May 26, 2017

Magical "Fun In The Sun" Educational Giveaway

Magical "Fun In The Sun" Educational Giveaway ~ 1 Winner (Ends 6/16)

Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive a My Fairy Garden™ Magical Cottage ($30 RV) plus a Num Noms Lights Freezie Pop Maker with Food Playset ($22 RV). This is a super fun and educational giveaway that is perfect for the Summer months! Enter Today To Win and Good Luck To You!


Sponsored By:

Play Monster

&

Num Noms


Hosted By:

Deliciously Savvy


Co-Hosted By:

Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews // Missy's Views and Savings Clues // Easter Babe's Theory // Cats in the Cradle Blog // My Silly Little Gang // Michigan Saving and More // Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains // Capri's Coupons // PaulaMS' Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Plus a big thank you to all of the amazing blogs helping to promote this giveaway to their amazing readers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Details:

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive a My Fairy Garden™ Magical Cottage ($30 RV) + a Num Noms Lights Freezie Pop Maker with Food Playset ($22 RV)!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Now To The Giveaway!

Giveaway Dates: 05/26/2017 9 PM EST until 06/16/2017 11:59 PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents Only
Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM (EST) on 06/16/2017.

Good Luck Everyone! Enter Below.


Also, though not required, we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!


By Supporting Our Blogs Via Social Media You Are Helping Us To Provide Fabulous Prizes For Amazing Future Giveaways! You can follow this blog using the social media icons located in the side navigation bar. Good Luck & Thank You!



Deliciously Savvy did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway. Once a winner is selected via the Giveaway Tools process, the winner will be notified. The winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the product shipment. Play Monster and Num Noms will be providing the prizes above to the winner and please allow up to 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Is a Diaper Sprayer Necessary?

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

In my previous post "5 Cloth Diaper Must Haves" I had mentioned that you do not need a diaper sprayer, and while that is still true, we ended up getting a diaper sprayer and now I wish we had gotten one sooner!

Elsa started solids around four months, but we stopped a little while after when it became clear that she was not as ready as we had thought. She drools a lot, has great head control, and loves watching us eat, but she won't open her mouth wide enough for a spoon. Feeding her the watery oatmeal was a mess and she was not getting much down, so we decided we would stop and try again later.

However, because she had started solids, we now have to wash her poopy diapers before putting them in the wash. We did not have a diaper sprayer for two weeks, so I used the dunk and swish method. I then tried using fleece liners, which made it easier to dunk and swish, but it was still time-consuming and a hassle, so we broke down and purchased a diaper sprayer.

While you do not need a diaper sprayer, it is the best thing ever for washing poop off diapers! I wish I had gotten one before Elsa was born as it would have been awesome for the postpartum period. The hospital gave me a peri bottle, which was great and all, but the diaper sprayer would have worked awesome for that as well, and would not have needed constant refilling.

We ended up purchasing the SmarterFresh Cloth Diaper Sprayer on Amazon as it had the best reviews. The downside was we had to wait for it to be shipped, but Home Depot and Menards only offered one hand held bidet, both of which were quite pricey and had no reviews. Bidets just are not that popular in America like they are in Europe.

My husband installed the diaper sprayer with no problem and we have had no leaks, so I highly recommend the SmarterFresh Sprayer if you do plan on getting a diaper sprayer.

If you do get a diaper sprayer, you will also want a spray shield, such as the Spray Pal, otherwise, you will be getting poop and water everywhere as in order to clean the diaper well, you will want full force. Some people have made their own using a plastic garbage can and cutting off the bottom, but we like the spray pal as it folds up and it has a nice big clip to hold the diaper on for you.

If you want to be eco-friendly, then I highly recommend the diaper sprayer instead of using disposable liners or fleece liners. Fleece liners have to be rinsed and washed before going in the washer, but I know many parents will often toss a fleece liner if it gets really soiled because fleece is cheap. However, fleece is not biodegradable, so you are just adding to the landfill if that is the method you choose.

If you are okay with cleaning poopy diapers with rubber gloves and using the dunk and swish method, or even using a spatula, then you do not need a diaper sprayer.

We like to make things easier so we bought a diaper sprayer, but we also figured we would find other use for it, like maybe actually use it as a bidet! I had my first cycle since having Elsa a couple weeks ago. The doctor was not lying when she said it would be heavy and the diaper sprayer worked great for that! So even if you are not cloth diapering, I recommend it for the ladies known to have heavy periods as it makes clean up a breeze!

You can purchase the SmarterFresh Cloth Diaper Sprayer and the Spray Pal Spray Shield at Amazon using the links below!



Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pixabay.




May 19, 2017

What Does Labor Feel Like?

Every new mom has this question, but the problem is that there are no clear cut answers as it varies for everyone. Even when I was in labor, I was not positive I was in labor, but I knew something was up.

