Bookroo Monthly Children’s Books

burritobuzzbookrooOn a cold rainy day full of child activities and errands pulling into my drive and seeing this adorable little box propped up against my door was so exciting. I knew even though I was exhausted and wanted to crash coming home wouldn’t be stressful, and we would have a blast opening up our package!

BK#1 absolutely LOVED opening up her package. She got even more excited when she saw that it was wrapped up like presents. Christmas made our little threenager a PRO at opening gifts and very much aware of “presents” and meaningful gift giving! After we opened the box she exclaimed “Oh mommy, you got me a gift!  I love it”, and she didn’t even know what was inside! BurritoBuzzBookRoogift.jpg

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Bookroo is a monthly subscription box for you children. It is unlike any other subscripton box on the market right now. Not only is it a fabulous deal, but it is a company with a purpose. Bookroo helps the world at with their recycled (and recyclable!) packaging and their commitment to giving back through donating children’s books to children in need through Reach Out And Read!

The moms and owners at Bookroo’s mission is to enable and empower parents to build their children’s book collections in an affordable and exciting way through curated monthly book deliveries. They believe in the power and impact of the written word in the life of a child, and believe it’s never too early to start reading to children!30-minutes

According to the US department of Education reading to/with your child 30 minutes a day improves their intelligence greatly. Reading improves (future) academic performance. One of my new year resolutions was to read to my children more, and Bookroo is just another way to make sure that happens in a new and exciting way once a month!

Reading is an investment in your child’s future. Reading makes for smart, emotionally healthy, and confident kids. Bookroo makes reading easy.

There two types of boxes: Picture book boxes and Board book boxes. And there are 4 different packages and pricing rates. If you have children in two age groups you can simple tell Bookroo and they will alternate your boxes so you get something for each child every other month. screenshot-4

YOU CAN’T BUY BOOKS AT THE STORE THIS CHEAP! Even if you only do it one month at a time you are getting at least two hardback picture books for $8.95 a piece. I am seriously thinking about doing the year long subscription getting 24 book for $7.99 a piece. Not only are you getting books delivered to your door, but you are giving your child a reason to be excited about books and reading! I am 26 and I know I love getting packages, my toddlers love it 100 x’s more!

Each box contains either 3 board books or 2 picture books and the combined retail value of the books always exceeds the subscription price!

The books are always a surprise and hidden gems. The books they send out are extensively reviewed by a panel of 12 families attending Stanford University and their combined 22 kids. They rate each book on a 7 point scale and on its re-readability. Books that emerge as clear winners are sent out in the Bookroo boxes.

We received Sleepytime Me by Edith Hope Fine and Penguin Cha-Cha by Kristi Valiant.

Sleepytime MeA sweet little nighttime book with easy- to- learn phrases and gorgeous pictures to relax and get ready for bed!

Penguin Cha-ChaADORABLE and entertaining book for all ages. You follow a little girl around the zoo who is trying to understand the dancing penguins. Beautifully written and illustrated! his 

If I had to rate Bookroo on a scale of 1-5 stars they would 100% receive 5 stars! This subscription and company is amazing!  I cant wait till February’s box!


IF YOU WANT A DEAL USE THE CODE : AMANVELA  to get $10 OFF! 


Be sure to follow Bookroo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on everything they are up to.

~Amanda

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

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Big Red Rooster Projection Alarm Clock {Review}

I don’t know about you, but waking my daughter on schools days just plain sucks. It’s not fun. She’s crabby with me and only me, because I’m the one that woke her up. I feel it starts our entire day on the wrong foot. She’s four and learning her numbers and always asking what time is it, so I thought now would be the perfect time to get her own alarm clock for her room. I wouldn’t be the one waking her so she wouldn’t be snotty with me and it cabwodqprgn also help with her numbers and telling time. I got the opportunity to review an awesome interactive alarm clock from Big Red Rooster and I was eager to check it out.

There are four different interactive alarm clocks to choose from, a Rocket Ship Projection Alarm Clock, which was their first clock to hit the market, and three new animals, a Dog Projection Alarm Clock, a Cat Projection Alarm Clock, and a Dinosaur Projection Alarm Clock. What sets them apart is the time and images they project! Each clock has four different images that projects on your ceiling or wall and each image reaches up to 30 inches in diameter. The clocks stand about 8 inches tall and their heads rotate 340 degrees, so they’re interactive themselves. The timer can be set for 10 or 30 minutes so the images aren’t projected the entire night, or it can be set to project all night. You have the option tobig-red-rooster-brrc103ac-dinosaur-projection-alarm-clock-operates-on-an-ac-adaptor-included-or-3-c-batteries-0-hires project just the time, the images and the time or just the images, so there’s options for everyone. They operate on an AC adaptor, which is included, or can be cordless with 3 C batteries.

My daughter picked the green dinosaur alarm clock because she loves dinosaurs and it’s a pretty cool dinosaur. The four dinosaur images are a Diabloceratops, Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, and Pterodactyl and Ampelosaurus. And while my daughter thinks they’re super cool, the graphics aren’t that great, especially if you have a high ceiling. But she likes it, and that’s all that matters to me. The clock is super easy to set, as is the alarm. And there are on and off buttons on the front for the projection clock and images on the front. And the set and snooze buttons are right on the front make idinosaur_projection_clock_1024x1024t one-touch to set the alarm and to snooze if your little one is super stubborn in the mornings.

Overall, I’m thrilled with this alarm clock and I’m so glad I no longer have to wake my little sleeping bear in the mornings. She’s waking up really proud of herself for turning her alarm off and not having to be woken up. She’s happier, which of course makes me happy. The graphics could be better, but the clocks are really cute and it’s helping my little one learn how to tell time, too. Not much more I could ask for, except perhaps a lower price. The $29.99 price tag is a little high for my tight budget, so to see it at around $20 would make it a definite winner for me. The rocket ship, cat, and dog are super cute, so be sure to check out all of the alarm clocks here! Big Red Rooster also makes sound machines, so if you’re in the market for one, check out the children sound machines here and the adult sound machines here!

Don’t forget to follow Big Red Rooster on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay in the loop with new releases and sales!

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Four cute alarm clocks to choose from!

– 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.**

Keep Germs Away with CleanSmart Toy Disinfectant

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As you know, cold and flu season is unfortunately upon is. With the changing of the weather and the start of the school year, illness is something that we can’t really ignore. My four year old started her second year of preschool last week and was kind enough t16oznursery-419x1024o bring a cold home. My family of four all got runny noses, we were sneezing like crazy, had awful sinus pressure, coughing, and had watery eyes, including my poor 6 month old. She got hit the worst and is starting to feel better minus the never ending runny nose. Over the weekend she had a pretty high fever and was overall miserable. When babies get sick, you heart breaks because there’s not much you can do for them. Lots of cuddles and some tylenol to bring down the fever is about all you can do when they’re really young. So what can you do to help prevent the spread of germs when little ones always have toys in their mouths? I have found an amazing toy disinfectant from CleanSmart and I love it so much! I knew I had to share it with our readers!

CleanSmart makes products that are not harmful to people. There are no chemicals or chemical residue, harsh fumes, and the products are 100% natural – just salt and water is left behind after cleaning! There is zero toxicity and can be sprayed around anyone (babies, too). There are no allergy or asthma triggers in any of the products, so you can feel safe knowing what you’re using to clean and disinfect and know the products work! You won’t see any first aid labels on CleanSmart products because there are no hazards. What more could you want in a cleaning product? Watch here to learn about the CleanSmart difference:

I was looking for something to clean my children’s toys, especially with having more than one kid, germs spread entirely way too easy. If one is sick, the other will be soon. It’s just a fact. But I wanted something to help prevent illness as much as I could. Babies put everything in their mouths as we know and germs linger. CleanSmart Toy Disinfectant kills 99.9% of germs and cold and flu viruses, E. coli, salmonella, listeria, strep and RSV. The best part, you just spray and play! You can literally clean toys without rinsing right in front of your child. I often clean my little one’s exersaucer while she’s in it. It’s so cleansmarteasy and I love not having to think twice about using it around my kids. No gloves needed and you don’t have to have a crazy ventilation system (or open all the windows/doors in your house to air it out). It’s perfect to use with teething babies and after sick kids.

