I'll Always Hold Your Hand

My baby girl is already a month old, time is flying by as the days pass me by without a real end.  I am always sleepless, tired, and it all seems like a dream..a wonderful dream. 
But the best part, it isn't a dream. :)
 From now until forever I will always hold your hand my little girl, mommy loves you!
 
 
 
 

Milk Anytime Anywhere! #MilkUnleashed


When I think milk, I honestly think about how much I love it, but also how allergic my son is to it.  We have become very strict with allowing food he's allergic to entering our home, so we don't allow milk in our fridge anymore because of obvious dangers now that he is older.  So why am a fan of shelf safe milk?  I can count on my family coming over with their shelf safe milk in their bags for the little ones in our family and keeping it in their.  Our home stays safe.  We all know how important it is to have milk in our diet, personally for me I thought I had to have some milk in my diet while I was pregnant and now that I am exclusively nursing so I was able to when I was out of our home.  Milk on the go that I don't open or drink at home is great convenience. 
 
Milk was always a huge part of my diet growing up, and now considered a treat for me these days.  Shelf safe milk makes getting nutrients that everyone needs easy. One carton of shelf safe milk has eight grams of protein and nine essential nutrients – calcium, A, D and B12, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin and zinc. You might be wondering what exactly is shelf safe milk?  Shelf safe milk is real milk with no additives or preservatives that requires no refrigeration until it’s opened. Just Grade A wholesome milk. Makes it convenient to have milk anytime, anywhere.
 
For us, family can come over with their shelf safe milk in their bags for the little ones, and my home stays safe for my son.  For those without allergies, it is perfect for lunchboxes, diaper bags and purses, for on-the-go enjoyment. You can even freeze the single serving packages the night before and next morning toss it in your bag to have later as a healthy drink..for yourself or your kids. I love buying in bulk and I'd defintely recommend buying shelf safe milk in bulk to have on your shelf, in your pantry, or anywhere in your home.  We always have dairy free milk in our pantry for our son, it is very convenient to not have to store it in the fridge.  You save money, and you save many trips to the store.  Also having healthy options around keeps the kids healthy. 
 
"It’s a hassle-free, convenient way to enjoy milk. It’s milk, unleashed." 
 
Learn more about Milk Unleashed by following them on twitter, and becoming a fan on facebook.  You can find out where to buy here


 




*This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Milk Unleashed blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here. 

Let the Gift Finder Help You Get the Pefect Gift from NOVICA #Giveaway

You've heard about Novica before, one of the leading fair trade artisan websites that works with National Geographic that give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market.  I'm excited to share another giveaway with you!  In celebration of their new way to search on their site, you will be able to win a $40 gift certificate to Novica just in time for the holiday shopping you still need to finish up! 
Novica has just about everything you may want, all unique and great products but because of the many options , browsing around could get lost or overwhelmed quickly so they've solved the problem with a new Gift Finder.  Many easy ways to narrow your search for the perfect gift, you'll be pointed to exactly where you want to be.  Whether you are looking for a Romantic Gift for Her, Cooking Gifts for the Animal Lover Man, or Handbag Gifts for the Adventurer the search engine will help you narrow it down.  Much like the items you will find at Novica, the categories can get real specific and unique to every individual. 

Use the Rafflecopter below for your easy entries! :)  Giveaway is live for seven days, and gift code expires 12/31/12.  Good Luck!!
 


*I received a gift code for purpose of review, all opinions are my own. No other compensation was provided.

Hot Holiday Picks - HEXBUG Warriors Battle Arena Review

I have been very busy at home lately as many of you know.  First occupied by pregnancy, now with my newborn and toddler, my days have no end and have been very much taken over.  The holiday season is upon us, and I am finally getting decorations up at home and getting into our Holiday Hot Picks to share with you all this year. 

First up, Hexbug Warriors!  You are probably familiar with Hexbugs, but have you heard of Hexbug Warriors yet?  My son already loved the bugs, the Nano Hexbug, but his new favorite are the warriors.  We got to try out the Hexbug Warriors Battle Arena recently, and all the kids in the family can't get enough.  A huge hit for all ages around here, all the parents want to check them out, and kids can't get stop having little battles as they customize each little robot to their liking.

Small enough that my son just grabs and takes it everywhere to have mini battles with his cousins, and a perfect toy that keeps me happy as it doesn't take up much space at home.  The arena fits right in my purse, a great toy on the go as well.  The Battle Arena comes with two warriors, two expandable arena pieces that are compatible with battle stadiums, and three standoffs that hold the arena in place.  The warriors come with little pieces- mechanical weapons and armor that are interchangeable so every child can customize to their liking.  Kids seem to love friendly competition and being able to make things their own, the Hexbug Warriors feeds both those cravings! 
 
The warriors have two modes, one training mode where they never stop unless you stop them, and the match mode.  During match mode each warrior has a shock sensor that shows colors from green to yellow to red and blinks more rapidly as its health decreases, and whichever little robot turns off first loses.  My son and his cousin played with it nonstop the day they first tried it out, only reason they momentarily stopped was because the  batteries needed replacing surprisingly quickly.  You can collect more warriors, as well as expand your arena into a stadium, as I said everyone loves it here in our home, specially my son- which is why we recommend the HEXBUG Warriors Battle Arena as one of our Holiday Hot Picks this year!  My son will be getting another little warrior or two in his stocking this year for being such a great big brother..shhhhh!!  Is there someone in your life that might love this?  :)  
 



*I received this product for the purpose of review, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own. 




