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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Books for the Season!

It is the time for apples...and pumpkins and hay rides! My favorite season is usually summer but for some bizarre reason I am really getting into and enjoying the new arrival of fall this year! I have put a small pumpkin display outside our house at the end of the driveway and have been itching to go to the local farms to see the pumpkins and enjoy a hay ride with Luke!

One of the boy's favorite pastimes is reading - they both can't get enough of it! Cody wants to go sit on his potty chair just so he can read and Luke will sit for ages in his room reading which helps when I'm trying to get ready in the morning! We're always looking for ways to connect books with recent happenings (i.e. potty training, traveling, holidays, etc.) and as some of you may or may not know - my mom is a wonderful 1st grade teacher and is always giving me great ideas from her numerous years of experience, including her favorite books! With our recent trip last week to Iron's Fruit Farm we came home with apples for apple pie, fresh home made apple cider and pumpkins! If you ever go, be sure to get one of their fresh doughnuts they make themselves - YUM! They are currently doing orchard tours during the week with groups of 12 or more. Attendees are guided through the process of how apples are picked, washed, sorted by size and placed into our large cold storage room.  You are then walked through the apple bagging room where apples are hand sorted and selected for quality control to be sold in their store.  After the tour concludes, there is apple cider and an apple cider donut for all! Also worth noting about Iron's Fruit Farm is that unlike some farms, if you decide you want to take a hay ride to get a pumpkin they won't charge you for the hay ride, only for your pumpkin which I believe is $.49/per pound. It's a great place to take the kids and definitely one of our favorites! Plan a trip to get some apples with your kids and then check out one of these great teacher recommended books about the story of Johnny Appleseed!

Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed

The Story of Johnny Appleseed

Monday, October 4, 2010

Money Saving Monday: Recycle & Save Your Money

You know we are all about recycling and we love finding cute crafty things to make, so when mama Jenny sent us this email of something she came up with we HAD to SHARE! Not only is it super cute and good for the environment, but it saves on your pocketbook!

Here is what she wrote:
"Have any containers from baby snacks? Chips?  Any container really..... Instead of throwing away, recycle them into office organizers. You can take different sized ones and glue them together to make neat arrangements of them.  I have the Gerber veggie crunch containers and decided to make pen/pencil holders.  Or maybe I'll use one in the bathroom to hold cotton balls, brushes, whatever!!!  I have lots of stamps and scrapbooking stuff, so I stamped mine, but you can do anything, just use your imagination!  You could get contact paper to have it match a room."

Here is her finished project. Way to go Jenny!!!

I LOVE this idea! The possibilities are truly endless. I can't wait to try this! You could even let your kids decorate some of them to store their crayons, stickers etc. Don't forget to talk about why it is so important to recycle :)

** Don't forget to check out our Coupon Queen for other money saving ideas!**

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We Have A Winner!!!

Congratulations to (post name) Whosspecial for winning a FREE class series to the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center. Please contact us at to claim your gift certificate! You will have until Oct. 10th to claim your gift!

Thanks to for helping us choose our winner and thanks to all who entered! We will be doing more CFEC class giveaways in the future so stay tuned! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gorman Heritage Farm

I have talked a few times about Gorman Heritage Farm (in Cincy). They are having their annual Sunflower Festival this weekend and if you are a local, I highly recommend you take a family trip and visit!! Steve, myself and Cody went last weekend for their Great Outdoor Weekend. We had an absolute blast!

They have so many educational programs for the kiddos, teaching them where their food comes from, composting, recycling, and so much more! They have walking trails and a place where you can hike to the top of the farm which has been voted 100 best things to do in Cincinnati. They have a slew of animals for the kids to see including horses, donkeys, turkeys, goats, roosters, and chickens (there were probably more but you get the idea!). They have a BEAUTIFUL sunflower garden and an adorable kids garden area. This was my favorite! They had different theme gardens, a sand play area, a dirt digging area and a cute little wishing well. Almost all the different things used within the kids area is made of other recycled pieces. You will not be disappointed!

Here is one of the theme gardens. How cute is this?!
They were growing tomatoes and other goodies you can put on a pizza!

This is the wishing well that they made out of  old tires and bottles!

These were the buckets with the sand.
Steve thought these were recycled old wash tubs.

