Friday, November 21, 2014

The truth about labor & delivery part 1


labor and delivery



When I was pregnant, I really wanted to be as prepared as possible for giving birth. I spent hours & hours researching but was never satisfied with the information on the web. I felt like there was hardly anything at all that explained what labor & delivery actually felt like! So that is what I am hoping to explain to you today. Here is my experience with labor & delivery:


Sometimes due dates are really accurate.


My due date was July 6th. David is my first & everyone told me to expect him to arrive late. My little boy was right on time. I literally started feeling contractions the minute the clock struck 12 on July 6th! 

My husband & I were nervous and also extremely excited to meet this little man--maybe even a little too excited because we rushed to the hospital right away.


Contractions aren't always consistent.


Everything I read online told me to wait until my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart so I used a contraction timer app to keep track of them. 

My contractions were actually very sporadic. Sometimes they were 15 minutes apart & other times they were 3. So to be on the safe side, we went to the hospital a few hours later. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was (2 cm) & monitored my contractions for about an hour & then sent us home saying we were only in the early stages of labor (which can last up to 24 hours) and told us to return after my water broke. 


Contractions don't hurt a ton in the beginning.


For those of you wondering. These contractions didn't hurt. They were noticeable, just kind of like my stomach hurt a little.  Some describe it as the way menstrual cramps feel. I'm one of the lucky few who have never really experienced cramps so, as gross as it sounds, for me I would probably describe it as that sick-to-your-stomach feeling you get when you really need to go to the bathroom, but then it goes away after about a minute & you're fine lol.

pregnant woman having contractions
(a "selfie" I took during "early labor" while I was having contractions lol, also it's hard to tell but I'm wearing tan shorts lol)


Your water doesn't always break.


The next afternoon (still July 6th) my water still had not broken but the contractions got stronger. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but these hurt so bad, I wanted to cry! 

My husband said we should wait until my water broke like the nurse had said because it would suck to get turned away again, so we waited. After about an hour I told my husband I didn't want to wait anymore & we left (around 7pm on the 6th). 

When we arrived at the hospital they almost turned us away AGAIN because I wasn't technically in "active labor" (which is 4 cm dilated, I was still only 2cm) & my water had not broken, but thank goodness we had an amazing nurse who could see I was in pain & let us stay!


The epidural isn't scary and doesn't hurt.


I was given an epidural at around 11pm which allowed me to sleep. When I was pregnant, I heard horror stories of how huge the needle was for the epidural & that you could get paralyzed, etc, etc, But let me tell you, it is not scary at all! First of all, they use a tiny needle to numb the area & then they give you the epidural so you really don't feel it at all. 


With the epidural, labor is a breeze.


The pain went away and I fell right asleep once I got the epidural. Granted, I was woken up every couple hours to get "checked on," but still.


A catheter is involved.


If you get an epidural, then they need to insert a catheter. The nurse said it is because you are numb, so you wouldn't feel the urge to go to the bathroom even if you needed to. Good news is you already have the epidural in place, so you don't feel the catheter being inserted at all.


If your water doesn't break, they have to break it for you.


At around 6am I was around 7 cm dilated (in "active labor") and my water still had not broken!  The doctor waited until I got to around 9 cm & then broke it for me. I didn't really feel this at all because I already had my epidural-- thank goodness! but I've heard it hurts if you don't have one. 

After she broke it, she removed all the sheets she had under me. I really don't want to know what those must of looked like. Gross!


When I started pushing.


After she broke my water, she said it was time to start pushing. I pushed for about an hour with no progress. She checked me again and said that somehow after she broke my water, the amount of centimeters I was dilated went DOWN! So we took a break for a couple hours..


Now let's talk about the actual delivery part. 


