Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Mom Pledge

Today is an exciting day for me. Or perhaps a better word would be anxious. Today I will be featured on The Mom Pledge, which is a blog and community for mothers united in the cause of eradicating cyber bullying.

The excerpt they will be posting is one from a few years ago. But let me take you back even further. I was the administrator of a few different forums, and a member of others. I had a good time online making friends and sharing stories and laughs. When I found out I was pregnant I was so excited to join a forum where there would be other women, all sharing in the same experience. And as a young, twenty year old, soon to be mother, I was a little nervous too and eager for guidance.

Perhaps in my mind the anticipated experience I would have was a little idealistic. But even still, what I got was a harsh reality check. I'd seen teasing on forums before, but it was light and friendly. Nothing like this. And being both naive and stubborn, I easily became a part of it. After about a year of experiencing what is often referred to as "flaming", I made the post that will be shared with you today on The Mom Pledge blog. I still feel a great deal of emotion when I read it, it brings back to a time I like to think I had forgotten. But I got so much positive feedback from women who felt the same and had similar experiences I decided it was time to share.

Please take a moment and read today's post on The Mom Pledge Blog. It stands for everything I agree with. It all boils down to the fact that we are all mothers in different situations and we are all just doing the best we can. Cyber-bullying happens everywhere, and it's just as deplorable and cowardly as bullying in any other aspect of life, if not more so. I encourage each woman to read the The Pledge Prompt, take the pledge and proudly share the button on your blog or website.

We are grown women who should know better than to act like this. And most importantly we are setting the example for our children. Let's keep this in mind each day.

Happy Sunday and much love,

Baby's Mama Admin

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Toddlers Make The Best Personal Trainers

Seriously. About two weeks ago our television broke. Just stopped working and we're trying to save up and so can't really fix it or buy a new one right now. Which means no work-out DVD's or Blues' Clues, among other things. And who am I kidding, I rarely used my work-out videos anyway, but at least early in the morning when I was exhausted and the youngin' was up and about he could watch Sesame Street while I cuddled with him on the couch and got awake. Not so anymore.

Naturally, I've had to start getting creative. The past few days have been filled with my son running up to me trying to snap his fingers and saying, "dahn, dahn" which means dance. So we go to his room, turn on his little radio to whatever radio station is playing a good beat and dance our hearts away for a good thirty minutes, sometimes forty.

And let me tell you, this little guy does not stop! If it were up to me, we'd probably dance for like ten minutes, then I would sit on the rocking chair and watch him dance, but no, he needs a dance partner, quitting is not an option. And this is why toddlers make the best personal trainers. They always have energy, will not let you give up, and are so enthusiastic and excited about whatever it is you're doing that they actually trick you into thinking your work-out is fun!

Other reasons toddlers make good work-out partners:

- You never feel self-conscious around them

- If you try something new, they think you're awesome not weird

- They can go for hours

- They won't give up on you

- They're great with improvisations (today T decided to use little blankies as props- genius!)

- Everything is more fun

- They seem to remember everything. Start a habit of working-out with them and try stopping one day, they will call you out on it! And not quit until you start up again.

- If you quit on a gym trainer, they're disappointed or say, that's okay, you'll get it next time.. Try quitting on a toddler though and you may very well get a full blown temper tantrum/meltdown!

- Afterward, you're likely to get your child worn out enough for a nap during which time you can shower and get ready for the day.

I highly recommend this newfound technique of having some fun with your kids and getting some good cardiovascular exercise. You'll save money on a gym, a trainer, and on child care! Win all around.

Here are some guidelines for getting started:

1- Tune in to the radio at a time you know they will start a 30 minute or one hour music block. Or, set up your media player to play a set number of songs for a designated period of time.

2- Rock out with your child! We do a mix of rock 'n' roll, salsa, reggae, hip hop, and country.

3- Get creative. If you've ever taken an aerobics or zumba class you probably have a good idea of moves you'll want to include for yourself. Silly things like swirling your arms slowly, marching, jumping jacks, hopping, and "gettin' low" will all pay off if you repeat them enough times and go at the right pace.

