I’m watching Kelly & Michael (and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.)

kelly-ripa-michael-strahanI’m sitting here on my day off. Baby coaxed to sleep by a vibrating, humming elephant that is actually kind of creepy. Coffee in hand. Pajamas still on. And Kelly & Micheal on my TV, which is usually playing cartoons. There are so many things I could be doing…

…editing photos from the many photo shoots we’ve had this fall season (my husband and I are photographers on the side.)

…sweeping my house.

…laundry (always the laundry.)

…putting on makeup?

It’s one of those mornings where it’s just not happening. You can’t guilt me.

My tiny human has been sleeping like he’s a newborn again, up every few hours or more. Teething like crazy, whining and flailing around trying to grow some tiny bones from his face. I’m not discrediting that it hurts to grow teeth, but as parents our exhaustion level is intense.

I didn’t even want to write this blog. Hashtag honesty?

I want to sit mindlessly and watch Kelly & Michael. I’ve always been jealous of people that can just watch Kelly & Michael (or Kathy Lee and Regis, Regis and Kelly, Kelly/Michael with random hosts.) I’ve always worked full-time, so by the time the show is on I’m laboring over a keyboard staring at a bright computer screen. After having a baby and going part-time, my days became filled with cartoons.

I’m a total busybody (and everybody knows it.) My brain is almost incapable of letting me just do nothing, even for a few minutes.

Sometimes I need the reminder of how much I’m actually doing. Raising a baby in itself is hard work, and all the other work on top of it? Sometimes I’m not sure how I do it. I need to cut myself a break and not feel guilty.

So today I’m going to sit, even if it’s just for 10 minutes to watch Michael and Kelly. It’s happening. You should make it happen, too. 

-Katie

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Do as I say, not as I do?

imageThere’s this little fairytale story we all play in our minds when we find out we’re going to be parents. Our child will be so well-behaved, advanced at everything, a genius in school, never get involved in the “wrong crowd,” lead a happy, respectful, compassionate, well-adjusted life. It’s all going to play out perfectly because naturally, you’ll be the perfect parent, of course.

And then the child is born and all the parenting books go out the window and you’re desperately praying for just 3 consecutive hours of sleep. You’re in survival mode for those first few months and it is hard, but it’s rewarding too. You did it. You made a person.

If there was ever a time in my life that I woke up one day and said “wow, I need to get it together” it was after that survival phase was over. You start to crawl out of the dark like you’ve been in hibernation for a few months and the light is creeping in on the life you’ve been leading. You’ve been getting (a little) more sleep and you have time for things other than just the eat, sleep, diaper, repeat routine. And all of a sudden it hit me, whoa. I am a parent now. Not just a caretaker or a milk-producing zombie, but an actual parent. It was a terrifying realization.

And it really wasn’t even the act of parenting that terrified me, it was the fact that I was now in charge. I was the “example.” I found myself taking a big step back to look in the mirror and say, “is this what I want my child to become?”

I’ve never touched a drug in my life, I’ve never been to jail, I graduated college and I found an amazing husband. Does that make me a good person? It didn’t matter. What I realized was that I needed to reevaluate was who I was and why I was that way and why I wanted my child to turn out anything like me. If I expect to raise my child with certain standards and values, was I in fact leading a life evident of those standards?

I want my child to have a deep faith– am I living that faith out everyday?
I want my child to be respectful of other people- how much have I gossiped lately?
What is the crap playing on my radio?
What is the crap playing on my television?
Have I picked up a book recently?
Did I actually sit at the dinner table, put my phone away and engage in actual conversation with my family?
Am I taking care of my body?
Am I taking care of my marriage?
Am I a good daughter, sister, friend?

So I’ve been working. Working on being a better friend, a more encouraging spouse, becoming more health-conscious, not using choice words for the driver that cut me off, turning off the tv and having dance parties with my LO.

I was catching up on some reading and drinking my coffee the other morning when I looked over to see this……..image

It’s shocking how much they take in and notice at such a young age. You are your child’s first example. You can set the tone for how they take in their surroundings, how they react to situations and how they control their emotions. Every child will throw a tantrum or say something mean to a friend. But by being a positive example, just with our own lives, not even directed toward them, will speak volumes.

We say it over and over again at BurritoBuzz that you can’t properly care for your child if you aren’t taking care of yourself. I’m willing to say that you can’t properly raise your child if imageyou aren’t leading the way by example.

I am by no means perfect. I don’t even aim to be perfect. My child needs to see failures taken in stride, mistakes made and apologies given. Parenting is hard. But I am going to strive to set the example that I want my child to mimic. Whether it’s a simple as reading a book and drinking a cup of coffee, or how I handle an argument with my spouse, I don’t ever want to be a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of parent.

-Chelsea

Product Review- Comfort and Harmony Cozy Shopping Cart Cover

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PROS: This product is very versatile. It can be used to cover a shopping cart seat as well as a high chair at a restaurant. It has 3 pockets on the back and 3 cloth loops in the front that are perfect to hook toys or pacifier clips to.

This cover is very easy to clean, just throw it in the wash or quickly wipe it down with a wipe. The material is very soft and cushioned, perfect for smaller babes that are just learning to sit up on their own. If they start to lean to the side, the cushion will catch them. I also love that this cover really does actually cover the entire seat. Any area within reach of slobbery mouths is protected.

Finally, I appreciate that is has a buckle on the inside. It keeps baby in place and is adjustable so it is like the one baby product on earth you’ll be able to use for several months and never need a bigger size.

CONS: The sheer size of this thing is ridiculous. It is a royal pain to cart around. The cushion of the cover does NOT fold up well. If I was going out by myself with Callie to the grocery store and had to carry both her and my diaper bag and there wasn’t a cart immediately next to my car? Forget it. If they could make a version that was still soft and cushioned but maybe a more quilt-like style that you could fold up? Perfection.

I’m calling this a “new mom” item. Something cute you find and put on the registry (they have it at Babies R Us). It’s great in theory and yes, it did keep my baby safe from nasty grocery carts and germs. However, now that she’s a full blown toddler that’s walking running everywhere, I’m not wasting my time carrying it with me when I’m on high alert in a parking lot. It’s a good item, well-designed and does what it claims; I just wish is was more practical to throw in the diaper bag.

-Chelsea

Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker Product Review

untitled (6)Pros: BK#1 LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this swing! I mean it was the only way I could get her to sleep in the first few months of life. Between colic and being a new mom this thing was a God send! (BK#2 Likes it, but doesn’t seem to fall asleep as easily in it.) It has 6 swing speeds, which is really nice because when they get up there in weight you need a swing with a little more umph.(This swing has a 30lb weight limit!) Multiple songs on the music setting, and multiple noises on the soothe setting (birds, heartbeat, water, and white noise). images (2)The seat itself can adjust to 3 different incline positions, and you can also turn the direction that the seat swings! Which was fabulous for our little apartment we were in at first with BK#1. My favorite part of this swing, that most swings don’t have, is the plug-in option! I hate buying batteries! Can’t stand it, and charging batteries is just as annoying. My second favorite part is that it is not only a swing, but also a bouncer. This was extremely convenient when the baby is sleeping and you want to take them with you into another room! Just lift and go, it was fabulous!

untitled (7)Cons: Did you see that there….was fabulous. Last night as I went to place my sleeping infant in the swing, and I found that the swing wasn’t working! The power light turned on, and the music worked, but the swing wouldn’t move. The motor had burned up. I called the company this morning and because I don’t have the paperwork etc. from purchase, and it is barely over the one year warranty mark, there is nothing they can do! Even though they admitted that it was a product defect. It was a shower gift, so of course I don’t have the paperwork a year later! (I registered at Babiesrus and it was purchased there) That is beside the point, a swing should last over year. If this swing hadn’t died on me I would be telling everyone to go buy a dozen of them! We seriously loved it! Sad, sad day! The swing is fairly large, so some people might not like it, but it worked well for us. Also, the vibration on the seat was pretty noisy and might wake a sleeping baby, or prevent sleep.

