Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sleepy Wrap Baby Carrier Review

I know that baby carriers have some bad press right now because of the baby sling recall, but not all slings and wraps are bad. In fact, I think most of them are safe as long as you follow the directions of the carrier and wear your baby the way the carrier was intended.

That being said, I wanted to share my experience with the newest baby carrier I have purchased. When I was pregnant, I asked around in my mommy online community to get some recommendations for a baby carrier. I had tried one style with my first son, and it worked ok, but it was difficult for me to use because you had to put the child into the carrier and then finish tying it. I was always afraid I was going to drop my son. Also, my personal preference has always been a wrap type carrier over a sling because I feel that an infant is much safer in a wrap. (This is just my personal feeling, and I felt like this with my first son as well; long before the recall came out.) So after looking into the different types that were recommended to me, I decided to go with the Sleepy Wrap. There were two major reasons I chose this wrap over all of the others:
  1. You tie the wrap completely before you put the child in; and
  2. it is reasonably priced;
It took some practice to tie the Sleepy Wrap correctly. Using the directions provided on Sleepy Wrap's website, along with a couple of videos I found on YouTube, I finally felt comfortable enough to try putting something in my wrap...but before I put my 2 week old child in it, I started with the Curious George doll that my dog is cuddling with in this post.

Finally, I was ready to actually put Bennett in the wrap. The first time he didn't like it too much. But about 2 days ago I really had some house work to be done and Bennett was having trouble getting to sleep. So, I got out my Sleepy Wrap, got Bennett all nestled in and started clearing the dishwasher. He was asleep in a matter of minutes and I got all my dishes done!

I absolutely love this wrap. Like I said it takes a little practice to get it tied right, but after you do, it works wonderfully from newborn infant, all the way up to a toddler.

Please note, I was not compensated in any way to write this review. I just wanted let my readers know about this wonderful wrap.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I can't sleep 8 hours a night, but I can lay in any position I want to, and get out of bed without any pain
I can't fit into my pre-pregnancy pants, but I have reached my pre-pregnancy weight
I can't exercise to get my shape back, but I can walk without becoming short of breath
I can't pick up my four year old, but he can sit on my lap while I hold the baby
I can't breastfeed, but I can hold my baby close while I feed him his bottle (and daddy can have a turn too)
I can't just grab my purse and go, but I can stay home from work until the end of April

I can see my feet and toes, (and I can see that I need a new pedicure!)
I can see my ankles
I can fit into my shoes, which I can tie all by myself

There are many things I can't do right now, but I can cherish every moment I have with my family. There are some people that are not so lucky. Remembering this during the tough times helps me get through it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Win it: Curious George 2

My child absolutely loves Curious George. We have the theme song from the first movie on our iPod, and every time that song comes up on shuffle, he knows it right away and starts singing along, usually before I even realize what song is playing.
So, imagine my excitement when I found that Jolly Mom has a giveaway running right now for not only the movie Curious George 2: Follow that Monkey DVD, but also the CD Soundtrack and Book!!! If you would like a chance to win, go over to Jolly Mom's blog to enter! Good luck :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inside-out Bacon Cheeseburger

This is the BEST burgers you can make at home, and they are so simple!!

What You Need!
1 lb. ground beef
3 Tbsp. KRAFT Ranch Dressing, divided
4 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled
(I sometimes use the real bacon bits you can buy for salads)
2 KRAFT Singles, cut into quarters
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
4 lettuce leaves
8 slices tomato

Make It!
HEAT grill to medium heat.
MIX meat and 2 Tbsp. dressing; shape into 8 thin patties. Combine remaining dressing and bacon. Spoon onto centers of 4 patties; top with Singles quarters and remaining patties. Pinch edges together to seal.

GRILL 7 to 9 min. on each side or until burgers are done (160°F).

