Saturday, September 29, 2007

RAMBLING: Toddlerwide Wrestling Federation

I posted this on my blog but I'm x-posting it here in hopes someone has some advice.

The LLB has a mean streak. It comes out every evening approximately 1 hour before bed. We have fun rough-housing and goofing around on the floor until she turns into a Gremlin. She smacks, bites, scratches, pulls hair ... I'm lucky I don't have scars, though I always have marks to prove it.

I like playing with her and I don't mind if it gets a little rough, BUT I can't take the outright abuse and I don't like that once she starts she won't stop. Telling her no doesn't seem to do it and punishing her breaks her down to tears and then she goes right back to the behavior.

Has anyone experienced this before? Does anyone have any tips? I've tried time outs, I've tried repeating some of the behaviors back to her without any force (ie LIGHTLY pinching her cheek when she's just pinched mine), I just don't have any more ideas left.

Victim of Parental Abuse,

Friday, September 28, 2007

REVIEW: Nursing Covers -- Perfectly Discreet

I was a PROUD nursing mom. I knew how good it was for my daughter and all the benefits it gave to both of us. I was, however, a bit prude-y and didn't want to feel like I was exposing myself in public. So I sought out a nursing cover up. Let me state, that I have no problem with women who nurse in public and don't cover up, that's their perogative, this is all about a personal choice. And I know for a fact I would have had some tough moments feeding my child if I hadn't had this coverup.

When a mommy friend shared this find I was ecstatic. A "nursing cover" is PERFECT. The material is lightweight, so my baby who HATED a blanket on her head, hardly knew it was there. And, most have a plastic at the top that helps create the perfect arch so I could keep an eye on my daughter and still keep covered up. And the come in cool patters, what could I possibly have to complain about?

I, personally bought a Bebe Au Lait cover in the Mayfair print.
There are a ton of other sites out there though. Some other sites that look cool are, Modest Mums, Modest Mommy Cover and Milk Chic.

Buying Tip: There are MANY of these items on eBay and the 'net. So do some searching if you think you can find a better deal or print. They take a TINY bit of practice, by about the 3rd use you will feel pretty confident in it's abilities. I practiced a lot at home before ever leaving the house with it.

Because Breast Is Best,

*this is a reposting of a review originally posted 02/28/07

RAMBLING: Problems With Plastic

If you haven't seen the recent debate about BPA and babies' bottles you've missed out. When I read the news I immediately felt terrible about bottles that LLB had used that could have possibly "poisoned" her. As a mom I don't usually need more guilt but sheesh this one sure made me feel terrible. So I did some research and now I want to share my accrued info with you.

There are only a handful of baby/infant bottles on the market that don't contain Bisphenol A (BPA), to my knowledge. The most popular and most famous are the Born Free bottles, as their whole mission has been BPA free feeding from the get-go. Other brands such as MAM and Evenflo do make bottles that don't contain the toxin as well. The Z Report Blog did an EXCELLENT piece on which bottles are BPA free and which aren't, consult their list to check on your bottles. The real trick seems to come in having bottles that aren't completely clear. Sheesh who would have thought a window into a drink could cause so much damage.

What does BPA do? Bisphenol A has been linked by scientists to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes and hyperactivity!

How does the BPA get into my child's system? The plastic material in containers breaks down through use and releases bisphenol A into liquids and food. This happens from just regular use, heating the bottles causes it to happen.

What about sippy cups? Since most of them aren't clear you will find that sippy cups are made from a safer plastic. The Z Report Blog did a report on sippy cups as well.

I think the worst part about this BPA mess is that it isn't always easy to do the right thing. Changing the bottles is a GREAT first step. If we decided to have another babe (and that's a topic best reserved for another post) I will NOT use any of the "bad bottles." All my Avents will go in the trash! That's the easy part. But not everything puts its plastic number on the bottom. The Avent sippy cups sure don't say what number they are.

A lot of our plastic containers that we store food in or receive food in are bad. It's not always a change that easy to make. The change is simple in theory, eliminate plastics from your everyday. Easier said then done, here are some tips:
  • Avoid bottles and other food containers made of clear, hard polycarbonate plastic (made from bisphenol A), which may be labeled #7 or PC on the underside. Also avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), labeled #3, which can contain phthalates.

  • Choose plastic food containers, bottles and cups made of #1, #2 and #4 (polyethylene) and softer, opaque #5 (polypropylene) plastics, glass or stainless steel.

  • Avoid canned foods, including baby formula, which may contain bisphenol A in their lining.

