Monday, September 30, 2013

Military Monday: Care Packages


This week's topic: Care Packages

How have you shown your military loved one special care while they were away? 
Did you choose to have special themes for your boxes? 
Are there any tips or tricks you used that you think would be helpful to pass along?

When E was deployed I sent him a few care packages to cheer him up. Thankfully they all got to him; sometimes they get lost, stolen (yes it happens in the military too!) or end up in the ocean (oops) during a replenishment at sea.

Back then I didn't even think to decorate any of the care packages I sent. Lately I've been seeing so many creative care packages with fun themes to match the holidays. I wish I could have done it!

via

care package
via

Aren't they cool? Even though I sent boring care packages to E, he was always super happy to get them. I mean look at his facial expression in the picture below. All because he got his favorite cookies. hehe







Camilia Homeopathic Teething Medicine Giveaway - 3 Winners

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Boiron USA. I am not being compensated.
Camilia Teething by Boiron: visit www.camiliateething.com
In my last post, I featured Camilia as one of the products I use to help my son sleep while he is teething. It is the only teething medicine I will use! You can read the blog post here

About Camilia

For children ages 1 month & up.
Benzocaine & Preservative-Free · Single-Use Liquid Oral Doses
Camilia is a natural one-product solution for painful gums and irritability caused by teething. For children ages 1 month & up, Camilia’s sterile, single-use doses are easy to administer and worry-free. There’s no risk of overmedicating or numbing your baby’s gag reflex. Camilia is made without benzocaine, sugar, dyes or preservatives. Suggested retail price for Camilia 15 dose is $7.99.


Connect with Camilia


Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Giveaway

Camilia has generously offered a giveaway for my readers! 

Three (3) Winners will receive a must-haves kit which includes:
  1. Camilia Teething Medicine
  2. Calendula Ointment (helps relieve diaper rash)
  3. Bib
  4. Stroller Tag
Giveaways ends October 7, 2013 at 11:59pm PST. Open to US residents only.

Good luck!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Natural Remedies to Help Your Teething Baby Sleep

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post. These are my own honest opinions. This post contains affiliate links. All items were purchased by me with the exception of the lavender oil which was sent to me as a sample.




Natural Remedies to Help Your Teething Baby Sleep
Teething is one of the top reasons why babies and toddlers have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. All day long they are cranky, moody, whining, and crying. Not to mention those smelly poops you have to deal with because your husband won't go anywhere near a diaper.



This was Z for the past couple weeks. It really drives you insane! I'd think to myself - ok, diaper changed, not hungry, lots of toys to play with, you have an awesome mom, so what's the deal?! I totally forgot that he only has 4 teeth and like a million more to go and right now there is a new one that is making him miserable. 




Natural Teething Remedies

Here are the ways I have my son get better sleep.


A warm bath before bedtime

About 15 minutes before I put him to bed, I take him a warm bath. I use Dr. Bronner's Lavender Bar Soap because it's made with organic oils and does not contain any harmful chemicals. Here are the ingredients:
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic palm oil
  • Sodium Hydroxide (none remains after the saponification process)
  • Water
  • Lavandin extract
  • Organic olive oil
  • Organic hemp oil
  • Organic jojoba oil
  • Lavender extract
  • Salt
  • Citric acid
  • Tocopherol
Dr. Bronner's


This soap smells heavenly. Lavender helps to calm and relax you, which is why it's a popular scent for bedtime lotions and body washes. It soothes your mind and helps you rest. It also makes for an amazing-smelling baby! 

You can purchase Dr. Bronner's Lavender Bar Soap here and at most natural food stores.


Camilia Homeopathic Teething Medicine


Camilia Homeopathic Medicine

  • Natural
  • Safe
  • No side effects
  • Single-use liquid doses
  • Benzocaine-free

Only 4 ingredients:
  1. Chamomilla (chamomile)
  2. Phytolacca decandra (poke root)
  3. Rheum officinale (medicinal rhubarb)
  4. Purified water

I swear by this teething medicine. There are tons of medications for teething babies but many of them contain questionable ingredients. I am not a fan of the gels or pellets. I've used homeopathic teething pellets before and don't like the fact that I have to dissolve 1-3 in a teaspoon of water. That's too much time to spend when you have a cranky baby!


Camilia Homeopathic Medicine
With Camilia, the medicine comes in small, ready-to-use tubes that you simply squeeze into the baby's mouth. It doesn't have a bad taste at all because my son loves to drink it! 


Camilia also helps with irritability and the minor digestive disorders that some babies get when teething.
The first 3 ingredients listed are officially included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.

