Wondrous INK {Product Review, Exclusive Promo Code and Giveaway}

We love books. We asked for books instead of cards at Cayden’s baby shower, we attended library story time weekly and always ended up checking out between 7-10 books a week and he still practically begs for someone to read him a story before nap time and bed time. To say he has his own personal library would be an understatement.

When I ran across Wonderous INK, I was ecstatic. Wondrous INK makes books, personalized for each child,  using not only their name, but a little character that can be chosen20953857_1940852529525484_560971196040242750_n to look similar to the child. They essentially place your child into the story and utilize the letter’s of his/her name in super cool ways to tell them what is special and unique about them!

You start by entering the child’s name, choosing the gender and the character and then you can preview the book.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the book in the mail. It is in a bright red sturdy box and well protected. The book itself is made of super sturdy, high quality, thick paper and the colors are phenomenal. The package itself can be addressed directly to your child, so the excitement starts right at the mailbox. What kid doesn’t LOVE getting mail?

To jump to the point, Cayden LOVES his book! The wording is super cool and the entire story line is well written. He actually learned how to spell his name just with a few readings.

Inside the book, the author uses the letters of your child’s name to help other characters and then describes your child with a word starting with that letter. In our book, the letter “C” was used as a horseshoe to fix the cart horse’s hoof. The letter “C” also stands for the word “Clever”.

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The book goes on through all of the letters of the child’s name and at the end, is a “paper” that states all of the unique qualities.

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Given the quality, cleverness, and overall design, Wonderous INK definitely gets a 5 out of 5!

Wondrous INK knows that you too, will love the book so they have offered an exclusive promo code for our BurritoBuzz followers! To receive 20% off your order until the end of September, use promo code:

BURRITO123

And, on top of their amazing promo code, we will be giving away not 1, but 2 books to our amazing followers! Keep an eye on our Facebook and our Instagram for details on how to enter!

Kirstyn

**BurritoBuzz received this product free of charge for review purposes only. There is no compensation given for a positive review, and all opinions and ratings are that of our own**

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What Da Fluff? Monthly Cloth Diaper Subscription Box {Product Review}

There seems to be a subscription box for darn near everything nowadays. I was pleasantly surprised when I ran across a monthly subscription box for DIAPERS! Not just any diapers though- cloth diapers. What Da Fluff is a family owned and operated company (which I love) who does a monthly subscription box (which I love) which includes cloth diapers and related products (which I love). For just $15/ month or $165/year, you will receive a package with:

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 4.22.02 PMNow, this says “one male themed diaper” and thats only because I chose the “Boy Box”. However, you can chose from boy, girl, or gender neutral.

What makes receiving the “box” even more exciting, is the packaging. It is so much prettier than a plain cardboard box with a label slapped on it.
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So, what was inside?
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1- Kijani Swim Diaper
1- Reusable Cold Pack
3- TEViVE Tea Bags
-and-
2- Sweet treats!

 

 

 

What else I love about this whole thing? Everything is affordable -AND- if you fall in love with whats in your package, if available, you can buy the extra inventory off the website’s shop at the end of the month!

My star rating for What Da Fluff? is definitely at a 5 out of 5! The subscription itself is super affordable, the diaper product is of good quality and affordable, the packaging is decorative and not just plain jane AND its a family owned and operated company!

Don’t worry about the need to #buyallthediapers, subscribe for some #fluffmail and you’ll be equally as happy!

Kirstyn

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Hope For Chance {Guest Blogger}

Pink and Blue. You see these colors most often associated with the birth of a new baby. Adorable, pink, frills and bows for a sweet girl, blue hats and onesies for a bouncing baby boy. These colors also adorn the awareness ribbon for Pregnancy and Infant Loss.

My name is Michelle Moskiewicz and I was brought into the world of infant loss on August 7, 2013. Chance, my sweet boy Chance was a wonderful, beautiful, healthy 20158299_10100673121551136_515744570_nbaby boy who was taken by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at two months and twenty-six days old. I guess it’s best to start from the beginning and work my way into that night and how we went about forming Hope For Chance, our non profit organization, that helps with families who have suffered from pregnancy and infant loss.

I found out I was pregnant with Chance about one month into my first deployment. According to the Air Force docs, I was just a little over two months pregnant. So, the Marine Corps sent me home.

 

Our pregnancy had a few complications, but Chance made his debut at thirty-seven weeks on the dot. He was a handsome chubby-cheeked boy who liked watching his dog and listening to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Band (he wasn’t very fond of the Darius Rucker version). He was the piece of our family puzzle that my husband and I didn’t realize we were missing. With him, everything was as it should be. His blue eyes, blonde hair, and widow’s peak made him the spitting image of his father- which after being in active labor for sixteen hours I didn’t find fair, but he was perfect.

It was that night, no, early morning when our lives changed forever. My husband had woken up to go to the restroom and had stopped by Chance’s crib to check on him. I only remember his screaming for me to wake up and call 911. For the next five or twenty minutes (it felt like forever) I gave my little boy CPR while simultaneously praying to God that this was a nightmare. To this day, I can still remember the chill on his skin against mine. We followed the paramedics to the hospital and were told there was nothing that they could do, my baby was gone. We were able to hold him for awhile. We were able to kiss his tiny head, to smell his scent, to hold him in our arms. My heart and muscles still ache for that weight, for that smell, to look down and see him.

Almost immediately we were pushed into the Loss World. We were still driving home when we got a call from the hospital asking permission to use Chance’s heart valves. We went through an interview with the police, after they’d gone through our home, Chance’s things. They took samples of his formula, of our water, dirty diapers, his crib sheet. They were looking for a reason, a cause. I am so happy they did now that I look back. For an infant to be classified as SIDS there has to be no other cause of death plausible. Chance had been in his crib, on his back, with nothing else. They had no idea what killed my baby boy.20179905_10100673123542146_1794190815_n

Immediately I began researching SIDS and getting into contact with all of the major researchers in the United States and joining all of the support groups Facebook had to offer. It was there that I read the story of a family who, after buying all the things a baby needed, still owing the hospital for birthing because insurance didn’t cover it all, after only having her baby girl home for three days, lost her to SIDS. She couldn’t afford a service, a burial, or an urn. She got her daughter’s ashes back in a plastic bag. I said no. I told myself I would never allow that to happen to another family if I could help it. 20134865_10100673122569096_1879182236_nThat is the moment that Hope For Chance was born in my mind. Within four months, Hope For Chance was a 501(c)3 non profit whose goal was to assist families who had lost a baby (does not have to be SIDS) with the costs of services, burials, and cremation. We also donate funds to research for Dr. Hannah Kinney at the Boston Children’s Hospital, and every year we host the Run For Hope, an annual 5k awareness run to bring more awareness and education to what SIDS is, what it isn’t, and how families can keep their babies safe during sleep. Hope For Chance, in our short four years has been able to help several families across the United States give their babies a sweet goodbye.

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While every late night phone call and e-mail from a family in need or a funeral home does remind me of our own loss, it also reminds me that though he is not here in our arms, he is alive in our hearts and in the hearts of everyone that knows our
story and those we have helped. We will be remembering Chance’s fourth Angelversary this year in just under a month.

I would like to thank Kirstyn for allowing me to guest post here on BurritoBuzz. She and I were brought together by happenstance, through our losses. I hope that any mothers or fathers out there who have suffered the loss of a child, whether miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss through adult loss, know that you are not alone. One in four women suffer with you. We are the guardians of our children’s memories. Whether that memory be a positive test, an ultrasound, a first smile, the first day of kindergarten, or graduation. You are not alone.

-Michelle

Fostering from the Eye of the Parent

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Fostering.  What  does fostering mean to me?

Can I start out by being 100% brutally honest and say that I can throw everything I thought about fostering/adopting out the window! Why do I say that?  I don’t say it to scare anyone,  but if we don’t have a healthy fear of the things in life then are we really living? How did I know I wanted to foster/adopt? When did I finally begin fostering, and when did fostering become an adoption? I hope to answer some questions that anyone thinking of fostering a child might have.

