Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two little boys, stains and the Resolve® Tip Exchange

 
Having two little boys that enjoy spending a lot of time rolling around on the ground, I'm already quite familiar with stains early into my parenting career. I learned to do laundry when I was a teenager, but I have never dealt with anything these two are leaving me on a somewhat regular basis.
 
Some of the stains the boys have left me in the recent past include:
 
eggs
 pasta sauce
grass (on dress pants, of course!)
 
and the lovely
 
Poopsplosions!
 
I have to say poop stains are the worst, but I've learned that putting some soap on the clothes almost immediately (finish changing the baby first) and scrubbing them out in the sink in warm water definitely helps the process of breaking down the stain.
 
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A stain just waiting to happen!
 
 
ResolveTipExchangeLogo
 
New to the Internet is the Resolve Tip Exchange where people can share tips on how to get rid of the most difficult stains they've encountered (i.e. grass, red wine, grease, make-up, etc.).


 
 There's a perk to sharing your stain removal tips as well. Each week you share a tip, you are automatically entered to win a $250 pre-paid credit card and there's also one grand prize of a $5000 shopping spree! I wouldn't even need to wash the grass stains out of the boys' pants, just get some new ones for them!

Disclosure: I am part of the Resolve® Tip Exchange Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”
 
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Play, Snack and Nap Prize Package Giveaway!

Enter to win this amazing package of essential items every baby needs for play time, snack time and nap time!

Play, Snack and Nap Prize Package:

Yummi Pouch - Little Munchkin Set with Yummi Pouch Brights. ($29 value)

Gibout Toys - 4 pack of blocks ($119.96 value)

New Jammies - 3 pairs of New Jammies ($105 value)

Milkin' Cookies - 2 week supply of Milkin' Cookies ($21.99 value)

Wristy Buddy - Teething wristband ($14.95 value)

Ah Goo Baby - ARK changing pad ($49.95 value)

Bumkins - Dr. Suess Gift Basket

KinderStuff - Organic t-shirt ($32 value)

Poopsies - Dakota style Poopsies 3-6mo ($35 value)

Wishy Life Buddies - An Easter Tradition Book + Buddy ($30 value)

Buttons Diapers - 6 cloth diaper covers and 3 daytime inserts ($54 value)

Total Value = $500+

Yummi Pouch - Reusable Food Pouches

Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches little munchkin set giveaway
 
Little Munchkin Set - Retail Price: $28.95
The Little Munchkin set has everything you need to get started with using Yummi Pouches! Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are perfect for filling with homemade baby food, blended snacks, healthy smoothies, and more. Designed by a husband a wife team, Yummi Pouches are dishwasher and freezer safe, BPA-free, phthalate-free, easy to fill and clean through the wide zipper opening, and encourage healthy snacks for active kids! For more information visit yummipouch.com.
 
Set of 4 Yummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches - hold up to 6oz each

16oz filling funnel pitcher

10 dishwasher safe name label stickers

2 decorative dishwasher safe sticker sheets

6 mixed color extra pouch caps


Gibout Toys

Gibout Toys
 
4 pack of blocks - Retail Price: $119.96
Winner can choose block designs.
Our deluxe version of a classic stacking toy features some of finest and softest, minky fabric you can find. At 11.5" each, they stack up as one of the largest plush blocks your children will get their little hands on. Whether you are looking for a unique addition to your nursery decor, or something your child will love to play with for years to come, these blocks have it all. They have won three toy awards and have been featured in celebrity nursery designer, Sherri Blum's, Gender Surprise nursery. Hand-made in the U.S.A. For more information visit gibouttoys.com.

New Jammies

New Jammies
 
3 pairs of New Jammies - Retail Price $105
Winner can choose styles from online store.
New Jammies were created for you! There's a world in our dreams, pure and simple. It is a world where every child is happy and healthy. This is why we created New Jammies,100% pure, natural organic cotton pajamas. Bedtime is a precious time of day for children and we love that we can help make it a little better. Our super, soft cozy Jammies with colorful, playful images, send children off to dream each and every night. When they wake, we want it to be to a world that is cleaner, brighter, and more hopeful each day! Our dream: The happiest children you've ever seen! For more information visit newjammies.com.