You can buy Camilia here, natural food stores, Wal-Mart, Publix, Safeway, CVS, Rite-Aid, or Walgreens.





Coconut Oil & Lavender Essential Oil Coconut Oil

I've been using coconut oil instead of baby lotion because it is so good for the skin and it only contains one ingredient - coconut oil! It also smells like you're on a tropical vacation in the Caribbean. There are hundreds of ways to use coconut oil, just ask Pinterest.

I was given some helpful advice to mix 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with coconut oil and apply it on baby's skin. I usually apply it all over his body and even behind his ears. He ends up smelling like a heavenly tropical vacation in the Caribbean. You can use the coconut/lavender oil mixture as a massage oil; which leads in the next section - infant massage.

The coconut oil I use is this one. I definitely recommend it because it is certified organic, non-GMO, pure extra virgin, cold-pressed, hexane-free, unrefined, and non-bleached.

You can buy lavender essential oil at natural food stores or order from independent product consultants for companies such as dƍTERRA. It can also be found here. Before buying lavender essential oil, make sure it is 100% pure.

Infant Massage

We all know how relaxing and soothing a massage can be. Infants and toddlers can also benefit from this because it helps them to wind down and be calm. Infant massage helps to release oxytocin which has a calming effect and is a natural pain reliever.

Infant Massage
[via]

Use the coconut and lavender oil mixture to gently massage your baby. The massage will help with blood circulation and the oils will get absorbed by the skin.

Results

There has been a dramatic improvement in my son's sleeping pattern. Before doing all of these techniques, he would sleep for an hour or less. Now, after doing all of the above, he will sleep for 3 hours straight before he wakes up and notices I'm not with him. I'll take 3 hours over 1 any day! To me that is a big change. 

By the time he wakes up, I'm ready for bed and will go to sleep. He settles back to sleep and doesn't wake up until the morning. Success!





What are your go-to remedies to help your baby or toddler sleep better? 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Military Monday: Family Planning



This week's Military Monday topic is:
Family Planning

Did you try to plan your pregnancies/child birth's around your military spouse/significant other's career situation? 
How did your military man's job affect how you planned your family? 
Did you find it easier to have them there or away for different aspects (pregnancy/infancy/toddler, etc)?
Did you choose to have your child back home?
Was your family able to help from far away or were they able to visit you? 

Once upon a time, I left for Hawaii to meet up with E when his shipped stopped there before the end of his deployment. After spending about 8 days in Hawaii, we both flew to San Diego to finish the rest of our awesome vacation. During this time I was randomly emotional and my appetite was all weird. I didn't suspect anything of it though. 

I flew back home to Florida alone. A few days later I was at a doctor's appointment when I heard the big news. You're pregnant! Yay! It was September 22, 2011 that changed my life forever. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was, but 2 years ago yesterday. :)


My son is a post-deployment baby! We had planned to start a family after E's deployment when we knew he would be there for his birth. We were apart for a couple months during the beginning of my pregnancy because he was in CA while I was in FL; that was the hardest part. He did get to come back home for the holidays before he was off to San Diego again. We also found out the gender of the baby around that time.


We moved to Washington state a few months before our son was born. E's ship was undergoing a year-long maintainance which made raising our son easier because he wasn't going out to sea.

Here I am at 39 weeks! Washington is especially beautiful during the summer.


I wish I could have had family close by during my son's birth but that was impossible, being across the country and all. Plus, it's hard to schedule vacation time around the due date since babies are unpredictable! I still had an amazing birth with my husband as my coach. He did a great job helping me.







Saturday, September 21, 2013

El Restaurante Tortilla Chips: A Review

Disclaimer: I was provided a free sample in return for my honest review.


Before I could even review El Restaurante Tortilla Chips, my husband had already eaten most of the bag. I caught him just in time!

El Restaurante Tortilla Chips by Tim's Cascade Snacks are as good as restaurant-style chips and are delicious on their own or with your favorite salsa, hummus, or guacamole. I ate them as they were because they were not over-salted. My husband on the other hand, had them with salsa.

These tortilla chips are:
  • Sprinkled with sea salt
  • Made with no preservatives
  • Made with 100% yellow corn
  • No added colors

They also come in two varieties - Crispy Rounds and Restaurant Style triangles.

Where to Buy

Available in stores in:

Washington
Oregon
California
Hawaii
Alaska
Idaho
Utah
Montana
Nevada
Arizona
Texas



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nuby Snack Keeper Review

Disclaimer: I was provided this product for being a Nuby Mommy Blogger. All honest opinions are my own.

 


I am an official Nuby Mommy Blogger and proud to be a part of a community of moms who share their review of Nuby products! 

