Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gummylump Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart and Slice and Bake Cookies Review

I won a Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart and Slice and Bake Cookies from Gummylump! I asked if it was ok to review the products we received. She agreed.

My little boy that just turned 3 years old tested these products out. Gummylump has the Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart on sale for $55.99 right now. It's original price is $69.99.

It literally took my husband only 7 minutes to set up! He said that the instructions were really easy to follow.

Isaak wanted to get a doll and play food to put in it right away. I think it's really important for boy's to have dolls to. I loved roll playing with my oldest when I was pregnant with my youngest. Anytime you can roll play with anything it's great!

We took our kids to Whole Foods. I told my husband to grab the Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart. He said, "Are you serious?" I said, "Yes." It made a world of difference shopping with a toddler/preschooler. Isaak did much of our shopping! He was so entertained with having his own cart. Usually I'm saying, "Isaak stay with me!" or "Isaak if you can't stop running, I'll have to put you in the cart {my cart}." He also offers to help me push my cart, which takes forever. I loved that he had his own cart. He kept up with us. Most importantly he was happy the whole time. This cart made our shopping experience much more enjoyable!

Can you tell that the boy with the cart is well behaved and the one without the cart is not?

Features of the cart:

  • Award winning toy
  • Encourages pretend play
  • Stores play food, or real groceries while you shop
  • For special needs
  • Helps with children that have autism
  • Helps with children that has a learning disability

Isaak also reviewed the Slice and Bake Cookies Play Food Set. Gummylump has the Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookies Play Food Set on sale for $15.99 right now. It's original price is $19.99.

The packaging is too cute for words!

It comes with everything to roll play. My youngest and oldest have been caring these cookies around offering me one often!

What the boy's and I like is that the cookies are attached with Velcro. It makes them easy to pull up with the spatula. Also the top of the cookies are attached with Velcro as well. This is where the knife comes in handy!

I'm super excited about Isaak's new toy's from Gummylump! Please visit their site. Like Gummylump  on Facebook!


The opinions on this post are my personal take on the products. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not compensated to provide my opinion except for receiving the products themselves to test out. Gummylump provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so choose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

If you have questions about this post please contact me at: alissa4illustration@hotmail.com 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Review: Lonely Girl, Gracious God

I was sent a book, Lonely Girl, Gracious God A Mother's Story of Autism's Devastation and God's Promise of Enduring Love on behalf of Bring it On! Communications. You can buy this book on Amazon. I reviewed this book on my other blog, Planet of the Apels, but I thought it was important to bring up a few key things about autism on Milking the Issue.

About Lonely Girl, Gracious God:

This is a very inspiring biography and autobiography. It's about a mother that raises a girl that has autism. For a long time Lauri, the mom and author knew something was wrong with her daughter, Farema. Lauri spent much of her time hiding her daughter's odd behavior from others. She just didn't know what Farema had. Doctor's even had a problem diagnosing little Fee. Autism was just starting to be researched at the time of Farema's childhood. Something in Lauri longed for Farema to be normal like her three older sister's.

Days became long. Lauri felt the need to keep Farema stimulated socially. One day she took her for a ride. She was looking for anything to do. They spotted an ice skating rink. Farema skated with ease. Many other individual sports such as biking, horseback riding and swimming came naturally for Farema. Ice skating seemed to be Farema's calling. 

Ice skating was the solution to Farema coming out of her shell. She moved into her own home, skated for the olympic ice skater, Scott Hamilton and got a job at the local skate rink. Everything seemed to be looking up for Farema. 

Lauri never expected that Farema was doing too much. The 20 something Farema had a giant set back. Farema got lost in her own world.  

These are not listed out like this in the book. Farema has autism, so I'd like for you as my readers to understand the disorder more. The book is the mother's story.

  • Roughly 1 in 150 children born in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have autism.
  • There are key signs that show up before the age of three.
  • Most commonly these things are effected: Speech, communication, social skills and behavior problems.
  • Autism spectrum may range anywhere from mild, "odd" behaviors to low functioning individuals who need protection to keep from harming themselves.
  • Repetitive Movements. In Farema's case she liked anything that went in circles such as tops, fans and just spinning in circles. She also flapped her hands in front of her face a lot. It was a habit her mother tried to break while in public.
  • Repetitive Speech.  It's also called, "echolalic speech," which is when they repeat what is said to them instead of building off of it.
  • Lack of Self-Preservation Skills. This is when someone is unaware of real dangers. Farema just decided to jump into the river in the book. It was really traumatic to everyone in the situation.
  • Poor Social Skills. They have trouble communicating.
  • Splinter Skills. Being really good at select things! Farema was a very good ice skater. Other things that came easy for her were swimming, horseback riding, running and bike riding. Each person with autism can be different in what they are good at.

