Wednesday, June 24, 2015
It’s wild card Wednesday and today I’m going to feature ABCmouse.com. I signed Calvin up last year at around 18 months, yes, 18 months! We live in a fast paced and highly competitive culture ad world, don’t waste time in getting them started with education. This included teaching computer and mouse skills to use the web site, which was an incredibly stressful task for mama because an 18 month old just wants to go go go. He was also already accustomed to touch screen from using my iPhone and Nook, mouse and keyboard was foreign to him.
Back to ABCmouse, their curriculum technically started at pre-school age but when you sign up and create your account you enter the child’s birth date and ABCmouse will match material age appropriate. The online school is very affordable at $7.95 a month and offers every kind of activity that a brick and mortar pre-school would offer. However, since you are at your house online there is that lack of peer interaction and socialization.
ABCmouse.com is really everything their commercials claim they are, no false advertising there! I have been criticized by some for allowing Calvin to have access to technology with the concern being he (along with the rest of his generation) losing human skills of looking at books and learning to write. The last time I checked Barnes & Noble haven’t closed their stores yet, there are plenty of people still buying and reading physical books, children included. Calvin had a stack of books before he was even born and the collection has steadily grown in the last two and half years. He’s not missing out on the “human skills”, along with technology he also has been introduced to letter tracing and writing his name. ABCmouse.com is an awesome resource and even they encourage letter tracing, coloring ect with crayon and paper. They have a whole section of printouts with a variety of materials to get kids scribbling, coloring and writing.
One last brag, ABCmouse also offers their Early LearningAcademy in App format so you can take the classroom with you anywhere. Now available for all platforms!
Good stuff, sign your kids up today!! First month is free!
Monday, June 22, 2015
I think by now most have heard of Hyland’s Teething Tablets due to a constant sharing on Facebook about a recall on the item.
STOP!! STOP!! STOOOOOP sharing this! Please!
There was a voluntary recall by Hyland’s on the product in 2010 due to reported reactions as severe as seizures. The recall is FIVE years old and Hyland’s reformulated the tablets and reintroduced the product in 2011. After scouring Google I could not find any recent information about reactions from the tablets. I am not a doctor or a medical professional of any kind, but from the standpoint of a consumer I would say Hyland’s is a safe product. I personally do not buy homeopathic products in general, but for the people who prefer it, there is no evidence this product is harmful.
Going back to the 2010 recall, from what I read the source of the issue was the Belladonna in the tablets. Belladonna is also known as Deadly Nightshade as it very deadly is large amounts. As to what is considered a large amount of Belladonna varies species to species. I found this helpful description of the plant on Botanical.com, also includes history and various doses.
The FDA weighed in on the voluntary recall. Their page has not been updated since 2013 and still states that there may be toxicity due to the history of Belladonna (I’m paraphrasing a bit); it is still considered a poison. Hyland’s maintains their product is safe and explains their formula in a nut shell that there is a minute amount of Belladonna and not enough to be toxic.
It’s up to you as the parent what is best for your family and which products you are comfortable giving your baby or big kid.
Have a happy and blessed Tuesday!
Today I am going to feature a new product from Similac called Similac Advance Non-GMO. It is made with Non-GMO sources meaning not genetically modified; not to be confused with their Organic formula. Organic meaning farmed without pesticides and other conventional farm chemicals.
Similac Non-GMO features the same Opti-GRO that most of their other products feature to support eye and brain development. However, it is only available in Similac Advance and not in any of the specialty formula such as Soy, Sensitive or Alimentum. Advance Non-GMO is sold exclusively atTarget or can be purchased online directly through Abbott who owns Similac. Another positive to this new product that gives wider choice to parents is that Advance Non-GMO is roughly the same price as the standard products.
Don’t forget to sign up for Similac StrongMoms! Awesome program that provides $5 company checks each month through the mail. As well as samples, feeding guides and other goodies that will change over time. I received these when Calvin was a baby and they were so incredible helpful!
Happy Monday and get your milkies on! #milkmonday
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Surprise moment Sunday
There is no question that pregnancy, birth and parenthood comes with many surprises along the way. Many people get surprised by the cost of baby gear the initial startup price. The first baby usually requires a little bit of everything and most all big ticket items. Sometimes parents are blessed with families who can and will provide a big ticket item or two or some people find and make alternate plans to cut out a expense or few. Generally and typically speaking most people will need that little bit of everything and big ticket items too.
During the year it took us to get pregnant after my miscarriage, I had priced items at various stores and online sources. In my family and circle of friends there was no shortage of babies so even that initial research was not shocking or surprising to me. What did come as a surprise to me when it was time to actually buy baby items was how much people actually SPENT on baby items and the nursery! I was aware there were lines of high end and very expensive baby gear but thought only 5% or less of population purchased these high end items. Like celebrities or the Hilton family, oh no..no no no. Every time I was in one of the baby stores it seemed there was a $5000 - $10,000 order rolling out the door, or I ended up in the presence of a conversation of about the party favors for the baby shower costing $200 or some other random exuberant cost.