  • Avoid foods wrapped in plastic.

  • Do not microwave children's food in plastic or polystyrene.

  • Do not put plastics in the dishwasher, and dispose of any plastic containers or dishware that look scratched or hazy.

Read the rest of the tips and some more info on BPA over at the Celebrity Baby Blog where I did an entry on Hollywood's response to this.

Going Green in Baby Steps,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

REVIEW: Bath Toys -- So Fresh and So Clean

LLB absolutely adores bath time. And I know she adores her bath toys as well. We have a couple of things she plays with just about every bath.

First of there's her Animal Bath Squirties! She loves to kiss them goodbye and put them away when bath time is done. She can make the sounds that most of them make and she loves when you squirt her with them.

Crayola® Color Dotz
One thing that has really helped with getting LLB into the bath are these Crayola Color Dotz Bathtub Tints. She loves selecting a color before each bath and they're non toxic so if she drinks a little bath water I don't have to panic.

This isn't a toy, but it does allow me to get LLB's hair rinsed somewhat easily. I have to admit the Shampoo Rinse Cup not the easiest thing to use and a regular cup actually rinses better. But, it keeps the water and shampoo completely out of LLB's eyes and holds a decent amount of water.

Rub a Dub Dub,

RAMBLING: Nodding to The Land of Nod

I don't know why I get excited, but I LOVE online baby sites. I love to see what each carries and all the new products. So imagine my sheer excitement when I got an email with this subject line: Imagine Crate and Barrel for Baby. :-P CB has had a baby "area" for a while. And it's ironic that they're calling The Land of Nod a CB for baby considering it carries other people's branded products more then their own.

But that's neither here nor there. I LOVE the new site. It's got some of the BEST brands and some absolutely adorable stuff I now MUST try.

What's on my must-check-out list?

The Thermos Foogo Sippy Cup. Says it keeps drinks cold for 6 hours AND it it's not made out of any of that terribly toxic BPA plastic! I simply must check it out.

Even though LLB is too old now, the BABYBJORN Beginner Tableware looks way cool. The base is rubber to help it from sliding around and the rolled up edge and bright colors are sure to make this a kiddie fave!

And don't even let me start on the toys! They have some GREAT looking toys.

I think the LLB needs this Jack, the Monkey in the Box, considering her love for making monkey noises, I think this would be a HIT!

If you haven't heard of Sophie the Giraffe, you've been missing out. I've had several friends rave about this teether from France. She has several pointy places that soothe unhappy, teething babies.

They even sell Bla Bla Dolls! I think I'm in love.

Off to Shop (Don't Tell My Husband),

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

REVIEW: Bla Bla Black ... Doll?

On a recent trip to New York with the LLB I found the cutest little toy. Directly across from our hotel was a cute little gift shop and they sold Bla Bla dolls. I have to admit that I was more into them then LLB at first but she now loves her Leopold the Lion doll.

I have to admit that I had never heard of the brand before our stop in that shop. And I don't remember what I paid for the doll, but their site says $32 for the mini one (which is what she has). They aren't the cheapest things but they are absolutely ADORABLE. As I peruse the site I can't help but notice how many more I want. The dolls are so cute and they make bags and hats and, well see for yourself at the site:

Product Information
Rag Doll
Made by Bla Bla
Tons of styles to choose from
Bright, vibrant colors
Made well with quality materials
Prices range from $31 - $120
Find yours at

Buying Tip: I know the price is steep, but these dolls make great gifts and loveys if your child needs one. The characters are wicked cute and kids will delight at how soft and cuddly they are.

Lovey of my Life,

RAMBLING: 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe

The LLB has a TERRIBLE habit. It's tragic really. She takes her shoes off ... yes that's right I said it. I know that doesn't sound so bad. But picture it, she's all dressed and ready for "school." I load her in the car and hit the road. Halfway through the trip I hear her say it, "SHOOOOOOOOOOES." And I know it's coming. Sure enough one shoe is off, and the other is on it's way. She then flings them in the car.

When I arrive to her childcare center I'm then stuck searching the car for the shoes. And have to reassemble the LLB before we can head in. Now this might not sound like a problem. But it's annoying and I'm anal. And let's not even talk about the times that she's wearing SOCKS and shoes. She takes both off and I have to battle with her to get them back on.

Does anyone else's toddler do this? My mom took great pleasure in this story, apparently I did this as a child, too. Nice that she doesn't look like me almost at all, but instead picks up my personality traits. Look out world, we've got a Mini-Me!

