Friday, December 31, 2010

FMF: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Rated PG - 109 min - Released 2010

If you like fantasy adventure movies, then you will certainly enjoy The Sorcerer's Apprentice--for the most part.  The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a live action movie by Disney about a young boy who stumbles into a magical antique shop and meets Balthazar Blake, played by Nicolas Cage, who would 10 years later become his wizarding master.  Dave, played by Jay Baruchel, is a geeky college kid with a natural, or perhaps supernatural, talent for physics.  Obsessed with Tesla Coils, he spends most of his time locked in an underground laboratory, until one day he reunites with Balthazar: the same strange man from the magic shop.  Balthazar, who is in search of the only one who can defeat the evil and powerful Morgana, tries to convince Dave to be his apprentice in hopes that he may be the one who can save the world against an uprising of the dead.  Dave, who is torn between his destiny as a wizard and winning the heart of a girl, Becky Barnes, eventually comes to terms with his abilities and of course saves the day.   
     Now I said that you would enjoy The Sorcerer's Apprentice "for the most part" because everything in this film lives up to the Disney standard up until the end where I felt very let down by an unexpectedly anticlimactic ending.
I will say that this movie kept me laughing almost the whole way through, had a lot of adventure, including some really awesome stunt driving, and encompassed concepts in terms of magical movies that I had never seen before.  As for questionable content, the scene with the Chinese parade dragon coming to life may be frightening to some.  And the fact that the movie is based around wizardry doesn't necessarily score wholesome family bonus points either.  But, overall, it isn't anything I would shun based on the prior reasons.  My recommended viewing age for this movie is 8 years old.

Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Little Bunny's Beautiful Face

I wanted to share some of my most favorite pictures of Judah taken so far.  I feel so blessed to see this face each and everyday.
3 Months Old

Looking beautiful.

Having fun at the zoo.

Kisses from Daddy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Joy

All I want to say today is "Praise Jesus & Thank You".  I praise Him for His love, His provisions, and most importantly His birth, because without Jesus I would not have a place in the Kingdom of Heaven. I also want to thank the Lord Jesus for all of the blessings He has granted in my life especially my husband, son, and father. Truly the three most important people in my life.

As for Christmas Day, I could not have possibly been blessed with more.  I received my  fair share of gifts, but what really mattered to me was my little bunny, Judah, who received some of the most amazing and heartfelt gifts imaginable, including a card from my Dad that instantly made my eyes well and then overflow with tears of gratitude and love.  Judah was so funny and precious Christmas Day when opening his gifts, surprisingly acting as though he knew exactly what was going on: unwrapping presents like it was a baby reflex or innate instinct.  I suppose he may have had some practice when I let him play with the tissue paper when I was making Christmas preparations.  Either way he made me smile and melted my heart as well as all of those around him.

I would like to share some of the wonderful moments we had making memories this beautiful Christmas 2010.

Christmas Cookies

These are the Christmas cookies I made for our Christmas Eve gathering my husband's family has every year.  I got this recipe from, they are called Tri-Cornered  Cream Cheese Cookies w/Jam Filling and they were amazing!  Truly a hit that I will be repeating for events to come.  I hope you have as much fun baking, sharing, and eating them as I did! 

I used Boysenberry and Strawberry Jam.
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 (3 ounce) package creamed cheese, softened 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 1/4 cups  flour
1/4 teaspoon salt 
jam(s) of your choice
powdered sugar for sprinkling

The powdered sugar reminded me of snow, very festive.

(The dough) 
1.In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter and cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, flour, salt and blend well. 

*Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours for easy handling.

(Shaping & Baking)
2. Pre-heat oven to 375°F 

3. On lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough at a time to a 1/8" thickness.(Meanwhile keep rest of dough in fridge)
4. Cut with 2 & 1/2" round cookie cutter (I use a the mouth of a large cup) & place each round 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

5. Spoon 1 tsp jam on the center of each round.

6. To create the triangle shape, fold down 3 sides without covering the jam too much (I personally like to cover a little of the jam, the cookies look better after being baked.)  Pinch the corners to seal.

7. Bake for 7 - 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute and remove from baking sheets.

8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar as desired and enjoy! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

FMF: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Rated G  - 91 min -  Released 1996

For those of you unfamiliar with the story  (at least in the movie) The Hunchback tells the tale of a young disfigured man confined to a bell tower by the evil Judge Frollo.  Quasimodo, the hunchback, yearns to break free and essentially live without fear amongst everyone else in the world.  Quasimodo gets the help of a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmeralda, who is an outcast herself, and the two become an unlikely duo with one passion: break free from Frollo's oppression.