Here is how my labor went and though it may not be the same for you, it will give you some tips on what to look for.

On December 23, 2016, I was having a contraction about once an hour, because they were so short and so far apart, I dismissed them as Braxton hicks. I also had some slight spotting and a lot of discharge, nothing looked like a mucus plug, but guessing now that I was losing pieces of it all day, so I never got the big disgusting glob that some women do.

Then on December 24, 2016, I woke up at around 2 a.m. to what I thought were really bad cramps, which then I thought was an upset stomach as I kept having to run to the bathroom. When I felt I had completely emptied my system, the cramps still continued and so I started timing them around 3 a.m. and noticed that they were occurring almost every 1-2 minutes and lasting 30-50 seconds, so I woke my husband realizing that maybe my cramps were actually contractions.

We called the hospital around 4 a.m. and the on-call doctor told us to wait another hour to see if they would subside, but they did not and only got more intense, so at 5 a.m. we headed to the hospital with the idea that it was better to be safe. After all, the worst thing that could happen is we get sent home. However, when we got there, we discovered I was already 6 cm. dilated! The baby was coming!

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, my contractions got way more intense. I could not stand and I was too exhausted from the pain to even move. At one point I did manage to lay on my side, but I ended up on my back for the birth. Everyone said you would feel the pain in your back or abdomen, but all my pain was in my thighs, so I was not prepared for that! I never knew you could feel labor pains in your thighs as no one ever mentioned it. Luckily, the nurse knew what to do to alleviate the pain, which was pressing down hard on my thighs. She showed this to my doula, and then my doula took over.

I went in with planning not to have an epidural, but I ended up begging for one. However, my labor was so fast that by the time they were ready with the epidural, I was ready to push, so I ended up having the birth I wanted and though I was upset at the epidural people at the time because I was in so much pain, I am now glad that they did take so long!

My water also did not break until just before my baby girl crowned, so do not count on your water breaking to let you know labor is starting! It is a common thing television shows and movies like to show, but only around 15% of women actually have their water break before labor (source).

Baby girl arrived at 8:10 a.m. on Christmas Eve, so my labor was just a little over six hours! However, that was probably just the active portion, as now I know that those "Braxton hicks" I thought I was having, were probably actual contractions and part of the beginning labor.

For a first time mom, I was super lucky to have such a quick labor and I have no idea how those women with 30 or 40-hour labors survive! Six hours was exhausting enough! Kudos to you and for anyone who is currently pregnant, may your labors be short!

I just want to reiterate that not all labors are the same, so what I experienced, you may not. Here are a list of resources for those want to know how to know they are in labor and what the signs of labor are:


Feel free to share your labor and birth story in the comments!

May 12, 2017

Girls, Fashion, and Sex - One Mom's Turmoil

As a mom to a baby girl, there are many things I worry about when it comes to raising her in today's world, and one of them, unfortunately, is clothing. What is okay or not okay for her to wear? How will I be judged for dressing her? How will she be judged later on when she gets to choose?

Just recently I participated in a conversation with another mom who was upset by finding only short shorts (also known as "shorties") for girls at Walmart. She was upset with society sexualizing little girls. Yet, this same mom was planning on going to Hooters for a free Mother's Day meal (oh the irony!). For those who don't know what Hooters is, it basically is a restaurant that relies on "sexy" women to make a profit (after all there are plenty of restaurants that sell crappy burgers and wings without scantily clad waitresses), not really a family friendly place in my opinion. 

Her argument was that because the women who worked for Hooters are "adults" that have made "informed" decisions about what to do with their body, that it is okay for Hooter girls to wear "provocative" clothing, while a little girl relies on her parents to buy her clothing, and thus shorties were not okay. (She was also upset about the lack of choice, but I'll get to that later.)

I should make it clear that I am not a fan of Hooters. I do not support anything that only values women for their beauty, including modeling and cheerleading. It is easy to claim that these women choose to do these things and thus it is okay, but most of these women probably grew up thinking that all they were good for is being objectified by men. 

Basically, the cycle works like this: Little girl sees a Hooters waitress, a Victoria Secret model, or even just everyday women walking down the street in mini skirts and high heels; she gets the impression that this is what society likes about girls. The little girl then wants to be like these "beautiful" women thinking that women are only valued for their looks and next thing you know she's working at Hooters or worse a strip club, and the cycle repeats. 

An APA Study came to this conclusion after researching the effect of media on young girls: 
"The evidence reviewed in this section demonstrates that women and girls are more likely than men and boys to be objectified and sexualized in a variety of media outlets (including television, magazines, sports media, and music videos), in advertising, and in several products that are marketed to children."
Though they did not look at restaurants, I think it is safe to say that Hooters would leave a pretty big impression on young girls.