Nuby Snack Keeper

One of the fun Nuby products I was sent to review was the Snack Keeper cup. 
The cup has soft flaps that allow toddlers to grab their snacks and not spill them all over the place.

Z loves to reach into the Snack Keeper and eat his snacks. I think it makes him feel independent. :)

Check out the Nuby Snack Keeper in action:






  • For ages 12+ months
  • Holds 9 oz. of dry snacks
  • BPA-free
  • Protective bottom keeps surfaces from getting scratched
  • Two handles make it easy for little ones to hold
  • Vibrant colors

Here's a comparison between a similar snack cup from another brand and Nuby's Snack Keeper (left):



Overall, I like Nuby's design because there is less space between the flaps, it has softer flaps, two handles, and a protective bottom.

I also wanted to mention that the Snack Keeper won't always keep the snacks inside the cup if your toddler is going crazy and shaking it. It is expected that a few snacks will end up on the floor when that happens.



Where to Buy

BuyBabyDirect.com                    
Diapers.com                             
Amazon.com                             
IdealBaby.com                          
BabyEarth.com                        
Family Dollar                           
Blain's Farm & Fleet
buybuy Baby
Bealls
TJ Maxx
Sears
DD's Discounts
Ross



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

KiteReaders Tablet Accessories Giveaway [Ends 10/6]

About KiteReaders

KiteReaders is a multi-award winning digital publisher of children’s books. With over 100 titles and 30 best sellers across Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks, KiteReaders aims to provide quality content for children and their families and increase literacy around the world. 

Visit KiteReaders at http://kitereaders.com and like them on Facebook at http://facebook.com/kitereaders!


Prizes

Gumdrop Kindle Fire Case (Valued at $49.99): 1 Winner
If you’re looking for the most rugged, durable yet ultimately affordable Kindle Fire protection, you found it in the Drop Tech Series Kindle Fire Case. Shock Absorption, drop protection, extreme ruggedness and hard-core readiness for all adventures, the Drop Tech Series Kindle Fire case specifically conforms to the shape of the Kindle Fire and offers multiple layers of protection. This transformer case features a unique, snap-on integrated screen for maximum protection. (http://www.gumdropcases.com/kindle-fire.html)
iPad Smart Cover (Valued at $39.99): 2 Winners
Snap the Smart Cover into place and it wakes up, stands up, and brightens up your iPad. It magnetically aligns for a perfect fit. It wakes and sleeps your iPad on open and close. It’s a handy stand for reading, watching, and typing. And it’s a way to make your iPad as personal on the outside as it is on the inside. (http://www.apple.com/ipad/accessories/)
iGuy iPad Case (Valued at $39.95): 2 Winners
Say hi to iGuy. He’s fun, free-standing and kid-friendly. Designed to fit all full-size iPads – even the new iPad 4! (http://www.speckproducts.com/iguy-for-ipad.html)
Fisher Price Kindle Fire Kid-Tough Apptivity Case (Valued at $29.99): 2 Winners
With a Kid-Tough rubberized casing and a clear film over the screen to protect against drips and sticky fingers, the next time your child asks to play with your Kindle Fire, you’ll be much more likely to say “sure”! (http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/brands/kidtough/products/67522)
Griffin Technology Cinema Seat (Valued at $24.99): 2 Winners
CinemaSeat turns your iPad into the perfect in-car entertainment system. CinemaSeat’s wide, adjustable strap routes around your car seat’s headrest to perfectly position your iPad for backseat riders. Without sacrificing access to Multi-Touch display, controls or headphone jack, CinemaSeat lets them watch video, listen to music, play games and more. CinemaSeat gives your riders the best seats in the house. Or car. (http://store.griffintechnology.com/cinemaseat-2-for-ipad)
KaZoo MyPhones (Valued at $19.99): 2 Winners
KaZoo MyPhones have built-in-volume-limiting circuitry that keeps the sound pressure down to levels recommended as safe for young ears. Exposure to excessive levels of sound is more than a nuisance. It’s a health issue, especially for children. KaZoo MyPhones use a built-in, always-on sound-control circuit to cap peak volume levels at 85 decibels. That’s the maximum level recommended by many auditory health organizations in the U.S. and abroad. And, of course, KaZoo are kid-friendly with fun animal designs and durably constructed. (http://store.griffintechnology.com/kazoo-myphones)
Felix TwoHands Stand (Valued at $19.99): 2 Winners
When you want to use your NOOK hands-free, this ingenious accessory is the perfect solution. Made of sturdy molded plastic, it opens with a gentle squeeze and securely grips the edges of your NOOK, while the base rests on a flat surface to form a sturdy stand. The spring mechanism is both strong and flexible, so the Felix will hold your NOOK in either landscape or portrait mode; when closed, it’s only 7″ long, so it will easily slip into a pocket or bag. Add in the sleek, distinctive look – enhanced by a “felix” logo script printed in silver – and this is truly a must-have item for every NOOK owner. (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/home-gift-twohands-stand-in-black/25719436)
Crayola Color Studio iMarker (Valued at $15.99): 2 Winners
iMarker is the key to unlock limitless discovery and play on your iPad. It’s a digital marker, crayon, pencil and paint brush that interacts with the Crayola ColorStudio HD app to create all your favorite Crayola colors on the iPad’s Multi-Touch display. As you color, animated characters, music, sound and visual effects bring scenes to life, and surprises await on every page. (http://www.griffintechnology.com/crayola/colorstudiohd)
Marware UpSurge Speaker (Valued at $9.99): 2 Winners
The Marware UpSurge Mini Speaker delivers crisp, distortion-free sound from virtually any media player device. The UpSurge travels with you wherever you go, providing rechargeable, long-lasting audio enhancement in the palm of your hand. Its compact design twists and extends when in use for enhanced bass and sound quality. The UpSurge Mini Speaker is the perfect solution for your portable audio needs, whether you’re watching a movie, listening to music or playing a video game. (http://www.marware.com/upsurge-mini-speaker)
KiteReaders Stylus (Valued at $5.99): All Winners!
The KiteReaders Stylus is the perfect accessory to use on any of your touch devices! With a pen on one end and a stylus on the other, this stylus is a great tool to have in your pocket or bag at all times! 

