April 20, 2018

Bullying Begins at Home

Every time a school shooting occurs, the subject of bullying is brought up. A lot of people want schools to do more to stop bullying and some schools do have bullying programs, but they often fail or don't do as much as we would hope (source). Why? Because bullying starts at home and only when the bullying at home stops can the bullying at school end.

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Bullying is a Learned Behavior  

"Research shows that parents with bully behavior are most likely to raise bully kids. Parents who are overbearing, controlling and aggressive at home are likely to instill this behavior in their kids." (source)
Kids are sponges, they soak up everything you say and do. They watch you like hawks, every move you make determines their fate (source). The moment you call someone "fat" on TV sets them up to call someone "fat" at school (source). This is why racism still persists in our society to this day, because those who demean people of a different race, culture, sexuality, etc, are raising kids to do the same.

Spanking Is a Problem


Have you ever uttered the phrases "Sit down before I smack you" or "Stop that or you'll get a spanking!" or "Don't make me hurt you!" Well if you did, you are bullying your child.
"Parents and adults who use threats and violent intimidation to get what they want out of their children are bullies." (source)
You are threatening to hurt your child for doing something that you don't want them to do, which is basically what a schoolyard bully does. Does "Give me your lunch money or I'll punch you." sound familiar or "If you don't get out of my way, I'll hurt you."

Those basically mirror statements from what their parents are doing to them. If your kid is a bully, then you are most likely a bully, but disguise it as "good parenting." This is the reason why spankings do more harm than good. You are basically teaching your child that it is okay to make threats and hit people when they aren't doing something you like.
“Parents are very powerful role models and children will mimic the behavior of parents, wanting to be like them. They may believe violence is OK and they can use it with peers. After all, they may think, ‘If Daddy can do this, perhaps I can hit this kid to get my way.’ When parents engage in violence, children may assume violence is the right way to do things..." (source)
Spankings have been proven time and time again by many studies to do more harm than good. Many countries have even banned the abusive practice, but sadly the US still allows parents to hit their children. I believe this is one of the reasons there is so much bullying in America.
"A study by researchers at Tulane University found that children who were spanked more often at age 3 were 50 percent more likely to be aggressive by age 5. The children who had been spanked were more likely to throw tantrums, be defiant, get easily frustrated, demand immediate gratification and show aggression toward others." (source)
I won't get more into spanking as I have covered that in an older post, which you can feel free to read here, but I do believe it is abusive and harmful as I was a victim of it in my younger years. I believe you should treat others how you want to be treated, and that goes for children. You wouldn't appreciate someone hitting you, so why would you think it's okay to hit your kid? If you want to raise kind children, then you have to be a kind person.
"Home is where empathy is learned or not learned, and school is where the lessons learned at home get played out. If relationships at home are based on fear and intimidation, children are more likely to use the same tactics with their peers. School bullies and victims are significantly more likely to report being physically hurt by a family member or witnessing violence at home than children who had not been bullied." (source)  

How You Treat Your Spouse Matters


Also, how you treat your spouse can affect your child's likelihood to become a bully. If they are constantly watching you mock, yell, and disrespect your spouse then they will likely pick up that this is an okay behavior and do it to their classmates (source).

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't argue in front of your children. You should, as long as it's healthy, as this helps them learn how to handle confrontation later on. However, don't go screaming, cussing and calling each other names (which is bullying by the way) in front of them because your child is going to see that and bring it to the playground.

If you have problems communicating with your spouse now, please seek help from a counselor or therapist before your behavior rubs off on your children.


Siblings are a Training Ground for Bullying


Conflicts among siblings are common, but can actually be harmful to their mental health if parents choose not to intervene.
"Sibling bullying is not relationship-building or training for the real world, as some parents think. It can have the same effects as school bullying by peers, including depression, anxiety and anger, even after just one incident." (source)
Bloodshed or physical violence should not be the only time a parent intervenes when their children fight. They should step in anytime something sounds like bullying such as name calling and mediate the argument. Let their child know certain words are off limits or not nice (source).
"If siblings get along at home and interact with some sense of respect and kindness, it is more likely they will mix well in social settings. If they don’t and are, instead, combative, they may be bullies or victims at school. Children often maintain their home roles outside the home, Menesini points out." (source)
Parents need to pay close attention to how their children are treating each other because this will reflect how they treat their peers in school. Don't just ignore your children when they are fighting because you are then just enforcing their roles as bully and victim.


