3 Months, 3 Years and 3 More Weeks to Go! (our battle with Pertussis)

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I am so grateful to be blogging right now…a few months ago, I couldn’t even see myself even breaking free for a few minutes for some “me” time. The last three months were filled with a whirlwind of challenges, joys and testing of my faith including giving birth to our new baby boy, celebrating K’s third birthday and helping our littlest battle Pertussis (a.k.a. whooping cough).

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Photo by Nadine Bosurgi

A little over three months ago our family of three welcomed our newest little one, Baby I, into the world. By God’s grace, I was able to go into natural labor and have a quick delivery (almost as quick as K’s) at one of the finest hospitals here in Santa Monica. From the very start, our healthy, beautiful baby boy nursed well, took long naps and was an “angel baby” as they call it. The day he was born, big sister K welcomed her baby brother with hugs, kisses and lots of love. Nine months of anticipation and excitement for a baby brother was well worth it! After a full day of visitors and then an almost sleepless night, we decided it was best to go back home. To our surprise, Baby I adjusted really well, K embraced him and I was getting 6-8 total hours of sleep each night (more than I was getting when pregnant!).

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Photo by Nadine Bosurgi

The first month and a half was like a baby-moon with baby and all! Everything was going so smoothly (I’d even say perfectly) until one night in August, I woke up to hearing Baby I having a series of dry coughs and then gasping for air. It definitely wasn’t sounding good so that morning, I did some research on the internet and came across Pertussis. Of course Google highlighted the extreme cases of infants with pertussis like longterm hospitalization and stories of deaths that occur because of this horrible disease. Well it was enough to get me to call our pediatrician and bring him in for testing.

After sharing about his coughing episode that last night and having his lungs and breathing observed, the pediatrician tried to convince me that we didn’t need to have him tested and that he just had a common cold. I was not convinced and needed to be 100% sure so I pressed on to get him tested. Reluctantly, she ordered for him to get a culture done.

During that long week of waiting for the results (hoping the pediatrician was right!), I did further research on Pertussis and came to learn that the onset of this “100-day cough” came with little to no symptoms (especially in infants) for the first few weeks. Those affected may have cold-like symptoms which then subside and then develop a cough that progresses into coughing episodes that produce a “whoop” at the end when gasping for air. Infants and toddlers may turn blue during these episodes and many have to be hospitalized to ensure they are getting enough oxygen and to have their lungs and organs monitored. Infants may not ever have this cough but symptoms may silently appear in the form of sleep apnea (stopped breathing) especially during nighttime sleep. This really scared me!

One week later, I received the dreaded phone call that Baby I was tested positive for Pertussis. My heart dropped as I tried to digest the news…how could this be?! After getting over that question (which took about 5 seconds)…the bigger question was, what was I supposed to do??? Desperately asking for help and advice on how to care for Baby I, the pediatrician said that our family needed to get on antibiotics immediately to make sure it wouldn’t spread to others and that all I could do was observe him and let it run its course. She assured me that everything would be fine (that sounded familiar) but in the case he began struggling to breathe, to call their office or go into the ER. And then she reminded me for the third time that we all needed to get on antibiotics. WHAT?!?! That was the advice coming from a professional within the pediatric medical field? Uh…going to the ER if he struggled to breathe sounded like common sense to me. So I pressed on with more questions regarding specific things to look for and do and I was left with a very annoyed pediatrician (who once again reminded me that we needed to get on meds ASAP so that we don’t spread it, which obviously was the most important thing to her).

Devastated and after doing a few more hours of research while trying to carefully observe every single breath Baby I took, I decided to call our pediatric office again, hoping to speak to someone who could really help me and at least act like they cared. I was transferred to one of the other doctors and she left me with a few words of compassion and specifics on various scenarios that might come up: If Baby I has a shortness or is catching his breath, it is fine as long as he does not turn blue. If Baby I were to turn blue, call the office and/or 9-1-1. If he stops breathing for 10 seconds or more (making sure to count “one-one thousand, two-one thousand, etc.), call 9-1-1. I got off the phone feeling a little better for a minute and then started thinking…Wait, I am supposed to just sit and watch my one and a half month old infant for the next 100 days who is in the highest percentile of having to be hospitalized and has a chance of not making it and HOPE he continues to breathe and HOPE he doesn’t cough and then spit up globs of mucus and HOPE he doesn’t choke on it and stop breathing?!?! 