About the Author:

Lauri Khodabandehloo is a major supporter in the autism community. She is a contributor for Chicken Soup for the Soul; sharing her heart felt story about raising Farema, her daughter that has autism.


The opinions on this post are my personal take on the products. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not compensated to provide my opinion except for receiving the products themselves to test out. Bring it On! Communications provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so choose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

If you have questions about this post please contact me at: alissa4illustration@hotmail.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

May is for Mother's

I just wanted to let all my readers in on this giveaway! Click here to enter to win $100 from Mom4Life and a Belly Armor Blanket! I simply love Mom4Life's website and blog!

Tots That Got Served

Trying to remember when to start new foods is hard! I have to admit that I signed up through many baby websites to get month to month updates. The foods they could eat for the month just came to me in an email.

I loved this cookbook:

This book was recommended to me by the Mom's at the Baby and Me group I attended once a week. It can be found in any bookstore. It includes when to start each food, recipes and other food tips. It even has an awesome recipe for Play-doh  in it. The only downfall is the photo's. It really doesn't have too many. I'm an artist, so I like to see things.

I wanted to bring up a few things that I didn't really think of with starting new foods:
  • I got in a hurry to start baby cereal because I thought it would make my first born sleep better. I also wanted to see him eat. He was born with a funky tongue because of a cyst that formed in utero. It wasn't really necessary to start him on the early end of 4 months. Wait until your baby is truly ready. If they watch you while you are eating and smack their lips then they are ready. Starting too early is A) A mess. B) They are more apt to have food allergies later on. C) They really don't have the ability to control their month when they aren't ready yet.
  • If your baby/tot is on antibiotics don't start anything new! My oldest was on penicillin for a serious staph infection. It was time to start him on meats. I waited. It was a good thing I waited because he had an allergic reaction to his medicine. If I would have started him on meat, I wouldn't have known if his reaction was from the meat or the meds. 
  • Try and make your own if you can. It really doesn't take that long to make baby food! It's better for them. Many store bought baby foods actually add sugar and salt into the food. I made more food with my youngest. My oldest had a major problem with the texture. Again it was from his funky tongue. 
  • With the last tip in mind, don't make foods that are high in nitrates, such as carrots. Foods are tested before they are made. You have to watch out for these food until your child is a year old. 
  • Other foods to wait and put off as long as you can: Peanut Butter, anything with nuts really. Nuts cause a lot of food allergies. Cow's milk shouldn't be given until over a year. Start slow and build up. 
  • Why do babies have to wait until 7 month to start on meats? Because breast is best! Formula is good too. In both breast and formula is protein, so don't over due meats. If they don't like their meat, mix it with a veggie. I don't like my meat plain either! 
  • YoBaby Yogurt can be served way earlier then cow's milk. They have one variety that can be given as early as 6 months! It's super good for them. I fed my kiddo's only 1/2 of one a day. Before feeding it to them, take some out to put in a separate container to feed them from it. Babies have major saliva that comes out of their mouth while eating, so it's not a good idea to keep feeding them out of the same container as earlier. My babies loved yogurt. It has probiotics, which is great for babies that have baby eczema {skin issues}. It also is great for babies that have been on antibiotics. Antibiotics takes out the good and bad bacteria out of your system, while yogurt puts it back in. When your baby gets older, serve them plain yogurt with mixed in fruit. Much less sugar!
  • Wait on whole grapes. I knew a mom that gave her early 2 year old whole grapes. She had to call 911 because her tot was choking! Cut them in 1/2, or 1/4 for the big holiday grapes. You can use a food mesh that can be found at any baby food store. The original creator of these handy things developed it because their son almost choked. You can pack these meshes with any soft food and not worry about your baby/tot choking!

  • Get stainless steel or glass snack containers. May plastic ones are not BPA free yet! This is totally something I regret! I didn't start hearing about BPA free this and that until my second child was born. Bottom line: there are chemicals in many plastics that are bad for you! There are many brands out there.