I was so excited to see this!
I have been wanting to purchase a rain barrel and this inspired me to
 make my own (or should I stay Steve lol)! It really didn't seem too hard :)

This is the very beginning of the sunflower patch.
  It does not do it justice! You really have to go and see it for yourself! 

What I appreciated so much about this farm is that they use everything as a teachable moment and they are really teaching kids and adults about getting back to the basics and they make it FUN! I was really inspired to see how they did everything and made it a place to have fun but also a place to learn and explore. It was truly an amazing experience! I cannot wait for Cody to get a little older to attend one of their classes! 

So, have I convinced you to go this weekend?! If you can't make it, take some time and make plans to visit another time. We would love to see your pics! If you are not local to Cincy, I would love to hear about your favorite farm in your area that you feel is a must visit!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Family Fun: Art Exploration

How many times have we talked about the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center?! This is another praise I am sending their way!! Currently, Cody and I are taking an art class there called Imagination Station. Here is the description of the class:

"Encourage your child to release their inner creativity during our weekly story-themed art classes. We’ll explore with a wide variety of mediums, such as paint, clay, sand, products from nature, and everyday recyclable items. Giving your child the freedom to express themselves artistically enhances their cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, manual dexterity, and sensory awareness. Watch their self-esteem blossom as your child is encouraged to let their imagination run wild! (and no clean-up time for you)!"

I was worried that Cody would be too young for the class but I was wrong! He has absolutely loved the class. Each class is a theme and his teacher starts with reading a book, we sing a song, then she has three different projects for them to complete. Having several little projects keeps the kids attention span and Cody is engaged the entire time! We use all different mediums and the teacher uses items that relate to different shapes and colors. I have really enjoyed seeing him blossom in his class and he LOVES seeing his artwork displayed on the fridge! Every morning we have to look at his artwork and talk about how much fun we had in class that day! I really look forward to our class to see what Cody will do next. It has also given me ideas of different things I can do with him at home. I highly recommend this class and if you can't work it into your schedule, regardless of your child's age, schedule some time at home for an art project. They really do get a kick out of it! See a little clip from our class below! 

I have loved all the classes we have taken at the CFEC.  It really is a wonderful family center! We are giving away a free child series of your choice this week so don't forget to sign up!!! Give it as a gift or use it for yourself. 

What types of art projects have you done with your kids? Which one has been your favorite?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Check In: Take Care of You

This is our time to remind ourselves and YOU that we must take time for ourselves this week! I talked last week about my "rough patch" and I am starting to feel a little better, but I am still working on my whole cholesterol debacle....

I have been doing some research on a low glycemic diet (which is suppose to help my PCOS and maybe my cholesterol issue) and I had referenced a wonderful book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (Revised Edition): Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing. It is literally a "bible" for the woman's body. She talks about PCOS and also a low glycemic diet and recommended doing a cleanse to reset your body. I have always wanted to do a cleanse but there are so many I had no idea which ones were good and then some that were recommended were crazy expensive. So I went out on a limb, looked this cleanse up and was pleasantly surprised at the price. It is specific to a low glycemic diet and it is suppose to help your body reset and help with carbohydrate cravings (which can increase insulin levels). So I am taking care of myself this week by taking a risk, splurging a little (you know how cheap I usually am) and ordering the cleanse. It consists of powdered protein shakes and bars, in addition to supplements. You can also eat a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetable within the day. It is 5 days which means I am not suppose to eat anything else for 5 days (deep breath, sigh). I am NOT doing this to drop a bunch of pounds. I don't believe in crash diets or weight loss pills because I think you just end up putting the weight back on and then some. I want to do this to become aware of what and how much I am eating. I am hoping it will help with my pcos (I will be sharing more of my story about this in the near future). I am super nervous but I have support and hopefully I won't be too crazy to the ones I love (I am apologizing in advance!) :)  I really just want to try and jump in feet first and complete the program.

They claim this resets your body and I am hoping this will help me on my path to lower my cholesterol!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

So... now that I have put all my stuff out there- what will you do for yourself this week? Even better, wanna do it with me?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Healthy Living: Garden Update!

Hi everyone! Being that the growing season is coming to a close I wanted to do a roundup on what I learned from my very first veggie garden. I recently harvested my carrots which turned out pretty good, on the smallish side however for a first attempt I was pretty happy with them and with so many there's more than enough to cook with and save!