So back on the internet I went…for about two full weeks (which felt like a few months) all the while carefully observing Baby I, praying with all of my strength that God would bring me peace about what to do and also realizing K’s third birthday was only a few days away!!!

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K had been planning her birthday for months…Disneyland on her big day and a party the next. Mama, can we have a special cupcake party where the kids can decorate them with frosting and toppings? We can have a toppings bar! And then when it’s time to sing and eat, I can say, “Ready, set, go!” She had it planned out perfectly and she reminded me about it every morning and night. The invitations were already out, the cupcakes were set to go (thanks to my incredible friend, Mama Darlene) and there was no way K wasn’t going to have her party go on. Pertussis couldn’t get in the way!

So later that week in the midst of my almost sleepless nights (I slept very lightly and nursed frequently, making sure Baby I was breathing and ready to pick him up if he had a coughing spell) we celebrated K’s big day at Disneyland and the next morning at her favorite park with friends, cupcakes and the works. Thankfully K had the time of her life and couldn’t stop exclaiming, “Yipee! I’m three!” After all of the fun, it was back to caring for Baby I and figuring out what to do…

Several moms on a few blogs wrote about their heart wrenching experiences either losing their babies or watching them in the hospital with tubes and machines hooked up to their helpless newborns and ended their stories with wishing they were to have known about the Vitamin C treatment.

I then started to researching this and all sites and experiences led me to Dr. Suzanne Humphries and her article about the Vitamin C treatment. After reading the entire article several times and multiple testimonials about Dr. Humphries, I decided to send her an e-mail, asking her if I could schedule a consultation for Baby I. Within a few hours, I had heard back from her, filled out some paperwork and scheduled a Skype consultation for the following day.

Speaking with Dr. Suzanne was an answer to prayer. Dr. Suzanne walked me through the process of Pertussis and shared specific things that I could to do help build up Baby I’s immune system (it was especially down because of the antibiotics) and help my family and me get through what felt like an eternity. Based on Baby I’s weight and the severity of his cough, she recommended a specific dosage Vitamin C in sodium ascorbate (given with a syringe and a few ml of breastmilk) and lyposomal (swabbed inside his cheek) form. She suggested I continue giving the family probiotics through the powdered form I was already feeding the little ones (I gave it to Baby I by having him suck on some on my finger), having everyone drink plenty of kefir, eating lots of yogurt and enjoying traditionally prepared sauerkraut and other fermented veggies through the day. All of us were also taking high doses of Vitamin C as our immune systems were rundown and there was a possibility we might have contracted Pertussis as well. Most importantly, Dr. Suzanne reminded me that since I am a woman of faith, to continue to trust God that He is in full control.

After shutting down my computer, I felt God’s peace overwhelm me and I just knew all would be fine. My faith was put to the test and I wanted to put things in my hands, having control of our baby’s health. At that moment, I realized that He was carrying all of us this entire time, even when I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders.

Within a day of administering the Vitamin C, I noticed all the difference in Baby I. He wasn’t really coughing anymore and when he did, it would be a cough here or there but nothing more than that. He continued to nurse well, grow A LOT (he was 16 pounds at 3 1/2 months) and sleep really long stretches at night (7 1/2 hours as his longest stretch). Smiling, laughing, cooing, sucking on his thumb, rolling over onto his back and now army crawling around the house, I’d say Baby I is not only battling this disease but thriving through it and we only officially have three more weeks to go!!!

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I’m just hoping and praying our story would encourage others with little ones who are fighting Pertussis.