  • Plain Cheerios are actually healthier and cheaper then many snack first foods.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lately I've Had a Hard Time Focusing

I remember right before and after I had my son's, they were all I could think about. My mind wasn't on anything else. It's a mystery how my work got accomplished. Experts call it pregnancy brain.

I had my babies at the best time of year for my work, and the worst time of year for me. I'm a college teacher. My oldest was born on the 2nd day of class, August 10. My youngest was born the week after school got out, May 19. I didn't plan when they were born. At the time, we were just trying to get pregnant.

It was stressful because I had to have everything in line for someone to take my place much of fall semester. I had to have everything wrapped up early for my youngest to be born in May. Of course many students hold things off to turn things in the last moment in time. I didn't know if I'd go early; final exams had to be ready to go ahead of time. I had someone taking my place for summer school; that had to be prepared for as well.

Today I can't blame my lack of focus on pregnancy.

I've kind of gotten off track mentally with my sister due the 21st of June. My mind is all over the place. I can't blame it on pregnancy brain. I can only blame it on the unknown. When someone is pregnant I worry that the baby and mom will be ok. With my sister's baby, I know the baby will not be ok. We knew shortly after Christmas That her baby Emerson has Trisomy 18. I was emotionally exhausted when I found out. Things calmed down. Now that time is moving closer to June; I'm freaking out again. It's all too real, and I just don't want to see everyone go through the birth, sickness and possible death of a baby born with Trisomy 18. Emerson will have 2 older brothers that will say hello and goodbye. One of which can't even say his name right. His brother Elijah calls him, "Ermasen." How cute is that?
My Nephew Emerson, taken last week.
I told my work early on that I didn't know what this summer will be like. The person I told forgot. They have me scheduled to teach summer school, they scheduled me to be a speaker for a high school teacher seminar on the 24th of June and I have to get ready for fall classes. I want to thank a couple of my co-worker's for agreeing to help me out! My sister watches my boy's twice a week, so I have to take off time for her to have maternity time. 

I was asked to take photo's of Emerson and I have 2 kids of my own. My children are super close to their cousin's because we share babysitting duties to skip out on daycare. They are the same ages {2 six year old's and 2 three year old's}. I desperately want to be there for Emerson's older siblings and of course for my sister and brother-in-law as well.

A few people have told my husband and I that this is not our problem. If you consider this innocent life a problem, well it is ours. We own him. Emerson is our's because we are a family. We are supposed to be supportive to one another. In my mind there is no doubt that, that is what families are for! 
A long time ago I wrote a poem. I look at this poem for my own grounding support. It made/makes me realize that we shouldn't take life for granted!

I wrote this while in college:

His first breath I wanted to hear.
Minutes passed by; I shed a tear.
A Mother's arms held him tight.
He awoke and started his brand new life.

Life is precious when it begins.
There are no thoughts of an end.
Every step leads to flight,
Eyes start to open with a glimpse of light.

The world is plastic, nothing real.
Even your thoughts seem surreal--
A visual left untold,
Nerves that feel stay within each mold.

The touch of hand forms a bond
Just like a voice captures a song.
So much in life is fate,
Nothing's the same, yet everything relates.

What is under a human's skin?
Is it a puzzle that lies within?
Pieces that twist and turn
Could one day break down and never return.

A baby's last breath sheds a tear;
He didn't even live a year.
People stand in a room,
Staring at a child that left the womb.

Good Night


There is a book you can get on Amazon called Good Night. It has gotten 5 stars out of 5. Reviews are super important to me.

This can be found here.

What Parents Learn From the Book:
  • An easy method to assist children to sleep in their own beds without hesitation!
  • How to end temper-tantrums at bedtime.
  • How to stop to fears, bargaining, and last minute wants that seem to drag out the process.
  • A way to have more time for yourself at night!

There is a book you can get on Amazon called Matilda and Maxwell Good Night. It has gotten 5 stars out of 5.

This can be found here.

What Kids Learn From the Book:
  • How one child is afraid to sleep at night.
  • A way to introduce method’s learned in Good Night.
  • Your child will get motivated to follow the system!
  • A funny book!
  • Written & illustrated for ages 2-8.
Win These Two Books:
Mommy Moment is hosting a giveaway to give away both of these fantastic books!

