September 8, 2017

Surprizamals: A Review

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

What are Surprizamals?


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Surprizamals are cute little plush toys that are 2.5 inches tall. They come in a wide range of creatures from seas animals, woodland critters, to the cool and mystical characters like the Yeti or unicorn! However, you never know which one you are going to get as they are hidden in a ball, so it's always a surprise! 

Surprizamals are for ages 3 and up, so our currently 8-month-old daughter is too young for these. However, we allowed her to help us in the opening process (you can see photos below). Don't worry, she was fully supervised by my husband and me. She enjoyed pulling out the new creature and feeling how soft it is.

The Surprizamals are super soft! I was really surprised by just how soft they were as I figured this was just another one of those cheap toys, but they are actually very well made!

The critters are very cute and I can see these making great stocking stuffers for young kids or as party favors! These would be a fun toy to collect. I know younger me would have been all over these, even now I keep one of the narwhals we got on my desk as it is too darn cute!

Each Surprizamal plush has a cute tag with their name, birthday, and favorite colors, very similar to beanie babies. 

Surprizamals have different tiers of rareness as well, one which is unknown! We got lucky and got a rare Yeti! The rest of our critters were commons. There are also ultra rare ones. My husband was bummed we didn't get the mystery one as he wanted to know what it was!

They also come in different series, the ones we got were all part of series 4. The different series have different characters! So collecting them all would be a fun challenge!


If I had to find a downside to these cute plush animals, it would be that the Yeti can't stand up on its own! The rest of the ones we got sit nicely, but the Yeti is too top heavy so he just falls over. He would be super cute on my desk as well. I might have to find a way to prop him up!

I guess another downside is you can't pick which one you get, but I guess that is part of the fun! It can also be a bit costly though if you are trying to collect them all as you are bound to get repeats. We got 2 narwhals out of the 5 Surprizamals we received, so only a total of 4 different critters. This is why I think they would be more of a fun gift every now and then, something to stuff in an Easter basket or Christmas stocking.

Now if you have multiple kids or they have friends that get hooked on these, then they could always trade, which could add to the fun!

Also these might make great rewards or prizes for kids!

Though these are geared towards kids, I personally think they are adorable and plan on decorating my desk with these little guys, so if you know someone who is a kid at heart or just likes cute plush animals, then this would make a great fun gift for them as well! 


Where can I find Surprizamals?


They retail for only $4.99! You can find them in select stores, such as Walmart, on the Surprizamals' website, or even on Amazon!

Our Surprizamals

August 25, 2017

Car Safety: Always Check For Baby and Pets

You should never leave your child or pet in the car. There is no good excuse and even if you think you aren't going to be gone long, your child or pet could be in danger within minutes or you could get delayed and minutes can turn into hours.

The temperature outside will not match the temperature inside your car so you may think it is "cool" enough to leave your child, but it is not.
"In 10 minutes a car can heat up by 20 degrees. Even on a mild day the temperature inside a vehicle can hit 110 degrees. If a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, that child will die." (source)
This tragedy is more common than you think:
"On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car." (source)
Here is the total death count since 1998 and you can see how many died per year:

"735 children left in vehicles have died of heatstroke since 1998." (source)
SOURCE

However, the sad thing is most of these were accidental: 54% were forgotten and 28% of these deaths were due to a child playing in a car unattended (source).

Right now I bet some of you are screaming "How could you forget your child?" For those who don't have kids yet, this may seem impossible, and for those who have babies, they also would probably like to believe that they could never forget their little one, but the sad truth is, if you are human, you can forget. 

Have you ever locked yourself out of your car? Forgot your wallet? Forgot your phone? Couldn't find your keys? Forgot to buy something at the store? Forgot someone's birthday or another important event? Couldn't find your glasses? Forgot to do a homework assignment or study for a test?

If you said yes to any of the above, then you can forget your child or pet. 

In most of these cases, the care giver of the child forgot because of a routine change. Aaron Gouveia writes about his close-call in this Time article. If he hadn't gone back for the shopping list, his son may not be alive to this day. 


Instead of claiming these parents are horrible people or claim they did it on purpose because how could anyone forget a child, we should change our thinking to "how do we prevent this?" If you think you could never forget your child, then the sad thing is, you are more likely to forget because you think you are immune. It's like people who don't get the flu shot because they never get the flu, and then their luck runs out and they end up sick. 

You are not immune. This could happen to you. This could happen to me. So how do we prevent ourselves from forgetting our child? It's simple. ALWAYS LOOK.

Ever since having my baby, I have gotten in the habit of checking the backseat each and every time I leave my car. It doesn't matter if I know she isn't with me, because the moment I stop, is the moment this tragedy could happen to me.

source

Another tip is to put something in the backseat that is important you, that you will need. I, personally, don't like this tip because people have been known to forget their phones, wallets or purses, or whatever important item you may need so you could end up forgetting both things! 

