Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vitamins, Anyone?

Since we were down in the area to upgrade our baseball seats we decided to tour the Nutrilite plant. You know, the vitamins Amway sells. We love them, and take them everyday. Even William takes the children's chewable. (No, this post isn't going to be a pitch on how you should stop taking your K-Mart vitamins and take Nutrilite. Breath easy.)

The tour was absolutely fascinating. I've been asked in the past why take them over some other cheaper brand. I simply didn't know. Now I do. After a three hour tour of the 33,000 square foot facility, which boasts some of the industry's most expensive equipment typically only found in universities or global pharmaceutical companies, I was simply amazed.

We learned how Nutrilite uses concentrated plant products (not dehydrated) to make their tablets, testing millions of them each month to insure quality (something other brands don't do simply because the industry isn't regulated). At the Buena Park location they manufacture over a half billion tablets and over 5 million food bars. Due to the fact that they are in high demand in other parts of the world, they ship the vitamin powder directly to some countries, and they in turn "tweek" the ingredient amounts to suit the needs of their people. For example, the Japanese people, scientists have determined, need more calcium in their diet so their Nutrilite XX vitamins have more than the American XX. (Did you know the tablets are called XX because when they were first made they cost $20? Get it? Roman Numerals? I thought that was interesting.)

I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you. Here are some pictures.

This scientist is doing some Vitamin C testing, making sure the tablets contain the right amount and....other tests. Hey, I was holding Abby who by this time was sick of touring.

I mean really, if you had to wear a hair net to cover your bald head wouldn't YOU be cranky?

This picture simply doesn't do this warehouse justice. This room was huge! It contained millions of vitamin tablets ready to be shipped out. (You can see the man in the right hand corner, to give you an idea of how high the boxes were stacked.) The tablets remain here for no longer than one week before they are shipped to 40 different countries.
This scientist was not our tour guide, but was on break or something. His job was to test for Vitamin D. Anyway, he showed us various labs (like the one above) and explained what happened in each.

Here's a lab that does food bar testing.

It was a great tour! Kind of long for the kids, but well worth it. Every year I've tried to get a tour but have never been able because it's a high-demand tour that's usually booked way in advance. The gal on the phone felt sorry for me (I think...I gave her a sob story and basically begged her for a tour) so she arranged another tour just for us, which turned out to have several other families that also joined us. Since Amway products are huge in other countries (what's with Americans not liking Amway?) the tours are usually in languages other than English (Chinese and Japanese tours are jammed!). Anyway, if you get down in the area I highly recommend checking this place out.

Almost Baseball Time!

The new season isn't quite here yet, but this is our third year going to "select-a-seat" down in Anaheim to either exchange or upgrade our season seats. We had to add another seat this year because of William and we were also able to move in an entire section! I think we have the perfect view now. Not too high, not too far out.

January 2010

January 2009

January 2008 (Need to find that hat for Abby!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Service Debuting Across The Pond

It is cold here. 65 during the day, but at night....wowsers!

Last night my husband and I jumped into bed (quietly, of course, because our baby is a mere 2 feet away!) freezing. We lay there like Eskimos, heaps of blankets over our shivering selves. BUT! John heard on the radio the other day of the perfect solution to our cold bed problem! No, it's not a hot water bottle. Nope, not a bed-warming pan. It's not even an electric blanket. It's a Human Bed-Warmer and they are debuting in the UK this month in certain hotels.

The lady on the right looks down-right enthused about this job...the guy on the left is seriously reconsidering going back to college! No one told him his Hospitality degree would require this of him!

When I heard that I laughed hysterically. Seriously?!? A Human Bed-Warmer? (BTW is that their official title?)

The hotel promises that the Warmer will be wearing a one-piece fleece body suit with their hair covered, but couldn't promise that they will have recently showered. They do, however, say that the warmer will be out of the bed (unless they fall asleep on the job!) before you get in, leaving you with the bed warmed to the highly desired temp of 68 degrees. The spokeswoman for the hotel chain said, "It's like having a huge hot water bottle in your bed." Ummmmmm.....NO! You know when you're swimming, and you hit a warm spot in the water...all you want to do is get out of that spot! You just feel ucky after that.

What I want to know is how the whole thing is timed. I mean, is the Warmer going to be in the bed while the guest is brushing his or her teeth? Seriously, though, the timing has be rather perfectly timed, else your bed will cool down and then what? You have to warm your own bed?

Um, thanks Holiday Inn, but I think I'll skip the creepy service and do my own warming!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking A Break

Now that the kids are in bed taking their naps (yes, I've finally managed to get them to nap at the same time) I've decided to also rest from my ark building to write a little. I'm not sure why whenever Southern California gets a little of the wet stuff all 49 other states seem to know about it, but yes, it's true, we've been getting a lot of rain. And with the rain comes a little boy who so desperately wants (and needs!) to go outside and play but can't. I'm trying to come up with fun indoor activities, but at some point we just have to get outside.

He absolutely loved going out in the rain. As a true CA boy, he doesn't see much variation in the weather (it's all sun, all the time...usually) so this was a real treat! I stayed safely in the garage.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food & Poop...Can't Have One Without The Other!

Abby started pureed peas yesterday and well....let's just say she's learning to like them. Unlike rice cereal where not ONE flake escaped her lips most of the peas manages to find its way on her bib. I suppose I could have started off with a fruit, but I think I started William off with peas and he loves them now. Besides, fruit is sweet, and I don't want her getting used to the sweet taste so soon in life. So...sorry dear, but peas it is.

She has no idea what is about to hit her. She thinks she's getting just rice cereal! HA!

