Weleda Skin Care For Moms & Babies {GIVEAWAY!}

We all want the best for our little ones. Many children have sensitive skin and/or allergies. The worst thing about it is, as a parent, it is so hard to figure out what causes your child’s sensitive skin. My little girl has always had sensitive skin. She breaks out all the time and most of the time, we have no idea what caused it. I am really hoping that she grows out of it, but in the meantime, I seek out organic and extremely gentle products for my babies.

The Weleda Baby Calendula line is absolutely fantastic for allergy prone skin.

First of all, calendula is a flower that is used in multiple ways for health and wellness, but it is mainly used for skin care and as an anti-inflammatory. It is a great moisturizer, helps reduce pain and  helps soothe irritated skin. Weleda’s flowers are organically grown in their own gardens in Germany. Weleda has an extensive line of creams, oils, and soaps for all your baby care needs.

ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS ARE:

  • Certified natural and dermatologist tested safe for babies.
  • Free of parabens and other chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrance and petroleum ingredients.
  • Not tested on animals
  • Free of GMOs

Diaper Rash Cream

This cream is one of the best I have used in a long time! BK#2 has horrible diaper rash on a regular basis. Any time he cuts a tooth or a dirty diaper doesn’t get changed immediately, he breaks out in a rash and even gets blisters. It’s absolutely heart breaking and I wish I could just let him stay in the nude all the time to help prevent it. This cream got rid of a bumpy and horrifying red rash in one diaper change.

Cloth diaper friendly cream! 8813.jpg

It’s thick, but creamy and easily wipes from your finger without leaving a horrible smell.

Key ingredients include: calendula flower extract, sweet almond oil, clary sage oil, beeswax and 12% zinc oxide.

A 2.8oz tube is priced at $14. I found this to be the only downside because it is pretty expensive for such a small tube. Right now it is pretty well discounted on amazon at $8.45, so I will probably be placing an order here soon.
Weleda Calendula Baby Diaper Rash Cream 2.8-Ounce

Body Cream

9652This is a pretty typical cream. I felt it was more of a lotion than a cream. It is pretty thin and absorbs fairly quickly. As all of the calendula products do, this smells amazing! It’s the perfect amount moisture to keep your little one’s skin nourished daily, but is rich enough that it soothes dry and irritated skin. I have really sensitive, dry, and eczema prone skin, so I was slathering it on and I really like it!

This body cream doubles as a diaper cream as a preventative barrier when your baby doesn’t have a rash.

Key ingredients: calendula, sesame oil, lanolin and almond oil.

A 2.5oz bottle is $12.50 but it’s on sale right now on Amazon! Weleda Baby Calendula Baby Cream 2.5 oz

Face Cream

9661.jpgThe face cream was just a little thicker than the body cream and it smelled exactly the same. My littles don’t really get dry skin on their face, but they had awful baby acne and flakey faces as infants so I am sure this would have a God send when they were tiny. There aren’t many lotions specifically for a baby’s face.

Infants get the most random rashes on their faces and most of the time the doctors can’t or won’t do anything because they are so little. A baby face cream gives you the ability to soothe your baby without having to resort to any type of prescriptions.

Key ingredients: sweet almond oil, calendula, lanolin, and beeswax

IIt’s a little more pricey, but again, it’s cheaper on Amazon at $8.16! Seeing a pattern yet? BurritoBuzz moms love Amazon! Weleda Baby Calendula Face Cream, 1.7-Ounce

Shampoo and Body Wash

I really liked this wash. It wasn’t heavily scented, didn’t bubble up too much and get in their eyes, and it cleaned up any sticky mess my babies were covered in at the end of the day. The wash also has just enough moisture in it to not need a conditioner for babies that have a lot of hair. It left my babies with silky soft curly locks!

It’s tear free and naturally fragranced with essential oils, so there is no worry about the suds getting in tiny and delicate little eyes.

Ingredients: calendula, coco-glucoside, disodium cocoyl glutamate,

I will most definitely be purchasing this again because it worked really well and it is priced right at $13 for 6.8oz. Weleda Calendula Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, 6.8-Ounce

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Baby Oil

I know not everyone uses baby oil on their babies and kids, but I love it. I have super dry easily-irritated skin, so I try to keep up with theirs as much as I can. Baby oil gives them just a little bit more than a lotion would to lock in all the moisture. I generally only put it on them after a bath and before bed. That way it has all night to soak in. This has such a mild scent and I didn’t feel like I was overwhelming them with scent like some that I have used. It absorbs extremely fast and doesn’t leave a residue if you get it on clothes. The only down side is the hole in the spout is pretty large. I have had much more than I wanted come out multiple times!

Key Ingredients: calendula, chamomile and sesame oil

Priced at $17.50 for 6.85 oz but I feel like this will probably last me a very long time. Well worth the price! Weleda Calendula Baby Oil, 6.8 Ounce

Stretch Mark Massage Oilweleda_stretch_mark_massage_oil.jpg

My littles left me looking like a tiger. Not just on my belly but everywhere! I am talking my stomach, thighs, calves and chest. I blew up like a balloon. I always try any stretch mark oil that I can get my hands on!

This oil was great. It wasn’t sticky or thick and didn’t leave much of a residue.

I didn’t have much of a result with the oil, but man it was nice. I did notice that my stretch marks were slightly lighter and not as rough around the edges. So that’s a big plus! I’m sure with more time it will do more!

A 3.4 oz bottle is $25.50 but on Amazon, it’s only $15! Weleda: Pregnancy Body Oil for Stretch Marks, 3.4 oz

Nursing Tea

Weleda Nursing Tea is a blend of 100% organic herbs that supports lactation and soothes digestion. Organic fenugreek seed, used traditionally to increase milk supply, is mixed with organic anise seed, organic fennel seed and other organic herbs to help ease digestion, for both mother and baby.

You get 20 bags in a box for $12.50. Nursing Tea Weleda 20 Bag

We obviously love Weleda! It’s such an awesome company with great products! They also sent us several products to do a giveaway!

How to enter:

  1. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
  2. Like Weleda
  3. Comment and tag friends!
  4. Winner will be drawn at random on September 4, 2016!

WeledaGiv eaway

Good Luck!

