My First Cubby from Little Partners {Review}

d34b7eacde8e85faf23a8b18f840ae53If you’re a new or expecting parent, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. SPOIL ALERT! That tiny squishy baby will soon be an independent almost 5 year old faster than you can ever imagine. Time flies (I’m not at all exaggerating) and soon your little angel will be a wanting to do everything for him or herself with zero help from mom and dad. In my case, that new found independence is so welcomed. I gave birth to my youngest daughter 11 months ago (how is she almost one? *insert crying emoji) so my oldest wanting to do things for herself is a huge help. Whether it’s getting herself dressed, brushing her teeth by herself, going to the bathroom alone, or simply getting herself alp_cubby_lifestyle-800x800 snack, it’s one less thing that I have to do. So I jumped at the opportunity to review My First Cubby ($159.99) from Little Partners!

We have worked with Little Partners in the past and we love their products! You can check out the Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center review here. I was excited to see how the Little Cubby could make our lives easier and help my daughter grow even more independently. First of all, the construction is solid. It was rather easy tcubo put together, the instructions are very easy to read, and it was put together rather quickly (my husband builds furniture for a living so he may have had an advantage). Once built, I noticed the amazing quality. It’s sturdy and looks very classy in our hallway, it’s a piece of furniture you can be happy to put on display. After a quick screw in the wall for the tether to prevent it from falling, it was ready to go!

There are 2 sides, which is perfect for us so each kid can have their own side. There’s a top cubby that we use for hats. Below that is a section with 4 hooks on each side to hang coats and bags. On the bottom is a little cubby for a 2-3 pairs of shoes. My girls have so many shoes but I put the ones out that they were most often. I seriously love being able to ask my daughter to her jacket, shoes, and school bag and she knows to hang her stuff up when she gets home. It’s so nice! I love that it’s also teaching her to be responsible for her own things and she also knows where she can find her school bag or coat, it’s always in the same spot that she put it. The great thing is multiple cubbies can be pushed together for more children and for day cares or schools!

I’m beyond impressed with Little Partners. The My First Cubby will complete any bedroom, foyer, or playroom! I give My First Cubby a 5 out of 5 stars, it’s been such a help in our house and while the cubby is available in two beautiful wood finishes, I would love to see options available in colors. Soon enough my youngest will be able to hang her coat and bag on her side, but for now, my oldest is happy to lend me a helping hand!

Be sure to check out all of Little Partners fabulous products here and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with sales and new products!

– Casey

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

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My New Favorite Subscription Box for Little Ones: Bumby Box {Review}

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I love subscription boxes. It feels like my birthday every time one shows up at my door because you never know what you’re going to get (kind of like a box of chocolates, am I right, Forrest Gump?). I’ve gotten so many subscription boxes over the years for myself, our dog Mesa, my husband, and of course my kids. My favorite boxes to get has to be the latter, because I love all of the neat products they offer. My girls come before myself (I’m sure any mom can agree) and are spoiled as can be, so they have gotten quite a few bumby2boxes from several different companies. They all had different kinds of products and I liked each for different reasons. But I just received a complimentary subscription box from Bumby Box and I was completely blown away with the products we got in it!

Not only was our box amazing, but the company itself is awesome. Bumby Box donates toys to non profit agencies that provide shelter and childcare to families when they need it the most. They also only work with and promote environmentally sustainable companies that treat their employees fairly and pay them fairly, too. Bumby Box focuses on child development and each toy that is sent is supported by child development research. The toys are safe; they’re free of phthalates, PVC, BPA, and other harmful plastics – I love that I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals, and they are also careful to only select toys that are manufactured with water of soy-based inks and bumby3paints to their safe to play with and for little ones put them in their mouths (which we all know will happen).

