Friday, May 31, 2013

Playing to Learn With Sight Words



My daughter Shari recently turned 5.  She will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and I can hardly believe it! It seems like just the other day I was teaching her to take her first steps.  

Shari has never been one to do anything half way (unless you count cleaning her room). A week after learning to walk, she was running. Shari is not content to simply talk to you, she is very careful to enunciate and to tell you everything she knows – twice. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thirty-One Review and Giveaway!

This is a guest post by my friend Sarah over at Faith Filled Footsteps:


Hosted by: Faith Filled Footsteps & Tote-Ally Organized by Sue
Co-Hosted By:
MOMentarily Distracted & More Than Mommy


Have you ever walked past someone and gone "Wow! I wonder where she got that bag?!". I can tell you that is what I think almost every time I walk past a woman with a Thirty-One Bag. These bags are super cute and recently I was lucky enough to review the Super Organizing Tote in the new hot pattern for the summer, Best Buds. This pattern is really nice for us mommies of boys. It is a floral pattern that meets the girly girl in me but it is in blues and greens so no one will say
"How old is your little girl?!".
For some reason the color of your diaper bag seems to determine the gender of your child?


Warriors In Pink Giveaway!

warriors in pink giveaway
Welcome to the Warriors In Pink: Winner's Choice Giveaway
Hosted By Miss Frugal Mommy and Sponsored By Warriors In Pink
Ford Motor Company has been active in the fight against breast cancer since 1993. In 2006 Ford intensified its efforts by introducing Warriors in Pink and the Ford Warriors in Pink line of wear and gear. 100% of the net proceeds from all wear and gear sales is dedicated to the cause with donations going to charities that offer a wide-range of support.
proceeds

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Really Necessary?



When my son Alex was born, I had to have all the gear. I truly thought it was all necessary. I have since learned that much of it is not worth buying. A wipes warmer? Nope. Bumper pads for the crib? Experts recommend you don’t even use them anyway! The same goes for walkers.


One of the things that I did have with him was a changing table. I had people tell me that I wouldn’t use it, but I actually did. I would schlep him all the way up the stairs and into his room for every diaper change, until he was too wiggly for me to put him up there.

Then we moved, and it wasn’t worth dragging it all the way to Japan with us! Of course, shortly after moving, I got pregnant with my second child and we had to buy all kinds of gear all over again that we had just gotten rid of. I did not, however, buy another changing table. 

Fast forward another five years, and my little Sophia has now officially entered the rolly polly, squirm-all-over the place phase. As she is not quite five months, I am glad I didn’t waste the money on a changing table again…not to mention the space! 

As the mother of three, I have definitely found some items that are absolute necessities as well. A good swing is one of them. You can check out my review of swings here.

What baby items did you decide to skip, or found out later that you didn’t need?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scentsy Review and Giveaway

 This is a guest post by my friend Sarah over at Faith Filled Footsteps:

Hosted By:
Scentsy by Christie
&
Faith Filled Footsteps

Co Hosted By:
We're Parents & More Than Mommy



The Scentsy Story:

Scentsy began with a simple idea — a safe, wickless alternative to scented candles — and quickly grew into one of the most successful direct selling companies in the world. This wickless concept is simply decorative ceramic warmers designed to melt scented wax with the heat of a light bulb instead of a traditional wick and flame.




Photo Credit: Scentsy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013



Today, I would like to honor all the men and women who have fought for our country and sacrificed their lives. All Americans owe a debt to them that can never be paid. What we can do is remember their sacrifices and remember their families who have been left behind. 

This Memorial day, visit a veteran’s cemetery, leave a flag and teach your children the significance of this day. 

If you are able, support TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Taps is a program that assists those grieving fallen service members. They provide camp for kids, grief counseling, and support groups to those who have lost someone in the military.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mama Mayberry's Review and Giveaway!

Hosted by More Than Mommy &

I recently came across the cutest shop on Etsy. MamaMayberry’s is a shop that creates handmade plush toys. Well, of course I had to share such a sweet shop with my readers! Kristen from Mama Mayberry’s was kind enough to send me a Nerd Plush Octopus to try out and review for you all!

The day the Nerd arrived was so much fun. Upon opening the box, we saw that it was wrapped in the nicest little handmade fabric bag, with a gift card attached with a sweet message. It’s perfect for giving as a gift. Inside the bag was our Nerd plush, wrapped in tissue paper.