Again, the epidural made the whole thing painless. I could feel when I was pushing, but it didn't hurt. It honestly just felt like when you're trying to go to the bathroom but are constipated (sorry TMI!). It is an extremely frustrating feeling. It seemed like I was making ZERO progress until finally, out came baby! It happened in an instant. It was a couple hours of no change and then finally baby's head came out & bam! The rest was easy! He just popped right out! My cute man was 9 pounds 3.4 ounces and 21 inches long, born July 7th, 2014 at 11:21am!


father and newborn son

father and son

newborn baby boy in hospital

newborn baby boy

newborn baby boy

Say "hello" to David Cash!
Click here to see part 2 where I talk about recovering from child birth!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Children's Magazine Now Available in Spanish


Here is a great new resource for your bilingual home! Highlights is now offering their popular High Five magazine in Spanish, called High Five Biling├╝e!


High Five Bilingue

Go to their  website to sign up for a yearly subscription!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to make your husband a cat lover



When we first started dating my husband claimed he didn't like cats! Look at him now! He loves my cute Tucker! He sometimes even grabs Tucker & puts him on his lap so they can cuddle!

Even if your man says he's not a cat person, there's still hope!! 


Try my 7 simple steps to making your husband a cat person:


Step 1: Find a friend with a cuddly cat.

Step 2: Offer to cat sit.

Step 3: Sit back and watch your husband slowly fall for the cat (who can hate an animal that is being so sweet!)

Step 4: Make sure you keep the house clean. Nothing will turn your guy off more than associating a cat with the smell of a litter box & cat pee. Clean the litter box often!

Step 5: Don't forget to give your man plenty of attention otherwise he may think of the cat as competition. He wants/needs to come first. It's a pride thing.

Step 6: Casually mention how fun it would be to adopt a cat.

Step 7: Ask for a cat.


If all else fails, you could always just adopt the cat first and then just ask for forgiveness later. He won't want to turn the cute cat away once it's already in the house! JK don't do that ;) 




Sunday, November 9, 2014

Homemade Chili

This weekend I made the most delicious & easy chili of my life! Not only is this an easy chili recipe but it is also perfect comfort food for all the rain we've been having. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

easy stove top chili recipe


Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (in tomato juice)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato puree 
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • celery, diced (optional, I typically leave it out)
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar







Instructions: 

  1. In a large skillet sautee minced garlic with half of the onion.
  2. Add ground beef & cook until done.
  3. Put ground beef and the remaining ingredients in a 6 quart pot.
  4. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cheese, fresh tomatoes, & cilantro, if desired. Enjoy =)

Serving size: 1 cup
Macros per serving: 5 g fat, 46.5 g carbs, 34.6 g protein

Comment below & let me know how it turned out!



Saturday, November 8, 2014

How to read to your kids

I recently wrote a post where a listed some of the benefits to having a regular story time with your children. Now I won't say that there's a right and a wrong way to have story time, but I will share with you some tips to get the most out of your reading session.

Here are 7 tips when reading for language acquisition:

  1. Rhyming books are fun to read, but also help kids to understand that words are made up of individual sounds. (See benefit 1 and 2)
  2. Use story time as a stepping stone for conversation. This offers practice using the language correctly.
  3. Ask a child what he thinks will happen next or how she would end a story differently.
  4. Use picture books to engage young children and help them understand word meanings.
  5. Choose a comfy place, snuggle close, and cover him up with his favorite blanket/stuffed animals.
  6. If you are reading with an infant, try giving your baby something to hold like a bottle or a toy so they can stay focused.
  7. Most importantly, if your baby is fussy or not in a relaxed mood put the book down and try again later. You don't want to force it!

Reading daily to your child can have a significant impact on brain activity. So please, read often!

5 Benefits of Story Time

Reading to you children is not only a great bonding experience, but recent studies have shown that it can also help a child master a language more quickly than just conversation alone.