I've never read the classic novel, so I'm not about to compare this movie with the book, but the movie standing alone is absolutely excellent.  There is adventure, love, tension, humor, and a great array of songs.  We all know that most Disney movies include some songs, but this film is jam packed.  My husband and I joke that this movie can easily be translated to a Broadway musical targeted towards adults.   The humor in this movie mainly comes from the three stone gargoyles that are perched on the bell tower with Quasimodo.  You may recognize Jason Alexander as the voice over for the portly gargoyle named Hugo.  And just as with everything else Alexander embraces, he's hysterical.

The love story in this film is rather sad because you want Quasimodo to get the girl, but in the end looks win out: as seen when Esmeralda falls for her knight in shining armor, Phoebus. This is especially upsetting because Quasimodo is pure in heart throughout the movie, as opposed to the charming Phoebus, who eventually does indeed get the girl. But of course like most American movies the ending is cheerful and you don't feel quite as bad for Quasimodo because he does win the hearts of the citizens of Notre Dame.  Furthermore, the thematic development throughout the story is equally compelling.  The themes explore the realms of the semantics of monstrosity, man's inner conflict with his conscience, and man's conflict with society.

Now as for questionable content (here is where the tension in the story lies), there is one song in particular that sticks out in my mind because it clearly deals with lust of the flesh and is somewhat frightening to watch.  The song is sung by Judge Frollo (played by Tony Jay who does a fantastic job), who  is evil through and through and is just plain scary to look at.  He sings "Hell Fire" which goes "hell fire, hell fire, choose me or you will burn!" It is based on his  inner struggle regarding his passion for Esmeralda.  He says if she does not choose to be with him then he will burn her at the stake; I'd say that's pretty creepy and would call for some major marriage counseling or psychotherapy.  In the midst of that song the flames start surrounding him like he is in the depths of hell itself.  And his hideous countenance is still burned on my cerebral cortex--not awesome; well it is because it was emotionally appealing, but this scene would certainly be scary for children under six.

Due to storyline, the song "Hell Fire", and Frollo's creepy face, I'd say an appropriate viewing age for The Hunchback would be 6 years old

Overall Rating: 9.5 out 10

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

10 Reasons I Support Breastfeeding & 10 Tips

Keep in mind everything in this post is based on personal experience, but personal experience is something you won't find in most books. Also, there are certainly many more than just 10 reasons and 10 tips pertaining to breastfeeding, these are just a mere few.

Here are a list of reasons why I support breastfeeding and encourage others to do so:

1.  You save a lot of time & money since you are not always running to the store to buy formula.

2. Your milk is readily available to baby anywhere and anytime, which is especially useful during those 3 am feedings.

3. Your milk is the perfect food for your baby by helping build immunities and reducing their risk of certain allergies.

4. Breastfeeding helps reduce the size of your uterus faster and helps reduce your weight significantly by burning 500 calories a day.

5. Breastfeeding encourages strong bonding between you and your baby.  This is where Judah and I had our first real conversation.

6.  Breastfeeding is a good reason to "get away" and get some alone time with your baby if you need a break from a crowd.

7.  Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, type 2 diabetes, as well as other various health problems.

8. Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of getting pregnant again because of lowered estrogen levels,  but do be sure and use another form of birth control if you are not intending on getting pregnant in the near future.

9. Breastfeeding has been linked with a reduced risk of childhood obesity as well as risk for Vitamin E deficiency, and anemia.

10. Breastfed baby's spit up does not stain and their diapers are significantly less odorous.

 Here are some tips that I have compiled based on my personal experiences with breastfeeding:

1. Get a good rocker. You'll be nursing a lot and you want to be comfortable.

2. Get a cover that goes around your neck. It helps keep you securely covered with a fidgeting baby.

3. Invest in quality nursing pads.  No one wants to leak or see leaking.

4. Use a cream like Lansinoh to heal and protect sore nipples.  It really works wonders and you don't need to worry about wiping it off before nursing.

5. Be sure to eat your extra 500 calories to produce sufficient breast milk because believe it or not you will be more hungry than when you were pregnant.

6. Invest in a good quality breast pump like Medela Pump in Style if you need to relieve yourself from engorgement, store breast milk for when you may be separated from baby, or are planning to work and still breastfeed.

7. Invest in a Boppy Pillow.  This makes breastfeeding much more comfortable especially when your little one is a newborn and has many great uses as baby gets older.

8. Relax when you are nursing and make sure you are not tense or frustrated from an outside situation because baby will definitely sense it and may not cooperate as easily.