There are Monster's in My Bed!

My little boy just turned 3 last week. He is so different from my oldest son with going to bed.

With my oldest we just did what we called, "Tour de Clocks," which we'd walk around the house to show him the clocks, so he could see it was bedtime. He enjoyed Tour de Clocks. He respected time. Our oldest fell asleep easily. In fact when we had company or babysitters, they couldn't believe how easily our oldest went down!

I kept thinking, Gee wiz why do some people have so many problems getting their kids to sleep? Maybe they baby them too much!

Now is the time I need to swallow my words! Our youngest isn't hard to put to sleep, but he is nothing like his brother! He's an excuse kid. I've heard many excuses:

I scared of the dark! We put a night light in his room.
Mommy my foot itches. Itch it!!!!!!
Mommy I need a drink of water. Nope! I won't give in on this one! I'm trying to night train him.
Mommy I have to go potty. This happens after I've tried getting him to go. Right after I put his diaper on! But I don't want to deny him and then he might have an accident!
Mommy my butt itches. Yes I have heard this one! He ate too many strawberries and had a rash.
Mommy my chest has a headache! Yes I have heard this one too!
Mommy I have a booger on my finger! Don't pick your nose! I run in with a tissue to wipe it away.
Mommy there are monsters in my room! There are no such things as monsters!

Then I started to think, maybe there are very real monster's in some kid's minds! Imaginations are very powerful! Some people claim to of seen real Angels. Is it possible that monsters are a version of a bad spirit or even a good one? My husband would say I'm nuts. He is the type of person that is very scientific. Seeing is believing would come from him. I probably am nuts. It's just a thought of.

One thing I do know is real, Monsters are a real fear. The best thing you can do according to experts is to just do calm things before bed. Like read, give them a warm bath or sing them a few soft songs.

I thought about making or buying Monster Spray:

Experts say that calming things are better. Monster Spray tends to support that the monsters they see are very real. A parent is after all trying to get rid of them. I suppose they could be real, but I don't want my child's anxiety about monster's to explode. Then my youngest will really be hard to put down!

I think you as a parent have to make the decisions as to what is right for you and your child. What worked for my oldest doesn't always work for my youngest.

Momma's Sent, Sleeping Tips

When I had my babies I liked having them sleep close to me. I feel like babies like to be close to their Mom and Dad. Plus it was much easier breastfeeding when they were in the same room as I.

My Grandfather made a cradle that was used when I was a baby, and I used it when I had my babies.

I have no problem with people who choose to co-sleep, but I just couldn't do it. The fear that I'd roll on top of my baby was strong. I'm a super sound sleeper! The experts recommend that baby's have nothing in their bed such as bumper pads, pillows and blankets. In my bed there are both blankets and pillows. I kept my babies blanket free by using a zip up sleeper blanket like this one:

Our babies napped in their own room, so that they would feel comfortable when it was time to switch where they slept. Our son's didn't have a problem switching over from our room to their own bedrooms.

It was when they had extended hospital stays {one had a staph infection at 7 month and the other had meningitis at 2 months} that they had a problem sleeping soundly in their own room. In the hospital they had mostly Mommy by their side. When they went home Mommy was in a different room. Plus they still had IV's in to do home IV treatments.

I found a great way to make them feel comfortable again. I read about placing mom's night shirt in their crib to help transition them. It works! All you have to do is wear the shirt once. Babies develop their sense of smell before their sense of sight.

To wean them from this you simply take your night shirt away at nap time. They rely on it minimally. When it's there they seem to sleep more soundly in the comfort of their Mother's sent.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ready! Set! Potty Train! With The Protect-A-Bed® Potty Training Kit

Night training is something we're still working on at my house. I try and wake up my 3 year old right before we go to bed to go potty. He usually does, but still wakes up wet. Many people have told me that it just takes time.

This system is designed to waterproof and keep your child's mattress free of stains while reducing the amount of clean up time and embarrassment associated with bed wetting. I was a bed wetter until I was 5. I think it was because I was such a sound sleeper and suffered from allergies really bad.

The Potty Kit provides a barrier between your child and the mattress from irritants such as dust mites and other bacteria that can cause allergies, asthma and rhinitis. You'll protect your child's health and well being while you protect the life of the mattress.