– Amanda

**BurritoBuzz received these products 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.**

 

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Educational & Parent Approved Shows On Netflix For Toddlers

When BK#1 was tiny, I was set in my ways that she would never be glued to the TV and that I wouldn’t allow her to watch TV all the time. All the flipping time. Little did I know, I was in a for a rude awakening!Energy-Drink

Toddlerhood quickly kicked in! Shortly after she turned one, her activity level spiked. Not only was she always on the go, but I was constantly entertaining. She never wanted to be alone, was always into things and I never got a spare second to do much of anything. Hooray, you are developing perfectly tiny human, but really can we cool it for half a second?!?!

I would kill for just a tiny little bit of the energy that toddlers seem to have. I found myself doing everything I possibly could to get her to play on her own just so I could run to the basement to throw a load of laundry in, let the dog out or go to the bathroom. A simple 5 minute task always seemed to have a toddler in tow. She 1342494241384_7825010.pngplayed by herself pretty well, but unless she was in a pack  and play, it never lasted too long. That’s okay! Yes, children need to learn to play alone, but when they are growing, they are starving for information and constantly learning!

One morning I woke up with a migraine the size of Texas. I could barely open my eyes, much less entertain a toddler. I was laying on the floor, hoping closeness would suffice and the chant of “ball, run, read, doggies, chase, sing…” started. I am sorry my tiny human, but I just can’t.

I did what I always said I would not do. I turned on a cartoon. I searched “Nursery Rhymes” on Netflix and hoped to find something to help me entertain until her daddy got home or my meds kicked in, whichever came first.

Flash forward a year later and cartoons are part of our everyday activities. You know why? Because, sometimes you just can’t! Sometimes we simply cannot compete with toddler energy and we just need to chill out for a second. Don’t abuse it, but I want you to know that it is okay. One parent to another: It will not scar your child to watch a little bit of TV. Most of the time they even learn a thing or two.

That being said, here are some BurritoBuzz favorite Netflix shows for little ones:

EDUCATIONAL

  1.  Leapfrog – There are 12 episodes total and the are all extremely educational! Math, science, numbers, letters, shapes, phonics, etc.scout-friends-phonics-farm-video-app_58486-96914_1.jpg
  2. Mother Goose Club – I think it’s super corny, but BK#1 loves it! It’s nursery rhymes and children’s songs sang by kids in little costumes and/or cartoons.
  3. Baby Genius – Nursery rhymes and children’s songs. Nursery Rhymes are so important for reading and vocabulary development and music is so influential for a child.logo_baby_genius
  4. Little Einsteins – This our babies’ absolute favorite right now! BK#1 loves that there is “a mission” and actions with the songs, and BK#2 adores the music!little_einsteins_2223.jpg
  5. Curious George – Not strictly educational, but entertaining and there is always a little lesson in each episode.
  6. Clifford & Clifford Puppy Days – A lot like Curious George. Not strictly educational, but definitely lessons in each episode. Fun and cute characters!

This isn’t on Netflix any more (it just was removed), but definitely worth mentioning.

Daniel Tiger – Created by the “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” foundation. Every episode is a life lesson. Manners, emotions, friends, family, going to the doctor, potty time, pets, weather, siblings, imagination and much more! Sometimes we get a little sick of the same tunes, but it is BK#1’s absolute favorite and she really has learned a lot from it! Now, like I said it’s not on Netflix, but you can catch it on PBS every day at 11am or on their website. PBS in the morning is generally always toddler friendly.daniel_tiger_header.jpg

BURRITOBUZZ MOMS APPROVED

  1. Minions  – Your toddler probably won’t have a clue what is going on, but it’s loud, funny and high energy, so of course they love it.d9114564-15e2-11e5-_926935j.jpg
  2. How To Train Your Dragon 2 -Adventure, dragons and action!
  3. Sammy & Co. – It is multiple episodes about a turtle and his sea creature friends. Super cute and my animal lover approves for sure!
  4. Puffin Rock – A Netflix original cartoon about the Puffin bird. There are multiple episodes about the cute little bird’s family and their day- to- day life.22335420.jpg
  5. Penguins of Madagascar- Crazy and funny little penguins rescuing their penguin friends from Dave the octopus.
  6. Brother Bear (1&2) – “When a young Inuit hunter needlessly kills a bear, he is magically changed into a bear himself as punishment with a talkative cub being his only guide to changing back.”
  7. Masha & The Bear – Originally it was a Russian TV show and it is translated into English. Super funny little girl tormenting a bear. Reminds me a lot of Tom and Jerry sillinessth19QOEIZI
  8. Home – Super cute new Netflix series based on the movie “Home”, about an alien planet making Earth their home, befriending a human, trying to find her mom and saving the Earth!
  9. Lilo and Stitch – An oldie but goodie! Alien experiment comes to earth and finds a little girl who makes him her pet. She teaches him to be good and how to care about family. Very kid friendly and awesome example of a family that isn’t “perfect”. Whatever that is!
  10. Stella and Sam – Adorable show about 9 year old Stella and her 4 year old brother Sam. I love that big sister Stella always lets Sam come on all of her adventures!

Discover-The-Forest-Ad-Campaign.jpgAswith anything, TV is only okay in moderation. Make sure you child is active and not sitting in front of it all day! Also, remember to preview what your children watch first. They are tiny little parrots and there are a lot of things in “PG” movies that I wouldn’t want my kids saying or doing!

– Amanda

My Tiny Little Monarch: Tantrums 101

crown-image-5.pngWe love my daughter’s name, but I am starting to question if it was a good choice. It means “Queen” and good Lord, she definitely plays the part! I have accepted that tantrums are just part of our day for the next year or two from what I hear from other parents. She is almost two and a half and the power struggle seems never ending.

Today’s meltdown causes are as follows: milk at breakfast was not delivered in a timely fashion, baby brother was touching empty milk cup, it was time for breakfast and she wanted to play with the puppy, breakfast was yogurt and not cereal, I got out blocks instead of puzzles, her requested water was in fact water, lunch (she just didn’t eat lunch today), and last but not least, daddy left for work. Okay, she can flip out about that one, because I don’t like him leaving either!

It really does feel like the tantrums are never ending, with no way to fix the problem. Let’s face it, half of the time we really don’t know what the problem is.

I have been dealing with tantrums for quite some time now. My daughter obviously has them and I have been responsible for many tiny little ones, who always seem to be on the brink of an emotional breakdown. In my experience, the tantrum stage doesn’t really go away until they are around four. Even then it’s pretty likely that a preschooler will have some pretty regular freak outs.

