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Baby Series Special: Baby Slings/Carriers

Post by Haley Roberts

WHAT IS A BABY CARRIER?

A baby carrier can also be referred to as a baby sling and comes in all shapes, styles, and sizes! There are 4 main styles of baby carriers; a front carrier, a sling carrier, a  wrap carrier, and a framed carrier.   

A front carrier is made up of two straps  that support a fabric seat for the baby to rest in. During the infant stage, the baby faces inward. As the baby ages and can hold up their own head, you can face  them outward. This is likely not the carrier for you if you wish your carrier to double as a breastfeeding blanket. I found it was somewhat of a hassle to go from carrying to breastfeeding to carrying.  Top brands include ErgoBaby,  and BabyBjiorn.

A sling carrier is a wide piece of fabric worn from one’s torso to one’s shoulder. They come in a wide range of sizes, some with the ability to adjust for age of the child. It is easy to go from a sleeping baby to a breastfeeding baby without anyone noticing due to the position the baby is in and the excess fabric. This one does pose more risks for injury so make sure you read and follow the instructions on how to properly carry your baby. I also found that the non adjustable slings were a HUGE pain to get the baby in and out of. Make sure you do not buy the wrong size (too small.) As your baby grows in weight, this style  can becomes less desirable as the weight rests on one shoulder and one side of your hips. Top carriers in this style include Rockin’ Baby and  Hot Slings.

For other baby carrier safety information CLICK HERE.

A wrap carrier is the one carrier I did not own with my child, but I wish I had! It was a little overwhelming to me as it seemed so confusing and time consuming to do. They are versatile and can be wrapped so many ways, I just threw up my hands and said not for me! I have many, many friends who swear by them and I look forward to facing my aversion and trying it for baby number 2. A wrap carrier is a piece of fabric worn around the body and typically over the shoulders.This type is also great for breastfeeding moms on the go. The top carriers in this style include Moby Wraps and Boba Wraps.

Finally, framed carrier is one that is intended for high activity or outdoor sports such as hiking. We LOVE our Deuter! It creates so much support both for our toddler and our backs (Mom and Dad). Almost all that I have come in contact with are intended for children who can hold  up their own heads. Any age earlier than that, one of the other carriers will do just fine.

WHY BABY CARRIERS?

Women are so resourceful! Since the beginning of time we have found ways to carry and cuddle our bundles of joy, while freeing our hands for other work at hand. Not only are baby carriers a great way to multi-task, but they also have many other added benefits! Did you know that certain studies have shown that carrying your baby in a carrier is linked to lowering the incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), behavioral disorders and postpartum depression in mothers (Babywearing, 2010)? They have also found that Babies carried regularly cried 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours; or what I like to call the “witching hour.” Those are just a few of the great benefits of baby carriers. To find out more information about why a baby carrier can change your life CLICK HERE.  Also a special Thank you to www.mobywrap.com for the information listed in this section and to Babycenter.com for research regarding baby carriers.

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Thanksgiving: A Time For Families

Post by Haley Roberts

This time of year is a wonderful time to reflect on those things or people we cherish most. A few years ago, we had a family portrait taken that is a gentle reminder of what matters most to me; particularly during Thanksgiving. I love waking up every morning and seeing the smiling faces of those I love looking back at me.  And due to the quality of the  professional photographer, everyone looks great! I highly recommend you treat yourself to a Family Portrait this Holiday season. Surround yourself with images of those people that make you feel the most at home and at peace. It is great for the soul!

We are very blessed to live in a country where we have a national Holiday all about being thankful! There are so many things to be thankful for. Here are my top picks.

1.Family

2.Job

3.Electricity/hot showers

4.Water

5.Music

6. Health

7.Living in America/Freedom

8. Laughter

9. Food

10. Shoes

As family is my top pick,  I want to share with you one of my favorite family Thanksgiving stories. When I was about 13, we would drive about 2 1/2 hours to Scottsville, Virginia which is a VERY small country town that my grandparents lived in. The whole family would gather together to celebrate and we had everything from Turkey and mashed potatoes to chocolate cream pie! This may sound funny, but every year my grandmother would make homemade baked beans. It was simply part of the tradition. This was my mother’s FAVORITE. We all sat down at the table, said grace, and of course my mother dug into the baked beans. As she was chewing away my uncle declares “What’s wrong with the baked beans?!” We all look over and there was a giant bubble in the center of the beans. There was also a bubble rising to the ceiling. “Is that normal?” my cousin asked.  My mom says ” They’re fine, they taste good.”  My Uncle is certain something is wrong and tastes them. After spitting them on his plate he goes “No something is definitely wrong.” My grandmother quietly gets up and goes over to the kitchen sink. She opens the cabinet below where she keeps the vegetable oil. The seal has not yet been broken on the oil. Then she looks to the right of the oil and sure enough there is the golden colored dish soap. “I think I may have put the dish soap in, instead of the oil.” She says. We all bust out laughing except for my mother who looks like she may be sick. In my poor mother’s defense, she lost her sense of smell at a young age so it also effects her sense of taste. I am happy to report that my mother is just fine and did not have any adverse side effects. In fact she probably received a pretty clean system after that Thanksgiving. Needless to say no one else ate the baked beans that night and every year after we made my mother try them first. To this day we still laugh and tease about Grandma’s Famous Dawn Baked Beans. It is those small moments during the holidays that create memories we love and cherish! I hope this season you will make wonderful memories with your family, but I  do not recommend keeping the vegetable oil next to the dish soap!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Fall Family Portraits: Richmond VA Family Portrait Photographer

