A Benefit of Using Pacifiers

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Now, first off, let me say that I fully realize that I loved this article solely because it makes me feel better about my two-year-old still sucking his pacifier. This morning, I saw this article on Yahoo News about children who use pacifiers. The article states if you clean your child’s pacifier by sucking on it and returning it to the child, you are building up their immune systems. At 18 months, those children were less likely to have asthma or eczema.

I have been told my our pediatrician to try to wean Mayhem off the pacifier. That was about 8 months ago. Since then, it seems that he has been MORE attached to the pacifier than he was previously. I, of course, blame myself for allowing him to have the pacifier when he was sick throughout most of the winter in order to comfort him. Now, when I tell him, “Leave it in the crib.” I get a scrunched up face, a ‘no’, or blatant disregard. When Daddy tells him to put it in the crib, of course he puts it right in there.

With my first child, I would have found this article disgusting. Little J wasn’t very interested in pacifiers, and still prefers sucking his thumb. That is an entirely separate article, and topic! I know that soon, I will have to get Mayhem completely off the pacifier- but for now, I’ll just enjoy the fact that there is a BENEFIT to pacifiers!

Did your children use pacifiers? Does this article surprise you?

Klout Perk – Earth’s Best

I recently received an Earth’s Best Klout Perk- and Mayhem immediately sucked down the Organic Fruit Yogurt Smoothie. Thank you very much. :) If you haven’t checked out Klout.com, it is a website that provides free ‘perks’ depending on how much ‘klout’ you have. If you check in periodically, you can find fun freebies like this one!

The Mixed Berry smoothie had Grover’s face on it, and the Klout perk was themed for Elmo’s birthday.

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Earth’s Best also provided a coupon for a free jar of baby food, which I will be sharing with a friend. Thank you, Earth’s Best and Klout!

January Bluum Toddler Box

Well, it finally arrived. The new and improved Bluum toddler box, and it’s wonderful! The items are selected to fit my son’s exact age. It’s not just for babies anymore!

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Toddler Mum Mums This snack is healthy, organic, and crunchy! Mayhem loves rice cakes, so I’m hoping that he likes these too. This box included a box of 24 snacks.

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Brain Quest for ages 2-3. This is an activity that encourages interaction between you and your child, and it’s great for working on speech. I also love that the flash cards are bound together, so I’m not playing 52 card pickup after using them!

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Crayola Snack Packer. This isn’t very useful for Mayhem, but luckily I have Little J who can definitely use one of these! I suppose we could use it for crayons in the diaper bag, as well.

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Table manners cards. I think that these are great to focus on while you have dinner as a family. It’s a non-nagging way to remind children of proper table manners.

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Stretch marks cream While I cannot vouch for this product (yet), I appreciate that Bluum still threw something in for Mom!

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Little Pim Learn French DVD I love this idea! I’m so glad this was included, as I have been wanting to try something like this with both boys- and now I can give Little Pim a try. It comes very highly recommended.

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Totz Toothbrush With all the illness we have had going around this household, I’m happy to toss Mayhem’s previous toothbrush and use this one. It is BPA free, and the bristles are 100% vegetable based.

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Melissa and Doug puzzle Mayhem is currently very into puzzles, so I’m happy to see a new one for him to master. This particular puzzle is wonderful because there are pictures underneath the numbers, so he can count and name the pictures.

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You can see the effort that has gone into this new toddler box. Bluum has outdone themselves, selecting age-appropriate items that cater to individual needs. I think the Bluum Mamas are going to be very happy!

The Honest Company – Family Essentials Box Review

I ordered a free trial from The Honest Company, just because I was curious to see what Jessica Alba’s company was all about. The website tells their story well- the company was founded by parents who wanted eco-friendly, safe, and affordable products for their family. The products are non-toxic and beautifully packaged.