We received our box almost two weeks ago and I opened it up as soon as it was dropped off (like I said, it feels like my birthday when I get a subscription box – they should be called surprise boxes instead), my daughter was actually still at school. I kind of felt bad but I was eager to see what she got! We got a super cute and fun Haba game called The Little Orchard that’s actually made in Germany. Here’s how to play: there’s a raven that loves the cherries hanging on the tree (there are 5 of them) and there are 5 spaces to the tree. You roll the dice with pictures of flowers on it and whichever flower appears, you flip over one of the matching tiles – one will have a picture of a cherry on it – which you then pick a cherry and put it in the basket, one will be have a raven on it – you then move the raven one spot closer to the tree, and one will have a sleeping animal on it – you then have to be very quite not to wake the animal up (my four year old prefers to yell at it to wake up). The idea is to pick all the cherries before the raven gets to the tree. I love it because it helps with memory, you have to remember where theimg_2585 raven and sleeping animal tiles are so you know not to pick the raven. It also helps with recognizing and naming the colors of the flowers and it’s a game that everyone fries to find the cherries together, so it helps foster the “we” concept. It’s for children ages 3-8 and can be played with 1 to 4 players. It’s one of our favorite games to play together! 

We also received the cutest little mailbag from Child’s Cup Full, a company that offers educational children’s toys handcrafted by refugee and low income women artisans in the West Bank. At their artisan center, they train and employ talented women to make beautifully handmade educational toys. I love that they’re empowering women who live in such a male dominated part of the world. The little mail pouch is my daughter’s favorite toy that came in thebumby4 box. It’s adorable and comes with little felt envelopes that can actually fit little letters or objects in and close with Velcro. The letter and envelopes even have a “stamp” sewn in the top right hand corner. She loves walking around and giving us our mail! Check it out the mailbag here and see the rest of Child’s Cup Full’s spectacular toys here here!

The final product in our box may be the coolest one in the box, So Awesome’s Emotion Wallet Cards! The wallet cards feature 36 photographs and 36 illustrations of different children showing how we’re feeling today. My daughter loves looking at them and going through and tell me what each picture shows, like the little girl is sad, or the little boy is angry. The deck is durable, non-toxic, educational, and perfect for kids of all ages. They’re intended to show children a wide range of emotions and to help strengthen social-emotional skills. The deck can easily be attached to a diaper bumby5bag, backpack, or a stroller so they can be taken anywhere. We like to use them when we’re waiting a the doctors or in line at the store, they make a good distraction for my 4 year old. Be sure to check out all of their amazing Wallet Cards (they have bundles, too) and products here!

This is the most thought out children’s subscription box I’ve ever seen. I feel like everything was chosen specifically for my daughter and I love that. You can check out past boxes to see what other products have been sent out to get more of an idea for what you can expect in a future box. I highly recommend Bumby Box and they will make great gifts for family and friends! To sign up for your own box and to see what I’m raving about, use code BUZZ10 for 10% off your $49.95 one month subscription or save with a 3 month subscription for only $99.95! Deliveries can be skipped at anytime, so you can choose when you want to get your box! Click here to sign up!1465568479

Follow Bumby Box on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for special promotions!

– Casey

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

Postpartum Back Pain and the Ghostbed

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During labor and delivery, it was discovered the my son’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was facing up. The combination meant that his heart rate kept dropping dangerously low. After several hours, a positioning specialist came in to try to find a position for me to loosen the cord around his neck.

Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. I’d already had my epidural and couldn’t feel the limitations of my body very well.

After having my son, it was discovered that I likely had a fractured tailbone, in addition to a messed up SI joint and my hips were out of alignment.

All of these problems are unfortunately still lingering. I find myself in rather extreme pain at different times and I realized that some of my lifestyle choices were not helping. My mattress was one of the biggest culprits. 

We finally made the decision to find a new mattress. It was a very necessary decision, since we were still sleeping on the $200 mattress I’d bought when I moved out of my parent’s house after high school (yikes). We were overwhelmed with information and suggestions on mattresses and it’s no small purchase, so we wanted to be informed consumers.

We finally selected the Ghostbed for its great reviews, moderate price, level of firmness and quick shipping. The mattress also has a cooling top layer.

  • 100% Designed and Manufactured in the USA
  • Cooling Technology + Memory Foam
  • 20 Year Warranty
  • Firmness Rating of 6.5
  • 101 Night Sleep Trial
  • Free Shipping
  • It comes in a box (don’t be skeptical) and it’s vacuum sealed. The box is heavy, but the mattress expands fully in 24 hours (but can be slept on immediately).
  • Plush Cover
  • Optional Box Spring + Pillows

After much review, this mattress was indefinitely the right choice for us.