Shoe Fly Don't Bother Me,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

REVIEW: Cozy Coupe -- Let's Go for a Ride

Back in the early spring, I heard of some yard sales that were going to be going on in a local town. I made sure LLB and I were ready to roll bright and early and we were on a mission. I was determined to find a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe.

We hit several spots with no luck and then I turned a corner and saw it sitting in a driveway. If we were in a comedy movie my car would have been shown speeding across the street and SCREECHING to a loud halt outside the house. As I pulled up I realized I had to play it low key with the family if I was going to strike a bargain. I don't even remember what I paid for it, but it was a steal as far as I was concerned.

I got it home and LLB played with it for hours. For the next several days she played with it every night just after dinner and before bed. It's been a couple months now and she's not as into it, but it's still one of the best things I bought her.

For anyone whose baby has hit that, "not a baby" -- "not a full-fledged toddler" phase this might be the best bet for you. We've had it since LLB was 13 Months old and I have to say of all her toys it still gets played with the most overall.

My child found a way to tip it over, so you're going to want to monitor your child and make sure they use it safely. She also managed to slide underneath it sometimes when driving, this ironically didn't upset her any of the times she did it.

Product Information
Cozy Coupe
Made by Little Tikes
Comes in several different models and color combinations
Good for outdoor or indoor use
Caster front wheels
Small turning radius
Working door and horn
Clicking key
Stroage compartment in rear
Open-and-close gas cap
Prices range from $59 - $99
Find yours at Google

Buying Tip: This is one product I recommend scouring craigslist, your local want ads or yard sales for. You can get some GREAT deals on it used and it really can hold up under a lot of abuse.

Little Deuce Coupe Where Have You Gone,

REVIEW: Nail Polishes -- Fall for These Colors

I'll be the first to admit that I'm in DESPERATE need of a manicure! But, I'm a nail biter -- and skin nibbler, it's GROSS I know!. And therefore find it hard to justify paying someone 15 my hard-earned dollars to work on my hands, that I'll just destroy in 3 day's time.

I prefer to indulge in at-home manicures, so that I can spend that $15 on something for LLB. Let's face it, the kid needs more clothes ... NOT! I also have toted along my own nail polish colors for years, the salons I go to never have updated colors and I also have a soft place in my heart for Essie nail polish and they don't seem to carry it.

Here are my ABSOLUTE favorite colors for fall nails

Essie "Material Girl": A deep plum with a mix of burgundy
*image from All Lacquered Up

Essie "Downtown Brown": The perfect chocolate brown

OPI "Siberian Nights": Deep purple meets black

CND "Hyde in the Park": Sparkly grey metallic
*image from All Lacquered Up

China Glaze "VI": Shimmering coral mixed with burnt orange
*image from All Lacquered Up

CND "Ruby Red": Bright, brilliant red
*image from All Lacquered Up

There you have it, my favorite colors for fall and even the holidays! Now if only I could sit still long enough to do my own nails.

Painting a Perfect 10,

Monday, September 24, 2007


Everyone has that ONE picture, the one where they were skinny and therefore happy. I'm not saying happiness is being skinny, but in my world I was happy when I was skinny! I was looking for pictures of me as a child that prove that the LLB is in fact my child, despite having dark hair and eyes and I found my skinny picture.

I can tell from the shirt that I'm wearing that I was at my skinniest when the shot was taken. So this would be from the early spring of 2003 when I was doing Weight Watchers. What's funny is it's not my FAVORITE shot of myself, but yet there's something about it I want to relish.

Now I shall post the picture here to share with you all, in the hopes that tomorrow when I want ANOTHER latte and/or cookie I will instead look at this pic and deprive myself.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do WeightWatchers again, but now I'm sure I do. Wish me luck!

Weighing My Options,

REVIEW: Mobiles -- Love for Tiny Love

While I was expecting I received a list of products that fellow employee parents really liked! I skimmed down it and noticed a mobile that sounded great. I had put my whole nursery together, everything was done, EXCEPT for the mobile. I couldn't find one I liked ... it was a nightmare :-O

When I shared the list with my email loop of other moms expecting in February, I got several responses from the moms on there that that mobile was a TRUE find! I was sold, I didn't need to read anything more about mobiles, I had found the one I wanted. I tracked it down at my local Babies R Us store and happily added it to my registry.

I couldn't wait to see what the LLB would think of it. Well, she LOVED it. Now, mind you, I didn't try any others, so maybe she would have liked the others just as much. But she LOVED this one, and because of that I have actually found a personal love for the company that makes it, Tiny Love. We had several of their stroller/carseat toys and she seemed to truly prefer them.