Don't Be a Bully if you Don't Want to Raise a Bully


I live by the rule: "if you wouldn't do it to your spouse or best friend, then you shouldn't do it to your child." You wouldn't slap your wife if she talked sassy to you and you certainly wouldn't spank your best friend if they refused to take off their shoes. You would talk to them about it and work it out. 

Kids minds are of course growing, so they won't understand the first time and it won't be until they are 4 or even older before they develop an understanding of self-control, and even then they are going to make mistakes, we all do (source)! But here's the thing, if they don't understand words, they won't understand being spanked either. Spanking just causes them to fear you and the moment you hit your child is the moment they may begin to think it is okay to do the same to others.

If you want your child to respect you, you have to respect them. You are the adult, you are older, you know more than they do, so you have to be the one to control your emotions. As I said in the beginning, kids are sponges, how you act is how they act. They are reflections of you, so be the kindest, nicest, politest, and best person you can be, because it will rub off on them and instead of raising bullies, you'll be raising kind, loving human beings.

Sources & Resources

April 13, 2018

Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox Giveaway

Disclosure: Affliliate links are used in this post (full disclosure located at bottom of post).


Sponsored By: Best of Machinery

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

BestofMachinery.com is running a fantastic giveaway that appeals to Moms and Dad’s, Uncles and Aunts, and of course... Grandparents! The prize is a functioning Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox! This is no ordinary sandbox. It features a sand area with molded ramps and roadways, and a real working excavator to dig the sand and load up the toy dumpster truck! It includes all the accessories, too!


Winner Will Receive:


Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox! (a $50+ RV)


Product Details:
Sand area features molded in ramps and roadways
Use the real working excavator to dig in the sand and load up the dump truck
Truck ramp doubles as lid to keep sand dry
Accessories included: 2 characters, sand cup, sand sifter, shovel, rake, dump truck


Open To US & Canada entries and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 4/13 9:00 AM EST through 5/4 11:59PM EST

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 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 6, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Disney World Trip

Disclosure: Affiliate and referral links are also used in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

There is no denying that Disney World is expensive, but here are some ways you can save money on your trip!

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1. Never Pay Full Price


Disney World Resort often has discounts and even if you book ahead, they will honor a better rate should you find one later! Mouse Savers is a great site for finding discounts and deals!

If you have a Disney World account, you can opt-in to receive emails from them as well! They will send any current deals and discounts to you that way as well! It's free to create an account, so go ahead and do that if you haven't!

You can often get cheaper tickets and Undiscovered Tourist as well! I didn't use them to buy our Disney tickets because I hadn't heard of them before I already bought them, but I did use them for our Universal Orlando tickets and we had no issues. They are one of the most trusted ticket sites for these parks!

2. Buy Disney Gear Outside of the Park


You can easily find Disney themed merchandise outside of the park for a cheaper price, so avoid things like plush characters and clothes. Even the Disney Store (Shop Disney online) has cheaper merchandise than in the park, so if you are looking for something that says "2018" or whatever year it is you plan on going, opt to look there first.

Instead, opt for souvenirs that you know you can't get outside of the park, like the limited edition Mickey ears (rose gold and millennial pink are currently popular) or smaller things like magnets and keychains.

3. Drink Water - Skip Soda


Water is free! Just bring a water bottle with you and you can fill it at any water fountain when needed. There are plenty of water fountains in the parks! Plus water is healthier!

4. Skip The Dining Plan & Bring Your Own Food


Yes, the dining plan can save you money, but it is still more expensive than just getting groceries delivered and bringing your own food to the park. As long as it doesn't have to be microwaved, you can bring it to the park, so sandwiches, granola bars, chips, etc are great options!

Garden Grocer will deliver to select Disney World resorts. Be sure to check with your hotel if they allow this or not before ordering!

If you are renting a car, then you can also just drive to the nearest grocery store and shop yourself!

