"Healthy" Cake Smash Recipe

My daughters first birthday just passed on December 10th, I can not believe it has already been a year since I gave birth to this beautiful little human. I knew that I wanted to do some first birthday pictures along with a cake smash but I wanted to give her a healthier version of cake so I decided to start doing some research. Most of the "healthy" cakes that I found had bananas in them, she loves bananas so that's great. I also wanted to replace the butter with applesauce so we ended up making a healthy alternative to cake that turned out pretty great!


Photo Courtesy of   Janell Raymond Photography

Photo Courtesy of Janell Raymond Photography


4 ripe bananas

3/4 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs

1. In a medium bowl mix the mashed bananas, applesauce, eggs and vanilla.



2. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Then add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and blend.


3. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and pour the batter into the pan. Bake on 400 for about 20 minutes.


4. Let your cake cool and then put your frosting on. You can make your own or buy frosting from the store. 


Turning one was a big deal in our house. This was our babies first taste of "cake" and she loved it. We had some great photos taken and had a fun party. If you are looking for a healthy cake to make for your child's birthday we hope this one will work and its easy enough to make. 


Swaddling: What you need to know.

I'm sure as an expecting parent you have heard the word swaddle thrown around but what does it mean? Swaddling has been around for centuries and is a technique that many parents and caregivers use by wrapping a newborn nice and snug in a blanket. This mimics the womb and helps them feel secure like they where while in utero. Swaddling helps promote sleep as the baby has a sense of security and prevents them from startling themselves out of sleep, this paired with a little white noise may help your newborn sleep for longer periods of time. This technique has also been know to help calm the fussy baby. A colicky or fussy baby can bring a lot of tension and frustration on top of being already sleep deprived, this can help everyone get a little more rest.

You do need to be careful while using this technique as there can be some serious issues if not done correctly. Usually, not long after baby is born your nurse will show you how to swaddle your baby but if they don't you can find out how here. It's important to not swaddle the baby too tightly as that can cause circulation issues or can even result in overheating. Hip dysplasia is also something that can happen if a baby is swaddled too tightly, this can cause more issues when the baby get older. Making sure that the baby is comfortable and safe is very important.

One question you might have is how long do you swaddle a baby for or when do I stop swaddling my baby? This answer may be different for everyone as all babies are not the same but typically babies are swaddled until about three months of age. If your baby can roll over or undo the swaddle before that time then it is time to stop swaddling so that your little one is kept safe. 

When it comes to finding the perfect swaddle blanket you will have many to choose from. There are so many different styles, fabrics and designs to pick from. When my little girl was a newborn we had a swaddle sack and it was super easy! The great thing is that you can find swaddle blankets at any major retail store, some of these stores even offer classes for new parents that you can take advantage of.

Swaddling is a great technique to use with your newborn as long as you are doing it correctly and safely. We hope you enjoy your new little bundle.



Mothering a child with Down syndrome.

October is Down syndrome awareness month and many people do not know what down syndrome is. Or if they know what it is they do not know much more than it is a chromosomal abnormality. I wanted to help spread awareness and reached out to a fellow mom friend by the name of Kimberlee, her son Parker has Down syndrome. She has been so kind to answer some questions to give us all a better insight and help spread awareness.

Q.  What is Down syndrome?

A.  Down syndrome - the most common chromosomal abnormality in humans - is a genetic condition (Trisomy 21) resulting in an extra copy of the 21st chromosome.  As a result, a person with Down syndrome has 47 chromosomes in their cells, instead of the usual 46.

Q.  When did you know Parker had Down syndrome?

A.  Parker was diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was 2 months old.  Down syndrome wasn't even on our radar until a week prior, when his pediatrician mentioned it to us and ordered the karyotype.

Q.  What are some signs of Down syndrome?

A.  Typically, newborns with Down syndrome have differences in their faces, neck, head shape, stature, hands, feet, and muscle tone.  Most newborns don't have all the physical features; but in general, the most common features are low muscle tone, upwardly slanting eyes, small stature, flat nose, and small ears.


Q.  How is Down syndrome diagnosed?

A.  There are several prenatal screening tests to determine whether a woman's baby has an increased chance of being affected by Down syndrome or other disorders.  Maternal blood tests and ultrasound are most commonly used.  Screening tests are NOT in and of themselves 100 percent accurate in detecting the presence of Down syndrome.  However, doctors use those results to recommend additional diagnostic prenatal testing in the form of amniocentesis, and chorionic villi sampling (CVS).  Women are free to decline all testing or to choose to have just one or the other of the screening tests. I, personally, declined all genetic screening/testing.  Parker was diagnosed post-birth by having his blood drawn and sent to the lab where they could evaluate the size, shape, and number of chromosomes in his sample of body cells.