Overall, I was a little let down. Being a huge Graco fan, I expected the usual high quality product. This did not meet my expectations. Hopefully the company fixes the defect for future products!

~Amanda

Making Your Own Baby Food- Way Easier, Way Faster Than You Think!

happybaby-organic-frozen-baby-food

Seriously, it is I promise! When I was about 5 months pregnant I decided that I needed to create enough baby food to last my child her entire life. I really went a little nuts with how much I made, but when the time came for solids, I was so glad I had everything prepped and ready to go! One less thing for my new mom brain to worry about.

I am really not a crazy organic/all natural person. Will I choose something that is GMO-free and all natural ingredients 9 times out of 10? Sure. But I’m not shopping at Whole Foods on the regular. I’m a sahm and military spouse, ain’t nobody got funds for that. I buy what is reasonably priced and what works for my family. When it came to my LO, I looked at all the prepackaged options out there and was just disgusted. It looked nasty, it sounded nasty and the price was outrageous. I started doing some research (thank you Pinterest) and realized that it is super easy to make your own baby food that can sustain freshness for months in the freezer. So I decided to get to work…

STEP ONE: Buy Food

Fruits, veggies, grains, you can even get a little wild and try meats. Fresh, frozen, canned…it doesn’t matter. Here are some recommended starter foods that most babies generally like (until they become toddlers of course) and are safe for baby tummies:

  • STAGE 1 (4-6 months old): Carrots, Avocados, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Peas, Apples, Pears
  • STAGE 2 (6+ months or when you and your pediatrician think your LO is ready for thicker purees and textures): Squash, Brown Rice, Blueberries, Chicken, Spinach, Lentils, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Rice, Mango

STEP TWO: Prep and Blend

Pick an afternoon (really you could do it in an hour) and gather a couple things together:

  • All your fruits, veggies and grains
  • Ice cube trays
  • Freezer Bags
  • Sharpie
  • Blender

Steam any fresh or frozen fruits or veggies so they are good and soft. Obviously canned goods are ready as is. Make sure everything has cooled before you start blending.

baby-bulletWhen I did my foods, I used a Baby Bullet. I registered and received one as a gift at my baby shower. Loved it. All of the accessories and storage containers are super helpful. I especially love the grinder attachment that allows you to grind grains, nuts, etc. to add to your baby foods (read: make your own rice cereal!). Is a Baby Bullet completely necessary? Not at all. Any good quality blender will do.baby food trays

Now you’re ready to blend all of your ingredients. I started simple. Carrots and sweet potatoes together, bananas, and peas and avocados together. You can also blend in rice cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, whatever other additives you want to your mixtures. I was too scared to try meat but I know you can easily blend meat and freeze as well. After everything is blended to a very smooth texture, pour the mixture into ice cube trays.

STEP THREE: Freeze, Label and Store

Pretty self explanatory. Once everything is frozen, pop them out, place into freezer bags and clearly label and date. If you have a deep freezer, this is optimal to ensure your baby food stays the freshest for the longest amount of time. Different foods vary in how long they keep while frozen. A simple google search will tell you how long each food you chose will keep.

STEP FOUR: Serve

To defrost, I simply place one frozen piece into a microwave safe bowl and put it in for about 15 seconds at a time until it was completely thawed but not too hot.

That’s it! I told you, simple! Not only is making your own baby food wayyyy cheaper, but you also have the peace of mind in knowing exactly what is going into your LO’s belly. This is also a very effective way to track any allergies or sensitivities your child might have. Starting with one food at a time for a few meals before introducing a new one will help you pinpoint the cause of any reaction very easily.

Now I’m no doctor, but I swear making my own baby food helped my LO be a more tolerant eater as she grew into toddlerdom. Her favorite food is still peas. She is much more likely to try new things as finger foods because she is used to eating all sorts of colors and textures as baby foods. We were also very lucky that she has had minimal food sensitivities throughout her transition into solid foods. Every child is different. In my opinion, what do you have to lose? Do yourself a favor, save the future new-baby-no-sleep-going-crazy you a little sanity and plan ahead.Especially if you are planning to return to work, this will be a lifesaver. It’s not rocket science and trust me, you’ll be so thankful you did!

-Chelsea

TummyGize by Young Living Product review

5305PROS: This is by far one of my favorite essential oils! I have tried many, and have become pretty obsessed, but they don’t always work for what you want them to. TummyGize is spot on though! BK#2 has some pretty rough reflux and tummy issues. He is on prescription medication and it’s somewhat manageable, but there some days when little mister is just miserable. After trying, many different over the counter solutions we decided to try this oil. Let me tell you, it works like a charm!!!! The crying, grunting and flailing stop almost immediately. This oil is safe on kids and babies, and is specifically made for them. It is 100% pure therapeutic grade EO, but it is pre-diluted so you don’t have to waste time mixing with a carrier oil! I take off his shirt and rub a drop or two on his stomach and let it work its magic! This EO is a blend of spearmint, peppermint, tangerine, fennel, anise, ginger, and cardamom.

CONS: The only thing that I don’t like about this oil is that its an orange color and stained a shirt when I didn’t rub in well enough. (The orange color is from the tangerine) That was my own fault though. I like the smell, but it is a little strong and some might not like it.

This is a great product. It makes me feel good that I can instantaneously make my LO feel better! It’s one of the more affordable oils, the best quality and does what it claims

Mama Bear Mode


imageI’ve always been the type-A, extremely organized, prepared for everything type. Not doom-and-gloom by any means but, prepared. We live in a hurricane-prone area (read: batteries, candles and water fill an entire shelf of my linen closet), I’m addicted to extreme couponing and my dad had a gun in my hands shooting pop cans in the backyard by the time I was 7. See? Prepared.

Becoming a mom changes you. There was a time after I got pregnant that I had to stop watching the evening news. I just couldn’t take a new story every night of a home break in with children in the house or a pregnant mom being attacked.

I’m not a pessimist but I am most assuredly, a realist. We need to keep ourselves and our littles safe. Whether you’re a SAHM, single mom, military spouse..it doesn’t matter. There will come a time when you are alone. It could simply be while out running errands for a few hours or for months on end during a deployment. With the holidays rapidly approaching, many of us will be traveling, stopping at sketch rest stops, and leaving our homes unattended.

Whoever you are, whatever life you lead, it is always wise to take steps to protect yourself and the ones you love.

So how do we do that? How do we keep ourselves safe?

1. Protect Your Home

  • Home Security System– Not all of us can afford a hard core cops-show-up-when-the-cat-moves-at-night home security imagesystem. But what I can afford is a quality door and window alarm kit that will send out a piercing alarm if someone tries to open my doors or windows. This one will run you about $20 off of Amazon. It’s simple to install, battery operated, allows you to use a pin code to arm and is LOUD! If you live relatively close to your neighbors, they’re going to hear it and guaranteed it will really freak some thug out if they’re trying to get in.
  • Outdoor Lights– My neighbor told me about these awesome light bulbs for your outdoor lights. imageThey are solar-censored meaning they only come on when it’s dark and turn off when the sum comes up. If you’re traveling, these are perfection. You just screw it in to your fixture and leave the switch turned on, the bulb does the rest. About $7 on Amazon. You can’t beat that.
  • Indoor Lights– It probably wouldn’t be necessary unless you’re traveling but it’s not a bad idea to pick up a few lamp timers. You plug your lamp into the unit and plug the unit into the wall. Set the times you want the light to turn on and off. This way when you’re gone, your house isn’t pitch black at night but a light isn’t being left on 24/7 either. They sell them at any big box store (Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc.).