I had always known since I was a young girl that I wanted a large family. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted a huge challenge, but did I realize then  what that challenge was.  I can truly say that  I had zero clue. Let’s be real,  who truly understands much at that age? We all know we believe in something, but don’t really have purpose for it yet. So, you start doing little things to try figure life out.

Around the age of  11 I remember babysitting neighborhood kids for extra money. During high school I began working in daycares, working at amusement parks, and tutoring special education children. I spent the majority of my summers as a camp counselor for 4H camps and bible camps. I wanted to ensure that all children (especially those with special needs) could enjoy as much normalcy as possible.

Straight out of high school I got pregnant with my daughter. My pregnancy was hectic and problem ridden, and nothing less than stressful. I got married shortly after and surprisingly found out I was pregnant again. Sadly, at the same appointment I found out I was pregnant, I found out that we had lost our baby we never even knew I was carrying. Given the already troubling times this devastated us. After much discussion, time and healing, we together carefully planned to try again and I got pregnant with my son.1125321382-foster-care-adoption-quote

Following the birth of our son and some unforeseen troublesome times, military lifestyle, unrecognizable  differences  and overall stress of life, my husband and I decided to divorce.

A few years later I met my second husband, we had talked from the beginning of wanting to have a family together, he was a wonderful role model to my two biologic
al children. We discussed adopting, fostering, and even the potential of having our own; he was always supportive. About 2-3 years into our marriage, we decided that with the help of doctors we were ready to try for our own. We were heartbroken to hear that instead of trying to conceive, that I should get a hysterectomy due to unforeseen medical issues. So here I am… here we are… newly married, extremely excited to have a large family and have our own child together and in in a single moment you get news that you have to have a hysterectomy…at the age of 26. I would never be able to experience the ups and downs of pregnancy, the feeling of a child kick, or the rewarding feelings of birthing a child ever again. This changed me completely. My husband who had no children of his own, although  great to my biological children, wanted the joy and experience of parenthood with his own children. Something I couldn’t give him any longer. Needless to say, my marriage suffered greatly and we divorced.

Fast forward.

I met a guy who had 7 children. 3 of his own, 2 placed with him through the state, 1 through marriage and 1 he called his son although it was his friends son, he spent more than 50% of his time in his care. I fell in love with not only him but the children I had, at this point, only heard about. To see a man single handily take care of and call 7 children his.What woman wouldn’t fall knowing he could so unselfishly commit to that kind of lifestyle? Then we added in my two and we had 9 kids total. WOW! 9 kids and my heart was as full as ever! I was ecstatic to even have the opportunity to be a part of something so special. It tested me in every way possible but I felt love for 7 beautiful children that weren’t mine and loved them as equally as my own. This chapter of my life ended just as the others did. Surprise. However, I got to spend 2-3 year assisting with and raising such amazing children and have been blessed to get to continue being their lives as much as possible.

In 2013 I ventured back into single mom life and decided to spend time focused on MY life. I poured myself into my children, my sanity and began to find myself. I became stronger and focused on building a solid future. I spent roughly two years soul searching, finding my callings, my drive, narrowing my goals and figuring out who and what I was supposed to be.

What I  was destined to do really sunk when one night we were unloading the car from a trip and I noticed someone pull up to the house. A child got out, crying, ran up to the house and asked for my daughter. I immediately recognized this sweet girl as a close friend to my daughter. She frantically began explaining that she was in state custody and was needing a placement. I immediately lost control of my emotions, looked up at the sky and remembering mouthing “Nice joke Sir!”. I spent so much time bouncing back and forth with my thoughts of whether or not I could foster, should I foster, what would this mean for me and my family? 4328b5418297920ef569e2647f883d8d

I spent 3 long months in classes, gaining certifications, getting background checks, my life was dissected but it was worth it when I became a TN State Licenses Resource Parent/Foster Parent.

I began receiving the first of many, many, babies and children who would rest their heads in our home. They would find peace, safety, warmth, and nothing but love. My home was a home where they would and could make mistakes and not be judged or punished. They were met with patience and understanding. The now lived in a home where someone truly wanted to be a part of their lives, where their journey and experience meant something, where they would be set up for success an pushed to follow their dreams.

Never in a million years could I even begin to scratch the surface of the emotions that followed through. I never even knew these emotions existed. The abundance of love and the type of love I developed was unlike anything else I have experience before. I have been called every name under the sun, some bring pain with their calling, but the thanks and appreciation received would melt hearts in 150 different ways. The heart melting is sometimes met with heartache, sadness, and fear. These are the emotions that you would never know existed unless you’ve been there. I’ve had many babies come and an equal number go. I’ve spent many nights questioning myself as to if I am a failure, I’ve felt like these kids who I have grown to love were just ripped out of my loving safe home. I’ve stayed up for countless hours wondering if they are safe, loved and warm as they were here. I’ve cried countless tears for the same reasons.

Fostering is NOTHING like I imagined. I knew I would have to give up my free-time, the partying days were over, my time was no longer my time and it sure as heck wasn’t close to being manageable. I’ve spent more nights in hospitals, talking to the police, dealing with a DCS case workers, therapy, education classes and family visits that I ever thought was possible.

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Why do I do it? I’ve heard words come out of 9 & 10 year old mouths that they should never even have to hear, I’ve seen the anger expressed from them that they can’t even begin to understand what that feeling is they are expressing, I’ve seen kids so upset because they just want to be understood and feel wanted by someone. My calling was to be that “someone”.

Is it worth it? Absolutely! I get asked constantly why I do what I do and the effects it has on not only my life but the lives of my children.

What have I learned? I’ve learned to be a better parent. I’ve learned to be a different parent. I’ve learned to see things through the eyes of the children. I’ve learned that relationships will come and go but the love of the children remains.

So, do you think you have what it takes? 

Bring your “A” game because there are plenty of people ready to challenge you and you will quickly find out that you need them more then they need you. You’ll feel a different type of completion that compares to nothing else in life we can accomplish and fills our hearts in a sense we can’t even explain…

Learning to love children of many lives we learn to be better parents, better partners, mothers, friends, sisters, daughters…we learn to be overall better people. The reward and benefits of learning to love someone else’s child as your own cannot compare to anything else experience in life. Period.

~Amber

 

 

 

 

Chore Wars

Let’s talk chores…

I’ve polled this. I’ve asked other parents. I’ve googled the heck out of it…and it boils down to 50/50. I’ll start by saying my kids do chores. My (almost) 4 yr old dusted my cold-air intake the other day. It looked like garbage when he was done, and I re-did it, but he was so damn excited about it. img_4303

Parents who are for it said things like:

“It teaches them to work in a family”
“Chores raise kids to be better adults”
“Chores help kids understand important life skills”
“Children gain a sense of accomplishment”
“Don’t you have kids for free labor?”
“You have to teach them responsibility”

Now flip the tables:

“Chores annoy me as an adult, so I’m sure my kids would be annoyed and that’s emotionally damaging”
“They already have enough to do between sleepovers, playing outside with friends and homework”
“Kids aren’t adults. Housework is for adults”
“Kids need fun and fresh air. Not housework”
“Chores should be considered child cruelty”
“If kids do chores in their free time, all they will do it grow up to be housekeepers”

You ready for these two? These are by far the best most ridiculous answers…. brace yourselves:

“Parents who have their children do chores are just lazy and shouldn’t have to rely on their kids to do their jobs”
“Forcing someone to do work is considered slavery. Individuals should be allowed to choose what they do in life for their own gain. Kids are kids. Not slaves”

I can’t. I just can’t even entertain those.

915497.jpgAlright. So like I said, it’s clearly an equally debatable topic between us lazy slave drivers and the others. Just kidding. We’re not lazy slave drivers and I’m still baffled that someone even used that as a comparison.