4- Don't be too concerned with what you're doing, nobody is watching except your kiddos and at this age, they don't know enough to know your dancing skills are less than par.

5- Have fun! Let your child do whatever they want as their dance moves, encourage them to be creative and follow suit. Include them in your own moves too, hold them and spin, pick them up over your head, just make sure you're not going too fast and that you have good clearance so you both stay safe.

Props are great too. For older kids, you can use hoola hoops which works wonders on your waistline, choreograph dances together, switch up dance partners etc., For younger children, small blankets, or even burp cloths are fun to hold in your hands and wave around as you dance, just be careful none of your props turn into tripping hazards if you're on a hard surface.

6- This is a great time to teach your kid rhythm and music as well. When we get a rock and roll song we air bang our heads and jump up and down, country music we slow down and do stretches, etc., You can also sing along to the song or repeat certain key words, increasing your child's vocabulary and encouraging them to sing!

7- Don't stop! If you have to slow down or march in place that's fine, but keep the movement going so your heart rate stays up.

8- Try not to make your child feel self conscious, if they try to copy you encourage them but don't worry if they're not doing it quite right. The exercise is all about having fun, and their coordination isn't the same as an adults.

9- Don't be hard on yourself either, sometimes our own coordination isn't what we think it is!

10- Have water on hand, and when you're done you and your child can feel proud of yourselves for a great work-out and a great bonding experience!

I know this is something I want to do more often with my son, we have such a good time and he is really good at not letting me quit. Today after our work-out, we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and now he is napping which allows me type out this post! I can feel the work-out paying off and with any luck, over time my child will learn better dance skills and have more confidence when dancing than I do!

Feel free to share your own exercise tips with children in the comments section. I'll try to feature a new way to work-out every week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Product Review- Take & Toss Sippy Cups

I first started using The First Years' Take & Toss line when we started feeding our little one solid foods. The small chubby handle forks and spoons were exactly what I was looking for, and at just the right price! Since they were so inexpensive, I didn't stress out when some became lost, and they are 100% resilient to our dishwasher.

As the years went by, our little guy became ready for sippy cups and I picked up the Take & Toss sippy cups product.

The Pros The total cost for four was about $1.17 at Wal-Mart. Once again, they are completely dishwasher safe and very handy. I love that the lids are interchangeable. I don't have to worry about finding a matching part to a certain brand of sippy cup because they all match! BPA Free, no extra parts to mess with, and microwave safe. As he gets older, these can easily turn into just regular kids cups since there is no weird screw top in place that makes the mouth of the cup narrower. They will last for as long as we want!

The Cons The lack of handles may be a con for some people. I find the cups are easy to hold, and my son can hold them with one hand but that may not be the case for each child. My guy likes to occasionally throw his sippy cups, most of the time these hold up pretty well, but we have had the tops pop off on occasion causing milk or juice to spill all over the floor. I also worry about if he falls asleep with one in his bed and rolls over it while napping. I noticed today however, they've come out with a new line with screw top lids so we may have to check those out.

The Bottom Line For the price and convenience, you really can't go wrong here. Even if you end up hating them, they're less than half the price of most other brands, and extremely easy and worry free.

Have a product you'd like to see reviewed? E-mail

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Free Stuff!

Who doesn't like free stuff, right?  Well Tabatha over at Momma Smells A Deal has an awesome blog where she posts some of the best mom freebies on the web.  And this isn't a giveaway type thing, everyone can get the free stuff, you're always a winner! :)

I recommend everyone check it out.

And stay tuned.  I have been scouring the web and am in a particularly crafty mood lately so may have some crafts and DIY projects coming up very soon!  Among them you can expect an awesome felt quiet book for baby, or toddler, or child.  It's so fun because you can really customize it for any age!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tips for Tueday- Rearranging A Room

Why does blogging feel like a chore this week? I usually love to blog and enjoy finding great things to share, and still do, it's just the getting it posted part that is annoying. For example, yesterday I took all the pictures and thought up the post for my cooking blog but I just never got around to publishing the post. *sigh* I am in cram mode now!