2. Protect Your Car– I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows the basics: ice scraper, gloves, Fix-a-Flat, extra phone battery. All of these are wise to keep in your car in case of an emergency. Let me tell you about one extra item you may want to look in to called the Road Trip Emergency Auto Tool.image I recently became OBSESSED with a company called Damsels in Defense. I’ll talk about them a little later but they make this great product in one compact unit that is the ultimate car emergency tool. It is a strike-free glass breaker (so you touch it to the glass, press the button, it shatters the window) in case you need to break your window. It has 3 different LED light settings

3. Protect Your Littles– And they are just that, little. The majority of us at BurritoBuzz have babes that are still too small to understand “stranger danger” and all the other things we teach our children to imagekeep them safe. For now, we can set the example of  behaving properly and safely in public for our LOs until they can better understand.

You can also check in with your local sheriff’s department and register your children in the Ident-A-Print program. Every sheriff’s office should have some form of missing child program that will allow you to register personal information your child so that in an emergency, the police can get identifying information out as fast as possible. They can even issue you a handy little card to give to the officers if, God forbid, you are ever in such a situation and can’t possibly think straight enough to tell them your missing child’s height. This will help.

4. Protect Yourself– Now, like I said, my Daddy had a firearm in my hands at a very young age so that I could learn how to safely and effectively handle a weapon. This option is not for everyone. Regardless, you should always have something on your person that can protect or draw attention to you should you be confronted.

Back to that company I’m obsessed with, Damsel’s in Defense. They make incredibly effective, reasonably priced, cute personal protective items for women. I carry their Pouch O’ Pepper Spray, a keychain that snaps shut to keep little fingers out but holds a powerful imagepepper spray with me at all times. I also love their Wristle. It’s a paracord bracelet that can unravel to be used for a number of situations as well as a high pitch whistle. It’s $10 and it’s cute. I swear I don’t work for these people but seriously, every product they sell is legit.

As mothers, we are given the task of protecting the most beautiful gifts on this planet. Unfortunately, it can be a nasty world out there. And that puts us into Mama Bear Mode. Take daily, proactive steps to secure yourself and your family. Make sure this holiday season is only filled with memories of family and love.

-Chelsea

Product Review: Moby Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover

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Product Review: Moby Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover

PROS: This cover is spectacular. Pretty much the day we started putting my LO in the bath tub without an infant seat, I became worried about her hurting herself on the spout. This simple, $13 whale made of soft but tough rubber is genius. It looks cute but it is incredibly effective.

The bathroom we use to bathe our LO is also our only guest bathroom. I love that this is a cute piece, but it can also be kept on while using the tub and shower for an adult. The “spout” area allows the shower switch to be accessible but still protected during silly bath time adventures. The bottom is open, obviously allowing water to run, but it also has a strap to keep it in place should little hands try to pull it down or off the spout.image

CONS: Umm…it only comes in blue?

Seriously, this is a great product. It eases my mind while my child participates in the Tub Olympics. It’s affordable, good quality and does what it claims. 

This is officially my new go-to baby shower gift!

-Chelsea

Mom For President

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I’ve had it. I’ve simply had it with the issues of today and because of this, I am officially running for President. We have endured the atrocities of our culture for long enough and I’m putting a stop to it. Consider this my official throwing-of-the-name-in-the-hat.

image1. For my first act as President, I will require every store restroom (clothing or grocery) be hereby fit with a toddler chair. So that every hardworking, American mother may experience a peaceful pee in any location she may be.

2. My second act as POTUS will henceforth ban any individual from touching a pregnant belly without prior permission. Second Cousins, Great Aunts, Strangers in the Checkout Line, I’m looking at you. Lest you be slapped with heavy fines and a note on your criminal record, hands off.

3. Thirdly, I will propose a bill to fund the creation of a yoga pant that does not reveal the line of the panty. We will wear them as pants. We will choose comfort over denim. And we will keep our undergarments private! image

4. Next, I will require that all mall stores have aisles wide enough for strollers (The Children’s Place, seriously. There is no excuse).

5. All child shoes will be simple, easy to put on and not make a mother feel as though she is breaking every single toe off of her child while attempting to dress them for the day.

6. Next, any individual selling direct sales, specifically magical wraps to shrink post-baby tummies, will be limited in their outrageously frequent and mostly obnoxious postings to once every 2 weeks.

7. As a candidate for President of this fine nation, I am appalled that no one before me has declared that every Starbucks adopt a delivery system. I will make this declaration. image

8.  While on the topic of home delivery, America will bring back the Milk Man. Infants, toddlers and children alike consume a shocking amount of vitamin D per day and the regular delivery of the beverage will help relieve the stress of mothers across this nation.

9. All grocery carts will be subject to the same safety scrutiny as vehicles when it comes to holding an infant car seat. There will be no more unsafe wobbling of baby carriers on the shoddy wire seat. No. More.

10. Every public restroom in the United States of America will be equipped with a clean, liner-filled, diaper changing station.

11. Purell. Purell will become the new fire extinguisher. Every 50 feet.

12. All infant pajamas with 63 snaps all the way to the toe will be banned. They are a nighttime sanity hazard and will not be tolerated.

image13.  The abhorrent LIES told by the tags of infant clothing will be reconfigured.  Inches or weight, not months will be the new measurement.

14. As President, I will require all children’s menus at restaurants to provide several fruit and vegetable options.

15. Finally, in an act that will lead this nation into great success and prosperity, I will provide all new parents with a 5 year subscription to Netflix and a DVR. Long nights bonding with a newborn are a crucial necessity of life. So is Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

You’re Welcome America.

-Chelsea

“Oh, You’re a Private School Mom”

Uhm well, I’m just a regular mom whose kids happen to attend a private school. No need to be rude.

I always dread that simple question.

“What school do your kids go to?”

It’s like a staple for any conversation when it comes to moms of school aged kids…it’s also the question that I blame for the demise of my adult friend life. I never realized that there was such friction between private school and public school moms until I experienced it first hand.

There is one day I remember so vividly because it was my very first run in with the hatred. I was at the park, carrying on a  conversation with another mom, we’ll call her “Random Mom.” Our booger faced toddlers were running around, throwing mulch at each other, getting along just fine. Somehow it was brought up that I have 2 older kids as well. I’m sure you can guess the next question out of Random Mom’s mouth…”Oh neat, what school do your kids go to?”. I replied like any polite person would, and by the look on her face, people passing by would have thought I just pushed her child down a slide. I was a little caught off guard by the wide-eyed look, but what happened was next was just baffling.

She said in the snarkiest tone ever, “Oh. You’re one of those. You’re a private school mom”. She then proceeded to get up off the bench, summon her spawn and told him that they had to leave and he could no longer play with C because they don’t talk to people like us. 

Wait a minute. Our kids can’t play together because my kids go to private school? What sense does that make? Oh, it makes no sense at all? Exactly.

But it didn’t stop there, she then proceeded to go on a rant about how private school is the reason for the downfall of the public school system. How I should send my children to public school and make a charitable donation to the school system every year instead of paying their tuition. She honestly made me feel bad. But why?! Why did I have to feel bad for choosing an educational system that suits my family?