9. Don't be afraid to nurse in public. You need to feed your baby and you can't be confined to your house forever.

10. Most importantly don't give up, it absolutely takes time. It was a good 2-3 weeks before I felt confident.

Breastfeeding Websites:
Breast Milk Storage
Benefits of Breastfeeding for You and Baby
Breastfeeding: Health Benefits for Mother and Baby
Breastfeeding Benefits

Family Movie Fridays

My husband Timm and I watch a lot of movies together.  I suppose it is part of our bonding time, believe it or not, and it also helps us to preview movies before we one day allow Judah to watch films.  

Inspired by our time together, I decided I would dedicate my Friday blog posts to reviewing movies in my humble opinion with a Christian parents' perspective; I'll be giving my age suggestions, noting questionable content, and providing an overall rating.  Most movies will be in the G and PG range and very few in the PG-13. (I love Twilight, what can I say. *shrug*)  So, be sure and check that out starting this week!  The first movie up for review will be The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Six Months of Pure Joy

Today Judah is 6 months old.  The time has absolutely flown and has been a joy even through the sleepless nights, sicknesses, mistakes, and the countless times when we would bring him to the doctor's office for the littlest things.  He has gone from a baby who was nearly premature to a baby who is gaining knowledge, strength, and plenty of weight.  Being a parent is a blessing from God and is the biggest responsibility  and challenge I have ever had to deal with, but no doubt the best.  It has been an adventure from the very first night and still is because once Timm and I think we got something right, Judah throws us a curve ball and we need to rethink everything again.  The saying "you seem to get a new baby every 3 weeks" is definitely holding true, but one thing that hasn't changed is the pure joy he brings to the hearts of his grandparents, church friends, and especially his parents. 

Happy 6 Month Birthday Judah!

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Snapshot of Our Snapshots

Moments after Judah's debut to the world.

July 4, 2010.  Judah was just 2 weeks old.

Mom's got a new do and Judah got a new pair of cheeks.

Many more family portraits to come of course!

Friday, December 17, 2010

What's a Partridge? What's a Pear Tree?

I suppose from the title of this blog you expected somewhat of a Christmas theme and you're right! I have been enjoying greatly the Relient K Christmas Album Let It Snow Baby...Let it Reindeer. Clever title huh?
I love those guys. I highly recommend listening to it this Christmas season if you want to get away from listening to the same stuff on the radio and listen to all your favorite classics with a Relient K twist.
I personally enjoy listening to their version of the 12 Days of Christmas, it makes me laugh every time. My little boy Judah and I have been listening to that CD all week and he absolutely loves it when I sing it to him. He's the best!

As for Relient K, their Christmas album is not the only good stuff they have out there; they are a great Christian pop punk band and I highly recommend them. Relient K is definitely my favorite band.

Since this is a Christmas themed blog post I might mention that Judah and I got to give Judah's buddy, Josiah, a new toy this week in the spirit of giving. Now Josiah has been Judah's buddy since before they were born since their mommies are buddies too. They were born only four days apart; I guess they wanted to hang out really bad or something. Anyway, it seemed that Josiah really liked his new toy since he was bouncing in it like crazy. The cutest part of it all was that Judah was in his jumperoo right next to Josiah and as one of them would jump the other would seem to respond by jumping back; their first form of communication with one another.

Now this is our first Christmas with Judah out of the womb and it has been a very fun time picking out presents for the little guy. Its also exciting to wait in anticipation to see all the wonderful gifts he will get to lovingly receive. One item we got for Judah was a set of blocks from a very cool company called Melissa & Doug Educational Toys for Children. If you have little ones I recommend shopping this site if you wish to get away from main stream toys and want to get back to the classics that actually do good for your children's brains rather than just entertain them with flashing lights and sounds.

It really is amazing the things that kids and babies are interested in that are not actual toys, for example, Judah is now mesmerized by anything that twists or spins including a particular bumbershoot (umbrella) ornament on our Christmas tree. Whenever I spin the ornament between my fingers he stops everything and just stares with his mouth open. Another toy he likes to watch spin is his butterfly that hangs from his exersaucer, it is a great distraction to keep him occupied when I eat my lunch while sitting on the little kitchen stool next to him. Anyway, Christmas is nearly just a week away and I still haven't gotten everything together yet and am still waiting for stuff to arrive in the mail so hopefully it comes soon. From the Freitas Family to everyone we know, we would like to wish everyone a safe and very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Things Judah Loves...

Waterbottles for chewing, mouthing, gumming, and marveling at.

Baby Einstein Jumperoos for strengthening his legs, practicing his reaching, and most of all just looking cute.

Rolling over. When he feels like it of course.

