Cooper & Me & the Military

As I mentioned in my Deployment Resources for Kids video, when Bob was deploying last year I was shocked at the complete void of resources for kids whose parents were gone–especially when it came to books!

I was so happy to see our friends at  Cooper and Me are helping to solve this problem! Cooper and Me and the Military is about Cooper’s best doggie friend, Trooper. He’s a former military dog who comes to live with two military brats while their parents are deployed. I thought the perspective of two parents being deployed at once was a very interesting one.

The book is fun and was very easy to read aloud. Amber loves it and we’ve been reading it over and over and OVER for bedtime each night! I think we’re both excited to see a military book! This book is great for military kids or non-military families, as it is written from the non-military child’s point of view. It would be great to use for building empathy and understanding-something I think it really needed!

I also loved that there are activities that help children name and process their own feelings about what they’ve read included at the back of the book to help take everything one step further.

Be sure to connect with Cooper & Me on Facebook & Twitter

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Cooper & Me & the Military

As I mentioned in my Deployment Resources for Kids video, when Bob was deploying last year I was shocked at the complete void of resources for kids whose parents were gone–especially when it came to books!

I was so happy to see our friends at  Cooper and Me are helping to solve this problem! Cooper and Me and the Military is about Cooper’s best doggie friend, Trooper. He’s a former military dog who comes to live with two military brats while their parents are deployed. I thought the perspective of two parents being deployed at once was a very interesting one.

The book is fun and was very easy to read aloud. Amber loves it and we’ve been reading it over and over and OVER for bedtime each night! I think we’re both excited to see a military book! This book is great for military kids or non-military families, as it is written from the non-military child’s point of view. It would be great to use for building empathy and understanding-something I think it really needed!

I also loved that there are activities that help children name and process their own feelings about what they’ve read included at the back of the book to help take everything one step further.

Be sure to connect with Cooper & Me on Facebook & Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

The 5 Love Languages for Children

I have heard SO much about the “original” The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts I finally decided to purchase it for myself. While I was still working through my stack of books on my dresser I was asked if I’d like to review The 5 Love Languages of Children I had to say yes! I figured that it would be great to be able to read them both, and I’m *always* looking for more great Christian parenting books to read!

The 5 Love Languages of Children was a fast and easy read–which was great since even though I’m a super fast reader nonfiction books usually hang me up a little and take me longer to read through since I actually have to “use my brain” and “digest” them. That doesn’t mean that this book wasn’t full of “good stuff” though. One thing I found very interesting was that it says that you can’t determine your child’s love language until they’re around 5-8 years old. So since my children are 4 and 1 this means that I can’t really determine either of theirs yet. If I had to take a guess as to what Amber’s is, however, I think it would be physical touch–she is ALWAYS hanging off me, hugging me, or begging to “snuggle”. Right at this very second she’s cuddle up next to me as close as she can be on the couch.

I loved the love language concepts–for example if Amber’s love language is physical touch and I ask her to quit “hanging all over me” because she’s wearing me out that could really hurt her heart terribly. Lately I’ve been having her snuggle up next to me during TV time, taking a little extra time to snuggle during her bedtime routine, and giving her extra hugs and kisses through the day. She seems to be thriving on it! 🙂

This was a wonderful book and I will definitely be hanging onto it so that in a few years I can re-read it and really narrow down what my kiddos love languages are. In the meantime he suggests giving lots of all four languages–so I will continue to do that!

Be sure to check out The 5 Love Languages of Children on Amazon and read other reviews of it! Also you can visit the 5 Love Languages Website, “Like” the page on Facebook, and connect with Dr. Gary Chapman on Twitter.

I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it  on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance  with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the  Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Gripsterz ~ Keeping Kids Safe & Handy

I mentioned in my Parking Pal post that once I became a mommy of two, I quickly realized that two hands just weren’t enough anymore! Everything from getting down the three flights of stairs in our apartment building (nope–no elevator) to grocery shopping (all our carts only allow one child in at a time) to walking across the parking lot (hmmm how do I hold Tyler, my purse, my keys, the diaper bag, AND Amber’s hand???) all become a huge ordeal.

I’m always a little amazed what I’ll put myself through to get out and about!

Before this I’ve always resorted to non-favorable solutions–namely–Amber hanging off of me by my purse, pocket, etc. This resulted in her yanking me and/or depantsing me (guess it’s a good way of knowing that I am losing weight…..)