I'm still getting quite a few tomatoes, they're not as big but with the season winding down that's to be expected. Here's a list of all the seeds/starter plants I started with at the beginning of the season:
  • Bountiful Stringless Bush Bean - I had so many great looking green beans and then went away on vacation expecting to pick them when I got back and I suspect they didn't get enough water on what turned out to be two of the hottest days of the year and they got FRIED! :( So sad....better luck next year!)
  • Kuroda Ps Carrot - The carrots turned out OK, I planted them according to the directions in June and I think next year I want to plant them a little earlier to give them longer to grow. Also, it's good to note with carrots NOT to crowd the seeds when planting! Be sure to give them plenty of space and only put 1-2 seeds at most together, otherwise they won't have enough room to grow and they all crowd eachother. Very easy to grow! Will definately do these again next year!
  • Homemade Pickling Cucumbers - I'm really bummed about my pickles, there were SO many growing but I let them get yellow and didn't know to pick them right away once you see them get yellow and it was too late to save the crop. If you don't pick them regularly, the plant doesn't know to keep growing more. I may try a different type next year but would like to have another go next year!
  • Buttercrunch Lettuce/Paris White Cos Lettuce - Because lettuce is a cool weather plant, I waited too long to plant and they bolted and I knew they weren't going to taste right, if it gets bitter this is why. Next year I want to plant my lettuce when the soil is soft enough to work and get a cover for them at night if it drops below freezing.
  • Hollow Crown Parsnip - I had no luck with my parsnips at all, they never even sprouted in the ground. The company I got the seeds from does have a guarantee on their seeds so I will call them and get a refund.
  • Dark Green Zucchini Squash - I started these from seed inside before taking them outside and had great luck with them! They are pretty hardy and got quite a few great size zucchinis! yum!
  • Spaghetti Squash - These were just starting to look great over the last couple weeks and I had the dreaded yellow looking beetle bug that got them overnight (literally) and lost the crop! There is an organic spray that you can get for your veggies that should help with this problem...note to self - get it next year and be consistent with spraying!!
  • Yukon Gold Potato Sets - Potatoes are SUPER easy to grow and I got loads of great potatoes! When the stalks from the eyes start dying off wait about a week or two but don't wait too much longer because they WILL get infected with worms and start to rot!
  • Better Boy Tomato Plants - I loved the tomato plants I got and will definitely get the same ones next year! I did get these already as starter plants as was recommended to me as a novice gardener! I'm glad I did and have enjoyed lots of great tomatoes all summer and still have more coming now. Jennie and I had a pretty good amount to can to use as sauces, etc. through the winter!
  • Tristar Strawberry - Very easy to grow, but do be careful what you plant near your strawberry plants because they will take over! Next year I plan to have an entire garden bed devoted to my strawberry plants.
  •  Red and White Raspberries - My red raspberries are doing pretty good, I got these as plants already started. You basically get the root system with a long stem and when you plant the roots a new stem starts from the roots. Obviously, there are no raspberries this year but perhaps next year or the year after!  The white raspberries didn't take so we'll see if it comes back at all next spring!
Both Jennie and I have learned  so much from our first year of growing veggies! It's been a lot of fun and we're already thinking about what we want to do next year! What did you enjoy most growing in your garden this past year and are you planning to do anything different next year? Anything new you learned this year? Please share any tips and/or suggestions with us! We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Money Saving Monday: Swag Bucks

Just started learning about this online thing called Swag Bucks. It is an "online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive merchandise". You can earn the swag bucks doing many different things. 

  1. You search the web by using their browser. You can even add it as your home page so you always remember to use it
  2. They have "special offers" you can sign up for and you get swag bucks in return
  3. You take surveys in exchange for swag bucks
  4. You can trade in your phone for swag bucks! Save the planet and get rewarded! Don't throw those phones in a landfill :)
  5. You can shop products through them
  6. Take a poll and receive swag bucks
It really is pretty easy and just for signing up at Swag Bucks you will start out with 30 points! You can also get points for referrals so tell all your friends! What can you redeem with your bucks? It seems like it is just about anything. My fav- giftcards... amazon, target etc. You do need a lot of points for these, but I figure why not use their search bar to earn some free stuff, even if it takes me awhile?!  I am just starting this so we will see how it works. Let me know if you are already a believer and ways you earn your bucks. If not, sign up now and keep me posted!
Happy Savings :)

Search & Win

Sunday, September 26, 2010

CFEC Giveaway

It is that time again!!!! The Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center will be starting their next class series very soon for the little ones and we are delighted to announce another giveaway from them! We both are always referring to The CFEC because it has made such a huge difference in both ours and our boys lives. They have amazing classes with unbelievable teachers, a free moms meet up every thursday for support, free story times every tues/ thurs/ & sat and SO much more! You can take you child there just to play or feed them lunch, let them play outside on the front and back porch (which is completely baby proofed) or visit the boutique to find the coolest baby/ child items! You can even host your child's birthday party there for a home-like feel without having to clean your own house!