Milkin' Cookies

Milkin' Cookies
 
2 week supply of Milkin' Cookies - Retail Price: $21.99
Milkin' Cookies are delicious lactation cookies for nursing moms. They include healthy ingredients to boost breast milk production. We aim to provide delicious products to make a Mommy's life easier. For more information visit milkin-cookies.com.

Wristy Buddy

Wristy Buddy
 
Wristy Buddy teething wristband - Retail Price: $14.95
Winner can choose style from online store.
Wristy Buddy is a teething wristband designed for babies who haven't developed the motor skills to hold traditional teething devices. Wristy Buddy is made of absorbent materials to help keep little faces and clothing dry. Its various textures and colors engage and stimulate. It is easily accessible to your teething baby and is more sanitary than traditional teething objects. Wristy Buddy is machine washable and patent pending. For more information visit wristybuddy.com.

Ah Goo Baby

Ah Goo Baby
 
ARK changing pad - Retail Price: $49.95
The Ark™ by Ah Goo Baby® is built around our luxurious, air-molded memory foam mattress that relieves pressure points to keep your baby relaxed during changings. It is made up of billions of high-density, elastic micro cushions. When the temperature-sensitive cells come in contact with the warm areas of your baby's body, they get softer and more pliable. In cooler areas, they stay firm. The cells will literally float to conform to your baby's tiny contours. The cells shift so your baby doesn't have to.
BPA-Free, Hypo-allergenic, and anti-microbial.
Perimeter zipper for easy removal.
Water-resistant, machine washable cover.
Includes safety strap for baby and fastening straps for child-proofing.
Sized 16 x 32 inch (40 x 80 cm) to fit most standard changing pads.
 
For more information visit ahgoobaby.com.

Bumkins

Bumkins
 
Dr. Suess Gift Basket
Basket contains two snack bags, a 9-month short-sleeved bodysuit, a 12-month pajama set, a receiving blanket and a 3-pack of SuperBibs.
Bumkins Finer Baby Products is dedicated to providing distinctively designed, quality, family-oriented merchandise. Bumkins believes that products can be both practical and attractive, and strives to provide visually appealing, value-driven merchandise to our loyal customers. For more information visit bumkins.com.

KinderStuff

Kinder Stuff
 
Organic t-shirt - Retail Price: $32
Winner can choose style from online store.
We believe that every baby deserves the best we can create for them. That's why our clothes are made from the best and softest organic cotton we could find. These premium fabrics are then cut and sewn in selected factories that have a long tradition of craftsmanship. Our clothes are screen printed with non-toxic inks. All this helps us ensure that our products are of the highest quality and free of harmful chemicals and additives. Premium clothes should be more than just hip, they should also be unquestionably safe and eco-friendly. For more information visit kinderstuff.us.

Poopsies

Poopsies
 
Dakota style poopsies in size 3-6 months - Retail Price: $32
A poopsies is an infant onesie made with a patented waterproof lining in the back that keeps blowouts from leaking through and ruining clothing. In addition to being made from the softest, most fashionable fabrics, poopsies' unique lining is waterproof, breathable, and machine washable. For more information visit getpoopsies.com.

Wishy Life Buddies

Wishy Life Buddies
 
An Easter Tradition Book + Buddy - Retail Price: $30
'Wishy Life Buddies: An Easter Tradition' provides families with a sneaky, seasonal pal who gives treats, rewards and encouraging messages to well-behaved children during the Easter Season. Children bring their 'Buddy' to life by naming him and sprinkling him with Wishy Dust. The book includes 'Buddy' and seven empty eggs that are hidden and filled each day for a week leading up to Easter Sunday. Eggs can be filled with anything from stickers and treats to messages and small gifts, but bad behavior results in an empty, unhidden egg. 'Buddy' departs on Easter Sunday and promises to return the following year to watch after his new friends and family. For more information visit wishylife.com.