Giveaway

Hosted By: KiteReaders
Co-Hosted By: Hiccups and Sunshine
Sponsored By: KiteReaders

KiteReaders is thrilled to host and sponsor a Tablet Accessories Giveaway! We have an amazing selection of some of the most popular kid-friendly accessories available for your tablets out in the market today! 
We all know how difficult it can be to maintain your tablet when you have a young child who always wants to use it. Whether you want to protect your tablet with a kid-friendly case, use a handy stylus instead of your fingers to touch the screen, or simply accessorize your tablet with some awesome headphones, we’ve got you covered!
When you enter the giveaway, not only will you have the chance to win one of these highly coveted prizes, but you will also be able to immediately download one of our award winning titles…for FREE! Simply enter the giveaway below and read more to learn all about our 20+ amazing prizes!


Giveaway Rules: US Residents, 18 years and up only. 1 entrant per household. Winners will be picked randomly through the Rafflecopter entry form. Winners will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. 
All winning entries are verified.  

Everyone will get a free eBook for entering the giveaway! Good luck!





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hump Day Blog Hop with Hiccups and Sunshine as Spotlight This Week!

Happy Hump Day!!
...and rest assured, because its all down hill from here. In a good way! Welcome Back to a Mid Week Link up where you can link up everything you got, including your giveaways. Make sure they go on the right linkies below.
 EVERYONE WHO LINKS UP WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO BE SPOTLIGHTED!




How does it work? 
Well over the past view months I have randomly emailed people who have linked up on the linky to co-host, but sometimes I get no response. So we are doing something new because I know there are people who link up who want to co-host. So I have created a sign up form.

*Please go to the link above to sign up. Make sure it is an email address that you check often. *

Your Hosts this week: 

1. Follow your host  Mommy Only Has Two Hands

2. Spotlight This Week: Kelly at Hiccups And Sunshine
3. Tweet This Hop

4. It would be nice if you displayed the button in your post or blog sidebar to help spread the word.

But Most of All, have a Happy Hump Day!

Once again Our Spotlight This Week Is: Kelly at

Monday, September 2, 2013

Military Monday: TRICARE



This week's topic is about TRICARE.



Has it been a nightmare? A godsend? Run of the mill for you & your family? What experiences have you had with it? Any hospitalizations or basic doctor visits? Infertility? Pregnancy? Elective surgeries? Did you experience anything particularly wonderful or horrible? Does it work well for your children (if you have them)? How do you feel like it differs from your spouse's coverage compared to yours? Have things varied from continental to international experiences?


I have never experienced any problems with TRICARE so far (yes!) so I can't complain about it. I know many people have a love/hate relationship with TRICARE. I'm extremely grateful to have it because many don't have health insurance.

I've only used non-military facilities when it comes to healthcare because that is what my husband prefers. The process of choosing a new pediatrician for my son was very easy with TRICARE especially since we move a lot. 

Overall, I just let my husband take care of anything health insurance related since he understands it more than I do. If a problem were to arise, he'd have to deal with it. :)








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