You really have to check it out... you will NOT be sorry! What better way to start then with a FREE child series!!! Sign up for you, a friend, a family member or as a gift! It is easy to enter:

  1. Become a follower
  2. Already a follower? Give a shout out about this giveaway on your favorite social network (twitter, fb, email, blog, website etc.)
To Gain Extra Entries:
  1. Like our Facebook Page
  2. Go onto the cfec site and tell us which class sounds like your fav
  3. Get a friend who is new to Surviving Motherhood to sign up for the giveaway
Comment close Sunday, Oct 3rd at Noon and we will draw the winner from

We have been going to the center for SO long (Cody was three weeks old) and I was looking for a pic to post of the boys from the center. Talk about memories! This was them over a year ago playing on their tummies on the CFEC!!! 

This is Cody (present) enjoying a snack and posing for the camera. How fast they change!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why Can't We Do It All???!!!!

I am having one of those weeks where all I feel like I am doing is "chasing my tail". To be quite honest, I am just feeling a little defeated. Most of the time, I try looking at the positive side of life and although I am super anal (I know, I know), I do feel like I try and go with the flow (friends, don't laugh!). I know I can't do it all and I feel like I am very good about reminding myself to take baby steps and someday I will get there, maybe.....This week, however, has been a little different for me. Everyday I am trying to be the best mom I can be and I really do just want to do it all! I am super organized  and very passionate about things that are important to me so I feel like when I put my mind to something I can accomplish it. There are so many things that I want to do that I could go on forever, but I feel like I am falling short this week. Normal every day things that wouldn't really be bothering me are weighing on my shoulders.

We have our house on the market and I feel like I am trying to live in a museum in case we have a showing. With that being said, half my stuff is in bins and for the first time I don't know where things are! I am losing everything, my closets and cabinets are cluttered and it's driving me nuts!

Something else I have been wanting to do is start a "grown up" skin care regimen. That's right ladies, this mama is pushing 30 and those wrinkles aren't going away after a good nights sleep. Problem is, how do I know what to get (there are sooooo many lines out there) and then I start thinking of all the chemicals in everything which weirds me out (come on, you know by now I am try to be a tree hugger) and to top it off, I had a consultation today with a girl about an organic skin care line and she basically told me it was "fru fru" and didn't work! UGH! I mean, I am trying here.....

Adding to all of this, you all know my goal for cutting out processed foods, certain ingredients, canning and just all around trying to be as healthy as I can. Well, I was hit with a bombshell. My cholesterol is sky high and my doc wants to put me on meds!!!! WHAT?!!!! I know, I am really feeling it. Long story short, we think it is because of one of two things- I have PCOS (I will talk more about this another time) which is a risk factor for high cholesterol or it is hereditary. To be honest, I think this is what started my whirlwind. I feel like everything I am doing with food is to prevent these health problems and here I am having to face one. I am 29 and am not ready to have to go on meds for the rest of my life. So basically I have three months to try and get things under control. Due to my PCOS my body reacts to sugars and carbs similar to a diabetic so I have start eating "low glycemic foods". I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but I will keep you posted. Also, my OBGYN started me on Metformin which is suppose to help PCOS and get it under control in your body which in turn will hopefully help my cholesterol. If after all of this my numbers come back high then we know it is hereditary... you know what that means... meds. If I have to I will, but I am not giving up yet! If you have any info or good recipes please pass them along! I would greatly appreciate it!

Although I know that I am doing the best I can, the cholesterol thing was a hit in the gut. Am I doing all of this for nothing? It's funny, some days I lay my head on my pillow and say "I am exactly where I am suppose to be and am doing everything to the best of my ability and what is most important to me". Then other days I literally say to myself "what did I do today... what have I gotten accomplished"? I guess that is the battle we all face as moms... we have to juggle many things and some days are just better then others!

