Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I want to say a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Halloween to everyone out there. Please be safe and enjoy your night. Take some extra time tonight to cuddle your little ones close and ensure they're safe while they're out on their adventures. Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back tomorrow with more posts.

Oh and as promised here are the shots of the LLB in her costume. Pics were taken at our local Picture People, we had an EXCELLENT photographer. If you live in the No. VA area and want her info just hit me up!

Trick or Treat,

Monday, October 29, 2007

REVIEW: Taking Up Polka

Polka dots, that is! I HEART HEART HEART polka dots, I don't know where the obsession has come from, but alas it's here. A friend just announced her employment with GAP and I found myself on their site, convinced I could find a way to make her use her discount on LLB! Here's what I found:

Polka-dot knit pants

Cute dots aside, these pants are brown and pink, only my FAVORITE color combo. Consider them sold.

Hooded polka-dot dress

It's sick really, I'm so typical and easy to figure out. Brown, check. Pink, check. Polka Dots, check. DONE!

2-in-1 polka-dot graphic T

Gasp! It's not pink or brown but it is SUPER-cute and, of course, polka-dotted.

Bunny slope long sleep set

I think the ONLY thing I like better than polka dots right now is pajamas. This has been obsession since before LLB was born. Little kid pajamas are just too cute. LLB has a MILLION pairs and counting. Add polka dots and I'm there.

Phew, I think I'm seeing spots now. Now get to shopping!

Going Around in Circles,

RAMBLING: Feeling Slightly Giddy

Some of you have happened by my blog thanks to my recent intro over at CBB! First of all, welcome and second of all, thank you! I checked my traffic stats, yeah I'm a nerd -- though I do online content for a living, so come on you had to know I live and die by numbers -- and have a traffic thingy on my blog.

The day my intro showed up on CBB my traffic skyrocketed (I use the word skyrocketed loosely here) it wasn't in the millions or anything. But, I digress, TONS of you found your way to my humble little blog and some of you even commented on some posts. So I wanted to greet you warmly and tell you that I hope you'll come back, and come back OFTEN!

It's quite silly but seeing people commenting on my posts or even just coming by my blog really does excite me. I've been swallowed by a HUGE corporation long enough to feel like one of the millions and this blog reminds me that I'm really one IN a million. Yes I'm being cheesy, but it's true that I'm nothing without my fans (again I use the word loosely)!

If you have comments, suggestions, praise or even loathing, please post it. I promise to do my best to educate, entertain and/or just make you laugh at or with me every chance I get.

I'm Walking on Sunshine,

Saturday, October 27, 2007

REVIEW: Toddler Tunes

I have a hard time with music for the LLB. I am a musical person, I live my life by music. So imagine my horror when I pop in a children's CD and hear some middle-aged man singing children's songs in a cheesy voice.

Thankfully my day job affords me certain benefits, one of them getting free children's music CDs. There is some REALLY GOOD talent out there and I hope to share them with you.

You Are My Little Bird by Elizabeth Mitchell
There is just something beautifully pure about this CD. Elizabeth Mitchell's voice is folk-y and pretty and her songs are beautiful. I absolutely ADORE her rendition of Bob Marley's Three Little Birds.
Best Tracks: Little Liza Jane, Who's My Pretty Baby, Little Bird Little Bird, Peace Like a River, Three Little Birds
Have a listen to some of the songs on KOL Jr.

A Duck in New York City by Connie Kaldor

This CD is fun and playful with some very silly songs that LLB and I love.
Best Tracks: If You Love a Hippopotamus, Laundry Bag, Belly Button, Honey Honey Honey, Quack Quack Quack
Have a listen to some of the songs on KOL Jr.

More coming soon...

Music to My Ears,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

REVIEW: Infant Car Seat -- Protecting Your Most Precious Cargo

I did so much reading on car seats, I feel like a walking encyclopedia on them. That being said, the one thing I learned is that the BEST car seat is the one that fits in YOUR car and is installed CORRECTLY. I chose to do an infant carrier car seat for my sweet pea. This was so that I could take her out of the car in the seat and tote her around easily.

The question was which brand to go with. I teetered between the Peg Perego, Graco and Britax infant models. My final decision was made based on the following questions:
--Which seat was easiest to use?
--Which seat had the lowest recall rate?
--Which seat did better in crast tests?

All these questions led me to one seat, the Graco SnugRide. It had the lowest recall rate, did GREAT in crash tests and was VERY easy to use. I purchased mine as part of a travel system, it was a Laura Ashley print and that made it a little more expensive. The best part about it being the best choice was that it was also cheaper then other two, came in better, fun prints and actually weighed less then most of them.

One caveat, Consumer Reports released a VERY controversial study early this year that deemed 90% of Infant Car Seats as unsafe. They retracted the study when it came out that the speeds tested were nearly 70MPH, not 38.5 which is the standard the NHTSA uses. I took one thing away from that study though, 2 seats, one of them the Graco SnugRide with EPS passed. I certainly would feel better knowing that my child was in a seat that tested well at excessive speed as well as lower speeds!

I know nothing about the safety of the latest Peg Perego Viaggio TRI-FIX, Maxi-Cosi Mico or Orbit Baby system seats. There have been tons of changes to manufacturers' lineups so make sure you read up if you're debating another brand.

Product Information
SnugRide Carseat With EPS

Made by Graco
5-Point harness ensures that baby is in the seat tightly
Equipped with LATCH system to ensure easy installation
Equipped with belt fastening system in case your car doesn't have LATCH capability
Priced at approximately $90
Find yours at

Buying Tip: Read up on crash tests, carseats change all the time. Make sure you get your professionally installed, or at least checked by a safety inspector. Don't EVER buy a carseat used, they are no good once they have been in an accident and you have NO WAY of knowing whether it was in one or not. Lastly, make sure you register your seat with the manufacturer so that they can keep you posted on recalls.