I CAN do it! I can do it right?! ----- I did it!!!

I gave birth to my son four and a half years ago without the help of pain medications, so the plan was always to try that again..even though now that I knew what to expect I was terrified

I started to get contractions Saturday morning, but far enough apart that I still went about my day with my family.  I still felt like I would never go into labor, and still wasn't sure how it would happen.  After a long day at a shopping center, and spending what felt like hours in the Apple store trying to figure out issues I was having with my MacBook the contractions only got closer and stronger, but again still bearable.  While we were grabbing dinner at Whole Foods that evening, I realized the contractions got really intense and I suddenly had no appetite.  I sat there with my eyes closed, and a slight frown as I prepared for any more contractions.  It took one more strong contraction to realize we needed to get home, and possibly prepare for going into real labor soon.

By the time we arrived home the contractions continued to come, but with no real rhythm yet so we stayed put.  As the night went on, the contractions were definitely getting stronger and closer so I called my family over to come over..just in case.  My family came over, but nothing seemed to be progressing while everyone was awake so everyone headed to bed.  I on the other hand stayed awake timing contractions, by 8 AM I finally started getting some kind of a pattern, contractions came every ten minutes lasting around a minute until 2 PM..then it all went away.  I called my midwife concerned and confused, exhausted, only to have her tell me "Well if contractions stopped, you aren't in labor yet."  I hung up the phone to finally relax since contractions literally just stopped, only to feel like I hadn't felt my baby girl move in a long while.  Something felt off, maybe I was just tired and really confused, but I was concerned.  Decided to head to the hospital and let them know about my baby's movement. 

When I arrived at the hospital about a half an hour later, my contractions came back but again with no real pattern.  They checked my baby, and after a few routine checks said my water had been ruptured so I had to be admitted for labor and delivery.  After all those hours of contractions, I was only at 2cm dilated.  I had to take pills to get induced, "to help move things along" as they said.  My contractions were already really coming along strong by the time I took the pills only to get more painful.  After hours and hours of contractions coming closer together, and stronger- about every minute.  I screamed when I could for someone to check on how things were coming along.  They checked and at about 8PM I was 7 cm, and they had to break my water as it was holding baby from moving down as they said.  After that things came along insanely fast and painful.  By the way, I did all these hours without any medications to help with the pain so at this point I was screaming and just about dying in pain.  After they had briefed me on my options and the possible side effects, I punked out and decided to stick with no meds like I did with my son.  My baby girl was born at 9:16 PM on Sunday November 18.  I held her in my arms and thought how everything was all worth it and smiled.  Just thinking of that very moment, it's a moment I will always remember.   

Did I mention that before the last hour, I was singing songs the whole time every time contractions came along.  I kept thinking mind over physical pain, and I have to say it helped.  I pictured my little boy singing, and replayed how he did a little happy dance in the morning on the bed when I told him that the baby might come out today.  I even played a little recording of him singing that morning during labor.  I cried, screamed, laughed, and all of the above as I said over and over again that "I can do it!" followed by "I could do it right?!"

Second time around was very different, they weren't kidding when they said "every pregnancy is different" because everything was different and very special in it's own way.  Tonight I am up watching the sun come up for the third week since her birth, a happy mom of two little blessings.  I am sleepless, tired and very much exhausted but can't help but smile.  Pregnancy isn't easy, giving birth is far from it, and raising our children can be challenging but in the end- all worth it...  I am so unbelievably in love with my little family, and enjoying every MOMent of it!  <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">      

 

Fearing Labor at 39 Weeks Pregnant

So it's right near my expected due date, and I find myself anxious to get baby out already...  Then the never ending questions of labor takes over as I roll around in bed trying to find the non existent comfortable way to lie there and ponder.

How will it be like this time around I keep worrying.  To think back, the first time seems much easier.  I didn't have to worry about when it happened, or if I will I be alone.  If I was, I'd deal with it, but this time I think about who can show up fastest to watch my son.  Then I can't help but think how it'll be if one person makes it to watch my son, and I go through it alone.  I want to whine, and say "I need someone to hold my hand!"  I didn't know what to really expect the first time around, but now that I do I am terrified.  As I type right now, my body aches, my head hurts, I feel exhausted and I never run to meds but I feel I need something to help me sleep.  So how will I endure labor pain this time around? 

With my son, I felt contractions from around seven in the evening that closer and closer as the night progressed.  I waited out until the contractions were strong enough and far apart before my husband and I took the quick five minute drive to the hospital.  It was four AM by that time, and the midwife told me "if you made it this far, you don't need any meds, the worst is over."  Was she kidding me?!  I was shocked while I looked at her in pain but relieved.  Soon after realizing contractions were only getting stronger and harder to deal with.  Once they broke my water, I blacked out - not entirely, but the pain was out of this world.  I screamed for my mom the whole time, but you should know my mom passed away when I was a teenager years ago.  I eventually begged for the epidural, they had me waiting a long process until the person that does them makes her way to me.  First I needed to sign the consent, then the IV needed to go in, all while I was in full on active labor- not even able to fully open my eyes.  I was sure they were all lying to me, that they just delayed the process so I can just get through it, after all I made it that far.  Maybe they did lie to me, but in the end I was thankful for having gone through it all natural..but in the end I was, the very end.  From four to ten, my son was born shortly after ten AM.  They kept telling me they see the head, and I kept saying "what a bunch of liars" just trying to make me feel better, but soon enough he popped out. 

