Minivan Mama

I officially gained my “soccer mom” status this summer when we traded in my little blue SUV for a MINIVAN. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!! It’s true love. I knew I 17194_600always wanted a minivan someday, because I grew up with my parents always having one, and it always just seemed like the most practical with kiddos. What I didn’t know is how much I would not miss my old car and absolutely love this van!

My husband I had been talking about them for a while and finally buckled down and started researching them after we had our second child. We were tired of not having a lot of room in the car especially if we needed to take any extra people anywhere. Two car seats take up a lot of space. We looked at several minivans on the market, but narrowed it down to the Toyota and Honda. We did have a rental Chrysler that we were happy with as well. After test driving, we were actually surprised at how easy the decision was with the Honda Odyssey. The vans were priced roughly the same, but the Honda just felt like it was made better. We didn’t dislike the Toyota (my hubby drives a Toyota Tundra), but the Honda was just better.

 

 

We waited several weeks for the specific model and color to come in that we wanted, but once it arrived, it was love at first sight. I was so anxious and excited that Saturday morning we were able to go and pick it up with the kids. Our 3 year old was excited for the “new van!” too. It was bittersweet leaving our old SUV, but there are new reasons every day why I am so thankful to be a minivan mama now . . .

Here’s a few of them . . .

1.       The automatic sliding side doors… need I say more?! I don’t have to worry about my kids or I banging any cars parked next to us with our doors. You know how loading and unloading our kiddos goes, these door make it a dream come true!! Because of the sliding doors, the opening is so much bigger than an average car door – WONDERFUL! The doors also open and close by the simple push of a button from either the key fob, by the driver’s seat, or on the inside of the sliding doors themselves.

 

2.       Not only is there more room in the doorways, there’s more room EVERYWHERE in this car. I can honestly say I’ve been a passenger in every seat and never once did I feel like I had no space to move. And if you need more room . . . You can MAKE more room . . .

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3.       . . . You can make that extra space because of the movable seats. I know this is typical with most minivans and vehicles with a third row of seats, but the way the Honda was set up was another big selling point for me. Our Odyssey has the option to have an eighth seat. All of the seats are removable (except the front), but with the Odyssey you can have an eighth seat in the middle of the second row. You can easily remove that middle seat of the second row to have 2 captains chairs and an aisle way to the back row, or you can leave it in place to complete the row and have an extra seat. The seat also folds down as an arm rest if it’s left in place. The third row of seats EASILY folds down into the trunk of the van. When we drove to the beach this summer, we opted to fold the third row down so we had TONS of room for luggage and could still see out the back window.

 

4.       Handles on the high way – We drove the minivan on the West Virginia turnpike on our way to Myrtle Beach this past summer, and it handled so much better than my husband’s truck the year before. We could set the cruise control and not have to waver and hit the brake on those winding highway turns.

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5.       Good on gas – I know the gas tank in the minivan is bigger than my tank was in my SUV, but I swear still that the van gets better gas mileage. According to Honda, the Odyssey gets 19 mpg on city streets and 27 mpg highway. Either way, its way better on gas than a huge SUV would be!

 

6.        Does NOT ride like a bus – I traded in a small SUV for my minivan. I had driven it for 5 years. I will say that I was the most anxious that the minivan was going to feel like I was driving a bus after driving my little SUV. I was so wrong. The van does not feel any bigger to me. I would say it sits up off the road the same height as my old car. Even though the van is significantly longer, I really haven’t noticed other than making sure I pull in the garage far enough. The back-up camera has made this easier as well!

 

7.       Bang for the Buck – I’m telling you, you cannot beat a minivan. Even if you have a small family like we do, it is worth considering. For some reason, they get a bad rap, but I can’t think of one negative thing to say about mine. Maybe I don’t look the “coolest” driving the minivan around, but that is the last thing I’m worried about. Most companies offer all the bells and whistles you can find in luxury cars and SUVs, so don’t think those options aren’t available in a van. It’s convenient, affordable, and I know my kids are safe – that’s what matters to me.

If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle for your new family, growing family, or just want more seats/space, take a look at a minivan. Check out all the options. Take them for a test drive. I think you’ll love it! And if you take the plunge like we did and buy one, you won’t regret it!