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Birth Days

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A lot has been going since K’s second birthday…our lives have been filled with starting a toddler group co op which I’ve been running since September, the exciting holidays spent with family and friends, welcoming K’s first baby cousin into the world, and now nesting for our second little one this July!

If I can sum up the last six months or so in a few words, I’d say…”Birth Days.”

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Toddler Group – Since last year at this time, a few mom friends of mine and I started talking about preschools. While it’s more than a fortune to send a little one to school or daycare out here in Santa Monica, our hope was to give our littles a preschool experience but with parent involvement and without the high cost. I did some research about how I could start a preschool once K turned two and just knew with the little time we had, it would be nearly impossible to find a space, get licensed, enroll and then open. But then I came across the idea of starting a cooperative (co-op) and learned that parents could get involved and share their time, resources and any costs into running the school.  I fell in love with the idea and after sharing this vision with others, a group of 8 moms who have littles around K’s age decided to join in and we birthed the toddler group co op the week after K turned two. It’s been the biggest blessing for our family. We’ve been able to watch K grow in so many ways along with her close group of friends, I’ve learned so much from the other moms and have been able to rely on their support, and I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love most (or second best to being a mom & wife)…teach and work with little ones!

Holidays – From Thanksgiving and Christmas to Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day, our holidays were full of fun and laughter, yet were a little bittersweet knowing that it would be our last holidays with K as our only child. We enjoyed some of our family traditions and birthed some new ones too!

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Making Thanksgiving Turkey Hats

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Making Almond Flour Christmas Cookies

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 Gingerbread House Decorating

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Enjoying a New Year’s Shabu Shabu Lunch With Family

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Making & Breaking a Valentine’s Day Piñata With Friends

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Making & Drinking Shamrock Shakes (tomorrow for St. Patty’s)

Baby Cousin’s Birthday – About a month ago, K’s first baby cousin was born into the world. “Donald Duck is born,” she told us (K referred to him as Donald for the past 6 months…and yes, that was around the time of her first Disney trip where she met the real Donald Duck). K anticipated Baby coming out for months and FINALLY he arrived. She was in awe of her cousin and could not help but giggle with joy every time she touched his head or his teeny tiny hands. And ever since then, she has told us that she has a special Baby Daisy Duck in her belly that will come out one day.

Anticipating One More Birth – Last September we found out we were expecting our second baby and Scott and I were beyond thrilled! Well, October and November rolled around and unlike my first pregnancy with K, I experienced what most moms go through…morning sickness. Ugh! I guess I had it really good the first time around because this morning sickness thing was no joke. From the moment I woke til the second I fell asleep at night, all I felt was nausea and everything I ate made me sick. Moving made me dizzy and the heat didn’t do me any good either. Thankfully it only lasted a few months and gratefully that was the worst of it. K definitely kept me positive and helped me get through it as she sang songs to Baby everyday, rubbed my rapidly growing belly and talked to Baby.

Last month we found out baby’s gender and K had the chance to watch Baby move during the ultrasound as she sang the “ABC’s” with her lips up to my belly. Excited to find out if she were going to have a sister or brother, she waited patiently, watching the screen. “You’re having a boy!” the doctor told us. K smiled and told us, “I’m having a brother!” The joy on her face emulated the room and all Scott and I could do was take it all in.

We couldn’t wait to share with our family so I decided I would whip something up in the kitchen to share the news. I tried a new recipe (Chocolate Pots De Creme by LA Fuji Mama) and they were a hit! I hid blueberries under the fresh whipped cream and then had the family top theirs with either a raspberry or blueberry with their guess. And to their surprise (apparently K tricked them and said she was having a sister a few hours before), they found blueberries in their dessert confirming she would be having a brother!

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I’m excited to be back blogging again…well, at least for the next few months until Baby Boy arrives. Hope to share some of our favorite co op art projects and activities, what’s been going on in our kitchen, all the new seedlings we’ve planted in the garden and some of our new go-to places here in Santa Monica!