However, I found myself surprisingly upset with the idea that a little girl can't wear shorties or even a mini skirt without being sexualized. This totally contradicts my feelings towards Hooters.

I am a modest person. I prefer to wear clothing that does not show anything. Even when I wear dresses or skirts long enough to cover my butt, I still wear biker shorts underneath as a precaution. Also, for the short time I breastfed, I never did so in public. (Just to give you an idea about how modest I am.) Yet here I was arguing for the right for a little girl to wear a mini skirt or shorties, even though I probably would never dress my daughter in that.

So why was I so upset that this mom was frustrated with clothing for little girls? For one thing, it felt as if she was blaming the parents or little girls for their clothing choices, and not the boys and men that are sexualizing and objectifying them. After all, what is so wrong with shorties or mini skirts? They are still covering, not as much, but since when was showing leg an issue? It is not like she is going topless, which then got me thinking, why is it okay for a boy to go shirtless but not a little girl? Girls don't get breasts until puberty, and even then why can't a woman go topless (breastfeeding seems to be the only exception) while a man can?

This quote from the Odyssey article, "Stop Sexualizing Little Girls," really hit home for me:
"We are teaching little girls that being "modest" is more important than their education. We are teaching them that wearing shorts when it's hot out is wrong. We are teaching them that boys can wear whatever they want, but girls can't."
Though the author is referring to school dress codes and how they are sexist, this applies to what I am talking about. Instead of blaming little girls for wearing shorties or mini skirts, or whatever clothing they choose to wear, we should be teaching boys not to ogle and punish men who do.

Parents like to say by putting little girls in "sexy" clothing, that they are only encouraging pedophiles, rapists, and other creeps, but that's not the case as this Washington Post article states (I highlighted the important parts):
"It’s a common argument that invariably boils down to the same nonsense: If the victims were different, they wouldn’t have been victimized. It’s a comforting myth, guaranteed to make it easy to pretend that sexual assault is something that only happens to people who make bad choices. It’s also a myth that has been thoroughly debunked by the Justice Department, RAINN and many other organizations. A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence study found that just 4.4 percent of all reported rapes involved “provocative behavior” on the part of the victim. (In murder cases, it’s 22 percent.) It also found that most convicted rapists could not remember what their victims were wearing. Studies show that women with passive personalities, who tend to dress in layers, long pants and sleeves and high necklines, are actually more likely to be raped. In one study, 1 in 3 college men said that they would force someone to have sex if they could get away with it, and that has nothing to do with clothing."
Clothes have nothing to do with sexual assault! A pedophile or rapist isn't going to care what the kid is wearing. They are looking for an easy target!

It is not the clothes fault that a little girl is sexualized, but the boy or the man's fault for ogling them! Let's stop blaming the clothing, and start focusing on the real problem. We need to teach boys that objectifying women is not okay, no matter what they are wearing, and places like Hooters are just not helping.

What makes clothing "sexy?" Why are shorties sexy, but not cargo pants? Why is a bikini sexy, but not a one piece? I hate using the word"sexy" for clothing. It's as if we are saying that someone who chooses to wear a sweater and slacks is not as attractive as someone who wears a tight little black dress. "Sexy" is arbitrary as it depends on who you ask. Let's say that instead of shorties being sexy that boot cut jeans all of a sudden became the next "sexy" thing, would we stop dressing our little girls in jeans then? Or if all of a sudden turtlenecks are the next hot thing, would we ban little girls from wearing those too?

I don't think a girl or a woman should be judged by their clothing choices. There was a time when we didn't even wear clothes! We were all naked! This is where I think babies are lucky. They are allowed to be naked. They don't have to worry about what they are wearing. Half of the time they don't even wear pants; they get to wear onesies! Yet if an adult wears a onesie (also known as a bodysuit) it is seen as "inappropriate." Does this mean we should start covering our babies more?


Baby in bodysuit VS woman in bodysuit

Now I know a lot of people love to point out the lack of clothing options for girls that do not "sexualize" them, but I did my own searching and found tons of options! (You can view my findings at the bottom of this post.) Personally, I don't see how clothes can "sexualize" a girl as they are kids! They aren't meant to be attractive, so it shouldn't matter what they wear.