-Megan

 

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Kid Companions Chewlry & Lanyards {Product Review}

IMG_20160409_093556441KidCompanions Chewelry and SentioCHEWS are teething necklaces for children and young adults who chew on things and/or are fidgety.

The company’s product was designed by a mom for her child. She noticed her daughter was constantly chewing on everything, and one day chewing on the newborn’s pendant nursing necklace. Her daughter was obviously using the chewing to calm herself and finding comfort in it, and so she began a company making “Chewlry” for children and adults with special needs.

They are bpa, phthalate, lead and latex free accessories made for children to teens. Unique tactile features help your child be him/herself, anytime, anywhere.”  The company takes alot of pride in being safe and environmentally safe. You can read more here on their website.

Pros: Very durable! These pendants are made for agest 3 (+), so  there isn’t much worry with your child being at school and swallowing a bead like necklace, or anything of the sort.

They are fun! They don’t look like a “mom” necklace or a baby’s! That is super important for older kids, you don’t want them to be more self conscious than  they already are.

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Inside each  shape is a harder disk “dot” that keeps the whole product from bending and gives two fun textures to play with. There are also other smaller dots on the back to “offer interesting imagery possibilities.”

Easy to wash up. Warm water and a little soap is all that is needed. It is dishwasher safe if it gets really gross and you need to sanitize. I just don’t like the residue that can be left from my dishwasher sometimes. (We have VERY HARD water!)

The clasps on the lanyards are  not like the usual round break away clasps. They are flat so they lay flat and aren’t bulky. So, it wont draw attention to your child.

“Our custom made breakaway clasp is small and lays flat. It was designed specifically for children to ASTM “release strength” standards and is a safety feature that will make necklaces release if caught or snagged on something.” <<<< Seriously, A LOT of research and time went into these products! You can learn SO MUCH more and purchase here!

Cons: The ONLY con that I have for this product, is that it is technically only ages 3+. My 2 year old LOVES to chew on things, although she is not special needs, and some times I worry about her chewing on things as she could swallow pieces if she were to break the teether. That is the only complaint we have though. She was perfectly content sitting with me chewing on it, and was rather upset when I took it when I walked away!

A great find and a MUST if you have a child with special needs!

The company was awesome enough to send us product, but they also appreciate our readers!

As a Thank you USE COUPON CODE  ” LUV5″ and receive 5% off everything on their site!

www.kidcompanions.com

~Amanda

**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 revie

 

 

Pacidose {Product Review}

I find it super frustrating as a parent and as a nurse when I have to give little ones medications. Usually, kiddos are already fussy, snotty, and cranky, and then we come along and try to force some nasty medication in them. We cross our fingers and hope they get the proper dose and dread the next time we have to medicate them. This has not been the case with my little experience with the Pacidose. The Pacidose is a product designed to medicate our kiddos using a typical syringe and a pacifier. GENIUS, especially if you have a binky baby.  My kids have both been binky babies, so I think that aided in the success with using this product with them. I think it would work for non-pacifier babies as well.

The Pacidose is easy to use by just drawing up the desired amount of medication through the syringe like you would normally (it also works with syringes other than the one it comes with!). Once the med is 61ENriIl2NL._SX522_drawn up, the syringe just attaches to the binky portion of the product. There is a narrow tube going down the middle of the pacifier that then delivers the liquid med.  According to the Pacidose, this tube “prevents wasted medicine. Medicine is delivered to the back of the tongue, decreasing the chance of rejection.” I found this to be accurate with my 8 month old. He fortunately has not had a lot of experience with taking medications, but he received the whole dose I drew up using the Pacidose. Once he started sucking on the binky, I started to slowly push the plunger of the syringe until he had swallowed all of the medication.

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Here were some other benefits I found with the Pacidose:

          Available in 3 different sizes (0-6 month, 6-18  month, and 18+ month) Although I only sampled the 6-18 month, if I have any more new babies, I will be investing in the smallest size!

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          The pacifier end actually feels like a pacifier! I thought this was important because then it didn’t seem as foreign to my little guy. The package recommended putting the pacifier into another type of liquid (formula, breastmilk) and then giving it to your kiddo so they can get used to the pacifier before you use it with medication.  I think this would be good if your child doesn’t do well with pacifiers.