I will start off by saying that in no way, shape, or form am I badmouthing public school systems. There are some fantastic public schools out there but unfortunately, they’re not for my kids. I would never look down on a parent (or their child) for going to any school whether it be public, private, or in-home. My entire family and DH graduated from a public school. I didn’t have any problems with it. However, my school aged children attend a highly rated private school. They attended private preschools as well and their younger brother will follow in their footsteps. Does that make me any different from the moms of public school children? No. Does it make me a bad person? No.

Many would do great in a public school environment, however, my children, more specifically E, is not one of them. He has ADHD and needs the extra attention and focus that his private school can provide. His entire school (PK-12) has less than 600 kids. He needs that. He needs the consistency, the attention, and the communication that is provided. Depending on your child’s specific needs, here are some benefits for each school type that I’ve experienced:

Benefits of Public School:School house

  • Teachers tend to be more qualified
  • Higher focus on core subjects (up to 3 hours per week)
  • More diverse population
  • Typically offer more sponsored clubs and activities.
  • Offer disability services

Benefits of Private School:

  • Smaller classes
  • Less time spent on federally mandated paperwork and more time spent on instructing
  • Strong parental involvement
  • Most teach foreign languages starting in Kindergarten
  • More focus on individual success and not school wide ratings.

So now what’s my point?

Ignore the “Random Moms” and do what is right for your family. 

People may judge you. There will always be someone who isn’t happy but, unless that person is directly effected by the decision, their opinion doesn’t matter. Do your homework and research the schools in your area. Decide what your child needs and what is overall best for your household.

-Kirstyn

Work it.


13 Jan 2010, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA --- Pregnant Hispanic woman lifting dumbells --- Image by © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

I’ve never been the most athletic, the most fit, or the most motivated. I have, however, tried to work on fitness most of my life. In high school I played tennis a lot, went to the gym a few times a week. College came around and my focus shifted mostly to beer, but I still managed to workout a few times a week. Before I found out I was pregnant I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week and felt pretty good about it. One of my first pregnancy symptoms was major dizziness, which started at the gym. I found myself working out less, and my crippling five months of morning sickness made it nearly impossible to work out. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was still going, but mostly walking my large cankles around tracks and doing slow cardio on Arc machines and ellipticals.

After having Lucas I really was anxious to get back to the gym. I got the okay, and started back up. But in all honesty, I had no energy. Lucas didn’t sleep much, I was working, running a business, and trying to keep up with all of the other household chores.

My YMCA membership has been severely neglected.

And working out at home? Not happening. It’s not that I don’t try, but I get about a solid three minutes of exercise in before Lucas is hungry, in to something he shouldn’t be, or needs a diaper changed.

I love being his mom. It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my entire life. I would give up all of my gym trips for the rest of eternity for him.

Now that there is very little “me” time, including going to the gym, I’m sitting here now thinking “how do I get fit again?”

Dropping the lbs. and being fit are two different things, my friends. I dropped all those baby lbs within weeks of having Lucas. Now the muscles I used to have? They’re mostly gone, and that can only be cured by some good weight training.

I am the person totally skeeved out by the thought of child care at the gym. I’m sure they’re all very capable individuals, but with my little guy not being able to talk yet and verbalize what his needs are, I’m just uncomfortable. That, and I’m a total germ-a-phobe with trying to keep him healthy. Because let’s face it, as a working mom I don’t have the time to take days off. I decided that around a year old I’ll hopefully be willing to take him there for an hour or two…

My husband and I have tried to set up schedules so that both of us can get to the gym. They’ve mostly failed, because life happens. 

So my game plan: keep trying. Keep trying, and try not to beat myself up on the days that I don’t workout. Because being a parent is HARD and 24/7. Those tiny humans always come first. As much as I want to go do some major sweating on the Arc trainer while watching HGTV, it’s vastly less important to have nice triceps than it is to spend time with my guy.

So for now, my 3 minute workouts will have to cut it. The nights I get to the gym? Great. The nights I don’t? Fine. I’ll snuggle my sweet boy and know that soon enough he’ll be able to work out alongside me.

Some things that I’ve found to be successful:baby-plank

  1. Go on a walk/jog with your baby. Most little ones are totally thrilled to be outside in the stroller.
  2. Do some baby-wearing while you workout. We do squats, lunges, Zumba, etc. Chances are good that your little one will fall asleep from all of the movement.
  3. Find some exercises that can incorporate baby. Planks, arm raises, sit-ups. There are plenty of YouTube videos with instructions on how to work out with your baby.
  4. Make chasing your baby into a workout for you. Do some leg raises while you’re crawling around chasing that speedster around.

Good luck, mommas! Take care of yourselves and those little ones!

-Katie

Product Review: Mirena

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**I am most definitely not a medical professional. This article is based on my personal experiences. As always, please talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions for yourself**

I have had a lot, a LOT of issues with BC. I have tried several different brands and forms with mostly negative results. Before I was married and interested in having children, I wanted a BC that treated strong cramps and heavy, long-lasting cycles. The types of BC I tried before TTC include:

  • Yaz– This daily pill made me feel like my heart was racing and have spells of lightheadedness at random times (the pill was later found to cause severe blood clots and actually does not treat any symptoms of PMS like it claimed).
  • Lo Loestrine Fe– Also a daily pill. This did not treat my heavy, long-lasting cycle and painful cramps.

At this point, my gyno decided I need a constant stream of hormones with no placebo time (like many pills have) So then I tried..

  • Ortho Evra– This is a patch that you place on your waistline, back or rear. It was disgusting. It was like a band aid you wore for one week and then replaced. It left a nasty ring of stickiness (like a band aid) and skin irritation wherever I placed it. It also would come off occasionally in the shower, which left me in constant fear that I was not being protected. I
  • NuvaRing– This is a vaginal ring you replace yourself after 3 weeks in and one week off. This was by far, the worst of all BC I tried. It slipped out constantly and was very gross to put back in myself. But worst of all, it gave me a SEVERE vaginal infection that took two drs (one of which was a urogynocologist) to diagnose and treat. Horrible. Just horrible.

After that horrendous experience, I just dealt with my discomfort and we used the trusty ol’ condom until we were TTC. So after the birth of my LO, I was extremely hesitant to go back on BC but knew it was necessary because I conceived very, very easily and we were certainly not ready for another LO. My gyno suggested Mirena.

Mirena is an intra-uterine device that can stay in for up to 5 years. It slowly releases low levels of progestin into the uterus. The device is inserted by your gyno and small strings are left hanging that are supposed to allow you to check and make sure it is still correctly in place. This BC is recommended for women that have had a child.

imagePROS: When I had mine inserted, my gyno said to me, “pick a four letter word to say now because you’re going to need it when I put it in.” I honestly had to ask her if she was done because I felt nothing other than the usual discomfort of her messing around in that area. It didn’t hurt me in the slightest. I love not having to worry about taking a pill everyday. I have heard some people say that they can feel the strings that are left hanging. I have never had any discomfort. I’ve had the device in for over a year now and (now) I can say that my cycles are short and very light. I still have some cramping, but nothing like I’ve experienced in the past.

CONS: I bled. I bled every single day for almost 5 months. I’m talking several heavy flow pads per day. Mind you, I had a C-section. So this was strictly related to the BC, not from giving birth (I had no bleeding in the 6 weeks after giving birth and before getting Mirena). It was horrible. My poor DH. Not only was my last trimester a painful nightmare, I finally have the baby and we still can’t be intimate because I’m disgusting. Sexy.