Also in a Live Science article, "30% of Girls' Clothing Is Sexualized in Major Sales Trend," this is what researchers found:
"Of all clothing items, 31 percent had sexualizing features, the researchers found. Most of these, about 86 percent, had childlike characteristics combined with sexy characteristics. Abercrombie Kids was the worst offender, with 72 percent of clothes featuring a sexualizing aspect. Neiman Marcus boasted about 38 percent sexualized clothing. 
Child-only stores like Gymboree tended to do well, though older girls might think of those stores as babyish, Murnen said. Target was one of the better stores, with 80 percent of their girls' clothes falling in the "childlike" category."
This shows that, yes there are "sexy" clothes, but there are still other options, and honestly 30% is not a lot, but I'm guessing these type of people think there shouldn't be any, so they like to amp it up like it's 90% of clothes, when the reality is there are options. I am not a fan of this article in general as "sexy" is a matter of opinion, so I am curious as to what all these clothing items were and what made them "sexy," but it basically proved my point that there are options.

Just as I choose not to go to Hooters because I see it as degrading towards women and sexist towards men (Hooters doesn't let men be waiters because they lack breasts, which is apparently an important aspect to Hooters waitstaff), parents have the ability to choose not to buy clothing they think is inappropriate. If Walmart only has shorties for girls, then go to a different store! If Walmart is the only store in your area, then order online, make your own, or go to local garage sales. Or hey, why not shop in the "boys" department? (But I won't go into the whole gendered clothing issue as that could be a whole post in itself!)

However, as I have said earlier, the clothing isn't the problem. It is the way we label women for the clothing they wear. It is the stereotypes that are problematic. A woman who wears a hoodie and sweats shouldn't be seen any less sexy than a woman who wears a low cut shirt and tight skirt. The fact that society sees one over the other as sexy is the problem.

So where do I stand now? Am I a hypocrite because I dress my daughter in what many would call "modest" clothing, but yet here I am ranting on about how shorties and mini skirts for girls are totally fine. Or would I be more of a hypocrite if I wore these things but refused to dress my daughter in them?

