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It seems we are having an Iceland themed week here at Littlewhirl…

Siggi’s Icelandic style skyr, is the best yogurt you will EVER eat, no lie. I bought it on a whim the other day & I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to eat anything else for the rest of my life (as far as yogurt is concerned anyway).

Siggi’s is the yogurt of my dreams. It’s thick and custard-like but it has no creepy gelatin in it so it’s vegetarian-friendly (awesome). I love the thickness of it and it’s such a toddler friendly snack for exactly that reason. No more runny yogurt all over your kid and the table (and the chair, and the floor……). Call me a nerd, but I love when I find new healthy snacks for V.

Typically, I buy plain yogurt and sweeten it myself with agave nectar but Siggi’s is only sweetened with agave nectar, how freaking awesome is that? It is a bit tart so when I gave it to V I put a tiny bit more in and she loved it. Siggi’s Skyr is a low-fat, high protein snack that is so super tasty and comes in flavors like Blueberry, Orange & Ginger and Pomegranate & Passion Fruit (it is also available in Plain). It’s the very definition of delicious and nutritious. So let’s recap: It’s thick, it’s delicious, it’s low in fat, it’s high in protein and it’s sweetened only with agave nectar. Seriously yogurt lovers, what more could you ask for? This stuff is, as the kids say, ‘the bomb’. A 6oz container will run you about two bucks and change but trust me, it is SO good!

I can’t say enough good things about this yogurt so I’ll give you a bit of history before I sign off. Siggi Hilmarsson started making Skyr in his kitchen and shortly after in 2005, The Icelandic Milk & Skyr Company was founded . They combine the ancient Icelandic tradition of skyr making with milk from local family farms in Chenango and Cortland Counties in New York State (Thank you cows, we appreciate it!). You can read the complete history of Siggi’s here, and the history story of Skyr here. I highly suggest you give it a read, the story is pretty great. Now all I need is for them to start making Skyr in giant tubs. Yum.

As I have mentioned before, Clementine is in the beginning stages of teething, which, totally blows. I’ve been having such a hard time getting her to sleep, and the only way I’ve been able to do it is by rocking her in her car seat. This little trick started about a month ago when she was so congested we had to keep her upright. Now she doesn’t want to sleep any other way.

For the last week, even that has been trying. I usually sit at my computer and catch up on email & reading while I’m rocking her and one night she just would. not. stop. screaming. In a move of desperation I opened up my iTunes and scanned quickly for the first thing that could be deemed soothing. I popped on Vespertine by Björk and I swear, within minutes, Clementine was totally passed out. I thought maybe it was a fluke but it has worked every time since I first did it.

So Björk, if you’re out there, I totally owe you. Thanks for doing me a solid when you recorded Vespertine, I had no idea!

I have yet to meet a baby who doesn’t love Sophie the Giraffe; It’s kind of crazy really. Clementine was gifted with one at Christmas and it’s her absolute favorite thing. She won’t take a pacifier, she only wants this crazy little giraffe.

Sophie has been around for almost 50 years! She was created in France by Monsieur Rampeau, who was an expert in transforming sap from the Hevea tree using the rotational molding of rubber as a toy-making concept, and came up with the idea of designing a giraffe. Sophie is made of 100% natural rubber and food paint, and is completely safe to chew and is Phthalates and BPA free. Her soft texture and chewable parts (ears, horns, legs), make her perfect for soothing baby’s sore gums during teething. The scent of natural rubber from the Hevea tree makes Sophie the Giraffe very special and easy for your child to identify amid all his other toys.

This is such a great teether. I’ve always hated the circular teethers that you stick in the fridge, they have that hard and sharp seam on the edge. Like I said, Clementine *loves* Sophie and I can tell that it really soothes her as she enters into the world of teething. She is kind of pricey for a teether, yes, but so far she’s been worth the investment (even though we got it for Christmas, score!). I also like the peace of mind knowing that my kiddo is chewing on something natural & safe.

For more information about Sophie, you can visit her website: http://www.sophiegiraffeusa.com and for more information about other Vulli toys and more Sophie products visit: http://www.vulli-toys.com

It didn’t even take 3 minutes before I caught her starting to cut her hair. I told her no, that they weren’t for cutting hair, only paper, and she seemed to agree. My *whole family* was in the room: mom, bro, husband and none of us noticed her creep under her play table until it was too late.

You know how your spider-sense starts to tingle when you notice just how quiet your child is being? That’s totally what happened. So my brother walked over to her table and I saw his jaw drop. I heard her mumble “it’s not fair” as I pulled her out from underneath. She essentially gave herself bangs over her right ear. Thankfully, it’s not that noticeable, but I still cried. It kind of looks like her hair is tucked behind her ear but it’s actually not even there.