So, I am sorry to be a downer today, but I needed to vent to my other mamas because I know you can understand. I know we can't do it all but I really WISH we could :)

This is what makes it all worth it!!!! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Down on the Farm

I really want Cody to know where his food comes from which is why I love taking trips to local farms. We have visited many farms to get meat, produce etc., however, we have never really toured any of them. If you are interested in supporting your local farmers, teaching your kids where their food comes from and having fun then this post is for you! 

There are two FREE events this weekend (thanks to mama Jeanne for sharing):

Gorman Heritage Farm is celebrating their Great Outdoor Weekend!

"Join us for Cincinnati's Great Outdoor Weekend, where many of the outdoor education facilities are open FREE to the public! Gorman Farm offers Farm Discovery Days - learn details about the farm with our farm scavenger hunts, hike our trails, buy a pumpkin or sunflower, or take a trip through the corn maze. On Saturday, join us in welcoming WGRR for Chris & Janeen's Big Yard Sale! (9-1) Stroll through 50 tables of merchandise to find that certain treasure. And you'll be recycling items to keep them out of the landfill! Shop for a great cause - all of the table rental fees will be donated to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. After you finish shopping, take a few minutes to sweeten your day with a visit to our bee hives and honey production, as members of the Southwest Ohio Beekeepers' Association give hive demonstrations from 1:30-3."

To read more about the farm click here. You really should check them out! You can even order your thanksgiving turkey from them!

Turner Farm is also celebrating their Great Outdoor Weekend! You can enjoy a farm tour in a horse pulled wagon for free! Sept 25 10am and 1pm. They also offer a ton of activities and events throughout the month.

We will be heading to Gorman's on saturday so hopefully we will see you there! With all this being said, tis the season for the pumpkin patches! What farms have you visited in the past that are your favorites for the fall season???

Don't forget to check out our family fun page for other goodies!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Check-In!

Ok ladies - this is your reminder to make sure you're taking a time out for yourself this week! Don't get so busy that you don't take time to work on YOU! For those of you local to Cincy check out this great FREE Spa evening hosted by CincyChic!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Make Your Own Soft Scrub

I talked about in a recent post that as my cleaners run out I am going to start making my own. I have been buying "natural" cleaners for years now. I have tried shaklee, method, seventh generation and melaleuca products. All of them work wonderfully and I have been worried that what I make myself just won't do the job that the store bought products do. However, the more I read, the more I am realizing that the DIY recipes are working for people. Not only are they really cleaning, but they are MUCH cheaper than store bought alternatives and not bad on the environment.

You can google DIY cleaning products and get a slew of recipes. I was unsure of which ones worked the best so I started with one of my fav sites Healthy Child Healthy World. I was running out of "soft scrub" and found a recipe on their fb page (check out their video link -how to make your own eco friendly soft scrub).

Here is the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/8 cup liquid castile soap (if you want a thicker consistency, add less or vice versa)
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerin
  • 10 drops of essential oil (this is not necessary but if you want it to smell good then choose your scent!)

She recommends Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap which I found at Whole Foods. They have many scents or plain so you can choose what you like. I already had lavender essential oil so I mixed it in and it smells so yummy! You can use a repurposed squeeze bottle or buy one. Mix all together (I used the handle of my mixer) and clean away!

This took me all of about 5 minutes to make. Super easy, and best of all it WORKS! I would love to hear your fav DIY cleaning recipes so I can try them out as well!

Why worry about what cleaning products you are using? Most of the every day cleaning products people use around their home are releasing fumes into the air that can exacerbate allergies, sinuses and asthma. Some families have found that when they have switched to all natural cleaners, their child's asthma has completely ceased! Crazy right?! Not only do they help with clean air in your home, but allows for a lower risk of your kids getting into deadly products. Most of the items used in DIY are not products that are particularly harmful. Even if you keep them locked away, your little ones are touching, crawling etc. everything in your house which has ultimately been cleaned with a not-so-good-for-you cleaning product. Lastly, (here is my tree hugger coming out!) people forget that what products they are using to clean with end up down the drain and into our water system! Yuck!

I totally get that not everyone has the desire to change over cleaning products. You have used your pledge for years now and why switch now? I believe you should do what works best for you and your family. However, I didn't even think about how my use of chemicals effected myself (at the time I learned of all of this I didn't have Cody) or the earth. My house would smell like a chemical factory when I finished cleaning. It wasn't until I started reading and seeing what my footprint was leaving behind did I want to change it. Hopefully after reading this post you can see how easy it really is to DIY and remember that if you want to change your products over take your time! It is too overwhelming to try and do it all so as you run out of something, try to DIY and see what happens! You might be pleasantly surprised :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Arts & Crafts!