I think many moms of little girls face these dilemmas and I think we all have different ways of addressing these issues. For me I feel it would be wrong to dress my child in something I wouldn't wear, so yes that may make my choices more "modest," but that doesn't mean when she is old enough to pick her own clothes I am going to be helicoptering all her choices. I will, unfortunately, have to explain the implications of those choices that society has set in place, so she can make her own informed decision on what she wants to wear. I would like to think by then, society would be a little less concerned about women's clothing choices and more concerned about her intellect, but I think that might be a far of dream.

~~~


Here are some examples of various clothing at different stores with plenty of options for little girls. I chose not to focus on baby clothes because as I mentioned above, a baby gets a free pass to be naked and can go without pants, so I only looked at the toddler and girl's sections, but I am sure there are just as many options in the baby section as well.

Old Navy Toddler Girl Swimwear
This showcases two "extremes." The pink two piece on the left would probably be considered too "sexy" for a toddler, while the one on the right, basically covers everything. Honestly the two piece shown here and on most girls, tends to cover way more than the bikini's they make for women, so I honestly don't see the issue, but for those who do, you do have a choice!


 


Target Toddler Girls Swimwear
Here I wanted to show that not all two pieces are "revealing" and many do "cover up," but yes Target also has bikini's and one pieces for both toddler girls and girls.


Target Todder Girl Shorts
I selected a few just to show that there are different lengths being offered at Target for girls. The top left image is probably what many would refer to as a shortie (but honestly I see nothing wrong as her butt is fully covered!), but the rest look like normal length in my opinion.

 

Kohl's Girls Swimwear
What I found unique about these two outfits was that they were being sold as a 3 piece set, so girls have the option of more coverage or less coverage.


Kohl's Girl Shorts (left) and Toddler Girls Shorts (right)
This was just to show that there are longer shorts available to girls, not just shorties, though Kohl's had those too, of course.


Sources

May 5, 2017

Love Being a Kid Giveaway

Sponsored By:  

Safety Tat, The Magic Of My Name, ZumoepBuzz, ChanteurCozy PhonesMy Bright Family, and My Grandmother, Mi Abuela


Hosted By: 

Love, Mrs. Mommy

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive Over $230 worth of goodies!!

Plus half of the prizes are Winner's Choice! Details are listed under the descriptions...


Safety Tat

For nearly a decade, Safety Tat has been America’s leading choice for ensuring safe returns.
Their proven, award-winning temp-tattoo and labeling solutions not only provides a fun level of security for your little ones, but peace of mind for Moms and Dads as well. And SafetyTat offers a wide range of flexible products to fit your needs for literally any occasion. Winner can choose any 6-pack of write-on tats, a $10.99 RV!


The Magic Of My Name

In this book, each name generates a unique and fully customized story for each child. No matter if the boy or girl is called Carl, Mary, Egoitz or Brianna, everyone will have a book for their name! In addition, you can edit the physical characteristics of the main character of the story for free. You can also include a personal dedication without additional costs. Winner will receive a personalized copy of The Magic Of My Name, a $29.99 RV!


Zumoe

Zumoe's Mouthguard and Pacifier Cases add pizzazz to your very important items. The Carabiner assures safety in finding your mouth guard or pacifier a snap and the ID tag is a helpful feature. Other great uses for these cases include storage for your retainer, barrettes, jewelry and all the little things that mean a lot to you. Winner will receive a case of their choice up to an $19.99 RV!


pBuzz

Designed by a team of British musicians the pBuzz is a completely new musical instrument. The brightly colored, light and smooth curved edged product has been designed specifically for mini musicians’ little hands. Simple and easy to play the mouthpiece makes it the perfect introduction to brass playing for early learners. Winner will receive a pBuzz instrument, a $29.95 RV!


Chanteur

Chanteur started out by selling a few products to local shops, but has since expanded to produce and sell thousands of jewelry items per year. We can honestly say our brand represents a line of jewelry that is world-class, and is a perfect choice for the ones you love most. Winner will receive any item of their choice from their website, worth a retail of $94.95!


Cozy Phones

CozyPhones is a small family-owned business that started off by selling sleeping headphones on Amazon, then developed their own brand of fun, comfortable, kids headband headphones called CozyPhones™. They are a veteran owned, U.S. based business and promise a 100% satisfaction with their products. Winner's choice of any in stock kids headphones, a $24.95 RV!


My Bright Family 

​Teaching our children to be polite and have manners is very important. From the time my daughter was very little (yes, even younger than now, hehe), I always made sure to incorporate “please” and “thank you” into her daily routine. Now that my daughter is older, there is this great placemat to help teach her how a place setting looks and helps keep her place at our table clean. This adorable and very helpful placemat was made by My Bright Family, and was definitely a bright idea! Winner will receive a 60-pack of placemats! A $9.99 RV! Read more of my review here!
My Grandmother, Mi Abuela is a Bilingual children's picture book. My Grandmother, Mi Abuela celebrates the relationship a Granddaughter has with her Grandmother. As they both grow, the unconditional love they share for one another shines through the pages.This heartwarming story is sure to make you want to hold your own Grandmother closer. Winner will receive a copy of My Grandmother, Mi Abuela, a $10.99 RV!

Open To US - Must be 18+ to enter 
Giveaway Dates ~ 5/5 12:01 AM EST through 5/31 11:59 PM EST 

Remember we love it if you "like" us on Facebook or "follow"  us via other social media (black circles located in side bar at the top of this blog), but it is not required!

Good Luck Everyone!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received products at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

May 1, 2017

$50 HearthSong Gift Certificate Giveaway

Sponsored By: HearthSong

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

A $50 Gift Certificate to HearthSong! 