I love this product and look forward to purchasing more awesome products from CleanSmart, including their household disinfectants, hand cleansers and more products for my little ones: Pacifier Sanitizer ($4.99) and Nursery & High Chair Cleaner ($4.99). Products for little ones are now available at Babies R Us, so they’re easy to find! You can purchase all CleanSmart products on Amazon. The price point is perfect, $5.99 for the Toy Disinfectant. I’ve had it for about to months now, and I have about ⅔ of the bottle left so it does last a while. Because it’s not harmful, that doesn’t mean it should be left around children. Keep out of reach of children to keep them safe.

Connect with CleanSmart on Facebook and Twitter!

– Casey

Caron & Doucet Cutting Board Wax {Review}

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As a parent, I don’t just love to save money, I need to save money. There are diapers to think about, clothes, college… the list is never ending. As a parent, you try to keep everything in your home in the best condition as possible so you don’t have to replace things as often, right? When it comes to my home, I like to keep things simple and natural, but it’s really hard to do that without going broke. It seems like everything that is good for you and natural is double the price of the things that are not so good for you. It’s sad really, but I have found a way to make something I use every day last longer.

My cutting board! I have both plastic and wood cutting boards, but I like the wood ones better, simply because they’re better for you. Plastic cutting boards can harbor bacteria and chemicals, and you don’t need that in your food. Wood can too, but you can’t gouge a wood cutting boacutting-board-oil-waxrd as easily to create crevices that bacteria can grow in. There seems to be a lot of back and forth about this subject, but the simple fact is, wood boards last longer. You can read more about bacteria and cutting boards here.

Personally, I like wood kitchen accessories better anyways. With this fact, I have to take care of them. Wood doesn’t last forever if it’s not taken care of properly and many people don’t even know that you’re supposed to take care of your wood cutting boards and chopping blocks.

Why do they need special treatment? Wood cutting boards can be damaged if they are exposed to too much moisture or allowed to get very dry, so think like a chef and take care of those cooking accessories you spend so much money on and time using. Good cooking tools are not cheap, but if you take proper care of them, they can last you a lifetime and save you from replacing your plastic cutting board every 6 months (as recommended)! My parents have my grandmother’s huge chopping block that has to be at least 30 years old and it still looks new. How? She took very good care of it!am0c3408

Simply by waxing and oiling your wood boards, they will last so much longer and look like new when you wax them!  And Caron & Doucet Cutting Board Wax is the perfect product to have stashed under your sink.

  • It creates a “durable and easy to clean” finish on any wood and bamboo kitchenware.
  • Prevents liquids that can cause stains or water damage.
  • Can be used on wood and bamboo cutting boards, butcher blocks, countertops, knife handles, and whatever else you might have that needs protection.
  • Created using rice bran wax. Rice bran wax is one of the hardest of natural waxes, giving wood a remarkably durable protective finish. It has a higher boiling point than most waxes, such as bees wax, so you aren’t going to rub it off during washing or if you are using it on a bamboo spoon, etc.
  • The pure essential oils of lemon, rosemary, and lemongrass were chosen for this product to naturally help eliminate unwanted food odors from food preparation surfaces.

It’s a simple step after washing and drying! Apply a thin layer of the wax to the surface of your cutting board using a clean cloth. Polish to a matte sheen and re-apply when wood starts to appear dull. It takes 2 minutes and your hands will feel fabulous after! It’s like a mini spa trip!

This before and after of my personal board, it is so awesome! 14371997_546361035558088_507740657_n-2

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This photo has different lighting, but notice how all gouges are gone and how smooth it is!

The only bad thing I have to say is that it is a little pricey at $14.95 for a little 4 oz. tin. You can purchase it Here. But honestly, this tin could quite possibly last you an entire year, depending on how often you use it, so it’s totally worth the price!

I am off to go wax all of my bamboo spoons now! I found this product at 34Orange.com, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for tips, tricks, and inspiration in the kitchen!

– Amanda

 

Delta DX Side by Side Stroller {Review}

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I had been dragging my feet about getting a second double stroller. We have an awesome hand-me-down double jogger that has been well loved, but it’s perfect until it’s not. Almost all double strollers have three things in common:

THEY ARE HUGE, HEAVY AND EXPENSIVE.

Just about every single one on the market. I got to thinking, how long are they really going to tolerate sitting in a stroller? Is it worth spending $300 on the one I really want? In the end my answer was no, it was most definitely not worth it. Even though I didn’t see the value in a super expensive, but more compact double stroller, I also needed something to help me out.

You can’t baby wear all the time. I do a lot, but in some situations it’s just not the easiest. Don’t even get me started on tandem wearing toddlers. Good grief is it a hassle. When we were getting ready to go on vacation, I decided that we had to get something. Long walks, back and forth to the pool, shopping, going in and out of attractions, whatever vacation might bring, I didn’t want to be chasing my toddler and fighting my one year old to stay on my back. I asked some friends what they used and came across this gem of a stroller.

I always thought that umbrella strollers were cheap and not worth my money, but I was incredibly wrong!

Details:

  • Super compact fold for travel and storage. I  can literally shove it under their seats behind my seat, it’s super small!Delta Double Stroller BurritoBuzz3.jpg
  • Two separate canopies
  • Soft and comfortable handles
  • 360 degree shock absorbing, locking front wheels
  • Large 6”front and back wheels
  • Back wheel brakes
  • JPMA certified and exceeds all ASTM and applicable CPSC standards
  • Assembled Dimensions (in inches): 22.8 (width) by 36.8 (height) by 18.5 (depth)
  • Weight: 19.16 lbs
  • Each seat has a 35 lb weight limit
  • Fits through standard 30″ wide doorways
  • Cup holder with 2 attachment points and 2 hanging storage bags
  • Foot push to collapse and one lever to secure close

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  • Assembly was a breeze. All you had to do was pop the wheels on and take some plastic off. It literally took me two minutes.
  • Super easy to move! You can push it with one finger with the kids in it.
  • It fits through doors! I haven’t had a door that I couldn’t get through and because it is so compact, you don’t have to have anyone hold the door open for you to get through.
  • The 35 lb weight limit is great! I know I am going to get a lot of use out of this even though I have large toddlers.
  • It’s a very smooth ride. I can go in and out of stores, through door ways, over hills, up embankments and over gravel, and my kids stay asleep.
  • It’s not heavy! I can carry my one year old on one hip, fold the stroller and get it in the car. Thank you Stroller Gods!
  • Tiny, tiny, tiny. You can fit this stroller into any car and it’s great for travel when you have more than your stroller to put in your trunk. My big jogger literally takes up my entire cargo area.
  • Cup holder fits adult cups!
  • Reflective material. The white stripes are reflective, so if you take evening walks, you don’t have to worry about pushing a black stroller and no one seeing it.
  • It’s inexpensive but high quality. I’ve had this stroller for about a month and have used it almost daily. There is no sign of any wear and tear and nothing feels cheap or like it’s going to break. If I didn’t tell you that it was cheap, you wouldn’t know it!
    Delta Children City Street Side by Side Stroller, Black

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Cons:

  • The canopies are small and don’t really do a whole lot. I didn’t purchase it with a canopy in mind, but after a few times of walking directly into the sun, I wish I would have taken the very small canopy into consideration. I throw an Aden + Anais swaddle` over them and it’s fine, but that’s not always convenient.
  • The wheels are super small, making rough terrain difficult to navigate.
  • The description on their site and on Amazon says that it has a “Large Under-Frame Storage Bag” and it does not. I thought I would be able to slide a diaper bag under the seats or something and that is not the case. There are the two small hanging bags on the back of the seat that work nicely for a few diapers and wipes, but that is about all they can hold.
  • Advertised as a 5 point harness and it’s not.
  • The handles are short (as are most umbrella strollers). I am 5’4″ and I have no problem, but my 5’11” husband wasn’t too happy with them after a  while. 11601-007-delta-city-st-side-by-side-stroller-black-plaid-front-hi-res_1024x1024

Overall, this stroller is amazing! My complaints are small and I do not regret purchasing it at all. A few changes would make it a little better, but for the amazing price, it can’t be beat! If you have a second little one on the way, this is definitely a must have!