Some of the resorts do sale staples, at a higher price of course, but I remember seeing bread and other snacks at the Art of Animation resort. My guess is it will still be cheaper than park food, but definitely not as cheap as at the grocery store as you are paying for convenience.

5. Use The Disney Visa Card


If you are not already a Disney Visa Cardholder, now would be the time to open one! You can earn a $200 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases with your card in the first 3 months from opening an account. Spending $500 in 3 months seems like a lot, so don't open one till you are ready to book your vacation, as you will easily spend $500 on tickets and hotel costs.

If you book far enough in advance, you'll basically have that $200 credit to use at the park!

There is no annual fee and there are some awesome card perks at the parks, like a separate character meet and greet area and 10% off at select stores and dining locations! Find out more here!

6. Use Target Red Card to buy Gift Cards


Did you know that you can actually get 5% back on Disney gift cards if you use your red card at Target? This wasn't something I knew until we started planning our trip!

You can use Disney gift cards anywhere in the park. You can even pay for your tickets and hotel (as long as it is a Disney hotel) with Disney gift cards!

This will require you to figure out your budget as you can't return gift cards, but it is an easy way to save in the long run, and it may even help you save money at the parks because you will only have so much to spend, unless you choose to spend more using a different payment method.

The other downside is the largest amount I could find is $50 in store and $100 online so you will have to go to https://www.disneygiftcard.com/ in order to combine all your gift cards into one card as you can only enter one card online to pay for your hotel and tickets. Otherwise, you can always call guest services and pay over the phone. I ended up having to do that for tickets as my gift card wasn't going through for some reason, but they had no issues over the phone, so probably was a web glitch.

If you don't have a Target Red Card, you can apply for one here!

7. Skip Park Hopper & Photopass


Park hopper tickets are expensive and so not worth it. I was provided a couple for free and we attempted to do 2 parks in one day, and we totally missed out on Animal Kingdom. Granted, I had to go to the Run Disney Expo, which took an unexpected 3 hours in the middle of the day, so that might have affected our ability to successfully do both parks in one day, but there really is so much to do in each park that I highly recommend doing 1 park per day.

Disney Photopass currently costs $169 if purchased in advance or $199 if purchased at the park or later. Each individual download is $16.95. This is something you do not need at all so that there is money saved. The cast members will use your camera or phone and take photos for you!

We didn't bother purchasing this on our trip, but still had our Magic Band scanned so I could see the photos later and I was not impressed with the quality. The ones on my phone turned out way better than the ones the photographers took at Disney World. However, there were a couple of cute photos so I did make a purchase, but instead of paying $199 just for the photos I wanted, I only paid around $50 to get the few I wanted. 


8. Use Disney Transporation


Disney transportation is free if you are staying onsite! This was great as it meant we didn't have to rent a car and deal with parking. Disney has recently started charging parking fees for guests staying onsite, so if you can go without a car, do so!

If you do need a car, you can always uber or get a taxi. There is an onsite car rental as well if you need more than a quick ride.

9. Babywear or Bring Your Own Stroller


To rent a stroller it costs $15 per day, there is a multiple day discount, but depending on how long you are there, you are basically paying for a new stroller anyway. Most airlines will let you check a stroller for free, so as much of a pain it is to carry around, you will save money doing so!

Babywearing will save you from needing to bring a stroller, so I highly recommend using a baby carrier instead. If you don't already own a baby carrier, you can currently get 25% off a Newborn Baby Bundle at Ergobaby!
Which Baby Carrier is Right for You? Compare at Ergobaby.

10. Skip Character Meals or opt for Breakfast


Character meals are really expensive and every character can usually be found at the park instead, for free! This may mean you have to wait in line longer, but some do have fast passes, which will help make the visits quicker. Also, some areas have multiple characters in one building (like Anna and Elsa in Epcot), which makes it faster too. Plus characters tend to spend more time talking to your little one at their meet and greet areas, at the meals, they tend to move faster as they are on a tighter schedule.

Now I love character meals, yes it's pricey, but it's an easy way to see multiple characters at once without waiting in lines, the food is good, and it's just a magical experience! If you are doing a character meal, opt for breakfast. Breakfast is the cheapest option and personally, I think the breakfast food is more kid-friendly.