The kit includes and provides:

  • 2 Twin Premium Mattress Protectors
  • 1 Standard Size Pillow Protector
  • Allergy and dust Mite Protection Soft Cotton Terry Surface
  • Cool and comfortable sleep
  • Superior Bed wetting Protection
 Win The Protect-A-Bed® Potty Training Kit:

One Savvy Mom! is giving away a set here!

Mommy’s Medicine Cabinet™

I just found a new store that I think is amazing!
It's called Mommy’s Medicine Cabinet™.

When I saw it, I thought about last year! My two year old {at the time} got stung in the nose with a paper wasp! We were out at a park taking extended family photo's. I was stuck with a cranky toddler that looked nothing like himself. Even worse, we had no medicine that would treat him for his sting! Can you tell his nose is completely swollen!?!

One Savvy Mom! is giving away a Mommy's Medicine Cabinet of their choice (Winner will have the choice of the Infants Medicine Cabinet or the Children's Medicine Cabinet RV$59.99).

I love the case that it comes in, the fact that it has pretty much anything you would need and it's portable!


My Guilt:

I have to admit that I feel super guilty about one thing. That is that I didn't used cloth diapers! Every month that I was pregnant with my two sons I'd buy a pack of disposable diapers. I figured that cloth diapers use a lot of water to wash, they are messy and stink. The two last things I said were true. The water thing, not so much. They use a lot of water to make disposable diapers as well!

The chemicals in disposable diapers did not even enter my mind until my sister had her son that was allergic to all the main brands of disposable diapers. Her son was potty trained much earlier then mine {they only were 2 months apart}. My nephew could feel when he was wet. My nephew also had a lot less rashes then my son.

The Down and Dirty on Chemically Loaded Disposables {Found Here}:
  • Disposable diapers contain dyes, sodium polyacrylate absorbent gel, and dioxin, a by-product of bleaching paper that is banned in most countries other than the U.S.
  • Scientific research has found a link between sodium polyacrylate and toxic shock syndrome and allergic reactions.
  • Sodium polyacrylate is harmful enough to be deadly to pets.
  • The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has found that the dyes and dioxin used in disposable diapers can cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys and liver.
  • The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has received reports that fragrances in disposables have caused headaches, dizziness and rashes.
  • Problems reported to the Consumer Protection Agency regarding disposables include chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors, and babies choking from pulling disposables apart and ingesting pieces of plastic. Plastic tabs can also tear skin if the diaper is not properly put on the baby.
  • The use of disposable diapers can increase incidences of diaper rash. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54 % of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, 16 % having severe rashes.
  • Scientist’s link male infertility and testicular cancer to disposable diapers: As reported in the
  • Archives of Disease in Childhood,
  • disposable diapers raise the temperature of baby boys’ reproductive organs, affecting their development.
  • Disposable diapers are harmful to the environment: The untreated waste placed in landfills by dirty disposable diapers can contaminate ground water. On the other hand, flushing solids from a cloth diaper down the toilet and washing the diapers in a washing machine allow the contaminated, dirty water from both toilet and washing machine go into the sewer systems where they are properly treated at wastewater plants. This treated wastewater is much more environmentally friendly than dumping untreated soiled disposable diapers into a landfill. It can take several hundred years for the decomposition of disposables to take place, with some of the plastic material never decomposing.
  • The process of making a super-absorbent disposable requires more water and cotton than simply washing a cloth diaper.
  • It is estimated that it takes a disposable diaper at best about 250-500 years to decompose, long after our great, great grandchildren have inhabited the earth. 
Being Out and About:
  • While it is true that disposable diapers are better, they are not always easier. There are disposable diapers that are chemically better then other main brands of disposable ones.
  • Bamboo Nature is one brand. There are other eco friendly brands out there as well! The key is to find diapers that have a lot less chemical use and to use cloth diapers as well. 
  • 2 lucky readers at One Savvy Mom! will each receive a case of Bamboo Nature Disposable Diapers! Additionally 4 will each receive a BAG of Bamboo Nature Disposable Diapers! 

The Benefits of Tummy Time

Does your baby need tummy time?

According to the experts at Baby Zone, they most certainly do!

The Benefits:
  • They kick more, which works their large motor muscles. 
  • They hold their head up more, which helps strengthen their neck. 
  • They then to grasp at a caregiver's shirt or blanket. This encourages fine motor skills. 
  • They crawl sometimes faster because they like being on their tummy's more.

