Legoland San Diego Homeschool Discounts – Fun at a Great Price

Having Fun at Legoland with 3 Small Kids with our Legoland San Diego Homeschool Discounts

I had heard of Legoland San Diego, but had never been there. Hadn’t even researched it. It seemed like in a period of 2 months I had 3 different people exclaim how fun Legoland is and how it is perfect for families with young children. Ours are 4, 2 and 8 months old. Then, out of the blue, a great homeschooling mom friend of mine sent out an invite on Facebook to go to Legoland Callifornia! Then, I knew, it was meant to be…we must go and play!

Legoland Discounts – Go With A Homeschool Group for a Great Deal on Tickets!

Legoland San Diego homeschool discounts got us into the park at a great price.

Playing on the helicopters at Legoland San Diego during Homeschool days!

My friend had gotten a discount on Legoland tickets by putting together a group of homeschooling families to go. She had to buy all the tickets. We paid her directly for ours. Then, we got there a bit late (I knew we would, takes us awhile to get all the littles ready for a full day of fun), so ours were waiting at Will Call when we got there.

Our First Trip to Legoland – Better than Disneyland for Young Families!

Farmhouse at Legoland California.

Playing in the Legoland San Diego playground!

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I knew I was going to love this place. You see, I am used to taking our kiddos to Disneyland…with all the crazy crowds, adrenaline and waiting and waiting in line. The parking lot was welcoming, and not packed to capacity. We had a nice stroll to the entrance, which was right there by the parking lot! Yay!

Upon entering, the kids immediately saw interesting creatures made out of Legos. Then, there was a kid friendly ride to hop on within a few feet! Very short line! The baby was in the stroller and my husband came up with our 4 and 2 year olds. The line attendant offered him a stroller pass. So, my daughter waited with me while our son went on with dad. Then, my daughter and I went on right after them. So nice and family friendly.

Kid Friendly Rides, Fun Places to Run Around, A Sensible Closing Time

Active play at Legoland.

Kids can ride on rides and run around and climb at the Legoland playground.

Next up, another kid friend ride that we just walked onto. I was loving Legoland! So glad we came on a Legoland Homeschool Group Discount. We ride hopped all day long. The kids loved it! The bathrooms had short, kid height sinks and towels, a HUGE plus for a mommy with 3 little ones. There were fun tactile things to play with as well as rides. It was so nice to be at an amusement park that caters to young children.  The Legoland San Diego hours are sensible.  The 5 o’clock closing time gave us plenty of time to play, then pack up and have dinner before our 2 hour drive home.

We will be back Legoland!! (My kids ask to go back almost daily).

How to Deal with A Crying Baby – Is It Colic?

Soothing Your Crying Baby – How I Deal With a Crying Baby

She was our first baby (we now have 3 little blessings from God), she was so adorable and smelled so lovely. Everything was ready: New crib setup with fresh bedding, swing setup, car seat outfitted with strap protectors, a toy, etc. stroller ready, diapers stocked, etc. I had been nesting for months…really enjoyed it. After a few weeks at home something happened my husband and I were not prepared to deal with a crying baby- day and night. How did we not know to prepare for a colicky baby?

Colic was one baby problem I had NOT read up on. Boy I wish I had. After 2 months of it, we did finally talk to a friend whose first child experienced colic worse than ours. They helped give us faith that there was definitely a light at the end of the colicky tunnel.

Some Basic Steps to Help Soothe a Crying Baby

Photo of crying baby, colicky baby.

Picture of crying baby – how to deal with a crying baby.

First things first. When you are trying to figure out how to deal with a crying baby to soothe them and yourself, look to the basics first:
Is the baby crying out of hunger? Feed them!
Is the baby sitting in a wet or dirty diaper? Change them!
Is the baby bored and wants attention? Playtime!
Is baby so worked up into their crying fit that they don’t even know why they are crying? Hold them, cuddle them, give them comfort.
Is your baby sleepy and now overtired and they don’t know what else to do but cry? Put them to bed!
Is something hurting your baby? Check for tight clothing or anything that may be irritating their skin. Check fingers and toes to make sure nothing is wrapped around them (a small piece of hair, etc.)

As you get to know your baby better, you’ll learn what works to soothe or deal with a crying baby.

How We Got Our Colicky Baby Some Relief (and a little for ourselves too)

  • Football colic hold for crying babies.

    This “Football Colic Hold” really helped our colicky baby!