So here I am, I've gone through it once already with no epidural and I plan to give that another try.  After all my mom and many women did it, why can't I..again.  When I had my molar pregnancy and had to have the D&C, my body took forever to recover from the meds they gave me to fall asleep- that alone tells me go natural.  I don't want to imagine how an epidural might make me feel, so if giving birth is so natural, well why not endure the pain and go through it all natural.  YES..I am clearly trying to talk myself calm right now.

I haven't met anyone personally that gave birth without an epidural yet, but they all say "it didn't work, I still felt the pain" I can't help but respond "imagine what you might have felt if you didn't have it."  Like many, I want to catnap during labor, and have a calm delivery experience but I can't help but want to do it natural again.  I hope I can get through it this time.  The plan is to stay med-free, that's the plan.  Plans do change, perhaps I'll scream for the epidural again and still get through it without?  So many things to worry about this time around, I can't help but think about my little boy in the waiting area and then at home waiting for me us to come home.

Nothing like getting my fears out hearing from other moms who've all done it, what's your birth story like?  Any words of wisdom for me before my day comes?  I've technically "been there done that" but that makes me fear more.     

   

Stretch Marks - Did You Get Them?

Here I am back again, focusing on pregnancy, I was sure I said all that I wanted to but here I am still waiting for baby to come feeling more uncomfortable by day. 

Topic today, did you get stretch marks?  I was sure we all did, as I remember my mom had them but my sister got pregnant years before I did and had none.  She swears it was because she was good about putting creams, but I say it's all in the skin type.  So remembering her awesome experience, when I got pregnant with my son, I started swimming in all the "belly butters" I could find from the very beginning.  Only difference, I still had tons of stretch marks that appeared right in the end of my pregnancy.

This time again..I've been applying all the stretch marks prevention/healing creams every time I step into my bedroom, all day long.  I figure it'll happen anyway so I wasn't as passionate about it from the beginning.  So this time it's because the reminder of my skin ripping is there as my skin itches, and I look down only to see another wonderful pink line appear.  I accidentally scratched my belly on a corner of a table the other day, it didn't hurt much, but even that turned into a stretch mark going sideways.  Makes me sad because I know how it'll turn out eventually as I know how the stretch marks from when I had my son turned out.  They are full on scars that have faded, but nonetheless scars still visible.    What's more depressing the second time around is that the new stretch marks are appearing around the old scars that remain, what seems like the slowly taking over my lower belly. 

My sister thinks it's because I didn't apply enough cream, and swears that only reason our mom had them was because they didn't have the kind of creams back then like they do now.  Obviously, I'm sticking to saying it's all in your skin type, because I know I bathed in all those creams-same ones she used. 

So here comes the question, what's your take on stretch marks?  Did you get them?  What did/didn't you do?  

I Get It Now - Pregnancy

Something very new to me this pregnancy, I have been extra fragile then I remember being with my son.  I was out for dinner when my first contractions came in with him at a few days short of 40 weeks, but here I am at 38 weeks at home feeling like I have to take it easy to keep baby in cooking in the oven for the right time. 

If I don't take it easy and make sure to rest, I get painful cramps - what feels like painful contractions, but they go away once I rest long enough.  Either way I don't want to cause the baby to come early, although I'm not as concerned as I was before now that baby is considered full term.

But what do I get now?

I get why I have read/heard women complain about wanting baby out already, becuase it is getting difficult to function.  If I bend down to pick up a toy, I feel the burn of heartburn getting stronger, and the pressure and weight of my belly makes it so hard to bend down.  I start of light on my feet, but it doesn't take many steps for me to start waddling instead.  My feet or back scream for relief if I'm on my feet too long, even if it's just standing in the kitchen.  My poor belly has bumped into everything possible, it has sees so much action, it can get it's own show of titled "Adventures of the Belly Bump," the first part of me to get in and out everywhere I go.  Stained while eating, wet while washing dishes, or even knocking things over with every turn.    

I know that I will soon be saying how fast time flies, and will find myself missing being pregnant so I'm not screaming "let it end" like many, but I do get it now.  So moms to be out there, I hear you out there and I get it, because I do find myself, specially in the evenings, unbelievably uncomfortable.  But I'm still treasuring every moment of it all.  The challenges will continue as I venture to start breastfeeding again, the healing process after delivery, and I have started to worry about losing weight as well...  Aren't the worries for a mom always endless?!  Not to mention being extremely nervous about giving birth..again this time, seems scarier now that I know what to expect, but I pray it all works out well.           

So in the meantime I'll be taking it easy and the next time I speak of being pregnant, it'll probably be me missing being pregnant but happily holding my baby girl in my arms. I'll consider this a wrap up of my pregnancy since I am about two weeks away from my expected due date and a huge update from when I announced my pregnancy in fear of what tomorrow will bring. Thanks to all those have been so supportive, and made these past few months enjoyable.

      

Just Weeks Away - Pregnancy Update

Life's gotten extra busy and I find my self simply unable to stay up as I usually do to do my writing.  I'm very near the end of my pregnancy now, at 38 weeks, grateful to have made it this far without any major issues.  Many times I opened up a screen and started writing to update you all, only to get distracted or fall asleep.  Here's a piece from about two months ago that I started writing:

"I'm so close to my due date now, but I finally have a bump that's a full pregnant belly.  I was feeling all "in between" when I tried to get dressed, struggling to be comfortable in clothes for a long time it seems.  I take a while before I really start to show, it was the same with my son the first time around.