FILL buns with lettuce, burgers and tomatoes.

inside-out bacon cheeseburgers recipe at

Wordless Wednesday

This is the best picture I have gotten so far

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teach your Child to Eat Right

How to Raise Natural Eaters--and End Dinner-Table Fights ForeverThe No-Nonsense Way to Teach Kids to Eat Right -- By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian and BabyFit Contributor, and Becky Hand BabyFit Head Dietitian

Have you ever stopped to consider how a baby boy knows to cry when he is hungry? Have you questioned how a newborn girl knows to stop nursing when she is full? These tiny people are demonstrating what is known as "natural satiety," or the body's innate ability to regulate fullness and energy needs. Almost every person is born with the natural ability to maintain a healthy weight, but as time passes, we begin to ignore this important capability. Positive parental involvement is necessary when it comes to feeding children and promoting emotionally healthy approaches to eating. Raising kids to enjoy healthy foods and have a balanced relationship with food is no easy task, and the tactic of parenting to support natural satiety is even harder. The strategy is best presented by the eating and feeding authority, Ellyn Satter, a registered dietitian and child psychotherapist. Her "division of responsibility" may initially sound unconventional and perhaps even unhealthy; however, upon further review her techniques make perfect sense. Her recommendations are also supported by a substantial amount of research which demonstrates that children have a healthier relationship with food and a healthier body weight as teens and adults, when raised by caregivers who optimize their child's natural hunger cues. Who's in charge of what?The parents and the child have distinct roles when it comes to feeding and eating responsibilities.

As the parent or caregiver, you are in charge of when the family eats, where the family eats, and what the family is served.
The child is in charge of deciding how much (if any) food is eaten. So as you proceed, we encourage you to keep an open mind and evaluate where you may be crossing the lines of responsibility when feeding your child. The Responsibilities of the Parents and CaregiversBy teaching your child how to provide nourishment for the body and providing your child with nutritious foods and a healthy eating environment, your child will learn to take responsibility for his own healthy eating choices. Here are some tips to help. When to eat, Where to eat, What to serve:

*Plan the timing of three meals and up to three snacks throughout the day. If your child does not eat one meal, keep in mind that those planned snacks will help ensure that your child is meeting nutrient needs. Do not allow grazing between these planned meals and planned snack times.

*All meals and snacks should be eaten at the dining room or kitchen tables. Say so-long to eating on the couch, in front of the television or computer, in bed, or in the car. Insist that your child show up for all meals, even if he says, "I'm not hungry." Once in awhile, a special family meal or snack in front of the TV is acceptable, but it's important to maintain the regularity of meals eaten at the table.

*Support an eating environment void of noisy distractions. Turn off the television and radio during snack and mealtime. Do not allow cell phones, iPods or any other electronic devices at the table. (That also goes for you, Mom!)

*Keep the eating environment pleasant for all. Use family mealtime to unwind and talk about highlights from the day. It is the perfect opportunity to connect with your child.

*Plan and prepare nutritious meals and snacks. Offer your child healthy foods from every food group: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat and beans. For more information on kids nutrition, check out the BabyFit Kids Nutrition Resource Center or

*Use healthy and tasty cooking methods like baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, steaming, and sauteing to prepare your child's food.

*Offer a variety of foods to your child so new flavors and textures can be sampled. Try new recipes. Look for new ideas on how to serve healthy foods in fun, creative ways that your child will enjoy. Let your child be involved in preparing foods.

*Don't become a short-order cook. Let the child choose what to eat only from the foods offered on the table. Offer some family food favorites, as well as new food adventures. "Cooking to order" at each meal will not foster a healthy environment in which a child will learn to be open to trying new foods.

*Offer so-called "forbidden foods" only a few times throughout the week. This will lessen their appeal. While transitioning to an environment that supports natural satiety, your children may overindulge on these foods at first, but they will eventually become less exciting.

*Never praise your child for finishing a meal and do not force your child to be a member of the clean plate club. This only teaches a child to link food and eating to please and adult, thus giving food emotional power.