Studies has shown and proven that children need chores. A professor from University of Minnesota, Dr. Rossmann, did a pretty extensive study on this whole topic. “Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance…

She “analyzed data from a longitudinal study that followed 84 children across four periods in their lives—in preschool, around ages 10 and 15, and in their mid-20s. She found that young adults who began chores at ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have good relationships with family and friends, to achieve academic and early career success and to be self-sufficient, as compared with those who didn’t have chores or who started them as teens”.
So it seems that her study was pretty conclusive to the fact that us who enforce chores are in fact not slave drivers, we’re just raising a generation more likely to be responsible and successful. Now, I’m not saying that kids that don’t do chores aren’t responsible and won’t be successful…what I am saying… well not even what I am saying…what the studies are saying is there is a correlation between success and chores. 17787369286_0c5db0b3a5

Now, no one is saying to make your toddler scrub toilets and go outside and clean up dog poop… the key here is age-appropriate chores. This list is all
of the things that your child within that age range should be perfectly capable of doing… will it be perfect? no. will you probably have to re-do it the first few times? yes. Is it for their own good? Absolutely.

So trust me. You’re not a slave driver and your kids won’t be emotionally scarred from having to put their laundry in the hamper by themselves. Handling spoons and forks won’t kill them and dumping dog food into a bowl isn’t the end of the world.

Teach your kids to contribute. Studies have shown, it’s worth it in the end.

-Kirstyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edible Won’t-Give-You-Salmonella Cookie Dough

I’m turning the BurritoBuzz table real quick and focusing on us adults for a second and not the children. Not that the kids couldn’t indulge too, but this was so good, I didn’t even want to share. There is no shame in that right?

I got this hankering tonight to make cookies. Although we LOVE cookies, we love cookie dough even more. Danny tried to convince me to whip up a batch of regular cookie dough, eggs and all, and he would be satisfied eating that. The only thing running through my mind was “salmonella” and that isn’t something that we need to contract ever, let alone right before Christmas, so I opted to figure out an egg-less cookie dough that we could legitimately eat right out of the bowl. Which we did.

What’s even better about this recipe is it took like 6 minutes  of my life to make and it requires ZERO baking

Ingredients:

1/2 c. of softened butter (thats 1 regular sized stick)
1 c. of sugar
1 c. of flour
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Sprinkles…as many as your glutenous little heart desires.Directions:

Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and milk; mix well. Add flour and baking soda and mix until combined. Fold in sprinkle. Hide in closet away from children and enjoy!

img_4380Do it. Seriously. Like get up right after you’re done reading this (and sharing it with all your friends who will love you for it) and make some. My husband and I seriously ate the WHOLE bowl, watching a movie on the couch (C was asleep), in our PJ’s.

Let me know how you like it or any add-ins you choose!

-Kirstyn

BottomZz Up Potty Training Kit {Review}

When we got the opportunity to review this product, I was super happy! C is what I like to call half potty trained. He will use the potty all day long if he is running around the house naked and if we’re out to dinner at a restaurant, he will ask to go potty. But our problem arises while at home, at the park, or anywhere else where is he preoccupied and focused on playing and having fun while wearing anything, a diaper, pull up, or underwear.

We’ve tried candy.
We’ve tried stickers.
We’ve tried ice cream.
We’ve tried what seems like everything.

He’s just not catching on. Part of it is lack of consistency on my part I am sure. Part of it is the week on/week off custody and his dad allowing him to still use diapers because it’s more convenient than having to do laundry in his eyes.

That’s where BottomZz Up come in.

download.pngThis system is amazing. Now don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with it and I will explain them in a second, but overall, fantastic! Is C 100% potty trained after a week with the system? No. Was there progress made? Yes.

Essentially what you’re looking at is the cloth diaper of the potty training world. The system offers cloth, washable, reusable training pants with an absorbent liner. The starter kit comes with a potty chart, stickers, a certificate, and a travel bag.

The Opening for the Liner. There is almost no wiggle room. I found that I was unable to get the liner in so it laid flat as I was unable to get my hand in to grab the other side and pull it through.

Sizing. C is an average sized toddler and I felt these were extremely small in the leg openings. This was part of the reason I couldn’t be consistent with him wearing them 24/7. They were far too tight on his thighs and he told me they were hurting him. When I took them off, he had pretty significant red lines where they were. There is no option (that I have found) with larger sizes when it comes to ordering.

Price. I think the pricing is a little steep. A box of 10 refill liners is almost $18 and a package of 3 underwear is nearly $50. If you want the whole starter kit, you would be looking at almost $100, but you only get 6 inserts. So automatically plan for another $18 purchase for more liners.

Reusable. I have a whole cloth diaper stash that I had for C and will use again for the next baby, whenever that may be. Not having to run to the store when you “run out” of diapers, pull up, etc., is super convenient.

Chemical free. 100% cotton undies and chemical free liners make it as safe and eco-friendly as it getsdownload-1Now, C peed in them the first time and realized that it was wet as it held the moisture in the underwear. We started bribing him with the stickers and he began going potty on the toilet. He kept them on during nap time and woke up soaking wet as they had leaked on the inner thighs. He had another accident in which they leaked in the inner thigh area too. We made due while at home, but I didn’t want to risk out in public with him in them if they were leaking. They do have a caveat on their site stating they may leak when sitting down, however, neither of the leaks were due to him sitting. But again, accidents happen. I think it has to do with the small gap between the fabric and the liner.

I think an All-In-One system would be a great change for BottomZz Up. Instead of having a removable liner, especially since you have to wash the underwear anyways, sandwiching the liner permanently between the fabric would possibly help stop the leaks and there would be no more struggle in trying to get the liner in.

Overall, I have to say 3 out of 5 stars for BottomZz Up. Innovative, semi-successful for potty training, but high in price and could use some tweaking when it comes to the liner. I would love to see some other sizing options!

– Kirstyn

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

October 15th – Raising Awareness

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October is well known for being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and unless you’re a sufferer, you most likely don’t know that it’s also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October as the month to honor those who have lost their children. Furthermore, October 15th has been further distinguished as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” (Reagan)

6fe109a3d6500ba075228d45f23c5278The statistics revolving around Pregnancy and Infant Loss are absolutely devastating and most people have no idea how common it is until it happens to them or a close friend or family member. Every year, out of the approximate 600,000 pregnancies, almost 200,000 of them end in some type of loss either while pregnant, during delivery, or within the first year of life. TWO. HUNDRED. THOUSAND. And that number isn’t even totally accurate because a percent of those losses occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

My recent miscarriage (you can read about my story here) brought a whole new meaning to the month of October for me. So here I am, battling with my own emotions, again wanting to ensure that women know they’re not alone. I know how it is and I know how it feels. If it takes me having to slap my heart on my sleeve to help 200,000+ women feel more comfortable, then that is what I will do.screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-6-00-46-pm

“By keeping these discussions taboo, we rob people of the basic support and understanding necessary to deal with their loss. By keeping these discussions taboo, we force women and families to suffer in silence.” – Tara Moss

There are resources out there that offer support. You don’t have to remain silent. Don’t be ashamed to reach out and ask for help or to simply share your story. That’s what these organizations are there for, they understand.

On October 15th, from 7PM-8PM in all timezones, families will light a candle in remembrance of all of the sweet babies gone too soon. Joining in this National Tribute will not only help raise awareness but show support to those who you don’t know may be suffering silently.

Who will you be lighting a candle for? 

– Kirstyn

Nootrobox GoCubes Chewable Coffee {Review}

I’m not a home-brewed coffee drinker, I never have been and seeing as how I am 26, I probably never will be. I will, however, indulge in any type of cold coffee. I love the taste of coffee and I love the smell of it, so I’m not sure what the issue is with drinking it hot. So when I was offered to review Nootrobox’s GoCubes Chewable Coffee, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

GoCubes are chewable coffee cubes that offer the caffeine off a cup of coffee without the jitters. Nootrobox has added L-theanine, B6, and methylated B12 for an extra boost and to help alleviate those all well known coffee jitters.hero-shot-yellow

More about the cubes: they come in a pack of 4 and there is a flavor assortment in each pack: Mocha, Pure Drip, and Latte.

The fact that they are concentrated caffeine, as well as a few other ingredients, makes the reaction completely different than drinking coffee. They worked rather quickly and lasted for quite some time. I didn’t experience the jitters or stomach issues I experience after drinking coffee.