How do we stop them?43dcc329ba214a879635dcca9e2adda8

How do we make it better?

How do we prevent them?

First off, let me start with this: tantrums are normal. They are actually expected! If you don’t have a two or three year old that loses it from time to time, then you are very, very lucky, my friend!

Not every tip I am going to list will help. There is no perfect fix or one right way to deal with your toddler’s big emotions! Do what you feel is best for you and your family.

Understand why tantrums happenThe logical part (frontal cortex) of our brain doesn’t fully develop until we are 25 years old. A toddler physically can’t reason and react appropriately without being taught (over and over). Furthermore, there is a great deal of research that shows it is completely normal for a toddler or any person to have an angry reaction to what they perceive as distress. frontal-lobe-3-728.jpg  “Neuroscience has shown there are circuits that are activated for anger and aggression in response to different triggers,” says R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D, author of Why We Snap. “It’s part of the brain’s threat detection mechanism. The key concept is this anger and aggression exists to fight, and exists for violence because we need it.” Until that cortex is fully developed, it’s our job as parents to teach our little ones how to have feelings and what is appropriate. So if you didn’t know what caused the tantrum, you do now.

Where do we go from here? My kid is still on the ground screaming.Stay Calm dont panic .png

a00cc3dcb200abc3ea84425e03d04e5bIt is so easy to take the angry road. Believe me, been there, done that. And I don’t always keep my cool! Count to 5. Take deep breathes. Do whatever you have to do to stay calm before you dissipate a tantrum.  If it is the 314th tantrum today and you just can’t deal, then be sure your child is safe from harm and walk away for a few minutes. If you are at this point in a public place, find a restroom, dressing room, quiet corner and set your child down, turn around and clear your head for a minute. If you are angry, chances are you aren’t going to discipline your child the way you should. Not only that, but your child needs you “to be the calm in their storm.” If you are just thunder and lightning to their little rain storm, you are just going to make it 100 times worse. Angry actions are easier than calm ones.

GMV

Everyone has a bad day sometimes. What do your friends and loved ones do for you when you have a bad day? If they are kind and gracious they ask how they can help, they level with you,and let you know it’s okay to be upset or they tell you that you are in the wrong and help you get through it.  Either way, the logical answer for any type of emotion is never “stop it”, so why would be expect that from a two year old?

Bend down, sit down on the floor or kneel – You need to be eye to eye with your tiny human. Towering over them is scary and intimidating. When you get on their level, you are more likely to have a better outcome.on-their-level.jpg

Touch them – Hug it out, tickles and laughing, or simply put a hand on their arm. Your child longs for your touch. Not all toddlers love being held or snuggled all day (mine would let me some days), but your touch has a powerful part in soothing the situation.

Validate the situation“I understand…” are your two magic words. Name and validate your child’s feelings. For example: “I understand you want to play. You are sad that we have to go, aren’t you? It’s okay to be sad, I am sad when I have to leave sometimes too.”

  • Don’t try and use logic.
  • Focus on the feeling and emotion that is happening. Find your child’s niche to get through their emotions.
  • Be a role model. Your little one needs to know that it is okay to have feelings. As a parent, you are there to help them through their emotions. A child will never properly learn what actions should go with their feelings if you, 1. Don’t let them have them, and 2. Don’t help them through the emotion.
  • “Use your words, I want to help but I don’t understand screaming” – This phrase right here works so well in my home! Your child still might not get what they wanted in the end, but they will feel like you care and that you are listening.
    • If your child is on the younger side and just starting tantrums, be sure to still say “use your words”, but help them along a little more. Generally, if they are on the young side, they at least can say some words and phrases like “yes”, “no”, “more”, “gstop” etc.

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Talk about an upcoming daily event. “It’s almost dinner time, how about you help me get the plates out?” Asking a child to help, whether they’re really helping or not, makes them feel important and generally changes their mood. If they aren’t old enough to help or there isn’t anything to help with, distract them with a new activity.

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Let’s imagine that it is time for lunch, you turn off their favorite cartoon and they start the usual tantrum. Chances are, your child isn’t old enough yet to understand the difference between “off for now” and “gone for eternity”.  rs_1024x748-160421181738-1024.Jessica-Capshaw-Sara-Ramirez-Greys-Anatomy.ms.042116.jpg

If the producers of Grey’s Anatomy ended my show at this point in time, I would probably turn red and have my own little hysterical meltdown. Not only does your child not quite understand why, but they physically are agitated and don’t know how to communicate that.

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  1. Remain calm. Show that it is not an acceptable way to show they are upset and try to diffuse the situation.
  2. Take a picture. Make yourself calm down first! Insensitive? Yes, probably a little, but remember that no parent is judging you and that it will pass. You don’t want your child to learn that if they embarrass you enough, that they will get what they want.Toddler-temper-tantrum-10.jpg
  3. Get down on their level, make contact, validate. – Consistency! React in public the same way you would at home. Yes, it might be nerve wracking and hard, but eventually the tantrums will be further and further apart.
  4. Wait it out in a quiet place. Find a dressing room, back corner of Target, wherever and whatever works.
  5. Try your hardest not to leave. Your child needs to learn how to behave in public settings. Not only that, but you have to learn how to discipline in a public setting! Sometimes giving in is the easiest way out and sometimes just plain not dealing with it is also, but the tantrums aren’t going away so it’s best to learn to get through them.

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  • Awareness – Respect your toddler. Talking to your toddler like a human is important. You wouldn’t trap your husband in car, not tell him when dinner time was or not let him have play time.  So, while you’re doing things, talk. “We are going to the store and after the store, we are going home for lunch.” Children thrive on structure and the awareness of that structure!
  • Conquer the power struggle by staying consistent. In our home, we follow simple steps.
    • Speak once
    • Allow child to listen
    • If they don’t listen, repeat what you said
    • If they still don’t listen then the parent moves.

If it is something like “stop throwing the toy,” then I take the toy and remind her that it is not okay to throw toys, because she could hurt herself or someone else. If the throwing continues, then she goes to time out. We always say “when you’re done yelling at me, you can come back and play” and generally timeout is short-lived. And there are no long term consequences.