It finally got so bad that I was concerned it was not inserted correctly, so I went back to my gyno. She did a full exam and said it was inserted correctly and to just hang in there. My symptoms were not uncommon and if I held out for one more month, it could go away. And she was right. A few weeks after that, my bleeding subsided and I finally began to have a recognizable cycle again. Still, it was quite the ordeal.

In the relatively near future, my DH and I will be TTC again. I am planning an extensive article series on TTC and (God willing) my subsequent pregnancy. I do have a fear of having difficulty conceiving after removing my Mirena. DrugWatch.com states that 80% of women can successfully conceive within one year of removal. Fingers crossed.

I hope my experiences can help you make a better choice on what is right for your body. I can’t say I am a strong proponent of BC after my dreadful experiences, however, it’s a necessary evil in my personal opinion. I’m constantly doing research on what is safest and best for my body. I strongly encourage every woman do the same. Meanwhile, I’ll be continuing my earnest prayers for the development of the male BC pill… *please Jesus, please*

-Chelsea

Please Don’t

…no seriously, please don’t randomly touch my kiddo. It’s creepy. It’s weird. It’s rude and completely unsanitary. No, I’m not a germophobe but I have no clue when the last time you washed your hands was and they don’t need to be all over my kid’s face. End of story.

It started at the mall (only like the most germ filled place ever because no one covers their mouths and they bring their plagues in with them just to get all the good sales.) C was happily in his stroller continually asking me 150 times for Mickey Mouse on the iPad while I was shopping. I didn’t have the iPad, so in order the keep the peace, I settled for my phone. So there he sits, singing along to Season 2, Episode 9 Mickey’s Color Adventure at the top of his little baby lungs and out of no where his bubble is popped. Not a literal bubble…but his personal space bubble. I looked around in  dismay as to why this random lady was touching my child…and it’s not like it was a you’re-cute-I’m-going-to-pat-you-on-the-head touch. I’m talking like full palms to his cheeks, lots of squishing, making kissy faces and overly excited expressing how “precious” and “handsome” my child was.  Now, I’m not typically a mean person, I’m not confrontational and I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings but I stared at this lady like she had 3 heads and before my mouth could even open, poor C shrieks “ow! no touch me!” And she laughed..logically, first reaction would be to remove your hands from the now screaming child’s personal space but no, she laughed and proceeded to exclaim how “daggone adorable” he was. Oddly enough, none of the things she is calling my son (precious, handsome, adorable) require any sort of tactical anything. Keep your hands to your self.

Like my mom always told me, “you look with your eyes, not with your hands”.

They make signs for it because obviously it’s an ongoing trend. You can pick one up here.

Moms, it will happen. Everyone and their brother will want to squish your LO’s face and tell you how adorable your kid is (like you don’t already know). A simple “please don’t touch him/her” may sound mean, but it’s for the best because you really have no clue where their hands have been.

-Kirstyn

Tips and Tricks for the Baby Wearing Beginner

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Sleepy dust for momma and baby!

There are so many reasons to love wearing your babies. You may want to leave that bulky stroller at home or go somewhere a stroller won’t go, you may like rocking your baby to sleep and want to make it easier, you may like to get things done while keeping your baby happy and seeing what’s going on, or you may just love keeping your baby close. Or, like me, you may have  babies that just refuse to be put down some days.

Enter babywearing! Whether you do it all day, every day or only a few times before your child outgrows it, it can be a little overwhelming when you are looking at all the different types of carriers while also memorizing all of the safety measures. So I thought I would share a few of the highlights for those of you that are new to baby wearing and aren’t sure where to start! A lot of these are really important and while I am not an “expert” on baby wearing, these are simple, yet serious to wearing your baby in a way that is healthy and safe for both of you!

1.Research before you buy.

Baby wearing can become sort of a fad, especially when people get swept up in certain brands etc.! I am constantly seeing pictures on Instagram and Pinterest of moms wearing their babies in a popular wrap or carrier, but not in a safe way. Again, I’m no expert on baby wearing, but did a lot of research before wearing my baby for the first time and I feel that that was so important. I was able to get many opinions, research stories, and read up on the most important safety measures to take with each type of carrier. In the same way that a first-time parent should read how to appropriately put together a crib or install a car seat, it’s important to read up on the safest way to carry for both the parent and the baby.

2. Know your carrier.c609234b5194ee1709069ddccbf07f54

There are so many carriers on the market that it can be confusing. Think about for how long and how often you want to wear your baby, as well as whether you are likely to feel confident wrapping up a carrier or have a preference for buckles or rings. There is a good breakdown of the types of carriers here.

3.Safety first!

Always, always, always babywear safely! Follow the TICKS guidelines.

Tight. Baby should be close to your body not dangling with loose fabric.

In view at all times. This is for younger babies in front carriers. Make sure they are not under layers of fabric where you can’t see them.

Close enough to kiss. Keep your baby’s head close to your chin. If your baby sits too low it can be really easy for their breathing to get blocked and is also really terrible for your back! If you have your baby wrapped and a person standing in front of you can’t see the baby’s head, then that is also a pretty good clue that you have wrapped/carried too low.

Keep the chin off the chest. Make sure baby’s head is not being forced to curl down onto it’s chest which can restrict breathing. This is mainly important to watch for when carrying a newborn that doesn’t have any head control yet. If they do have their chin on their chest it means that their airway is smaller than it should be, so make sure that baby is lifted and resting their head comfortably.

Supported back. For both the carrier and the baby.

4.Be sure the baby’s legs are in an “M” Shape.

I have found that there are pretty mixed opinions when it comes to carrying a newborn (mainly in a wrap), this tip particularly applies as baby starts to grow. For us, I decided to skip the “newborn carry” after a week or so and move straight to the “classic carry.” The newborn carry is basically when you bend your newborn’s knees before placing them in the wrap and their legs stay in the wrap so that they look like a frog. Recently, I have read a lot that carrying like this is not the healthiest way for baby and can actually contribute to hip dysplasia. I also want to mention, that the classic carry seems much easier to get used to, especially because once you learn how to do it quickly and efficiently, you don’t have to learn again–baby will always be carried this way.

5.Have Patience.

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BK#1 ‘s first year apple picking! DH taking too many pics …”are we done yet?”

When it comes to wraps and even some SSC, there is a learning curve. Don’t expect to be able to master every carry on your first try. I have to stop and re adjust several times while wrapping. Luckily, my babies love it and have patience with me while I learn new carries. Front carries are the easiest to master, so start there.

6.Youtube

Look on You Tube. There are hundreds of videos showing different types of carriers being used and the easiest way to get them on and off. Type in the brand you have or want to look at and I promise you will find a ton of how-to’s!

7.Happy Baby

The first time you use a carrier make sure your baby is happy! Trying to figure out a back carry with a size 7 wrap for the first time with teething toddler who hasn’t had her nap spells disaster and won’t leave either of you with a good feeling about it.

8.Talk to someone who has done it before

Chances are you know someone who has more than one carrier and would be happy to show you some tips. People who love babywearing usually want to share the joy (hence why I’m blogging here).

9.Enjoy it!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are coddling or spoiling your child. There is nothing wrong with doing something that keeps your baby happy and content. This usually keeps Mama happy and content! You can get all of your housework or shopping done, or play with older siblings while a baby naps in the carrier. You can leave the stoller at home when you travel and you can enjoy more time smooching the top of your baby’s head. You won’t be wearing them in a sling to school. Promise.

10. Babywearing isn’t for everyone.f3c5b20a729c44b4f4868d99e8fd648e

Variety is the spice of life, right? Not everyone in the world is going to love wearing their baby. And some people may need to try a few different kinds before deciding on one that will be their go-to. But if you or your baby just aren’t into it, that’s okay!