March 23, 2018

6 Tips for Flying with a 1 Year Old

Disclosure: Affiliate links are also used in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Our Disney trip was the first time we ever flew with our daughter. She was 13 months on the way down and 14 months on the way back. Both times we got lucky and she fell asleep before take off so we never had to deal with her crying about her ears as she was sleeping! I was prepared though and had her sippy cup ready just in case.

For our first flight with a baby, it went pretty smooth, but we were prepared as I had asked questions in advance, so I knew kind of what to expect, but we also learned some stuff as we went! 

Before I share my tips for flying with a 1-year-old, I want to mention that we flew with Delta Air Lines. This is important as each airline has different rules and policies when it comes to traveling with infants and toddlers (Delta is extremely baby friendly). I also want to mention that TSA will vary at each airport, so what we experienced may not be the same for you, but the idea is just to help you to be a little more prepared for your flight!

1. Bring Snacks For Baby


Babies and toddlers are allowed food as long as it is a reasonable amount. This is really vague and I asked around before our flight to see what I could get away with. I ended up packing 2 ready-made Enfamil toddler formula bottles (the kind you buy at the store, you can't bring premade bottles) and 8 food pouches. All went through TSA, but it did take an additional 10-15 minutes waiting to have them scanned as they had to scan each pouch and bottle individually! 

I have heard stories of food getting taken though if they think you have too much, but I have also heard of others getting through with 20+ food pouches, so I feel this all depends on the mood the TSA agents are in at the time. 

One thing I did discover is stores inside the airport do sell food pouches! We had to buy some on our trip home as we used up what we had brought with us during our trip. They are going to be double the price you pay in store, but at least there is a backup option if your pouches are taken and/or you feel you don't have enough.

2. Travel During Nap Time If Possible


We had planned both our flights in the afternoon, around our daughter's nap time. This worked to our advantage as she slept on take off both times, so we never had to worry about her ears popping and being upset about it. 

Another upside to an afternoon flight is you don't have to worry about waking baby in the morning as that would just make everyone grumpy!

3. Take Advantage of Early Boarding


Delta offers early boarding for families with children under 2! I just recently found out not all airlines offer this, which is a shame, as it was so helpful! You don't have to worry about other people pushing and shoving. You get on first and get out of the way, made the trip less stressful.

4. Have a Bottle or Sippy Cup Ready During Take Off


This was a tip recommended to me by many, but I don't have any experience using it as our daughter slept on take off, but if you aren't as lucky, this is supposedly the best way to help their ears adjust as drinking forces them to swallow. Breastfeeding will also work too!

5. Babywear If Not Using a Carseat on the Plane


I got mixed answers when looking online to see if we could use our Ergo on the plane. We chose to do infant in lap as plane tickets are expensive and we didn't want to lug around a car seat as we wouldn't need one at Disney World, but we were worried about turbulence and felt the baby carrier would help keep her safe. However, it sounded like some airlines don't allow this at all and others don't allow it on takeoff or landing, but do once in the air. 

My husband chose to keep our daughter in the Ergo until someone told him he couldn't. We figured if we asked, that would give them the chance to say no, so instead we would just wait till we were told we couldn't. Well, no one ever said anything! So either Delta allows this, or the flight attendants we had on both flights were not as strict.

If you don't already own a baby carrier, you can currently get 25% off a Newborn Baby Bundle at Ergobaby! We love ours and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in babywearing!


6. Pack a New Toy or One They Haven't Seen in Awhile


To keep our daughter preoccupied we decided to buy a couple of new toys for the trip. This was a great way to prevent her from being bored and keep her distracted. She had started walking before the trip, so sitting for hours made her super wiggly at times. We got her this rainmaker from Target which was the perfect distraction. She loved watching the falling beads and shaking it to make noise!

We also got her a couple of indestructible books, perfect for the flight and in the hotel room. These are great as they are thin, so they don't take up much space, and they can't be ripped or torn! It functions as a book and a toy.

It helps when it's a toy they haven't seen before as they can spend hours just exploring the toy before deciding they are done. We did bring along some of her other favorite toys, such as her banana teether and links, but since she already seen those before, they didn't catch her attention as long. 