If you usually drop your child off at childcare, have them call you if you happen to not arrive when you usually do. Parents can forget to drop off children when they are in a hurry for work and then end up heading into their work building while their child is still in the car. Having your provider call to check in with you will help eliminate this risk!

To prevent your child from getting into a car without your knowledge, always keep your car locked and keep your keys out of their reach. 

Also, if you ever see a child alone in a car, ACT! Call 911. Many states also have Good Samaritan laws that will protect you, which you can find them here


It's not just children, pets are too often forgotten as well and more likely to be purposely left in the car. Just like children, your dog, cat, or any other pet you decide to travel with, could get heatstroke and die. Cracking the window does little to nothing to prevent your car from overheating (source).

Many states actually have laws against leaving animals in a parked vehicle, which you can find here. Many of these states will also allow you to rescue the animal without penalty, but even so, always call 911 before you attempt to break into any vehicle.

It's also not just heat stroke that is a problem, but leaving your child or pet in the car in the winter is deadly as well. They could die from hypothermia. 
"Infants and young children develop hypothermia more easily than older children and adult, so there is a very real risk of hypothermia when they are left unattended in cars in cold weather." (source)
And if you leave your car running, then they run the risk of dying from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
"Children are more susceptible to CO poisoning, and neither children nor adults can smell CO. Parents may not even notice that their children are suffering from CO poisoning until it is too late, thinking that it is just normal sleep. Better to take your child out in the most bitter winter weather than run the risk of CO poisoning." (source)
In general, just leaving your child alone in a car is dangerous as someone could kidnap them. You are basically either risking your child's life or risking the chance of ever seeing your child again every time you leave your child in the car. This more so applies to the small percentage of people who do purposely leave their kids in their vehicle.

The majority simply just forget, and live the rest of their lives feeling guilty. Like many, they probably thought they could never forget their child, only to find that they did. Let's stop shaming parents and pretending we are immune to Forgotten Baby Syndrome, and instead all do our part and LOOK before we get out of our cars.

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Sources

August 18, 2017

My 10 Baby Must Haves

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


Here are my 10 must have items for babies, besides the obvious clothes and diapers!


1. Burp Cloths - Baby will spit up a lot in the first few months and we were always running out of these! We ended up using blankets as back ups a lot. You can find some cute unisex ones here.

2. Bouncer - This was a must have for the first 3 months when our baby wasn't much of a mover yet as it allowed us to not have to hold and carry her around all the time. She loved napping the bouncer as well!

3. Bassinet or Pack N' Play - We got this Bassinet off of Amazon because it had a cover to prevent the cats from getting in. We stopped using the cover after a couple months when it became obvious the cats had no interest. The downside is the Bassinet only can be used up to 10 lbs or up until baby starts rolling, whichever comes first. That's when a Pack N' Play comes in handy, but our room was not big enough for a Pack N' Play so we just moved her to the crib at that point. You can get netting for your Pack N' Play as well to prevent your pets from getting into baby's sleep area.

4. Receiving Blankets - Our baby was born in December, so these were a must as you are not supposed to use snow suits with a car seat, so blankets are the best way to keep baby warm while traveling! They also are great for swaddling in the first month.

5. Pacifiers - Pacifiers are recommended to help prevent SIDs while the baby is sleeping, but they also save your sanity. If breastfeeding, it is usually recommended to wait a couple weeks before introducing the pacifier. However, don't wait too long or your baby may reject them all together and you will end up a human pacifier.

You should get different brands as baby can be picky. I remember someone telling me to get the same brand as the bottle, but our baby had no problem with the bottles, but she did not like the pacifiers. We ended up with Avent bottles and MAM pacifiers. I had tried some Munchkin Latch pacifiers as well, but she did no like those either.

6. Play Gym - Our baby loved tummy time and when she started rolling, this became our must have. It was goodbye bouncer, hello play gym!

7. Play Yard - We have 2 cats and a dog, so this was a must for us as we needed a way that would allow baby to play on the ground, but keep the pets away. Our dog is super friendly, but she is a little dog trapped in a big dog body, so does not know that her size is an issue! She tramples the cats all the time and loves to jump in our laps (she's 50 lbs!)! Also, a lot of baby toys look like pet toys, so we didn't want the dog or cats running off with the baby's toys! This was the play yard we ended up getting and it's great!

8. Bottles & Bottle Brush - The same with pacifiers, you may want to to get a few different bottles as baby can be picky! If breastfeeding, you will probably want to look for something that resembles the breast as much as possible.