I have enjoyed shopping for clothes that go with my bump, and have enjoyed every little movement I feel from my little girl.  Most days I just wake up with a smile.

I have heartburn 24/7, my back hurts, my feet swell up if I'm on my feet too much, the symptoms are endless, but still I can't help but feel so blessed."

I still feel the same way, except that in the last two weeks I have grown from "Oh I love my bump" to "wow I'm so huge I can barely walk."  It's been amusing for everyone to giggle at me rolling out of bed, breathing hard just getting up and around.  Picking up toys or anything fallen on the floor has become a challenge, my son has been my little helper to make my days better.  I've been dealing with heartburn by drinking a few sips of hot milk, and chewing gum-eating small meals all throughout the day also helps. 

The baby twirls have obviously stopped, but have turned into full on kicks.  Subtle now since there isn't much space, but I still get strong ones here and there right into my ribs.  My little girl gets hiccups that rock my world, and as uncomfortable as it does get sometimes, I can't help but picture her with her hiccups and get all giddy about it. 

My back hurts so much lately, not even lying down helps.  Lying on my left is best, but I find myself on my right allot at night, and directly on my back isn't really an option.  So what has helped me?  What my family calls "my nest" has been my best friend this whole 38 weeks.  It's a pregnancy pillow by Today's Mom that I received and although it takes up allot of space on our bed, it gives me the proper support. 

Now that I'm very near the end I have starting getting stretch marks, sadly on addition to the ones that were there from my son the first time around.  My conclusion with stretch marks is that it all depends on your skin type.  I have bathed in all the creams and lotions to help prevent stretch marks both times, and yet I still got them, but I still would like to think it has helped prevent more damage. 

All that's left for me is to enjoy my days with my baby boy before he becomes a big brother, and get last minute things ready for our baby girl.  It has definitely been a rough month, from the day I tripped and fell giving everyone a scare crossing the street to storm Sandy coming for a rough visit.  Very grateful for everyday we are here and safe, mother nature has given us a big shake recently, prayers continue to go out to those affected. 

Ring a Ding Ding at The New Victory Theatre #NYC #NewVic

Living in the city used to be so much fun for me when I wasn't a mom, and when everything wasn't about my family.  It can get hectic for family life, and I find myself often wanting to move away and live away from the busy streets and hustle and bustle of it all.  But then there's days I realize how much the city actually has to offer families.  With a little research, every week and weekend you will always find something from so many programs for kids, events geared for families, to wonderful plays for kids making New York City a wonderfully diverse cultural learning ground for children to grow up in.  A few weekends ago my family and I went to The New Victory Theatre located just steps away from the 42nd Street Times Square stations, to see Oily Cart's Ring a Ding Ding!  An incredibly unique play geared for children 3-5 years old.  My son who is now four was mesmerized the whole time, and I was once again reminded of how much the city has to offer, not just for the single gal, but for families as well.
Getting to The New Victory Theater couldn't be more convenient with so many trains going to Times Square, and visit downtown is always a fun one with so much to see all around.  I like not knowing what to expect when I go see plays, so I didn't read any reviews so I don't spoil our experience.  I read general info about it so I get an idea, and confirm that it is suitable.  With that in mind I don't want to spoil any surprises for you with this review so I'll stay away from detailed specifics, but I will start by telling you I recommend this show sooo much for families! 
 
My son enjoyed it every moment of it, it felt like an interactive unique story telling class/play, it was an experience for everyone.  I smiled the whole time watching the many little faces wide eyed as they stared on to every word, listened to every sound, and seemed literally at the edge of their seats.  My husband and I loved the attention to detail the writer and director Tim Web and designer Claire de Loon put into this play.  My husband pointed out how incredibly crafty it all was before I stopped to notice, props used all were constructed with recycled and re purposed materials from oil cans, soda lids, to garden hoses, a must see for yourself. 
An experience for little ones from the very beginning to the end.  They'll start with simple paper crafting, to ringing bells, jumping through hoops with bells, to being part of the play the whole time as they'll have a role as well (I'll keep that a surprise for you to find out).  Simple yet captivating, intriguing, fun for the whole family, nothing like we've experienced before!  My son loved it so much, after 55 minutes of play time with no imtermission he wasn't ready to leave, making another circle through the hoops right before we were able to say "bye" to the actors in the play.  None of the other children were eager to leave either as could be expected from any little one, but not during Ring a Ding Ding.  They all seemed like they could stay longer, adorable sight to see all around the room as they all reacted, smiled and joined in.  Definitely not just a show, an experience that your child will be a part of, interactive fun triggering many of their senses.  General admission is only $20, well worth the experience, specially weighing out how much it is for other family "fun" with our children could be these days, like sitting through a movie at the movies.  No comparison there, but price wise well worth every penny, so go now while the show is still running.  Ring a Ding Ding runs until November 11th at the New Victory Theater, tickets can be purchased here on their site, or by calling 646-223-3010. 

I'm also excited to share with you a 20% discount code to another great production MOJO, running now through November 4th at the New Victory Theater.  Use code MDMojo3412 at checkout. 