    Her fussy time was on schedule, every late afternoon, around 4pm until roughly 6 or 6:30pm, we were prepared for it ahead of time

  • She wouldn’t take a fa-fa (pacifier) but she loved sucking on daddy’s finger, that helped calm her
  • She would nurse, but after she was full, the crying would resume, so we tried many different things to see what would help her
  • She loved one specific way she was held by her daddy, draped over his arm, belly down with a little pressure on her tummy (my husband once watched a 2 hour movie with me, standing, holding her in this position while she slept)

After mass one day, a friend of ours asked how baby was doing. We told him about the colic. He smiled knowingly and spoke some very comforting words, “Oh, yes, our first had colic really bad. It was really rough. Don’t worry, it does end, the colic will stop…it won’t last forever. Hang in there.” That was what we really needed to hear at the time! If you have a colicky baby, and you are wondering how to deal with your crying baby, hang it there!

My Breasts Are Leaking Milk at Night and During the Day

Why Are My Breasts Leaking Milk Between Feeding My Baby?

This was a question a friend of mine asked me.  I have nursed my 3 children in the last 4 years (currently nursing my 7 month old) and am fresh on the breastfeeding wagon.

I have never leaked breast milk.  From my conversations with other nursing moms and my own reading and experience, here is why I think I don’t leak breast milk at night and my friend does.

Factors That Lead to Leaking Milk Between Feedings How My Friend Nurses Her Baby –

  • Breasts leak breastmilk.

    Why do my breasts leak breast milk between feedings? Make sure your supply meets baby’s demands.

    She works during the day and uses her breast pump at work to pump milk
  • She nurses her baby in the morning and when she gets home from work
  • She pumps extra breast milk at times to have an extra supply for the baby while she is away
  • Her baby sleeps very well at night, almost all night, and her breasts become engorged at night, She often leaks breast milk at night, so she uses her breast pump again, or just uses her washable nursing pads
  • Her baby has been given formula since she was born, in addition to being breastfed

How I Nurse My Babies – I Do Not Leak Breast Milk

  • From the moment they are born, I begin nursing my babies
  • My babies are with me all the time, day and night, unless I can step away for a few hours and not miss a breastfeeding session
  • I am blessed to be a full time wife and mommy!
  • When baby is hungry, they nurse
  • I NEVER give my babies formula, save for 1-2 mL of it in the 2-3 days after birth to supplement as all my labors have been inductions and it takes a little longer for my milk to come in
  • I don’t use a breast pump
  • Baby sleeps next to our bed at night, in their co-sleeper.  If baby wakes up wanting to nurse, we nurse

These are some stark differences I noticed between my friend and I as she was trying to figure out why she was leaking so much breast milk.  Your supply of breast milk depends on the demand (good ‘ol supply-and-demand).  If you are artificially creating a demand (pumping extra, etc)., your supply will not match your baby’s demand.  The more artificial demand you create, the more supply you will have.  I always nurse exclusively for the first 6 months and my babies are always with me.  I love being with them and my milk supply always matches their demand.  Happy baby and happy mommy (and…happy household)!!!  Breastfeeding USA also offers some great information on breastfeeding your little one.

Having Fun In Costco With Kids – We Love It!

Having Fun in Costco With Kids!

Our family loves Costco.  And, I don’t just mean my immediate family of 5.  I mean all of them.  My parents, my husband’s parents, his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…deals they’ve gotten at Costco are actually discussed at family get-togethers…I am the proud mommy of 3 children ages 4 and under.  We love going to Costco.  I’ve even taken them to Costco just me…alone…with 3 kids under the age of 5…and it worked out!  Granted, it took us over 3 hours in Costco (counting snack time, nursing time, shopping time and potty time).  But, we did it!  And, we had fun…here’s how.

How To Have Fun Shopping With Your Kids in Costco

  • Take time to have fun at Costco with your kids.

    How to have fun with your kids at Costco!

    Be sure everyone has had a nap (except the baby, who should sleep on you in the front/back pack)

  • Have your Costco list planned out well
  • Take everyone potty before you begin shopping
  • Get everyone a snack before you shop
  • Hit the toy area in the middle of the trip (my kids “borrow” a huge stuffed animal until the end of the trip, the animal “lives” in Costco and must be returned!)
  • Go when they offer samples (or, “examples” as we like to call them, and as my sister’s sister-in-law calls them , and as I now call them…)
  • Have them help you hunt down the items you need!
  • Plan to take your time and goof off!!!
  • Smile a lot, your kids will love it!

Remember to Hit the Toilet Paper Aisle, No Matter What!

There is also much to be said for using a flat shopping cart while shopping at Costco.  My kids think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Melissa and Doug Paint Your Own Car – My 2 Year Old Loved It

Wooden Race Cars To Paint

Our 2 and a half year old son wanted to buy a race car paint kit with his own money the other day. (He and his sister earn money for their piggy banks by helping fold and put away their laundry.).  He spotted a wooden race car painting kit by Melissa and Doug and we bought it.  He was so excited!  He loves cars, especially race cars, and, getting to paint his own and put it together was made him very happy.