Upon removing it from the bag and wrapping paper, my son immediately staked a claim, naming him ‘The OctoNerd.’ He is absolutely adorable, and exactly as pictured. He is perfect for any kid, as are all of Mama Mayberry’s toys. Shari (5) and Alex (8) had a lot of fun looking at all the fun and unique toys on the Mama Mayberry website.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Emergency Preparedness



With the tragedy that has happened in Oklahoma this week, it made me think about how prepared my family is for a natural disaster. What I found is that we are not nearly as prepared as we should be. So, I am making a plan and getting supplies together for my family in case the need should arise.
I firmly believe that there is value in being prepared for a disaster. Having some emergency supplies is a great thing, especially if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding or anything of the sort. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Joyful Jossy Bow~tique Review and Giveaway!

This is a guest post by my friend Sarah over at Faith Filled Footsteps:
 Sponsored by: Faith Filled Footsteps
Co-Hosted By: Open Hands and More Than Mommy


Joyful Jossy Bow~tique is a hot new bow company that I recently found on Facebook. The owner Megan Williams makes these super adorable handmade bows.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Playing to Learn: Marshmallow Geometry



Playing to Learn:  Marshmallow Geometry

Passing by the marshmallows at the store one day, Shari called out “Oooohh, marshmallows!” And so of course, I started thinking, “Oooooohh, marshmallows,” “We could do something educational with these!”


One of the most fun projects I remember from my school days was building marshmallow geometric shapes. It was a great way to learn, and delicious too! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disneyland Scammers



Have you all heard about the Disneyland scammers? The NewYork Post broke a story recently about a woman who is physically handicapped and who is hiring herself out in order to allow people to skip the lines at Disneyland. It has become the ‘it’ thing to do in some circles.

This woman is charging $130 per hour to provide this service. I have to admit, it is great money…but at what cost? What is it going to cost the future visitors to Disneyland who have trouble getting around? This woman is doing a great deal of harm to them, not to mention their own children.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Breastfeeding Failure



I was lied to. I was told that breastfeeding was natural and easy, and all women can do it. Well, it didn’t come naturally to me, it certainly wasn’t easy, and I wasn’t able to successfully do it with my oldest two children. I was completely unprepared for the pain of cracked and bleeding nipples, the engorgement I experienced, and the enormous feelings of failure I felt when I failed to nourish my children the way I was supposed to.

When my son was born, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. The doctors laid him on me, and he snuggled up to my breast and latched on like he was never going to let go. In those first few moments, I actually believed that it would in fact be easy. He didn’t have any problem latching on at that point. Later though, after the first couple of feedings when I was faithfully applying the lanolin that I was promised would help me with any ‘mild discomfort,’ I noticed that my nipples were starting to blister. They then started to crack and bleed with each subsequent feeding. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Delaying Solids



Yesterday was my daughters 4 month check-up. (Everything is looking good!) I was a little nervous, because I was planning on talking to her doctor about delaying solids, which is something that I have been doing research on. A lot of doctors still don’t always recommend this yet as much of the studies have been done in more recent years, in fact I had not even heard of such a thing for my older two, although by the time they were this age I was no longer breastfeeding.


I was pleasantly surprised when he was the one who brought it up, without me having to mention anything about it! He asked if I was still breastfeeding and how it was going and said that he would rather I continue to breastfeed, without introducing solids at least until after he sees her again at her 6 month check-up, possibly longer. It made me feel really good about my choice of doctor that we were in such agreement on this topic.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Playing to Learn: Counting with Money



Learning about money can be difficult for young kids. Some coins are big, and some are small, but neither is an indicator of worth. Some are silver and some copper, some have ridges and some are smooth. These days, with all of the state quarters, it just makes the whole thing even more confusing for a child who is already struggling.

The only way to learn about money is to keep practicing with it. You can do this in a boring way, by simply trying to do flashcards or memorizing, but it doesn’t exactly make a child excited to learn about it. The only thing to do is come up with a fun game to help your child learn!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Croup



The past two days in my house have been fun. Real fun. It’s been a time of learning and sharing. 

Sharing of germs and learning what in the world ‘croup’ is. First Shari started with a little sniffle. 

But, as any parent knows, that can (and usually does) quickly turn into a cough at bedtime, a sore throat the next day, and whining and complaining about it for the next week. In Shari’s case, it also means begging for medicine. That crazy kid loves the stuff!

Shari then shared her cold with her brother, who couldn’t help but share the love with his baby sister. Sophia is only 4 months old, and so a cold for her is really such a fun and exciting adventure. *Ahem* Riiight

Sophia caught the cough and sniffles and added her own fun version – a cough that sounds like a bark. Coming from a 4 month old helpless child, this is really quite alarming. So, I turned to the trusty internet, because we all know that WebMD is a great place to be when you are worried about your baby. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Baby Swing Review



The baby swing that we bought several years ago for our older daughter Shari and used again for Sophia finally kicked the bucket. Being in the market for a new one, I did a lot of research and even tried out a few.