– Amanda

 

 

Momma’s Little Helper Day Planner {Review}

14248846_1255458487851775_780646304_nAs parents, we know that time management is essential. So essential that we write things down, put alarms on our phones, put sticky notes throughout our homes, we sync our phone’s calendars with your spouse’s and if you’re like me, you also put everything into a physical planner.

Maybe it’s overkill, maybe I am crazy, but this mom-brain that I have going on is no joke. It starts out as pregnancy-brain because your tiny little human is sucking out your brain cells, and then it turns into exhaustion that I am pretty sure is never ending.

I couldn’t have been happier when Momma’s Little Helper contacted us! With the school year starting, I have zero time to forget things and my old planner was just about done.

This day planner is not like any other because it was made specifically with busy moms. From cover to cover, it is detailed and designed to make your life easier!

13227678_1680849522171169_5007254839125998006_o.jpgAbout this awesome day planner:

  • It comes in two styles, flowers and damask.
  • “Academic planner.” There is plenty of room to write down assignments and projects you have to help your kids with, as well as school functions, classmate info and much more.
  • Plenty of space for your agenda & notes
  • Pockets on the inside of front and back covers.
  • Notes pages for each month unlike most planners with just a small column or one page in the back.
  • August 2016 – July of 2017 and their 2017 January to December daily & weekly planners will be available in October 2016.
  • 240 pages gives you plenty of space to write down to-do lists and whatever else you may need.
  • Inspirational quotes and tips on every page.
  • Awesome price! Currently it’s only $12.95.
  • For stay at home moms: my planner stays in my diaper bag or purse almost 100% of the time. I like to physically write things down to help me remember them. I like that there are pages for emergency numbers, household contacts and family medical information. If I leave my kids at the sitter’s or a sitter is at my house, I can simply show them where to find the info without having to worry if they know everything in case of an emergency.
  • It’s small! It is only 8.5″ x 6″, so it fits in most purses and diaper bags. The pockets are the perfect size for receipts, notes, coupons, whatever odds and ends you might not want floating around your bag.
  • Space for to-do lists and other lists right inside the planner
  • For working moms: (Katie here, your resident working mom, busy body) I utilize a planner every single day. Not only would I lose my mind without a physical planner, but I also love to look back at my old planners and be nostalgic (you know, about years when I was busy going to the movies and on dates instead of arranging child care and pediatric appointments). I plan my life months in advance, so it’s ideal to be able to have a paper planner in front of me so that I can quickly flip to a date to see what I already have planned.
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Nice, long columns for all of the important stuff I need to keep track of!

Likes: the front pocket. The front pocket of my planner usually contains all kinds of chaos that has been paper-clipped in. Now, I have a nice little pocket to hoard all kinds of ridiculous things in. The detailed front pages are fantastic. While I personally will never utilize any of the cooking tip pages (trophy wife of the year, I know) I’m sure plenty of other moms will love these pages. The tips at the top are fabulous. I love random trivia anyway, so I really love seeing it on each page. The layout is great and leaves plenty of space for details, and the quality of the planner is also really good.

Dislikes: I wish this planner had tabs like my current one does. Each month in my current planner has an easy-to-find tab that makes flipping through really easy. While this isn’t a huge downfall, it’s a nice perk and would be great to see in the next edition of this planner. Also, I find that this product could easily be marketed towards dads, too. Stay at home dads, working dads, coaches and dads that just like to use planners would also find it very beneficial. I’d like to see a product geared towards parents putting us all on a level playing field (though, if I saw my husband using a planner I might actually die of shock. He isn’t exactly organized).

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Old planner on the left (almost outdated) and new planner on the right. Comparable in size and quality!

If you’re looking for a way to organize your day to day activities, Momma’s Little Helper is definitely the way to go. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram!

Happy planning!

– Amanda and Katie

**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.**

 

The DivaCup: Does It Really Make For A Better Period Experience?

Abso-freaking-lutely. I am definitely a believer. I’m sold and I won’t go back! But let’s start from the beginning.Pink_DivaCup-Logo_No-Star-Final-Aug-2014Large

When my husband and I first started to realize we were going to have a harder time conceiving than we had hoped, we decided to change our lifestyles to try and rid unnecessary toxins and chemicals from our bodies and our household. I heard of the DivaCup, but it sounded gross, weird and just plain scary. But you know what else is scary? All the shit that is in the majority of tampons and pads out there. If you’re not buying organic feminine products, there’s a really good chance you’re putting some nasty stuff up/in/around/below your vagina. And I was too, so no judgement here. I’m going to spare you the science lesson that I would probably botch (and we’re all adults here and know how to use Google). But go now and do a few Google searches about what’s in tampons and pads. Even scarier, the FDA isn’t required to list the ingredients because feminine products are considered “medical devices.” I don’t doubt a man is behind this somehow.

Anyway, after I did all that research and decided my vagina deserves better, I started looking into menstrual cups. I was still hesitant, but I liked the thought that 1. I could spend around $30 and it would last me a year or so and 2. there was no waste going into the landfills. There are tons of different brands, each with different sizes/benefits, but I was a newbie and decided to go with the brand I heard most about, The DivaCup. I ordered mine from Amazon and it was right around $30.

In case you don’t have a clue what the hell I’m talking about when I say “menstrual cup” download (1)(like my mother, love you mom!), I’ll explain. It’s a small silicone ‘cup’ that you place in your vagina. It’s super bendy and flexible, and it kind of suction cups to the walls of your vagina. The cup catches all of the blood. Imagine a funnel (without the hole in the bottom), as long as the cup is in place, there are no leaks.

When I first received my DivaCup, I got online and read all kinds of tips and watched videos so I knew what the heck I was doing. I will admit, it took a few tries to get the hang of it and to get it to where there were no leaks, but once I figured out what worked for me, it’s super easy! It’s completely painless and not weird at all.

Here are some things I’ve heard when I tell people I use the DivaCup:

Ew. I don’t want to get blood on my hands. Yes, you might get a little blood on your hands, most likely  when you’re first figuring out how to use the cup. If you have to take it in and out to get it in the right spot, you may get a little blood on you. Once you get the hang of it though, the cup is clean when you put it in, and the bottom part you pull out should stay pretty clean while it’s in there! I’ve never had an incident where I was covered in blood. It’s your own blood after all, it’ll be okay.

How do you empty it when you’re in public? I don’t. I’ve never had to. You can go 10- 12 hours without emptying it and I’ve always been able to plan ahead to where I will have a private bathroom to rinse my DivaCup out in. I will normally empty it in the morning before leaving for work and in the late afternoon when returning home from work. It’s kind of amazing to see how little you actually bleed most days.