Q.  How did you feel when you got the diagnosis?

A.  When the diagnosis was delivered, I was numb.  It was the week before, when they said we should have the karyotype done, that I felt complete shock.  "My baby?  Down syndrome?  There's no way.  That couldn't happen to him/me/us..."  About 6 weeks after the diagnosis was when everything really started to hit me and I became an emotional roller-coaster: grief, anger, despair, helplessness, guilt, confusion, resentment, shame, depression... Primarily, a terrible fear of the future.  I wondered how, or if, I could cope with this sudden, unexpected, overwhelming change to my life.  It took time for me to process and adjust.  Allowing myself to grieve, learning to not feel personally responsible, being open about it with family and friends, and connecting with other families who have babies/children with Down syndrome was key in my "recovery."  Far from the grief and despair I felt after he was diagnosed, I now feel pride and joy.  I came back to see the precious little baby I originally dreamed of, and Down syndrome took on a different prospective.  He has given me a new challenge in life, and a new set of values as well - love better, fight harder, and appreciate people for all they are.  A different dimension was added, partly frightening and partly sad, but also beautiful.  I wouldn't change him for the world

Q.  What challenges might someone with Down syndrome face while growing up?

A.  Just like with any child who has a typical number of chromosomes, that question is a bit difficult to answer as every child with Down syndrome is different.  Often there is a litany of things that could possibly go wrong; but you never know until your child arrives.  The biggest challenges really do seem to be from misunderstandings, negative attitudes, perceptions, and old stereotypes that are out there.  Sure, there are some medical challenges, but those are much more manageable than the social/stereotype situations are.  We prefer to focus on the likenesses to peers rather than the differences.  We prefer to highlight potential and the fact that we all face difficulties - no matter what our chromosomal arrangement is.

Q.  How do you think raising a child with Down syndrome is different from raising a child without?

A.  Parker is my first and only child for now; so no first-hand experience... yet!  But this is what one of my momma friend's has to say about it: "My husband and I have 6 children between us.  Four of them are adults and the youngest two we had together.  Eliyana is 5 and has Down syndrome.  Our youngest is three.  

In most ways, raising a child with Down syndrome has been no different than raising our other children.  A child with Down syndrome has the same basic needs that a child without Down syndrome has.  All of our children are different in personality, likes, dislikes, and demeanor.  As a parent you adjust and adapt to each child as necessary whether they have special needs or not.  That's just what a parent does.  

When you have a child with special needs, you do have to slow down a little.  Milestones come a little slower.  This can be difficult as a parent, but the beautiful thing is, you actually NOTICE them and CELEBRATE them!  

Eliyana does require extra time and attention due to therapies and some extra medical care.

As a parent I sometimes struggle with balancing my time between all of my children as they all have needs, even our adult children.  I want them all to feel that I care about them and that they are loved.

I truly believe that having Eliyana in our lives has made us all a little better.  A little more patient, a little more kind, a little more loving and a lot more aware of the people around us.  We all know how hard she has to work for things that come easy for most of us.  She is our inspiration!"

Q.  What do you hope for Parker?

A.  Rather than changing him, I hope to help change the world around him, that the world may value him, offer opportunities, expand its definition of beauty and success, and celebrate the many things that make us both alike and different.



FREE PRINTABLE||Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is something that some women are diagnosed with during pregnancy that goes away once the baby is born. Usually between the 26th and 28th week of pregnancy your doctor will want you to do a glucose test. Some physicians will allow you to skip the test and do other things as an alternative, this is something you would need to discuss with them.

The glucose test will evaluate the way your body processes sugars, you will be asked to drink a sugary drink and then your blood will be drawn usually an hour later. If you fail that test you may be asked to come back for a 3 hours test, you will then have your blood drawn every hour for three hours. If your sugars are still high this will let your physician know that you have gestational diabetes. 

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes happens to women who have never had diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association it is not known what causes gestational diabetes. They do believe it has to do with the hormones from the placenta blocking the action of the insulin in the mothers body. Without enough insulin glucose cannot leave the blood and be turned into energy, in turn resulting in high levels of glucose.

Depending on the severity of the gestational diabetes you might be able to control it with diet and exercise, if not your physician may put you on medication to help control your sugars, even then you will need to watch what you eat. Your doctor will most likely have you meet with a dietitian who will go over the amount of carbohydrates you should consume daily. To make things easy we have created a printable low carb shopping list for you that you can get here.

There are many resources out there for you to learn more about gestational diabetes. Remember that It's important to control your gestational diabetes, if you do not you could be causing harm to your baby and this is something that your physician will go over with you.

Wishing you a healthy pregnancy,


Source: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/ge...