5 benefits of story time for kids under 3


Here are 5 benefits to having regular story time:


  1. The more frequently baby hears sounds, the faster he becomes at processing them & recognizing that different sounds have different meanings (which is the foundation of speech & comprehension).
  2. He will more easily be able to sound out unfamiliar words in grade school.
  3. It will expand vocabulary more than just talking with him will because books can introduce kids to subjects that are out of their direct environment and therefore not part of daily conversation (think books about dinosaurs, outer space, etc).
  4. Reading the same books repeatedly can help a child develop logic skills by helping him to notice patterns & sequences and better predict what will happen next. It also reinforces phonetic sounds.
  5. Associating reading with emotional warmth and fun can actually lower stress & cortisol levels, helping him concentrate better (and develop a lifelong love for reading). 

Check out my tab where I list my favorite monolingual Spanish books for story time!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

3 Day No Make Up Challenge!

I love Jennifer Aniston! I loved her in Friends, in Marley & Me, in EVERYTHING and this new no make up role makes me love her even more. She is right, it is empowering. There is nothing more freeing than feeling comfortable in your own skin. 


jennifer aniston
Credit: J. Countess/WireImage.com; Pixplus/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images


But wait--if it really is as "dreamy and empowering and liberating" as she says, then why doesn't everyone do it? Why don't we go without make up all the time?

Many say that make up is meant to enhance beauty, not cover it up. The phrase "enhance beauty" would imply that you are already beautiful to begin with. If that's the case, why is it that oftentimes women don't feel beautiful without make up? 

Let's follow Jennifer Aniston's example. Join me in a 3 day no make up challenge! Let's get back to feeling comfortable and confident without make up! #nomakeupchallenge

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Paint Nite Date Night (Husband Approved)

Ladies! Call your babies a sitter and schedule a much needed date night with your husband!


Here is a date idea that sure is fun with a less expensive alternative also included at the bottom (and best of all, it is husband approved!)

PAINT NITE!!!

I found this on groupon.com for half price. I believe they list it on livingsocial.com as well. I would definitely check those sites first, otherwise this date can turn pricey. 

After purchasing your seats, you go to the main site and select the painting you want to do. They are ranked from easy to difficult. They then have you select a date to attend the paint nite. 

*Disclaimer: You must be over 21 to participate because these events typically take place in a bar or pub. And, of course, drinking is not required.




Our finished works of art! He named his after me! My husband's a cutie, huh?

date night ideas

They even had shuffle board there! Which I beat my husband at every time ;)

Budget friendly version: have a paint nite at home! 
We did this when we first started dating.  Cooked a great meal, grabbed some cheap painting supplies at Michaels, lit some candles, & painted our dream house! 

Happy Dating!
xoxo alexis

5 strategies for successful language acquisition

When I first started out at BYU I wasn't sure what I wanted my major to be. For a while I thought I wanted to teach Spanish in high school (until I found out what the salary for a first year teacher in Utah was-yikes!). I took a couple classes that stressed the importance of teaching your students using only the foreign language in the classroom. This class offered some great tips that I believe apply to bilingualism in the home as well.



This was my take away:

  1. The key to keeping the class in Spanish lies with the teacher, or in this case the parent. If you break down and use English they will do the same. 
  2. If you are using the method where you will be speaking both languages in the home, pick a couple days a week where Spanish is the only language you speak that day (works especially well with older children)
  3. If they express something in English that you know they can say in Spanish don’t accept it. Insist that they say it in Spanish as well. 
  4. Consistency! Avoid picking and choosing Spanish days at random. Your children will benefit from regular use of the language. Whether it be 3 days a week, only at dinner, at bedtime, or whenever, just be consistent!
  5. Full immersion is really the best way to learn a language (however, depending on your home life, it may not always be the most realistic)


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Salsa Verde



Alright guys! Today I have my favorite authentic salsa verde recipe on the blog. I hope you guys love it! It is simple, spicy, and a little tart. This authentic salsa recipe has been a family secret for a while (I got this recipe from my Dad who's from Mexico) but I'm excited to share it with you today.