Graco Glider Petite Swing

 

The first one that I tried was a new one from Graco, since we have had good luck with their products in the past. (The swing that we had for years was a Graco product). The Graco Glider Petite Swing (Sonoma) was one that I was really excited about, as it looks really comfy, almost like a hammock in the way that it cradles a baby. And since she would be sleeping in it, I thought it would be a good fit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Candy Crush is Evil



Candy Crush is evil. There, I said it! It’s true too. 

If you are not familiar, Candy Crush is a game on Facebook that will suck your time away. It is a matching game, which sounds completely easy and innocuous, but once you start playing; your time will quickly fade away. Trying to level up and get really good matches, and breaking the chocolate blocks. Truly, it’s not a game for kids!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2013



 Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Being a military spouse is not easy, not by a long shot. I spent four years in the active duty military, which I think has given me an edge on being able to be understanding when my husband has to go overseas or out to sea, sometimes. 

Being a military spouse means we do not always know when our loved ones will return, where they are at a given moment, or even if they are okay. The evening news becomes both our friend and our enemy when they are deployed. We watch, not knowing if we will hear about a ships movement or hear about a bombing that has occurred.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Planter



I love my kids, obviously. But Mother’s Day is a day when our kids get to tell us that they love us in return. I feel blessed that my kids tell me pretty much every day, but I still feel special on Mother’s Day when they have done something special, or put in some special thought to show me that they love me. It doesn’t have to be something that costs a lot of money, and in fact, I think the best gifts cost very little, if anything.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Playing to Learn: When your Kids are Sick



When my kids are sick, I prefer to keep them confined to bed. They get more rest that way, and they are less likely to infect the rest of the family. The problem with this is that it is pretty darn hard to entertain a young child for very long from their bed. My older child can read, so that is what he usually does, but my 5 year old is still learning. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Case for Disposable Diapers



Cloth diapers have come a long way in the years since my mother used them. There are no more safety pins, and you can find them in more than just the standard white. In fact you can find them in every cute color and pattern under the sun. And while they are so cute these days, I am still going to stick with disposables. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spiders



I think I’ve done something bad. I think I have passed along my fears to my children. I am terrified of spiders, and everyone who knows me even a little bit knows this. My son has come to me sobbing and so afraid at night. Not because he is afraid of the dark, or monsters under the bed but because he is afraid there are spiders lurking in the dark, waiting for him.  What’s worse is that, while I know it is irrational to think these little spiders have the brain capacity to wait for a human to go to sleep, I understand that fear. I remember experiencing it myself. 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Using the Library



Our library had a book sale this past Saturday, which was a great way to get really inexpensive reading material. I was able to get any children’s book for only $0.50 per book. This lets us fill up our personal library with educational materials without spending a fortune.  As a homeschooling family, this is an absolutely invaluable resource.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Dirty Diaper Dance

Have you ever been pooped at? I have.

In her first few weeks of life, my daughter Sophia projectile pooped at me. It was both the funniest and the nastiest thing I had experienced in a while. Of course, it was much more amusing when it happened to my husband!

It was a great lesson both in changing a diaper fast and in ensuring your little is completely finished before you try and change them! At least she spread out the love and got both of us each once. 

I know it’s not popular for a mom to say they don’t want to spend 24/7 with their child…especially if that mom is a stay-at-home mom like I am.

However, there are times when it is not enjoyable to be around your sweet child. Like when that beautiful baby makes something not so beautiful in their diaper. Yuck.

Neither my husband nor I are ever very excited when that happens. So, we do the ‘dirty diaper dance.’  

The dance goes like this: One of us has the baby and she makes a mess. That parent then brings her to the other parent, saying something along the lines of, “Can you hold her for a minute? I have to go do XYZ really quick.”

After that parent has her for a minute or two, the smell tends to waft up. The first parent has effectively passed on the diaper duty to the second parent.

It’s like doing the Hokey Pokey, but when you ‘turn yourself around,’ you run away.

There are some guidelines to the dirty diaper dance that are important to follow. Don’t pass off your baby who has just exploded when there is poop escaping the diaper.  

Just don’t do it.

It’s not cool, and your significant other won’t find it funny. Work as a team to get it taken care of and things will go better for everyone involved. 

Don’t do the dirty diaper dance all the time. If you do, it will get old real quick, and then you both will just be annoyed at each other. If you do the dance all the time, then it’s not a fun surprise for the other one, they’ll be expecting it each time you hand them the baby. And really, who wants to dread holding their sweet little one?

Recognize what each of you contributes to this baby raising thing, and be willing to laugh at each other and yourself.  Because remember, poop washes off, even if it is gross and you have to take a shower because you were just pooped or peed on (Yep, my oldest did that one too).

Being pooped at changes you. It makes you skittish, jumpy and very afraid of a repeat. And so the dirty diaper dance continues. 

Do you do the dirty diaper dance?