You will also need a bottle brush to clean your bottles. I love the Munchkin Latch bottle brush as it comes with a smaller brush which is perfect for cleaning the inside of bottle nipples where sometimes formula can get caked onto the sides!

9. Drying Rack - You will need some place to air dry bottles. I highly recommend this Munchkin drying rack as it is easy to clean (can be thrown in the dishwasher!), and can easily be taken apart and put back together.

10. Grooming Kit - You will need baby nail clippers (or scissors if you prefer), a brush, and a bulb syringe (to suction out boogers). We got a brush and syringe from the hospital but had to get our own clippers. You can get away with baby mittens in the beginning, but at some point, you will have to clip your baby's nails!

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August 11, 2017

How We Started Solids + Recipes!

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

When it came time to think about starting solids, we discovered that this was a very opinionated topic. Some people will say you can't start solids until 6 months as they claim a baby's gut isn't ready for solids till then. However, our pediatrician told us we could start as soon as 4 months if we wanted.

Also, some people will say you should skip purees altogether and instead do baby led weaning, also known as BLW. In my opinion, this is just a strange fad as technically all babies will eventually eat on their own. I don't see how starting with a spoon will prevent this, but the choice is yours! There are some downsides to BLW, but a major one is getting baby introduced to peanut butter as it has to be in a watered down form or babies can choke on it as peanut butter is too thick on its own.

In the end how you feed your baby is your choice. I highly recommend reading Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter for tips on how to feed your baby.

Anyway, here is how we chose to introduce solids to our baby girl, and you can find my recipes at the bottom!

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How We Introduced Our Baby To Solids

At Elsa's 4 month pediatric appointment, her pediatrician mentioned it was okay to start solids if we wanted or we could wait longer. Since she was already drooling and showed a great interest in us while we were eating, we chose to give it a go, but after a few days, it was obvious she was not as ready as we had thought and so we put solids on the back burner.

We attempted solids again once Elsa had turned 6 months and this time she was more willing. We started with baby oatmeal, greatly watered down with formula, and introduced it to her once a day. After a week or so, we used less formula and made thicker oatmeal so it would have a more similar texture to pureed baby food. We did that for another week and moved on to adding peanut butter.

Introducing Peanut Butter

The NIH recently updated their guidelines and now recommend introducing peanut butter as soon as possible (source). Our pediatrician gave us the okay to do peanut butter and strawberries but said to wait till baby is older to introduce eggs as it will be easier for her to chew a scrambled egg when she has teeth.

Since peanut butter has to be watered down, she recommended just mixing a tiny amount with the baby oatmeal, which is what we did after a few weeks of just doing plain oatmeal. When I say a tiny amount, I mean tiny! A little bit of peanut butter goes a long way! Elsa loved it right away. 

Do not start peanut butter or other allergy foods until you have gotten your pediatrician's approval!

Always monitor your child after introducing allergy foods to see if they develop any reactions. See a doctor right away if you notice any reactions, which could be as mild as rashes or as extreme as not breathing.

I highly recommend picking a day you know your urgent care is open when starting allergy foods, just incase your baby does have a bad reaction. 


Introducing Prunes

Once we got the peanut butter down after a week, it was time to try something else. We chose prunes because our pediatrician recommended it for constipation which can happen once baby starts solids. Elsa didn't have any problems, but we figured it would be a good idea to get her used to the taste in case she did! 

She would not have it. I tried everything from mixing it with her oatmeal to warming it. I even tried the "trick" method where I offered her the peanut butter flavored oatmeal, which she liked, and then offered her the prunes, but that did not work either. After a week of trying to get her to take the prunes, we decided to move onto something completely different, pureed pumpkin, which she loved!  

Introducing Strawberries

After a week of pumpkins, we decided it was time to try the other allergy food, strawberries. We started with an organic store bought fruit mix. The first couple of days, she did not like it. I tried warming it, and after that she loved it. We did that for a week before I finally got around to making my own pureed strawberry baby food!

She loved the pureed strawberries! I had also pureed bananas and we have just started alternating the banana and strawberry purees, both of which she loves! 

I know many will say you shouldn't start with fruit because it is sweet, but we wanted to get strawberries in as soon as possible in order to prevent future allergies. Bananas just happen to be really easy to puree and I really wanted to make my own baby food. You can find my recipes below!

Do not start strawberries or other allergy foods until you have gotten your pediatrician's approval!

Always monitor your child after introducing allergy foods to see if they develop any reactions. See a doctor right away if you notice any reactions, which could be as mild as rashes or as extreme as not breathing.

I highly recommend picking a day you know your urgent care is open when starting allergy foods, just in case your baby does have a bad reaction. 