Seedlings & Eggshells

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IMG_1873We go through two to three dozen eggs a week making breakfast scrambles, omelets, pancakes, and occasional baked goods like muffins, cakes and cookies. Once in a while, I’m able to crack the egg just right so that only the top has an opening. Inspired by those “grow your garden kits” that I’ve seen, I’ve always wanted to start my own eggshell seed starter project! Now that it’s spring and I’ve collected about a dozen nicely cracked shells, I thought K and I could spend some gardening time in the craft room!

About a month ago, Mama Christine invited a few families over for a gardening day at her place. It was a beautiful warm, sunny day filled with food, water play and some messy gardening fun! Baby K enjoyed her first gardening experience learning how to place rocks in the bottom of the pots to allow the water to drain…

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filling a pot with soil, covering the roots with soil once the seedling was in and watering it…

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She also helped replant some lavender and couldn’t get enough of the flowers’ and leaves’ sweet scent.

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From the way she now checks on her bean plant and waters it every day, I can say that she has a teeny tiny green thumb! This experience (and watching an avocado seed root and become a little 1′ tree in our window sill over the past few months) was a perfect way to “front load” this eggshell project!

Seedling & Eggshell Project in a Nutshell Eggshell

Materials: cracked open & washed eggshells, organic soil, spoon, water, eye dropper, germinated organic seeds (organic seeds placed in a wet paper towel then put into a plastic bag, left for a few weeks until roots begin to grow), windowsill

After letting K explore all of the project materials (and watching K experience how much power her little hand has when squeezing and then cracking an eggshell), she began by filling the shells with organic soil (3/4 full) and then picking out the seedlings that have rooted…

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K placed a seed in the middle of each eggshell and then covered it with more soil…

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She squeezed a few eye droppers full of water into each eggshell and then placed them into the carton…

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I placed them by the windowsill in our kitchen and K watered (a few drops daily to keep the soil moist), watched and waited (VERY patiently) every day…

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7 days later…

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And tonight!

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(Pink Lady Apple, Meyer Lemon, Kumquat)

K has been LOVING this project and even had the chance to share a few of her seedlings with her friends so that they could enjoy caring for a seedling and watching it grow! Over the next few weeks, we will be germinating an array of seeds to help a friend add to her beautiful vegetable, fruit and herb garden. Our seeds include organic Mesclun lettuce, Radicchio, Bush Bean, Bitter Melon and a variety of Japanese vegetables including Shishito Red Peppers, Mizuna, Shiso and Japanese Cucumber. We are very excited to get started and watch this garden grow!!!

What will you be planting in your eggshells? 

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

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Today we celebrate the life and works of American writer, poet and cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel (known as Dr. Seuss), on his birthday! Famous for his children’s literature books like “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Dr. Seuss’ published books, filled with poetic rhyme, humor, vibrant illustrations and an incredible imagination, have impacted children all of the world, including baby K and me!

As for myself, I still remember reading “Hop on Pop” and “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” with my parents before going to bed. Before I could phonetically read words, I enjoyed finishing each line as I tried to figure out which word fit best in terms of context and rhyme. And once I started to read and sound out words, Dr. Seuss set me up for great success by providing simple words in books like “Go, Dog. Go!” (which happens to be K’s favorite one).

Baby K loves that book and I just love hearing her begin to recognize the different words on the pages. She loves to imitate me pointing to the words (a habit I picked up when I taught Kindergarten) and say them out loud. “Doe, Daw. Doe!” she would say beaming. Over the weekend, her collection of Dr. Seuss books grew as we celebrated his birthday at a few local events.

Saturday morning brought us to Santa Monica’s main library (located on 601 Santa Monica Blvd, 90401) where they held arts and crafts, a Dr. Seuss balloon show, a photo opportunity with the “Cat in the Hat” and a nice time to meet other families.

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When we arrived in the Kid’s Library, we were greeted by several volunteers who gave K a Dr. Seuss book and bookmark. Being one of K’s favorite things (books), she was thrilled! What a special treat! We were then ushered into the arts and crafts room.