Hopefully these little tidbits are helpful and makes wearing your baby a fun and easy learning experience.

~Amanda

If you see me out…

Congratulations. You’ve had a baby. The hospital has sent you home VERY quickly with your new, needy, adorable infant. You’re lucky if you’ve had a shower by this point, and your hair is probably already up in the “mom bun” that will become its new home for the next 6 months or more (you know what I’m talking about, ladies.) You take your car ride home, and once you get there… you think “what now?!”

article-2221909-1589FD09000005DC-659_634x728Parents are exhausted for a long time after having a baby. When I say a long time… I mean, I don’t even know when the end is in sight yet (my LO is just now 8 months, and I’m still pulling some pretty intense all-nighters.) Do I ever get to sleep in again? Will I ever have time to do cat-eye liner again? Take a shower longer than 5 minutes? Read a book for a WHOLE entire chapter?

So let me just tell you– those 8 weeks of maternity leave I looked liked I’d just survived a few weeks of zombie apocalypse. Yoga pants. Dry shampoo. No makeup. And yeah, I totally forgot to brush my teeth and eat a meal more than once. Infants require 24/7 attention, and if I looked crazy, it’s because my postpartum hormones and lack of sleep had totally taken over. Don’t get me wrong, I put everything I had into nurturing my tiny, amazing human, but WOW did I look rough.

So my first trip leaving the house: I went to Target (the mecca of all for meccas for moms.) While standing in the card aisle I witnessed another new mom with her toddler and also new-ish baby waltz by. But let me tell you– she was not me. This woman looked like a celebrity. Skinny. Hair done. Makeup done. Babies calm. I had a total meltdown, right there in the card aisle of Target. I justified her glamour by saying she must be their aunt, or have a night nanny, or have her mother living with her. Or maybe it was a total mirage and I was hallucinating from the lack of sleep.

Who knows.

Now I wonder sometimes if I’m that mom, because when I go out these days I feel like I really have it together. I can shower, do makeup, curl my hair, make some coffee easily in 20 minutes. I take my LO out of his drool-covered onesie and throw some cute clothes on him. He’s almost always content on trips, and spends most of his time flirting with the ladies. I’ve built up some serious arm muscle and can handle carrying both my LO, and an infinite amount of groceries (seriously, I’d rather dislocate both of my arms than take more than one trip out to the car to unload.)

So, I feel like I’ve got it together.

The point? I want new moms to know that the zombie-apocalypse phase doesn’t necessarily go away, but you get good at it. I’m talking Michonne from the Walking Dead good. Those first few weeks home with a newborn you are in total survival mode: feed the baby, change the baby, Google all the things you don’t know how to do with the baby, cry in the bathroom, maybe remember deodorant. But soon after, those parenting-instincts kick in and you acclimate to the situation. You develop routines, learn how to best take advantage of naps and play times, memorize the peak Target rush hours so you can avoid crowds, and continue to take pointers from other moms who have recently survived the battlefield. So if you see me out, I wasn’t always able to feel “put together” for the day. And if you need more time in your yoga pants, I won’t judge you.comparison-is-the-thief-of-

Here are some of the tips that helped me:

  1. Start establishing a routine as soon as possible. It may take weeks to work, but eventually it will.
  2. Take care of yourself. Sometimes this means taking help from others. Get a shower, and make a cup of tea for yourself. You can’t be healthy to take care of your baby if you aren’t taking care of your mental and physical needs for yourself.
  3. If you have a partner helping you with the baby, be straight-forward. Letting him/her know your needs will help both of you to avoid frustration when those 2AM crying wake-up calls come.
  4. Don’t stay up late. I know we all just want some time to ourselves after our LO falls asleep, but if your LO is a poor sleeper, try to go to bed around the time that they do. (I was never a person that could sleep when the baby did during the day, but when I put my LO down at 8:00 every night, I promptly hopped into bed.)
  5. Find ways to simplify your routines. Set clothes out the night before, set your coffee to brew, find simple hairstyles and makeup tips to make yourself feel human.
  6. Stick to the routine. I can’t say it enough– when we started sleep-training our LO, everyone invited us to come over to their houses for late parties. As much as you might want to keep your LO up so that you can go have fun, don’t. Routines are hard to establish, and easy to break. If you want to go out, hire a babysitter that is comfortable with putting your LO to bed.
  7. Take a shower without the baby monitor (or the baby,) in the room. When my LO was super tiny and wouldn’t sleep, he sat in his rock n’ play while I showered. But, nothing is as relaxing as a shower alone while someone else watches the baby for a few minutes.
  8. Have as many things shipped to you as possible. SAMS club ships baby items free, and my Amazon Prime membership has been thoroughly used. Quick trips to the store are no longer quick… and sometimes it’s just easier to order what you need online, and then push all of the boxes quickly in through your front door before your neighbor sees them when they’re delivered.
  9. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You won’t be able to do everything you could before. Want to watch an entire season of Parks and Recreation in one sitting? HA. Forget about it. Stick to a half an hour episode, and count yourself lucky if you only have to pause it twice.
  10. Don’t compare. Every mom handles having a baby differently. Every mom has struggles (whether they’re external or not.)

Just remember that each phase of infancy is just that, a phase. Soon your tiny baby will be a grown adult that doesn’t need your constant care;treasure the moments while they’re still little.

-Katie

Product Review: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Bottle Warmer

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Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Bottle Warmer

I am a big Tommee Tippee fan. From the pacifiers to the bottles, I really appreciate the quality and attention to detail when it comes to what is best for baby.

I had nursed my LO from day one but pumped as often as I could production-wise so that DH could give her a bottle occasionally (about 2-3 times a week). When I began to wean, I was using frozen BM and decided I needed a bottle warmer to more consistently warm the thawed milk. I had been given another warmer (different brand) but the Tommee Tippee bottles I used were too wide and did not fit. I did some research and found that this brand is typically wider than most and really would only fit the Tommee Tippee brand warmer best. Here is my review on the warmer:

PROS: The most important thing for me when purchasing the warmer was that it fit my wider bottles. It didn’t have a million parts and was generally easy to operate. The warmer heated up quickly and warmed the bottle evenly. Most bottles were completely warmed in less than 4 minutes on the higher settings. Overall, it did what a bottle warmer needs to do in a short amount of time.

CONS: This warmer will run you anywhere from $30-$40 which is a little pricey in my opinion considering a couple of drawbacks. There is no auto shut off. I lived a life a paranoia after accidentally leaving it on one day and leaving the house. This is not typical (most warmers turn off after 10 minutes) and I found to be highly annoying.

The dial is basically worthless. The manual says that the 1 and 2 settings are meant to keep the bottle warm. False. At least in my child’s opinion, this was too cool even after about 6 minutes. Then you have the 3rd setting that should be relabeled “molten lava after 4.1 minutes.” If I did not grab that sucker out of there after 4 minutes EXACTLY, it was extremely hot. And lets face it, we’re moms, we’re busy. This happened several times and became ridiculous when I would have to let it set even longer to cool while my baby started to get hangry.

The extension cord is very short. Which doesn’t sound like a problem until you fill it with water and need to move it to plug it in and spill water everywhere, including the cord.