Many thanks to Mama Drama for the opportunity to experience this with my family and introduction to all that The New Victory Theater has to offer! 






*Tickets were provided by Mama Drama.  All opinions are a 100% my own.


   
 

Get Prepared for National Disasters - Zippo Fire Starter Kit Giveaway

September was National Disaster Preparedness Month, but really it's should be every month.  We should all be aware of being prepared for disasters of all types.  Natural disasters such as earthquakes, mud slide, hurricane or power outage from a severe thunderstorm, disasters can happen any time and it's so important for families to know how to be prepared.

One simple thing a family can do is have an emergency plan, and emergency items on hand just in case.  We have canned food, many food allergy friendly food products that are shelf stable which can be hard to get a hold of in case of an emergency, tons of water, and have a good amount of first aid items including many of my sons medicines.

Some items you should include in your household emergency kit:

  •  Water (one gallon per person per day)
  •  Food (ready to eat or requiring minimal water)
  • First aid kit and any special needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities
  •  Several reliable sources of fire
  • Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
  • Plates, utensils, and other eating supplies
  • A copy of important documents & phone numbers
  • Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member
  • Flashlight and tons of batteries
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
  • Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
  • Plastic sheeting, duct tape and a utility knife for covering broken windows
  • Blankets/ Sleeping bags
  • Emergency "bags" should be made for pets with any basic supplies they may need as well
  • Large heavy-duty plastic bags to line a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
Since we are speaking of emergencies, the ability to start a fire could be the difference between life and death.  So I bring you the Emergency Fire Starter Kits from Zippo.  The Emergency Fire Starter has a reliable flint-wheel ignition, comes with 4 tinder sticks, has a water resistant seal, floats in water, and is in a very lightweight case.  Easy to use, doesn't take up space, and an item that's always good to have in your emergency kit.  Zippo also offers Cedar Fire Starter, and a Hand Warmer available for purchase, both handy to have in your emergency "bag."  

I've added the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter to our families emergency items, and now you get to as well.
~*GIVEAWAY*~
 One reader will win one Emergency Fire Starter Kit from Zippo
Enter below using the Rafflecopter



http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/17ff6118/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway








*I received the product for purpose of review, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  Sponsor responsible for delivery of prize.  US only. 


My Son Just Ate My Phone #Parenting

Okay, my son didn't really eat my phone but he broke it..with his teeth!  The screen is cracked and looks like it will continue to fall into pieces if bothered too much.  I'm in complete shock about it.

He was playing a game on it with me, I got up because the house phone rang and he was upset- but nothing more than "noo!" pouting, I told him I'll be right back.  Then as I'm finishing up a quick conversation with my husband, my son comes crying uncontrollably walking back and forth nervous.  I turned to ask him if he was okay, thinking maybe he hit his elbow turning the corner, or tripped or something.  Then he tells me he broke my phone, in tears.  I remained calm, again, thinking he dropped it and the battery fell out making him think the phone was in pieces.

But no.  He tells me he bit it, and now it's broken.  He was in tears, out of breathe crying, so I didn't even yell at him.  In fact, I couldn't even get mad at him.  I made sure his mouth was in one piece and told him to go sit down to think about what he did.  I'm upset this happened, but maybe more confused.  He is a very calm child so why would he go biting into a phone?  Is this even heard of?

How upset should I be with him?  He clearly realizes it was wrong and a mistake.  But I don't want him to just let it go and have him think things like this is okay.  I mostly feel bad, and somehow feel it is all my fault..you know since I am the parent.  I missed the chapter on how to handle situations when your child bites into your phone.  All was fine, just him learning to deal with his emotions I guess...  I needed him to calm down and stop feeling so bad, after all it's just a phone, and so I comforted him.  I can't stand to see him in tears or so upset like that.  My husband and I secretly joked maybe he is smarter than we think, and turned the page around so we end up comforting him, and forget what it was all about at first.      

So far, all I did was sit him down to think about what he did, and calmly explained to him why he was in trouble.  I talked to him about emotions, how it is okay to get upset/sad and so on but to always think before acting on it.  

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  How did you handle it?



 

LEGO Star Wars ZipBin Toy Box & Playmat Review


My son has so many toys that are tiny and I'm personally always looking for fun ways to store them.  The Zip Bin has been great for his little Star Wars Fighter Pods set he loves playing with.  The LEGO Star Wars Zip Bin is great for little LEGO fans, and a great way to store the many pieces.  Also a cute feature,  the real LEGO Star Wars characters pictured on the playmat will be a real hit with a fan, my son loves it.

 Of course the best part about this product is that it is also a playmat not just a cool storage container.  It simply zips open into a cool playmat, and zips right back into a box when your little one is done playing.  Clean up after playtime has been so simple, my 4 year old zips it up and puts his little toys away on his own.  The playmat keeps him occupied, inspiring him to get creative and promoting his imagination as he creates scenes on the mat.

The Zip Bin are also available in different themes, and this one is perfect for fans of Star Wars, specially those that are fans of the LEGO building sets.  Makes for a great gift, parents and children will appreciate.

Find out more by following Neat Oh on twitter and facebook. :)





*I received this product for the purpose of review, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own.

Do Something Nice!

Did you know today is national "Do Something Nice Day"??  What a great excuse to pay attention to what you do daily...

How about intentionally doing something nice for someone random, it could be helping someone with the door, with their bags, or even making someone's day with a compliment.

