Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Potty Training is an Individual Sport

Potty training essentially feels like a lot of trial and error with no rhyme or reason. My best advice...encourage them and just let them learn in the way they do best.

It actually came pretty easy many moons ago with my oldest. He was day trained at 22 months. Easy peasy. There wasn't much to it. He crawled early, walked early, so it made sense he potty trained early too.

10 years later with Lily, it was slightly more challenging. Now, we find ourselves in the throes of potty training our youngest, most stubborn little love.  What we're finding a little more difficult is that our lives are busier with more kids and activities and we just don't have the "let's stay home all day and just potty train" ability any longer.

There are articles and boasts all over the internet of how you can potty train your baby in 3 days, 18 hours, or whatever other time frame.

None of these folks sharing their magic time frames have ever met my Violet who entered the world on her own timetable and it seems potty training will be on her terms as well.  Let's just say we spend much time "fake pottying" throughout our day. Violet is that little one who refuses to spend her day sans diapers or undies, so there are a lot of wipes getting used during our potty training because each time--fake potty or real potty-- she needs a wipe.  Thankfully we have Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths to help ease this last and latest potty trainer we have.

We have definitely learned that potty training is an individual sport! We don't push Violet and as much as I'm ready for her to be potty trained, she is taking her own sweet time. In addition to using the Cottonelle wipes to keep her bottom clean, she loves to sit on the potty and wipe her face with one.

Like I mentioned above, we are a busy, on-the-go family, so Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths are a dream to have with us in the car!

The difference maker in these Cottonelle wipes versus regular baby wipes is that they are flushable! They feature SafeFlush Technology™, so they start to break down immediately after flushing. They are sewer and septic safe and they're alcohol free (so there's no burning bums!) 

Our entire family prefers wipes over regular toilet paper and I feel comfortable knowing we're using a safe product for our family and our house!

One thing that is very important in our household is saving money. We've found that Sam's Club helps make that possible!  Right now, you can get Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths at Sam's Club and get a $3 instant savings coupon from 6/22-7/17!  The benefits of having a Sam's membership have allowed us to save money on products we use everyday.  I love that I can order online and pick up at the warehouse if I need to. Because, let's face it, saving time is just as valuable as saving money!

Thankfully Sam's and Cottonelle have us covered on both saving time and money!

What are your best potty training tips?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sunglasses for Summer Fun----> #Babiators review and giveaway

Growing up in Arizona, there's just no getting around being in the sun. I learned at a very young age to always wear sunscreen, a hat, and to protect my eyes.  Simply a way of life. We always had sunscreen in the car, extra sunglasses around and the like.  Even now as an adult, protecting myself and my family from the sun is just something I do.  Sunscreen and sunglasses are stashed in the car, in the diaper bag, and in my purse always.

Finding just the right pair of sunglasses that my little ones will keep on and protect their eyes is important. This year I was lucky enough to be able to try out Babiators for Violet!

Babiators is on a mission to protect kids’ eyes from the sun while they’re out exploring this awesome world. Here are just a few reasons the award-winning Babiators stand out from the crowd:

·         Safe: Babiators have UV400 lenses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they’re safe for your child – whether they’re on your child’s face or end up in your child’s mouth.
·         Durable: The sunglasses feature flexible rubber frames, and impact and shatter-resistant lenses that won’t break when you bend, twist, or step on them. Trust us, we’ve tried!
·         Awesome: Classic aviator sunglasses make sure your little one is the coolest kid around.
·         Fit: Babiators are made of a soft material that is comfortable and lightweight. 
They are designed to fit kids’ faces and don’t pinch the temples or nose. 
They are available in two sizes:
o   Junior Babiators sunglasses fit most babies 6 months to 3 years
o   Classic Babiators sunglasses fit most children 3 to 7 years

As if that isn't enough...

Guaranteed: The best part??? Babiators are backed by the Lost & Found Guarantee™ – if you lose or break your shades in the first year, Babiators will replace them for free. All you pay is shipping.