Another smart Mommy came up with a great solution to this–and even made it in the form of a super cute lil monkey!

This is the Gripsterz and it’s a fun walking handle designed to keep kids safe and handy, all while keeping their parents sanity.

We put it to the ultimate test by a trip to Wal*Mart with just us three. For the trek down the stairs and across the parking lot I hooked it onto my belt loop. It was great to have Amber be a few paces behind me but her still feel like she “had” me. Once we got to Wal*Mart I latched it onto the shopping cart. One of the big problems I have with Amber is she loves to dance around and look at everything–which is a great quality unless she’s dancing in front of people trying to push their carts and grabbing everything off the shelves. The Gripsterz did a great job of giving her an incentive to stay close to the cart and off of the items. It has different lengths and configurations–and I will *definitely* be using it again!

Need an extra set of hands? I can’t give you any but you can go enter to win a Gripsterz, along with a bunch of other great by mom, for mom Mompact products in the Mompact Bundle Giveaway–it ends in just a few days–so hurry!

Gripsterz ~ Keeping Kids Safe & Handy

I mentioned in my Parking Pal post that once I became a mommy of two, I quickly realized that two hands just weren’t enough anymore! Everything from getting down the three flights of stairs in our apartment building (nope–no elevator) to grocery shopping (all our carts only allow one child in at a time) to walking across the parking lot (hmmm how do I hold Tyler, my purse, my keys, the diaper bag, AND Amber’s hand???) all become a huge ordeal.

I’m always a little amazed what I’ll put myself through to get out and about!

Before this I’ve always resorted to non-favorable solutions–namely–Amber hanging off of me by my purse, pocket, etc. This resulted in her yanking me and/or depantsing me (guess it’s a good way of knowing that I am losing weight…..)

Another smart Mommy came up with a great solution to this–and even made it in the form of a super cute lil monkey!

This is the Gripsterz and it’s a fun walking handle designed to keep kids safe and handy, all while keeping their parents sanity.

We put it to the ultimate test by a trip to Wal*Mart with just us three. For the trek down the stairs and across the parking lot I hooked it onto my belt loop. It was great to have Amber be a few paces behind me but her still feel like she “had” me. Once we got to Wal*Mart I latched it onto the shopping cart. One of the big problems I have with Amber is she loves to dance around and look at everything–which is a great quality unless she’s dancing in front of people trying to push their carts and grabbing everything off the shelves. The Gripsterz did a great job of giving her an incentive to stay close to the cart and off of the items. It has different lengths and configurations–and I will *definitely* be using it again!

Need an extra set of hands? I can’t give you any but you can go enter to win a Gripsterz, along with a bunch of other great by mom, for mom Mompact products in the Mompact Bundle Giveaway–it ends in just a few days–so hurry!

SAFER Child Car Seat Cover ~ Help for messy monsters

So it seems that many of the great products from Mompact have to do with dealing with and helping to prevent messes….hmmm, yepp you can definitely tell that they were made by moms, for moms!

Tyler is my Messy Monster. He just absolutely LOVES to be messy and make messes (I’m told that this is a typical little boy thing). Most of the time I’m ok with this, I mean, it comes with the Mom territory. One thing that I’ve *always* hated cleaning up messes from, however, was his car seat! And I’ve definitely had to, he seems to have a great knack of totally pulverizing and disgustifying (if that wasn’t a word it now it because it only describes what he does) his car seat. I can’t tell how many times I’ve had to spend an hour pulling, unhooking, unlatching, etc etc etc the cover on his toddler car seat so I could wash it.

My problems are now solved thanks to the parent and pediatrician inventor–hurray! The SAFER Child Car Seat Cover makes washing his seat a matter of a few pulls on velcro and just 4 little snaps. I love the super soft microfiber cloth that it’s made out of as well! It even comes with it’s own special little bag to wash it in.

Another great use for this is that it makes any toddler car seat gender neutral. Although we bought a blue seat when Amber was born (we figured that a baby girl could pull off a blue seat but it might be harder for a future boy to sit in a pink flower one) the tan could take that butterfly seat and make it ok for your little boy!

And just so you know–this is not for infant seats, or booster seat, or seats with an adjustable headrest. It only works on seats like the one that Tyler is shown in. The material is super thin in the back (much thinner than the actual car seat cover) and sits very snuggly on the seat. Because of all the slots the belts come through and are not changed or blocked at all by it. I say this because I know some saftey minded mommy will be hollering about this not being safe. And while I agree that you should always have your child’s car seat snugly fastened and not allow them to wear a big puffy jacket, this is not a safety hazard. Make sure, as with anything car seat related, you follow the installation instructions very closely and use it only on the appropriate seats!