My Recipes

For making my own food I did a lot of looking around on the internet for recipes and tips, to discover that there are many out there, some super simple, some more complicated, and you can easily tweak them to fit your needs! Here are my two easy recipes.

Pureed Strawberries

I had some extra strawberry puree, so I just
froze them in my Ball Mason jars!
Makes ~28 Cubes

You Will Need:
  • Blender or food processor
  • 2 lbs of ripe strawberries
  • 4 oz of formula, breast milk, or water (I used formula)
  • Icecube trays or jars
  • Freezer bags
  1. Wash the strawberries, cut out the core, and then throw them in the blender. (We have a Ninja blender and love it!) You can cut the strawberries in half to make them fit easier.

    There are mixed opinions on sites as to whether you should cut off the outer layer to remove the seeds. I chose to just leave it, less work for me, and my baby had no problem with the texture. Your baby's poop, however, will be very seedy!
  2. Pour in the formula, breast milk, or water and blend!
  3. Once the mixture is how you like it, pour into icecube trays and then freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in a plastic freezer bag. You can also pour them directly into jars and freeze them that way as well. My favorite is the Ball Mason 4oz Jars.
See more notes at bottom of post.

Pureed Bananas

Makes ~28 Cubes

You Will Need:
  • Blender or food processor
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 8 oz of formula, breast milk, or water (I used formula)
  • Icecube trays or jars
  • Freezer bags
  1. Peel bananas and put in blender. You can cut them up to make them fit better or mash them down with a fork.
  2. Pour in the formula, breast milk, or water and blend!
  3. Once the mixture is how you like it, pour into icecube trays and then freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in a plastic freezer bag. You can also pour them directly into jars and freeze them that way as well.

    We have these icecube trays, and they work, but I would highly recommend getting some silicone ones to make it easier to pop out the frozen baby food! I just bought three of these Zoku trays from Target on clearance, so can't wait to try them out! The nice thing about them is they come with a plastic outer layer so you don't have to worry about silicone bending on you when putting the liquids in the freezer!
See notes below.

Notes: If following my recipes, the mixture will be more on the watery side, so if you want it thicker use less formula or try adding baby oatmeal. I just started with a more liquid version because our baby takes it better that way, but we will work our way up to a thicker mixture.

According to Huggies website, baby food can keep up to 6 weeks in the freezer, after that it should be thrown out (source). Wholesome Baby Food, however, says it can last up to 6 months in the freezer but recommends using it by 3 months (source). The important thing, I think, is just don't make too much at once and the faster you use it, the better.

You can either defrost it by putting it in the fridge, but do not leave it in the fridge for longer than 72 hours according to Wholesome Baby Food's website, or by microwaving it. Just make sure to stir it well afterward and test the temperature yourself before giving it to baby!

Do not refreeze! Do not put any leftover baby food back in the fridge, once the spoon touches baby's mouth and then back into the food, it is now a breeding ground for bacteria. If you don't believe your baby will eat it all, portion it out into another bowl first!

My freezer batch! Don't worry, I later put the banana cubes in a plastic bag as well!

July 28, 2017

A Letter to My Daughter at 6 Months

Dear Elsa,

You are now almost 7 months old! I cannot believe how much you have grown in such a short period of time! The journey to parenthood has not been easy, but I would not change it for the world. I love you so much my Little Moon.

It took us 9 long months to conceive you, and even then you were our little miracle. I was about to start fertility meds as I was diagnosed with PCOS, which makes it more difficult to get pregnant, but two days before I was going to pick up the medication, I got a positive pregnancy test, three to be exact as I just could not believe the first one. I immediately called your daddy to the bathroom to double check that I was not seeing lines, and he saw them too! We were very excited!

It would not be until another 9 months that we would get to meet you, and though your birth was the most pain I have ever experienced in my life, you were worth it.

You arrived on Christmas Eve of 2016, 1 week and 1 day before your due date of January 1. You were the cutest baby I have ever seen and so tiny! Your dad and I loved you the moment we saw you. Your daddy even shed a few tears, something he hardly ever does (he didn’t even cry at our wedding!).

We struggled with breastfeeding and you ended up losing too much weight, so we had to supplement formula. I just could not produce enough breast milk, whether it was due to a poor latch at the beginning, my PCOS, my anxiety, or a combination of it all. It became stressful as it was hard to know just how much milk you were getting. The stress got to me, so after 3 months we decided to switch to formula only. It was the best decision we made and I wish I had done so sooner so I could have enjoyed our time together in those early months more. Your health greatly improved, which eased my anxiety, and thus, my health improved.

You were a strong little baby, already lifting your head up after birth. You weren’t even 3 months old when you started rolling from tummy to back! Around 3 months you discovered how to roll back to tummy and have not stopped! It is only a matter of time now before you start crawling! You love to scooch, roll, and turn to get around your play area. You can sit with support, but still struggle a bit on your own, but you are getting there!