March 20, 2018

NECTAR Mattress Giveaway

NECTAR Mattress Giveaway!
2 Winners ~ Winners Choose Their Size Of Choice!
TRV Up To $1800!
@nectarsleep #MyNECTARMattress


Deliciously Savvy & My Silly Little Gang Are So Excited To Host An Amazing Giveaway In Which TWO LUCKY WINNERS Will Receive a NECTAR Mattress In Any Size That They Choose! Winners Can Pick From Twin All The Way Up To California King! The TRV For This Is Up To $1800. Enter Today & Good Luck!


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PLUS.... A Big Thank You To All Blogs Helping To Promote This Giveaway ~ We Cannot Do It Without You All!


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Read Deliciously Savvy's Review Here

Read My Silly Little Gang's Review Here


 

Giveaway Dates: 3/20 9PM EST until 4/30 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 04/30/2018.

Good luck everyone! Entry form below!

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



Deliciously Savvy did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway. Once winner is selected via the Rafflecopter process, the product will be shipped. Winners have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the product shipment. NECTAR Mattresses will be providing the prizes above to the winners. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com or silvie(dot)mslg(at)gmail(dot)com.

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

As Always, Thanks For Visiting Before and After Baby Today! Leave Some Comment Love While You Are Here!

March 15, 2018

Bundle of Joy Giveaway! $350 in Prizes!

Sponsored By: Stroller SpotterRonicaLucky Baby WorldCoconut Essentials, Handpainting - Fine Art PrintsLettering On The CheapAmara, Lil' Johns, and Drawing Board Shop

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive: 

$350 worth of goodies from 9 Sponsors! 

** Prize List Includes:**

Stroller Spotter

$25 Gift Certificate to Stroller Spotter! Stroller Spotter is an 18" illuminated antenna for strollers that allows parents to find theirs quickly in a crowd, as well as display a favorite topper. $25.00 RV!

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Lucky Baby World

Sukkiri Baby Ring Sling! This mesh ring sling is light, breathable, adjustable and one-size-fits-all! $35.99 RV!

Coconut Essentials

Handpainting - Fine Art Prints

Winner's choice of any four, 8x10 prints! Pick out a set of 4 prints, or mix and match! $54 RV!
  

Lettering On The Cheap

$50 Gift Certificate to LetteringOnTheCheap.com! Design lettering or pictures for the walls of your baby's nursery. Check out Love, Mrs. Mommy's contributing writer's review of Lettering On The Cheap right here! $50.00 RV!

Amara

$25 Gift Certificate to purchase yummy, organic baby food for your little sweetie! $25 RV!

Lil' Johns

Winner's choice of size and style (Lil' Original or On The Go Camo) Lil' Johns! Great way to keep your baby warm during the colder months of the year! Check out Love, Mrs. Mommy's video review here! Up to a $29.95 RV!

Drawing Board Shop

Receive this 3 card set of childhood firsts + 1 additional teddy bear note card from the Drawing Board Shop! All hand-painted cards! $21 RV!

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter. Good luck everyone!
Giveaway Dates ~ 3/15 9:00 AM EST through 4/15 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. 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.

March 9, 2018

Tips For Visiting Walt Disney World with a 1 Year Old

Disclosure: I was given 2 complimentary Walt Disney World one-day park hopper tickets, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! Affiliate links are also used in this post.


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You Are Never Too Old For Disney


When we told family and friends we were taking a family vacation to Disney World with our 1-year-old, I got a lot of:  "Why? She's not going to remember it," and "Why not wait till she's older?"

Well, news flash: Disney is not just for kids! I LOVE Disney! This trip was not for her, but for us, well mostly me. I had signed up to run the Disney Princess 10k! It just so happened the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend fell on my Birthday weekend, so this was basically my birthday present, the best one so far!

In my opinion, one is never too old for Disney and I find it a shame when people think that you are only going for the sake of the child. We definitely plan to go again when she is older so she can fully enjoy the experience and remember it, but even if we didn't have our daughter, I would still want to go! I would go every year if we could afford it!