Regardless of where you are from or what your family budget is, there is probably a Michaels near you. Before I had Cody, I thought Michaels was just arts and crafts for adults, but it is so much more than that! Not only do they have AWESOME dollar bins, but they also have a ton of craft projects for the kiddos. I recently signed up for emails with them called The Knack. They email you great free and/or inexpensive projects they have in store for the kids. Want to get into the fall season?? Check out some of the suggestions they have:

You all know how cheap money conscious I am, so when I found out Michaels does this, I was pumped! Not only is most of it free, but it saves me from having to come up with my own craft projects for Cody bear! I thought Cody was too young for art projects, but long story short, we ended up taking an art class and he LOVES it. I was actually in tears when I was hanging up his art on the fridge :)
So start your kids early and instill the love of art in your household! 

Don't forget to check out our family fun page for other activities. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bluegrass for Babies

If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend you should check out Bluegrass for Babies! We heard it is a ton of fun and it celebrates a great cause!

"Please join us Saturday, September 18th from 4-9pm for the 2nd annual Bluegrass for Babies at Seasongood Pavilion in Eden Park.  

Bluegrass for Babies is a unique family event celebrating Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and how it has positively touched so many lives. 

Music will be by The Turkeys from 4-5:00pm, The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars from 5:30-7:00pm and Relic from 7:30-9:00pm. 

Children's entertainment includes music activities with Kindermusik by Cathy Siebert, tumbling activities with Miss Rebecca from Go2Grow Gymnastics, soccer with Coach Sam and Coach Mike from the Charlie Cooke Soccer School and craft activities from 5-7:30 pm. 

Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Farm Fresh Delivery Cincinnati will be providing info on childhood obesity and practical steps that you and your children can take to prevent it. 

Food, beer and other refreshments will be available. 

Suggested donation for adults is $10 per person and kids are free.  Proceeds benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. 

Make sure to check out for all of the details and to acknowledge our generous sponsors!  We have many important new additions to the site including ways to donate and parking instructions."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Product Spotlight: Save Those Sippy Cups!

I have been wanting to write about this product for a while now because it has made my life easier since Cody was..... hmmmm, how soon we forget! Either way, it has totally saved me so I really wanted to share! When Cody started learning to drink from a sippy cup, he was a little too young to understand to keep things on his high chair tray, in his stroller, or on the table at the restaurant. What would he do? I will give you one guess?! That's right! He would throw it on the floor! If you know me, or have been reading my posts, you know what a germaphobe I am! I would throw up in my mouth (sorry for the visual!) every time his cup would hit the nasty floor of a restaurant, or the floor at the mall or some other public place. At home, he would drop it on the floor, I pick it up and that game would go on forever!

So... one day I was at babies-r-us and found the most wonderful thing!!!  Booginhead SippiGrip Cup, Bottle and Toy Tether, Orange Grey Stripe! The first thing I thought of was "why didn't I think of that?!" and then "2 please"! One side straps to your child's stroller or high chair and the other to their bottle, sippy cup, and I even used it on his snack cups! You do not know how awesome it was to know that I could attach it to pretty much anything and it would stay put! No hitting of the floor, no germs on the cup spout, no chasing after his snack cup!

Now that he is older, he knows not to throw is cup and (most of the time) does a good job keeping it at the table. I don't use it now like I did before (I didn't leave the house without one in my diaper bag!) but I do keep one strapped to his cup when we are in the car so he doesn't lose it and I don't wreck my car trying to find a  missing cup!

Booginhead SippiGrip Cup, Bottle and Toy Tether, Orange Grey Stripe

This is what Amazon has to say: "SippiGrip is an award winning, parent invented product that prevents cups, bottles and toys from falling to the floor and becoming lost or dirty. Its unique grip material creates a strong hold on any cup or bottle and it is adjustable in length when attached to high chairs, strollers, car seats and more. SippiGrip is a great on the go and germ protection product and a lifesaver for any parent tired of playing the cup throwing game.
SippiGrip is durable, washable and has a unique grip material for a strong hold. SippiGrip grips your child's cup, bottle or toy for a secure and safe fit!"