Jaw on the floor!!!
Most of this was just fluff, the latest in nursery design unique trademarked colors or something supposedly so special. Fluff is absolutely OK if you can truly afford it, key word being “IF”, however if you need to charge up credit cards or open those lovely store cards that sound so good because you’ll get 5% off your next purchase…DON’T DO IT!! Please do not let the retail industry and Susie Jones from pre-natal yoga make you feel guilty if you are not spending wads of cash you may or may not have on a themed designer nursery.
When your baby or babies arrive the most important things they will need are love, food, clothing, car seat and shelter. Limited edition #4 periwinkle changing tables can wait until all the true essentials are in place and you are not over extending your finances so your baby is keeping up with the Jones’s baby.
Just love the babies, don’t blink, time will fly so fast.
Remember….don’t worry about the Jones’s!
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and the men who stepped in or stepped up to be a father figure when they didn’t have to be. I’m referring to not only the stepdads, but the uncles, brother-in-laws, and close family friends. Whoever you are thank you! Today is your day, and I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend!
My own daddy was called home to Heaven on February 18th, 2008 so he is not here for me to wish Happy Father’s Day too. You never know when you won’t have someone anymore, don’t take anyone for granted.
Happy Father’s Day to my awesome husband who does so much for us and who Calvin absolutely adores!
Happy Father’s Day to my Uncle Dave who I’ve been able to seek advice from, confide in, or just plain vent since before Daddy passed away but so much more after he passed. You and Aunt Marsha mean so much to me. Uncle Larry, I love you too! You’ve always been so funny and a cool uncle.
Happy Father’s Day to my Father in Law Dave. Thank you for being supportive during the last few years since your son and I have been married. Not all families are so excited or supportive of a fast courtship.
Stay safe and enjoy your day!!!
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! If not, then hey Friday is right around the corner!
Starting next week I will have designated days for certain topics. This is to ensure I am not getting stuck on one topic or letting myself get lazy with often with how often I am writing a new entry. Also, I want to make sure I am creating enough diversity in the content I am posting. I want everyone to be able to relate take something away. I hope all the readers enjoy this new schedule.
Sunday – Surprise moment Sunday
Monday – Milk Monday
Tuesday – Teething Tuesday
Wednesday – Wild Card Wednesday
Thursday – Time Out for Yourself Thursday
Friday – Fashion Friday
Saturday – Seasonal Saturday
Sundays will be about surprises during conception, pregnancy or parenting. Mondays are all about the milk options we have for our babies and feeding accessories or equipment. Tuesdays are dedicated to teeth. Wednesday will be random topics that get laid upon my heart. Thursdays will be tips or ideas on how to give ourselves time and what can be done with that precious time. Friday, does fashion need any further explanation? I’m not the model type so this won’t be all about me. I will feature anything from hot maternity and nursing styles to kids to money saving tips so mama can add to her closet. Saturday I will feature events or ideas for the current season. May be a national chain or local event. Whatever is out there!
Stay tuned! I’m excited to get started!
You can find me around the web at:
Saturday, June 6, 2015
TRIGGER WARNING – sensitive topics ahead.
This will be possibly my edgiest post to date and maybe ever. I’m going to talk about elective abortion and miscarriage along with other types of pregnancy loss. If these topics are touchy to you now is the time to turn away.
Elective abortion has long been a debated topic since Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Often called murder and a tragic loss of life by those who oppose elective abortion. There is a wide variety of opinion around the procedure. Regardless of where one’s opinion lies on the spectrum, most I’ve encountered will call it a tragedy. Tragedy that the woman had to make a choice between her life and the life inside of her. Tragedy that the baby had chromosomal condition incompatible with life, or that the baby was simply unwanted when there are so many that would have adopted the baby.
What in the world does any of that have to do with miscarriage or stillbirth?
Well here’s what, when news of a pregnancy loss is broadcast often the responses are of unsympathetic nature.
“It just wasn’t your time yet”
“God had other plans”
“You can try again soon for another one”
“Don’t worry, it’s an angel now and looking down on you”
“It wasn’t meant to be”
Anything other than “I’m sorry, my deepest sympathy” is nothing but salt and a stab in a wound; whether it be fresh or scared. I do realize a few of those responses are well meaning but to the grieving mother it just isn’t received that way, and I say this coming from a Christian point of view.