Ways to Encourage Tummy Time:
  • The Boppy is great for tummy time encouragement. 
  • Lay your baby's lower body in the whole of the Boppy. Their upper body should be in the top portion of the Boppy.
  • Sew baby toys on a baby blanket. You can buy a tab blanket like this one:

  • You can also just lay baby toys out on a blanket. One Savvy Mom! is hosting a giveaway for one winner to win an infant or toddler/tween blanket from Minky Couture! They look so soft and they have a lot of pattern/color options! They are perfect for laying on the floor; for some extra needed tummy time!
Watch Out:

*Don't let your baby fall asleep on their tummy. There is higher risk of sids with sleeping on the tummy. Put your baby back to sleep. Don't let this discourage you from giving your baby the tummy time they do need!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Where to Shop for Older KIds

I had a problem. Everywhere I looked for baby boy clothes I could usually find cute things. Once my kids got a little older it was hard finding anything fun for them to wear! It seemed like places always had cute little girl things, but boy clothes were lacking.

I used to love Children's Place, and now when I go there, it's generally filled with solids, stripes or sports in their older kid section. My boy's don't really get into sports yet. Even their dress up clothes really are not my taste. Not a fan of argyle. That's just a personal opinion. My sister's boy's wear it and they look great. I put it on my boy's and they look like nerds.

I like Gymboree, but it is on the higher end. We shop the sales. I also love Crazy Eight, which we just got in Omaha, Nebraska. 

One place that I could always depend on was Old Navy. They are hip and not expensive! They have great clothes for baby's and older kids! I don't walk in and think, "Hummm lame!" I can usually find something right away. It seems like they have a variety! You need something sports like, dress up, fun they've got it.

By the way Tom and Jerry have made a giant come back! I'm seeing movies and other gear all over the place. My kids LOVE it! Ties too are HUGE with little boy's!

If you want to win a $100 gift certificate to Old Navy go on over to My Organized Chaos!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Slow Down, You're Growing Too Fast!

Kids grow super fast! With my first child it seemed like he grew fast in some ways, and time seemed to go slow in other ways. With my second child time was in warp speed! I really wanted to put a brick on his head and have him grow and change slower, so that I could savor every moment!

I hate packing baby clothes away! I just know that I will never use them again. 

With my youngest I don't have to buy too much because he uses what his brother had. With my oldest I'm buying more every year. He's so tall for a soon to be kindergartener! He fits in size 8 shirts all ready!

Old Navy is having a huge sale right now! Online deals can be so great! No running out with the kids, dealing with car seats, breastfeeding in public {if you're still doing that}. I hated taking the boy's out shopping, and the youngest would want to stop to eat. An empty dressing room was my best friend at the time.

Here is some of the baby stuff Old Navy has on their mega sale:
Goodness this little dress is cute! My girl name was going to be Savannah Claire. We never had a girl, but I still love the name and this dress!
 Soft soled shoes for $6.00! You really can't beat that! These are the best for beginning walkers!

For Father's Day, your baby boy could wear this:

My Wee View is giving away a $100 gift card to Old Navy. Can't wait? You can print of this coupon to get 15% off one single full price item.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dress Up

On my family blog I had a fun post this week. If you are wanting to see some fun pictures, please visit here!

I just love listening to kids play! Especially when they dress up! I know little girls are encouraged to dress up. I think it's important for boys to have pretend play as well!

My oldest pretending to be Indiana Jones. This is a Imaginarium Cowboy Dress-Up Set.
My two boy as super hero's! They look like nerds, but they don't have a care in the world! These came from Power Capes!
My youngest with a magician cape on! This came from Beansoup!

Bath Tips

Tip Number 1:

We have a lot of bath time toys. With my first child I never really knew how to wash them. Now I take the plastic toys out, put them in a medium sized net laundry bag and wash them in the top rack of the dishwasher.

With the fabric ones I put them in a small sized net laundry bag and wash them in the wash machine with towels.

This way they get clean, but not lost!

Tip Number 2:

My youngest likes to drink bath water from his tug boat bath toy. Gross I know. It is a common trait that you can read about here.