Flavor wise, I don’t know where to start. You have to first explain to yourself these are not chocolates or candy, so do not expect them to be sweet or like anything that would be pleasurable to your pallet. The initial taste was okay, but the longer the cube was ibj289byrsdcj4ts00z4on my mouth, the weirder the taste became. It was a cross between black coffee and how a coffee filter smells after it’s wet (kind of sour). Each pack contains all three flavors, so if you don’t like one certain flavor, you’re pretty much out of luck as they all look and smell the same.

Convenience wise, they are fantastic! The small package is easily transported and can be easily carried and stored in your purse, gym bag, desk drawer, etc. Unfortuantely, the package is not resealable. So if you’re only needing 2 cubes, you have to wrap up and clip the plastic package to keep the other two cubes fresh.

Nutritionally, they’re not too terrible for you. A little bit high in sugar and carbs for people, like my husband, who choose low carbs options to accompany his gym regime. Given how a plain black cup of coffee is sugar and carb free, this could be a problem for some. What I don’t like is the first two ingredients being glucose (corn) syrup and sugar. I drink my coffee with sugar but real sugar, not highly processed syrups.

The price point is pretty high, but our BurritoBuzz readers can get 10% off your order by clicking here! They run about $39 for 20 4-packs. That is roughly 40 cups of coffee. Comparing it to the typical home brew, you can purchase a 33.9oz container of Folgers and brew roughly 270 cups of coffee for about $18. However, you will lose the convenience, (almost) immediate energy kick, and other brain focus ingredients.

I would have to give the GoCubes a 3 out of 5 stars. I think there is a little room for improvement and tweaking that could be done to packaging, price, and definitely taste, but overall, a very innovative product that tackles the quickness and convenience of needing caffeine that we all know too well and that exhausted parents need.

– Kirstyn

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

My Experience with Misoprostol (Cytotec)

When I went to my OB appointment following my recent miscarriage, my uterus was empty aside from some lining and some clotting but my doctor still prescribed me oral Misoprostol (Cytotec).

Although my body will expel everything all in due time, I believe the main concern comes from not expelling the remnants quick enough and becoming septic, causing an infection. After long thought, research, and discussion with my husband and even though the human body is a well oiled machine and knows what needs to be done, the fear of infection which could potentially lead to sterility consumed our thoughts and ultimately led me to  the decide to take this medication. It was obviously prescribed for a reason.

I immediately turned to Google to find the answers to all of my questions, most are still unanswered. My non-expert conclusion: This medication reacts differently with everyone. It’s worrisome especially because this medication is prescribed (or at least with me it was) with a narcotic pain medication and a strong anti-inflammatory. My mind automatically goes “holy shit, this is going to suck.” Yesterday, on my way home from the doctor, I experienced some pretty heavy cramps and passed large(r) clots when I got home. The cramping has stopped, but I thought I was going to throw up from that pain, so I was really dreading this.

Emotionally, it’s really hard to take a pill that is prescribed for abortions, to induce labor, and to essentially finish or start a miscarriage. I know I am no longer pregnant, I passed the placenta, baby, and other “products of conception.” But this is it. This finishes and finalizes the physical aspect of losing our baby.

The medication states it can take up to 4-6 hours to go into effect and the strong effects should subside within 12 hours. It is prescribed as “2 now and 1 every 6 hours thereafter until complete.” So I will be taking this medication from 11:45 am today until 11:45 pm tomorrow, every 6 hours for one entire day.

A few bits of advice given to me by my doctor:

1. Do not be alone while taking this medication. This was recommended by my doctor as the amount of bleeding can cause dizziness and the potential pain can be debilitating.

2. Take the medication early so given the medications “typical timeline,” the majority of symptoms will be completed prior to bed.

3. Stay on top of the pain with pain medicine. Do not wait until your cramps are painful to take a pill. It’s way easier to stay ahead of the pain than it is to get rid of it once it sets in.

4. Invest in some nice, thick long pads. I have been using Poise Overnight Long Length Pads since my miscarriage. These are the best. I have tried Always Nighttime Pads and have experience numerous leaks over the sides. The Poise pads are long, thick, and super absorbent. I have not had one single instance of leaking. They have leak lock sides to prevent leaking during the day and at night. They’re not cheap, but they’re worth every cent. I believe they’re around $25 for 60 of them at WalMart. Here is my experience:

September 13th:

11:45am – Took my first two prescribed Cytotec pills, 1-800mg Ibuprofen and 1 Percocet
12:45pm – No pain
1:45pm – Eensey weensey back cramp comparable to PMS symptoms before starting a period
2:45pm – Back cramp subsided, still nothing
3:34pm – Stomach cramps that resembled hunger pains. Uterine wise, nothing.
4:45pm -Stomach cramps remain, nothing.
5:45pm – Took my second dose of Cytotec and 1 Percocet (just in case). This has been pretty uneventful thus far.
8:24pm – Still nothing. I’m so confused.
11:17pm – Still nothing. I’m remembering the cramping and passage of clots and tissues yesterday and very early today and wondering if my uterus is already cleared out therefore the medicine has nothing to do.

September 14th:

9:30am – I’ve taken my 4th dose of Cytotec and still nothing.

12:34pm – Slight cramping resembling a period. Nothing crazy.

3:45pm – No cramping. Passed a few small clot, but not even really bleeding.

Took two more doses this day. All in all, it was pretty uneventful. No real pain, no crazy bleeding, and well, not at all what I expected. I’m sure everyone’s experiences will be different. So really, I’m sort of confused by the whole process. I was expecting labor pains, crime scene bleeding, and debilitating symptoms but luckily, I snuck by with some hunger pains and a cramp or two. I will be following up with my OB just to ensure my uterus is clearer.

If you have your own experience with this medication, please comment and let me and others know how it went for you.

– Kirstyn

I Am The 1-In-4

“I’ll see you in my dreams tonight.
I’ll kiss your cheek and hold you tight.
I have no more tears left to cry.
You’ve flown away, my butterfly.”

This is not going to be a typical BurritoBuzz blog post. Typically we’re reviewing products, being sarcastic, writing about Lego’s and organization. We’re making our readers laugh and living the happy mommy dream one post at a time. However, I am sharing with you today about a topic that isn’t talked about, taboo in a sense; people aren’t made aware of it because no one talks about it and it’s heartbreaking: pregnancy loss. This is going to be real and this is going to be tear-jerking, but not only do I want others to be able to try to understand, I want other moms who have experienced loss to know that the moms here at BurritoBuzz sympathize with you, can relate and are here for you. 

**Please keep in mind that this is my experience. If you have cramping, bleeding, back pain or another out-of-the-norm symptom, please call your doctor or visit your nearest ER as soon as possible. **

I couldn’t even think of a witty typical BurritoBuzz title for this post and I’m sure that has to do with the fact I simply can’t think at all right now. It’s like a blurred shade has been pulled over my eyes and I just go through the motions to make it through the day.

Nothing I can put into words will truthfully help anyone understand. It’s one of those situations, that if you haven’t been there, you can’t even begin to imagine the pain. It’s one of the worst things I have experienced in my entire life, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it from day to day. I promise I’m not being overly dramatic, it absolutely f*cking sucks. a27c0fe7949608c3784b2b824e541dd3

The wounds are fresh and very, very new. Not even a week ago, I was being rushed to the ER via ambulance with my 10 week old fetus in a tiny little container on my lap. I had suffered a spontaneous complete miscarriage at home at 9:42pm on Thursday, September 8th, 2016.

Let me start from the beginning. Here’s how it all happened:

Sunday, September 4th – I was seen in the ER for minor spotting with no accompanied cramps. An ultrasound was done and we were told our baby was fine, growing right on schedule, strong heartbeat and the spotting was from a subchorionic hematoma and there was nothing to worry about. Given the positive news, Danny (my husband) left for a funeral in California.

Tuesday, September 6th – I was back in the ER, as the blood had increased, still no cramping. Given the same information as before in regards to the baby being healthy and everything looking perfect.