Do something nice for your family..which I'm sure you already do- that part should be easy!

And lastly do something nice for yourself today, take some time to yourself to take a longer bath, or treat yourself to a sweet treat, whatever it may be! ;)

Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend, "celebrating" Do Something Nice Day, is a great way to start off the weekend right!


Wordless Wednesday - Fall Means...

Apples, apples, and apples!  
We went apple picking a weekend ago, now waiting patiently to go again hoping for a warmer, dryer weekend.  
Apple pies, apple bites, apples dipped in caramel, in chocolate, in sunbutter...  

What's your favorite way to enjoy an apple? 





Tiny Love Gymini My Nature Pals Playmat- Review

My baby girl is almost here, and here I bring you a review of the adorable Tiny Love Gymnini My Nature Pals play mat!  I have been so busy this past week, and going through some tough times..then it's items like this that gets me smiling again.  I have less than 60 days left for my little girl's due date, and between the countdown app on my phone and my fast growing baby bump- it has gotten me picking out items for her arrival.  
What's one essential item for baby?  An activity mat, of course!  This activity mat has lots of great colors, and many great features for child's development.  My toddler had fun discovering one feature after another, so I could only imagine our little girl!  

Adorable characters throughout that rattle, crinkle, squeak and more!  You can add more toys to it, but it already comes with some rattles, a mirror and even a colorful teether.  Also included the baby-activated take-along Lights & Music Caterpillar that definitely adds to the Gymini playtime fun.
A unique smart motion technology makes it possible to move the toys closer to baby as the grow like pictured above.  I wish my sons play mat had that feature, I can see how useful that is for baby just lying down or learning to push up with arms.  This play mat is great for 0-12 months, benefiting gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and baby's senses.

I am so excited to have added this to our items for baby, and recommend it as a must have baby item!  I remember from when my son was a little baby how useful it was to have a great play mat with wonderful features, and I'm so glad I found this one because surely it is a keeper!  Need the perfect baby shower gift?  Expecting yourself?  Have an adorable little one or two in your family?  Whatever your reason this is one item every expecting mother and new parent would love.  It's available for purchase at Tiny Love site as well as many other retailers, also be sure to check out other great products available by Tiny Love including mobiles, soothers, and more baby gear.  Want to find out more, be sure to become a fan of them on facebook here as well!




*I received this item for review, all opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.  

DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular - Our Experience #NYC #NJ

Last night my family and I went to the IZOD Center In East Rutherford, NJ to see the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular.  My husband and I had two very excited kids with us, 4 and 5 years old.  It was "oohs and aahs" from the very beginning, my son was literally at the edge of his seat the whole time.

We saw all that was promised and all that I mentioned, fire breathing dragons flying through the arena, with incredibly realistic features down to eyes that blink and look around.  It was a great time with family, and I highly recommend it.  Older kids will enjoy it as they understand the story-line and just like the adults can truly appreciate the talent that created the dragons and enabled them to come alive.  I had read some reviews that mentioned younger children that were scared of the dragons, but I didn't see any of it myself, and my little ones loved every minute of it!  I was terrified preparing my son and hoping he wouldn't be scared and want to leave early after reading some reviews BUT it was not scary to us at all!  I had two kids jumping and twirling out of the show saying they were "dragon trainers."  All the kids around us with their families seemed to be enjoying the show as well, I wouldn't recommend for very young children but that goes for almost any show.  :)  
         

My son has been running around with a shield and sword talking about dragons all day today!  I really feel like this show is a must see for families all according to the reactions of little ones around us, and my son who can't stop talking about it.  There is still time for you to catch the show with your family this weekend! 

You can purchase tickets ranging from $24.50-$89.50 (plus applicable facility fees and services charges).  Tickets may be purchased through the arena Box Office by going to Ticketmaster.com or calling them at 800-745-3000.  Want more out of your time there?  Learn more about premium seats and VIP ticket experiences by clicking here.  Not near the Izod Center in New Jersey?  No worries, you may be able to catch this exciting show at a city near you, check here for tour and ticket dates.



The IZOD CENTER is located at:
50 State Route 120, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
The show times are:
Saturday, September 29 11:00AM/ 3:00 PM/ 7:00 PM*
Sunday, September 30 7:30 PM

For group sales tickets: Call 201-460-4370 or email groupsales@njsea.com or visit IZODCENTER.com/groupsales





*I received tickets to the show, all opinions are my own.  No other compensation was provided. 

Sometimes all you can do is cry...

Sometimes all you can do is just cry.

I had a great Sunday, much different from our Saturday-which involved a visit to the emergency room to see if we can figure out abdominal pain my son was experiencing.  We didn't find out what was bothering him, and it is still bothering him! :(  We didn't want to spend our Sunday indoors so we went with the family to go apple picking, enjoyed the whole day outdoors lounging around with fresh air away from the city.  My son seemed to be doing much better, perhaps distracted from whatever uncomfortable feelings he was experiencing while playing around with his cousin.  He was the first to grab apples off a tree put it in our tote bag, and drag it around saying he wanted to carry it. himself.  When he is happy, I feel complete, and he was happy! :)

We had a long day- a good day, but once we were home again, he couldn't finish his dinner saying he felt weird.  My son always finishes his dinner and it was clear he wanted to eat, but something was bothering him.  Besides him telling us he doesn't feel right, all seems fine...  My son usually doesn't cry, he is very well spoken and expresses himself well, but this feeling makes him cry.  You know what it is to hear your baby say "I want this pain to go away, I don't know what to do"?  I want to take it away, but I don't even know what it is that's bothering him.  Then to top it off today, he told me he wishes he didn't have allergies.  He is getting older, the world is getting tougher for him.  For a boy that just turned four a little while ago, he worries for his life and safety already- I'm glad he is aware of it but that takes away from him being a careless kid.  It makes me sad.  Like every parent out there, I want to give my son the world, and I want him to be happy & healthy.    