Walt Disney World Is Very Baby Friendly


All the Disney World parks have Baby Care centers, which are places that allow you to nurse, change your baby, and buy supplies if needed. We actually never had to go to one because all the women's restrooms had changing tables and I never ran out of supplies.

We never had issues finding or getting a high chair when it was time to eat. A lot of the outdoor areas will have high chairs available, though you may have to search for them. These often aren't clean, so bring Clorox or Lysol wipes! In the restaurants, they always asked us if we wanted one and these ones were always clean.

There are also a lot of rides that babies are allowed on. Plus they can attend all the shows and meet the characters! Here is just some of the stuff we did in each park:

Hollywood Studios
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • March of The First Order
  • Voyage of The Little Mermaid

Epcot
  • Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus
  • Meet Mulan in China
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Living With the Land
  • SeaBase
  • Spaceship Earth
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Magic Kingdom
  • Cinderella's Royal Table
  • Haunted Mansion
  • It's a Small World
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Meet Merida at Fairytale Garden
  • Meet Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall

My husband and I are not thrill seekers so we didn't miss out on any rides we wanted to go on, well except the Avatar boat ride in Animal Kingdom, as the wait time for that was over 100 minutes and we weren't going to wait that long, but that ride is also baby friendly. 

However, if you are a thrill seeker, Disney World does offer Rider Switch on many rides, which allows parents to take turns riding a ride while the other one watches the child not old enough to go on the ride. 

You can go to the Walt Disney World website to find information on all the rides. The ones that say "all ages" are baby friendly!


Babywear If You Can!


We went without a stroller thinking if we really needed to we would rent one. We never had to rent a stroller. My husband carried our daughter in our Ergo with no issues. Occasionally she would get hot, so we would take her out and just carry her normally. We also took her out during shows and parades so she could watch and dance, so cute!  

The nice thing was we never had to worry about stroller parking. Stroller parking can get so bad they actually have overflow areas! We also didn't have to worry about lugging the stroller on and off the shuttles. Although since we planned on renting, that wouldn't have been an issue for us either way, however, if you plan on bringing your own stroller, just be prepared. 

Another thing we didn't have to worry about was pushing a stroller through crowds. Having a stroller would have definitely slowed us down in getting around the parks, so I'm glad we were able to manage without one!

You can also babywear on all the rides! They have to be facing you, so tummy to tummy. I highly recommend babywearing on the rides as kids can get wiggly and some of the rides would have made me nervous if she wasn't strapped to daddy. The Frozen ride actually has a drop, where water will splash onto the seat! 

We love our Ergo and I highly recommend it! If you don't already own a baby carrier, you can currently get 25% off a Newborn Baby Bundle at Ergobaby


Be Flexible!


The important thing to remember when you go to Walt Disney World, unless you live close enough or plan on spending a month there, you are not going to be able to see and do everything. Be mindful of your child's nap times and head back to the hotel if needed during the day. Also, accept the fact now that you may not be able to see any of the nighttime shows or fireworks due to your child's bedtime. 

If those things are important to you, then I would suggest not traveling until your child is older. We knew that with a baby, we would be on her schedule, and we already have future plans to go again, so missing out on stuff this time around was not an issue for us. 

Also, get the My Disney Experience app on your phone! It allows you to select fast passes in advance and modify them if needed. We actually had to change times on a few as we got to the parks late on some days due to our daughter sleeping in. We aren't ones to wake a sleeping baby. If there is a ride you just have to get on, make sure to plan it in the middle the day when you know your child will be awake just in case they run out of fast passes.


Have Fun!


If you are going to Disney World with a baby, you are most likely going because you want to go, not for the child, so don't worry about what anyone says and just have fun! You are never too old or too young for Disney!



March 1, 2018

Littlest Sweet Diaper Caddy Giveaway

Littlest Sweetest 
Diaper Caddy Giveaway


Hosted By
~ 1 Winner~
Open to US
3/1 12am ~ 3/ 15 11:59pm

~Prize~
Diaper Caddy 
RV $16.99

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Check out our host and see what other events we have coming up.

Find Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews on 
Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Youtube, and Twitter

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February 16, 2018

Does Taking Fenugreek Increase Breast Milk Supply?