Buttons Cloth Diapers

Buttons Cloth Diaper Set - Retail Price: $54
3 covers and 6 daytime inserts (small or large)
Buttons Cloth Diapers were born at home. As a husband and wife team, we designed our diapers to be easy to use and affordable for everyone - the way it should be. We believe in keeping our lives simple, even when it comes to diapering.

Buttons Diapers feature soft, leak-proof, and durable diaper covers. The double-gussets around the legs keeps the mess in, so your little one can run, jump, climb, and sleep while your mind is at ease. Elastic at the back and tummy makes a custom fit. The durable snaps allow the covers to adjust to fit any baby (approximately 9-35 lbs.). And, they come in five adorable colors! For more information visit buttonsdiapers.com.

Enter to Win this Fabulous Set of Prizes!

One Winner will be selected August 29th. Have fun and good luck!
Eat, Play and Nap Giveaway hosted by Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches
 
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Run Recap

Yesterday I ran my first 15km race.
 
 
A friend of mine encouraged me to sign up for this 15km way back in May and I figured I had time to train for it. In stepped life and while I wasn't completely prepared, I wasn't completely unprepared either.

The day started out with a drive down to Toronto, where I met my friend Lisa (the encourager!) and my sister (who had picked up my race kit for me but she wasn't running). We hoped on the shuttle to get to the island ferry. The drive was horrible due to traffic, but we got on the first ferry and made it over to the islands quickly.

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Pulling into the Islands

We walked to the start line and waited for about 2 hours before the 15km race was supposed to start. Of course, it gives me time for my nerves to build up and think about wanting to quit before even beginning but I didn't.

 The race began and I stayed up with Lisa for the first 6km. She had set a goal time of 1:52:00 - 1:58:00 whereas I set a goal to run as much as I could and get across the finish line.

At 6km, Lisa began pulling away from and I lost sight of her but secretly kept pushing her along in my mind.

The course was nice. It went all over the Toronto Islands. The only bad part was the large number of people that were only the islands since it was still open to the public. There were lots of walkers, bike riders and picnickers. It was pretty crazy. We ran on sand, grass, asphalt and even a wooden boardwalk.

I finished the race in 2:03:01.

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My finisher medal
 
Then came the bad part of waiting to get back home. We had to wait for 3 ferries and in a mass of people. It was quite nuts and after running for 2 hours, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in line.

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Toronto on the way home!

I finally made it home at about 11:00 pm (after leaving at 2:00). It was a long day. The race was very well organized and I'd do it again, if it wasn't on the Island or they figured out some better way for the ferries on the way home.

Now I just need to figure out how to get rid of the ridiculous pain! I can barely walk down the stairs!

What were you up to this weekend?
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's a sad day!

Yesterday morning Andrew started his transition to daycare. He only spent an hour in the classroom, but apparently he adjusted quite well. He actually reached for the teacher and spent some time crawling around. When I went back to get him, he was leaning back in his high chair, downing a bottle of milk. He didn't even really react when he saw me.
 
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He goes again today for an hour and tomorrow he goes from 8:30 to 11:45 and will have a morning snack and lunch with the teachers and other kids. It appears as though he'll fit right in and have no problems.
 
Joseph on the other hand might be a bit of an issue. When I finished school last June, I took him out of daycare because there was no way we could afford to send him on my employment insurance and there was no real reason. I wanted him to be home with me and get to know his little brother. The last room he was in was the Toddler room.
 
And now, all he wants to do is go into the Toddler room (15 month - 2.5 years). He stands a full head above the other kids in the room and doesn't notice at all. He doesn't want to go into the Preschool room until it's time to go outside to play because they get the better playground.
 
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He also spends Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 and I'm worried about how it's going to go. I love the staff at the school but I'm scared their definitely going to get a challenge out of Joseph. He's quite stubborn and can throw a decent tantrum. I know they're used to it, but still.
 