We had attempted solids when you were around 4 months old, but you just were not ready then, despite the amount of interest you showed in us eating and the amount of drool, so we stopped and tried again when you turned 6 months.

At 6 months you were ready and already wanted to feed yourself. You love to steal the spoon and chew on it. Your favorite foods so far are oatmeal mixed with peanut butter and pureed pumpkin. You are not a fan of pureed prunes so we will have to work on that one again later. You also started teething at this time and have made bed time a bit more difficult, but luckily you still sleep through the night for the most part.

You are quite the talker and were since the day you were born. You were already making adorable sounds when they laid you on my chest right after your birth, something your daddy and I didn’t expect, and I am so glad our Doula was able to film it. Now you love to squeal, yell, babble, and make spitting sounds. You have also started giggling and laughing more, which is my favorite sound in the whole world.

Your current goal is to try and fit everything into your mouth, so I have had to put reading to you on hold, which was something I used to love doing with you, but I don’t want your books to get ruined from your chewing and drooling!

I love watching you learn and grow, but at the same time, I wish you could just stop and stay this little so I can protect you from this harsh and cruel world. I want you to know that I will always be there for you, if not in person, then in spirit.

I love you very, very much Little Moon, always have and always will.

Love,
Your mother, Diana


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July 18, 2017

Motorishy Backseat Car Organizer Giveaway

Sponsored By: Motorishy

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: InezbyDesign

**10 Winner Giveaway** 

Each winner will receive a Backseat Car Organizer ($34.87 RV) A total giveaway value of $384.70!!

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 7/18 12:01 AM EST through 8/8 11:59PM EST

Good luck everyone! Remember you can subscribe to Before and After Baby's newsletter to be the first to know about the latest posts and giveaways!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 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.

July 16, 2017

BayB Brand Car Seat Canopy & Blanket Giveaway

BayB Brand Car Seat Canopy & Blanket Giveaway 

Ends 8/07

Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive a BayB Brand Car Seat Canopy and a BayB Brand Blanket. They have adorable matching sets for both boys and girls and winner gets to choose their pattern of choice! Enter Today and Good Luck!

Sponsored By:

Hosted By:

Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted By:

Tricia's-List // Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews // My Silly Little Gang // Missy's Views and Savings Clues // Michigan Saving & More // Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains // Sweet Southern $avings // Capri's Coupons

PLUS a Big Thank You To All Of The Fabulous Blogs Helping To Promote This Giveaway!

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

The Details:

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive a BayB Brand Car Seat Canopy plus a BayB Brand Blanket in any pattern and style choice!


Check Out My Review Here!

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

And Now To The Giveaway!

Giveaway Dates: 07/16/2017 9PM EST until 08/07/2017 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 08/07/2017.

Good Luck! Enter Below


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



DISCLAIMER
Deliciously Savvy
did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway. Once winner is selected via the Giveaway Tools process, the winner will be notified. 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. BayB Brand will be providing the prizes above to the winner and please allow up to 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

FoamCorePrint Giveaway

Sponsored By: FoamCorePrint.com

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

**2 Winner Giveaway** 

Winner's Choice of (3) - 8x8" 1/2" thick prints on either Gatorboard or Foamboard! 


Read below to learn more about FoamCore Print and enter using the Giveaway form at the bottom!

Foamcoreprint.com is a print and graphic media production company that provides "Grand Format" design and printing, both nationally and internationally. They have a fully automated print production facility and state of the art printers. They also guarantee the highest quality products at a wholesale price structure! You can purchase a wide range of products and services from posters and banners to vinyl applications. Their design technicians are continuously developing innovative products, services, and "Web 2 Print" solutions to fulfill their customers' needs. They do all this while maintaining the brilliance in quality that their customers have come to expect. Foamcoreprint will become your new one-stop-shop for your printing needs!

Here's a little information about Gatorboard and Foamcore Printing

Gatorboard is the strongest form of foamboard there is. It is dense, ridged, resistance to denting and bending and very affordable. It's great for school projects, upgrading family portraits, and hanging artwork. Foamboard is also a very popular product that is comparable to Gatorboard but white edges. Foamboard Printing is the most used as an affordable way to print high gloss vibrant pictures like family portraits, school projects or even artwork. Foam Core Posters are lightweight and rigid, they have a foam center with semi-gloss paper backing on both sides.

If you win, which one would you choose? :)
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 7/16 12:01 AM EST through 8/4 11:59 PM EST

Good luck everyone!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 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.

