Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Arm Yourself with Knowledge!

One of my main frustrations isn't that moms don't always make the same choices in parenting related matters that I do, but rather that many moms aren't informed of all the choices that exist. What works for my family doesn't necessarily work for the next family (or even for the next baby!). What does work is being an informed parent and knowing that you really did make the best decision for you and your family. So I'm going to keep reading, learning, and sharing so we can all be better parents just because we're armed with knowledge.

Those of you who know me IRL might have seen these already. ;)

First up, The Lie of the EDD: Why Your Due Date Isn't What You Think. I wish pregnant moms could just pass this out to friends and strangers when asked about their due date, as if the baby is on a timer. I've always known that a "due date" is a misleading phrase since the baby is "due" when the baby wants to be, but to see a mainstream news article remind people that going past 40 week is BIOLOGICALLY normal is refreshing. Hope more people take this to heart!

Cervical Exams: Who Needs Them?
Try not to let the "crunchy" source get to you too much because this is a great perspective on why it isn't always best for every mom to get cervical checks while pregnant and while in labor. Before consenting to checks, ask yourself if you actually want and need them personally.

Last week the news that arsenic has been found in infant formula spread like wildfire. I still don't know which formula it was (if you know, please share!) but many sources have said that it is an organic brand. This bothers the heck outta me because I just think about all those moms who feel they made the best decision and are willing to pay the extra money for an organic formula for their little one. This is not okay! Whatever company this is needs to get on the ball!!!

One of my favorite recent finds is information on how to do baby led bottle feeding and best yet, it was written by a lactation consultant! There are many great tips here for formula feeding and pumping moms. Most of what she mentioned I have never heard before myself, so I doubt if many moms have. Yay for more information!

For the breastfeeding moms, here's a list of ways to increase milk supply. Most of these I've heard and read about but not all in one tidy little list! Good job Natural Mama NZ!
And interestingly enough, a Johnson and Johnson partner put out how BFing can help with a woman's heart health.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Toddler Busy Bag

We're preparing to move yet again. In preparation for the long car ride and hotel stays ahead, I've made a toddler busy bag. Some things will have to be hotel use only, but quite a few things will work for when he's in the car strapped in his car seat. I got this idea from all the dozens of pinterest activities I've ran across the past few months.

I've repurposed a kid backpack that was given to us for free!

In the front zippered pocket I've stored flash cards from The Dollar Tree ($2 total) - there's the alphabet, shapes, and colors.

Inside I've used bags to separate out the different actives. I found a few clear plastic pencil cases for binders ($1/4); for the rest I used zippered quart sized bags.

Small chalkboard ($2) and chalk ($.75)

Did you know Crayola makes dry erase crayons? I found a pack of brights (with sharpener and erasing cloth) for $1.50 on clearance at Walmart and the fun dry erase board at Target on clearance for $2. My husband and I have been having fun using them to write on a picture to leave notes to each other.

Also in the busy bag are: 
Popsicle sticks ($3 for a pack of 200) and velcro circles (self sticking $3 for 15 pairs). Got the idea from Chasing Cheerios. For now Squish will just play with them, but later we'll work on shapes, colors, and more with these. Do note that the velcro circles come in 5/8", so you'll need the wider tongue depressor sticks.

Crayola Color Wonder markers and paper. This small set was only $1. 

Construction paper ($1 for 100 sheets), chubby crayons ($1), and stickers ($1 for 500, shown is just 150 of them). At 15 months Squish is starting to have fun with stickers, so I know this will be a huge hit! Thankfully cheap Dollar Tree stickers come off of things easily, so skip the expensive kinds. ;)

Fabric snake. Ribbion I already had, large button, and felt squares ($.25 to .50 a sheet, I used half of 4 sheets). Idea came from The Activity Mom

The last thing I managed to squeeze into the bag is this clipboard ($1.08) to hold papers while drawing and coloring. 

I've also made a few other activities that will have to be stored in another bag or box.

Discovery bottles. One contains small sea creatures in water. The second has rice with pipe cleaners, pom poms, small dominos, and green pebble beads. The third contains water with pipe cleaner shapes, pom poms, small dominoes, foam letters, and green pebble beads. There are hundreds of discovery bottle possibilities, I just chose to start with these three!
All the objects I used came from The Dollar Tree. I even have lots of extras for future projects.

Pipe cleaners and a pringles can! Idea came from Fun & Engaging Activities for Toddlers. 

I will also bring along with me the pom pom stuff in it activity because it's still a HUGE hit in our house!

Now that the kid is set I've got to start packing an apartment, which isn't nearly as fun.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why I don't post more photos on my cooking/recipe blog

So I've been working on improving a recipe recently and thought I might try to take some process photos. Let's just say that didn't really happen. Y'all are lucky to get any photos on my food blog.
Cause this is how I end up cooking most of the time these days.
Squish is on my back in these photos in a double hammock carry using a Storch Anna woven wrap.
We always start off happily enough.

Sometimes he falls asleep for a little cat nap and it's beautiful. 

But most of the time he's like this.

Doesn't he just look happy? :p

Thankfully this day loud music playing on my laptop helped distract him away from his mission to scream his lungs out.

Thank God for babywearing. Not sure how I'd ever cook without it!

But don't expect any great photos any time soon. Ha ha.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Did You Know?

Did you know that Kohl's will scan their coupons straight from your smart phone?!

Learned that last month.

I feel dumb for ever printing those coupons.

I wonder what other stores will do this too......