HearthSong began in 1983 and has been committed to helping parents find age-appropriate, wholesome, high-quality playthings ever since. They select and design the best in kid-powered, screen-free toys and games that the whole family can enjoy! Can I get a high-five?! My sweetpea loves princesses, fairies, and the magical world in which they live. With this in mind, I was inspired to put together a big-girl room, for my up-and-coming three year old!

Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's full HearthSong Review!

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 5/1 9:00 AM EST through 5/15 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received HearthSong products at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

April 29, 2017

The Learning Resources Giveaway

The Learning Resources Giveaway! The Fun Way To Teach Kids About Money! (Ends 5/20) @LearningHandsOn

Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive 2 fabulous toys that make learning fun from Learning Resources! Now I need your help promoting... the RV of both toys is $70 and there are #Free and #Paid options available so sign up today!


Sponsored By:

&

Erica Sandberg the author of Expecting Money


Hosted By:

Deliciously Savvy


Co-Hosted By:

Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews //Bit O' Everything // Love, Mrs. Mommy // Missy's Views and Savings Clues // My Silly Little Gang // Oh My Heartsie Girl // Southbound Mom // Michigan Saving and More // Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains // Capri's Coupons // PaulaMS Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies


Plus a Big Thank You To All Of The Fabulous Bloggers Helping To Promote This Fun Learning Giveaway!

The Details:

Learning Resources and the author of Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families have come together for this giveaway! Thank you to them both!

1 Lucky Winner Will Win


Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register ($40 RV)

Plus the Smart Market ($30 RV)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Now To The Giveaway!

Giveaway Dates: 04/29/2017 10AM EST until 05/20/2017 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents Only
Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 11:59PM (EST) on 05/20/2017.

Good Luck! You can enter below.


Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! (but it is not required!) You can also follow this blog by using the round, black social media icons located in the right side bar at the top to keep up to date on the latest posts and giveaways!


By Supporting Our Blogs Via Social Media You Are Helping Us To Provide Fabulous Prizes For Amazing Future Giveaways! Good Luck & Thank You!



Deliciously Savvy did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway. Once winners are selected via the Giveaway Tools process, the product will be shipped. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the product shipment. Learning Resources will be providing the prizes above to the winner and can take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

April 24, 2017

Listen Up! Stop Asking About Baby #2

My baby just turned four months old today and I have already gotten quite a few comments about "number two." This is rude on so many levels, so listen up to why you need to stop asking about baby number two.

Getting pregnant was not easy for us. It took us nine long months and we were extremely lucky to conceive without any assistance. My OBGYN was ready for me to go through all sorts of testing to start the infertility drug, Clomid, but oops! I got a positive test before I could start the process. Our miracle baby was born on Christmas Eve and she was the best present we could have ever asked for!

Now just because we got lucky with our baby girl, does not necessarily mean we can have a second baby on our own. There are plenty of people who suffer from secondary infertility, where baby number two just does not happen. Just something to consider before you ask a couple about "number two."

I am actually fine with being one and done, but people expect you to have at least two children and they refuse to believe you when you say you are done with one. There is the classic "Oh, you'll change your mind in a year or two," as if they know you better than you know yourself. Think of it this way, I have been married for four years now, did I change my mind about my husband after two years? Nope, I still love him as much, if not more, as when I first met him seven years ago. Yes, I could change my mind, but that's for me to decide and right now, my focus is on our little girl. There is no room for "number two."

Honestly, besides the fact that pregnancy is no cake walk, conceiving was the worst part. Seeing negative after negative, being told it may not happen, etc. is just not something I want to go through again. I got lucky the first time, but what if I end up being that couple we met in our birth class, they tried for 10 years before having a baby! I just couldn't put myself through all that again. It was too stressful, too heartbreaking the first time around.

If we did decide on more kids, they would most likely be adopted, but right now I am over the moon with our little girl and intend to spend as much time as I can with her. We are so blessed to have her in our lives that I can't even think of having another at the moment,

Another reason why this is rude is my baby is only four months old! (but even if she was a year old, it would still be rude to ask about having another baby). I am so focused on her, watching her learn and grow, that I can't even think about number two! Just let us enjoy our new little one and stop worrying about how many kids we may or may not have. How and if our family grows is our decision.

All I ask is that you please stop and think before you consider asking someone about baby number two. You have no idea how long and hard it might have taken them to have baby number one or maybe they are trying for number two, but it just isn't happening, or maybe they can only have one for medical reasons. You have no idea what someone may be going through, so please stop asking about "number two."

To learn more about infertility and for support, please check out Resolve.org and NIAW's website.

Source

April 21, 2017

Please Vaccinate!

I wrote a post about the flu shot and why I think that is important here, but I have avoided vaccinations as it is a heavily debated topic, when I personally believe it should not be, especially with the recent measles outbreak in Minnesota.


It is crazy to think that a disease that was eradicated from the United States in 2000, is now entering the US via travel from other countries due to people choosing not to vaccinate (source). Measles is a deadly disease and can easily be prevented with a vaccine.

"U.S. measles cases are at a 20-year high this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. As of May 30, the agency had received reports of 334 measles cases in 18 states" (source).

Back in 2015, there were 84 cases in 14 reporting states, so the fact that this number is only increasing is scary!