If you've never had a truly authentic salsa verde then I should probably let you know that it's not really a chips and salsa kind of salsa (although you can definitely eat it that way too). This is more the kind of salsa you would add to an already delicious meal. My favorite way to eat this is by putting it on top of taquitos or picaditas, but you could really have it on anything. Enjoy!


authentic salsa verde - green salsa recipe




Salsa Verde:

10-12 green tomatoes (tomatillos)
5-6 serrano chiles
1/2 cup onion
2 cloves of garlic


1. Boil green tomatillos with serrano chiles for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes turn a yellow-green color
2. Put tomatillos, serrano chiles, garlic, onion, and a little of the boiling water in blender and blend until smooth
3. Let cool & you're done!!!

Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Macros per serving: .1 g fat, 1.3 g carbs, .2 g protein


Let me know what you think!! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Plan to Raise My Baby Bilingually




I have spent so much time researching how to teach a child a second language. I've questioned tons of family's that are also trying (and succeeding) at raising their kids bilingually. What I've realized is that everyone does it differently. There really is no right way. I think the key is just picking a method and sticking with it. I've even seen parents where neither of them speak the language and they are successful!

Here are the most popular methods I have seen:

1. Monolingual home

  • scenario A- parents speak minority language at home and child learns English at school
  • scenario B- parents speak English at home and child learns minority at an immersion school
2. 1 parent only speaks English, 1 parent only speaks minority language

3. Blended- Parents speak both languages in the home every other day or at an assigned time each day. 

Choose what works best for you and your family. I am actually going to do a mix of all three! My husband doesn't speak Spanish. So I will be the only one speaking Spanish to David. I know what you're thinking--why don't I just choose method 2? I totally could. I just feel like it doesn't promote the best family unity. David would speak English to Daddy and Spanish to me, but what happens when he wants to talk to both of us at the same time? Would he think he always needed to speak to us separately? For that reason, I will also speak English to him. 

So now my method is a mix of 2 & 3, but I also like the idea of him learning Spanish at school. I plan to send him to an immersion elementary school when he's old enough. So now it's a mix of 1, 2, & 3. 

Like I said before, there is no right way. Get creative. Pick what works best for you and most importantly, stick with it!

Halloween Crafts!

Craft Time! Woohooooo!!! 

This is probably one of my favorite past times!!

Here are some crafts my sister and I have done recently. Let me know if you would like some tips on how to do them! They're all fairly simple, but I can definitely provide a how to if you would like =)


"boo" door hang halloween craft


boo glitter pumpkin halloween craft


eek light up mason jars Halloween craft


skull halloween craft


painted skulls dia de los muertos and halloween craft

 (we made these as a Day of the Dead activity)



Dia de los Muertos

Happy Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! 

For those who aren't familiar with this holiday, it is celebrated in Mexico to remember those who have passed on. I absolutely LOVE this holiday! It shows such a healthy view of death in my opinion. Families are forever!

I just love the idea of remembering those who we loved and essentially inviting them to visit us by creating altars and setting out their favorite foods/candies/drinks. They were important to us in life and are still important to us to this day.

Personally, I think it is a best practice to teach culture as well as language to our children. There are typically celebrations in every state for Day of the Dead. If you just do a quick google search I'm sure you will find something. In Utah, Thanksgiving Point does one every year. They offer food, face painting, entertainment, dancing, sugar skull decorating and even have altars that different families set up to honor their loved ones.
dia de los muertos
(Scott & I at the celebration last year a couple days after I found out I was pregnant w/baby David)

We all have our own beliefs and you may or may not agree with me on this one, but for me knowing that I will see my family again is so comforting!
halloween kids and father as pirates
This is a picture of me with my dad and brother when we were around 5. My father was recently deported back to Mexico at the end of April. The last time I spoke with him was in September. He was in Tijuana and wanted to cross back to the U.S. but didn't have enough money to do so. He decided to go back to Cuernavaca until he could come up with enough money to return to the U.S. No one has heard from him since. I love my dad. It is hard for me to think of any harm ever coming to him and I still pray everyday that I will hear from him soon. I love knowing that one day I will see him again no matter what and that if something did happen to him, maybe he was with me today after all and maybe he was able to finally meet his grandson.