Next week, they go full time. I, on the other hand, am still home from work. I get to go into my classroom to start getting it set up and I'm going to take some 'me' time to get my hair done, do a little shopping and get lots of running in, since I'm starting my half marathon training!
 
The last week of August, they'll be back home with me because the daycare is closed for renovations and curriculum planning and then September 3rd is the first day of work!
 
It makes me sad that they're leaving the nest and going to school, however I'm somewhat excited to get back to work and meet my kindergartners!
 
I know that my head will be at school with my class, but my heart will definitely be with them at daycare hoping everything is okay.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

We're back!

We survived!
 
There were definitely times I wasn't sure we were all going to make it back from the two cottages, but we did with lots of bug bites, some great tans and lots of pictures and memories.
 
We spent Thursday night to Monday morning at my aunt's cottage in Parry Sound. My aunt, uncle, mom, sister and nephew were there as well. Another aunt and my cousin arrived Sunday night so there were lots of us crammed in but it's fine - we're family!
 
The weather wasn't the greatest and it was quite cool, but it was great fishing weather. We managed to get the boys to the beach a couple times to go swimming and they spent some time on the fishing boat. Other than that, it was a lot of time inside watching Power Rangers or Ninja Turtles.
 
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We got home Monday early afternoon, showered, bathed, did lots of laundry and repacked to head to my in-laws and then to another cottage with The Husband's sister.
 
While visiting the in-laws we headed to Reptile Zoo to see Dinosaurs (and other reptiles). They scared the crap out of Joseph, but he enjoyed watching the snakes, crocodiles, alligators and lizards. Andrew was able to see some of them if they were moving around too.
 
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Tuesday morning we headed to a little town called Plevna. The group we went with had four cottages that were on a nice green space and had a beach that the kids could play on all day long. The first day the weather wasn't great, but the kids were able to have Pirate Day where they did a treasure hunt and dug up some Ring Pops.

The remaining days were spent sitting on the beach, watching Joseph run in and out of the water and Andrew sitting on the edge of the water pouring it over his head. We went on some boat rides (Joseph got to 'drive' the boat), ate lots of delicious food and lots of laughs.

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After that, we headed to another family cottage to celebrate my nephew's 1st birthday (he's a month older than Andrew). Once the party was done, we headed home. Both boys were asleep within 5 minutes of the drive starting and slept the entire way home (about 4 hours). It was lovely!
 
As much fun as I had, I'm so happy to be home. There's no little toddler sleeping in bed with us, Andrew's back in his crib and not in the Pack 'n' Play and they're back to napping like they used to!
 
Vacations are great, but I think I'm more tired now than before I left.
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Friday, August 9, 2013

Back to School: Lunches

The last day of my Back to School guide is Lunches!

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I know that for a lot of parents this is the worst part of back to school. Having to pack a lunch for your child every day. Here are somethings that make it a little bit more enjoyable for your kiddo!
 
Lunch bag
Start of by getting a lunch bag that your kid will enjoy bringing to school and showing off. There are character ones for younger kids or stylish ones for those pre-teens that are too cool to carry a Ninja Turtle lunch bag. I love the Skip Hop ones but I'd prefer something a little bigger once my boys get into school so they can hold more.
 
Lunch Notes
These are little notes that either you write or have pre-written messages. They're just a happy little message your kids get when they open up their lunch box. My favourite are some of the jokes. You just know that the younger kids will be repeating the jokes over and over again.
 
Bento Boxes and Supplies
There has been an explosion in Bento boxes and accessories to go with it. It's a neat way to pack up your child's lunch. I follow a blog by Jill Dubien, called Meet the Dubiens, who has fantastic ideas for creating neat things with food. You should definitely check it out! The best part is that she links everything she uses! I'll be using these when my kiddos start school (luckily, daycare feeds them now).
 
That's my Back to School guide! Hopefully there are some helpful tips for you!
 
I can't wait to go do a little back to school shopping myself in the coming weeks in preparation of heading back to work after my maternity leave.
 