It is sad that these parents chose not to get their children vaccinated as"nine of the children ultimately infected were old enough to have received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine but had not" (source). There was a total of the 19 children affected, because these 9 didn't get the vaccine not only did they hurt themselves, but the younger children as well who are not old enough to get the vaccine.

This angers me as a parent because my daughter is about to be 4 months old. She is still too young for this vaccine (have to be at least 12 months), meaning she could get the measles if she comes in contact with someone who has it, which is something I shouldn't have to worry about if these parents had done their job as parents and protected their children.

Also, the sad thing is the rumor that vaccines lead to autism are still floating around even though that research has been discredited. Wakefield was even "stripped of his right to practice medicine in Britain," due to his fraud and "many other published studies have shown no connection between the MMR vaccination and autism" (source).

Even the Autism Speaks website clearly states: "Each family has a unique experience with an autism diagnosis, and for some, it corresponds with the timing of their child’s vaccinations. At the same time, scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a comprehensive list of this research. You can view and download the list here" (source).

The fear of autism was the reason why many of these parents didn't vaccinate their kids (source). This is a good example of if you hear something, do the research, you can't trust everything you are told!

For the sake of your children's health and for the sake of my child's health, as well as those whose children can not get the vaccination, be it they are not old enough or medical reasons, please vaccinate your children! Measles is just one example of a disease that can be prevented and shouldn't be in the United States, but there are many others, so please keep your child up to date on their vaccinations. There is no reason measles or any other disease should be a problem in our country.

Also if you are traveling to another country that is known to have diseases not common in the United States or if you just aren't sure, make sure you tell your doctor and get the recommended vaccinations before traveling! This will not only protect you but the many people who might be on the same plane, boat, etc with you and anyone you interact with when you arrive home.


SOURCES

VACCINATION INFO & RESOURCES

April 10, 2017

Playgro Music and Lights Comfy Car Giveaway!

This post contains affiliate links and I may make a small commission if the item is ordered via the links in this post.

Playgro Music and Lights Comfy Car Giveaway! (Winner Chooses Color) Ends 5/04 @playgro

Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive a Playgro Music and Lights Comfy Car in winners choice of colors. This adorable little play center retails for $80 and is hours of fun for your little one. Enter Today To Win One Of Your Own and Good Luck!

Read My Review Here


Sponsored By: Playgro

Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy


Co-Hosted By:

Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews // Tricias-List // On Honeysuckle Hill // My Silly Little Gang // Missy's Views and Savings Clues // Oh my Heartsie Girl // Preemie Twins // Making Time // Michigan Saving and More // Capri's Coupons

Plus a big thank you to all of the amazing blogs helping to promote this fabulous giveaway. Thank You!

About The Sponsor:


The Details:

1 Lucky Winner Will Win A Playgro Music and Lights Comfy Car Of Their Own! Winner Chooses Color & ARV is $80.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Now To The Giveaway!

Giveaway Dates: 04/10/2017 9PM EST until 05/04/2017 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents Only

Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 11:59PM (EST) on 05/04/2017.

Good Luck! Enter Below


Though not required, we all love it if you "like" us on Facebook! You can also follow this blog via other social media to stay be the first to know about the latest post and/or giveaway! Just use the round black social media icons, located in the right side bar at the top.


By Supporting Our Blogs Via Social Media You Are Helping Us To Provide Fabulous Prizes For Amazing Future Giveaways! Good Luck & Thank You!



Deliciously Savvy did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway other than receiving this above items in order to facilitate my review. Once winner is selected via the Giveaway Tools process, the product will be shipped. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the product shipment. Playgro will be providing the prize above to the winner and can take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

If you have any questions or are a brand/company and would like to work with Deliciously Savvy please contact Melissa here.


Thank You For Visiting Before and After Baby Today and Leave Some Comment Love While You Are Here!



April 7, 2017

Shnuggle Bath Review & Our Bath Time Routine

Disclosure:  Affiliate links are used in this post.  Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

Shnuggle Bath Review

I recently received the Shnuggle bath and have been using it for over a week now, and I love it!

This is the first time I actually saw my baby girl smile while giving her a bath and she seemed more into it as this was the first time she was actually immersed in water! I loved seeing her kick her feet and move her hands in the water, testing it out.

I was even able to float her rubber ducky (which also lets me know if the water it too hot - buy it here) in the tub with her and she noticed it for the first time! Probably because she was able to sit up and thus see it better, unlike with our previous bath time arrangement. It was a great distraction for her while I wiped her down.

My favorite thing about the Shnuggle bath is that it allows Elsa to sit upright, so she can't slide down or off unlike our previous bath seat (see photo below). It also has a very comfy foam back rest for her, which you can buy in gray, pink, or blue (I received the gray one as seen in main photo and one at the bottom of this post).  Also, the Shnuggle will age with your baby, so you can use it up to 12 months!

This was the bath seat I was using prior to the Shnuggle. Originally from Babies R Us. As you can see there isn't much support for baby and you have to have a bathtub in order to bathe baby.

I am of course watching her and am with her the entire time during her bath, but it is nice to not have to have one hand on her at all times just to keep her from falling off. It makes bath time quicker since I can use both hands to wipe her down with a washcloth, instead of just one. (Please never leave your baby in a bathtub unattended, no matter how secure you think they might be, it only takes a couple inches of water for them to drown and it can happen in minutes!)