Wednesday, September 7th – I was seen by an OB. I had yet another ultrasound where she told me everything was perfect, the baby looked great. I still had the subchorionic hematoma, but there was no harm to me or the baby. She told me I had a less than 2% chance of pregnancy loss. I was told to expect some minor (if any) cramping while the bleed cleared itself out. She then reiterated the “low, low risk of loss.” I remember hugging her as I left and thanking her because she put my mind at ease. I immediately called Danny and told him the great news.

Thursday, September 8th – Typical day at home. No bleeding. Few twingy cramps here and there, but nothing worrisome, all to “be expected.” I laid down in bed with C (he sleeps in my bed when Danny is out of town). I felt a peculiar “pop” right above my pelvic bone and vaguely remembering Googling “can you feel you baby move at 10 weeks?” While reading about how chances are extremely slim, I felt more wetness than normal. I figured I was spotting again. I had light panty liner on, so no worries. However, felt the urge to go pee. I stood up out of bed and from there to the hospital is a huge blur. I remember barely making it to my tile floor before the amount of blood became alarming, as it pooled around my feet. I remember trying to stay calm since my 3 year old son was still awake. I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom on the phone with Danny telling him I had a miscarriage and was holding our 10 week old fetus in my hands. He didn’t want to believe me, swore I was mistaken because less than 36 hours prior I was told everything was perfect. I called my mother-in-law to come stay with C and I sat on the bathroom floor, in a huge puddle of blood, clots and tissue, with our baby, crying hysterically. I remember intermittently answering and making phone calls to my husband and listened to his beg and plea for me to be okay and get to the hospital. I remember trying to clean up the floor before my mother-in-law got there. I suppose this was out of embarrassment and instinct. I don’t remember her coming over and I don’t remember calling 911, but now know the reason I did was the amount of blood I lost. I don’t remember how my baby got placed into a tiny Tupperware container. I don’t remember the ambulance ride or getting to the hospital. I was in such a daze. A blank stare daze. I didn’t speak. I didn’t think. I didn’t move. I laid in the hospital bed, still hemorrhaging severely while the doctors did whatever they needed to. There were so many people, so many questions, gowns, blankets and IVs. My heart rate was through the roof and my blood pressure was low.  I had lost a significant amount of blood, to the point they were hanging bags of blood to give me (which I guess I refused until 100% medically necessary). They estimated from 9:42pm to the time I had gotten to the hospital, I lost between 550-575 ml of blood. I don’t remember anything else past that point. I was discharged roughly 8 hours later with instructions, narcotics and an empty womb.

September 9th-12th – Bleeding, mild cramping, exhaustion and still emotionally numb.

Monday, September 12th – I followed up with OB today and it was horrible. I walked down the hallway of the Women’s Health Clinic as the sound of fetal heart monitors echoed out of the rooms and into the hallway. The doctor came in, did an ultrasound and said that aside from some average clots and a thick uterine lining, my body had expelled everything itself, as if I was somehow unaware of this. She prescribed Cytotec to re-induce labor, Percocet and Ibuprofen for pain. The Cytotec will “shorten the rest of the process to 1-2 days”. I can’t write about my experience with the Cytotec because I haven’t began taking it yet and haven’t decided if I will. If I chose to take it, I will write about it. My body is naturally doing what it is supposed to do and the doctor said everything will resolve itself. I did not need and as of right now, will not need a D&C. This appointment was extremely hard. Not only did I see the same doctor who told me the day before I miscarried that everything was “perfect,” but I also saw my barren uterus. The same uterus that was so full of life, kicking feet and a beating heart last week. It really took a bigger toll on my already fragile emotional state.

Emotionally, I’m still not sure what is going through my head. The “Stages of Grief Cycle” is  a universal kinda thing but what is all true is that we all grieve differently and this cycle is a bunch of bullshit. Just because I’m choosing to share my story doesn’t mean I am in the “Dialogue and Bargaining” stage and given how I’m feeling, I am image011_0somewhere between my personally improvised grief cycle categories of “not wanting to get out of bed in the morning” and “sitting on the couch in a daze all day.” What has truthfully helped me a teeny tiny bit, is the outreaching of my family and friends who have been there and experienced a loss. The support of my husband is outstanding and people have come out of the woodwork to offer their condolences and share their stories. They’ve offered “tips and tricks” for what has helped them, links to websites, books, songs, blogs, etc. Does it heal the pain? Absolutely not. Does it help by surrounding yourself with others who can truthfully relate? Absolutely. Surround yourself with anyone and everyone you feel comfortable with and bask in the love and support you’ll receive. There have been moments when I want to be 100% alone and just be able to cry and scream without anyone consoling me. There have been moments when I want someone around because I won’t breakdown around others and it’s nice to be able to feel “normal” in the sense of having a casual conversation. It’s a crazy mixture of wanting people around, but wanting to be alone. I’ve found myself locked in my bedroom with a house full of people just to keep myself from having a panic attack. There are other days when I have been at my mother-in-law’s house, laughing and interacting with other members of the family. I do want to take an extra moment and touch on my wonderful husband. Even from over 2000 miles away he has been my rock through all of this. He answers the phone no matter what time of day, he calls numerous times a day to make sure I’m okay and he knows how to make me laugh even through all of this. He even sent me a dozen red roses to ensure I knew he was here for me. I have never doubted his support and do not fault him for being away. If we received even a slight bit of hesitant news on that Sunday, he wouldn’t have left. I strongly encourage you to take comfort in your spouse or significant other. They may not show it as emotionally as you will but trust me, they’re hurting just as bad.
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I can’t tell you how to grieve and I can’t give you a timeline as to when the pain will subside because frankly, I don’t think it ever will completely. What I can provide is a support system and the ability for you to reach out to someone who has been there, understands what you’re going through and can offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

I’m here for you, mama. We’re here for you. You’re not just a 1-in-4 statistic like the world labels you as. You’re a grieving mom to an Angel Baby. 

– Kirstyn

 

Feeling Green: A Guide to Morning Sickness

What is the mantra? “It will all be worth it in the end.” Instead of puking, you’re getting puked on. Seems like a fair trade.


**I am not a doctor, nor will any of this solve morning sickness entirely. If you feel your morning sickness is not able to be managed, contact your doctor.**

Statistics say 70% of women experience nausea while only 50% actually vomit with pregnancy and the term “morning” is a bunch of bull because I personally know people who are sick all day, everyday for their entire pregnancy.

So what can you do?

  1. Always keep a full tummy. I’ve heard of people taking a few sips of juice during in middle of the night (when you get up to pee 59 times), even have a snack. However, eating saltine crackers before your feet hit the floor in the morning is a problem solver for most.
  2. Ginger. Drink a glass of ginger tea or ginger infused water first thing in the morning. Ginger is a natural stomach soother which is why it helps.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Mild dehydration can make you feel sick even when you’re not pregnant. Add in “growing a human” into the mix of daily activities, hydration is quite important.
  4. Graze. Not like a cow in a field of grass, but in the kitchen! Eat 4-6 small meals a day instead of 3 large meals. Hunger brings on nauseousness.

I’m lucky enough to not be in the “actually vomit” percentage, but the extreme nauseousness makes me want to vomit about 99% of mornings. I have noticed a huge difference if I eat dinner at 5pm and don’t eat a bedtime snack and the other times when I eat dinner and then a snack. I still feel blah, just not as bad.

Just remember Mama, this too shall pass and it will all be worth it in the end.

– Kirstyn

The Cibo Placemat {Product Review}

I never thought I would be so thrilled about a placemat but this product is awesome!

Free of Phthalates, BPA and harmful dyes catch-all placemat comes in four adorable colors and sticks to virtually every hard surface, making it versatile for at home and for travel.

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I first asked myself how in the heck this thing was going to stick to my table and actually stay in place, but I decided that it’s simply just magic, because my 3.5 year old couldn’t make it budge during breakfast time.

The menu today included scrambled eggs with ketchup, raisins and sausage links. Usually 1/2 of the eggs end up on the floor for my 4 legged vacuum cleaners to clean up, but not today folks. Not today.