Roll Out,

JUST IN: Bumbo Seats Recalled

No sooner do I review the Bumbo seat then it gets recalled! Here are the details on the recall:
"About a million Bumbo Baby Sitter seats are being recalled because of the risk of serious head injury.
The baby seats aren't car seats. The bottom of the seat is round and flat. It's made of a single piece of molded foam with a foam divider for the kids' legs. On the front of the seat is the word 'Bumbo' with the image of an elephant. The seats come in yellow, blue, purple, pink, aqua, and lime green.
'If the seat is placed on a table, countertop, chair, or other elevated surface, young children can arch their backs, flip out of the Bumbo seat, and fall on the floor, posing a risk of serious head injuries,' states the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The CPSC has gotten reports of 28 kids who fell out of the Bumbo Baby Sitter seat, including three children who fractured their skulls. Those children's baby seats had been placed on tables.
The CPSC advises consumers only to use the baby seat at ground level and to never leave a child unattended.
Consumers can call Bumbo International at (877) 932-8626 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to get new warning stickers and instructions.
The new warning states: 'WARNING: Prevent Falls; Never use on any elevated surface.'
More information and a picture of the recalled baby seat are available on the CPSC web site."
source: WebMD
I first understood the news as saying they wanted the seats back. But it's really just that you need a new sticker, a sticker that should be common sense. Don't place your child in the Bumbo on a raised surface. You never know what a child can/will do in one, so why take the chance. It's unfortunate that any child got hurt using one, and I appreciate all safety measures.

No Such Thing As Too Safe,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

RAMBLING: They Say It's Your Birthday

Today is my birthday and I LOVE to look at horoscopes for "If Today Is Your Birthday." So here are some of the ones for me today:
"You are without a doubt a person of strong magnetic presence and will always be at your best when in the company of the other sex. Your dramatic flair and larger than life gestures attract the attention of those around you and result in your being considered the life of the party. You are a very devoted family person and loyal to the needs of loved ones. You adhere to the principles of domestic life and the needs of children too. In matters of finance, you are very capable in stretching a dollar and always appear to be well to do even if you're scratching. Venus being your ruler grants you exceptional taste and refinement in your life choices and attire too! Music, art and literature will always be an important ingredient of your life! Your lucky colours are white and cream, rose and pink. Your lucky numbers and years of important change are 6, 15, 24, 33, 42, 51, 60, 69, 78."
"The year ahead is one of rapid growth and insistent self-expression. Your social life is bound to involve some fireworks as changes are required of existing relationships. Opportunities to advance in your career come when you employ strategy in your decision making. The need to make changes, and for more freedom in your life in general, can lead to restlessness this year. Life is very busy and quick in pace. Be sure to avoid overly impulsive actions."
"Happy Birthday, Scorpio! Because you put so much heart and soul into everything you do, your feelings can be hurt when others fail to notice. It’s difficult to reconcile others’ half-hearted gestures or hypocrisy with your Herculean efforts. Others’ oversight or lack of interest can leave you feeling blue, misunderstood - even jealous. You sometimes give in to waves of resentment or disappointment, mostly because others fail to acknowledge your consideration or affection. When you no longer expect affirmation from others, you truly become free. Possessed with enormous curiosity and a burning need to merge with the object of your desire, you appear to be in a constant state of transformation and passionate evolution. This can sometimes make life pretty exhausting. You’re so determined to get things right that you can become moody and frustrated with your work. No matter how superb your efforts, you nearly always find something missing or wrong. You’re highly spiritual, even mystical, and may dream of things just before they occur. Déjà vu moments are not particularly unusual for you. Your prescient vision of the world is a wondrous thing that must be shared with others. Your fertile brain is capable of developing innovations in so many areas, from seductive artistic expression to high tech medical research. You’re a misunderstood maverick in a world of followers, but your powerful desire for acceptance may rein in some of your wilder notions. In other words, there’s a lot more to you than meets the untrained eye."

"Resist the temptation to buy everything you want this year. You can do that later, after your investments start paying off."
"It's okay to be serious about your aims in life but not so serious that you lose your ability to have fun. Every time you feel the corners of your mouth begin to turn down this year you must think of something amusing that gets you smiling again. It's not so hard - life is meant to be fun."

"You protect your privacy, and resent it when people try to pry into your personal life. Try to find a way to keep your boundaries strong without scaring friends away. It's up to you to find new ways to do the same old things now that the Moon is in your 6th House of Familiar Routine. Your habits have become a bit stale, so it's certainly time to spice them up. Although you may be rather cautious now, don't be afraid to try something different. Paradoxically, you can make your life more enjoyable and more stable by breaking up the stuck patterns."

So there you have it -- Me in a nutshell. I found the first and third to be the most accurate to me.

Will You Still Need Me When I'm 54,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

REVIEW: Trick or Treat Toys

We all know I'm a bit silly, but I want to give my child a "gift" for Halloween. Nothing big, fancy or expensive, but something cute that has to do with Halloween.

I debated a couple of books, but wound up giving her the books early, as I didn't see the point in reading about Halloween AFTER the holiday. I LOVE Halloween, I love the dressing up, the fun of being scared and most of all the CANDY! So, if you're like me and want to present your little one with a present, here are some options.

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

I bought this adorable book for the LLB and she loves reading it. It follows Biscuit and a little girl on their trick-or-treating adventures!

Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever!

In 'Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever!' based on Don Freeman's popular character, the fellow gets ready for a Halloween party. His inventive use of a tablecloth earns him costume kudos and extra treats.

Room on the Broom

In this lightweight, witty story, helpful animals find "room on the broom" of a generous witch.

Boo! Made You Jump! (Charlie and Lola)

It’s so very easy for Charlie to scare his little sister, Lola . . . but just once, Lola wants to make Charlie jump. Lola tries absolutely everything she can think of, including practical jokes, dressing up like a creepy ghost, and telling a really scary story. But no matter what she does, nothing seems to work! Will Lola ever make Charlie jump?

Mr. Potato Head -- Trick or Tater

Hasbro sent me one of these and I know the LLB is going to LOVE it! It's a standard Mr. Potato Head with fun costume "accessories."

TY Halloweenie Beanies Ghoulianne

Ghoulianne, a 5 ghost girl with an orange and black ribbon and a pumpkin, has a top loop that allows you to use it as a holiday decoration or to attach it to a backpack, purse or zipper!

Halloween Yahtzee

Featuring glow-in-the-dark Halloween-themed dice, the Halloween Yahtzee game is the first and only game that allows fans to enjoy the shock, fun and excitement of Halloween with classic Yahtzee game play.