The Shnuggle also has rubber feet for grip, which prevents it from moving in the tub or on the floor, unlike the Babies R Us one that I had, which would slide if I wasn't careful. The Shnuggle is also light weight and compact, so it doesn't take up much space, making it easy to store.

Another great thing about the Shnuggle is that it saves water as I no longer have to fill the bathtub in order to bathe Elsa. You also don't need a bathtub! You just fill up the Shnuggle and place it on the floor, maybe wrap a towel or two around it if you have a splasher, and you are good to go! This would be great for anyone taking a long vacation and aren't sure if there will be a tub available to bathe baby.

As for downsides, it can make cleaning the neck area trickier, but I usually wash her hair over the sink anyway so I can just wipe her neck before washing her hair. However, to leave a proper review, I did try washing her hair while she was sitting in the Shnuggle and it actually was not that hard! I just squirted some shampoo in my hand, ran it through her hair, and then used a wet washcloth to wash away the shampoo, worked just fine! You might have issues if you are trying to poor water on your baby's head with a cup though (I don't recommend that method by the way as you are more likely to get water in baby's ears and eyes).

My Shnuggle - You can buy one here!
Another downside is that this product is also only available in the US via Amazon Prime for $35 or in the UK, so it is not easily accessible to everyone yet. If you don't have Amazon Prime, you can get a 30 day trial here for $3!

Price wise I think it is a great deal, considering the bath seats similar to the one I have are in the $15 - $20 range. I would happily have spent the extra $15 for this tub as it is way better quality and way more comfortable for baby.

Also note that my baby girl was 3 months old by the time I got the bath and tried it, so I am not sure how well it would work for a newborn. However, I do wish I had known about this product sooner! The Shnuggle would have saved me from some unpleasant bath times!

You can learn more about the Shnuggle bath on the Shnuggle website, and purchase the Shnuggle here!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an unbiased, honest review. In no way did the discount affect my review of the product. All opinions are my own.


Our Bath Time Routine

First I want to state that it is very important that you do not over bathe your baby. Yes, too many baths is actually bad as it will dry out your baby's skin! My pediatrician recommends twice a week, but I have also heard 2-3 times a week from other doctors. I give Elsa a bath every 2-3 days, so depending on the timing (and how messy she gets), it ends up being 2 times some weeks and 3 times other weeks.

Buy Here
When Elsa was a newborn, she would often poop or pee before getting in the tub, luckily I was smart enough to lay a towel on the floor in preparation for this so I never had a mess I couldn't handle. As she got older and gained more control of her bodily functions, she stopped peeing and pooping during diaper changes. I also learned to wait till she poops before giving her a bath to eliminate the messy towel, though I have heard from others that their baby will poop no matter what during a bath, even if they wait! So that may not work for you and you will find yourself changing the bathwater.

First thing I do is fill the tub, using a little bit of Sebamed Bubble Bath, and check the temperature of the water. I have the Munchkin White Hot Safety Duck, but find myself using my elbows more often. The duck has never been wrong, but I just feel more confident in my ability to tell if the water is too hot or too cold, so the duck is more of a fun toy to distract her. I then lay a towel on the floor just in case, but haven't had an accident in a long time due to the fact that I wait till after she goes before giving her a bath.

I highly recommend the Skip Hop Moby Bath Elbow Saver and the Skip Hop Moby Bath Kneeler for your comfort when bathing baby. You could also use a towel, but I found having the kneeler was more convenient, easy to pull out and store away, and the elbow saver has suction cups so it sticks and stays on the bathtub, unlike a towel which would move around.

Buy Here
Once the bath is set up. I get the baby ready. I undress her, take off her diaper, and wipe her bottom down. I always dip her toes in the water first before sitting her in the tub so the bath doesn't come as a shock. She used to cry a lot during baths before I learned about this trick. I guess the shock of being in water made her cry and she just wouldn't stop, but if she gets a warning that the water is coming, she is calm the entire time.

Every other bath I start with using baby oil on her hair as a way to help prevent cradle cap. I would put a little on my hands and rub it on her head, then I would use a baby brush to help massage it in. Once that was done, I would proceed with the bath, using a washcloth to wipe her down.

At the end of the bath I would use some shampoo (I currently use Acure Yummy Baby Shampoo) on her hair and then rinse it out with warm water.

The baby oil - shampoo wash method was recommended by my pediatrician (she actually recommended coconut oil, but I had baby oil on hand at the time, so I looked it up and it works just the same). If your baby has cradle cap, you will want to do this at least twice a week until it has cleared up, and then switch to doing it every other bath or less often.

Buy Here
After her bath, I dry her off well, especially the neck area, as those little folds are terrible at getting milk and spit up trapped in them. If she spits up on a non bath day, I just use a warm wet wash cloth to wipe around her neck to help keep it clean and prevent yeast infection.

I then apply baby lotion to help prevent dry skin. I have both the Acure Yummy Lotion and Seventh Generation Coconut Care Lotion. Both work great at keeping her skin soft and smooth, but I love Seventh Generation more because it has pure coconut oil! Plus it smells better in my opinion.

When Elsa had a little bit of cradle cap, I rubbed the Seventh Generation lotion on her head and I believe it helped (along with using the baby oil at bath time), because her cradle cap cleared up in just a few days! I plan on sticking the Seventh Generation brand from now on and will probably switch to their shampoo as well since it has coconut oil too!

After bath time is also a great time to do some naked time! This allows baby to air dry after a bath before putting on clothes. Plus naked time helps with their development as it allows them to discover their body parts. You can combine this with tummy time as well, but I like to do that before the bath instead so if baby does spit up or drool, it will get cleaned up right away. You can also do naked time before a bath too!

Well you know what comes next, I get her dressed, and we are good to go!

Elsa enjoying bath time in her Shnuggle!