Self explanatory.

Different outfit, different day...with her belly full! The turkey bib is quite appropriate, if I say so myself!

I'm sure my minions of readers will remember my poop post. Well, I've decided to suck it up and continue with the cloth. Needless to say, with my dearest eating peas to at least some degree, I've had my second experience with gooey poop and I have to say it isn't that bad. I don't have a sprayer (yet) or liners (they are on order!) so she's pooping in ultra comfort. The first one I swished in the toilet a little and got most off, then I ran it under the tub water. Is that gross? I know I bathe my kids in that tub, but hey, it's not like I'm not cleaning up after myself. I just needed a little surge of water to get the stuck-on poop off. The second one I just swished in the toilet. Then plopped it in the diaper bag. End of story. It took less than 30 seconds. Yes, it was a little gross, but I can think of way grosser things in life than my child's poop. that off my chest. I'm sure you're glad you know all this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

6 Month Check Up

Our Princess went to see the doctor today (with my assistance, of course). Overall she is doing great! The doctor was impressed with her weight gain - almost 4 pounds heavier since last visit - making her total weight a whopping 15.7 pounds. (She's come a long way, baby!) She's 24.25 inches, so she's short for her age, and her head is....I forgot, but it's big. (Just don't feel like running back up the stairs to check the slip of paper with her stats. Ran up there once to get her length, not going back up for head measurements!)

Anyway, the majority of the time the doctor and I chatted about her sleeping habits, or lack thereof. He said she's a young 6 months, however even young babies have no real physiological need to wake every 3-4 hours to eat (or snuggle!) during the night or during a time they should be sleeping. He said I have two options: suck it up for a week or so and let her cry it out during the night, provided she's in a place where she can't see me, or co-sleep. Hmmmm...Co-sleep...let me think...NOT. I did that when she was super little/young and it was great, but now she needs to learn to sleep on her own. I thought giving her rice cereal would help too...but nope.

He also said to start giving her more variety in her diet - veggies, fruits, and eventually meats. He said rice cereal is very boring so if she wants something new, give it to her...just allow 4-5 days between introducing new foods. He also said (and this I didn't know, or at least the "rules" have changed since William was young(er)) that she can have eggs, nut products, and shellfish. He said there's no scientific evidence that says babies must avoid those foods due to allergies. So...pureed shellfish here we come! Okay, maybe not...

William was a big boy during the check-up, even prancing on his toes to show the doctor his toe walking. The doctor examined his calves and heel tendons, and everything is fine. No worries in that department.

Yeah for healthy kiddos! (Yes, I'm tired and can't think of a creative way to end this post!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I must admit. I have a problem with my wonderful cloth diapers.

One word. Poop.

If you read my previous post, you'll know that my darling angel is now eating solid food (or at least that's what they call mushy rice cereal!). For those of you who do not know what I'm getting at, I'll be perfectly clear: breastmilk poop is NOT the same as rice cereal poop, or, for that matter, formula poop. (I've been giving Abby 4-5 ounces of formula at night for the last week or so to help her sleep longer at night. It's NOT working, but that's another post.) Breastmilk poop is really cool - it's water soluble so all I needed to do was flip the gross thing in the diaper bag and then when I had a load, dump them into the washer. Easy peasy. But now...oh dear. NOW I have issues to deal with. Sticky, gooey issues. Cloth diapers and sticky poop are not working for me.

My dear husband has admired (from a distance) my gung-ho attitude when it came to cloth diapering our daughter. He, however, is encouraging me to just chuck the whole thing and switch to pampers. I have to admit, the suggestion is starting to look like a good one.

I've heard bidet sprayers work great. I'm not sure I'm ready to get one, because unless the thing has an incredibly hard spray that it blasts the stuck-in-the-fabric poop off, I'm not sure it's going to work. Poop turds? Sure, I can handle those. Those are cool. But until she gets to that point in her pooping life (and even when she does, I'm sure she'll sit down on it, squishing it into the 100% organic cotton I paid so dearly for) I'm not sure what to do. Is there anyone out there who has tried liners? Any brands out there that are worth the money? Do the spatula thing? (You know...scrap it off?) All I can say to that is ew. When she was just breast feeding her poops were very regular - about once every 4-5 days, so I could plan for them. But now? Extremely random. And regular.

And what about my poor washing machine? Will poop get stuck in the thing? I don't even want to imagine that scenario...

So, are there any other options? Right now I've got a reasonably large stash of bio soaker pads that work fabulously. However they are pricey and I'm cheap. (I bought some awhile back during a BOGO sale, thus the large stash.)

I welcome comments.

Friday, January 15, 2010


FINALLY the time has come for Abby to eat rice cereal. The doctor had wanted me to wait until she was 6 months before trying any, and yesterday she was 6 months. Since John has been out of town, I waited until today so he could be there and take pictures of the momentous occasion. I'm not holding my breath about her actually sleeping through the night because of the cereal, but it would be a nice change-up.

Getting ready for the first bite!

She actually LOVED the stuff! She readily ate it with very little being spit back out.

Happy girl! I think she's happy Daddy is back home, too!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grandma's Here!

Grandma bought William tickets to go on the carousel in the mall, which he loved.

We went to Sky City Bounce House, which was tons of fun.

Abby sporting her new bow Grandma made for her. Now I have to figure it out! I've got tons of ribbon but I'm not sure how to make them. Practice, I guess.

The kids had so much fun with Grandma!

Travel Town

Shortly after the first of the year we went with some friends, who have twin boys William's age, to Travel Town. The kids had so much fun looking and riding all the trains!