Go figure, I whip out The Cibo and he eats like a saint and drops next to nothing. However, direct your attention to the eggs in the tray that were caught and didn’t end up on my floor! After breakfast, I grabbed the whole placemat, tossed it in the sink and sprayed it off. It makes for a super easy clean up. The flexible silicone allows for easy roll up for storage and travel as well.

My only complaint is the cut out for the plate. Maybe if I put him in a booster it would work better, but it was simply too far away from him to reach his plate, let alone becibo-logo.jpg able to eat. If I pushed him in further, his chest/tummy folded the catch tray closed. Obviously, I just moved his plate onto the mat (as you can see).

And it’s good for so much more than meal time. K enjoys Beado’s, but if you drop one of those little buggers during the making process, they either bounce erratically all over or they simply roll off the edge of the table. The Cibo mat helped with this as well as the tray caught any stray beads that were dropped or rolling away. The possibilities are endless with this product! The price point may be high for those who enjoy sweeping and mopping after every meal and snack, but for me, $24.99 is well worth it. You can find yours here!

Amy, the creator of The Cibo, also donates a percentage of sales to charities that help eradicate hunger! Listed on her website are some of the charities she donates to, be sure check out the list here. I give The Cibo 5 out of 5 stars! Great job Amy!

Follow Amy and The Cibo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for sales and new releases!

– Kirstyn

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of product review. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

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Grocery shopping is the errand that all parents dread (I do at least). It never seems to go smoothly, there are always crying children (sometimes mine), and it’s just overall stressful. It’s like there are set scenarios that always play out: the toddler falls asleep one red light from the store parking lot, a diaper explodes in aisle 9, or there is a choir performance from the older kids full of repetition of “I’m bored”, “can I get this?”, “can I go to the toy section?” or “are we almost done?” It can never be a simple, quick trip to the grocery store. Until now.

I saw a posting about Walmart and their new online grocery pickup on Facebook and had no feelings toward it either way. I didn’t see myself grocery shopping online and then have someone else load my groceries into my car for me. I don’t even let the baggers at Publix or the Commissary take my bags to my car, so why would I let someone else do my grocery shopping, bag all of my stuff and bring it out and load them in my car? It seemed like the lazy easy way out. But then it clicked. It’s not lazy, it’s convenient. I work 40 hours a week, get off at 5:30pm and have a 40 minute drive home every single day during the week. If I stop to grab groceries on my way home, I typically don’t get home until almost 7:45 – 8:00pm on a good day.

They don’t offer online pick up at the store in my town yet, but they do in the town where I work and where my mother-in-law lives. We just so happened to be heading to her house on a Sunday and I happened to need groceries, so why not give it a try?

Let me start by saving you $10 off your first order. Use promo code RCMUR0YA (that’s a zero not an “o”) at checkout on your purchase of $50 or more and you will automatically save $10! 1

It was a rather simple process. I went to Walmart Grocery online, put in my zip code, signed into my walmart.com account and viola! It allowed me to choose my store, secure a time slot to pick up and then add items to my cart. You can search through the “store” by department,

2 or search for the items you know you need by name. I quickly added items to my cart (it shows the total in the corner and there is a $30 minimum) and when you’re ready to check out, you simply put in a credit or debit card number, check out and then you receive a detailed list of your order and pick-up instructions via email.

The instructions were quite simple. In short, “Go to the grocery pickup location. We will call you 15 minutes prior. Call us back 10 minutes prior to your arrival and again when you get here.” It even showed me a cute little map of the store and where the parking locations were in the parking lot which were marked as well.15469435 It was that simple.

So I called 10 minutes before and again when I got there. Not even 5 minutes later, two sweet young ladies brought me my groceries and I never even had to get my kids out of the vehicle. I received a “Welcome” bag containing some grocery and health care full size samples such as After-Sun Aloe wipes, Sea Salt Covered Raisins, Cucumber Ranch and some other goodies. They loaded the items into my car, I signed the delivery receipt and I was quickly on my way. I hesitantly added produce and eggs to my list and surprisingly had no issues. They showed me my eggs before placing them in my car and my bananas were handled with care and not bruised.

I did figure out that if the store is out of stock with the item you want, they will offer you a substitution at no extra cost, if available. I wanted a 1lb bag of Gala Apples, but since they were out of stock, they gave me a 3lb bag of Gala Apples for no additional cost. Also, if they don’t have the item or a substitution, they immediately issue you a refund for that item.

Overall, if I had to give a star rating, it would be a 5 out of 5. Quick, easy, convenient and so worth it. I would definitely recommend it to busy moms if it’s available at your local Walmart!

– Kirstyn

PlaSmart Wonky Wheels {Review}

More than a toy car!

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We try to focus on non-electronic play frequently because C will literally sit and do the shape sorter game on his iPad all day if I let him. So anything that moves, makes noise, helps his motor skills, hand eye coordination or just stimulates his little toddler brain, is okay by me!

I received the Wonky Wheels from PlaSmart and it took C less than 30 seconds to figure it out! I told him to put his finger in the indention on top and then drive it around! He laughed and giggled the entire time while the car twisted and turned all over the kitchen floor. He was thrilled that it drove in circles and whichever way he pushed, it did something completely different. He got quite upset when it wouldn’t follow the roads on his car mat, but we quickly explained to him that it’s not supposed to!

The construction is very solid and well put together. He carries it with him almost everywhere and we have had no issues with it being dropped and breaking or paint chipping or peeling off.wonky wheels.png

It runs about $9.99, which seems like an ideal price point. Overall, Wonky Wheels are fabulous little toys. They would make a good addition to any little boy or girl’s birthday or holiday wish list!

Buy yours here: Finger Car Wonky Wheels, Red with White Stripe

– Kirstyn

 **Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Playground Etiquette 101

2009-04-21_Hampton_Forest_Apartment_Homes_playgroundTrust me, it’s a real thing and no one seems to know about it. It’s like a list of silent rules to abide by in order to not make other moms and dads despise you (and your child) on the playground. With warm weather becoming more steady, and playgrounds being a great way to socialize and wear out your stir-crazy toddler, I figured it couldn’t hurt to share the (unspoken) playground rules.

  1. It’s a jungle gym, not a babysitter. I know “gym” sounds like “Jim” and it can be confusing for some, but I assure you “gym” won’t take very good care of your child. Under no circumstance is it okay to leave your child, no matter the age, at the playground. Please do not try to give me your phone number and ask me to text or call you if there is an emergency. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. See Rule #4.
  2. Don’t let your kid be a punk. I know, I know, name calling isn’t nice and I would never tell your kid he’s a punk to his face, but I would have no problem letting you know. If your kid pushes, hits, kicks, spits on or throws a handful of mulch at my kid, the playground drama will be redirected between you and I. I mean seriously, its a park. It’s full of fun things, let’s keep it fun.
  3. Stay off your phone. This is my biggest pet peeve and I’m sure everyone else would agree. Pay attention to your child, and not whatever time consuming electronic you brought with you to the park. This kind of goes hand in hand with Rule #1 and #4. Multiple times I have seen parents show up to the park, release their children and find a shady bench under a tree and sit down and scroll through what I’m assuming is Facebook. It only takes a second for your kid to put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation and I’m sure your Facebook feed isn’t nearly as important as the safety of your child. I can’t make this up… 2015 Mom of the Year shows up to the park with her 3 kids. Kids run to the play area, mom sits on a picnic table in the shade 100+ yards away and digs out her phone and throws on some headphones. I’m paying attention to my child and chit chatting with the other parents whose child is playing nicely with mine. Fast forward 10 minutes… Mom of the Year hastily runs over in a panic to me and another mom, and asks if we have seen her son and how she doesn’t know “how this happened” and that she was “checking her email and listening to Spotify”.  Turns out this kid is severely non-verbal autistic and he wandered over 400 yards from the play ground and was on the walking path through the wooded area by himself. SEVERELY NON-VERBAL AUTISTIC CHILD. FOUR HUNDRED YARDS AWAY… on a WALKING PATH THROUGH THE WOODS all because his mother wanted to sit in the shade and rock out to the Biebs. What irks me even more is when I hear a kid yell “Mom look at this!” and the poor kid gets an “uh huh” while their mom scrolls through her phone not even glancing up. Come on lady, your kid is begging for your attention. Who cares if you’ve seen them go down the slide backward 99 times before, they obviously think the 100th time is just as cool and important as the first 99. The little moments go by in the blink of an eye, and the next thing you know the “Mom look at this” comment is when they’re handing you their college acceptance letter.
  4. Your child is not my responsibility. Attach this to Rules #1 and #3. If little Tommy wants to climb to the very top of the highest piece of playground equipment, I will most likely belt out a friendly “oh no don’t fall” and then proceed to tell my child that if he ever thinks that’s a good idea, to unthink it. If your child falls face first in a pile of mulch and you’re not paying attention, please DO NOT get an attitude with me because YOUR child fell while YOU weren’t paying attention. My child is my responsibility and your child is yours. It’s that simple. Maybe I should make it a habit to get non attentive mother’s cell phone numbers so when their child is in a situation where they will  have splinters of mulch in their face, I can just shoot them a text to advise her.
  5. Unless your child is “5 or under”, they shouldn’t be in the “5 and under” area. This is pretty self-explanatory. If the sign says “5 and under” then keep it that way. Us toddler parents use it as a safe haven from the oblivious-to-others older kids who run around playing God knows what and trampling our toddlers. Yes, I will tell your child nicely to watch out for the little ones and that “this area is for smaller kids”. Why would I correct someone else’s child? Because clearly their parents haven’t told them.