Overall, I was a little let down. Being a huge Tommee Tippee fan, I expected the usual high quality product. This did not meet my expectations and I soon gave up and warmed my bottles (gasp!) in the dangerous microwave and its evil hot spots that I rapidly shook out and shamed myself over until I realized my LO would gulp down anything that was slightly warmer than fridge temperature…

-Chelsea

DIY Crib Rail Guards

Just when you think you have everything in your house baby-proofed, your LO starts chewing on the crib rails. Paint, yum. My husband and I actually purchases a convertible crib that will transition into a toddler bed and then into a full-sized bed. So, we want this thing to last because it really wasn’t cheap.

We made a quick trip to Babies R’ Us this past weekend, only to find that covering three rails with the guards is about $75. No thanks. As if having a baby isn’t expensive enough, I’m definitely not paying $75 for cloth to keep my teething monster from chomping on some paint.

And, as much as I love Pintrest, I really am NOT a DIY person (unless it saves me some cash.) In this case it saved me a ton! I made a run to JoAnn Fabrics and picked up some Moroccan fleece print that matched my LO’s room perfectly (and it was on sale for 50% off.) So, score 1 on the sale. And score again on the print, because the ones that were $75 at the store were just an ugly canvas beige color. I probably spent $12 on fleece and had some left over (I’d recommend getting 2 yards.)

So here are your steps. The entire project takes about 45 minutes, and there is absolutely no need for perfection. All of the ties you cut will be hidden once double-knotted.

First, measure your section, and cut a piece of fleece that is that length. In width, you should have approximately 3 inches hanging on either side past the bottom of the rail (these will be your ties.)

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Seriously, don’t worry too much about cutting straight. Do have a good pair of scissors so you don’t end up with threads hanging all over, though.

Next, leave your fabric right there and cut out where your rails are.

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NOTE: At the end, you might have to NOT cut a space to make an extra tie. Your ends should BOTH have ties (otherwise you’ll end up with a weird piece at the end that isn’t tied down.)

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To make the other side of the crib, I just laid my pattern down and cut a copy into another piece of fabric.

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Once your fabric is set, drape it back over and double knot each tie to it’s match! I knotted loosely the first time to make sure I didn’t have to redo anything, and then went back and tightened each knot afterwards.

So there you have it! Love these, and they match my LOs room so well!

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-Katie

The Sound of My Sanity

…being flushed riiiight down the drain.

Legos. You know what I’m talking about…those little expensive sharp cornered bastards that you can never find when you’re trying to clean up…only when you’re barefoot in the middle of the night trying to check on your LO. Yea, those. They suck and I hate them. What I hate more that Legos themselves is the bucket I store them in…and worse than that is the noise it makes when the whole…entire…damn…bucket is being dumped out. The whole thing.

And you know just as well as I do that once you tell a two year old to help “clean up”, and he sings that cute little song, that he still won’t clean up and will subsequently destroy everything you’re trying to clean.

So what do I (try) to do…

  1. Cycle out the toys. C has a toy shelf thing with bins on it. Some bins get put up depending on how much I feel like picking up that day..errr I mean so he’s not overstimulated… diversified stimulation is a good thing…or something like that. Each bin is organized… One has Legos, one has cars, one has trains, one has foam letters, one has musical instruments, puzzles, random junk that doesn’t belong anywhere else, etc. I typically leave out something fun, something busy, something intellectual and always his trains. He also has 24/7 access to his bookshelf.
  2. Start a Routine. C knows that before nap time and before bed time we clean up… And then I typically clean up little by little throughout the day. He also knows where his toys are kept and what goes where, so that definitely helps. He cleans up well, just not to my standards.
  3. Task it out. “You clean up your shapes, while I clean up your cars”…and he will. Then I get the “I help you” phrase and quickly have to find the next spot for him to clean before he all of the sudden wants to play with his cars again. Keeps him busy so he doesn’t destroy too much, and helps at the same time.
  4. Set up designated areas. I’m not a “helicopter mom”…frequently C plays in his room, unsupervised, by himself (gasp!) and he’s perfectly fine. He will bring his shapes (or letters), his guitar, and his (unloaded) nerf gun to the living room when I’m sitting out there, and he is absolutely allowed to but he knows that nothing gets left on the floor and his toys either stay on the love seat or the ottoman. He also knows that the living room and the main hallway are “play zones” and knows the whole house is not his for his toys. Don’t get me wrong, he is allowed anywhere in the house (except upstairs by himself) but the toys, not so much… designated areas.

Now if you’re one of those moms that’s perfectly okay with your entire house looking like Toys’R’Us threw up in it, more power to ya. I’m too much of a neat freak for that and I know I’m not the only one out there. The most important thing is make your kiddo responsible for his/her mess… After all, you’re the mom not the maid…

-Kirstyn

Don’t Bullshit a Bullshitter.

Jane-in-Role-Models-jane-lynch-11352323-853-480One of my favorite movies of all time is Role Models. Which, I know, makes me quite the embodiment of what a good parent should be (sarcasm.) If you’ve ever seen this movie, you know it’s full of all kinds of nonsense. One of my favorite scenes is when Jane Lynch is telling the two main characters that they aren’t going to get away with anything, and not to try to “bullshit a bullshitter.” It’s hysterical, and Jane Lynch is amazing.

I had an experience recently with a customer service rep at Gerber that made me think of this phrase over and over. I try SO hard to feed my baby organic foods, and up to this point I’ve been pretty successful. More expensive? You bet. But if getting him the best food means I have to get one less Chipotle bowl a month, I’ll make it happen. My frustration comes from food labeling, and the ambiguity in all of the wording. Anything labeled “organic” is certified organic. BUT, you will come across food labeled “all natural”. HUH?! Honestly, I didn’t think there could be much of a difference. Wrong. So wrong. I contacted Gerber to ask what the difference was. The rep beat around the bush and gave me the most vague answer; that essentially their “all natural” products met strict standards. Well great, but why wouldn’t all of your food just meet the absolute best standards? These are babies we’re talking about here.

After quite a bit of research, it’s evident that “all natural” doesn’t mean what it says at all. All natural means GMOs, unconventional farming methods, and the difficult part of this is that the “all natural” products aren’t regulated as well as the organic ones are. Organic products must meet strict criteria, whereas adding the word “natural” onto a product just means minimal processing and additives, to an unknown degree.363f8569da3f967b514bdb9f1d987339

It’s frustrating. Frustrating that there is an option at all for us not to feed our kids the best, and that baby food labels are misleading. In my perfect utopia I’d just like to see 100% organic baby food on the shelves, with a larger demand so that it’s more affordable for everyone.

So to the companies intentionally misleading customers, shame on you for not just laying it out. Don’t give me the run-around and try to convince me that your products are much the same. And to the companies that only offer organic solutions? Bravo. I’m only buying your products, and thank you for being concerned about the well-being of these babies.

So, parents, here’s a breakdown:

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Some brands that I love:

  1. Plum Organics
  2. Earth’s Best
  3. Ella’s Kitchen

All of these can be somewhat difficult to find, depending on what you have close by as far as shopping goes. I have the most luck at Babies R Us and Target. Most big chain grocery stores have a pretty poor selection of organic baby food.

Good luck, parents!

-Katie

My child is scaring the crap out of me

When I was in college, I saw the movie Paranormal Activity with my fiancé (now DH). Mind you, I’ve always loved a good scare and own the entire Saw series. That movie scared me so badly I did not sleep for weeks.

Contributing factors to my fear:

  1. The first night I saw it, after watching two comedies immediately after, I dosed off and my fiancé pulled my leg out from under the covers and started to pull me off the couch (scene from the movie, absolutely terrifying) (why did I still marry him?!)
  2. My roommates found out about this fear and told me they were going to come into my room and stand over my bed for hours every night. I slept with my door locked, a chair up against the door and a BB gun next to my bed for two months. I wish I was exaggerating.