  • Be sure your child is fed and has had water, is clean & dry and has slept well. My daughter is a nightmare if any of these are off. God forbid we eat 15 minutes later than usual. Poor child gets hangry! So, just be aware of the circumstances to prevent a tantrum. If you are running late and it’s dinnertime when you leave the store, then just simply say “I know you are really hungry, I am too, but don’t be sad. We are going home to get some dinner.” Again, make your child aware.
  • Praise everything! Your child yearns for it and they will work for kind words. Mommy or Daddy being sad can be the worst thing to them and generally they will try to make it better!

Toddler tantrums will happen. Your child is not a “brat” or “bad” and it is not a personal attack on you as a parent and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. It is normal, exhausting and discouraging, but you can get through it! Be sure to have plenty of adult time and always remember that each day is a new day. Your toddler barely remembers why they were mad five minutes ago, much less yesterday. Start every day with a smile and stay strong. The tiny crazy monarch will one day leave your home, and you will be left with an awesome kid and a whole new outlook on that mom staring at her two year old on the floor, kicking and screaming ,at the grocery .

❤ Amanda

 

 

A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

Wal-Mart-Grocery-Pickup-Parking-sign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Kirstyn

Baby Spring Float by SwimWays {Review}

BurritoBuzzBabySpringFloatI have been prepping like a mad woman for our end- of-summer vacation! Taking BK#1 &#2 on vacation is not going to be an easy task. I have been diligently researching and trying to make sure we have all the essentials to make this an enjoyable and fun vacation! I might be wound a little tight, but my anxiety kicks in and I kinda loose it thinking about a 10 hour car ride, miles of open play areas, sleeping arrangements, making sure we don’t forget anything,  oh and safety!

Obviously, I have been looking into beach safety, but I have really been worried about the pool! We don’t have one at home, so my babies aren’t around them often. Besides that, they are 1 and 2! Rules don’t mean a whole lot to them right now! When I came across the SwimWays Baby Spring Float (Whale), I was so relieved! Most baby floats have a weight limit that my oldest child exceeds and usual pool floaties are only safe when your child is at least 30 pounds, so my toddler can’t use ones like the Puddle Jumper! SwimWays covered that 20-30 lbs gap that most floats don’t.

About the Spring Float:

  • No weight limit.. within reason. Don’t try and put your 4 year old in it.
  • Ages 9-24 months
  • It comes in  different color patterns and they are all adorable!
  • Low seat provides secure center of gravity
  • It has their patented “inner spring” for better stability in the water.
  • Flat area around them to put toys on or to splash without flipping into the water.
  • Folds flat and compact for easy storage and portability – it’s perfect for travel! I was going to wait and post this review in my Beach Babies post, but it’s too awesome not to share now.BurritoBuzzSpringFloathowto
  • Very light and comes with a mesh storage bag.
  • Some styles comes with removable and adjustable sun canopy.Burritobuzzswimways.jpg

This float is priced fabulously! Only about $18. The construction of this float is superb and I’m sure it will hold up for a long time! Even though the price point is affordable, they didn’t skimp on quality.

While doing research on it, I found some people were upset because water got on top of the float. I didn’t have this problem, but I did see some photos where people didn’t blow up the little air pockets. It is designed like a pop up kid’s play tent, but you still have to inflate it! Be sure to follow the directions when you use it.

I am very happy with the Spring Float and it is definitely a must-have for summer! Keep a look out for an update on this post. I will probably add some more pictures when we use it at the beach!

– Amanda

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

{Jellycat} My Favorite Baby Shower Gift

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I adore all things baby. I mean, who doesn’t? Baby clothes and toys are just adorable 100% of the time. When we had a shower for BK#1, we received our first Jellycat and I fell in love! Above is our little Jellycat collection.

Woodland Fox      Woodland Owl    Bashful Hippo    Bashful Monkey

These are my favorite stuffed animals and the cutest ones I have ever come across. They are a cross between a beanie baby and a super plush stuffed animal. The hands and feet generally have the beanies and the rest is an amazingly plush body. I love that they are all an A-line design. Meaning that the neck is generally smaller than the rest of the body, making it really easy for a younger child to hold. They are the perfect size for a little one to carry around.

  • They are all suitable from birth!
  • Made of polyester, filled plastic pellets and all have plastic eyes
  • Spot clean only
  • They’re available in multiple sizes and styles. All of ours are 12 inches. Jelly-Cats.jpg

Besides being very lovable, Jellycat made them even better and matched them up with their own board books! Each character has its own book. They are all little sensory baby books, but BK#1 is two now and still asks me to read them on a daily basis!

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The toes are little pieces of velcro

I also have never had a stuffed animal that has held up this well! Technically, you aren’t supposed to wash them but we all know sometimes you have no other option. The monkey in the picture has been washed more times than I can count and it still looks and feels like its new! I honestly should buy a second monkey to have a backup because I don’t even want to think about what would happen if BK#1 didn’t have it to sleep with.

The price is based on the style and size but they are generally around $15-$25. The books are usually $12.50 but sometimes you can find a sale on Amazon or at your local boutique!

Visit Jellycat.com to see all of the styles and products that they carry.

If you have a baby sprinkle or shower coming up and can’t decide what to buy, a Jellycat stuffed animal and book set would be the perfect gift!

– Amanda

 

 

Gun Safety In The Home

GunSafetyInTheHomeSelf-defense is a very big part of my family’s life. My husband is in law enforcement and keeping our family safe is extremely important to us.rules-of-gun-safety.png

There is a lot of debate about gun control right now, but I am not going to get into that here. Owning a gun is your right and your choice. If your family makes that choice, it needs to be an safe and educated choice! BurritoBuzz is not taking a stance on your gun rights. This is merely an informational article.

I am personally not an expert. These safety tips are just from my family’s safety practices, years of education and experiences.

Twelve steps to safely have a gun in your home.