It’s really not that hard. It’s very basic concepts but the lack of common sense when on the playground makes it miserable for everyone involved. My kid cries because your kid is being mean, your kid cries because you’re not paying attention, you’re crying because your child wandered away. It’s a playground, let’s keep it fun.

-Kirstyn

Naughty Monkey Sleeper {Review}

When C walked into my room one morning at 6 am with a nonchalant “I just get out mommy”, I knew I was in trouble. I was actually in so much disbelief that I put him back IN his crib and told him to show me… and seriously, he just climbed out like he had been doing it his whole life. So now what?

“I could bungee cord baby gates to the top of his crib?”
“I could bungee cord HIM to his crib?”
“Duct tape?”

Panic set in and I had no ideas that wouldn’t constitute child abuse, a friend of mine put me in contact with The Naughty Monkey.

How ingenuous! Kids typically escape their cribs by kicking one leg over and then doing some crazy toddler ninja moves to escape. The Naught Monkey sleeper stops it before it starts. With a triangle shaped piece of fabric sewn between the legs, it still allows for movement but doesn’t allow for the “kick over” motion.

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The Naughty Monkey uses top of the line brands and materials and the strength of the stitching is absolutely phenomenal! They have products for both boys and girls and in some cute and unique patterns.

Their price point is a little high. It sells for $35 (plus shipping), although still high, they offer an “up-cycled” option selling for $30.

Overall, I’d give this 4 out of 5 stars, with the fifth star well within reach if the price point dropped slightly.

-Kirstyn

Have an Egg-celent Easter-How to Easter Egg Hunt with Toddlers

So unless your kid is some sort of sharing, not greedy breed of child then an Easter egg hunt involving anyone but him/herself is going to be tremendously disastrous! 

We opt out of city functions when it comes to Easter because I don’t want to have to explain to Cayden why kids twice his age have 50+ eggs, and well, he has 2. So we set it up at my mother in laws house for the 4 grandchildren and it’s phenomenal. 

  
1. Color coded eggs- when you have more than 1 child varying in ages participating, this is a life saver. Last year was semi-disastrous as E (who was 11) was able to find the eggs more effeciently than C (who was 2) therefore creating a huge ordeal. So this year, color coded. E has his own color and is only allowed to pick up his color, K has her own color…and so on and so forth. 

2. Make the eggs visible- Your toddler is not going to think to look half way under the birdhouse on top of the post in the back yard. He just won’t. Kids don’t care where they are, they just care that they’re there.

3. Make them reachable- again, logical. If your kid is only 38.75″ tall, placing an egg in the “Y” of an oak tree isn’t feasible. 

4. Count-For once, count your chickens before they hatch…or at least your eggs. Knowing how many are out there keeps you from having any piles in your backyard in a few weeks or flinging a plastic egg full of Jelly Beans through the car window the next time you mow. 

5. Edibles- Do NOT…I repeat, do NOT fill all of your toddlers eggs with candy. It’s easier to avoid the meltdown rather then calm it down. Your toddler will want every single candy item and they will want it now. So if you fill the eggs with other edible things such as dried cranberries, goldfish crackers, popcorn, grapes…you get the jist, you can allow your toddler to eat it all and they won’t go into a sugar induced coma. 

Last but not least, 

6. Just stop stressing-Grab your camera, make little Susie poses for a picture with bunny ears on and then relax…let them have fun. Your child is a child, not a professional egg hunter. 
Happy Easter

-Kirstyn

From the Sidelines

C rushes up the stairs every morning to wake up my husband which subsequently wakes me up, too. I often lay there and listen to their super adorable conversations about life while they share a cup of “coffee” at the breakfast table and C warns my husband about how hot his cup is and offers to blow and cool it off. Not only do I stay in bed because I love the self time, I stay in bed because I don’t want to interrupt the them time.

It seems as if the little things tend to get lost in day to day life due to being stuck in life-is-boring-and-monotonous routine (If you want to break that too, here is a bit of advice) but what you need to focus on is the cute-little-moments-that-they-will-grow-out-of-soon routine and cherish them. Especially when you’re not involved. I find things so much cuter and a lot more memorable when I’m watching from the sidelines in my own house.

Cherish the moment for yourself as well. Let your DH do his thing with the kids, listen, observe and have some self time. Catch up on the load of laundry. Re-warm your coffee and sit down and drink it. Run to the bathroom, hop in the shower, something! I often find myself wanting to sit and watch my husband and son play Paw Patrol together and its not until they’re done that I realize I could have swept the floors, went pee, started dinner and still had time to relax.

Whether it be reading a book together before bed, making smushy faces on glass together before your DH heads off to work, drumming, playing guitar or just sitting with each other on the couch sharing popcorn, snap a picture. The cutesy moments all end to soon.

-Kirstyn

 

Stuck in a Rut

Monday: Wake up. Go to work. Cook dinner. Go to bed.

Tuesday: Wake up. Go to work. Cook dinner. Go to bed.

Wednesday: Wake up. Go to work. Cook dinner. Go to bed.

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You’re smart. I’m sure you can depict how the rest of the week goes. Somewhere in there you find time to snuggle with you kiddos, kiss your husband and find something fun to do.

Routine in itself is seriously a fun sucker. Routine paired with a boredom rut that you unknowingly were digging day by day is the demise of every (insert your age)- something year old person out there.

When the weekend rolls around, you’re so exhausted from the week, that you’re just excited to get to (hopefully) sleep in past 6am and not have to deal with rush hour morning traffic -or- your weekend is thrown right down the drain as you try to grocery shop, clean, pay bills and handle the rest of those awesome adult things that didn’t happen Monday-Friday. By the time you realize it, it is 9pm on Sunday night and you have to be at work in 12 hours.

So how do you start filling in your boredom rut?

Mix it up: Drive a different route, go out to eat to lunch instead of packing, try a new coffee shop, order something different for breakfast. It’s all about breaking the typical routine.

Take a class or lesson: Have you always wanted to play the violin? Learn to weave baskets? Make cakes? Most craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, etc) offer classes for a minimal cost. Sign yourself up and have at it. Since the class wouldn’t be everyday, it doesn’t become a monotonous task. It will actually help to break up the monotony of the day to day.

Schedule it: Wether it is going to dinner with the girls, or an hour to read your favorite book at night, write it down on the planner and stick to it. Give your mind the well-deserved break.

Re-Boot: If you have to, remove yourself from everything and regroup. Sit under a tree and write a list of your goals, diary day to day life, surf the web, something…anything.