What did you buy your little ones for Halloween? What are your kids going dressed as? Are you as excited for Halloween as I am? Just wait 'til next year when LLB will actually understand it!

Boo! Did I Scare You?,

Monday, October 22, 2007

RAMBLING: Terrible Twos Meet LLB

I've complained since she was 15 months that the Terrible Twos begin early. But I realized at about 18 months that her problem at 15 months was her communication. Suddenly around 17-18 months that fixed itself, she learned how to communicate a bit better about her needs and I was able to calm her down.

Now the LLB is 20 months old and it's a whole other story. She's looking down the barrel of the two year old gun and she's ready to explode. I try not to take it personally, I try to remember that some of her behavior may be my fault, but not ALL of it is. I try to remember that it's a phase and will pass.

Today she lost it for the first time in public. We were leaving the doctor's office, collarbone is healing nicely by the way, and the appointment time was 1pm. LLB naps from 12:30-3 so from the get go I knew we had an issue. Well she behaved very well for the appointment. I was shocked really. But upon leaving she got irate with me for trying to put her shirt back, what a mean mommy, I am!

She cried and even shouted a bit while we waited for them to make her follow-up appointment. She carried on in a way I've never seen her do and I had no choice but to stand there holding her. She hit me, tried to bite me, she was irate and I couldn't do ANYTHING about it. Finally we finished there and she nuzzled into my neck. The one position she can do that makes me forget what a monster she is!

I probably would have lost my cool with her had we not been in public. So I've done some asking around and found some good tips ... in hopes that I'm not the only one going through this, here they are:

Use Distraction: When your child starts getting worked up, try turning her energy and attention to a new, acceptable activity like playing a favorite tape or singing and dancing.

Stay Calm: A gentle tone of voice says you're in control. Sure, the calm, even-tempered approach may not be immediately rewarding, but you will see the effects as your child increasingly grows toward self-control. (This sounds hard!)

Place in Crib or Playpen: By placing your child in a crib or a playpen, you can remove some of your attention from their tantrum.

When in Public. If your child's behavior is embarrassing you, simply remove her without discussion or fuss. Then, wait until she's completely calm before continuing with your outing.

Don't Use Bribes: It only reinforces the negative behavior and ultimately teaches your child that if she wants something, all she has to do is scream and kick loud enough to get it.

Common Causes of Tantrums:
Frustration, Emotions, Control, Physical Hunger, exhaustion, over stimulation, boredom, not feeling well. Choices, too many or too few.

Welcome to My World,

RAMBLING: Trick or Treat

Halloween is a little over a week away, I hope by now you've secured your costumes. Little kids' costumes seem to disappear at rapid fire. I did a couple of Halloween costume galleries for KOL, so if you're looking for an ensemble for the kiddies, check these links out:

Little Kid Costumes
Big Kid Classic Costumes (my buddy Lyssa wrote this one)
Big Kid KOL Costumes

What's the LLB going to be? Why a lion, of course ... ROAAAAAAAAAAR! :-D And she's a darn cute lion if you ask me. You'll have to wait until Halloween to see the pics of her in the costume. Her Ghost candy bag, showed up last week and it's super-cute and worth every penny I paid for it.

I haven't decided how we'll do Halloween just yet. But I think I'll take her to a local 'hood for some early TorT-ing with friends and then do our little cul-de-sac. She's really too young to know what's going on, but I'm excited that we can wander around in her costume this year. We had a Boo Party yesterday at a friend's house and all the kiddies were in costume, it was too cute for words. And on Thursday this week she'll have a Boo Parade at school so she'll get some good use out of her costume.

The larger question is whether I will dress up this year. Probably not, I don't have an event to go to and just not in the mood. What about you? Are you dressing up? What's your kid going to be? SHARE!

Doing the Monster Mash,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Red Sox Nation

This has nothing to do with being a Mommy or a Woman BUT I feel the need to show my support!


JUST IN: Peg Perego Skate Stroller

I'm in love. I haven't been this ramped up about something since I first saw the announcements for the Bugaboo Cameleon. Peg Perego has just announced it's Skate Stroller. And from the looks of it it will deliver in ways that others have fallen short. It looks like the hybrid child of a Stokke Xplory, Bugaboo Cameleon and even the Quinny Buzz.

First of all it has a bassinet and child seat. The seat can telescope up and down. It has tilt options and of course the child can face outward or inward. And my key selling point ... it folds down into one piece. I simply CANNOT wait to get my hands on this beauty.

The color options aren't nearly as cool as a Bugaboo BUT they are still simple and pretty and if the stroller performs the way it should, the fabric will not matter. Looks like it might run $900 OUCH, here's another peek at it. But regardless, based on what I'm seeing, we might have a mainstream contender to the luxury stroller biz.

Skating on Thin Ice,

Friday, October 19, 2007

REVIEW: Bouncy Seats -- More Bounce for the Ounce

OK, so I was prepared to embrace the bouncy seat. Everyone's baby loved them ... they soothed babies to sleep ... they worked magic ... right? Read on ...

I fell in love with the Fisher Price Baby Papasan Bouncy seat that matched my swing. It was soft, plush and BEAUTIFUL. It was quickly added to my registry. The day of my shower came and it wasn't in the gift pile. So my best friend and I hopped over to Babies R Us after the party to pick up some things with the gift cards I had. She wanted to buy me my bouncy seat. So there we were in BRU with the vast selection in front of us, when I spotted the Eddie Bauer Soothing comfort bouncer. It was in light, neutral, tan colors with cute little bear decoration. I still liked my Fisher-Price selection best and then I saw the option that sealed the deal.

It came with a mesh canopy that not only provided nice sun coverage BUT actually could zip up all the way to provide protection from bugs and animals! With two dogs at home I was worried about them having easy access to her. This solved that problem. So, home it came. WELL... 9 months later it's been used maybe 5 times. She didn't care for it. It didn't really soothe her, not that she didn't LIKE it. It just didn't do the trick. That being said, it works for TONS of babies! Just not mine!