July 14, 2017

Why You Should Follow Infant Sleep Safety Guidelines

Attribution: Images used in this photo do not belong to me
and were found on Pixabay: here, and here,  and Unsplash.
Last year (October 2016) the AAP updated their infant sleep guidelines, and you can find the full article here. A lot of infant deaths due to SUID (Sudden unexpected infant death, a broader category that includes SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome) may have been prevented if parents have followed the AAP sleep recommendations for infants, as this study reveals:
"Our descriptive analysis of population-based multistate CDR program data showed that only one quarter of SUID victims were sleeping in a crib or on their back when found; 70% of infants were on a surface not intended for infant sleep, and 64% with documentation of their position when found were on their stomach or side. Importantly, 64% of SUID victims in our study were sharing a sleep surface, and 49% of these infants were sleeping with an adult. Infants whose deaths were classified as resulting from suffocation or undetermined causes were significantly more likely than were those whose deaths were classified as resulting from SIDS to be found in an adult bed, a couch or chair, or another surface not intended for infant sleep; they were also significantly more likely to be sharing that sleep surface with an adult." (Source)
Here are some common guidelines that are not followed by parents and should be. I have provided the AAP recommendation and an explanation as to why it is recommended. I have also provided real life tragedies as a result of not following the AAP's guidelines to show that these deaths could have been prevented if the caregivers had chosen to follow the sleep safety recommendations placed by the AAP. There are many more tragic stories out there than the ones I have listed here, but this shows you that infant deaths do happen due to poor sleep environments. Your mom, your grandma, your great grandma and so on, may have broken all of these rules and you turned out fine, but that does not necessarily mean your child will, as these heartbroken parents tragically discovered.

However, as a parent, it is ultimately up to you to make decisions that you feel are best for your child. Just be aware that there are risks to not following the infant sleep safety guidelines, and be prepared to accept the tragic consequences of those risks should it happen to you. Many of these parents live with guilt for the rest of their lives because they know what they could have done to prevent their baby's death. Some are also facing criminal charges, most of which are daycare workers who are required to follow the AAP sleep safety regulations.

Back to Sleep

Always put your baby down on his or her back.
"The single most effective action that parents and caregivers can take to lower a baby's risk of SIDS is to place the baby to sleep on his or her back for naps and at night. Compared with back sleeping, stomach sleeping carries between 1.7 and 12.9 times the risk of SIDS." (source).
Once your baby can start rolling on their own, it is okay to let them sleep on their stomach, if and only if they got there on their own. You do not need to roll them back onto their back, this will likely risk waking them and then you will have a crabby baby!

Many parents choose to ignore this due to the fact that their baby sleeps better on his or her tummy, so they take the risk in order to get a good night's sleep, thinking others have done the same with no issues, but here are some tragic real-life cases where babies have died due to sleeping on their tummy's:

  • 25-year-old Candice Christa Semidey lost her baby due to poor sleep environment, including laying him down on his stomach (source). 
  • Beverly Ann Greenagel was in charge of a daycare and had killed a 3-month-old baby boy by placing him down on his tummy for a nap (source).
  • A 3-month-old baby girl, Addy, died due to being put down on her tummy by a daycare worker (source).
  • Sebastian died due to being put on his tummy to sleep (source).
  • 2-month-old Joey died due to being put on his tummy to sleep by a daycare worker (source).
  • 3½-month-old baby girl, Lucy, died due to a daycare provider putting her to sleep on her stomach (source).
  • 3-month-old McKenna died after being put to nap on her stomach at daycare (source).
Image from Unsplash and edited using Canva

Nothing in Baby's Crib

The AAP recommends: "Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads."

Babies can get trapped in these bedding items and suffocate. Even a "breathable" bumper is not recommended as a baby could still get trapped or tangled in them. You may think a crochet or knitted blanket may be safe because it has holes, but it is not as baby can still get tangled and trapped in it.

  • Jordan DeRosier recently lost her 7-month-old son, Sloan, due to putting him to bed with a blanket (source). Sloan had gotten himself trapped in a gray blanket while sleeping in his crib. In her heart-wrenching Facebook note, she warns others to not put their baby to bed with blankets.
  • 7-month-old Owen died due to having a weighted blanket placed on him (source).
  • 5-month-old Eve died due to being put to sleep in a portable crib with loose bedding by a daycare worker (source).
  • 6 babies died due to improper bedding (source).
  • From 2006-2012, 23 babies died due to crib bumpers (source).
Images from Pixabay/Pixabay and edited using Canva

Co-sleeping

The AAP recommends: "The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing)" (source).

Room-sharing is recommended because it keeps baby near you so you can hear better and react quicker. They recommend this for at least the first 6 months, but encourage to go the full first year. You can use a safety approved bassinet or pack n play, or if you have a big enough room, you can set up the baby's crib in your room.