Post by Stephanie Adams

This has been an absolutely beautiful fall.  I have loved creating family portraits this season.

We photographed the Pearson’s at their new home they built last year.  I really enjoyed photographing them and the boys kept me laughing with all of their jokes and personality.  This is one wonderful family full of love and kindness, and spunk.

And these two are adorable.

I just loved my time photographing the Stottlemyer family.  We have talked about photographing their family for some time now and their oldest son was just about to lose his first tooth.  So we were finally able to schedule their session.  And just in time.  The following morning, not even 24 hours after our session, the first tooth was a casualty of brotherly wrestling.  I really love these images and the love they show between mom and dad and brothers.  They are typical boys and we had a great time horsing around and had lots of laughs.

The Thurston’s wanted to create portraits of their daughter who just turned one.  She is such a sweet girl.  I loved the purple sweaters.  And there is so much love in this family.

I photographed the Young family a few years ago.  Last time we had a crazy session that ended in a downpour.  But we still managed to create some great images.  I was delighted to photograph them again this year.  So much can happen in a couple of years.  The older two kids are off to college and one is married.  They wanted to photograph at the river this year and I was so excited at the thought of the fun images we could create.  It was a beautiful day and I had a fabulous time with them and love the images we created.

We have had a fantastic fall season this year.  We have a full schedule ahead as we approach the holidays and am loving all of the fun we are having.

To view more of our work visit our website stephaniesportraitdesign.com

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Pumpkin Is What’s On The Menu

Post by Haley Roberts

 There is nothing that says Fall like pumpkins! As we begin this Thanksgiving season, I want to share with you how grateful I am for pumpkins! Not only are they great home decorations but they are Oh SO TASTY! Breakfast is an event at our house on the weekends and I am always looking for new ways to incorporate pumpkin flavor this time of year. This weekend I tried two new recipes I want to share with you and your family.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

This recipe comes from Food.com.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch clove
1 cup 1% low-fat milk (can be any kind)
6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

Directions:

1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
2.In a separate bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and egg.
3.Fold mixture into dry ingredients.
4.Spray or grease a skillet and heat over medium heat: pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
5.Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side. Serve with butter and syrup.
6.Makes about six 6-inch pancakes.

OUR REVIEW OF PUMPKIN PANCAKES

The pumpkin pancakes I made are pictured above. I would give this recipe a 3.5-4 out of 5. It honestly needs more sugar. I look forward to trying it again with an additional teaspoon or so of sugar. Keep in mind however, I have a sweet tooth.  Rather than maple syrup and butter, I topped mine with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and blackberries. YUM! For fun, I also used a cookie cutter shaped like a pumpkin to form my pancakes.

PUMPKIN CREPES

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cake flour

Directions:

1.Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Whisk all of the ingredients together except the flour.

2.Sift the flour into the wet ingredients, then gently whisk to combine. If the batter seems to thick, add a tablespoon of milk. The crepe batter should be thinner than a pancake mix.

3.Swirl the hot pan while pouring about a 1/4 cup of batter into the center. The crepe should be very thin and distributed over the flat portion of the bottom of the pan. Cook the first side for 1 minute, or until bubbles form throughout the crepe. gently flip the crepe over and cook for another 30 seconds until the center is set.

4.Keep the crepes under a clean kitchen towel so they don’t dry out.

OUR REVIEW OF PUMPKIN CREPES

This was SO SO yummy. It tasted like pumpkin pie. I definitely give it a 5 out of 5. I made whipping cream to go on top as well. (Once you have homemade whipping cream you can never go back to store bought.) Finally, I also added a hand full of blackberries. My only complaint would be that they cook differently than standard crepes so it requires some patience and adjustments. (These crepes are MUCH more fragile than a standard crepe when flipping.) I also did not use “cake” flour and it turned out great. Also please note: I did not create this recipe, but I cannot recall where I got it from.

I hope you are having a safe and happy November thus far!