Melissa and Doug Paint Your Own Car – A Review

The Melissa and Doug Paint Your Own Car came in pieces, 2 axles, 4 wheels and the body, all wooden.  It also had the paints, 4 colors, but no paint brushes, stickers to decorate the car and some basic white glue.  The paints are not the kind that come off clothes.  He graciously agreed to let our 4 and a half year old daughter help him paint his own wooden car.  They really had a blast.

Paint your own wooden car.

Toddler playing with Melissa and Doug Paint Your Own Car toy.

Of course, they started putting the stickers on before the paint was dry, but that worked out.  It took about an hour-ish to dry.  Then, I helped them glue on the wheels.  My only gripe is that two of the wheels didn’t really fit very well on the axle.  I really had to smash them on there.  My little guy likes to drive it around on the floor, and I’ve had to re-glue the wheels on two times.  No biggie.  They really enjoyed the project.  We’d do it again.

Tips for Painting Your Own Wooden Car

  • Put down newspaper before you begin
  • Have the kids wear painting smocks or shirts you don’t mind getting paint on
  • Let the paint dry before applying the stickers
  • Let the wheel glue dry before attempting to drive the car
  • Enjoy!

Baby Nurses All Day! – Try These Breastfeeding Tips

This was me with my first baby. My baby nursed all day (and night).  We brought our sweet little girl home from the hospital…and I enjoyed many many days relaxing in my chair while she breastfed.  Then…I realized…I have to get up and do something else at some point…right?  I don’t mean she’d nurse for awhile, then I’d set her down for a bit and to the dishes, I mean she nursed constantly.

“My Baby Nurses All Day, All The Time! I Need Some Breastfeeding Tips!”

It was a difficult production to just take a shower!  And during the shower, my poor husband was usually holding her to try to keep her calm!  It became so stressful, I almost gave up on nursing my newborn.  I was this close to buying formula.

My Friend’s 6 Month Old Nursed for 10 Minutes Then Was Full and Happy

But my little one would nurse and nurse, and was still not full or happy! Some dear friends brought us dinner one night.  While everyone else was about to eat…I was nursing again.  My friend’s baby also wanted to breastfeed, he ate for about 10 minutes and then was super happy and done nursing.  He proceeded to play in his carseat.  I just gaped at her and said something like, “How did you do that?  My baby eats all day long!!”  She just smiled and said he was an efficient eater.  He was also 6 months old and my baby was still very much a newborn (with “colic” as we’d later discover.)

I Was Going To Quit Nursing My Newborn – But This Breastfeeding Tip Kept Me Nursing!

Baby nursing all day long.

Baby wants to nurse constantly, all day long.

Another dear friend brought us over some muffins.  She was a mother of 3 and had nursed all of them.  She asked how everything was going.  I confided honestly that my baby breastfeeds all day long and that I was considering switching to formula because this was so stressful.  She asked me to tell her about how the baby was eating.  I explained I’d sit nearly all day with her latched on, that she’d eat pretty vigorously at first, then in a more relaxed manner.  After about 45 minutes to an hour of her suckling on and off I’d unlatch her, thinking she was done.  Then, she’d start crying and act hungry again…this would start the cycle over…and over…As I explained, my friend started smiling…

“Honey, she’s using you as her pacifier…she is falling asleep while nursing!”

It seems so simple now that I know.  She was right.  What was happening is the baby would nurse well…then get drowsy…then fall asleep on me…then, every so often, lazily suckle.  At the time I didn’t know that babies will suckle with their own mouths while they sleep.  It is like really light sucking.  She told me to make sure and keep my baby awake until she had finished nursing, then unlatch her to let her sleep if she was tired.  That way, she’d get a full meal, take a nice nap with a full tummy, and I could stand up!

Here Is How I Became A Smarter Mommy and Achieved Breastfeeding Bliss!

– Nurse my newborn when she was fully awake

– Keep my baby awake while nursing, until she had gotten a full feeding (for me, usually 5-10 minutes per breast)

– If she was going to fall asleep after one breast, keep her on that one to make sure she got the fatty hindmilk that comes at the end

– When she was done, unlatch her (if she didn’t unlatch herself) and hold her or lay her down for a nap

This took me a week or so to master and change my habits.  Then, we had breastfeeding bliss!  She was still colicky and had crying spells each evening (which dissipated after 3-4 months) but that is for another post.  I’ve since breastfed my 2 sons as a pro from day 1!!  Yay for friends who know more about nursing than I do (did). =)

Breastfeeding Your Newborn After Induced Labor with Pitocin

Breastfeeding Your Newborn After Induction

I was on my way to the hospital to give birth to my first baby. A sweet little girl who my husband and I couldn’t wait to meet!! She was measuring quite large in the ultrasounds, and I was ginormous, so my OB recommended we induce labor. I was already dilating, so, it may really have been more of augmenting labor. I was nervous and hoping it would go smoothly. I had heard that inducing labor with Pitocin can result in very intense contractions (it does, get the epidural!) What I hadn’t heard about was how induced labor with Pitocin would affect breastfeeding your newborn.