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The short answer to this question is: No one knows. There is basically no evidence that Fenugreek works to increase breast milk production and no evidence that it doesn't work to increase supply.

The reason I chose to write this post is because it seems almost every other mom blog out there, especially ones that support breastfeeding, praises Fenugreek as if it some magical cure to low supply. As someone who experienced low supply and saw a lactation consultant about it,  this is just a slap in the face and so I decided to do my own research.

I have had some breastfeeding moms claim that "Big Pharma" is the reason why Fenugreek isn't talked about like it's some hidden gem, but the truth is, if Fenugreek was proven to work, "Big Pharma" would totally jump on it and turn it into a pill. After all, what struggling mom out there wouldn't jump at the chance to take a daily pill if it was guaranteed to boost her milk supply? They would totally be making money off it. The fact that they aren't using Fenugreek to make medicine just shows that they aren't confident enough in its abilities to increase milk supply, which should make us hesitant as well, right?

Well, the thing is Fenugreek is regarded as "safe" (source), so even if there is no evidence that it works or doesn't work, it's not going to kill you if you take it. After all, there are women who claim it works, but as Toronto pediatrician, Jack Newman, says "They seem to, and many mothers swear by their effect, but the placebo effect of any medication is very powerful" (source).

I am a firm believer in the placebo effect, which is why I believe it is hard for researchers to determine if Fenugreek actually works for increasing breastmilk supply. They are also probably lacking the funding and resources to continue doing research.

Drugs.com even provides a list of studies, where the majority of the results aren't even useful because the studies were flawed, lacking control groups or had Fenugreek mixed with other herbs, so they can't determine which one actually helped, or if it even did (source).

I put "safe" in quotes above because there are still side effects and risks of taking Fenugreek. The big thing is to not take it when pregnant as it can cause uterine contractions (source). Here is what WebMD lists for Fenugreek side effects:
"Side effects include diarrhea, stomach upset, bloating, gas, and a "maple syrup" odor in urine. Fenugreek can cause nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, facial swelling, and severe allergic reactions in hypersensitive people" (source).
Also, it seems the medical community is hesitant to say it's "safe," without some kind of "maybe" wordage in front of it. For example, this is what WebMD says about Fenugreek for breastfeeding:
"Fenugreek is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth to increase breast-milk flow in the short-term. Some research shows that taking 1725 mg of fenugreek three times daily for 21 days does not cause any side effects in infants" (source). 
Another thing to keep in mind is that Fenugreek is considered a supplement, so in that case, it's not entirely FDA approved:
"Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product." (source)
This post isn't meant to scare, but to inform you before you decide to go the Fenugreek route. Fenugreek should only be used as a last resort, as the popular breastfeeding site, Kelly Mom, states:
"Keep in mind that in almost all cases, non-pharmaceutical methods of increasing milk supply should be tried first, as there can be significant side effects from both herbal remedies and prescription medications used to increase milk supply." (source)
One study also came to this conclusion:
"Nonpharmacologic recommendations should be exhausted before adding therapy. Although anecdotal evidence encourages the use of metoclopramide, fenugreek, asparagus, and milk thistle for their galactogogue properties, efficacy and safety data in the literature are lacking. Oxytocin and domperidone are potentially available for compounding purposes, but safety data are limited. More studies are needed to evaluate the effects of available galactogogues on breast milk production." (source)
After having done the research, I chose not to go the Fenugreek route and instead turned to formula. To me there just wasn't enough research to guarantee its safety and/or if it even works to boost supply. Others obviously feel differently, but my hope is just to get the information out there so others can make an informed decision rather than believing what they hear from word of mouth. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


Sources


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

February 9, 2018

10 Important Conversations To Have Before Tying The Knot

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I am a firm believer in premarital counseling before marriage as it seems so many couples jump into marriage without thinking it through. Yes, it is important to love the person, but love, unfortunately, can die if you aren’t on the same page.

To me, marriage is a lifelong commitment, so it's worth thinking it through, and since I know not everyone can afford counseling, here are ten important conversations you need to have with your partner before tying the knot.