Do you have a messy monster? Be sure to enter the Mompact Bundle Giveaway for the chance to win this and a bunch of other great health and safety items!

Keep Kids Safe with the Parking Pal Magnet

Life with one child was, while not exactly easy, definitely manageable. I remember having a bunch of spare time on my hands when Amber was born–so much so that I did tons of digital scrapping, Facebook stalking, and then decided to jump into the world of working from home.

Once I added Tyler into the mix (not to mention this blog, and my jobs) life was suddenly not so easy or manageable anymore! I am amazed at the sheer load of work having two kiddos is! One of the ways this becomes crazy apparent is when we’re unloading out of the car on our trip to the store/Bible study/MOPs/playgroup/you get the idea. Amber’s old enough now that she can unbuckle herself and hop out. That means that while I’m busy unstrapping Tyler from the 50 5 point harness and loading up my purse, diaper bag, keys, phone, etc. Amber is free to hop, stick, and jump her way—right into oncoming cars YIKES!

To solve this problem I would do the typical talking/nagging/demanding that she stand right beside me and/or grab onto me (not ideal while I’m wrestling all those before mentioned things)

A fellow mom felt my pain and invented the Parking Pal Magnet! This ingenious child safety product is super easy to use–you just stick it onto your car! It won’t fall off while driving, but you do need to remove it before you wash your vehicle. It comes in several different fun and cute patterns–so you can pick the one your kiddo would like the best. Amber loves it (as you can see) and it makes those brief moments in the parking lot a little less hectic and scary!

Be sure to enter to win a Parking Pal Magnet, along with a bunch of other great mom invented products, in the Mompact Bundle Giveaway!

Be sure to also stop by Mompact and discover all the other great products made by moms, for moms!

Boogie Snatcher

Before I became a mommy no one ever told me how often I’d be covered in the bodily fluids of another human being–and how quite honestly it wouldn’t really phase me!

If you’re a mommy I know you understand! Before mommyhood the thought of dealing with another person’s boogers, poo, spit, or vomit would have absolutely horrified me. And quite frankly it still does, just not if it’s one of the two cutie patooties in my family 🙂

It’s also quite apparent you’re a mommy when you get excited about products designed for helping with Boogies! The Boogie Snatcher is one of these great new products designed to help mommies dealing with boogies in all their sticky goodness.

Tyler has always screamed bloody murder whenever I’ve had to wipe his face off, but especially anytime I’m trying to get crusty boogers off. He actually loves the Boogie Snatcher though! I let him play with it first for a little while, so he’d see it wasn’t “scary” and then used it to snatch a couple of the nasty dried crusty ones–it really does work great and it’s so nice to see that clean baby nose!

Another great use for this product is to teach toddlers not to pick their noses. Even as a Mommy seeing a kid with their finger jammed up their nose definitely does gross me out!!! This is a great alternative–see the picture above–I bet you never knew picking a nose could look so cute Haha! To clean it you just run it under hot water or you could throw it in with some soap and bubbles if you like to keep things super clean!

Be sure to hop on over for your chance to win a Boogie Snatcher in the Mompact Safer & Healthier Kids Giveaway!


How do you deal with your kids boogies?

Tips for dealing with Eczema

So for my long time blog readers you probably remember that Amber has eczema. When she was a little over a year old we had a really hard time with it (as you can see in the pictures above) which resulted in a few Urgent Care trips, several Drs. visits, a trip to an allergist, and a trip to a dermatologist. At first I was very upset and confused because everyone kept giving me all kinds of conflicting information. One of the best things I did was to connect with other moms who had dealt with it, and then weed through all the information by trial and error. What works for your baby’s skin might not work for someone else-but this is what works for us and I hope it helps!

Here are my Tips for dealing with Eczema!