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As you know, K loves any activity that involves coloring and creating. So walking into a room where crayons, scissors and glue were present, K was in heaven! And to top it off, she was going to be making a Thing 1 or Thing 2 paper bag puppet! She spent the first few minutes discovering what colors were in the container and then coloring with what I think is her new favorite color, “puh-puh,” (purple)…her first favorite I think was orange (she always preferred orange cups, spoons, marker pens or really anything when given the choice).

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Working together we ended up coloring Thing 1’s hair blue, as shown on her new bookmark.

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K really liked the idea of blue hair and ended up trying to color her own hair blue!

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After about twenty minutes of coloring, K was about ready for a snack (and nap time) and thankfully some helpful, amazing volunteers from UCLA’s Circle K (a leadership development, community service & friendship organization) helped put together K’s puppet! Thank you Circle K!!!

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While we headed out to go to the balloon show (which we ended up skipping for nap time), K had the opportunity to meet the Cat in the Hat! And what a sweet lady she was. She kindly greeted K and even gave her a hug!

After nap and lunch time, we headed over for more celebrating at Lakeshore Learning Store (located at 8888 Venice Blvd., L.A. 90034) where they held hourly story time, games and crafts.

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When K saw what was on the tables, she couldn’t stop pointing, pulling me over and telling me all that she saw: “baw, sdee, tay, doo.” (translation: pom pom balls, sticks, tape and glue). She was so excited to create a clothespin airplane!

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Thank you Patti who helped organize this fun art experience for K!

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Up next was creating a hot air balloon! While K enjoyed coloring with felt tip markers and peeling/sticking little foam shapes and tape on her project, she was all about creating magenta dots with Lakeshore’s dot paint pen!

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Thank you Fatima for organizing this great art experience and helping us put our hot air balloon together!

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We had such a fantastic time celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday with making crafts at Lakeshore! We continued celebrating by reading her new “In a People House” book through the weekend and enjoyed a few other favorites. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS and thank you for sharing your talents and passions with the world!

What are your and your little ones’ favorite Dr. Seuss books?

Samo’s Clubhouse (Santa Monica Place Mall)

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On rainy days like today, baby K needs a large (indoor) place to run, climb, slide and play. The absolute best local place for us to go is Samo’s Clubhouse (sponsored by Matell Children’s Hospital UCLA) at the Santa Monica Place Mall. Located on the 3rd floor right in the middle of the food court, is a beautifully designed “Samo the Whale” play structure on a rubber-turfed ocean floor full of obstacles to climb, crawl through, balance on and play. I love how the structure is made of natural and recycled materials and promote environmental care for our oceans. While this indoor play area is open everyday during mall hours, on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm, they host a Kid’s Club filled with stories, songs and even puppets! Click here for details on registration/check-in and more information!

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The first objects that caught baby K’s eye on her first visit to Samo’s Clubhouse were the hanging sea creatures and mobiles from up above. She marveled at the jellyfish (made of recycled plastic bottles) that twinkled in the sun-lit glare, pointed at the giant blue bubbles and and couldn’t stop staring at the clouds and lights that shone from above. What a neat visual experience for any little (or grown) one!

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When K was just crawling, she was drawn to the area to the left of the whale. She enjoyed the soft, cushy matted stairs and slide. She enjoyed feeling the different textures, looking at the reflections and spinning the variety of round objects on the walls. Once she was able to verbally communicate, she enjoyed pointing out the colorful sea creatures and sea life on the walls and telling us what she saw. Now that she is standing/walking/running, she loves to take the challenge of climbing up onto the turtle shells and balancing, standing up on her own (which she did for the first time today)!

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K loves the sensory textures including the soft matted stairs and slide, the thick twisted rope and the bumpy patterns on the walls.

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She enjoys turning all of the knobs and switching the switches on and off (this area is a big hit with the infants/toddlers). K is fascinated with the map and loves to point out where we live, follow the arrows with her finger and locate the Hawaiian islands where her Auntie and Uncle lives. She uses her whole body to steer us to our destination and then moves along to her favorite slide.