Bed sharing is not recommended as babies can get trapped under pillows, blankets, and in some cases, crushed by their parents. Bed sharing is a hot topic and a lot of people, especially breastfeeding mothers, still do it to this day due to convenience.

Some women believe that breastfeeding mothers have "instincts" and are so in tune with their babies and their bodies, that bed sharing is totally fine. I, personally, believe that there is no such thing as safe bed sharing.

Besides the amazing ability to be able to provide food for her baby, I do not believe that breastfeeding gives women any special "sleeping" or "waking" abilities, as you will see in some of the stories listed below, some mothers lost their babies due to breastfeeding in bed because, guess what, like normal human beings, they got tired and fell asleep, only to wake up to find their baby dead.

  • Scarlett Moore died at 4 days old due to bed sharing (source).
  • Erin Piche-Pitts had two babies die due to bed sharing (source). 
  • A 10-week old baby died due to bed sharing (source). 
  • A 3-week old baby died due to bed sharing (source).
  • A 2-month-old baby girl died due to bed sharing (source).
  • A newborn baby boy died due to bed sharing (source).
  • Vanessa Clark lost 2 babies due to bed sharing (source).
  • Ayla died while bed sharing with her parents (source).
  • 2-month-old Kourtny Williams died due to bed sharing, mom rolled on top of her (source).
  • 3-month-old Jernard Moore died due to bed sharing, mom rolled on top of him (source).
  • Anayah-Lynn Howard died due to bed sharing, suspected mom rolled on top of her (source).
  • 4-month-old Urijah Murray died after he got tangled beneath the legs of an older sibling he was sleeping next to (source).
  • A 36-day-old infant was found dead after sleeping with her parents (source).
  • An infant died due to sleeping with its mother (source).
  • 15 babies died while sleeping with adults (source).
  • Willow Beeley died due to being rolled on top of by an adult (source).
  • 17 babies died due to bed sharing (source).
  • Ben died while sleeping next to his mother in bed (source).
  • A 2-month-old baby died due to bed sharing (source).
  • John Thomas Michael Abernathy died due to bed sharing. His mother was breastfeeding him (source).
  • Deleilah Woodford died due to bed sharing, her mother breastfed her in bed (source).
  • A baby boy died due to bed sharing (source).
  • A 25-day-old baby girl died while mom was breastfeeding in bed (source).
  • 3-month-old Aleigha Celerino-Garcia died due to bed sharing (source).
  • A 7-Week-Old Girl died in Long Island due to bed sharing (source).

Image from Pixabay and edited using Canva

Firm Surface & Safety-Approved Crib, Portable Crib, Play Yard, or Bassinet

To prevent SUID, the AAP recommends: "Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep." (source).
  • Charlie died at 3-weeks-old due to sleeping on his dad's chest (source).
  • Grace Roseman died when she managed to get her head over a half-lowered side of a Bednest. All sides should have been up to meet safety regulations and Bednest has since changed their product so sides can no longer be lowered (source). 
  • A 4-month-old died while sleeping on its stomach on an adult's lap (source).
  • "A 6-month-old baby girl died after her mother fell asleep with her on a couch" (source).
  • An 11-month-old boy died due to rolling off a couch (source).
  • 5 babies died due to sleeping on a couch, 4 were sleeping with an adult (source).
Images from MorgueFile/MorgueFile and edited using Canva

Here is what a safe sleep environment should look like:


SOURCE

Please note that many of the cases above are not considered SIDS. SIDS "is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation" (source). The cause is known for many of these deaths, often suffocation, and thus fall into the larger category of SUID. SIDS is not preventable, but there are ways to lessen the risk, which you can find here, while many of these deaths could have been prevented if parents had chosen a safe sleep environment.

More Information on Infant Sleep Safety:


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June 30, 2017

20 Gifts For Kids That Give Back

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

I have always loved the idea of giving gifts that give back. I figured it was time to share all the amazing shops I have found that have great gifts for kids, some of which I have ordered from or have received as gifts. All of these stores will donate a portion of their sales to various charities and organizations.

1) World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - At WWF you can symbolically adopt an animal. Their gifts range from $25 to $100, $55 being the minimum to get a cute stuffed animal. They also have an option to build your own bucket for $75 that comes with a wooden bucket and three stuffed animals of your choice. There is an option to add a fourth stuffed animal for an additional $25. A great gift for the animal lover in your life!

2) Love Your Melon - Love Your Melon is known for their hats as their original program was for every hat bought, they would donate a hat to a child with cancer. Love Your Melon now instead donates 50% of their profit made from product sales to their nonprofit partners. They have also added shirts and other accessories to their site as well, in addition to their hats. However, if you know a child with cancer that does not have a Love Your Melon hat, you can request a free hat here.