Bathing ~ one of the biggest things I got conflicting information on was bathing. Some of the Dr.s said to bathe her every day, for a long time, then slather grease cream on her as soon as she was out. Others said bathing her daily was the worst thing to do. Ultimately I figured out that lots of baths were drying out her skin, and that she does best with only one to two baths a week. The weeks she might need more frequent baths I use oatmeal to soothe her skin. You can buy the pricey oatmeal soaks but a great alternative is to just buy the cheapest kind of rolled oats in the breakfast aisle and throw a few cups into the bath. It works just as well! If you’d rather not have your child swimming in oatmeal (it is a little slimey), We have also had good luck using Adovia Dead Sea Bath Salts. There have been studies on bleach baths for treating eczema but we never tried them out. And last but not least I always use a special non-soap cleanser. Cetaphil has worked wonders for us!

Lotion ~ I’ve found that the best thing I can do for her skin is to keep lotion on her, and lots of it! Keeping her skin hydrated helps to prevent breakouts. We’ve had the very best luck with Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, 7.3 oz. It is really awesome! I’ve heard from other moms that Burts Bees or any hypo allergenic, all natural, high moisture lotion will work well though. When she was really broke out I used Eucerin and Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment any time after I bathed her and at bedtime. They got her way good and greasy and helped heal the breakouts quickly.

Of course you should always consult with your Dr. I still have to put Amber’s special medicated steroid creams on whenever she breaks out. If you are into more natural healing methods there is an essential oil mix that you can use for breakouts that aren’t severe. My sister-in-law made me one and it worked but only if I used it as soon as anything started to appear. For the bad stuff you’ll just need to go the steroid cream route!

Laundry ~ We ultimately narrowed down what caused Amber’s awful flair up was me using scented liquid fabric softer *once*–and it took months to repair that mistake (I felt awful!!!) Since then I don’t use any fabric softener on anything that touches her skin. Now that she’s older and outgrown it a little I use vinegar in place of fabric softener. It’s so cheap, really works, and leaves your clothes smelling clean, not like vinegar. Other options are getting the wool balls or dryer balls.

For the laundry soap these days you actually have a bunch of great options! My favorite is using this homemade laundry detergent mix. I leave out the Oxi-Clean as that’s too harsh for sensitive skin but the rest works great. I also buy already grated soap flakes so all I have to do is dump everything together, stir it, and I’m set for my laundry detergent for 6 months, it’s amazing!

I would also highly recommend both All Free & Clear and Purex Complete Free & Clear. Both do a great job of getting clothes clean while being affordable. (DON’T waste your time buying Dreft!!! This stuff is way cheaper and works so much better!)

Covering ~ When you have a baby with eczema break outs it’s so hard because scratching the area makes it worse–but it’s so super itchy they feel *compelled* to scratch it. Getting a product like the Kissaboo is a great idea! It stops kids from picking at rash areas by covering them up with a gentle and fun “boo boo” protector. (It also is great for those kids who want a band aid for every imaginary owie!)

So there you go! My top tips, I hope that they’re helpful!

What are your top tips? Do you have any questions of things I might have left out?

Venus & Olay Razor ~ Making Showertime a little easier

Once you enter the realm of mommyhood things that you always took for granted–like the ability to shower at least once a day!

I’ve always made sure that I make the time to take care of myself even after my kiddos were born though! I know that when I start to feel frumpy and run down everyone suffers! Even on the days when I don’t even leave the apartment I’m sure to squeeze in a shower and put on at least my foundation and mascara. It makes me feel so much more motivated!

As I tell my friends, I swear by early bedtimes for fitting showers and relaxing baths in. When I bathe at night I can be sure that I won’t get interrupted and can take a nice, long, relaxing hot shower–or a soothing bubble bath!

On the days I work out I want a shower in the middle of the day, and since I work out at home that means I have the kiddos running around. I usually put Tyler into his crib with a few books and safe toys and take a quick shower. I’ve always believed that it’s important for kiddos to learn how to entertain themselves–and that things like showers for mommy are important! I know several of my friends let their kiddos wander in and out while they’re in the shower–and that’s what I do/did with Amber a lot. Tyler is a whole different kettle of fish, however, and so I put him away for his own safety (haha!)

On days like this quick fixes and helps are always appreciated! And this is why I love the Venus & Olay Razor. Since the bars are built onto it you can just run it over your legs without even worrying about lathering up your loofa. Although I’m not crazy about the bars during a nice relaxing time (they are a bit hard to maneuver so I prefer my regular Venus then) I love this razor for my after workout showers! It even comes with a nifty little suction cup holder so the bars won’t stick to anything, and it makes it nice and handy to grab!

A big thanks to Influenster for helping make this mommy’s showertime that much easier!

Do you have any secrets for fitting that all important shower into your busy mommy day?