The box arrived quickly and after getting it to our second floor, we opened the box/bag and it expanded rapidly. It’s firm, but not too firm. It supports my body in all the right places and it truly stays much cooler than a typical mattress.

I wear a FitBit regularly and my typical sleep pattern is pretty rough. Generally waking fully 3-5 times a night and restless 20+ times. My FitBit quickly showed the changes in my sleep patterns after switching to the Ghostbed. The first few nights, I was awake 1-2 times,and restless fewer than 10 times. That is a huge improvement. Not only that, but my lower back pain was reduced dramatically in the morning. Life changing. 

I am a Ghostbed believer. I hope that it holds up for as long as it says it will, because I’m addicted. I look forward to bed, not that I didn’t before, but now I feel like I could hang out in my bed all day. gb-mat-deco.png

Ghostbed is affordable! We bought a King size for $875. Very reasonable in comparison to some of the mattresses running around $4,000 with much worse ratings.

I 100% recommend Ghostbed and am so thankful for reduced postpartum back pain!

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Want to try it for yourself?

Here’s a $50 coupon!

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– Katie

Freemie | Pump with Your Shirt On

“I never got to see if her eyes were as blue as her sisters.”

Guest Blogger: Ana

First birthdays. The one thing parents look forward to, yet deny that their child is actually growing up. It means they are no longer a toddler. The balloons, birthday cakes, presents, family, and friends. What parent wouldn’t be excited for their child’s first birthday?

My name is Ana. I am 26, and a stay at home mom, while also going back to school. A wife and mother to two beautiful girls, three if you count the dog. Yes, you read that right, two girls. Carsyn lives here on Earth, Kennedy in heaven. My goal has been to share Kennedy’s story to as many people as I can, and to try and share my raw emotions through this extremely painful journey, to simply raise awareness. As Kennedy’s first birthday grows nearer, our family prepares for these celebrations much differently. Here is my story.

In August of 2014, my husband and I bought our very first home. A home to raise our family and give our German Shepherd and 8-month old daughter, at the time, some space; a place to call our own. Shortly after closing and moving in, I became pregnant with Kennedy. A big surprise to us, but nothing short of happiness. As the months grew on, 20 weeks came around quick! In December, we went to the doctor to see our newest addition for the first time and to find out if we were having a baby boy or baby girl. We would be celebrating Carsyn’s birthday that week, so we thought it would be fun to find out the gender while celebrating a first birthday. During our ultrasound, our doctor had found a defect in the heart, but what she thought was a little hole in the heart, or a septal defect. From there, we were referred to a specialist who would take a closer look. It was hard hearing there was anything wrong in general. A little bitty baby shouldn’t be “defected”. They haven’t done anything wrong in this world to deserve to be anything but perfect. We had to wait an entire month before we got to meet with our specialist, due to my husband’s grandmother’s passing and the holidays.

January 2015 we finally met with our specialist who had another ultrasound done, mainly to look at her heart. I remember so vividly that moment she sat in front of us, Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up was playing out of the speakers in the room, and told us that our baby had a very severe heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). As our world stood still, emotionless, cold, and lonely, she continued to explain that Hypoplastic Left Heart is a severe underdevelopment of the left heart, requiring a series of surgical interventions crucial for survival. Never in my life had I ever expected I would be in this position. I was healthy! I’ve always been healthy! I lost my mom at 18 years old unexpectedly. I never thought that could happen to me and it did. Being told that I could possibly lose my baby, it CAN’T happen to me…. it did, and it can.

We knew we had a tough battle ahead of us, as our doctor appointments became more regular, almost on the weekly between 2-3 different offices and hospitals, we received bad news, after bad news each time. We then found out during a fetal echocardiogram that Kennedy had another set of defects: double outlet right ventricle, and an intact atrial septum. The intact atrial septum would cause her lungs to become weak, sick, and stiff. At 30 weeks, on February 24, 2015, our family walked into Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor to have a rare in-utero surgery done called fetal intervention. In this surgical procedure, it is similar to an amniocentesis, except the doctors would have placed a needle with a balloon through my belly, directly through her chest and into her heart. They would open up the balloon to open up her septum and place a stent in it to keep that septum open like it is supposed to be in the womb. I’ve never been more scared in my life. I’ve always heard about these types of procedures, mostly on TV, but never imagined I could be the one having it done. Unfortunately, we were not able to have the procedure. The doctors did not feel comfortable continuing due to the newest pictures that showed Kennedy’s underdeveloped left heart was smaller than they had expected it to be.