...and Track Suits, simply for the irony of it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

To Mommies

First off, a few cool things that I have encountered in relation to dealing with businesses. For those of you who have recently given birth and were hardly sent away with any hospital goodies, here is a treat for you. If you call Similac (1-800-232-7677), they will give you a free backpack/diaper bag just for giving birth, cool right? Well you won't be able to pick out whether you get a backpack or diaper bag, you will receive one or the other in just 7-10 business days. All you need to do is call, let them know when you gave birth and at what hospital, simple as that. I received mine very shortly after I called, it was a small black backpack (convenient if you don't want to bring a your full diaper bag).
     Secondly, I recently had my motor give out in our baby swing (something in which I heavily relied on to get a few extra hours of sleep) and I was told by a friend of mine to give the company, Fisher Price, a call and see what they could do about it. In his situation they sent him a check for a new swing, but in my case, I called and received a brand new swing motor in just 4 days for free! Not bad I say.

So, Judah has had some pretty bad gas issues as of late and I was at my wits end about it because the poor guy wasn't getting any sleep with all his gas pains. I was told Mylicon drops, Gripe Water, and plain old warm water would help. So out of those I picked Gripe Water (I was going to try warm water but Judah refuses to take a bottle). It did seem to work for a while but like all things it lost its effectiveness rather quickly. I liked the fact that at first it worked, but there are definitely more cons about GW than pros. For instance, its very sticky on the skin, it goes bad within 4 weeks, and you often need to keep it in the refrigerator, which is not very accessible when you need to be in the nursery and you are stumbling around the house because its 2 A.M. Before I tried any of the other options I had done some researching online and I did come upon something called Colic Calm, which is all natural and does not contain Sodium Bicarbonate or any other unnecessary additives. It is 100% money back guaranteed and is supposed to work instantly.  In my opinion, it does have a pretty quick effect. The only odd thing about it is that it has a very dark color and can temporarily darken the color of their stools. If you can get past that I say go for it, it works.

Since Judah's birth, on top of the gas issues, I have dealt with thrush, heat rash, a fever of 103, pretty bad sleeping habits, and an apparent milk allergy, which has me off all milk products until further notice.  His thrush, which I have no clue where it came from since he was born cesarean, was evident in his mouth because he had the classic white patches.  Although we've been dealing with that for months its under control because we got a prescription for that right away.  I did read that a mixture of 1 tbspn vinegar with 1 cup water could kill the fungus when rubbed on surfaces the mouth touches (good for breastfeeding moms, although I can't imagine that would taste very good to baby). Although harmless, thrush is a big pain in the rear.  I have sanitized, medicated, washed, and sterilized everything that has touched his lips up to my ears and I'm not sure its going to go away until he's done breastfeeding. At least I haven't contracted it myself  because I hear it hurts awfully bad.
     Now the heat rash Judah got was a result of a domino effect.  He has a milk allergy (an allergy to protein in dairy products), which caused blood in his stools.  A side effect of a milk allergy is eczema and the only way to treat eczema is with topical lotions.  I had used various lotions such as Eucerin and Aveeno and both made him very red (he inherited his parents super sensitive skin I guess).  So, of course it being Summer time when this all started, his skin got sweaty and he had a reaction that made his skin seem to literally peel off, gross I know.  We ended up getting a prescription for an eczema cream and his skin is 1000 x's better.
     I think the worst of all his ailments and allergies was when he got sick and had a fever of 103 out of the blue!  One night he had a terrible time sleeping and was breathing rather heavily.  He also had projectile thrown up on me just before bed.  I didn't think anything of any of it until I went to nurse him and felt his skin was on fire.  It was scary needless to say.  The next day we spent 2 hours at the doctor's office as they ran different tests.  Judah was so inconsolable I actually started crying in the room he was being examined in, it was heart breaking.  When we had gotten home we needed to take a nap desperately and the poor guy who that day could only sleep while on me was sweating through his blanket and we were both soaked.  It was a true picture of being a mother. Finally, when all was said and done he had two viles of blood drawn, a shot of antibiotics, and a set of x-rays done at the hospital along with a follow-up appointment the very next day.  Luckily his fever went down within just a few days with a little Tylenol and love.

On a lighter note I just wanted to share a few baby related websites I often like to enjoy:,, These sites are the type of deal when you can buy the item advertised on that day only. I must say the deals go fast, especially on, but let me tell you, they have such cool stuff! is great too but obviously for those with older kiddies, although sometimes they sell full sized minky blankets for adults and well who wouldn't want that on their bed? Check those out, it might be worth it!

There is certainly more to the story of Judah's sleeping habits, but for those of you who were wondering how they are, he would get "Most Improved" in a classroom of babies.  I am very proud (and rested).