 

          The syringe is easy to read to ensure you are giving the right amount of medication. I haven’t noticed the markings wearing off at all, but I also have not used the product very much. Hopefully they hold up!

 

          As a nurse, I would LOVE to have something like this to dispense medication to our little ones that come in for surgery. where I work. So often the kids are upset, and they almost always have to take oral medication before and after their procedure. They DO NOT want to take it from me, a total stranger!! This would be great to have in the hospital/doctor’s office setting.

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The only downfall I can think of with this product would be that it is not dishwasher safe. Some reviews I have read talked about the pacifier portion falling apart after only minimal usage. I have not experienced this. I think if the product is taken care of properly (not put through the dishwasher); there won’t be any trouble with this. It seems to be of good quality and very well made.

You can purchase the Pacidose for $12.99 right from their site or from Amazon Prime for $14.99. This might seem like a steep price, but I think it is worth it. This product would also make a fabulous baby gift for new moms and moms-to-be! In my mind, you can’t put a price on making sure your kiddos are healthy and happy and this product does both!

 

-Megan

 

 

**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.**

Fight the FLU

*BurritoBuzz is a group of moms that gives advice, and any medical content should be regarded as non-professional advice. Please consult your physician with any medical concerns you may have.*

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I will start off by saying that I am not a physician. I’m only listing my recommendations from the perspectives of both a mother and a nurse. I cannot guarantee that you won’t get sick if you listen to me (wouldn’t that be a money maker!). My hope is that these simple tips will keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy this flu season. These tips come from experience (I have two kiddos and I work in healthcare) and I believe have helped keep myself and my family in good health in the past.

 

  1. Get a flu shot

You can read more about vaccinations in this blog by one of our guest bloggers about a month ago. No one enjoys getting stabbed with medication or watching their children get stabbed and crying hysterically thereafter. Let’s face it, it sucks getting shots. It also sucks being sick with the flu – fever, body aches, chills, fatigue – symptoms that last far longer than the quick little poke of a vaccine. These symptoms are also easily spread to others. Please get the vaccine to keep yourself and others at a decreased risk of getting the flu. It is so easy to get at most doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Most often it’s free. Your arm will be sore and your kiddos will probably cry but it is totally worth it!!!

 

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  1. Drink water!

If you’re not sure if you’re drinking enough water, you probably need to drink more. According to the Institute of Medicine sited on Mayo Clinic, it’s recommended that women drink 9 cups of beverages a day and men to drink 13 cups of beverages. I know I personally struggle getting in this amount, but I really do try to have my own bottle/cup when I’m at work that I’m always refilling. I try to do the same thing at home. The bottle in the photo is similar to the one I received from my hospital after having a baby and I LOVE this thing. My 2.5 year old does too. It’s perfect because it large, insulated, and clear. I know I’m always getting plenty of water and it’s measured so I know how much!

 

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  1. SLEEP

I know, I know. It is easier said than done, especially with little ones at home. Try to make an effort to get as much rest as you can. Even if it’s not always “sleeping,” resting/relaxing and just letting your body recharge and catch up is a good way to stay healthy. If you have kiddos at home, make sure they’re getting the rest they need too. Let them sleep in when they can and try not to skip nap time. We all need our rest!

 

  1. Wash your hands

This is a simple task. It’s so simple that sometimes it’s easily overlooked. We all should be washing our hands quite frequently especially when germs are more prevalent this time of year. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before preparing and eating food, after being in public places, after coughing/sneezing into them, the list goes on. If you’re not sure, just do it. You can use sanitizer too. Keep sanitizer always on hand – leave some in your diaper bag, purse, in your car, and around the house. Sometimes I just have my little one sanitize after using the bathroom or being outside, but other times a good hand washing is the best. Along with keeping your hands clean, try to keep other commonly used surfaces throughout your home clean too (this will keep those germs off of your hands in the long run!). I love my CLOROX wipes any time of year!

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  1. Cover your cough

Use a tissue or cough into your elbow to avoid spreading those germs when you cough. If you do end up coughing into your hands, avoid touching anything and wash them ASAP. Pass these good habits on to your little ones. The sooner they learn to cover their cough appropriately, the better off everyone will be!!