After my miscarriage I just couldn’t understand why God would do this, to me or to anyone. I did accept it after some time but when my infertility condition was discovered around nine to ten months later my feelings changed. My pregnancy was somewhat of a miracle and not easily accomplished without medical help. Ok, so God gave me a miracle when I wasn’t even asking, and then took it away. I then became angry with God, I mean what is the point of taking away a miracle? Why..why…WHY!?!
I took a few months to cool down as more definitive tests were done and my doctor and I formulated a plan. I was letting this grief take a hold of both my spiritual and physical life. Being mad at God wasn’t going to bring my baby back. All I could do was let go of the anger that was controlling me and making me bitter and trust that there was a master plan for my husband and I. One round of a fertility drug called Clomid and I was pregnant with Calvin our Rainbow. This was a full year after my miscarriage, even if I had not became pregnant on that first cycle I was much more peaceful about the topic than I had ever been. It could’ve been months if not years before there was success and I was prepared for that. This was just something going on in my life, not my whole life.
It takes time to accept that there is a master plan or that you will see your baby again in heaven. Babies lost through miscarriage and stillbirth are tragedies too! Would you say “oh she just wasn’t meant to live any longer” to someone who’s just buried their mother? Likely not, so don’t say it to a women who’s just lost her baby, no matter how early she was in gestation. If that same baby had been lost via elective abortion it would have been such a “tragic loss of life”, but a natural miscarriage is just swept under a rug as if that baby had no value. That was someone’s baby who meant the whole world to them, whom they might have been waiting a long time for and now that women has empty arms. Pregnancy isn’t a $5 Black Jack bet where the loss is minimal, and only stings for a minute then you’re hitting it again hoping for the jackpot. Grief takes time, the body takes time to heal.
Believe me when I say I had a pretty tragic experience hemorrhaging all over the toilet then the bathtub where I laid for some time until I felt like I could crawl out and call my husband. Miscarriage is often just as excoriating and/or violent as full term labor; plus you lose your baby and are left standing with empty arms.
Please, be gentle…be kind and think before you speak. All babies lost are tragic.
Infertility help (if you live in the DFW area)
Loss moms community
You can find me around the web at:
Monday, June 1, 2015
Over the last several years parenting has become increasingly more involved than any other generation. Numerous trends and fads have emerged from the popularity of internet discussion forums, social media and still the good ole' paperback book. There have always been pregnancy/birth and parenting books, but never so many touting so many different philosophies being released at the rapid pace that they are today. The internet has been the driving vehicle in helping to distribute so much information so fast, regardless if it’s sound or misguided advice.
Some parents step back from all the information and take what makes sense to them to use in their day to day routine. They may even discuss “advice” that is potentially medical advice with their pediatrician before implementing it into their routine. While others dive head first into the rabbit hole of a particular method and take things to an extreme. The ones that dive down the rabbit hole and make their child(ren) into special snowflakes are the ones I’m going to talk about.
Look in any corner of the internet where there are mommy groups and you will find discussions about strict birth plans, dietary restrictions and extreme parenting. Stunt home births, denying of nutrition and medicine all in the name of natural, holistic, or fear of the establishment. Attempts at being more natural, holistic or being not as dependent on every single modern technology is all ok in moderation and with a bit of common sense. It is the moderation and common sense the current generation of parents are having trouble, coupled with an irrational fear of all things government and anything backed by a large organization. I cannot personally say I’m a fan of every little thing our government does, or a lot of what it does but all this irrational fear is just….just irrational!
Things like infants not allowed solid food until after a year of age, replacing antibiotics and vaccines with essential oils and backyard herbs and disregarding anything the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends but latching onto anything any internet quack recommends and sells from their online store. For the love of all things holy, using a bleach solution to “treat” or “cure” autism has got to be one of the most outrageous things I have ever heard of in my life! There is a term that floats around the internet around modern medicine that burns me to my core and that is “big pharma”. Ok, has anyone stopped to think about “big alternative”? The people peddling alternative products do not give it away for free for the greater good. They sell them for what are usually very high prices!
On the flip side of the coin, there are the moms who obsess over every itsy bitsy teeny tiny detail. From food to development to baby proofing, every little thing is blown out of proportion. I can understand some situations with a new mom who is having the first grand baby in the family. The new parents and the family around them are learning from the ground up; that isn’t every situation though. These types of moms usually share every little itsy bitsy teeny tiny detail they blow out of proportion on social media groups too. That “I don’t want to see this” option can be a heaven send sometimes!
If there has to be one extreme or the other I would rather read that a mom or dad takes their child to three doctors than none and allow the child to suffer for the sake of “it’s natural”. Why can’t we just have balance? Please world, why is it so hard to stop and think things through? It's normal to worry about your kids, and want the best for them but before making radical decisions consult your pediatrician first. Facebook is not your doctor and there is a sea of misinformation out there. Please, be safe out there.
Stop. Breath. Think. It’ll all be ok!!