You can A) Pick your battles. Let's just face it, as a parent we can't fight with our kids about everything. Experts say that you shouldn't encourage this behavior, but it's not going to hurt your child in a really bad way. Soapy water may give them a tummy ache. Germs however are everywhere. Kids are exposed to them on a daily basis.

You can B) Take them out of the tub to go get a drink of water. If your child is like mine, they will hate getting out of the tub because it's cold. The kitchen is after all the place for drinking. I tried this, but I found that it didn't just punish my child, but it also punished me. It was a pain in the drain!

You can do what I do C) Get a glass of water prior to bath time. Have them drink and go potty before bath. Maybe put a glass of kitchen water on back edge of the tub. If you see them drinking from a bath toy, have them drink from their glass instead. If they choose to drink from their toy after you have warned them not to, in my house they loose the toy.

Tip Number 3:

Get creative with your toys. Just like kitchen pans can be used as drums, so can other things in the bath.

Get a sponge and a small bucket. Why you might ask? My husband took my oldest to visit a Montessori School {Just to check it out}. They said that in order to build hand eye coordination squeezing a sponge builds the muscles in the hand. Then they can do things like cut and draw easier. They have fun messing with a sponge. Using scissors in the beginning can be frustrating for the child because they don't have the muscle coordination and it's a skill that's yet to be refined.

Throw a plastic pitcher and plastic cup in the tub. This too was a Montessori School tip. They were having 2 and 3 year old kids pour from a pitcher into a glass outside the tub. Guess what? None of them were missing. My husband couldn't believe it! To learn how to pour have them practice in the tub; where messes are ok! This too builds hand eye coordination.

Other ideas: Funnels would be fun! Plastic measuring cups could be a lesson about full and 1/2 full. I could see my kids playing with a Turkey Baster in the bath tub and loving it! This totally pushes creative play and again increases hand eye coordination.

A Giveaway:
EcoMom is giving away a $40 gift card at My Wee View. You can win it, and spend it on bath stuff {the stuff shown above is from EcoMom} or you can use it on whatever else you want! 

EcoMom also has a special 15% gift code that you can use: SBBL104.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Wake Up Call Video

A very good video. My only frustration is that it mentions that we have toxins in our breastmilk {because of what we eat and pass on}, and it doesn't say anything about them being in formula. 

Otherwise I like it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I just wanted to take a moment to tell all of my reader's Happy Mother's Day! I'm talking about all mom's! There are new mom's, mom's that have lost children, mom's that have adopted and so on. You are all special!

I have to be honest I've never been totally sold on the whole Mother's Day, Earth Day, Father's Day, Teacher Appreciation Day event's. I feel like we should respect all those things/people all the time. As far as gifts go, I get enough for birthdays and Christmas.

On another note, I love and respect my mom! I'm pretty sure my boy's love and respect me, most of the time. ;) They have their moments of being completely cute, good, crabby and naughty. I'd say overall I'm very blessed with cute kids!

I did take my kid's to a Lowes Build and Grow Clinic yesterday. I think we'll be regulars! We made Mother's Day vases. I think that's my favorite gift of all. Just spending time with them. Daddy did take the boy's out to get me earrings, lotion and samples of hand sanitizer. Such a sweet smelling gift. I am truly thankful!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baby Socks and Breast Pads, I've Learned the Hard Way

I bought my baby's cute little outfits with matching socks {sometimes}. All the sudden one sock would go missing in the laundry. Sometimes it would turn up, sometimes it wouldn't. I actually had a drawer that was reserved for single socks. They are so little, and I swore that the wash machine or dryer ate them.

Not only did I loose baby socks, I lost breast pads as well. 

Now I use:

A laundry bag to put them in. The lingerie bags work the best because they are small. I have a soon to be 3 year old, and I still put his socks in the lingerie bag. This method works so well!

New Age Mama is giving away an Odyssa Embroidered Bag, winners style and choice. Not only can you keep track of baby socks and breast pads, their bags are so cute. They also protect your bras, silly panties, shirts with beads/sequins {you get the idea}.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fill in the Blankie

I learned about a new company today called Fill in the Blankie. They let you choose a blanket, and then you can write whatever you want on it. I'd love to win one for my sister's baby that she's carrying!

I'd either customize it to say his name: Emerson Charles Garst, or the meaning of Emerson.

I had a blankie when I was a child. My mom had one rule; which was keep it in your bed.