  • Washable, durable and non-toxic
  • Adjusts in length up to 12" to fit high chairs, strollers, car seats and more
  • Unique grip material for a strong hold
  • Available in a variety of patterns and colors
  • Winner of the iParenting Media Award and Creative Child's Seal of Excellence Award

If this sounds like something that could save you a little headache, I recommend spending the money and getting one. It is soooo worth it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Toddler & Baby Food Workshop Series!

Because of the overwheming demand for more toddler and baby food classes after Jennie's first class last month we are excited to announce our next class in the series! We will be at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center next month inviting parents to take part in getting some new ideas on feeding healthy meals and snacks to their toddler!

Toddler Food Workshop
The Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Fun Ways to Feed Even the Pickiest Toddler!

Toddlerhood is a great time to teach your child to try new things, before he begins to reject new foods as a way of asserting his independence. It’s also an important time for him to learn how to feed himself, and experiment with a wide variety of textures, colors, and tastes. Jennie and I will share our personal experiences, helpful suggestions (such as how to hide the veggies!), irresistibly fun meal presentations, and tried-and-eaten recipes that you can prepare and package with love for your toddler in your own kitchen at a a fraction of the cost of store-bought alternatives.
**All attendees will receive a FREE grab bag from Whole Foods!
Please let us know if you are interested in attending and we will let you know how to RSVP!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Surviving the First Year!

Today's post is for all those Mommies-to-be out there who are busy collecting all that baby gear, waiting for the arrival of your little one! We want to try and help by by sharing with you a list of our favorite MUST NEED baby items that we couldn't live without!

The boys - this time last year enjoying their very first trip to the pumpkin farm!

This list is different for everyone but hopefully this can serve as a starting point for you! We hope everyone who already has kids will also join in by sharing their favorite baby survival items!

Before we begin, we want to recommend the Baby Bargains book which is a fantastic way to compare various baby products!

Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Equipment, Clothes, Toys, Maternity Wear and Much, Much More!

Kim's Survival List

  • Wubanub pacifiers - These were great for the first 6 weeks for Luke. He always wanted to suckle in between feedings and these have adorable little stuffed animals on them to stay in place while they sleep, etc.

  • Play Mat - We loved this play mat and so did Luke! He used this every day and will lay under this and play for ages! He usually played under this every morning while I had my breakfast, coffee, etc.

  • Baby carrier: Ergo Baby Carrier I liked this one because it can also be used as a backpack and side carrier AND it can hold up to 45lbs. Luke's almost 2 years olf and we still use this all the time while traveling and it has the great reviews for back support too. It has an infant insert for newborns, I didn't get this and start using it until Luke was about 4 months.

Books that got me through the first 6 months:
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block
  • The Secrets of The Baby Whisperer
  • The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Le Leche League
  • Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five by Penelope Leach

Jennie's Survival List
  • White Noise (you can put it on an ipod [or phone] and use a speaker so they can listen to it while out, in their car seat, or stroller. Drowns out outside noises etc.
Must Have Soothers!
    • Paci, Swing (the kind that plugs in saves batteries!! Cody lived in his the first few weeks!), bouncy seat with vibration, pack n play for portable place to sleep and I would get one with a changing table to save your back!

  • Tummy Time, Baby Massage class with Michelle Emmanuel at the CFEC!!!! AWESOME! You will learn SO much!

  • If Nursing You Can Find Private Places in Public: Babies r us has a room, Kenwood Mall by bathrooms has rooms with glider/ changing table/ sink, Sams has a family bathroom too.

  • Baby Wearing (a must... allows your hand to be free and still keep your baby close when they're newborn): Maya, Moby, Ergo
Other Must Have Baby Items
Diaper Bag
  • Keep stocked with diapers, wipes, antibacterial soap and wipes, change of clothes, paci, bib, burp cloth, snacks, a few toys, a little ER pack you can keep Tylenol, thermometer, nose sucker, diaper cream etc. Come Prepared!
  •  Babywise (great book if you want to get your baby in a routine- does talk about CIO but you don’t have to do this part! We did not do CIO with Cody but this book allowed me to feel like I had a little control of my rather chaotic day with a newborn.). 
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
  •  Dana Obelman (a gentle approach for setting up a plan to get your child to sleep and gives lots of practical advice!)

Please join in by sharing with us YOUR favorite baby products when your kids were little!