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There are two options for a free trial: the Diapers Bundle or the Family Essentials Pack. I selected the Family Essentials Pack, and the included items are: shampoo, lotion, hand soap, laundry detergent, and body balm. The package arrived quickly, and the products inside were:

1. Shampoo: The first thing I did with this product was smell it. It smells like an Orange Julius, but very fresh and clean. It is supposedly tear-free, so I’ll definitely try this on my boys. It is also plant based, organic, and uses essential oils and fruit extracts.
2. Lotion: This lotion was great. It has no scent to it, and it’s not greasy. Organic, hypoallergenic and non-toxic. This is great for sensitive skin that may react to anything unnatural.
3. Hand soap: This product is biodegradable, all natural and made with organic lemongrass oil and grapeseed botanical extracts. This will be great to bring on our family camping trips!
4. Laundry detergent: This is a winner. You can use it on all of your laundry, including hand wash items. It is also biodegradable and hypoallergenic. I would like to see if using this regularly clears up one of our family member’s skin issues…
5. Balm: This can be used as a diaper rash cream, or Dad’s razor burns- according to The Honest Company. It contains organic essential oils and olive oil. This seems like a versatile item to keep in a family household, and I used it on my dry elbows- worked great!
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As I mentioned above, I was happy with the products. The reason that I didn’t sign up was the cost. I am already splurging on the Bluum monthly subscription box. A membership to The Honest Company Essentials Bundle costs $35.95/month. You can add up to 3 additional products each month at a 25% discount, and no additional shipping charge. For the other items available in this monthly bundle, options include: sunscreen, dish detergent, hand sanitizer, bubble bath, multi-surface cleaner, and stain remover.
The separate Diapers Bundle is $79.95/month. You can also combine the Diapers Bundle and the Essentials Bundle for $115.90 per month. And I have to say, the diapers from this company are absolutely adorable. They are plant-based, disposable diapers and they come in all kinds of cute patterns like: skulls, gingham, dinosaurs, pink stars, etc. I will keep these in mind for baby showers, because they are just so unique!

A Long, Wonderful, Family-Filled Weekend

This past weekend was a great one. We got to spend a lot of quality time together as a family, and we did some really fun activities! I personally had a 4 day weekend, which was sooooo needed. Here’s a run down of the weekend’s main events.

SaturdayHow to Train Your Dragon, Live Spectacular. My MIL took us to Anaheim to see this amazing show. It was truly astounding what they were able to do! The dragons breathed real fire, flew, and interacted with the actors. It’s a cute story to begin with, and if you have not seen the movie I highly recommend it. Of course, we had to bring home a dragon toy to commemorate the occasion. Little J LOVED it! I think we all enjoyed it a lot more than we originally imagined. It was a 2 hour show, so I wouldn’t recommend bringing really little ones.

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J had so much fun!

Sunday: We got up early and headed to Disneyland. We were unaware of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon that was going on in the morning, and it took us half an hour to get from the freeway exit to the parking lot. But, when we finally got into CA Adventure- we secured FastPass tickets to the World of Color show at 8 pm. Then we went on a few rides, and checked into our hotel. Disney’s Grand Californian has bunk beds in the rooms, and the boys LOVED them! It’s also just a gorgeous hotel, and you get into the Disney parks an hour early when you stay there.

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Mayhem is hard to catch SITTING STILL … this was the best I could do!

We went to dinner for my cousin’s birthday, then we went to see the World of Color. My husband had been pressing to see this for a long time- I wasn’t really that interested. But this too exceeded my expectations! It was water special effects, Disney music, scenes from Disney movies projected on the water… hard to explain. I’ll just say that I was skeptical, but I very much enjoyed the experience. It was crowded, but we left the boys with my parents so we got to enjoy a little ‘adult’ time.