Product Information
Soothing Comfort Bouncer - B is For Bear

Made by Eddie Bauer
Two-position netted canopy for outdoor use
Two-position seat (reclines to bassinet for naps)
Two-speed vibration and soothing nature sounds
Adjustable and removable soft toys
Soft padded headrest
Machine washable and dryer-safe quilted seat pad
Priced at approximately $50
Find yours on Google

Buying Tip: Bouncy seats are great for traveling. We took ours on a beach trip with us ... and it helped as a seat for LLB and a place for napping in unfamiliar surroundings.

Bounce Baby, Bounce,

RAMBLING: To TV or Not to TV?!?!

Every mom knows this battle well. It probably ranks, in terms of debate, with vaccinating, breastfeeding and well you get the picture. Should little ones watch TV and what are the ramifications of letting them.

We've all seen the reports ...

Early childhood TV watching causes ADD.
Children who watch Baby Einstein videos test lower then those who didn't.
And the latest,
Too much TV watching leads to autism.

To me, these are all scare tactics -- ways to get parents in their guts and make them freak out. Too much TV is a bad thing, I hope EVERYONE is aware of this. But 10-30 minutes of TV every now and then so you, as Mom, can unload the dishwasher or make dinner or just UNWIND is not a bad thing. If it helps both you and the child recharge and take a time-out of sorts, there is NOTHING wrong with it.

If you can't tell by now, I'm a FIRM believer in everything in moderation. There is a GREAT article in the October 2007 issue of Parenting Magazine that addresses this very question. I can't find the article online, I'll try to scan it later. But the woman tackles this the way I've always believed. The trick is monitoring usage, screening the entertainment and being involved. Make sure the images don't move too rapidly or depict scenes your little one can't handle. Look for shows that are targeted at your little one's age range. And limit their intake to little bits here and there. Also participate with them while they watch. Ask questions about the show with them, engage them.

I don't know about you, but my almost 2-year-old will not sit still for a TV program but if it happens to catch her eye she'll watch for a little bit. The larger issue here, in my opinion, is the parent. An involved, loving, caring parent does not have to worry about the small doses of TV their child is "ingesting." It's the parents who use the TV as a babysitter all day that should worry and sadly they likely aren't worried one bit.

Sesame Street Taught Me Everything,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

RAMBLING: Flat-Lining

I have never liked flat-heeled boots. NEVER! That is until this year. As I took a stroll through Nordstrom a month ago I noticed some of the most amazing boots. And they were FLAT! So here are some of the ones I'm lusting over.

Nine West 'Remlap' Boot
I like the casual, relaxed style of this boot.

Steve Madden 'Touring' Suede Boot
These boots are even more beautiful in person. The grey color is magnificent!

Schutz Rouge Suede Boots
I love the bright, red color of these boots and the lace up detailing.

Aerosoles Flamcoyant
These boots are very simple and yet perfectly styled.

These Boots Are Made for Walking,

REVIEW: Exersaucer -- Get Moving

OK, so there are so many different models of Exersaucers on the market that one could go crazy trying to pick one out. I registered for the Evenflo Exersaucer SmartSteps, it looked like a lot of fun and the reviews on Amazon for it were great. It was the most expensive one on the market, but hey if someone else wanted to fork over the money for me, who was I to complain?

Well my baby shower came and the Exersaucer appeared in my gift pile. I was sooooooo excited! Now, I had my nursery set up MONTHS in advance so I was busy putting together toys and gadgets for her already. I decided since the Exersaucer would take up so much space to hold off on putting that together and shoved it under her crib!

At about 3 months I was told by some more experienced mothers that as long as a baby has good head control they are ready to use it. Just place some blankets in front and behind your child to help her/him from flopping around! Well before I could even put the thing together my hubby got a call from his boss, their neighbors were moving and had an exersaucer that had never been used for us. Hubby brought it home the next day. It was the Baby Einstein one made by Graco. I preferred the one I had registered for BUT this one was already assembled and FREE after all... who was I to complain.

A couple weeks after he brought it home I put her in it for the first time. She LOVED it! It was a whole new world for her and I liked how it entertained her and freed up my hands. LLB was never a fan of laying down ... she thought it was for bed time, so the fact that this kept her standing made it an enjoyable activity.

I was able to take my Evenflo one back to Babies R Us and get a store credit, they are EXCELLENT about this kind of thing. But I still like that particular model and would definitely recommend it to other mothers! LLB seemed perfectly happy with the Baby Einstein one though, so I'm glad we kept it.

At 3 months, trying it out for the first time

Product Information
Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center
Made by Graco
Nine interactive toys help develop sensory and motor skills
3-position height adjust grows with your baby
360-degree swivel seat allows baby easy access to tray and toys
Priced at approximately $80
Find yours on Google

Buying Tip: The cloth seat is machine washable in cold water and delicate setting. Metal and plastic parts can be cleaned with household soap or detergent and warm water. If your registering I say go for the Evenflo Exersaucer I mentioned before it has like a MILLION toys and gadgets! The Baby Einstein seat is basic and I've actually come to love that about it, but I can't help but be envious of all the stuff the other one has!

Who Needs a Baby Gym,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

RAMBLING: Layoffs and Locks

I wanted to update that I still LOVE my haircut and color. Every time I wash it and style it I try a different twist to see if I can perfect it, but it never disappoints. I've not been this excited about my hair in a VERY long time.

And to be honest this is a very good thing, as my self esteem is at an all time low. I was JUST laid off from my full time gig and while I'll be working until December, I'm still looking for work. It doesn't feel good when you send your resume out and receive NOTHING!

I know there's something bigger and better out there, but right now the weight loss, hair and of course my love for my family are what keeps me going. The lesson to all this is to make sure you fix the things you can when you're feeling down. I can't make possible employers call me but I CAN make myself feel great. Positive energy counts for something in this world!

We Are Beautiful In Every Single Way,

REVIEW: Barbie Girls -- Barbie Goes Digital

If you have a girl between the ages of 6-10 then you're likely to see Barbie Girls on her Christmas list.

These super-cool and super-cute tiny dolls are actually an MP3 player. They come with intercheangable plates so you can change her clothes, her hair, her accessories or even her attitude with a silly face.