I was able to take showers and even just mellow out for 15 minutes at a time, while the LLB laid in her crib and watched the little animals go around and around. I was even sad when she finally got so big that I had to take the thing down, it looked so cute on her crib.

Product Information
Symphony in Motion Mobile
Made by Tiny Love
Comes in several models: Light & Motion, Farmyard Animals, Animals, Geometric Shapes and Remote Control
Features three different musical choices (Beethoven, Mozart or Bach):
Plays a fifteen minute snippet of music
Prices range from $30 - $50
Find yours at Google

Buying Tip: The version with the remote is the most expensive... and not necessarily worth it. I never used it, it's nice to have, but the LLB just didn't need the mobile to go longer then the 15 minutes it does. The remote also has a VERY short range so if you're goal is to use it while be invisible to your child you might feel like you're conducting a mission impossible. Tiny Love also listened to parents' feedback and allowed a switch on the newer models for turning the music OFF so you can let other music play while the mobile goes around.

To find out more about their mobiles and great products go to Tiny Love's site.

You Spin Me Right Round,

*this is a reposting of a review originally posted 07/29/06

RAMBLING: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow?

The rejuvenation of the super-bob, AKA Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham's 'do, has me in a quandry. I fluctuate between long and short hair like most people fluctuate between weights. Don't get me wrong my weight fluctuates, too (see Blue Jean Designer Queen Posting), it's just my hair that I try to pay more attention to!

Back to the question of the day ... should I chop off my hair? I would probably not do anything as severe as the "Posh." My hair is just below my shoulders right now and I'm torn at deciding it's fate. I actually don't mind the length half the time, but I'm in a rut and think I need the change. I have determined that highlights and lowlights for the fall will help. So I'm signed, sealed, delivered on those. But what about the length?

Here's some photographic proof of all my hair iterations ... enjoy the trip and then tell me what you think I should do!

1996 with the Drew Barrymore wicked-short hair
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
* yes that's me and my hubby at a Prom ... aw, ain't that sweet?

2002 with long hair
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
*say hello to Joey McIntyre everyone, ah that was a GREAT day

2003 with shorter, layered and lighter hair
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

2005 with shorter and DARKER hair
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

2006 with a post-pregnancy bob and highlights
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

2007 (may) with medium-length and highlighted hair

2007 (current) with long, in desperate need of color hair

Waiting for Your Verdict,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

REVIEW: Play Mats -- Time for Some Fun

The play mat is a MUST HAVE! Well at least if you live in my house! I have two dogs, an old carpet and not enough time on my hands to keep everything clean. When the Little Love Bug was in the blob phase (the phase where they just lie around all day and can't sit on their own) I liked placing her on her play mat for some solitary time.

We had a great Baby Einstein mat that had all sort of underwater wonders. She thoroughly enjoyed the mat. In the early days tummy time almost always caused her to cry, but with the help of the water animals and the little tummy time pillow on this mat she adjusted. The pillow was perfect for supporting her head off the mat and really seemed to make her more comfortable.

As she got older though this mat became a little too small for her, so I was SUPER EXCITED when I found out about Tiny Love's ActiviTot Developmental Gym! It's a bigger surface and allowed my little peanut some real crawling and rolling around space. It has arches that can be placed in multiple positions and tons of places to hook toys. The fabric is plush and soft and I even dragged it along on outside excursions as a place to play in the outdoors!

LLB at 1 Month Old (Baby Einstein Mat)

LLB at 4 Months Old (Baby Einstein Mat)

LLB at 8 Months Old (Tiny Love Mat)

Product Information
ActiviTot Developmental Gym

Made by Tiny Love
Baby-activated nature music mirror
Tummy time pillow
Two safe, bendable arches
Priced at approximately $80
Find yours at Google

Buying Tip: A play mat is a play mat. Like I said I like this one because it offered a large play surface and lots of customizable options, but for some a smaller, simpler mat will do. In the end go for the one that attracts you! Your baby will likely be enthralled with anything that you like, too!

Tummy Time for All,

*this is a reposting of a review originally posted 10/25/06

RAMBLING: Blue Jean Designer Queen

I recently bought a pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans. I had wanted a pair for a very long time, but I got pregnant and then in turn, "fat." I say fat in quotes because I'm one of those people who uses the word fat and then everyone around me goes, no you're NOT! LOL But most designer denim barely goes to size 32 and certainly doesn't beyond. And I couldn't fit a 32 without having a bulge.

