Quick Tip Tuesday: Video baby monitor


When I got pregnant with my first child I wouldn’t accept anything less than a video baby monitor! I know, I know… many people have been fine with audio monitors but I felt it necessary to have a video monitor.  Funds were tight… so I got a a Levana monitor from Groupon.  It worked pretty well for a while.  Eventually, we moved on to a Samsung.  The Samsung was okay but eventually quick working.  Finally, when pregnant with my second, my mother-in-law gifted me with a Motorola Video Baby Monitor with 2 Cameras.

The Motorola was my favorite camera of the ones I tried, but eventually it stopped rotating.  Being able to control the camera was one of my favorite features so this bummed me out!  Then, the cord broke.  I got a new one from ebay, but that one broke too.  I couldn’t find another, so I looked for a cheaper option.

My husband went to Amazon and found this gem!  Wansview Camera

It is $32.99!  Yes, you read that right- it has all the features of these other cameras (more than some) and it is $32.99! win!  So I was skeptical at first… but we got the camera, set it up and it works perfectly!

You set it up, download an app on your phone and there you go.  Your sleeping babies are right there in view.  You can listen in on them, talk to them, change the clarity of the image, etc.  It is amazing, especially for 32 dollars!  I *WISH* I’d had this from the start.  I wouldn’t have wasted hundreds on the other monitors.

Check it out 🙂  And if you have any other items you’ve saved a ton of money on share in the comments! I would love to hear about them.  <3.

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Pink or Blue: Does it matter to you?


[I wrote this piece a few years ago and found it and have reread it and wanted to post.  I love it because I’ve been able to see how I’ve experienced more and grown as a parent.  My son is certainly “all boy,” as they say but he also loves to wear bows in his hair because that is what his sister does.  He’s tried on my bra because it looks interesting.  He picks out kitty cat valentines instead of Ninja Turtles. Guess what? I love every single bit of it.  He is amazing to me.  He is creative, accepting and loving.  Lets encourage our kids to be exactly who they are– because they’re beautiful!]

When you find out you’re expecting it is such an exciting time.  Your mind is clouded with a million thoughts at once.  When I found out I was expecting I could almost feel the thoughts surging through my body… physically.  It was so much at once.  It was fear.  It was excitement.  It was overwhelming!  When the news settled with me, the fear and excitement  turned to complete curiosity!  This little baby inside of me… was it a boy or a girl?

I imagined a pink room with big monograms and pearls and butterflies and sweet sayings.  I imagined a room with dinosaurs and trucks and dark blue hues.  I wondered if I was carrying a boy or a girl.  I wondered if a boy would like dinosaurs or sailboats… or if a girl might love princesses or kittens!  All I knew was, I couldn’t wait to find out the gender so I could decorate “accordingly.”

In the news lately it seems that there is a lot of praise for “gender neutral.”  I certainly understand what the fuss is all about.  Recently someone tweeted that Target had signage that indicated there were building sets and “girls’ building sets.”  I assume that means there are building sets, and then there are pink building sets.  I understand that Target was just distinguishing between the two.  However, I also get that someone could take offense to this verbiage.  I have found myself in the toy aisle lamenting about how all the kitten toys have pink bows!  Why can’t cats be for boys?  We love cats in this house and I would love to find a “boy” kitty toy.

With this being a hot topic in the news, I’ve wondered recently… am I wrong to want to decorate a daughters room with pink and pearls?  Am I wrong to assume that my son wants dinosaur sheets and a train bed?  Am I wrong to wish that they had “boy” plush kitty toys?

Yes, and no.

I believe that once a child is old enough to tell you what they want and what they prefer, then by all means, indulge them! (within reason of course).  If my son tells me he wants the kitty with the pink bow and the diamond collar that is typically marketed for girls– he will get the kitty!  Even if I was secretly wishing there was a more masculine kitty option, I didn’t hesitate at all because underneath it all, it is a toy cat!  Whether it is a boy cat or a girl cat– it is a cat that makes my son happy and that is ALL that matters.  If my daughter told me that she wanted a train set with little boys playing on the cover of the box– give her the train set! This does not bother me.  I would buy them what they desired and would not make them feel ashamed for it or embarrassed by it.  There is nothing embarrassing about wanting these things.  A child’s interests should be encouraged.