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Just behind the slide is a hidden tunnel that leads up to a climbing adventure where little ones really use their large-motor skills and upper body strength!

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Now that K is walking, she faces her fears and takes the challenge of walking on one of two balancing beams. Barefoot, she grips the wooden beam or twisted rope with her toes and carefully maneuvers her hands and body across to the other side. She beams with pride as she makes it to the end on her own! “You did it! You worked so hard balancing and walking across,” we would tell her.

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Each and every nook and cranny of this play area adds to the ocean adventure baby K and other little ones enjoy every day. Some of K’s most recent favorite things to do here is shout in the speakers, look through the telescope, steer the wheel, turn the knobs and stand up on the turtle shells.  

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (would be 5 if they had a gate to keep the little ones from running into the food court!)

Pros: An beautifully designed indoor toddler play area for children ages crawlers – 8, has a variety of areas to play that promote standing (for crawlers) and large-motor play, the ground is made of soft-rubbery turf and the toddler area is cushioned with soft mats, oftentimes has a security person nearby to remind parents that children may not climb on top of/jump off from out-of-reach areas, has stroller parking and small open cubby holes for bags, liquid hand-sanitzer is available near the entrance.

Tips: Restrooms with a changing table are located within the food court, a secure nursing station and a few family restrooms (which have small potties) are located on the same floor outside the food court within short walking distance, mall parking is free for the first 90 minutes as long as your ticket is stamped before your time runs out, to avoid elevators/escalators park on the 5th floor which takes you right onto the Dining Deck (3rd floor of the mall).

Baby K Loves Ice (plus a special giveaway from Rita’s of Santa Monica)

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Yes, ice…and she can’t get enough of it! Ever since we introduced ice to her she is constantly asking me for ice to chew on and melt in her mouth. “Iye, iye, iye” she would say as she tries pulling the freezer door open. But there’s something icy that she loves even more than ice (which is hard to believe once you see her beg for her life for ice)…her little stuffed friend, Ice Guy!
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K loves to play with her stuffed toys (or “friends” as we call them)! We often find her giving them a hug, brushing their teeth with her toothbrush and as of the last few days, serving them “food” at her table (pictured above). Of all her stuffed friends, Rita’s of Santa Monica‘s mascot, Ice Guy, is the only one that puts a guaranteed big smile on K’s face.
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Last fall, we heard that Rita’s would be opening up in our city and we were so excited, especially because the nearest Italian ice & frozen custard shop we’ve visited was all the way in Orange County! As their grand opening approached, not only did we sign them up as Community Perks parters (I love how owners Young and Hannah Ko are huge supporters of our city), but we heard about and couldn’t miss their grand opening day!
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We woke up early that morning to stand in line for a chance to win Italian Ice for an entire year. As we waited, K sat in her new Minnie Mouse car, we enjoyed a few samples (more like teasers because they were so good), and one of Rita’s workers came out to give the crowd a pop-quiz about Rita’s. When someone answered correctly, that person would receive a bag with a Rita’s treat inside. K would listen and watch intently as the man shouted out questions to the crowd and handed gift bags to winners. K began to point at the bags, so I thought I better start answering the questions as there were only a few bags left. I started shouting out guesses and the man, probably feeling bad for me and my long-shot guesses, said that my answer was the closest to correct and handed K a bag. K glowed as she received it and we made sure she signed “thank you” upon receiving it. She opened it up and it was like love at first sight. Inside was her new best stuffed friend…ICE GUY!!! She looked at him, he smiled at her and then my husband had Ice Guy do a dance, flipping his feet from side to side. K laughed and smiled and held on tight to her new icy friend.
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And ever since then, when we go out for a refreshing Italian ice or frozen custard treat at Rita’s, K is all smiles and loves to find all her Ice Guy friends around the store. And my husband and I love checking out their ice, cream and custard flavors for the day (they have a TON of flavors and combinations – check out their daily flavors/menu here) and enjoy visiting Young, Hannah and their team! While I can go on and on about this fun and family-friendly Italian Ice shop, Young’s sister, Sommy Rhee, wrote a great post featured on Red Tricycle and her blog, sharing about everything from Young’s entrepreneurial background to all the delicious treats that Rita’s of SM has to offer!
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If you haven’t yet visited Rita’s of Santa Monica (located at 2307 Main St., Santa Monica 90405), it’s time you do!!! And tomorrow (Valentine’s Day) would be a better than perfect day to go. Here’s why: they are actually going to be giving away BOGO coupons to every customer to use on their next visit. The coupon will work toward any of their regular treats, including Gelatis, Sundaes, Milkshakes, Blendinis, and Mistos. And in case you already have Valentine’s Day plans, they are offering FREE regular cups of Italian Ice to every customer on the first day of Spring, which is Thursday, March 20.
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And to encourage you to drop by their Italian ice & custard shop (that also serves hot pretzels, perfect for a cold day), Young and Hannah are giving away 10 Free Ice Coupons (which can be used toward Gelatis) and your very own ICE GUY toy!!!!
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Enter the GIVEAWAY!!!
If you were to be selected, what would your first Gelati (ice + custard) combination be?
Oh! And in case you are wondering, we did win a year of ice at Rita’s grand opening, giving us even more of an excuse to visit THE BEST ICE & CUSTARD SHOP IN SANTA MONICA!!!!
Rita’s photo credits: Alice Cho Photography