I've done toy coverage for a long time now and I've never seen anything quite like this. It's like the iPod on steroids, but the kind of steroids that people don't get 'roid-rage from! The possibilites and accessories are endless and you can even take your Barbie Girl online for even more fun inside your very own Barbie world.

Suddenly I can't stop singing... "I'm a Barbie girl ... In a Barbie world ... Life's fantastic ... When you're plastic!" Stop the madness, make the song go away. But definitely pick one of these cool girls up!

Wishing I Could Be Barbie,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

REVIEW: Carriers -- A Pain in the ... BACK!

I love holding my little bean. BUT sometimes, enough is enough. I'm not one of the "Attachment Parenting" people, but I see nothing wrong with "wearing" your baby if it's comfortable for you and your baby likes it. I decided I wanted to try out a carrier. I chose the Baby Bjorn Active Carrier. It offers more support then previous models with a lower back support.

She LOVED the Bjorn, it allowed me to walk the dogs, vacuum, just about anything without her crying. Unfortunately for me, it still put a strain on my back, and wearing her in front of me wasn't always the most optimal position! I tried the PreMaxx Baby Bag ... she HATED it ... lying down wasn't for her. I tried it when she was like 3-4 months old though, so it's possible had I done a laying down one from the start she would have been a bigger fan. So I continued to use the Bjorn, in moderation!

The first time I put it on I was discouraged at the effort it took and thought I wouldn't be using it that often. By the third time I had it down pat and now I can do it with my eyes closed. My lesson is simple, give it several tries before you give up. Practice really does make perfect!

Here are the LLB and I on one particularly COLD winter night, when I needed to walk the dogs.

She was less then one month old when that picture was taken but the Bjorn held her in and I felt she was secure!

Product Information
Active Carrier

Made by Baby Bjorn
Comes in several different colors
Can be worn as early as your baby's first week
Extra back support directs your baby's weight away from your shoulders
Priced at approximately $120
Find yours on Google

Buying Tip: One of my favorite features is how it unhooks at the bottom to make it easy for diaper changes or to even lay down your sleeping baby. Try it on at the store, make sure you like it. Scour eBay and Craigslist for good deals, you don't HAVE to pay full price.

Just Call Me Kanga,

REVIEW: A Better Belly

When I was pregnant I heard about the Bella Band. I didn't know of a local store that sold them, and I'd certainly done my share of spandex items that didn't work. So after I had LLB I hit a local boutique and they had them, so I bought one. It's probably one the best things I purchased.

After having LLB I lost a ton of weight, according to the scale I was almost at my skinniest. (By the way this is just ONE reason of MANY why breastfeeding is GREAT) Well my body wasn't skinny though. I still had that tummy pouch and my clothes fit awkwardly. The Bella Band allowed me to wear my old clothes with no problems.

It works VERY simply. It's an elastic band that comes in four sizes (even up to a 24!!!). You select the size based on your pre-pregnancy pants. You can wear it during pregnancy and even after to help hold pants up or smooth the waistline of pants that can't close at the top. I even wear mine still, I love how it smooths my middle out and makes me feel covered.

One last thing it's great for is breastfeeding, I lived in camisoles but this thing does the trick of keeping you belly covered if you're modest. I was/am very modest when I nurse, I didn't want any skin showing and this band helped keep me covered.

It definitely works but if you're like me and want to see for yourself before you do an online order, see if a local boutique near you carries it. If you're sold and ready to order, carries them online.

Stop Sucking It In,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

JUST IN: Sale at Pottery Barn Kids on Halloween

I finally have something other then a review or rambling to post! I had been meaning to order LLB one of the super cute Halloween treat bags that Pottery Barn Kids was selling, they were only $12 and had free shipping.

Sounded like a deal to me. So today I hopped over to and not only did I order her the Ghost bag I had been wanting but it was on SALE! $6.99!!!!! Plus the $6 for personalization and FREE shipping, I almost had to buy more just so I wouldn't feel silly for shipping one small, CHEAP item.

I'm silly I know. This by the way is how I manage to be a shopaholic, $13? That's cheap, let's pick up a couple more sale items because they're a good deal and next thing you know I've spent upwards of $60! Well since the bag was free shipping and nothing else I was considering buying was, I went with just the bag. I even had an old PBKids gift card with $3 on it so I only had to spend $10 myself. It's a great day now where can I spend another $50? HAHA!

Shopaholic and Proud,

RAMBLING: Adventures in the ER

We survived this long without a visit but Thursday we were off to the ER. LLB fell at daycare and they asked me to come get her. She fell while outside on her shoulder and cried if you touched it :-\ Arrived at the ER at approx 12PM and 2 hours later it was nothing. Doctor thought it was a broken clavicle but x-rays showed nothing. They also sent us back to x-ray her arm after the clavicle proved to be fine. We ate some lunch, she was in a GREAT mood. We got her home and she was doing great. She was playing outside with Hubby and she decided to jump off the stairs, obviously she isn’t good at it yet. She fell and landed on her hands and knees. She was a mess after that. I also think her teeth are bothering her so it’s been hard to pinpoint any real source of pain.

Sent her to daycare yesterday with strict orders that if she wasn’t doing OK to call me and I’d come get her in a heartbeat. They knew I meant it and with the occasional whine they said she was fine. I picked her up around 3PM and we did our usual routine, light play and dinner and then bedtime. She seemed to be doing OK to me. She would occasionally whine or cry a little but overall she was good. We ate dinner and got ready for bed. I had examined her a couple of times and decided nothing seemed to be off. After her bath though I noticed some swelling. The doc had said that would happen so I was worried but not ALARMED. We were waiting for Hubby to bring us some Motrin and when he got home, he was worried. Made us head to ER. So we did.

Arrived at 8:30PM, I commented pulling in that I was thinking we’d be out by 11PM… 11PM came and went and we weren’t even back in a room yet :-\ Needless to say 4 hours, one x-ray and one sling later we had a broken clavicle. When she fell while Hubby was watching her on Thursday she must have broken it, so either she had a hairline that they couldn’t see and that forced it OR she just couldn’t catch herself properly with the pain and broke it. Either way the girl has a broken clavicle and is doing great considering. Here are some x-rays and a shot of her with the sling. Which by the way she wanted gone 5 min after the pic.