*You are your child's greatest example. Role model healthy eating habits and appropriate table manners. Use phrases like "please" and "no, thank you" when speaking to other diners.

*Do not reward, bribe or punish your child with food. (For example: Never say "if you finish your homework, you can have a brownie.") Remember that food is to nourish the body. Food can not solve relationship problems, ease loneliness, calm nerves, or relieve boredom. When adults use food to reward or punish, they may be teaching the child to become an emotional eater.

*When dealing with a picky eater, don't be tempted to coax or bribe your child into eating. Be patient. Establishing healthy eating habits takes a lifetime. Continue to offer your child new foods, but pair it on the table with foods you know will be accepted. This way, your child can feel free to try the unfamiliar food, along with the favorites.

*Offer new foods more than once and in different forms. It may take up to 10 exposures before your child accepts a new food.The Responsibilities of the Child How much, and whether to eat:It is up to the child to decide how much to eat from the foods offered at the table, and whether to eat at all. That is, kids get to select from the healthy foods offered, and then decide how much to eat. They get to decide what to eat first and whether to eat anything. Remember, there should be absolutely no coaxing or bribing from an adult.

Case Study #1: Think about the message being conveyed to your child when you say, "Nathan, you can't have cake for dessert until you eat your green beans." This tactic gives power to the cake. It teaches the child that the cake is better, or more prized, than the green beans. The child is taught by the adult that green beans are less desired than the cake because the green beans are being used as a punishment and the cake is the ultimate reward.
Case Study #2: Children are masters at manipulation, especially with food. And parents often express the fear that their child isn't eating enough or will only eat one food--applesauce, for example. This one food becomes the power food. No matter what is prepared at mealtime the child refuses to eat it, kicking and screaming until the parents give in and the power food, applesauce, is provided. Every meal is a battleground. Situations like this are not healthy for the child or parent. Realize that a child's body will not allow starvation. Our bodies know how much we need if we eat in a way that fosters our natural satiety. When parents hold fast to their feeding responsibilities, there are no power struggles. Rather quickly, the child realizes that her applesauce isn't coming and she is no longer in control of the foods served in the home. She begins eating what is served at meal and snack times to satisfy her hunger and nourish her body appropriately. To make a true commitment to optimize your child's natural hunger cues, you must let go of the jobs that are NOT your responsibility. Appropriate feeding is built on trust. As a parent, educate yourself on ways to plan, prepare and serve healthy meals and snacks. Then trust your child's ability to eat and grow in the way nature intended.
For excellent resources on the topic of feeding children, check out the books by Ellyn Satter: Child of Mine, Feeding with Love and Good SenseHow to Get Your Kid to Eat, But Not Too MuchSecrets of Feeding a Healthy FamilyYour Child's Weight: Helping without Harming

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Win a Free Scentsy Warmer and 3 Scent Bars

Remember my post that month where I declared my LOVE for my Scentsy Warmer? If you don't, you can read it here. Well imagine my excitement when I discovered a giveaway for a free Warmer and 3 Scent Bars!! Of course I have entered. If you would like to enter for you chance to win, head over to Sited and Blogged Contest Hub by clicking here. Good luck :)

Camera Critters 3/14

It's been way too long!!

Meet Sully, our 40 pound lap dog.

Camera Critters

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cancer Sucks

I believe everyone has been affected by cancer at some point during their lives, whether it be fighting the battles themselves, or watching a friend or family member struggle with this horrible disease. I posted over a year ago about my friend who lost her battle with breast cancer after 18 months, leaving behind 3 beautiful children (triplet 2 year olds), her husband and many other friends and family members. And you will see the "Save the Tatas" button to the left of this post.

If you are a regular visitor, you may have noticed a new button under the "Save the Tatas" button, which may not be familiar to you. Clicking on this button will take you to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation's website, where you can make a donation to help with Lung Cancer Research.