What Do They Use To Induce Labor? Pitocin!

Inducing labor with pitocin.

Beautiful newborn baby girl after labor induction with Pitocin.

After I checked into the hospital, we got settled into our labor and delivery room. They started an IV, fluids first. I experience severe nausea and vomiting during my pregnancies, a condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I told the nurse that and she became very anxious to keep lots of fluid in me during the labor induction. She said it would help me not be nauseated. I was all for that! Only later did I hear the terminology, “slamming fluids into me” from another nurse. This means they gave me a lot of fluid really quickly, I believe it was lactated ringers. Same thing they used to rehydrate me during my pregnancy. Looking back at photos of me during labor, I can see how swollen I was! Then, they started the Pitocin to begin inducing me.

Induced Labor at 39 Weeks

I was nearly 39 weeks the day my baby girl was born. The Pitocin was doing its job. The contractions were coming faster and stronger. They started “The Pit” around 9:00AM and I had her a little after 5PM. I progressed nicely. Once I got the epidural, I swear things went faster (and better for me!) I could finally relax!! I think the relaxing helped me dilate faster. I really enjoyed my labor and delivery. Pushed for 3 minutes, then got to hold her!!! What a blessing. Nothing like co-creating with God…so amazing…a true miracle.

Breastfeeding Your Newborn After Labor Induction

What I did not know was that it would take 4-6 days for my milk to come in!!! I knew it would take a few days maybe…So was supplemented by finger feeding with a tube and syringe they gave us in the hospital. I was determined to nurse my baby! I did almost give up. But, my husband encouraged me and kept me going. Turns out (I didn’t find this out until after I had my 2nd child), that, due in large part to the large volume of fluids they give you during labour induction, that is known to cause milk to come in much later! I wish I had known that. Would have given me much calm and peace. A nurse casually mentioned the effect of lower production even breastfeeding your newborn. She casually mentioned it in passing and I grabbed onto that data. So, if you are having your labor induced, keep in mind, your milk may come in much later! Do not give up – you can still successfully breastfeed your newborn after induction. Just be patient and know the milk will come in. We’ve been blessed with 2 more children so far, for a total of 3 induced pregnancies. Yep, I’ve been induced every time. Why? Because big babies run in the family, mine have been progressively bigger, and I want a chance at a natural delivery.

Breastfeeding Positions for Newborns

As a mother of 3 children ages ranging in age from 6 months to 4, I am fresh on the breastfeeding wagon.  I typically breastfeed my newborn babies until approximately 18 months, by which time we are usually expecting another little blessing!  (Then I experience Hyperemesis Gravidarum and have to stop breastfeeding but that is for another post).

Those brand new little ones are quite floppy and need to be positioned carefully. I find that using a boppy pillow for at least the first 5 months and definitely for the first few days is critical for my comfort while nursing!  I have found a few positions for breastfeeding my newborns that seem to work particularly well.

Breastfeeding Positions for Newborns: The Football Nursing Hold

Mother with baby - breastfeeding positions for newborns.

Breastfeeding Positions for Newborns

When I am still in the hospital and newly home, I prefer the football hold for nursing.  I accomplish this with the aid of pillows while still in the hospital and with my boppy (an essential piece of equipment for me for about the first 5 months or so) at home.  In this nursing position the baby’s feet are pointing behind your back with their head next to the breast.  The key I have found is to have the baby up high enough relative to the breast.  I love this hold early on because there is no leaning forward and no chance that baby will kick a healing area postpartum.

The Cross Body Hold Breastfeeding Position for Newborn Babies

I use this position to nurse after I’ve been home for a little while, and, with my newborns, I use my boppy.  In this position the baby is lying on their side with their face facing the breast to latch on.  I find this more comfortable when the baby is a little bigger, but still a newborn.  It also seems that this position is easier once the baby has learned to latch on pretty well (which you can usually accomplish while using the football hold above).

Nursing Lying Down – One of my Favorite Breastfeeding Positions in Bed!

OK, beware that you will be very comfy in this position, and, if you are tired, it is very easy to fall asleep while nursing.  In this one I lay on my side with my lower arm extended out and above the baby’s head.  The baby is also on their side and facing me.  Then, latch on.  My babies almost always fall asleep in this position.  It is very comfortable.  If you are uncomfortable with you falling asleep while nursing in bed, I don’t advise it.  It is one of my personal favorites and is very relaxing.

These are my 3 favorite positions for nursing my newborns.  I hope one or all will work for you!  Enjoy that new little blessing God has gifted you!