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It’s scarier when you’re watching it alright?!

So when I say that ghosts/demons/general night time creepiness scares the living s%!+ out of me, I mean it.

Naturally you can understand my horror when while traveling recently, my LO developed a sleep talking, crawling and walking habit. This is worse than a habit. It’s happening about every other night and generally starts around 4 am. It goes on for about 45 minutes until I can’t take it anymore and go get her and bring her into my bed. It’s not fussing or crying. It’s baby gibberish along with her favorite word “uh oh!”  We are also not limited to talking. Occasionally she’ll get up, shuffle a few laps around the crib and then face plant back down, completely asleep. Yea. It’s freaking terrifying to wake up to.

Crap Google told me:

  1. Up to 40% of children will have a sleep walking/talking episode at least once.
  2. It typically happens after they develop a new skill such as walking or talking.
  3. Generally it will happen in the first two hrs of their sleep during REM sleep.
  4. This can be hereditary.
  5. There’s nothing you can really do about it.
  6. You shouldn’t tell them about it because it could create a sleep anxiety.

Thanks Google. You’ve helped me not at all. My DH is a notorious sleep walker/talker also. Awesome.

I’ve decided that it happens more often when she has not taken good naps that day (so true that good naps = good night time sleep) or has had a lot of out-of-routine activity.

Moral of the story, my video monitor has turned into my own personal Paranormal Activity hell. Going to drink some sleepytime tea and pray for a night lacking another episode of Adventures With Asleep Callie…

-Chelsea

Delta Children 36″ x 36″ Playard {Review}

Most of us are pretty used to the typical pack n’ play– small, compact, pretty light in weight. We have one that we use all the time, especially for the use of the changer that’s an extra and fits into the top.814CMDrEYiL._SX522_

Once my LO really became mobile, I wanted something a little larger. I remember my parents having a playard that was fairly large; my brother and I could both comfortably play in it. Having a baby that is insanely tall (way off the char71YFVLC0PfL._SY606_ts for his age,) I wanted to find something he could lay in and not be smashed if he rolled around. After some searching I finally found this Delta 3ftx3ft Playard. Not a terrible price, so I quickly ordered it. My LO
crawls all around the living room, but for those times that I quickly need to leave the room, I set him in here for a bit to play (and I’m a firm believer that learning to play alone is important, though he gets plenty of love and play with us throughout the day!)

Pros:81i0GNqEQ0L._SX522_ Quite a bit more space to play. Much more sturdy than a typical pack n’ play (LO leans on the fabric, stands, holds on to the rails.) Easy to put up. Soft mattress that doesn’t require an extra sheet. Cute design. Not overly expensive. Easy to clean. Fits toys and baby can crawl and roll around.

Cons: Heavy. Not great for anyone with a small living room since it is so large. Feet stick out a bit, and I sometimes run my feet into them. Definitely not something I’d travel with. No wheels, so you can’t roll it around (but I’ve been fine pushing it around the room, without the child in it of course.)

Overall, this was a great option for our family. We use it every day, and it’s nice to just keep toys in here without having to put them away in a toy box. Delta isn’t a brand I’m very familiar with, and this product was impossible to find anywhere in-store. Ordering online was fine (though, I’d recommend ordering from Amazon instead of Walmart. Our experience ordering this from Walmart was absurd.)

-Katie

I hate it.

mom-pulling-hair-out1 (1)As parents, there are a lot of things that we hear and shrug off (because let’s be honest, we might not agree with what’s being said, and it just isn’t worth the argument.) This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the good-will of others, because I firmly believe that others just want to converse and help as much as possible. Mothers of all generations can identify with the struggle of being a new parent, and genuinely want to be of some assistance.

One phrase, however, that I’m not particularly fond of is “we survived it”.

For instance:

-In talking about babies no longer sleeping with anything in their cribs (blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, positioned, etc.) I have heard, more than once, “my baby was fine.”

-In talking about seat belts and car seats: “We never wore seat belts, and we’re fine.”

-In talking about eating GMOs (scientifically proven to have adverse consequences): “we eat it and we’re fine”

-In talking about old toys that may be coated in led paint: “our kids played with them and they’re fine”

ETC.ETC.ETC. Seriously, this could go on forever.

But here’s the thing: you may be fine, but obviously some child wasn’t, or it wouldn’t have been changed. When someone contracts Ebola and lives through it, they can say “I’m fine, I survived” but does that mean you are okay with contracting Ebola? NO. Perhaps a brash comparison, but as a civilization we are constantly modifying, improving, and revamping. And why would it be any different when it comes to the safety and well-being of our children, the most important age group of our population?

The simple answer: No child should die from faulty products. It just shouldn’t happen. If you quickly Google “baby recalls” you will come up with an unending list of recalls, from top brands nationwide. When my child’s car seat is recalled, you’d better believe I’m the first in line to call and get a replacement.945f84468a72aea103b63c65ed81c62b

My child’s safety is of the utmost priority. Just “surviving it” isn’t an option.

Criticize me all you’d like, scoff, mock, think I’m crazy… But I’m always always going to do what is in the best interest of my child. And the crazy part? The generations thinking we’re crazy for all of the baby products we have or don’t use were probably told the same thing by the generations before them… “we survived it”. Yeah, my car seat is super padded. Yeah, I’m using safety straps for the large furniture that could fall over on my baby. Yeah, I’m not using the crib bumpers “that everyone used” back in the 90s.

So parents, let’s just remember that when our children are grown with children of their own, we aren’t going to criticize the latest baby products. I think we all could just use a break and some breathing room.

-Katie

Fruit with a side of ketchup

As parents we always try to do what is best for our kiddos, especially when it comes to nutrition and eating. With C’s gluten intolerance it makes me slightly harder but we’ve figured it out…except when he wants to be picky.

Seriously. This kid will ask for crackers and only eat the cheese out of the center and then stack all of the slobbery crackers up and say “ew momma” but if you give him plain cheese he won’t eat it, but he will devour plain crackers…whatever, the crackers are the least of my worries, especially after last week.

No exaggeration…the kid would only eat:

  • Fruit snacks
  • Oatmeal
  • Hot dogs
  • Ham
  • Chicken nuggets
  • And fruit…but only if he had ketchup to dip it in. :gags:

I’m seriously trying to figure out how he survived on 6 items all week…and even more so, why I let him!

This goes back to the “pick your battles” scenario. Is it worth fighting over? Is it really that bad that he will only eat his pears if they’re dipped in ketchup? No. At least, no matter how disgusting or redundant the meal may be, at least he’s eating.

So let your kiddos eat their 6 special items all day every day, because trust me, it will change and soon they won’t like those either.

Graco imonitor Vibe Digital Audio Baby Monitor Review

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Let me just start out by saying that this monitor does not have good reviews! We received this monitor as a baby shower gift and I have never been a fan of video monitors, so we kept it. Below are the reasons why I rate the monitor a 4 on a 5 point scale.

Pros

  • User friendly (even my husband can figure it out)
  • Clear signal- we have never had a problem hearing anything.
  • Good range- we use it around our 2000 sq foot house and never have a problem. (Even in our back yard it picks up well)
  • Great features- I love that you can use a vibrate option since my husband is a very heavy sleeper so it always wakes him up.
  • Comes with 2 units- we never use them outside of the bedroom and living room.

Cons

  • We live in a ranch so we are always on the same floor but we still experience feedback at times.
  • The battery life isn’t great; it needs charge pretty much every night/day.

As I said before, we love this monitor and plan to buy another for BB#2!

-Kayla