What if I spill my DivaCup everywhere? I don’t have much advice for this, except don’t! It’s really much easier than people think. There’s a little stem at the bottom that you use to pull/pinch the cup to pull it out and empty in the toilet, rinse it in the sink then put it back in. I’ve never had a ‘Carrie’ moment with blood and my DivaCup.

How do you clean it? During my cycle, I just give it a good rinse with hot water in the sink (hot water makes the cup more flexible and easier to insert toM1-M2-BOXES-WEB05202015o). When my cycle ends, after I give it a good cleaning in the sink,  I just put it in boiling water to sterilize it. They now sell a special DivaCup soap called DivaWash, but boiling has always worked for me.

I could go on and on with information and facts, but by this time you’re either interested or you think I’m crazy or gross. There is endless information out there, so I encourage you to do some research and find out what the best option is for you! Your vagina will thank you!

– Chelsea

27 Steps to Being an Awesome Stay-at- Home-Mom

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  1. Wake up before your kids.
  2. Schedule your meals and cook ahead to save time.
  3. Always plan time for your own physical activity.
  4. Have a set routine.
  5. Be sure to have naptime and meals at the same time every day.
  6. Schedule your cleaning and only tackle one chore a day.
  7. Don’t forget to have play dates.
  8. This list is a bunch of crap… Sorry about the click bait.

If you’re a stay at home parent, you’re laughing hysterically at this list because 99% of the time all of those are virtually impossible.

I am so sick of seeing Mommy Blog posts about “How to be a Stay at Home Mom”

10 Things To Ensure You Are A Great Stay At Home Mom

6 Ways To Be A Productive Stay At Home Mom

How To Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

Habits of an Effective Stay At Home Mom

It’s all a bunch of malarkey. You want to know why? Because it looks different for every single mom. Heck, sometimes it looks completely different and it’s a stay at home dad.**gasp** I’m guilty though, because yes, I do click on and read almost all of them. Hoping and praying that somehow this little circus that I got myself into can be more manageable. 210037d0f899f9dc49d3d5edf759ee48.jpgHonestly, I wish I had an answer for all of your stay at home mom questions, but I don’t. I have tips and tricks that have worked for me and my family, but I guarantee that they won’t work for everyone.

What will help is some brutal honesty.

You will never sleep. Like ever. It just doesn’t happen. We get the kids to bed, I try to get some chores done, spend time with my husband, get ready for bed and by the time I am in bed it is 11pm. In two or three hours, my 2 year old will be up wandering the halls asking for her soccer ball or something ridiculous. After getting her back to bed, I lay back down and generally get another 2 hours of sleep because one or both of my little ones are up at 5 AM every day. Every single day. Today it was 4:45…2e2b5526ce131e18a20537f492be2c1a

3 or 4 hours of sleep at night on repeat. My husband works nights,  so sleep is just out of the questions for like, ever. Getting up early for “me time” and to get ready for the day is hilarious.

I have some OCD tendencies but I despise housework. It’s not that I don’t do it. My house is almost always spotless. Especially if we are planning on having company over. I do it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Your chores never go away. It is a constant stream of dishes, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, dusting, washing the floors, cleaning up outside, cleaning up after pets, picking up toys. Your house never gets a break. No one is at work and daycare all day. It is constantly getting filthy. It might not stay that way for long, but you never stop moving. Between chasing kids and picking up toys, you don’t sit down a whole lot. I never understand when people say they love doing dishes or laundry. I never used to hate it, but I do now. It’s a constant chore that never ends. Someone always has something dirty in their room or on them, and there is always a sippy cup or snack cup hidden away that needs washed.87322a94dfae2c55e7abf4b3e472b313

I told my husband the other day that I am an awesome stay at home mom but I suck at being a housewifeThere are many days when I am asked what’s for dinner and the answer is “whatever you can find and you better use paper products.”

It’s hard. Our job is never done.

Your coworkers like to touch you a lot, they are mean sometimes and they don’t do a whole lot of work.  Quietly sitting at the computer typing this post and que the 2 year old that just jumped on my back requesting a “pony ride.”  There is also a 1 year old over in the corner emptying a basket full of freshly folded clothes on top of the very hairy lab.

You’re never alone. There isn’t a lot of explanation for this. It’s simple. You are your children’s everything, so that means they have to be attached to you all day long. Good luck with your coffee break. I just warmed mine up for the 3rd time this morning.6.png

People will ask you if you want help all the time.  Believe it or not, I really can do this. I have two kids and taking them to the store with me is my job. Cleaning my house with kids at home is my job, among many other things.

I will let you spend time with my kids, and sometimes, yes you do need to get out, but I promise you can do chores and things without people helping you all the time. Help is nice. I have been getting better about letting people give me a hand, but just be warned. People have this attitude that because you didn’t wash your hair today that you must need help. It’s annoying and approaching disrespectful. If I was anyone else doing a hard job, would you offer to give me a break because I had a long day? This is a 24/7 job and I am well aware that I signed up for a crazy job.

When are you getting a real job? ……Please ask me that one more time, I dare you. People even say “I just could never stay home and not work, I would have to get a real job and provide for my child.” So when you are at your “real job”, do you hire a real person to watch your kids or a fake one? People are ignorant, say it to your face and want an actual answer, like what they said wasn’t the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. I am warning you now, if you haven’t heard it already, you will.14088651_1756641454589235_5618134841622901219_n.jpg

Being a homebody isn’t a bad thing. I love being at home. Ever heard of yoga pants and leggings?  An endless supply of coffee and baby breath? Keep it coming. I literally have to pump myself up to go out with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. I love spending time with other adults. I know it is important. I just like my kids, my coffee, my Netflix and my blog more than dinner and drinks.

“Affording” to be a stay at home mom isn’t easy. Affording is in quotes because I am still trying to figure that out. I am not a couponer. I shop sales and I shop at Aldi. We don’t do a lot of extra stuff, we are a middle class suburban family and I am happy that way. We don’t always get all the new shiny things we want, and there are times that I look back at a month when we had extra expenses and wonder how we did it. But you make it. I promise that there is always a way that things work out. All we knew was that we could pay all of our bills and a little more on one income, that we wanted the kids to have me 24/7, until they were at least in school and that we were going to make it work.83ec59e162040d21c114725fb105aa92

You will never regret the decision to stay home and it is so much fun! I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Luckily, my dream came true. Such a simple dream. There is never a bad day when I say “if I could just clock out and go to work.” You will never regret getting extra time with your kids. Getting to see every single milestone unfold before your eyes. Teaching them everything and watching them learn from you. It really is a gift. Don’t take it lightly and don’t brag to your working mom friends about it either.

Not everyone can do it. Being a stay at home mom is not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. Working parents are beyond awesome! I have a friend who is an amazing mother but would lose her mind if she was surrounded by her kids all day. Not everyone can do it and that’s completely normal. If you are a working parent, don’t feel bad about working. You spend time and teach your children in your own way, and provide them with awesome caregivers.

Time is fleeting and whatever time we get with our tiny humans is a blessing.

Now that this written  maybe I wrote it for myself, to make me feel better. I don’t know. I just hope that someone can relate and has days where they feel like this is the craziest job on the planet, too. ❤

– Amanda

When you stop bending your life…

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I just saw Bad Moms this week, and I relate on so many levels it’s almost scary…

All of the BurritoBuzz moms know how busy I am. I know that everyone is busy, and that “busy” is just a state of being when you’re in your mid to late twenties. Life doesn’t stop. And if you let it stop, you’re either 1. Dead. 2. Homeless or 3. Eating Doritos on your couch binge watching Stranger Things (no judgement). If you read this blog, you know that I take busy to a whole new level. I work, own a business, write for BB, hike, am a gym rat when time allows and raise the most beautiful, amazing 18 month old (in addition to somehow keeping a clean home). And sometimes, when things come up, I inconvenience my entire daily routine to appease others. I like doing things. If you’ve heard people being termed “do-ers,” that’s me. I can’t sit still. And while I like doing things, because it makes me feel fulfilled, sometimes doing things means bringing unneeded chaos into my life, out of the fear of offending someone by not doing said things.