How do you prepare for back to school?
 
What's your favourite part of your kids going back to school?
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School: Kids' Closet

Today's back to school topic is kids' clothes (specifically toddler/preschool boys)

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I love shopping for clothes for my boys. Back to school (or daycare for them) is a perfect time to refresh their wardrobes.
 
Track pants
I think track pants are fantastic. They can play around in them, they're easy to clean and can still look cute. They work really well for Andrew especially as he is working on his crawling and walking.
 
Fleece Jacket
Great for playing outside in the fall (which they do twice a day at daycare) and again easy to clean.
 
Cute Hat
Again, being outside with daycare and then The Husband taking them out in the park they need hats. Of course, I need to make them look cute.
 
Outfits
Perfect for picture day, Thanksgiving, get-togethers where I get to show them off.
 
These clothes are from Gymboree, Children's Place and the jacket is from The North Face!
 
Tomorrow on the back to school guide...
 
School Lunches!
 
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School: Teacher Supplies


Today's back to school guide Teacher Supplies!

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As a teacher, I do receive a lot of supplies from the school board. However, there are things over the years that I've found I don't necessarily receive that I need or the ones that I do receive I find are really bad or break quickly. So I do spend a little bit of my own money to get supplies that will last.

Calendars & Planners
I have a monthly calendar that is on the wall. I use it for both school and my personal life, but I like having a big copy at school that I can keep track of everything. I also have a planner that I take with me from school to home and back again. I definitely need it after having to keep track of daycare, home, school and now running/training.

Stapler
The school ones are brutal or the kids break it. I usually have my own hidden somewhere in the desk along with other supplies (i.e. tape dispenser, scissors, etc.)

Pens & Pencils
Again, we're supplied with pens, but they can definitely suck. They don't last long and go missing quickly. I prefer to bring my own, keep one or two in my bag and bring them back and forth. I find they last longer that way too.



Tomorrow on the back to school guide...
Kid's clothes!
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School: Kids' Supplies

I've decided to do a series of posts on back to school. Today is Kids' Supplies!!

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For some reason numbers 6, 7 & 8 didn't show up.
 
As a teacher, I love school supplies. Back to school shopping was one of my favourite activities at the end of the summer.
 
However, there are many people that go overboard and spend way too much money on supplies that their kids do not need for school. Staplers, not necessary. 200 pieces of paper, not necessary. Expensive ruler that will be snapped quite quickly, not necessary.
 
Where I teach, most supplies are provided by the school board. As teachers, we order them during May and June of the previous school year so they're ready to go for the new year.
 
However, there some things that I think every student should have:
 
Markers & Pencil Crayons
Crayola work best. They stand up to tough challenges (i.e. smashing the tip) and come in so many different varieties. My best tip is to have a set at home and a set at school. I often hear kids tell me they don't have any at home so when they have colouring homework they can't get it done or they have to bring their set from school home and then forget it. Buy two (worth it) and keep one at school, one at home.
 
Pencils
Remember the basic No. 2 pencil? Yup. They're the best. They have lots of patterns and designs now which is great, but please stay away from mechanical pencils (especially for young kids). They always lose their extra lead or it spills out all over the table. Go with the basic pencil. Your child's teacher will thank you.

Eraser
Send one. It's worth it.

Notebook
Your child will most likely love to draw (or older kids, play MASH). Please send your kid with a cheap notebook. They can use it during their free time to draw instead of using the classroom paper.

Backpack & Lunchbag
Your child needs a sturdy backpack that is big enough to hold newsletters, artwork, extra clothes and possibly their lunch bag. They do not need rolling backpacks. Not necessary! Also, get a nice big lunch bag for their kids to have all their snacks!

Kleenex
Please send Kleenex with your child to school! It's one of those things that is always needed in a classroom It doesn't need to be one of those expensive, big, huge boxes, but it is necessary! Every kid will get sick or have a runny nose.

Tomorrow on the Back to School guide...
Teacher Supplies!
 

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