Why my sudden interest in lung cancer? Well, unfortunately my friend Jamie was not the last person I know that had to deal with cancer. This past November my Grandma passed away from lung cancer, 2 months after being diagnosed. She didn't have any symptoms, and by the time they caught it, it had spread to her liver. Of course, you must assume that my Grandma smoked for years and years, but that assumption would be incorrect. My Grandma never smoked a day in her life. And this is more common than you think. Lung cancer is not a smoker's disease. Anyone can get it, ANYONE.

I have been looking for organizations like Save the Tatas, the Susan G. Koman Foundation, etc. for lung cancer, but they are very difficult to find. For some reason, it appears that lung cancer has been shunned from research, fundraising and support type groups. I bet you can't even tell me what color ribbon symbolizes lung cancer. But, you can instantly spout out what color is breast cancer awareness. I'm not saying that all of the breast cancer groups are bad, all cancer research is great...anything to get rid of this horrid disease forever.

I found an article that I found very interesting. It states:

Every day, about 500 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer. The disease surpassed breast cancer in 1985 as the largest killer of women.

With few early symptoms and no techniques for early detection, lung cancer is rarely caught before reaching stage 4. Five years after diagnosis, only 15 percent of lung cancer victims are still alive, a statistic that has been static for 40 years.

(You can read the full article here)

So, if you would like to help with lung cancer research, please click here to view the PSA from the Bonne J. Addario Lung Cancer foundation and click on the button below to donate your $20 today.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Current Giveaways

I have been looking for a new thermometer for awhile, but I wasn't sure what kind to get. I just knew I didn't want to do under the arm anymore. That's why I'm so happy to have found a giveaway for a free Exergen Temporal Scanner (forehead thermometer) over at MamaBuzz.

Next, over at Audrey's Giveaway Blog, she is giving away a must have for anyone that has a child or children in diapers. The Babymel Change Station is a changing pad that also has space for some diapers, wipes and other things, all folded up in a handy little carry along you can take anywhere! Click here for your chance to win!

Mad Hatter Mom currently has a giveaway for a free weeks supply of the new Pampers Cruisers with Dry-Max AND a Liz Lange diaper clutch. For your chance to win, click here.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What a week

Midway through my first week home as a mommy of two has gone pretty smoothly. What a difference it makes to have daddy home. Next week when he goes back to work could be interesting. Caiden isn't real excited about going to school right now, but I think it's because he knows we are at home. Once he gets there, he enjoys it.
And speaking of school, Daddy stayed home with Bennett this morning and I went on my first outing since Bennett joined our family. After taking Caiden to school and a quick trip to Wal-Mart, I stopped by the elementary school and picked up the paperwork to register Caiden for Kindergarten. I want to cry just thinking about it (and it has nothing to do with hormones, I swear). My baby going to school! If you remember, back in August of last year I started him in a new daycare center/preschool. It was rough going for the first couple of weeks, and I dread doing that all over again for Kindergarten. I'm hoping to send him to the same school as one of his preschool buddies so he at least knows one person.
Bennett is doing wonderful. A nurse came to our home on Monday to check up on him and me, and we both passed with flying colors. He is back up to 8lbs 10 oz after being down to 8lbs 6oz the day we left the hospital. He is letting mommy get about 4 hours of sleep at a time at night, which is AWESOME. I cannot complain one bit about it. It is still tough getting up in the middle of the night, and when he does get up, he stays awake for about 2 hours before he goes back to sleep, but still, I get FOUR HOURS OF SLEEP AT ONE TIME!! For those of you who don't know, when Caiden was a baby, he didn't sleep at night, at all. He would finally fall asleep between 5 and 7 in the morning.
So, all in all, it has been a wonderful week so far!

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's a boy!!!

Our little miracle was born on March 2nd at 12:44 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs and 15ozs and was 20 3/4 inches long. He seems to be a pretty content little guy so far.

Here he is...Bennett Evan :)