Foodie Babies Browse Farmers Markets

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Foodie babies browse farmers markets. (pg. 5)

Foodie Babies Wear Bibs” by Michelle Sinclair Colman, Illustrations by Nathalie Dion

Browsing farmers markets is one of K’s favorite things to do. She is fascinated by the rainbow of produce and their different textures, sizes and weights. She loves to challenge herself by attempting to pick up the heavy pumpkins and squash. She enjoys feeling the soft flower petals and smelling the sweet roses. K always stops in wonder to observe the live musician (there’s usually one or a few at the markets we visit), while listening to the melodic tunes and carefully studying his/her fingers whimsically dancing upon the strings or keys. Most of all, K loves to sample each of the fruits and veggies she feasts her eyes upon while sweetly begging the farmers to let her sample just one more berry or slice of pear.

Since K loves the farmers market experience so much and the fact that we love to buy fresh local produce, we visit local farmers markets all the time. Oftentimes we will find ourselves at a farmers market two to four times a week whether local or a ten to twenty minute drive away. Today I’ll share a highlight or two of some of our favorite markets and eventually I will feature each of them in detail. Hope you enjoy!

Best organic selection, samples & pony rides (Giddy Up Ponies)
Brentwood Farmers Market (Sunday 9am – 2:30pm)
741 Gretna Green Way, Brentwood, California 90049

IMG_8529 IMG_9062 b3cbf305233c8a2a4f4e44c14f4904c6            Many certified organic vendors  Samples galore       Pony rides around town

Best water play area & Choo Choo Train
Manhattan Beach Farmers Market (Tues 11am – 4pm)
13th Street & Morningside Drive

metlox1 IMG_8270 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       Huge water fountain play area      K getting her feet wet    All aboard the kiddie choo choo!

Best raw milk
Arizona Ave & 2nd St Farmers Market (Wednesday & Saturday 8:30am – 1:30pm)

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     They will let you sample raw milk, butter, kefir and more!

Best petting zoo – Main Street Farmers Market (Sunday 9:30am – 1pm)
2640 Main St Santa Monica, CA 90405
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       Little ones can feed and brush the animals too!

Best musician (Phillip King Harpist) – Virginia Park Farmers Market (Saturday 8am – 1pm)
2200 Virginia Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404

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         Baby K and other children in awe of Phillip King and his beautiful harp!

Does your foodie baby browse farmers markets? If so, which ones?

Til’ next time…