But here’s the thing: outside of the things I have to do, I shouldn’t be bending my life unless I want to. Things that used to take precedence in my life have been moved to the back burner.

Need a card for a birthday party but it’s nap time? Too bad, we’re going to color a card instead of going to the store. (Aren’t handmade cards better anyway?)

Impromptu friend get together at my toddler’s bedtime? #WholeLottaNope Changing that tiny human’s sleep schedule makes everyone miserable. Want me to go out past 10pm? Also, a big fat no. With a toddler that gets up at 5am-6am, this mama requires sleep.

Want to have a huge family gathering, but it’s hot as shit and there’s nothing he’s going to want to do outside of ripping your breakables from your shelves? Hard pass.

My once feelings of guilt for not always saying “yes” have subsided. Because let’s face it, the sanity of my family is infinitely more important. And while I firmly believe that life shouldn’t stop when you have a baby and that you should integrate them into your typical life happenings, some things are just more hassle than what they’re worth. When life is a constantly revolving door of work, unpaid Uber driving for my toddler and trying to make sure that I at least have enough food in the fridge to feed him, the last thing I should be worrying about is the impression I’m leaving on others when I do or do not participate in events.Moms-funny21.jpg

So, my guilt? Gone.Thankfully, most of my friends and family remember the days of having small children and understand fully that we do what we can, when we can. We try to see everyone and participate in life, but they understand that life happens and that tiny humans are unpredictable. But to the occasional person that forgets these things, or just doesn’t realize how truly exhausting and long the days are, please forgive us. Our lives are ruled by tiny dictators and sometimes a nap for a grumpy toddler trumps the party that we missed.

– Katie

Pic’s (Really Good) Peanut Butter {Review}

Pics-Seriously-Good-Peanut-Butter-300x172I don’t know about the rest of the moms and dads out there, but my household would not survive without peanut butter. I love it, my husband loves it and now my kids love it. We can eat it on pretty much anything! When Burrito Buzz got the chance to sample some peanut butter, I was all about it! I will admit, my family and I prefer JIF and Ppb6eter Pan, but we remained open-minded to Pic’s Peanut Butter, which is gourmet and all natural.

Pic’s (Really Good) Peanut Butter is simply made in New Zealand from only peanuts and less than 1% of salt. It can’t get much better than that! The company uses hi-oleic peanuts from Australia to make the peanut butter. The hi-oleic peanuts are GMO free and according to Pic’s “are resistant to staleness” and “keep their fresh roasted flavor and crunchiness long after ordinary peanuts go tasteless and mushy.” I can attest that even after having it for several weeks, the crunchy is still crunchy! Like the company states on their website, the crunchy version of their peanut butter is not a typical crunchy with big pieces of peanuts. Pic’s crunchy peanut butter is filled with tons of peanut pieces of varying sizes, making it even crunchier!

Although my family and I ate the peanut butter without major complaints, I’m still not 100% sold on Pic’s Peanut Butter. I just don’t think it can replace our not-so-natural peanut butters (JIF especially) in our home. We did give a fair shot and I plan to continue to give it to my kiddos because it is better for them, but I can’t say I would buy it on my own. If you’re a fan of “all natural” nut butters, this one is probably for you!

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Pic’s also features several other nut products on their website (Peanut Slugs, Peanut Oil, Almond Butter and Cashew Butter). Visit their website to purchase your own Pic’s peanut butter or find out how the company got started and why they who they are! I really enjoyed reading about them
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Amazon (Burrito Buzz moms love our Amazon) also sells Pic’s Peanut Butter. You can purchase Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter, Pic’s Smooth Peanut Butter or a variety pack with both!

– Megan

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

Moldy Munchkin & I Are Breaking Up

012096-miracle-sippy-cup-360-pink-lc3_1.jpgIt really is no secret that the Burrito Buzz moms have a love-hate relationship with sippy cups. We try and tell you about the ones we love and the ones that we hate. Sippy cups are part of life with kids. There’s no way to get around it. Either it’s an awesome cup or it leaks and makes you want to smash it into a million little pieces.

A certain company has yet to leave our “hate it” list. Not only do we hate it, this mama bear is pretty furious. I have yet to try a Munchkin sippy cup that didn’t eventually stain a carpet, dump all over my kid or be impossible to clean thoroughly. We have told you guys about it here and here. I knew it was too good when the so called “Miracle Cup” rarely leaked and my toddlers liked it!

THE MOLDY LIDBurritoBuzzMolyCup

I received the 360 Miracle Cup as a “gift” when two of my sound machines both stopped working and it took over a month to get them replaced. I was thankful that even after a pretty rough customer service experience, they were trying to make up for it.

It is a simple cup with only three pieces that you can take apart. There is one piece that you can not take off though. The little rubber ring that gives it a tight seal is not something you can remove. Munchkin-Miracle-360-Degree-10-Oz-Sippy-Cup-Colors-May-Vary-0-6

Well, this evening I was drying it off and noticed little gray spots. The ring is clear and tightly secured to the cup. I never thought to take it off because you can’t. I ran my nail under it try and a little pile of black junk came out. Gross! I literally had to take a steak knife, pry it away and then use another knife to flip it off. The pictures speak for themselves. It is absolutely disgusting and I really hope my child does not get sick from this.BurritoBuzzmoldycupThis is the same lid as above, just the opposite side.

Before Munchkin can give their spiel about how you are supposed to properly clean the cup, like I have seen on other complaints, I will tell you that it is always cleaned promptly and properly. This cup gets rinsed, taken apart and washed after every single use. It doesn’t sit around the house all day, nor does it sit in the sink for days on end. Not only is it washed, but it is also put in the top rack of my dishwasher to get sanitized. Or so I thought…

Parents, please be sure to toss these cups so your littles don’t get sick from them!

Be sure to share with your friends so they can check their cups to!

– Amanda

 

Silikids Silimap Placemat {Review}

The moms here at Burrito Buzz have sampled several products from Silikids over the last several months. You can read about them here – Siliskin Sippy & Straw Cupthe Silibib, and Silicone Bags & Spoons. I was able to sample the Silimap from Silikids which is a folding silicone placemat for kids. I was immediately intrigued by it and knew my 3 year old would be the perfect little person to demo it. She is always asking questions and
81d9PyA56+L._SY679_wanting to try new things, so I was excited to see what she thought of this product. Plus, I knew she would be honest!

The Silimap is a silicone placemat that folds up for easy storing. This placemat is compact once it’s folded (7″x 4.5″x 0.75″), so it can fit into any purse, clutch, or diaper bag for perfect on-the-go usage. It is also great to use at home – we took it outside and used it on our patio table. Another unique feature of the Silimap, is that it can be colored on with washable marker and then wiped clean. So, when your kids are getting restless waiting for their food, they can instead stay busy right on their placemat! The placemat is made of silicone, which keeps it from sliding around and perfect for messy kiddos like mine who are all over the place. 20160715_105458

More perks include:

  • Dishwasher safe – I will admit, I have not tried this with the Silimap. To me, it’s easier just to wash it by hand than have it take up a bunch of room in my dishwasher
  • Available in two colors: clear or “sea” blue and large in size (18″x 14″)
  • Perfect learning tool featuring a geographic map of the United States
  • Can be drawn on with washable markers
  • 100% silicone – making it not a harbor for bacteria, BPA and DEHP free, resistant to high temperatures and hypo-allergenic

I was overall pleased with this product. My only complaint would be that it did not clean up as easily as I thought it would. I will be honest; I’m not certain how “washable” the markers were that my daughter used on it. I ended up soaking the placemat in soapy water and it came clean. My 3 year old really did enjoy being able t5FnjE1uVo color on it. It was perfect for her to use while I was getting her lunch ready and I can teach her about geography in the process – win!