  1. Always use a safe. Your safe should be specifically made for guns and it should only hold guns, you should have a completely different safe for personal belongings. Even if the kids know there are guns in the home, they shouldn’t know where the safe is or have any type of access to it even if they are within age of teaching gun safety. There should always be parental supervision even when teaching.0075107712309_500X500.jpg
    Gunvault GV1000S Mini Vault Standard Gun Safe This is a simple hand gun safe that we have. I really like it for two reasons. One, you can bolt it anywhere you want to conceal it and two, you don’t have to fumble around for keys. (There is a key provided, but not necessary to open)
  2. Learn how to properly handle a firearm. Whether you take a CCW class or a small class at your local range, you need to learn about your personal gun to ensure proper safety and use make sure you are knowledgeable in your specific firearm.
  3. Practice. You have a gun for emergencies. It is not going to do you any good if you don’t know how to handle it properly. I’m not saying you have to go to the range every weekend, but you should go at least once or twice so you feel comfortable having it in your home and now how to properly handle it.
  4. Ease of access. The gun needs to be secured in a hidden safe but somewhere where you can get to it easily.feature_ORS.png
  5. Teach everyone in your home about firearm safety. Read up on Project child safe and get here their free firearm safety kit!
  6. Always unload and clean your gun after every use. Any firearm should also be cleaned on a regular basis even, when not in use, to keep it clean from dust and to prevent any rust.Cleaning-pistol.jpg
  7. All guns should be treated as if they were loaded. When not actually in use, remember to point it in a safe direction and be sure it is unloaded.
  8. Keep your finger off the trigger.
  9. Always keep your safety in place.
  10. Your children and “Gun play”.  It is a very real activity. Even if you don’t have any play guns in your own home, be sure to teach your children the difference between toy guns and real guns, because they may encounter “gun play” when you’re not around.nerf-revolver.jpg
  11. Talk to your children at a young age about gun safety. Teach them to do the following if they see a gun: “Stop. Don’t Touch. Find an adult to tell.” My husband carries a gun on him at times and my two year old knows not to touch it when it’s attached to daddy (or ever for that matter). Even if you aren’t going to have your gun around your children, please teach them those three steps. It is a simple lesson and it may save a life.If you see a gun. burritobuzz .png
  12. Check state and local laws for storage, transport, and securing requirements. Here is a great overview.

As parents, we are always worrying about our children. We are always worrying if we are doing the right or wrong thing for them. No matter how you do it, I can assure you that if you are taking steps to protect them, you are doing the right thing no matter how you choose to do protect them. If you choose to have a gun in your home, please do it safely! Guns are not toys or collectables. I will be sure to post more about gun safety at the end of this post. The more you educate yourself about this topic, the safer you and your family will be!

– Amanda

Connected {Military Wives & Deployment Part 2}

I wanted to do a short blogging series reaching out specifically to military moms. We are a small army (ha.) of women that experience a lifestyle that not many can relate to or comprehend. We experience long absences from our men filled with worry and stress. And we also take on a role of solo parenting. We definitely aren’t single moms, but we also have to learn to speak as both parents and guide our children through their emotions and confusion. This series will be focused on letting you know that you are definitely not alone and that there are many skills and resources available that will help you get through.

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1. COMPASS

Start here. The mission of COMPASS is to educate and train new military spouses on the ways of the land. Aka the roughly 8,392 abbreviations you’ll mostly smile and nod when you hear, why you can’t just roll up on the ship and drop off cookies, education opportunities and benefits, how to get a military ID, what to wear to certain events and how you can and can’t behave on a military base. There are courses you can sign up for regularly to get you jumpstarted on this crazy thing called the military and all its qwerks.

2. FRG

FRG stands for the Family Readiness Group. This is your contact for your spouse’s specific command. If he’s on deployment, these are the people you go to with questions and information on dates, events and how to send packages. FRG’s vary from command to command. Some are extremely helpful, wonderful groups of people that look out for imageall spouses, keeping them updated and hosting activities to mingle and meet people. Some are just there to fulfill a duty (the head of the FRG is usually the responsibility of the command leader’s spouse) and you never see them. But more often that not, this is a wonderful resource to keep updated while your DH is away

image3. MWR

You will find the MWR on basically every military installation. This is the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center that is there to provide you with things like a rec center, bowling, golf, tickets for local events, travel information, lodging and activities for children. You can find local activities for military families that will cost you next to nothing and also purchase tickets to sporting events, theme parks, etc for a heavily discounted price. Winning.


 

The military does a good job providing several resources for military families to keep you informed as well as providing recreational activities. Don’t hesitate to google your spouse’s specific base or command and get a list of phone numbers and addresses for everything from free legal advice to the nearest commissary for grocery shopping. Use the resources that are there for you!

I personally think that once you’ve connected with the command and familiarized yourself with basic military procedures, it’s so important to connect with your community. Sometimes you’re stuck on a base overseas and it’s not possible for you to venture out into the local civilian world. But if you’ll be in once place for any extended period of time, I strongly recommend investing in the area around you.

1. Know Your Neighbors

Get to know the people across the street. Whether they become lifelong friends or someone you simply chit chat with every now and then, it pays to have people nearby in an emergency when your closest family may be states away. I’ve even had a system before with a fellow military spouse across the street to turn our bedroom lamps on when we got home to let the other know we were safe.

image2. MOPS

MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers but it has grown into far beyond that. This is a nationwide organization for moms of younger children simply looking to just get out of the house and meet other local moms and do fun activities. Great way to meet new friends and provide social interaction for your littles.

image3. Volunteer

I’m that nerd that knows the librarian’s names at the local library. Besides the free books, I love using it as a resource to learn about community events, food drives, school supply donation events, whatever. Getting yourself out of the house and doing something simple to give back will not only set a great example for your children but it will draw you closer to the locals and help you not to feel like a nomad that will only be here for a year and then move along to the next town.

4. Find a Church

Finding a local church is not only a great way to meet like-minded people, but also a way keep yourself healthy spiritually. It’s so easy to drown in feelings of hopelessness and lacking in purpose when you’re trying to get through a deployment. Staying connected at church will help nurture your emotional well being and find that joy in your faith that you may have lost in the middle of the frustrating circumstances surrounding you. If you aren’t interested in the religious aspects of church, this is still a great resource for volunteer opportunities and events for children. Check it out, you may be surprised by how renewed you’ll feel after an uplifting service.

Being a military spouse is not something I’ve conquered. I still have no idea what the majority of those acronyms stand for and I don’t think I’ll ever come to a point in my life where deployments are a breeze. But I’m trying. I’m determined to strengthen my family with each separation. It’s so important to me that you know that military life, though foreign to most outsiders, can be a rewarding, uniting experience. Embracing the community around each new assignment and working with your spouse to create a parenting environment that is positive and united is possible.

This won’t be the last you hear me talking about this crazy military life, but I’d love to know where you struggle the most or traditions your family has to stay connected? Let’s get better and better at this military life together.