Now let's talk about that post-pregnancy bulge for a second. What is that THING? And why doesn't it leave? I am at a decent weight for my height. I, like MOST women, would love to lose 10 or so pounds. But I've come to realize that even with weightloss, my belly still protrudes. It's like a permanent badge that says hey I had a baby.

Oh well, back to the jeans. I bought a pair of Sevens, found them at Nordstrom Rack, still paid a pretty penny but they weren't full price. And I LOVE the damn things. They make my non-existent butt look FAB and they make my already long legs, look slender and longer. People may laugh at the price tag, but seriously NO non-designer denim has that kind of power. The problem would be that now I want MORE pairs.

All in Due Time,

Saturday, September 22, 2007

RAMBLING: The Great Phone Debate

I HEART gadgets ... anyone who knows even the slightest detail about me knows this! I've been through several iPods in the past 5 years, at least a half dozen phones and a even several computers. It is from my dad that I got this crazy behavior, he gets a new car every 3-4 years, and a new computer (either completely new or new motherboard) probably every year.

My current dilemma is WHAT to get. Here's what I "want":

Blackberry 8830
iPhone or an iPod Touch
Hitachi Mogul
Katana II

I have Sprint and am most likely not leaving them, so I have to stick with their lineup, I would be willing to add an account at AT&T for the iPhone, just keep reading. I have a Katana, it's pretty and pink, I like girly things, what can I say? It's seen better days :-\ I don't like leather cases and the thing is really beat up. There is a new Katana II out ... it's decent looking but I still don't think it's as slick as the MotoRazr2. The MotoRazr2 is uber-expensive and only comes in ugly colors right now. Jeez haven't they learned anything, we all want color, PRETTY color at that. I am pretty certain I'll hold out for the cheaper and prettier MotoRazr2, we'll see.

I have a PocketPC phone, the PPC-6600 to be exact. And I actually LOVE the thing. I'm a PC girl who's being slowly wooed by Mac. I have a PowerBook that I'm cheating on my desktop PC with, the PC knows of the Mac's existence but doesn't think my feelings are true. Truth be told, if the PowerBook were an iMac my PC would be collecting dust right now. I'm that smitten with Mac, and that says A LOT! So I think the iPhone looks cool, I'm not an idiot though, when I have a multi-device like an iPhone or PDA I keep a standard phone. I hate talking on bricks. I have corporate exchange email though that will ONLY work on a Crackberry! If I don't do the iPhone I will likely upgrade to an iPod Touch and let LLB have my shiny Video iPod. Did I mention that I'm ADDICTED to gadgets? UGH ... I know there's people in my shoes ... share 'em if you got 'em!

Decisions Be Damned,

REVIEW: Diaper Pails -- Cuz Poop Happens

There are certain things about babies that are inevitable. Poopy diapers are but one of them. All babies will have them, we know that. But their rooms don't have to smell like they have them. If you use normal disposable diapers you will need some sort of disposal system. Like I did with most of my purchases I looked to Amazon (back when they were partnered with Babies R Us) for my recommendation. In early 2006, there are really only two worth mentioning, on the market, the Diaper Genie and the Diaper Dekor.

The Diaper Dekor seemed to win hands down, mainly because you didn't need your hands to use it! It has a foot pedal that lifts the lid so you don't need to touch the can at all. No twisting of diapers and best of all you can do it all while holding your baby. You can even transform it into a normal trash can when you're done with a diaper pail. I saw recently a Diaper Genie II is on the market, I know nothing about it, but I would still select my Diaper Dekor again.

Product Information
Diaper Dekor

Made by Regal-Lager
Liner holds 480 newborn and 220 large diapers
Triple seal locks in odors and germs
No assembly required
Priced at approximately $30
Find yours at Google

Buying Tip: The liners aren't too expensive which is a plus and the large capacity means you don't have to replace it constantly. I also just recently discovered that people are making covers for them, so not only will it keep your nursery smelling good but it can keep it looking good, too.

I Poop You Not,
*this is a reposting of a review originally posted 08/19/06


I'd like to take a second to welcome you to my blog. This is not my first attempt at a blog, but I think this one will keep me going. I hope to bring you information, opinions and just anecdotes on everything under the sun. A little background on myself, I'm going to be 29 in October. I have been married since May 2003 and I have one child, a daughter, who I shall refer to as the Little Love Bug or LLB. I'm open to suggestion or comments, so as I get further along if you have feedback please share it. Thanks for stopping by!

Follow the Yellow Brick Road,