October 11, 2007 1:30 PM

October 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Sticks and Stones May Break Her Bones,

Friday, October 12, 2007

REVIEW: Boppy -- Not Just For Breastfeeding

The usefulness of The Boppy is often understated. Many write it off as just for breastfeeders ... this is not the case. It is true that The Boppy is GREAT as a breastfeeding pillow, you place it around your middle in your lap to rest your arms and/or the baby on. Mom whose babies had reflux said it's helpful for keeping their little ones in an elevated position. But it's also great as a BABY pillow. When you're little one is in what I like to call the blob phase, you can place him or her on it like I did with LLB in the pic below. They sleep peacefully like this and it can allow you to keep them close while they do.

It also comes in handy during tummy time, just place your child on their tummy with the ring of The Boppy around them. Make sure the edge of the pillow hits just at your baby's arm pits. LLB started enjoying tummy time a million times more when this was done. Here's another pic to show how this is done.

Best of all the girl in me LOVED all the fun prints they come in, you can even pick up slipcovers along the way! I have to admit I was a little "sad" when I was in Target the other day and saw the special Boppy Tummy Time pillow, as this was new and not around when LLB was born. It looked perfect, but to be honest, the original one we had was PERFECT and it would have been yet another toy I had kicking around here after the fact!

Product Information
The Original Boppy Pillow
Made by Boppy
Come in MANY prints and fabric coverings
Is easy to wash and take care of
Priced at approximately $25
Find yours at Froogle

Buying Tip: I think it's wise to get a Bare Naked Boppy (a plain Boppy) and some slipcovers. This way you are going the most economical route and you get to change the look of your Boppy constantly to make it feel new. The Boppy made for tummy time is nice and all but if you're feeling cheap you can easily just throw some toys in front of your Boppy to achieve a similar effect! Splurge if you want though, I know I often do!

Boppy to the Toppy,

RAMBLING: When Water's Not Just Water

I'm a water snob. I first developed a love affair with water when I was in Paris back in 1997. I couldn't drink enough of it and it made me feel great. I've never been a big soda drinker so it wasn't hard to switch to the plain stuff.

In 2003 when I did Weight Watchers the first time, water was a key part of the weight loss. They STRESS the importance of drinking water and it's part of your daily menu plan. A couple years back I tried a bottle of Fiji Water. I don't even remember where I was or what made me buy it. I think I was in NY and I think it was the square bottle but who knows. From first sip I was enamored. It's sooo smooth and clean tasting. I know it's water, what can be so special about it. I promise you if you try it you'll know the difference.

The problem is I can't go back. Drinking Deer Park is like drinking dirty water to me, it's just not the same. So I have created a nasty $1.80 a day habit! Hey it could be causing me cancer, so it could be worse. I also love spotting other people, celebrities, people on the street even people in television shows or movies drinking it. I feel like I'm in an elite club. Will someone please remind me that it's just water?

Down at the Watering Hole,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

RAMBLING: Good Night Moon

LLB and I have a GREAT good night routine. And it began when she was very young. We did a bath, a book, a nursing session and then bed. Now the nursing session is gone but instead we read several books and have a sip of water.

I love the routine, I love the ease of it and how natural it feels. I hate when it's rushed and I even feel sad when I know I won't be putting her down (which has only happened a couple times).

LLB has an iPod that plays a specific playlist all night long in her room, it's called the Good Night Moon mix and it's a hodge podge of slow songs that mellow me (and I hope HER) out.

We read the same three books every night, Sleepyhead, Good Night Moon and The Owl and the Pussycat. She loves the books, and loves to find the mouse in the pages of Good Night Moon. I love that she likes book so much and I think she would have me read at least 5 to her if she had her way.

The Quiet Old Lady Whipsering Hush,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I started something back at the beginning of summer. I called it Mommy Dinner Night. It became a ritual. Once a month me and a group of my best mommy friends get together for dinner. We're all working moms and we cherish this time. It's guilt-free time and a great chance to play catch up and chat about our kids without chasing them around a playground.

I have to admit I have the best group of mommy friends in the world. I have an online set who I met when I first found out I was pregnant with Antonia. We started on a message board and moved to an email loop. I have several that I'm VERY CLOSE with, and who I would truly go insane without. And as a whole I like the entire lot of the email loop. We bounce ideas of each other, offer support and even have a heated debate every now and then -- We are women with hormones after all!

Then I have a set that I met at my hospital after I gave birth to LLB. It was a group for new mommies and it met at 9AM on Wednesdays. We didn't make it for at least the first month haha, but once I got into the habit of it, I LOVED it. We were able to support once and another and more importantly prove that we are not alone in this parenting thing.

Out of that larger group there are about 5 of us who meet regularly. We do Mommy Dinner, Mommy Poker, playdates and more. We have pictures of our kids at just about every phase of life together and it warms my heart to know that this is probably the beginning of some beautiful friendships for LLB.

So I wanted to stress the importance of Me Time after you have a baby! It is unlikely that you will cease to be a mother again, but you're still YOU! Go out, take a break, take a breather whatever it is. I nursed LLB so in the beginning it was hard for me to do this, but now I'm grateful for the time. I have yet to spend a night without her, and I'm not sure when I'll do that, but leaving her in the perfectly capable hands of her father is a blessing!

Reconnect with other adults, if socialization is important to you. If girlfriends aren't crucial to you just hit a coffee shop or book store and mellow out. Heck even a trip to Target sometimes does the trick. Don't get me wrong the LLB is my little best friend I take her everywhere. But when I do get away by myself for errands, it can be such a relief!

Me, Myself and I,

Monday, October 8, 2007

REVIEW: Bumbo -- Wonder Seat of the 21st Century

In the past year, the Bumbo seat has become a hot commodity! They've been known to sell out at most mass retailers and can earn a pretty penny on eBay. The supply has gotten better as the demand evened out, and I was able to get my hands on one a little over a month ago.

The seat is made from a low-density foam material. It has a deep middle that the child sinks into and the back wall helps support them in a sitting position. I couldn't believe how grown up the LLB looked in hers. It is easy to take with you and can be used on ANY flat hard surface. Best of all, it's super-easy to clean, just wipe it down!