 Check out Silikids to purchase the Silimap for $14.95 and to see their other unique products! You can also purchase the Silimap on Amazon by clicking here: Silikids Silimap.

– Megan

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

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!

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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.**

 

ergoPouch Summer Baby Sleeping Bag {Review}

My little ones never stay covered at night, especially my youngest! He is constantly tossing, turning, and throwing things out of his crib. In the winter, we used a Halo Sleepsack. But for summer, I could not find one that would keep him at the right temperature. More times than I would like, he would wake up soaked in sweat. It was such a struggle.

ergoPouch recently sent me their summer sleeping bag to try out this summer. We have been using it for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it! It’s best for 24C (75f) degrees, making it great for hot summer days and nights.bamboo_sheeting_stripes_900x900_2.jpg

  • Super soft 400+ thread count Organic Cotton sheeting.
  • Stretch inserts in top and side panels allow babies to move freely and sleep in comfort.
  • Double ended zipper for easy nappy access.
  •   Skin-friendly, eco-friendly – no pesticides or chemicals
  •   Highly breathable and antibacterial

This is a very soft sleep bag, it is a super soft sheet-like material giving the perfect layer to cover your baby, but so breathable and luxurious. If your baby still wakes during the night for feedings, then you know how annoying it is to take clothes off to change a diaper. The two way zipper is awesome for diaper changes or just to let your little one have their feet out of they like. Their infant swaddles also have this and makes it awesome for transferring to bouncer or seat safely.

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I found the sizing a little larger than other sleep sacks that I have used. We have the 12-36 month and it was a good 6 inches taller than my 2T little man. It was a little awkward at first, but didn’t really bother him and was still super cute. I have machine washed and dried the sleeping back multiple times and it still looks just like new. It definitely holds up really well as there are no signs of wear and tear.

EPSleepSuitBagDetail.jpgergoPouch offers many products and I will definitely be looking into more of them for my children for this coming winter. Swaddles, sleeping bags, sleep suit bags, sleep accessories, pajamas, and even PJs for mommy!  You can check out all of their awesome products here! Currently, there are some on sale. I know I will definitely will be taking advantage of this sale!

Prices of the sleep sack varies, but is typical for a blanket or sleep sack. The summer sleeping bag is $39.99.twosie_side.jpg

Keep a lookout on Instagram and their Facebook page for regular updates. Right now they are looking for people to try out their new sleeping bag!

I can’t wait for this product to be available in more stores in the US because it is definitely a must for a baby registry!

– 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.**

 

 

 

Family Vacation. What is “vacation”?!?!

1471628573867Merriam Webster defines vacation as “a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel.”

Okay, so we have the first part down. Definitely away from home and business, but definitely not the last few words,”relax”? Not sure I have even figured out what that is yet! You see, as a parent your “work” never goes away. You are always a mommy and a daddy. No matter how much help (in the form of other competent adults to watch your tiny humans) you bring with you, your children ultimately want you and need you!

We have been at the beach down south for 5 days now and my expectation for what our first vacation as a family of four would be has changed drastically!

TODDLERS DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. 

My tiny humans are so confused and out of their element. We are in a huge house with a large portion of our family. They don’t know which way is up, or how to get anywhere. It’s a long walk to get to their snacks and up to their toys in their room. How frustrated would you be if you had no idea where anything was? We are trying as hard as we can to make it feel like home, but that’s pretty impossible in a house double the size of ours.

It’s light out way past their bedtime. Falling asleep has been extremely hard, and they aren’t sleeping through the night because of various unpredictable noises.sleep8.jpg

Thankfully, I am a morning person and I don’t mind getting up at five, but I’m sure the entire house doesn’t want to get up at the arse crack of  dawn to go for a walk. The up side is I have seen more beach sun rises than ever before!

TODDLERS AND HEAT AREN’T FRIENDS. 

“I got my toes in the water, butt in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today.”

Life is definitely good, but your typical vacation habits are just a dream. Babies get hot quickly and then the tantrums start much more easily than they otherwise would. We only spent an hour or two outside at a time for the first few days of vacation.  It is a completely different heat than they are used to in Ohio.

TODDLERS ARE A LOT OF WORK. 6cc5077b7cce3efb033f0b79e148bdc4.jpg

Oh my word. I am a stay at home mom, so I am used to my children around me 24/7, but add in a different location and they were attached to me like white on rice. Go into vacation with the mindset that you will only relax when the munchkins are sleeping. We never stopped worrying or running around with them. We loved every minute of it, but it was work, work, work, work, work, work…

TODDLERS STILL MAKE MESSES.

Okay, so this is obvious, but I still want to mention it. They still get into everything that you don’t want them to get into. There are still toys strewn across the house. And, unless you pack for every single day, then you will be doing laundry. A lot. All the chores you had at home are still there, just more annoying because all you want is to be laying on the beach. Just to lay on the beach for five minutes…

TODDLERS SENSE RELAXATION LIKE ANIMALS SENSE FEAR.

We worked in shifts, attempting to be able to just sit and soak up the sun. It never failed that once one of us settled down in our chair that both children would start screeching like they were dying.1122d00fe61511c76ef0d455707a4abb.jpg

Sand in eyes.

“He touched me.”

Grandparent moved out of sight.

Wrong parent is holding the baby.

Daddy covered his foot with sand. He is dying because said foot is now gone.

Catching birds is hard.

The best one of all, both toddlers get up and go. In different directions.

So, you run to the rescue of whoever was attempting to watch two toddlers alone.

NO ONE ELSE SPEAKS YOUR TODDLER’S LANGUAGE.

Like I said before, we have a ton of family with us that give us breaks from time to time.

All parents know the “toddler language” but unless someone is around your toddler a lot, then you run into conversations like this…

Adult: I know you were trying to relax, but I have no clue what she is asking for and now she wont stop crying!

Me: Okay, bring her out here.

BK#1: mommmaaa  oooseie in yewwooo tup!!!

Me: Good grief kiddo, take a deep breath and tell that to her without fussing.

BK#1: Juice in yellow cup?71775eeec83a20ff87fd0ae41a27e065.jpg

Two year olds are funny fickle little things! Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what they are saying 80% of the time. There are days I just stare at her like she is an alien because the things she is saying definitely doesn’t follow  a language on earth.

We are having a blast on vacation and you should definitely make it happen for your family if you can! Thankfully, all my children will remember are the hours floating in the ocean and lots of alone time with mom and dad, but man oh man, next year I will definitely be going with much lower standards of what family vacation is with young children!

Keep a lookout for more on our family vacation. Tips, tricks, lists, products and how we turned chaos into fun!

❤  Amanda

 

Sashka Co. Bracelet {Review}

Five of the Burrito Buzz Moms received an awesome offer for us each to review a bracelet from Sashka Co. I connected with the company via Twitter because I was intrigued by their adorable bracelets that appeared to be perfect for moms. I personally am not a big jewelry wearer. I have a few nice p13920912_387822378008680_563082164170156136_niece that my husband bought for me, so I always wear the same thing. I never wear anything too flashy or bulky, and I definitely stay away from jewelry that my kiddos could get a hold of and ruin. This bracelet has met all of my expectations!