So..I broke down today, I cried and cried.  I want to take away whatever it is that's bothering him, and I want to take away all his allergies too.  Give it to me if you can, I want him free from it all.  I want him to feel safe in the world we live in.  I want him to be healthy, and I don't want him to suffer.  Thinking of the life he has ahead of him makes me so sad and helpless.  I do all that I can, but yet it's not enough.  So just for tonight I'm not going to say to myself "all will be okay" and "we've got it all under control" because it's all very scary, stressful, and really unfair...  I want to stomp my feet up and down, throw a tantrum and scream "WHYY!?!?" and for tonight I am weak, I am without strength to even tell myself all will be okay.  With my son asleep in my arms, my daughter in my belly kicking away, I pray health and happiness to them..that's all I could do.

So again, I'm left with all I could do is cry, just for now..just for tonight.




Allerbling Food Allergy Awareness Bracelet - Review #foodallergy

As you all know by now, my son has multiple food allergies.  I'm always looking for new food products he is okay with, as well as new products to help keep him safe.  I recently learned of Allerbling bracelets, and we had the opportunity to try out a full Allerbling Kit for my son.

The full Allerbling kit comes with 8 food allergy awareness charms, one medical cross charm, and two different size bracelets for children ages 3-8.
The charms included in the kit:

  • Peanut allergy 
  • Trea Nut allergy
  • Shellfish allergy
  • Wheat allergy
  • Soy allergy
  • Dairy allergy
  • Egg allergy
  • Fish allergy

 
My son liked the bracelet right away, he was eager to learn the purpose of it, and put it on right away.  The charms are a bit hard to put on the bracelet, but once on- less likely to fall of and get lost, which is a plus.  It's great to have so child also learns of his allergies, and for others to know what he is to stay away from.  It's in full bright colors, my son seemed to really like it and hasn't taken it off for days now.

We put all the charms on for my son except for the soy allergy charm, and still would need some custom made ones to complete his long list of allergies, as well as a second bracelet.  They offer a list of charms titled "common food allergy charms" and "less common food allergy charms."  I definitely suggest them for kids with food allergies, I think specially great if you don't have a long list of allergies.  Instead of a dreaded "medical" bracelet, it makes it a bit more interesting for kids and gets them and everyone aware of the allergens they should steer away from.  For kids that are allergic to one or all of the top 8 allergens, the full Allerbling kit is perfect.  Keep an eye out for them in stores, find them online here, also be sure to follow them on facebook and twitter.  





*I received the product for review.  No other compensation was provided, all opinions are a 100% my own.  


Successfully Baking Allergy Friendly IS Possible! :)


Baking without all of the foods my son is allergic to; wheat, rye, oats, eggs, milk, and all the other "essentials" in baking...  Four years ago I would have thought IMPOSSIBLE, but today I baked chocolate chip cookies with my son.  They were delicious, it took care of all my chocolate cookie cravings and the best part- cookies I could share with my son!  Probably much healthier than any store bought ones anyway!  I had to stop him from eating the batter while we were getting it ready for the oven.  Made from scratch, probably the best we've had, much better than any box mixes we've tried.

That made my day today, what's something simple that has made your day recently?  




Fall Fashion at Cookies Kids Online #CookiesKids #Cbias

I loved my recent trip to Cookies Kids with my son, I felt I had to check out the online shopping experience, as well as look for more fall items for my son and my little girl due in November.  I have already mentioned how I have yet to go shopping for her yet, so I thought it would be a perfect way to shop on Cookieskids.com for the first time for some fall items for both my children.  I'm happy to tell you it was a pleasant experience!  You can see more photos from my online shopping experience here on Google +.  I think I spent just as much time browsing through the selections as I did in store, online.    

Great selection of children's sets if you want outfits already put together for your young ones, and of course plenty of choices for you to put them together yourself.  Cookies Kids on twitter was right on when they suggested I check out the "sets" section, I found some adorable sets there.  It was fun to go back and forth through the sections, putting outfits together in my head for my little ones.  Online shopping can be so convenient, I was able to click back and forth between sections over and over again-something that wouldn't be that fun if I was in store doing it.  Being in my third trimester of pregnancy I'm not that light on my feet lately. ;)  

The pull down menu makes it easy to hop around all over the site.  I started by checking out the items in the Boy's Department, where I was able to conveniently narrow down by size; size 2T-4T to browse through for my son.


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Here's one of the outfits that I thought would be adorable on my little toddler, a casual classy look for breezy evening out for dinner maybe?

Then of course browsed through the many fun selections for infant girls items they had.  I loved looking through the selections; adorable dresses to coats to sets, the sets were my personal favorite!  The "Cookie's recommends" bar on the right side was so useful too.  
    
