch.

Halloween Rocks!
To put it simple, we love Halloween. It’s our favorite holiday. We look forward to it all year long, especially now that we have Drake. He gives us an excuse to act like kids again. This year our little boy was dressed up as Heatwave from the Transformers Rescue Bots. He is obsessed with that show. So when we saw the costume on the Party City website, we just had to get it for him. The first time he tried it on we couldn’t get it off of him. He threw a fit. We had to bribe him with a bubble bath. He loved his costume.

We wanted to dress up this year too, but we’re just too poor right now. We really didn’t have the money to shell out on two adult costumes. Hell, we didn’t even have the money to buy materials to make costumes. But hopefully next year we can dress up because we have the best idea for a family theme. I’m not going to tell you though, because it’ll just ruin the surprise. So check back next year.

Children’s Fall Festival at the Queens County Farm
If you’ve read my about page, you know I’m from New York. As much as I want to move, I have to say New York goes big for Halloween. There’s tons to do all through October. This year we went to the Children’s fall festival at the Queens County Farm for the first time on October 27th. Despite a bad start and insane crowds, we had a pretty good time. There’s a lot to do from pumpkin picking to a haunted house to the corn maze and beyond. The downer is the admission covers pretty much nothing, you have to pay for each attraction. But the prices weren’t that bad. The crowds however were horrible. Thousands of people in a small area of the farm was just not my thing.

We started at the pumpkin patch which basically Β a patch of dirt covered in hay and scattered pumpkins. Drake had a ball running around, rolling pumpkins and throwing rocks. He finally picked a little stemless pumpkin that was friggin’ five bucks. But he loved it so we got it for him. After that we went to the haunted house, which was supposed to be for all ages. This would be the part that was bad. Β We went into the tiny house and Drake was fine. He was checking out the spiders and the bats. About halfway through we reached the people in costumes. This one clown got right in his face and made him cry. Now that wouldn’t have been a big deal, but as any parent knows, when the baby is upset you stay out of his face. This clown didn’t do that. He continued to get in Drake’s face and scaring him. I hate clowns as it is, so it took everything in me not to go Brooklyn on this guy. I told Colin and my mom that we had to get Drake out and this bastard clown started mocking me. All the other actors took off their masks or hid when they saw Drake crying. They didn’t want to scare him further which was sweet. It was just that one guy. It’s always that one guy who ruins it for everyone else, right? Anyway we took him to the petting zoo after that ordeal, which cheered him up right away. He loves animals. We were going to take him on a pony ride but he passed out in the long line so that pretty much ended our day at the farm. All in all, once Drake started having fun it made it all worth it. Hopefully next year will be better.

Halloween at the Museum of Natural History
Fast forward to October 31st, Halloween. Every year the Museum of Natural History puts on their own Halloween event. They have trick-or-treating in the different halls, arts & crafts, costume characters and a band. My uncle is a security guard there, so he’s able to get us tickets ever year. Unfortunately, it was cancelled last year due to Superstorm Sandy. So we were pretty excited to take Drake this year. Β We met my mother, my sister Melissa and my niece Gabbie there. I have to say I was a bit disappointed this year, but not because the event was bad. It wasn’t. It just seemed more aimed at older children this year. There was mostly craft tables and only a few trick-or-treating tables. I couldn’t really find any costume characters either, except Olivia. Then again it was so crowded that we only managed to explore one floor of the museum before we left. Still Drake enjoyed getting candy and seeing all the other children dressed up as some of his favorite characters (i.e. spider man, optimus prime, thor, etc.).

Drake dressed up as Heatwave from Transformers: Rescue Bots

Drake dressed up as Heatwave from Transformers: Rescue Bots

Next Up, Trick-Or-Treating
After the museum we went trick-or-treating at one of the buildings owned by the company my dad works for. They host a trick-or-treating event every year in all there buildings, even my dad’s (he’s a super). It was cancelled last year though, because of Sandy. So this year was Drake’s first official year going trick-or-treating. Man, did he love it. He knocked on doors and would say either “trick or treat”, “Hi” or “Come ini”. I know, two year olds right? There was one apartment we went to had a little dog dressed up as a turtle. This was apparently far more exciting than the candy to Drake. By the end of the night Drake had two full bags of candy. Some of it was even Organic, much to my delight. At this point our feet were killing us, so we told my family (my dad and brother-in-law joined us at the end of the night), that we were to tired to go on and we met them at home. Yeah, we all live together. Can you say crowded?

So anywho, that was our Halloween fun in a nutshell. We used to do so much when I was a kid. We decorated and had parties and all that good stuff. No one seems to have the patience for it anymore. I can’t wait to have our own place so we can do so much more to celebrate our favorite holiday. I really want to get back to some of my family’s traditions and I definitely want to creat some new ones. So tell me, how was your Halloween? How do you celebrate? What are some of your traditions? Fee; free to comment.

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