3) Cuddle + Kind - Cuddle + Kind sells handmade dolls for ages newborn and up! Prices range from $48 to $68 depending on doll size. Every doll purchased provides 10 meals to children in need. They also have cute prints you can purchase to decorate your nursery or child's room! Each print costs $20 and provides 5 meals.

4) Kohl's Cares - Kohl's Cares donates 100% of their net profit from the sale of their products to children's initiatives nationwide. You can find Kohl's Cares products online or in Kohl's stores, usually by the checkout lane. They have various children books and plush toys for only $5 each!

5) B. Toys - B. Toys donates a portion of their sales to Free the Children, which is used to help improve education and health in developing countries. B. Toys also help protect the planet by using recycled materials in their products. They have tons of toys for children of all ages. You can find B. Toys on Amazon or at Target.

6) Cloud B - SuperMax The Turtle™ - SuperMax The Turtle is the perfect night light for any child! A portion of all sales of this product is donated to the MaxLove Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children with cancer.

7) Munchkin's Project Orca - Munchkin recently launched an #OrcasLiveInOceans campaign, where 100% of proceeds from their #OcrasLiveInOceans clothing goes towards building a coastal ocean sanctuary in the U.S. for captive orcas. However, they only have one child's tee available for $20.

8) Box Lunch - For every $10 you spend at BoxLunch stores or on their website, they will donate a meal to someone in need! Box Lunch has a wide range of products for all ages so you will have no problem finding the perfect gift!

9) Pura Vida Bracelets - Pura Vida Bracelets have a Charity collection, where they give back to a wide range of causes! Their bracelets are all handmade, so each one is unique, and they are only $5! The style of bracelets is quite simple, so they work great for both girls and boys! I found out about this company from my sister in law and niece, who got me a bracelet that represents Crohn's Disease. They send the bracelets in a cute little pouch. You can see my bracelet and pouch below. Also, another perk is all purchases support Costa Rican Artisans!

My Pura Vida bracelet that shows support for Crohn's Disease.
10) Toms - Toms shoes have a one for one program, so everytime you buy a Toms product, you are helping a person in need, from providing them with a pair of shoes to a safe birth. They have shoes for all ages, from infant to adult!

11) Better World Books - Every time you purchase a book from Better World Books, they will donate a book to someone in need. They have a ton of children's books, starting at just $4!

12) Roma - Roma has a program called "Give Poverty the Boot." Basically, for every pair of boots sold, a brand new pair of boots is donated to a child in need. Also, 10% of all of Roma's sales go to the Roma Foundation, which provides aid and education to children in poverty. Roma has boots for toddlers and up, starting at just $29.

13) Yoobi - Every time you purchase a Yoobi product, a Yoobi product is donated to a classroom in the United States. This is great for back to school shopping as they have every school supply you could need, but they also have picture frames and art supplies, which would make great gifts for the little artist in your life! You can also find Yoobi products on Amazon.

14) Everything Happy - Everything Happy has a "One to Love, One to Give" mission, which means for every Happy Blankie you purchase from Everything Happy, a second blanket will be given to a child in need. Their cute blankets range from $34 to $96, depending on size.

15) Best Friends - Products you purchase from the Best Friends store goes towards helping animals find safe and loving homes! They have a few baby and kid items, which you can find here, ranging from $16 - $22.

16) Global Goods Partners - All items in the Global Goods Partners store were made by women artisans in over 20 countries! Every purchase you make goes towards supporting these women all over the world. They have a great range of kids items, from clothing to toys.

17) St. Jude Gift Shop - All purchases made at the St. Jude Gift Shop go towards  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They have clothing and toys for kids of all ages!

18) The Nature Conservancy - The Nature Conservancy has cute plush animals in their Wildlife collection that you can get when you donate $55 to the animal of your choice, but you can donate as little as $25 to as much as $250 to get a different set of gifts! All donations help protect wildlife and their habitats.

19) Sudara - Every purchase of Punjammies® and Sudara goods helps empower hundreds of women in India to live in freedom from exploitation. They have cute kids clothing for both boys and girls.

20) Project 7 - Project 7 donates a portion of their gum and candy sales to what they believe are the seven areas of need, everything from feeding the hungry to healing the sick. You can read more about the causes they support here. They are known for their odd and fun gum flavors, and what kid doesn't like candy? You can buy Project 7 candy at their online store or on Amazon.

BONUS: Smiles Squared - I added this as a bonus as I do not know of any child that would consider a toothbrush a great gift, but I love what this company is doing! For every toothbrush you purchase on Smiles Squared, they will give a toothbrush to a child in need! They have toothbrushes for both kids and adults, starting at $4.95.

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