Sashka Co. is a unique company because their bracelets are handmade, bead by bead, in Nepal. Artisan women work from home for fair wages in hopes to beat poverty through fair trade. The company is focused on empowering women and promoting gender equality.

Even more reasons to love Sashka Co.:

  1. Each bracelet is 100% unique because they’re handmade.
  2. Bracelets are hand crocheted using glass beads and cotton thread. Because of this, the bracelet will simply roll over your hand and form to your wrist for the perfect fit and fit over any size hand.
  3. Sashka Co. offers a lifetime guarantee. With that said, if your bracelet breaks, they replace it! The company also promises an IMG_4211exchange or return if you are not happy with the fit of your bracelet.
  4. They offer a ton of colors and color combinations to go with any outfit.
  5. The bracelet was durable just as I had hoped. My 1 year old pulled on it when it was around my wrist, and not only did it not break, it didn’t seem to get stretched out.
  6. Bracelets are only $13 from Sashka Co.’s website. I think this is more than reasonable, especially because they also offer free shipping! They also have bracelet sets available.

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As a mom of two little toddlers, I think it’s important to feel like I’m put together some days, because most often, I am so far from put together. If a little jewelry will do that, then so be it! This bracelet is dressy enough to add a little flare to any outfit for any occasion, but practical enough to be worn around my little ones. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, and I’m sure my fellow Burrito Buzz Moms will agree! They too love their Sashka Co. bracelets!

13397485_1626017717714673_1888079011_aCheck out Sashka Co. on their website to learn more about their business and to buy some of their beautiful bracelets! Use code LOVE at checkout to buy 3 bracelets and get 3 absolutely free!

Follow Sashka Co. on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 – Megan

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

 

Putting my Career on Hold

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A snapshot of my LinkedIn, where I diligently try to pretend I’m a part of the corporate workforce. I’m part of the mommy workforce, is what this should say
saParenting requires sacrifice, that’s a given. Most often, our sacrifices are merely based on how we prioritize our lives. In my own, the health, happiness, and general well-being of my son is first, followed closely by the health of my relationship with my husband. After those two priorities, my list becomes a little jumbled and perhaps it’s just one giant third category that includes friends, family, our financial state, other various responsibilities, and my career.pt

“Career” seems like a distant word for me now. Families are composed of all varieties: one partner working and the other being stay at home parent, both partners working, single moms, single dads, grandparents responsible for their grandchildren and the list goes on. In our home, my husband and I both worked full-time career-path jobs before I became pregnant. We each graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and quickly moved into the daily white-collar rat race. While I didn’t always enjoy my job, I was moving up. Receiving promotions, raises, perks, more vacation time. There was a reason to work hard, because there was opportunity for growth.

I knew pretty quickly after finding out I was pregnant that I didn’t want my son growing up his first few years with two full-time working parents, if it was at all possible to avoid. And, I also knew that we couldn’t possibly survive on one income, or even 1.5 incomes. We did some intense budgeting for me to go part-time at a new job, cutting out luxuries we had become accustomed like TV, which I actually don’t miss all that much. For me, I knew that working part time was ideal. I could raise my son, enjoy the early years teaching him, be able to take him to doctor’s appointments and play dates, and know that he wasn’t in daycare 50 hours a week.

But, the sacrifice that came with that was stifling. Thankfully, raising my child has indefinitely been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done, but my lack of fulfillment in my job was unexpected. I now work part-time as an office manager at a local nonprofit. There is little extrinsic, or even intrinsic, value to my job. I bust ass and get things done, and my days usually go quickly because I’m busy. But there is no upward mobility. No ladder to the next position. No career advances.

It’s humbling. Really. I’ve found that I stress less at my current position because I’m not in competition with the person in the next office over for the next raise. It’s just me, doing my best every day, fully knowing that there is no benefit to doing my best.fallingSo am I falling behind?

Once my son heads off to school, I plan on heading back into the workforce full-time. Will I be overwhelmed? Will I be the old person that knows nothing? Will I be able to get a job? Will I remember my workplace skills?

These questions nag at me every so often. When I look at my LinkedIn profile and realize that it should really read “great at super quick diaper changes” or “professional at neutralizing toddler tantrums”… it makes me wonder if I should have a LinkedIn profile at all.regrets

But here’s the thing:

I will never, not once, regret raising my son. It will not happen.

Jobs will come and go. The corporate rat race will continue indefinitely.

My son will only be little once. I count myself fortunate to be able to swing our finances in a way that I’m able to be part-time, because I do realize that this is a blessing that many families couldn’t possibly consider doing.

ImportantSo for now, I will treasure every day with my toddler. I’ll worry less about the corporate world. I’ll keep my connections and continue networking. And when the day comes that I head back into the workforce, I’ll face it proud with the years that I’ve just spent raising a little boy. Because my husband and I both know, raising our child is the most important job there is.

And to my wonderful, amazing husband that does work full-time making it possible for me to be part-time, I love you and appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. 

As an aside, if you’re wondering what the value of a stay-at-home mom is, check out this articleKT

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

Made by Mary: Personalized Jewelry {Review}

FullSizeRender (87)Like most moms and grandmothers, I love showing off my little ones and the fact that I am a mother. I want the whole world to know that I am the mom of two of the sweetest, most beautiful girls on the planet. Of course I plaster their cute little faces all over my Instagram and Facebook pages and 99% of my Snapchat story is my four month old laughing and smiling as she’s starting to play with toys and my almost four year old running around the house being crazy. But my favorite, most personal way to honor my girls and to let everyone know they’re my world is personalized jewelry. I love jewelry as it is, but make it personal and it’s everything. I’ve been following Made by Mary on Instagram for quite some tiFullSizeRender (81)me now and finally pulled the trigger and reached out to collaborate on a review. I am so glad I did! I am beyond excited to share Mary’s beautiful personalized jewelry with our readers!

Mary Moody started Made by Mary as an outlet to cope with postpartum depression. She creates gorgeous metal stamped, minimalistic and meaningful pieces of jewelry that are perfect for parents, grandparents, caregivers or anyone who loves someone so much that they want to wear their name around their neck every single day! The jewelry is so simple and elegant! Made by Mary has several different styles of necklaces and bracelets to choose from, available in gold (14k gold filled), silver (sterling) or rose gold (14k gold filled). Necklaces have 3 different chain length options – 17 inches, 18 inches and 19 inches, perfect lengths to suit everyone. Personalization is available in three different fonts: Typewriter, Script, and Ariel and each front is available in upper and lowercase. Made by Mary has so many different types of necklaces to personalize, like their bar necklaces (my personal favorite) that can be personalized with names, dates, roman numerals, the sky’s the limit! FullSizeRender (88)You can also choose the bar length – 1.25, 1.5 and 1.75 inches long. There are also round and square charms that can be personalized with letters, dates or initials and there’s a cute little state charm, too! Seriously, there’s just too much to list, you have to check out Made by Mary’s Etsy shop to see all of the necklaces and combinations!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to their bracelets as well. Made by Mary bracelets are available for little wrists, too, so your little one can match you! They even have a Mama + Mini Duo! If you or a loved one has a medical conditioFullSizeRender (83)n (allergy, diabetes,ect.), gorgeous Medical ID bracelets are also available to personalize! Bracelets chains are available from 5 to 7 inches, making them a perfect fit for everyone.

I was sent an 18 inch silver bar ‘Mama” necklace (also available in “Grandma”) and the chain hit exactly where I wanted it to! It’s so delicate and simple, the perfect statement piece to let everyone know I am the Mama to my two little girls. I have sensitive skin when it comes to jewelry and this silver is not irritating at all, I am so thankful! I give Made by Mary jewelry a 5 out of 5 stars! I will definitely be a returning customer, not only for myself, but for gifts for family and friends! I know the moms and grandmas in my life will love Mary’s gorgeous handmade jewelry as much as I do!