Fast forward, or should I say slow forward, a couple weeks to March. My husband is a track and field coach for Michigan State University. His season was getting busy on the regular with indoor season wrapping up and outdoor season about to start. He had just left for Arkansas for indoor NCAA national championships on a Wednesday and I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday. This was the first appointment I had been to alone, so I was already pretty nervous. It was just a simple growth check to be sure she was still growing inside my belly with everything that was going on with her. Once again, our doctor came in, sat in front of me and told me she sees fluid in Kennedy’s abdomen and a little swelling on her scalp. This fluid in the abdomen is called hydrops, and it is the first sign of heart failure. She directed me to go directly to Ann Arbor and to meet my doctors there and let them monitor me more closely. Blaine was hundreds of miles away, at the second biggest meet of the year, and I was alone trying to compose myself enough to drive 60 miles to the hospital with unknown expectations for our child’s future. He hopped on a plane last minute, and came to be with us for the rest of the weekend, while his athletes were competing at nationals.

We had scheduled Kennedy’s delivery, via c-section, for April 20, 2015. I had Carsyn natural, and very quick, so a c-section was new to me. I was scared, not to undergo the surgery, but because of the scenario. I was delivering in an actual operating room on the general surgical floor, beside Kennedy’s heart surgeon’s OR. Her birthday came slowly, and with growing anxiousness. We were there early, and almost feeling like celebrities, everyone was prepared and awaiting our arrival. As I was getting my spinal tap, my hands and feet were shaking uncontrollably. My heart was racing out of my chest, and I, really, was absolutely terrified. The amount of nurses, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, people in general in the operating room was almost unbearable. They were all there for me, for Kennedy. The maternal-fetal medicine doctor had already started cutting into me when they brought Blaine in. I thought I was going to vomit all over the place, so I lay there with a kidney dish being held up to my face as I closed my eyes and felt my hands shake uncontrollably. At 8:36 am Kennedy was born. She cried. I didn’t expect her to be able to let out a big cry, but she did. Blaine kept repeating how beautiful she was with her dark hair, and looking exactly like her big sister. As I was stuck on the operating table, Blaine was able to see her and touch her. She was baptized and prepped for surgery immediately. Within 12 minutes of being born, she was on bypass and had her first surgery to open up the atrial septum.

I was eager to get up to the ICU to see her. The doctors called her a rockstar through the surgery and were very happy with how strong she was. They got me moved into a private room on the women’s floor and I went up to see her as soon as I could, about 3 hours after surgery. I was pretty out of it, and extremely exhausted going to see her. I was scared to touch her, even scared to look at her, almost trying to guard my own heart. I only spent about 10 minutes with her before I felt I needed to go lie down again. Blaine spent every moment he could with her, and still it wasn’t enough. Kennedy passed away that evening at 8:43 pm. She lived 12 hours and 7 minutes…

I never got to hold her; to kiss her while she was alive. I never got to see if her eyes were as blue as her sisters. I barely had the chance to tell her how much I loved her and how she has changed my life. Almost everyone thinks it can’t happen to them, but it can. We are 1 in 110 of this happening sporadically. I didn’t do anything for this to happen, even though I do feel it was my fault in some way. I have so many friends who are having babies, or had babies around when Kennedy was born. I’m still bitter for not having the chance to get to care for her, or to watch her grow. The best I can do as a mother is being her voice. Her advocate. An advocate for all the other babies who have been lost, and those who are still fighting.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect. Twice as many children die from CHDs each year compared to all childhood cancers combined; and funding for pediatric cancer is 5x higher than that for CHDs. Heart research has come such a long way in the last decade, as early awareness and medical interventions are becoming more successful. There are still so many babies sent home with undetected heart problems. If you are having a baby or know someone who is, please have or ask them to have a pulse oximeter test done. It is not invasive, and it only takes a minute! A minute to save your child’s life!

You can read more about our story HERE