-Chelsea

For part one on dealing with the emotions of deployment and separation, head here:

http://www.burritobuzz.com/2015/11/03/uniforms-in-the-laundry-military-wives-deployment-part-1/

 

ZZZ Bears: Product Review

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In continuing with my deployment series, I need to tell you about this incredible organization called ZZZ Bears. Whether you have a child that is terrified of the dark, or one that is confused and missing a deployed parent, ZZZ Bears has a unique and incredibly creative solution.

The story behind the adorable Sgt. Sleeptight is simple. The founder’s child was afraid to sleep at night. In order to ease her anxiety, the parents found a teddy bear wearing a Marine uniform and presented it to her as a protector. The story of protection and safety blossomed into a business with the mission of protecting against all monsters, boogey men and thunderstorms, as well as giving back to military children.

imageWhen I received Sgt. Sleeptight to share with my daughter, I basically had to stop myself from bawling all over the box when I saw the passion and attention to detail that clearly went into this package. For about $29.99, you will receive a quality, soft teddy bear dressed in full “Sgt. Sleeptight” uniform complete with instructions on how to put Sgt. Sleeptight on duty, standing guard so your LO can dream peacefully. They go as far to as provide your frightened babe with a door hanger to let outsiders know that Sgt. Sleeptight is on duty as well as include silver and gold “Slumber Stars” to be awarded after successfully making it through the night.

So not only are these the most creative people on earth, they also have huge hearts. They donate a portion of their proceeds to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation,image assisting those children that have lost a parent in the line of duty.

Not only is this a clever way to bring peace of mind to a child that struggles to sleep through the night, but it also brings a sense of familiarity and comfort to a military child. The language and tone set by the bear and kit that you receive Is sure to comfort a child that is afraid or missing a parent. Knowing Sgt. Sleeptight is watching over them even if mommy or daddy can’t will no doubt be a comfort.

Even though my LO is a mere 15 months, she knows what daddy’s uniform looks like and she surely knows how to snuggle a soft teddy. As we’ve been discussing, deployment isn’t easy for any member of the family. I have no doubt that as she grows, the story of Sgt. Sleeptight will help to ease her little worries as she struggles to adjust to daddy being away.

I am so thankful for companies like this that take the unique needs and fears of military children into consideration when creating comfort items. The story you can create with your little one will let them know that this isn’t just another stuffed animal. If he’s on duty, it’s one more encouragement that everything will be ok and it’s safe to get a good night’s rest.

Thank you ZZZ Bears! I will surely be sharing your product and story with all of my military friends as well as parents of any child struggling to sleep through the night.

-Chelsea

For more encouragement and information on coping with deployments, check out our deployment mini series. Start with Part 1 here:

Uniforms in the Laundry {Military Wives & Deployment Part 1} | A Busy Parent’s Guide to the Latest Buzz
https://burritobuzz.com/2015/11/03/uniforms-in-the-laundry-military-wives-deployment-part-1/

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

Uniforms in the Laundry {Military Wives & Deployment Part 1}

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I wanted to do a short blog series reaching out specifically to military moms. We are a small army (ha) of women that experience a lifestyle that not many can relate to or comprehend. We experience long absences from our men filled with worry and stress. And we also take on a role of solo parenting. We definitely aren’t single moms, but we also have to learn to speak as both parents and guide our children through their emotions and confusion. This series will be focused on letting you know that you are most definitely not alone and that there are many skills and resources available that will help you get through.

My grandfather has been a counselor for a program called Grief Share for many years. I’ll never forget the summer that my family and I lived with him while our new home was being built. I was in high school and my boyfriend (now DH) had just left for bootcamp to begin his career in the Navy. One day shortly after we dropped him off, my grandpa caught me sitting on the floor in his hallway, crying. He immediately came over, embraced me and simply said “I’ve been expecting this.” He explained to me that military life with the constant separation, is not unlike the grieving process. That really resonated with me and helped me accept the range of emotions I was experiencing as normal.

imageLater, as I began to study in the field of psychology, I discovered how true his words really were. There is a model you may have heard of called the 5 Stages of Grief. It is based on the premise that everyone experiences the stages of mourning and loss in the same way. I think every military spouse and family can relate to this broad spectrum of emotions and thoughts we go through when facing a long separation. For me, seeing my experience of what feels like absolute chaos explained in a way that is logical, to be expected and with hope found at the end is incredibly comforting. I give you…

The 5 Stages of Separation:

1. Denial

Whenever I learn of an upcoming deployment, my brain immediately goes into this protective mode. I’ll tell myself, “Nope. I didn’t just hear that. Not the “D” word. We’re just going to pretend that conversation never happened. Carry on then..

This is the time when I am the best “military wife.” I say phrases like “Well it’s the imagemilitary, deployment is a part of it” and “It’s a hard life but you learn to adjust.”

I’m really, really good at the Denial stage. I can cruise in denial until about 2 weeks before he leaves. Yes, I’m making preparations like purchasing items he’ll need and stocking up on the abundance of lean cuisines that I’ll be living off of for the next x amount of months. But I may as well be planning a backyard BBQ.

2. Anger

The Anger Stage irritates me in so many ways but for some reason, I only notice it in other people. Funny how that works. Something about the plank in my own eye. In the anger stage, it’s all about you. When someone is in the Anger Stage, you’ll hear a lot of how “no one understands” and “how dare that girl complain that she misses her husband when he’s just leaving for two weeks!” No. No, that woman is allowed to be upset. Yes, your husband may have been to Afghanistan and you had a baby while he was gone and it was absolutely horrendous. But that should never diminish someone else’s pain. Anyone can experience that debilitating loneliness, no matter how long the separation. This isn’t a game of “whose husband has been gone the longest.”

The Anger Stage is ugly. While you’re in it or around someone else that’s in it. It blows.

3. Bargaining

In this stage, I’m like a child that knows she can’t get her way but is making up crazy alternatives just to try. I say things like “well maybe the deployment will be canceled” or “what if you broke your arm or needed a surgery or something? Could you get out of it then?” It’s a pathetic, pointless segway into….
4. Sadness

This stage always hits me unannounced. For some reason it’s usually the laundry that does it. I’ll be folding a basket and putting away something of his and think to myself “Only a few more baskets and I won’t see his uniforms in the laundry anymore” Yea. Highway to depression.