Information about Sun Safety (According to The Vision Council’s UV Protection Reports):
·         UV damage is cumulative and irreversible
·         Kids receive 3X more annual UV exposure than adults yet less than 30% of parents are currently protecting their children’s eyes with sunglasses.
·         Children’s eyes are more susceptible to sun damage because they have larger pupils and clearer lenses, allowing more UV to penetrate and reach the back of the eyes
·         When choosing sunglasses for your kids, always look for:
o   100% UVA/UVB protection
o   high-quality, durable frames
o   A comfortable fit and a great style your kids will love

Violet is happy to be wearing her Babiators in the car, in the yard, or even in the house. 

You too can win a pair of the classic black Babiators for your baby!  
Giveaway will end on June 26, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner will be notified via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: The Babiators sunglasses, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Babiators. All thoughts and reviews are my 100% own.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tough Conversations? There's an "Ep" for That! #StreamTeam

"Mommy, why did Opa have to die?"
"Mom, what if there is a fire?"
"Well, how do you know if you've started your period?"
"So and so and so and so were talking about 'hotboxing'."
"She called her a b____ and I just want everyone to get along since I'm friends with both of them."
"I felt lonely at the playground today."
"I mad!"

There are so many things that come up with kids on a daily basis that it's ever so crucial to provide an environment where they can comfortably and safely talk about any and all subjects.  George and I have always tried to instill in our kids that we want them to talk to us, come to us with questions--no matter how uncomfortable, so that they are getting accurate information and advice on how to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of childhood into adolescence. The teen conversations include some topics that are foreign to anything we had to deal with as teenagers ourselves and we don't have our parents to be able to call and say, "Hey, how did you handle when someone was saying mean things online?"  WE are the first generation of parents for that. So sometimes we fly by the seat of our pants.

Though, we are lucky.

We have communicative children.  Sometimes things take an extra push or pull to get out of them, but for the most part, we just have to open the dialogue.

Lately, Lily  has had some fears about being alone or having a fire.  After watching a Veggie Tales episode of Where's God When I'm Scared on Netflix and talking with her about those fears, assuring her, and reminding her we are always here, I can just start humming or singing the song from that episode and she will smile.

Violet is two.  Enough said??  Well, what that means is, she's ALL about expressing her emotions. Our buddy, Daniel Tiger helps out with that no matter what the situation is with her right now. She's mad? We've got an episode to watch and a song to sing.  She wants to go potty?  Let's watch! You know how many times a day we "fake potty"?

Reagan is starting middle school next year. This opens up a whole new set of challenges and although we've been through these years with Andrew already, she is our first girl to navigate. Ack! All of a sudden she's so grown up!

Netflix is host to a variety of family-friendly shows that explore a range of real-life issues with equal measures of humor, angst and heart. No matter what your situation is, chances are there’s a show and episode that can kickstart a dialogue around the topic just by watching it together.

Here's a few suggestions:

Let's Talk About...

For the little kids:

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Sibling Rivalry
Watch Ep. S1E1: Babee's Room
Buzzbee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and Dad must explain to Buzzbee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.

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Watch Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/ Sorry We’re Closed Today
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
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Following the Rules
Watch Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba’s Adventure/ Rock Music
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.

For the big kids:

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Watch Ep. 113: Star
After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth -- but fails -- showing her that presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.
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Watch Ep. 103: Smart is the New Cool
After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.
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Peer Pressure
Watch Ep. 106: The Legend of El Explosivo
After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friends.

For the teens:

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Social Media FOMO
Watch Ep. 102: Girl Meets Boy
Cory challenges his class to unplug from their phones for a week. When Riley and her crush Lucas sit down to talk face-to-face, personal stories bring them closer.
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Self Improvement
Watch Ep. 104: Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!
Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away – real change comes from the inside.
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Body Image
Watch Ep. 101: #BootyCall
According to the kids of Degrassi Community School, butts are the new boobs. But Shay’s realization that “brains are the new butts” can speak to a number of body image insecurities.

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.