I finalized my order and received the delivery in about 3 days, and was delighted by how fast it arrived.  I ended up ordering some items for my son- a fun hoodie that he loves!  I also ordered a cute dress my little girl can wear in her first days, and adorable cotton sets at a great price for her.
This adorable little dress the Rene Rofe “Hearts in a Row” came complete with knit tights with Mary Jane accents!  Fall fashion at "0-3 Months" sizes, adorraabllee!! :)
I also got this colorful four piece cotton set; Duck Duck Goose “Paisley Butterfly."  I love shopping for my son, but such an experience, and added fun to shop for girls! 
 My son has been turning heads with this fun hoodie; Mon Street “Full Skeleton” Hoodie!  A clothing item a child can get excited about.  He wore it all evening the day we got it in the mail, and I have had so many asking where we got it.  
Here he is again with his new favorite hoodie!
And again hiding his face telling me "no pictures!"  He has already been greeting the cooler temps with this fun hoodie every other evening, and it only makes me want to order more.  My son lives in hoodies in the cold seasons!  With already cooler temperatures out, he other great fall items we picked up in store on our last shopping trip to Cookies Kids have come in handy too!  

I can picture my son running through leaves with his cousins this fall, while I stroll my little girl in the stroller bundled up warm in her comfy cotton sets.  Fall is one of my personal favorite seasons, one of the reasons being fall fashion.  I can't wait to shop more, I feel myself in the mood even more since it is getting much cooler out.  More in the mood to shop for Halloween, for our new addition to be, and more..I feel I'm just getting started!

Did you know that Cookie's Kids was started by a young man named Cookie and his brother Marvin back in 1972?  It all started with a rented out 1600 square foot store in Jamaica, Queens.  Forty years of business with many changes and growth they've come a long way, and have done a great job at providing parents with so much for their children.  It was the sales of school uniforms that helped launch CookiesKids.com back in 2007, and although initially only carrying uniforms, now they carry the entire Cookies Kids inventory-more of a reason to check it out!  ;)  Happy 40th Cookie's Kids!!      


So what's your favorite fall item to shop for?  Shopped at #CookiesKids yet?  It has fast become one of our favorite places to shop recently, I feel like I'm celebrating their 40th year of business with them. ;)  If none of the seven stores in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Jamaica NY are near you, remember to shop online, you will find just as much on Cookieskids.com with great deals.  Follow them on twitter and on facebook so you can keep up with the latest deals.  Speaking of deals, remember to take advantage of the *special offer* shop online, and use promo code: daytodaymoments at check out for FREE SHIPPING on all orders with no minimum! (Excludes furniture, gear and toys.) US only. Expires 11/30/12




I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Cookieskids.com #CBias #SocialFabric.


Sizing Made Easy with The AlvaKids App at Cookies Kids! #CookiesKids #Cbias

I'm sure you've heard about Cookies Kids by now, and if you follow me on twitter you definitely have seen my tweets go by about my recent shopping at Cookies Kids. Last week my son and I took a trip to the 510 Fulton St. Brooklyn store, one of the seven locations here in the city. My son and I spent what felt like hours in there going through endless choices of great deals where we found him two great outfits, you can see more from our shopping trip here on google+! I've been to one Bronx location before, but it was nice to visit another location, which I learned was their largest store after tweeting with Cookies Kids on twitter. Follow them on facebook as well, you never know what you'll learn from them, maybe learn of a new deal? ;) While we were there we got introduced to the new Alva Kids app, an app that helps you find the right size for your child! All you need is your child's height and weight in order for the app to help you find the right size in many brands offered at Cookies Kids.
       
The Alva Kids app is available for download free in the iTunes store right now, they are currently working on an Android version for those of us that don't have an iPhone/iPad. With this app you will be able to log in with your facebook account or create an account to have access to, whenever you need a size recommendation for a specific brand. The app is very easy to use, all you need is a few very simple steps to get started, inputting your child's basic info. for use right away, and to save for later.
 
Once you got through the basic steps and build your child's profile, you will be able to select a brand, and it will give you the recommended sizes.  It's that easy!
From the moment we walked in, it was "all your kids may need" galore!!
I knew I would be spending lots of time there after making my first two turns in the store!  I love to look through everything, and we couldn't quite look through everything but we sure got close.  The choices were endless! :)
After shopping around #CookiesKids, I learned of how useful of an app it is, specially for a store that carries so many different brands. So many brands do run differently and this app will help take that headache out of shopping for your children. I personally find it very useful if I'm shopping for nieces/nephews that all grow differently, and after the "2T, 3T" sizes are outgrown, I have no idea what size they are in anything. Now I will be able to simply put in their height/weight, save their profile and know what size is recommended. Even if your child is an average size for his/her age, this app will help you when brand's sizes run differently.
Found these great comfy, warm outfits perfect for fall for my son there for a great price. He's a size 4T..or so I was sure he was. We ended up getting a size 3T for the pants on the left and 4T on the right-another reason why the app is so handy! Be sure to check out the app, learn more about it here.
He loves the outfits we picked out!


Are you familiar with the Alva Kids app? Have you shopped at Cookies Kids before? Be sure to check it out for your next shopping, and find out how useful it is for yourself! If you don't have a store near you, remember you can also shop online at Cookies Kids.com for a great deals and tons of selection!  
**Special Offer**
Shop online, and you can use promo code: daytodaymoments at check out for FREE SHIPPING on all orders with no minimum! (Excludes furniture, gear and toys.) US only. Expires 11/30/12



I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Cookies Kids #CBias #SocialFabric