And then he’ll be gone. In some ways the sadness never completely leaves. In the happy moments, the sadness is “wow, he would have really loved to have been there for this.” In the broken moments it’s “I really, really need him right now. Right this second. And he’s not here.” Even in the everyday moments like “if I seriously have to touch that nasty garbage can and bring it to the curb one more week I’m going to scream!”

This is when deployment is truly like grief. When you aren’t sure what to say to your toddler that hears the garage door open and says “Dada? Dada?” over and over. When people ask you how you’re doing and you robotically reply “Oh we’re getting by!” Because your spouse, your partner, your co-parent isn’t there and the worry that you constantly push out of your brain of where he is or what he’s doing weighs on you daily.

Sadness is the worst.

5. Acceptance

I guess you can say this is what separates the ones that can from the ones that can’t. Because some truly can’t make it in a life that is constant coming and going, unpredictable schedules, worry, trust issues, solo parenting. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. But this is where the opportunity lies for truly thriving in such a chaotic lifestyle.

In Part 2, I’ll talk about the several phenomenal organizations available for military families to reach out to for support, education, and friendship. There is a unique community that actually, truly does know what you are going through. Please don’t miss the followup blog on several resources to take advantage of!

 

The bottom line is, it’s ok. It’s ok to feel sad, angry, lonely and even depressed at times. The important thing is that we are constantly growing stronger and closer. If we, as military spouses allow these emotions and struggles to overwhelm us, it can result in tragedy for our personal lives, our marriages and our examples as parents. You are not alone. Making it through a deployment and coming out as a stronger, better person and family is possible. Even I need to hear that reminder, especially during those Anger and Sad days where I just feel like falling to pieces. Let’s move forward and embrace this life that is so important and is not for the faint of heart.

-Chelsea

Read more about staying connected during a deployment in Part 2 here: http://www.burritobuzz.com/2015/11/04/connected-military-wives-deployment-part-2/

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

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

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

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

Product Review: Munchkin Nursery Projector & Sound System

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PROS: I’ve used this sound machine since my LO was about a month old. It has 6 different sound options from classical music and nursery songs to nature and white noise. I’ve kept it on the ocean track for the majority of the time. The blue part on the bottom is a built-in nightlight that isn’t too bright and can be tapped to turn on (perfect for midnight bathroom runs!) It ALSO has four different rotating scenes that can be projected onto the ceiling. The cartridges for these scenes conveniently store in the side of the unit. There is a timer for the sound option (I leave it going nonstop) and it also has the option for voice activation so if your LO wakes up crying, it will automatically turn on.

You get all this in a compact unit that has a good length of extension cord and plugs in to an outlet. I’ve used this an average of 3 times a day for over a year and it has never had any issues at all!

CONS: Really the only con I can think of is that is does need to be plugged in so there is a cord risk if it is not put up during the day or in a higher up location.

This sound machine will cost you about $29.99 and in my opinion, it is totally worth it. This has become a staple in our bed and nap time routine and my LO loves it! It’s easy to travel with and has been reliable in spite of CONSTANT use. A winner in my book!

-Chelsea

The Stigmas of SAHMs: A Day of Nothing

We all know the look. The look we get when we tell acquaintances, friends, even family members, that we’re choosing to become a stay at home mom. It’s a look of confusion, surprise, pity, jealousy and “judgyness”. This segment is about overcoming the stigmas of being at SAHM. Whether placed on us by loved ones, SOs, friends, strangers, MSM, or even ourselves, stigmas are the mantras we tell ourselves over and over that slowly break us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We can overcome these debilitating scripts. We can become the all-star parents we saw ourselves being from the minute that pink line smiled back at us.

Let’s do this together. Let’s learn everything we can and become fulfilled as women and mothers in this role we were created to thrive in.

“Well it’s not like you do anything all day..”

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I am not a Stepford wife. But some days, I find myself trying to live up to irrational standards that I put on myself. Maybe I constantly smell of pledge and downy because of the stellar example set by my mother. Or maybe even because I’ve seen a lot of examples of how I don’t want my home to be run. I’ve been known to be folding laundry and unloading the dishwater seconds before my head hits the pillow. But many days I take a step back, exhale, and tell myself that the crumbs in the rug and the frozen pizza in the oven will not kill anybody. I take a look at my beautiful crazy family and I thank God for every minute I get with them.

You’ve read all the cute little stories titled “this husband can’t afford his wife.” Laundry? $50 a load. Cooking? $100 a day. My DH is active duty military. I won’t go into detail, but his job is up and down, coming and going, and so much unpredictability I could scream (sometimes I do). He doesn’t expect me to do all the things that I do, but I do them anyway. I live by the motto that a home should be a place we want to go. I want to come home to peace, a decent level of cleanliness and less stress on the inside than out. I clean my home and prepare 3 meals a day and try to keep my toddler alive from 6 am til 7 pm (even those sleeping hours still stress me some nights). I’m starting grad school (again) and writing for this incredible blog. I am no super mom or wife. But I do work. All day long.

We’ve talked before in this blog about PPD. I myself went through a mild dose of the baby blues that took me a while to overcome. I was lucky. My symptoms were very typical, mainly fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation and little interest in things that I usually enjoyed. With prayer, incredible friends and a supportive family, I overcame my symptoms.

But during this time specifically, I felt others attempt to use my SAHM status for their own benefit. People asked me to babysit for two weeks straight or drive 45 minutes with a newborn to meet for coffee, or got offended when I didn’t answer their calls every. single. day to talk about their latest coworker drama. And maybe I’m being insensitive, but I honestly did not care. Most days I was praying nap time came faster and maybe for a shower that day. I did not want to watch their children or load up my car to survive an afternoon out with a nursing infant. I didn’t even want to listen to their coworker’s latest fashion crime. And that is ok. Because that time finally passed and I was able to enjoy the little things again and get some frickin sleep! But that still didn’t make me a doormat.

For these, and ten thousand other reasons, I can literally physically feel my blood pressure rising and my hair getting a little more red when someone dares to say to me “Well, it’s not like you’re doing anything so….(insert annoying favor)” Excuse me. Do you see a living human hanging off my leg? Well apparently I’m at least feeding and cleaning that little person. It’s funny how remarks like that come from individuals who have never cared for a child or spent longer than a child-induced chaotic weekend at home. It doesn’t matter. There is no excuse for diminishing the role of a mother. Any mother. But especially one that is home all day kissing boo boos, singing ABCs, wiping mashed peas off the ceiling and somehow manages to keep the home together enough to live in.