Anyhow, today is a post on something I plan to be doing in my office/craft room in the very near future. Rearranging! Sometimes, you have a room in your house that no matter what, just does not stay organized. And it's not always the fault of people who use the room, sometimes, the room is just not set up to optimize organization.
So where to start? First off, don't move anything!

Grab some graphing paper and measure the room. Figure out a scale that will work on the sized paper you have draw out the the room include any columns if they are in the room, windows, doors, etc.,

Then, get another sheet of graphing paper and some scratch paper. On the scratch paper, measure all of the furniture that you want in the room, sofas, desks, chairs, EVERYTHING! One by one, draw out the perimeter of the furniture/item to go in the room on your spare graphing paper (to the same scale as your room paper) and then cut-out each item.

The fun and easy part is next. Now you can arrange all the furniture on the paper without straining your muscles moving something to one side of the room only having to push it somewhere else later! This is what I did for our son's nursery and it was a lifesaver!

When you chart things out this way, you will be surprised how much furniture you can fit in a room without it feeling crammed or cluttered.

Once you have figured out your furniture arrangement, think about accents. Would shelves on the wall above a dresser make the room more functional? How will you utilize closet space? Plan out a place for as many items as possible, and then get to work making your mental image a reality.

It is so much easier to make sense of things spatially and organizationally when you can think out before just going in there and moving stuff around!

Good luck! I promise to post my office makeover when it is complete.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Make It Yourself Monday - Apple Pie Pops and mini apple pies!

In honor of Labor Day, today's make it yourself is getting a little American with some great apple pie variations!

You can start with your favorite prepared apple pie filling. I usually just do cut up apples with cinnamon, brown sugar, and a little bit of nutmeg. Set the filling aside in a bowl and prepare your pie crust, you can use any pie crust but for the pops you will want enough to line a baking sheet twice.

Now comes the fun part!

Apple Pie Pops:
1. On a greased baking sheet roll out your pie crust and use cookie cutters or another shaped object to cut out the dough. This can get really fun because you can use star shapes for 4th of July, hearts for valentine's (use cherry pie filling for red!), and just get creative!
2. Drop a spoonful of your apple mixture into the center of the each pie dough shape and then add your lollipop stick.

3. Cut out a second copy of your pie crust shape and place this over your pop. Crimp the edges securely, you may want to fold it over a little.
4. You can brush whisked egg yolk and water over each pop for a brown, flaky crust and sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar over it too.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Mini Apple Pies:
1. Get a muffin pan and grease it. Cut out circles in your pie crust slightly larger than the muffin tin, and press the crust into it as you would to a regular pie pan.
2. Add filling.
3. Add lattice topping
4. Bake according to your pie instructions, or until crust is browned.
And if you want to go all out you can make cute little apple shaped personal pies with the mold from Williams-Sonoma

A perfect treat, that happens to be as easy as pie.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Transitioning to Milk

Well, the day has finally come and we have gotten permission from the pediatrician to start our 10 month old on milk.
He said to start giving him 4oz. of formula mixed with 2 oz. milk for 1 week, and see how he does.
The first week is almost over and he's been great! Loves his food, no upset tummy as far as I can tell, and our formula is lasting a bit longer which is nice.

Next week, I think we are supposed to start doing 2 oz. formula with 4 oz. milk. I honestly can't remember if it was that or half milk half formula though. So the plan is to start with half and half for a few days and if he does good then maybe switch it around Wednesday or Thursday.

This has also been a gerat way to start transitioning to a sippy cup. I've noticed he won't drink his regular formula out of a sippy cup, it's like he needs a different drink. So I have started giving him his combo formilk in the sippy cup and it is a great success!

I'm really excited to not have to spend money on formula anymore, but honestly, we are now going through milk really fast! Regardless, the milk is definitely cheaper. I guess i'll just have to buy more milk at a time :)

Hope you all have a great week, I am working on some fun crafts for next week.