They make a great on-the-go highchair, just pop it in place and feed. They now have trays for toys and feeding, so the seat is more versatile then ever. I can't even stress how amazing this seat is and what a true helper it is.

The bad news is your child will outgrow it pretty fast. Once they start arching their backs or become mobile this seat will lose it's luster and join the pile of retired things! All in all, for the price you really can't beat it. If you're smart you'll get it before your child turns 5 months and get some REAL use out of it! Also, as I stated the resell on eBay is pretty good and there's always craigslist, too!

LLB enjoyed it when we first got it

Then she learned to do this!

Product Information
Bumbo Seat
Made by Bumbo
Comes in five fun colors
Doesn't require any uncomfortable straps or fasteners
Baby’s own body weight keeps baby in place
Priced at approximately $40
Find yours on Google

Buying Tip: Start using this seat whenever your child has good head control and seems to enjoy sitting upright. They'll enjoy the view. As with MOST baby products, NEVER leave your child unattended in it.

Now I'm a Believer,

RAMBLING: Adventures in Pumpkin Land

I took today off to play with some Mommy Friends and their little ones. LLB and I hit the local animal farm that does a wonderful Pumpkinville setup. LLB was free and I was $11 and it was worth every stinkin' penny.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

LLB played with the animals, getting to pet and touch a cow, sheep, goat and more. We took a hayride, and she actually behaved the whole time. She did the moon bounce with her girlfriends, a sight that you had to see to believe. Four toddlers and a moonbounce is a GRAND thing!!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We had a hot dog for lunch and brought a LLB-sized pumpkin home with us.

It was a GRAND day. The kind that makes you want the crisp air of fall to come already and one that makes you want to smother your little one in kisses. I write this because I think you should run, not walk, to your nearest fall festival farm or garden and enjoy a day with your little one. You will thank me for it. I promise!

Pumped Up for Pumpkins,

Sunday, October 7, 2007

RAMBLING: Fall-ing Flat

Last year I fell in love with flats. I used to hate them, but now they're one of my most-lusted after objects. And this fall offers some truly delicious choices.

Steve Madden 'Liraa' Flat
Super-cute patterned flat with buckle at the back.

Façade 'Nadia' Animal Print Mary Jane
The boots had me at hello but these flats have my undivided attention. Giraffe-print, calf hair flats in a simple Mary-Jane style.

Jessica Simpson 'Lester' Flat
A simple ballerina flat that is wicked cute and comfortable. I bought a pair for spring and have worn them out, I'll just have to snatch up another pair.

Sam Edelman 'Carmen' Chain Detail Plaid Flat
Brown plaid is the quintessential fall trend. And these beauties are the perfect addition to your autumn wardrobe.

Steve Madden 'Cannon' Suede Flat
Beautiful, brilliant red suede makes these babies drool worthy.

Sugar 'Round Up' Mary Jane
If you want to wear sneakers but don't want to sacrifice your style these are GREAT!

As you can see I have a love affair with shoes, one that my husband can't even begin to understand. To him they're things you put on your FEET ... to me they're things your feet are HONORED to wear!

Point Me to the Shoe Department,

Saturday, October 6, 2007

REVIEW: Infant Bathtub -- So Fresh and So Clean

If you've never washed a baby before, you're in for a real surprise! They are slippery when wet and once you add soap, forget about it.

I was thrilled to get my infant safety bath tub from a friend at my baby shower. It was a simple blue tub with a green mesh liner that attached at the top and bottom to the tub to hold baby safely in the water. While you should never, EVER leave baby unattended in a tub, the green mesh liner helped me by not requiring I keep one hand on her at all times. It really frees you up a bit to help keep them clean and makes you feel a bit safer by bathing them in something more their size!

A friend of mine had a fancier Fisher-Price Aquarium themed one. While I liked the theme, it really wasn't any different then the one I had and mine did JUST the trick!

Product Information
Sure Comfort Newborn to Toddler Tub

Made by The First Years
The upright backrest provides additional support for toddlers.
Fits double and single kitchen sinks
Toys, wash towel or rinse water can be held in the built-in basin
Mildew-resistant pads are machine washable and quick drying for easy clean up
A temperature guard drain plug changes color to indicate when water is too hot
Priced at approximately $15
Find yours on Google

Buying Tip: The thing I liked best about my particular model is it is made to accommodate infants and toddlers. One side has a steep slope to it for baby to recline. And the other is an actual seat for your older baby. We used this tub until LLB was at least 1 year old. The only reason we stopped was because we moved and our new bathroom didn't have room for it.

Let's Get Sudsy,

*this is a reposting of a review originally posted 11/01/06

RAMBLING: Battle of the Bulge

Ever since I found the ONE picture, I've been doing Weight Watchers. I did it YEARS ago so for now I'm trying to do it on my own. Don't get me wrong I know the meetings work, I just would prefer to do this my way to prove to myself that I can do it. I've lost about 3 pounds in one week. I'm feeling better already and it's done wonders for my self esteem. Between the hair and the weight I feel like I'm on my way to being a new person.

I have one big problem with the Weight Watchers program though. It doesn't necessarily pay to eat good-for-you food on it. Yes, fruits are low in point values and you can opt for fat free or low fat items. But in general organic, whole grain, etc. food seems to be higher in points. The lower point items seem to always be the processed foods. This is frustrating, because I am trying to eat healthier as well as lose the weight.

I suppose that's the way of the world, nothing is ever eay or "fair" oh well. Again the brightside is that I've lost approximately 3 pounds and I'm not hungry!

Wasting Away to Nothing,

Friday, October 5, 2007

RAMBLING: Random Sleep Issues UPDATE

It would appear that the LLB is afraid of the dark even it's just a slight fear. She won't let you leave her in her room in darkness. But if the door is slightly open and she has a light on in her room (we have a three-setting light with a VERY dim setting) she does A-OK. I'm still trying to figure out what the deal is exactly, but it helps to have a slight fix to our problem so she can sleep.