1.  Children


Do you want children? If so, how many children do you want? And when do you want them? These can be deal breaker questions, but better to break off an engagement than end up having to file for divorce later. Also, remember when discussing children, especially if you have never been parents before, the amount you would like to have may or may not change.  This could be due to financial, medical, or personal reasons, so consider all the “what ifs” when deciding to spend forever with someone just in case.

Another important thing to consider is infertility. What would be the outcome then? Would you be okay not having children at all? Would you go the medical route or are you okay with adopting?

Also if your partner already has children, you will want to discuss your expectations and roles should you become a stepparent, along with the possibility of adding more children to the mix.

2. Parenting


If you decide to have kids, you will also want to discuss parenting styles. So many parents fight after they have kids because they don’t agree how to parent their children. By discussing ahead of time what your ideals are, you can help avoid parenting battles later on.

However, remember all children are different and will require different parenting styles, so, at this point, you are more so focusing on the big picture, such as do you believe in physical punishment, like spankings, or does one of you plan on being a stay at home parent?

3. Finances


How are you going to handle money as a couple? How many accounts do you want to have? Do you plan on having a joint account and that's it, or do you want separate spending accounts?

Make sure you discuss how you like to spend money. A good way to do this is to turn it into a game of "what's the most you will spend." For example: "What's the most you would spend on a car?" or "What's the most you will spend on a pair of jeans?" This will give you input on what your partner's spending habits might be as well as their standards. You will want to make sure you are on the same page or can compromise when it comes to spending money before getting married.

If one or both of you have debt, that is another thing to discuss as when married, you are combining your incomes, so you will have to be okay paying off the other's debt.

4. Holidays


When you are married, spending time with families becomes a battlefield. Now is the time to decide how you are going to handle each other’s families. Who gets Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc? You could opt for doing every other year, which I know a few couples who do this.

However, if you have really demanding parents, then you will end up getting suckered into trying to see both over the holidays. This is one of the reasons I do not look forward to the holidays, so I wish you luck when making your battle plan!

5. Household Responsibilities (aka chores)


If you haven’t lived together before marriage then this is extremely important. You should make a list of who is in charge of what, from cooking to cleaning. However, even with the list, be prepared to have some fights as you may or may not like how the other person does things. If that’s the case, you will have to reassign chores as you go.  In my opinion, it is better to switch chores if you don’t like how your partner is handling it rather than trying to get them to do it your way, or just let it go (when you become a parent, you will learn to let a lot of things go).

It is very important to make sure you are on the same page when it comes to household responsibilities as you will be living with this person for the rest of your life, so make sure you also consider how chores are going to be split if one of you eventually decides to be a stay home parent or if one of you does only work part time versus full time, etc.


6. Religion


How important is your religion to you? If you have different religions, are you okay with that and how do intend to handle it when you have children? If one of you is religious and the other is not, you need to be sure that you are both okay with whatever you decide to do, especially if you want your child to be raised a certain way.

7. Sex


If you aren't currently living together, then you probably haven't worked out what your expectations are when it comes to sex. Now is the time to figure out if your sex drives match up before you are stuck in a sexless marriage. You should also discuss porn and flirting. What are you okay or not okay with?

8. In-Laws


Remember, when marrying your partner, you are marrying his or her family as well. If you like your partner's parents, then great! For those who don't, it's not the end the world, but you will have to be okay with that. You will also have to be okay with how your partner handles his or her parents. If your partner doesn't stick up for you when you aren't married, it isn't going to change later.

9. Politics


What political party do you affiliate yourself with and does your partner feel the same way? Do you share the same morals and beliefs? Some hot-button issues that you may want to discuss are abortion, gay marriage, the death penalty, gun laws, etc. If you agree, then great, if not, you have to decide how important it is for you two to be on the same page when it comes to these issues. If you vote for different parties, it's also important that you are okay with this as well.

Just like with religion, some couples are able to separate politics from their marriage. It's up to you to determine if this is something you can or can't do.

10. Pets


If you already have pets of your own, then your partner and you are probably already are in agreement that they will live with the pet as well. However, if you don't have pets, but plan to in the future, now is the time to discuss what kind of pets and how many pets you are okay with having. Also, in both cases, you will want to figure out who is responsible for what (things like cat litter or walking the dog).


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