Monday: We got up at 6 am and headed to CA Adventure at 7 am. We did this so we could get on Radiator Springs Racers before the line got too long. I thought this ride was really well done, and exciting. J told me, “I will NEVER go on that again. It was TOO FAST!” Oh well, at least we didn’t wait 2 hours for him to tell me that. We spent the rest of the morning at the park, then headed back to the hotel for brunch with the characters. I was so happy that the boys weren’t too afraid! When we see them in the park, neither of them wants to get too close. But J gave Pluto a big hug, which was so adorable.

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I can NEVER get him to approach the characters! I was so happy that he gave Pluto a hug :)

Monday afternoon, we drove home and the boys were exhausted. They both took naps, and I cleaned out the car and got ready for the week. All in all, a very fun weekend! Hopefully this coming weekend will be a bit more relaxing- but I can’t complain. I think the girls (Mollie and Kallie, the dogs) will be happy if we stay home ALL WEEKEND.

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Everyone was tired. Great time to snuggle.

What did you do this weekend?

December Bluum Box – Snow Angel

This month, Bluum themed their box Snow Angel. The box was great- once again! I also got a note about Bluum Toddler- which will be a bigger box, have new features, and is for babies 13 months and up (AKA Baby Mayhem). Apparently, I will be entered automatically. I can’t wait to see what it includes! I hope that they maintain the ‘mama and baby’ aspect of the subscription- which is what drew me to this box in the first place.

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Angel Dear Ring Rattle- We got the duck rattle, and it’s so soft! Baby Mayhem picked this up out of the box and loved it!

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Child’s Play Publishing’s Pocket Pals- We got the Panda book, and we are learning facts about this interesting animal. This is a very cute item to keep in the diaper bag, and read to them when we have a quiet moment.

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Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil- I love that this is cocoa butter in an oil format. It has a pump dispenser too. I swear by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, and I am excited to try this product.

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Bonne Maman Preserves and Jellies- Made with 100% natural ingredients, tastes delicious! This little jar is pure sweetness, and the kids love it!

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Emergen-C Orange- Our family has been sick for what feels like 2 months straight, so I am very familiar with this product! This packet includes a blend of vitamin C, nutrients and antioxidants to help you feel your best when chasing a toddler!

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Montagne Jeunesse, 7th Heaven Mud Mask- This was supposed to be in the November box, but Hurricane Sandy had other plans. I’ll have to try this when I put the boys to bed!

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Let me know if you got anything different in your December Bluum box!

Bundle Up – November 2012 Bluum

When I saw the theme for this box, I was hoping for an adorable knit hat, mittens or a scarf. But then again, my children are a little ‘old’ for the baby box, and there is no way any of that stuff would fit them! I enjoyed the Babybug Magazine the best of all these items, but I also loved the stain remover samples. I’ll get right into the contents.

mOmma Teether: We got Jack, and adorable seal. I’ve decided to put him in the freezer for Mayhem- who appears to be getting a molar. In case you didn’t see her, my dachshund HATES Jack- and is in the background of this photo trying to get him.

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Babybug Magazine: This ‘magazine’ reads like a book, and it is perfectly sized for Mayhem’s stocking- and his chubby, little hands. Vibrant illustrations, and an adorable story.

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Numi Organic Teas: This high quality line of teas are made only with organic, fair trade herbs, fruits, flower, and spices. And you’ve got to love the coupons also!

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Madhava Organic Agave Nectar: This is a healthy alternative to processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, and can be used in so many different ways. Agave nectar can be used in your coffee, your oatmeal, and so much more! This also included a sample of coconut sugar- just delicious.

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Caldrea Sweet Pea Stain Remover: I’d like to say that I haven’t had a chance to use this- and I won’t get into details. But let me just say, it works!

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A side note, as a result of Hurricane Sandy- the mud mask meant to be included will be included in the December box. Can’t wait! Thanks, Bluum- for another great box!

October Bluum Box – Magical Moments

This month’s box had some great Mama items in it! Bluum has done it again. Great products, full size samples, and a way to try out important items in your life before committing to them!