I know, I know, it’s a right of passage. Sigh. I know it grows back. But man, what a crummy milestone.

Starting last summer, V started to show a real interest in taking photographs. Our crummy point & shoot is broken, so we mainly use my husbands work camera which is a pretty expensive DSLR. Obviously, I get nervous with it in the hands of a toddler. So for V’s birthday this year we bought her a Vtech Kidzoom camera.

I hate it.

First, let me say that we are a pretty low income family so at 60.00 this was a big purchase for us. I thought it would be worth it because she was showing such a keen interest in photography & if there’s one thing I always want to do for my children, it’s foster their creative side. When the camera arrived, I was so excited to give it to her that we ended up giving it to her early, thinking if we did, she could take pictures of her new baby sister when she came. The camera body itself is very sturdy but here is my beef: It has video games on it.

I can handle the crappy resolution of the camera (it’s actually terrible), that’s fine. It’s not like she’s Nan Goldin or anything. But as soon as she discovered the video games on it, that’s all she wanted to use it for. If I wanted her to play video games, I would have bought her a freaking Gameboy. I personally, don’t want V playing video games until she is much older. I know Vtech likes to deem them ‘educational’ but in my opinion, I’d rather have her using her own imagination then being a mindless drone at 3 years old.

I am so disappointed in this camera. What’s worse is that we can’t afford to replace it. She found it this morning, took 3 pictures & went right to the video games. It breaks my heart that I have to a) take her birthday gift away from her and b) know that I wasted 60 bucks on a video game system disguised as a camera. I thought I had done a pretty good job researching kid’s cameras….why should I assume they’d stick video games on a camera. Ugh. The better options seem to be the following:

Discovery Kids Digital Kids Camera (this one doesn’t have the greatest reviews, but it’s a cheaper option)

Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera (I think maybe next year this will be the one we get V)

I guess we’ll have to wait until her next birthday to find out.

3 Months!

Or just shy of. This picture was so cute I couldn’t resist posting it early. I also wanted to take a photograph of my new & very beautiful INKE cushion cover (They have set up a new blog here in case any of you are interested). I know it’s a bit fuzzy but right after I took this picture, V whispered in Clemmie’s ear “Best Friends Forever” so slow & sweet, I nearly died. I feel so incredibly thankful for my babies & my family right now. I’m going to try & burn that moment into my brain so I can think about it years from now when they are fighting over the car keys.

Haiti.

My heart is breaking for Haiti right now. If only it were as calm & peaceful as this picture right now. But it’s not, it’s been rocked by a massive 7.0 earthquake. As a lifelong New Englander, I have been lucky enough to never have had to experience an earthquake. I can’t possibly imagine what these people are going through.

I’ve been looking at coverage all day, watching the numbers of dead & injured pile up but it was when I read this blog post by Virginia Montanez that I just started crying and couldn’t really stop. The thought of all of the children there, in a yard, just waiting for help that may or may not come is just killing me.

I’ve never really felt so helpless in my entire life. These are the times when I wish was independently wealthy, or was a doctor, or could just take off at a moments notice to volunteer in any way that I can. Sadly, I’m none of those things so I just sit here and watch and hope that things will be okay, even if it’s just a little bit. Tonight as I was putting Violet to bed she asked, “Why are you so sad Mama”? so I had to figure out a way to tell her why without well, totally traumatizing her. After I told her she said “We need to fly in a plane to get them and bring them home”. Yes kid, we totally do.

Jesse & I donated 10.00 by texting “Haiti” to 90999. 100% of the $10 donation goes to Red Cross for Haiti relief and your carrier keeps nothing. They’ve raised over a million dollars so far, I only hope that that number continues to grow. Every little bit really will help. We’re also waiting to see if they’ll be taking blood donations. I just read that American Airlines is going to be flying Doctors & Nurses down for free, you can call 212-697-9767 for more information.

Throughout the day I’ve come across many links about how you can help or donate to the cause. I thought I’d use this post to pass them along to anyone who hasn’t seen them already. So please peeps, I am begging you, take a look at these links and do anything you can. If you don’t know what to do, call your local Red Cross and ask. In the meantime, count your lucky stars, hug the shit out of your loved ones and be thankful for every single thing you have.

10 Ways to Help the Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts on Planet Green

Haiti Earthquake: How to Help on The Takeaway

American Red Cross Haiti Relief: How To Help Haiti Victims, Where To Submit Donations on The Huffington Post

The Newsroom on The American Red Cross

A regularly updated list of agencies responding to the crisis and accepting donations on interaction.org

Haiti earthquake: News updates on CNN

Haiti Earthquake coverage on Twitter via The Huffington Post

Vegan Bake Sales For Haiti on The Post Punk Kitchen

Partners in Health on The Arcade Fire website

*Photo courtesy of M Eriksson