Focus on you and what you need to be happy and do it!

-Kirstyn

 

Finding Mary Poppins

fecsw3ihprcwbtbqpeln.jpgAt some point in our crazy journey of parenthood we’ve all needed a babysitter… Which means we’ve all realized just how virtually impossible it is to find someone who is the perfect fit, and who won’t break the bank.

After over a year as a SAHM, this momma has rejoined the workforce…which also means, I’ve rejoined the someone-else-has-to-watch-my-kiddo-force too.

So, how exactly do you pick the perfect sitter? Note: I have not personally used every resource listed in this post, so please do your own homework and research.

Try sites such as care.com or sittercity.com.  They require tons of information from people soliciting their sitter services, and most have background checks available to.

You can even turn to Facebook to the local buy, sell, trade pages as they often contain a vast amount of information. Do your research. Ask for references. Meet with the sitter prior to dropping your child off, and go with your gut.

Your best place to start would be writing down just exactly what you want in a sitter so you can narrow your search down.

  • CPR/SIDS/First Aid Certified

If you’re going to have someone with your child during the day, unless you’re going to wrap your kid in a bubble, it’s good to find someone who has been trained for the worst. Things happen. Even under the best care and watchful eye, things happen. If someone is prepared to deal with said “things” then it makes it all the better.

  • Cost

I have found that home childcare ranges from $50-$200/week. I always shoot for somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. It needs to be worth while for you to work. If you’re working just enough to pay for childcare, then what is the point of working? But also remember, you get what you pay for, typically.

  • Availability

Will the sitter be available when you  need them to be? Do they offer drop in care or last minute care? Nights? Weekends?

  • Meal Plans

Maybe it’s just me but this is a big one. If someone is going to feed my kid junk food all day and sugary juice, I won’t even entertain it. I’m not asking for free range chicken and bacon wrapped filets, but at least hit some different food groups other than “highly processed” and “full of sugar”

  • Experience with food allergies

If the potential sitter has no clue what gluten is, and your child has a gluten allergy, this is probably not a good match. I prefer someone who knows the warning signs of a real, true allergy attack and knows when action is needed.

  • Punishment tactics

This is a touchy subject. I am not so picky on who punishes my child…but better yet how they punish him. I had a potential sitter tell me that she has spanked children before. She has SPANKED a child that did NOT belong to her. I was baffled. I mean, I can deal with an age appropriate time out,  removal from the situation,  or even a stern “no”,  but lord help the person who lays their hand on my child.

  • Activity plan

Coloring? ABCs? Macaroni pictures? Something other than a TV on a constant repeat of a DVRd Peppa Pig? Ask. Seriously.

  • Duties

Are you expecting the potential sitter to come to your home and clean? Take the child to appointments, or play dates? Are you wanting them to help with bottle weaning, or potty training? This all needs to be conveyed and explained.

It’s hard enough to find child care. It’s even harder to find someone you trust.

Do your research. Don’t be scared to ask for references and follow your gut.

Your Mary Poppins is out there.

-Kirstyn

Product Review: Olie-The Minkey

“Where are your gloves?”
“Put your hat back on!”
“Quit swinging your scarf around like a helicopter!”
“No, you can’t take your gloves off”
“You’re going to freeze”

If that sounds like your day-to-day during winter months, keep reading… if not, then you’re blessed but keep reading anyways because this product is a god-send.

We ran across Olie scouring the Internet for our typical “useful, ethical, helpful products” and I couldn’t be more excited.

Christina (the founder) was nice enough to send us a wide array of clothing from her super cute shop to review. With winter approaching, I personally was very interested in her innovative, one of a kind product The Minkey.

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The Minkey is exactly what I hoped it would be and is exactly as advertised. It is seriously a hat, gloves, and a scarf in 1 fantastic little bundle. It’s soft, it’s warm and it’s absolutely adorable! Best thing of all is it is not bulky so that you can still put a coat on over it and your child can still move around freely.

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C has a green Dino Minkey so not only is he warm and snuggly, he looks absolutely adorable. I would have a picture but he wouldn’t stop running around screaming “rawr” long enough for me to snag one.

Quality wise, The Minkey (and all other clothes included) are fantastically made. Fabric quality is top-notch and so is design! The stitching quality is great as well. I have had no problems with seams coming undone or Dino spots or spikes tearing or coming off.

Price wise, you’re looking at $25-30 dollars depending on the design but let me tell you it is absolutely worth it!

My one and only con is the face area seems really tight. I understand the reasoning but I would recommend maybe an adjustable velcro tab on the chin to allow for a looser fit. C had a brief freak-out session about this.

I would absolutely have to give a 5 out of 5 and it is a must-have for any parent!

You can check out The Minkey and the rest of the Olie Shop here!

-Kirstyn

*Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Melissa and Doug Latch Board

I don’t think I have ever read a review about Melissa & Doug products that was negative, and trust me, we’re not going to start here. Right off the bat, 5 out of 5, and let me explain why.

We love Melissa and Doug! We love how educational and intellectual their products are along with how fantastically they’re crafted; for the quality of the product, the price tag isn’t (too too) bad.

This specific Melissa & Doug Puzzle, retails for $24.99 and is 3+. I figured why not try it for C, and he loves it! He wakes up and asks for his puzzle and consistently plays with it off and on throughout the day. The puzzle is also great for self time and quiet time since there are no pieces to get lost, nothing he can choke on, no batteries to replace, and no loud noises so I am completely comfortable letting him sit in his room by himself and play with this.

All of the houses are different colors, have different latch systems, different door styles, different animals and the quanity of animals under the door matches the number of the door.  So not only does it teach fine motor skills, it teaches colors, numbers and animals.

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My only complaint is door #2. It’s hard to open even for an adult. So needless to say, the 3 yr old can’t get it open either (and clearly neither could the photographer for the picture, just kidding) but no really, its tough. I’m not sure why, it’s not the mechanism itself but the friction between the two pieces that makes it so difficult.

Overall, another Melissa & Doug win!

-Kirstyn

Product Review: GentleGiants Co. Muslin Blanket

C is a blanket baby. He has snuggled with the same blanket since the day he was born and absolutely will not sleep without it. It’s cute and annoying at the same time. God forbid this thing has to go in the washing machine and isn’t dry by the time he needs to take a nap; it’s like World War 3 broke out. I’ve tried tricking him with other blue blankets with no avail. So for that reason, I am going to leave out C’s feelings for the blanket in order to make things a little more fair.

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Muslin is the “in” thing nowadays. GentleGiants Co. was nice enough to send us their muslin blanket to test out. Cutting straight to the chase the blanket is huge, fairly thin, white, but reasonably priced for the type of blanket it is.

The blanket is huge! It stretched out to almost 4ftx4ft. This makes it very versatile but not very transportable. I typically carry C’s blanket in my backpack diaper bag when we are out, and found that this blanket, even rolled up or folded, took up over 1/2 of the bag. At home, it was great… on the go, not so much.

The blanket is advertised as being 4-layers thick, but I have to say it does not seem that way at all. It is very, very thin and I was able to separate the fabric into 2 separate layers, not 4. I expected a little more thickness out of the blanket, but it would definitely be good for covering up while breastfeeding, covering a carseat or stroller or as a “safe” area while non-mobile babies during tummy-time.

I wasn’t impressed with the color. Now don’t get me wrong, the elephants are adorable and I love the unisex-ish colors and their cute little patterned ears but I don’t think white was a wise choice. I also, however, despise everything white when it comes to the kiddos, so take my opinion on the color lightly.

Price wise you’re looking at $24.99, over $30.00 with standard shipping. Compared to other muslin blankets I found that this is the median price for this size of a patterned muslin blanket.

The blanket itself is of good quality. After a washing, the edges stayed in tact and there are no holes or tears in the blanket. I was quite impressed due to how thin the fabric is. Oh, and it gets even softer after each washing.

I would rate a 4 out of 5 stars. I was expecting something a little thicker, and I would change the white to something that would conceal stains a little more.

-Kirstyn

 

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**