 

  1. Stay away from others who are sick

This goes both ways. Try to avoid others that you know are ill and being in public places where you could come in close contact with potentially sick people. The same goes for you and your kiddos. If any of you are sick, stay home. Avoid spreading that sickness any further than beyond your own home.

 

  1. ENCOURAGE

We need to hold each other accountable. I mentioned before about teaching our kids early on about covering their cough and good hand hygiene. We should do the same with adults. Encourage visitors at your home to wash their hands before they hold your babies or coworkers to sanitize after blowing their nose. We have a strict policy at the hospital I work in to wash/sanitize our hands before and after entering a patient’s room. It doesn’t matter whether or not I touch anything while I’m in that room. Germs spread like wild fire, and we need to look out for ourselves and each other.

 

Along with what I consider “The Top 7,” it’s important to maintain a nutritious diet, regular exercise regimen, and manage your stress to stay healthy and avoid the flu. Even though flu season is upon us now, all of these tips should be utilized year-round as best we can. With just a few easy adjustments to our daily living, we can avoid feeling miserable and downright bad with crippling flu symptoms down the road.

 

Check out the CDC’s website for even more helpful links and tips to keep your family happy and healthy!!

 

– Megan

Honeybee Baby Boutique: Chewbeads Product Review

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You’ve heard us say before at Burrito Buzz that we love local and small businesses, especially those with heart.

Honeybee Baby Boutique, an incredible shop for mamas and LOs based out of Colorado,  reached out and shared with us the amazing program they have to support their community, especially the military families in their neighborhood. Not only is their boutique a one stop shop for parents, with a phenomenal online store for long distance customers, but it has also become a place of comfort for local military families.

As many of us know, the military life can be unstable, stressful and exhausting. Moving to a new location is hard for anyone and HoneyBee Baby makes it their personal mission to help ease the stress of transitioning to a new location for military mamas. For imageevery new military family that comes to their area, they offer them Chewbeads Military Tags free of charge.

These unique chew necklaces are styled to mimic the ID tags that all military personnel receive. They are made of 100% silicone with no metal, BPA, phthalates, lead or cadmium.

One factor that make these tags unique is that they are designed for active children over the age of 3. Many children at that age can begin to develop chewing habits, especially during a major move or life change. These chewing tendencies can materialize as a way to:

  • Help the child focus (think when you sit with your legs crossed as an adult and bounce your leg absent-mindedly)
  • Relieve tension or aggression
  • Relieve pent-up energy
  • Reduce any oral pain (teething)

The habit of chewing is also very common in children with Autism or ADHD that struggle with Sensory Processing Disorder. They may be compelled to chew as a way to relieve themselves from being over or under stimulated. (Sources: here and here)

When I gave the tags to my LO (she’s 16 months now), she absolutely loved them! She’s imagehad them wrapped up in her hands and in her mouth since I gave them to her. The grooved details and overall size of the tags are perfect for her to get in her mouth easily and help relieve some of the pain of getting her molars already (yea, it’s about as fun as it sounds).

They have a breakaway clasp that is typical on most teething necklaces. My only complaint is that the string was not long enough for her to easily take on and off of her neck. Which may be for the best because I could see her getting frustrated trying to yank it off of her neck and hurt herself.

I’ve never seen a teething necklace like this that is specifically marketed toward slightly older children, and I must say I’m impressed. My LO loves it to soothe teething pains, but as the back of the packaging says, they are designed as an “alternative to chewing on clothing, hair or nails. Safe for children 3+ as a sensory tool.”

So not only do they sell a great product (one of MANY available in store and online), but Honeybee Baby Boutique is a company with heart. They generally care and give back, specifically to the military families in their area.

They have generously offered Burrito Buzz readers an incredible promotion to help jumpstart your holiday shopping. Use the Promo Code: BUZZ15 to receive a FREE ITEM with any purchase! They ask that in the “notes for this order” that you specify if you would like the gift to be for a boy or a girl.  Umm amazing!!

Thank you so much Honeybee Baby Boutique for sharing your mission with us! I definitely recommend their unique products and I always love knowing that my business is going to a company with compassion and love for their community.

Stay tuned to our social media accounts for your chance to win a FREE set of Chewbeads Military Tags for the LO on your list this holiday season!

-Chelsea

 

**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.**