Do not ever let someone make you feel as though you are lazy or wasting your days away by spending them with your child. These developmental years, (and childhood and teenage years) matter. Being a constant positive presence for you child fulfills so many needs their little hearts and brains don’t even know they need. And those days when that toddler is a little hellion and you just want to scream and put them to bed at 2 in the afternoon, still know, you simply being there is everything that child needs.

Let your house be knee deep in toys, a Stouffer’s lasagna in the oven and still be wearing yesterday’s sweats from time to time. You are there for your child. You are working so hard every minute of the day to learn patience, teach, provide for, and deepen a bond that your child will not soon forget. Don’t let someone make you feel inferior because you do the most important job on earth (it’s corny I know, but oh so true). We’ve got this. We work HARD every day. We are no one’s doormat and it is ok to say no to those “favors” other people think we have all the time for. You’re doing an amazing job, stay at home mom.

-Chelsea

Read more of our SAHM Stigmas series here:

SAHM Stigmas: Finances “We can’t afford this”

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/14/the-stigmas-of-sahms/

SAHM Stigmas: Careers

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/18/the-stigmas-of-sahms-careers

Product Review: Tommee Tippee Sippy Cups

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PROS: In the world of sippy cups, the only thing that matters is does it spill. This cup truly does not. Now I can’t guarantee you that your LO will not take a sip and bubble it all back out over the living room carpet. However, when she rolls it down the entire length of the hallway, it won’t leak.

The cup has a two part piece within the lid that prevents spilling. There is also a built in cover for the mouth piece that is right on the lid to further prevent spills. You can see it in the picture above. It also has textured, rubber sides to help those slippery baby fingers to grab on a little better.

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CONS: This cup is a little on the heavy side. I tried to give it to my LO when she was around 6-7 months and it was little too heavy for her when it was filled with juice or water. Also, it is dishwasher safe but you need to make sure that the pieces in the lid stay put after washing. They click into place so it’s not hard to put back in if it comes loose.  Lastly, it is a little on the pricier side when compared to other cups. It will run you anywhere from $7.99-9.99.

Overall, when it comes to infant and toddler sippy cups, this one is higher quality. It’s a little costly, but worth the investment if you want to prevent leaks. A good find, great to add to the baby registry!

-Chelsea

The Stigmas of SAHMs: Careers

We all know the look. The look we get when we tell acquaintances, friends, even family members, that we’re choosing to become a stay at home mom. It’s a look of confusion, surprise, pity, jealousy and “judgyness”. This segment is about overcoming the stigmas of being at SAHM. Whether placed on us by loved ones, SOs, friends, strangers, MSM, or even ourselves, stigmas are the mantras we tell ourselves over and over that slowly break us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We can overcome these debilitating scripts. We can become the all-star parents we saw ourselves being from the minute that pink line smiled back at us.

Let’s do this together. Let’s learn everything we can and become fulfilled as women and mothers in this role we were created to thrive in.

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“Oh so you don’t want a career then?”

Um….excuse me? Someone actually said that to me when they learned that I was becoming a SAHM. While resisting the urge to spit my entire academic and professional career thus far in his face laced with a couple of non-PG terms, I took a breath, *serenity now,* and smiled politely. I tried to present my five year plan to him but he glazed over and interrupted me to talk about his motorcycle…

The day I became a SAHM, I did not receive a welcome kit equipped with elastic jeans, an apron,  Soap Opera Digest and a killer brownie recipe (I take that recipe though if you got it). This is 2015 and for some reason people still view a SAHM as this quintessential, archaic role that is completely self-sacrificing and frankly, outdated. They smile at you with this condescending look that says “well, guess you’ll never be getting that corner office but at least all the lunches will be packed!” I’m confused….

Why, in today’s culture where self-expression and feminism thrive, do some (most?) readily assume that if a woman chooses to stay at home and raise her children, she is somehow giving up on herself? She’s throwing away a career, the potential for financial success, the opportunity to be praised by her peers….

There are definitely times when I crave the camaraderie that I had with my coworkers or the simple joy of a coffee break whenever my heart desires. But what I want, but I truly want, is for my children to see me as someone who chose to be there for them, but did not lose herself. To be that booger covered, silly song singing, soccer game attending mom that I’ve always wanted to be. But I want them to see someone who has goals and is actively pursuing them. I’m not storming down boardroom doors at this moment in my life, but I am going to school. I am reading books, staying current in my field and nurturing relationships with people outside of MOPS (I’m not in MOPS. I’ll tell you why some other time).

Being a SAHM does not mean giving up any dreams you ever had for your life. In fact, I see it as achieving double of what I ever hoped for. I get to live this crazy mom life and continue forward in my professional goals simultaneously.

Laugh at the naysayers. Don’t wear a SAHM badge like a death sentence for your hopes and dreams. Keep dreaming, keep pushing, keep being there for your babies but take a minute (even if it’s just one) out of the day to look up grad schools. Volunteer in your field. READ!! Keep nurturing yourself just as fiercely as you do for your babes. I am a SAHM, but it is only part of who I am. Don’t lose you in the chaos of everyday life. And seriously, walk away immediately from that idiot that tries to make you feel like you are less of a person like I should have done.

-Chelsea

For more of our SAHM Stigmas series, check out:

SAHM Stigmas: Finances “We can’t afford this”

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/14/the-stigmas-of-sahms/

SAHM Stigmas: A Day of Nothing

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/18/the-stigmas-of-sahms-a-day-of-nothing/

Pinxav Diaper Rash Cream Review

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(Pronounced: “Pink Salve”)

PROS- I found it to be incredibly effective on common rashes due to regular diaper wear and food reactions (nonallergic reactions, just sensitivities). Put it on, by the next diaper change, its gone!

CONS- Has a strong fragrance, kind of mediciney but not unbearable. STAINS very, very easily. It will come out of clothes and sheets but you’re going to need a stain treatment spray.

OVERALL- I use this cream when my LO has a rash that won’t seem to go away or seems to cause her pain because I know it will get the job done. Just be very careful while applying (easier said than done with a squirmy LO that may be in pain).

-Chelsea