Made by Mary is offering 15% off exclusively for BurritoBuzz readers! Use code BUZZ15 at checkout when you shop!

Be sure to follow Made by Mary on Instagram and visit her Etsy shop!

– Casey

**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.**

Stop trying to one-up the struggle…

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The comparison of struggle. Sometimes, it seems like parents are wanting to complain in a way that makes it seem like one person has it worse than the other. Like, “oh, your baby doesn’t sleep? Well, my baby is teething horribly which is so much worse.”

But I’ve said it before, where’s the empathy?

*Disclaimer: I’m addicted to ecards, which I’ll be using in abundance in this post.*

Why can’t one person’s struggle be acknowledged instead of mulled over and one-upped by another person’s struggle? babbleoneupper.png

And here’s the truth: we all have some kind of struggle going on. Whether we talk about it openly or not.

Even then, sometime I’ll just be in conversation and talking about a difficult phase we’ve been going through. Right now we’re dealing with some major toddler tantrums. Instead of saying “oh, I remember those days!” or “this too shall pass” or “it gets easier” or something uplifting, I often hear things like “he’ll be worse when he’s two!” “wait until he talks more…” blah blah blah.

When our son didn’t sleep, like at all, for 9 months, I got so much advice on things we should be doing. Like hello, I don’t enjoy being sleep deprived. If you think I hadn’t already tried those things, you are very wrong.

images.pngSo here’s what I’m getting at: it’s okay to identify and acknowledge someone else’s struggle without being upset that they aren’t facing your exact struggle. Sometimes we all just need to talk about what’s going on to get through the day.

A comparison I’ve heard recently: If you break your leg, you might scream that you’re in pain. In response, someone says to you “every bone in my body is broken!” But here’s the thing, the person with the broken leg is still in pain, whether or not it’s the same pain that you have or to the extent that you have it. It doesn’t make their issue any less of an issue.

This idea goes far beyond just parenting, but I’ve never before experienced such negativity and lack of compassion and empathy as I have since becoming a parent. 1338588890104_3927523.png

When someone takes the time to tell me their struggle these days, I try diligently to get on their level, to show that I care about their difficulties. And it’s impossible to always say the right thing, but I think that if we all try just a little harder to empathize we’ll be in much better shape. Our relationships will be stronger indefinitely.

– Katie

MAM Pacifiers & Pacifier Wipes {Review}

I received the MAM pacifiers and pacifier wipes several weeks ago and so far so good! Two more great products from MAM! 61Zmb1yo73L._SY679_

Both of my kids have been “binky babies,” so I was kind of anxious to see if my nearly one year old (at the time) would take to a new brand of pacifier. Since birth, we have pretty much stuck to using the AVENT Freeflow Pacifier. I also used them for my daughter when she was younger. I never really shopped around or tried different ones, but these pacifiers seemed to work with my kids, so I stuck with them.

The MAM pacifiers I received are very similar. My son honestly didn’t miss a beat when I swapped his usual soother for the new ones – that’s a huge plus! Now, I do know that some kids are more particular about certain products, so I think it’s important to note that my kids really haven’t been picky when it comes to pacifiers, teethers, bottles, etc. The specific MAM pacifier I reviewed is the Glow in the Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier 6+ months.

Here are some of its key features:

1. It glows in the dark – This is great! I thought this feature wouldn’t be that big of a deal to me, and41WSjIl2Q6L then I saw how well it glowed in the crib in the dark room at night. I was immediately sold. It was so much easier to find! And I didn’t wake my little one in the process! The only part that glows in the dark is the portion directly opposite the nipple, not the entire shield.

2. Silicone nipple – The pacifier my little guy was used to was also silicone. I’m sure this made the transition easier for him. The silicone is said to feel “familiar, like mom,” so I thought this was important for my breastfed babies.

332aef0d-2b9a-4d61-b07d-a520ab74b815.JPG._CB322275667__SL300__3. Symmetrical nipple is also “anti-slip”. I like that there isn’t a right or wrong side with these pacifiers. It just makes it more convenient and easier for babies to put their binkies in their mouth independently. It is also better for their incoming teeth. I honestly didn’t notice any differences with the “anti-slip.” You might notice this more with younger babies.

4. They’re BPA Free!

 5. There are small openings on the curved pacifier shield. This is important to me because the holes allow air to circulate and my little guy’s skin to breathe better. I don’t have to worry about him getting rashy or his skin breaking down and he is comfortable with the curved shape!
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6. MAM offers two sizes, 0-6 month and the 6+ month size pacifier to accommodate growing babies and their development.

7. $5.99 for a 2-pack on Amazon – you can’t beat the price! These pacifiers last and are of good quality. Perfect registry item or shower gift. Buy yours here: MAM Glow in the Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier

To go along with my new pacifiers, I also reviewed MAM’s Pacifier Wipes. These were not a product that I was super accustomed to using. I’m a Mom who finds a bathroom and rinses off her baby supplies or applies the 5-second rule when things get dropped. I will admit, these were nice to have in a bind or on-the–go and their small size (each wipe is 4”x6”) made them even more convenient. I still would not consider them a “must- have.”  40 wipes come in the package and they are advertised as not containing any harsh chemicals and also as being non-toxic. They contain no alcohol, dyes, or parabens. To me, those are important things, especially when I’m wiping off items my kids are going to put61e41kfDQ3L._SX522_ right back in their mouths. I wasn’t crazy about the scent. It wasn’t overpowering, it was just unpleasant to me. You could use these to clean any baby item – teethers, toys, pacifiers, etc. You can purchase MAM Pacifier wipes on Amazon for $3.99 here: MAM Pacifier Wipes

Overall, I would give both products great ratings. My son adapted to the pacifier right away, which I think speaks volumes. Even though I wouldn’t use the wipes on a daily basis, they are smart and convenient to use, especially in a pinch.

Be sure to take a minute to visit MAM’s website to check out more of their innovative, and award-winning products for every stage of baby that they have been developing for the last 40 years!

You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

– Megan

**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.**

 

 

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

 

 

Considering Amazon Prime? Read This…

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Anyone that knows me will tell you: I have a severe Amazon Prime addiction.

But let me break it down for you:

I work.

I run a photography business.

I write for this blog.

I have a toddler.

I need sleep.

Basically, after having my son, I was really stressing about constant trips to the store for baby essentials. I already head to the store about once a week and any more than that is just a burden to try to fit into our crazy, hectic lives.mom_landing_benefit_exclusive-deals._CB286282049_

Enter Amazon Prime.

Prime allows me to have mom brain. What do I mean by that? When I forget diapers, wipes, food, etc. I’m able to quickly hop on to my Amazon App on my iPhone and order what I forgot. No extra trips to the store. Free shipping. Two day delivery. Better yet, I’ve put half of my baby essentials on subscription, so I get them delivered mid-month every month. I never go without! I have a perfect supply of what I need.

On that note, you can bet that I’m that person with a stack of Prime packages almost daily. I swear, I’m not ordering stuff for myself. It’s usually just boxes of basics, but it saves me time and sanity. As the mom of a toddler, I can’t ask for much more. Prime has been a total lifesaver for our family. The $99 fee per year is far less than what I’d pay in shipping over the coursescreen-shot-2016-04-26-at-11-48-54-am of a year if I ordered from another store.

And, it gets better. Prime members get deals. 20% off diapers. Exclusive coupons. Baby registry benefits. Streaming of TV shows and movies. Streaming of all kinds of music. It’s a serious deal. Thanks to Amazon Family for saving me a few brain cells.

Want to start your free 30 day trial today? Here you go!
Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial

– Katie

A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Kirstyn