On an interesting note she went down fine last night for the hubby ... I asked him what his trick was, he said he left the door ajar which is what I did tonight. But I still had to go back once and rub her back. Hmmm maybe Daddy really has the magic touch. I'm sure by the time I figure this one out she'll have a new "problem." :-P

To Sleep Perchance to Dream,

REVIEW: Wipes Warmers -- What's the Deal?

The wipes warmer is a HEATED debate (pun intended :-P)! Do they really work? Does the baby even care? Do they dry out the wipes? The questions are numerous. And there isn't an answer to them all, but I know this much ...

Shortly before the LLB was born my friend Michelle had her daughter, when I asked her to tell me what items she loved, she offered a great laundry list of stuff. One of her items was a wipes warmer. Now, by this time I had already done my reading on (I love reading people's reviews) and had added one to my registry. But it was nice to hear her insight, especially since she is a bit more frugal then me and wasn't buying EVERYTHING under the sun. Sorry for the tangent, now to what she said, she said something to the effect of while she doesn't know for sure that her daughter liked it, she certainly didn't wriggle and protest being wiped with a wipe from the warmer on a cold day/night!

I agree with her 100%! The LLB would allow a normal room-temp wipe to be used, she didn't cry or protest, but when she was a little peanut just home from the hospital I felt somewhat happy when I pulled the already warm wipes form the holder to clean her with. This made her early "sponge baths" easier too, as a warm wipe did a great job of cleaning her off!

There are MANY on the market. The one I list below is the one I decided on after reading the reviews ... it seemed to be the most loved and I can tell you that it works and it works WELL!

Product Information
The Ultimate Wipes Warmer

Made by Lionheart
Ever-Fresh Pillow helps retain moisture and prevents wipes from discoloring
Anti-microbial additive inhibits growth of microorganisms that may cause odors and mildew
Large tub holds all standard refill packs
Auto-lid for instant access to Pop-Up Wipes
Priced at approximately $40
Find yours at Google

Buying Tip: Make sure you position your changing table near an outlet, as the wipes warmer needs to be plugged in. Also, keep in mind, that the Ever-Fresh Pillow will require replacing every once in a while. It's also IMPORTANT that you make sure the pillow is wet, I just added water to mine once a week or so and it did fine.

Playing Clean Up

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

RAMBLING: Random Sleep Issues

I've had it good. For about a year now Antonia has been an EXCELLENT sleeper, in fact I think it was around now that she started sleeping through the night last year. Regardless, even from day one I was blessed. She slept in her crib, yes her FULL crib and actually seemed to like it.

We've had a few hiccups in her sleep pattern when new teeth were coming or she was sick. But something new has come up and I'm a little confused. The usual routine is dinner, bath, pjs, read 2-3 books, drink some water and get in bed. She hugs me, kisses me and then waves me off after I tuck her in. Starting yesterday she won't say goodbye to me, I knew this was a bad sign.

I say goodbye to her anyway and leave the room, shutting the door. A couple minutes later she starts to cry :-\ then screams! Last night I took her out and cuddled her, tried to put her back and she clung to me. So I sat on the bed in her room with her and held her until she fell asleep. Tried to put her in again and she woke up and cried. So I spent more time waiting for her to drift asleep again. Total time spent trying to get her to sleep last night was 1.5 hours.

Tonight I noticed the same pattern beginning. No waving goodbye, cried when I left the room. I went in to her room and hugged her and gave her more water and then laid her back down. She let me lay her down but I couldn't even try to leave the room without her whimpering. So I stood there for approx 20 minutes.

Mind you I know this could be worse. She could be waking throughout the night, this pattern still allows me to get sleep. But I'm a little baffled about what could be wrong all of a sudden? She is napping fine at daycare. She has a nightlight on in her room, but it's not very bright could she be afraid of the dark already? Anyone had this happen? Could it just be an odd form of separation anxiety? HELP if you can.

What Happened to Sleeping Beauty,

REVIEW: Swings -- The Third Parent

OK, so I heard someone, though for the life of me I can't remember who, refer to their swing JOKINGLY as the third parent in their household! I hate to admit it, but I agree completely. I FELL IN LOVE early on with the Fisher-Price Papasan set. I wanted the swing and the bouncy seat. The materials looked so plush and felt so soft and the colors were muted and simple. I had to have it. As usual, my lust was for a more expensive item. My husband laughed at me, though this was nothing new!

In the end, I won, and I won cheaply! I found the swing on Craigslist... BARELY used for half the full price. I brought it home at least 3 months (if not more) before LLB was due. I folded it up in the corner of her nursery, and just waited. I feel like I stared at that thing forever, just sitting there. But I knew soon I would put it to use.

Finally my day came, we brought her home. That night she was fussy, I was TIRED and my hubby was in the living room playing on the computer. So I put her in her swing and tried to sleep. Now I won't lie to you and say that it completely entertained her. It certainly helped that night and for many more that came after. She took MANY naps in it, and I'm so glad I had it! The manufacturer warns you not to let babies sleep in the swing because of SIDS ... so please use your best judgement!

Certainly check your local classified ads, you can likely get a good deal on this. The seat cushion is COMPLETELY removable and washes easily, and BEST of all, I didn't notice any significant shrinking to the fabric after a light drying cycle. Fisher-Price CLAIMS that it folds up flat, well, the frame does, but the seat doesn't! So don't expect it to be a compact item to store, though it is easier to store then some.

I will admit I have never used it with the sounds or music playing, but they seem VERY nice. We also barely used the toy bar. This was our nap spot most of the time, and by the time she was taking an interest in the toys, we really were done with it.

The LLB at 4 Days and then at 5 Months in her swing.

Product Information
Nature's Touch Baby Papasan Swing
Made by Fisher-Price
6-speed swing/cradle
Two swinging motions: front to back and side to side
Infant head support insert
Motorized mirrored mobile
8 songs and nature sounds
Two-position reclining seat
Priced at approximately $130
Find yours on Google

Buying Tip: Keep in mind that the standard infant will outgrow this swing fast er then other models because of the seat, I think it's GREAT for infants though! It's a cradle so once baby can sit upright it will start to lose its appeal. On the plus side the seat does have two settings, a more reclined position and upright position that might help it last a bit longer. There are MILLIONS of swings out there, it's just that this is the one I fell in love with.

Swinging From Chandeliers,