The first item I noticed was the Disney Cuddly Bodysuit. It’s so soft! And whoever thought of the three rows of snaps to allow for growth is a genius! Alas, my son is wearing 24 months, so the 6-9 month size will not fit.

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Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash: This is what I already use for Baby Mayhem- and I love it! It’s ‘no tears’ for us, and it makes great bubble baths. I also feel great about using an all natural product on his sensitive skin. It’s natural and gentle. And of course, it smells good too!

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Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream: I have been happy with all Burt’s Bees products that I have tried, and this is no exception. My very dry skin was so happy! I need to get me a full-sized portion of this cream! Thanks for the coupon!

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer: This product is great, because it provides color while moisturizing my extremely dry lips. It’s also affordable lip color for a busy mama- only $5! I live in VERY DRY Southern California, the nourishment is much appreciated! Good timing, Bluum!

Happy Baby and Happy Tot pouches: I love this for an ‘on the go’ snack for Baby Mayhem. It’s nutritious, and relatively mess-free. We spend too much time in the car together, and this is by no means an entire meal for him anymore- but it helps tide him over until we get home to have lunch. Prevents crankiness, which must be why they call it ‘Happy Tot’!

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The new packaging works just fine. It’s not as gorgeous as the previous box, but it’s much more practical. And how many boxes can I keep stacked up in my townhouse anyways…

Three Adorable (and No-Sew) Toddler Halloween Costumes

I am not very crafty. I’ll pause and wait while my sister and mother stop laughing…still waiting…still waiting…OK, now if you are still trying to figure out what to dress up your toddler as for Halloween, I have scavenged the internet and found some cute ideas. I will warn you that I have been looking for little boy Halloween costumes, but a couple of these would work for boy or girl. Enjoy!

Baby Frankenstein

1. Baby Frankenstein - Instructions for this adorable Frankenstein can be found at www.parenting.com  Super easy! 

2. Pumpkin - This mom posted a sweet video of her son, with instructions on how to make this simple, no-sew pumpkin costume.

3. “Up Costume” – This is the most adorable costume I found. Very simple, you can make it at home. Everyone would know what this is- which is important for a costume, in my opinion! 

And for those of you who are more crafty than I am (believe me, that will be most of you)- here is a cute idea that works for boys or girls. It does involve a bit of sewing, but not very much! Our office did this concept last year for Halloween, and I tried it on Baby Mayhem just for kicks. Pretty cute!

Garden Gnome costume

BONUS COSTUME: Garden Gnome - This costume is pretty easy, you just have to make the hat. You can decorate it however you’d like- jeans and a plaid shirt work well for the outfit. Very inexpensive, and adorable!

 

Are you dressing up your toddler? Show me pictures! 

My New Stroller – Chicco Liteway

I’m not new at this ‘mom’ thing anymore. I have TWO kids, and I’ve had numerous strollers- don’t get my husband started on the topic. I have the BOB Revolution, it’s endured both boys and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. BUT I also have a need for a lighter, more portable stroller to keep in my car. I previously had the Combi lightweight stroller- but it didn’t wear well. It was difficult to steer amongst other issues, and after 4 years it was driving me crazy.

So, I took advantage of the Babies R Us “Great Trade In” where you get 25% off a new stroller or carseat if you traded in your old one. I happily handed in my Combi, and purchased a Chicco Liteway.

And well, I am in love. This stroller is sturdy, easy on the eyes, and moves so much easier than my previous one. I had to share. One of my complaints about the prior stroller was that I had no where to hang my purse- and the handles on this stroller serve that purpose. It also folds up easily, and steers effortlessly. It reclines, and can even support a newborn. I am impressed. The only small downside is the basket, which isn’t very large. But since I can hang things on the handles, that makes up for it- in my humble opinion. Bonus: it’s WAY cheaper than a Maclaren!

What about you- do you have a stroller (or other baby gear item) that you LOVE?!