With that being said, what I do have a problem with is the people that “hate” on those that hear they’re having a boy or a girl and decorate the nursery traditionally.  By traditionally I mean, a blue room for boys and a pink room for girls.  They are babies.  They can’t talk yet, they can’t tell you that they hate pink or that they love blue!  They are your sweet bundle of joy and you want the absolute best for them.  You want a room that you believe makes them happy and makes you happy.  If you have a beautiful little girl and you want to paint the entire room with Disney princesses, I think that should be encouraged and not looked down on.  You are not limiting this child and restricting what they are allowed to love.  You are painting a picture of what you think is fun/fitting for your child and what you think they would enjoy (and what you enjoy!).  You care enough to give them a festive room that they may grow up to love and they may not.  But for now, embrace this time.  Decorate, celebrate and love.  They are only babies for such a small amount of time.  Try not to overthink things.

Quick Tip Tuesday: Diaper Bag Dispenser 


My quick Tip Tuesday is late again 😩. In my defense …this is due to my computer issues. The fan broke on my laptop and it won’t be back until tomorrow. So… this got delayed! Doing updates from your phone is hard!  Anyway…here we go. (edit: got my husband’s work computer to complete this… mobile is too hard for me..)

My tip this Tuesday is amazing for diaper duty. Just this week…I was taking my son to a doctor’s appointment and in the 5 seconds I was dropping him off …my daughter pooped.  I had to run out to the car, change her in the front seat..and then I was left with a dirty diaper in an 80 degree car! 😩. I learned from last year…the heat of summer + poop diapers = disgusting.

My previous solution to this was to try to keep Target/Food lion/plastic shopping bags in the car so I can at least bag up the mess… but I kept forgetting to take them to the car and when I remembered, they didn’t mask the smell very well anyway.  So… I was scrolling through Amazon Prime Now recently (Bless my heart… Prime Now is going to be the end of me… or my banking account at least) and noticed the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser.  I read about it and thought I’d give it a try.  It is only $3.99 so I thought that seemed worth it.  So… details– here we go…

It has a hook so that it can clip on to anything– diaper bag, stroller, changing table, etc.  It has a roll of plastic bags that are infused with baking soda and lavender.  They smell really nice and clean!  They are large enough to fit a few dirty diapers + wipes.  (I know this because I change entirely too many poopy diapers at the same time ha)  and they tie up easily.  AND- if you forget and leave it in your car or bag for a day… (don’t judge me) your car will not smell like a dumpster.  It is amazing.  You can also get refills.  (Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Refills, 72 Count)

Truthfully, I feel like a ton of “essential” mom products are ridiculous and unnecessary– and I wondered if this would be one of those products when I ordered it on a whim… but… it really is a very helpful item!  It is inexpensive, convenient, and helps me feel like I have my life together.  (That got a little heavy…)   But you know what I mean.  When you’re tired, it is hot, your car is a mess, your 1 year old pooped and is screaming while your son is running away from you in a parking lot… it is nice to have one thing in place hahaha.  Rather than throw the diaper on the floor of my car and deal with it later, I can reach for one of the bags…tie it up– and if I forget it for a moment… I won’t pay for it later ha.

So… there is my Tuesday  Wednesday Tip.  Grab you one of these dispensers and then come back and thank me in the comments 😉

Quick Tip Tuesday: One Weird thing!


Okay, so…  the tip this Tuesday is a bit weird.  Bear with me.  I discovered this very early in my mom life.  My son was 5 or 6 months and he wouldn’t stop crying.  Nothing was right, everything was wrong.  I didn’t know what else to do so I started singing a high pitched note and made up a ridiculous song using crazy voices.  He stopped crying.  He stared at me like I was absolutely insane… but he stopped crying.   I got to the point where I would try just about anything.  The crazier I looked the better.  You really can do anything.  Balance the remote on your head, pinch your cheek while trying to yodel, vogue like Madonna while blinking 400 times.  Your kid will love it.  They will look super confused but they will stop crying and usually forget why they were crying to begin with.

I know this sounds crazy, and probably not like a real tip… but I found it to work so well that I told my husband about it …I told him it was called “one weird thing.”   When I had my second child I remembered how well it worked with Jack and tried it out again… of course, it worked.  Not only does it work, but it really opens up a very playful environment for you and your child.  Sleepless nights, no showers, poopy diapers and screaming babies can really wear you down.  Sometimes you want to zone out in the little peace you can find in a day.  Doing “one weird thing” brings some quiet, some relaxation, and some fun into the moment.  It really helps you be present with your baby.  Plus, babies love weird things.  They live for funny faces and silly noises.

I cannot say for sure what sort of lasting effects this “one weird thing” has on a child hahah… All I know is my son is almost 4 and he made his first pun at 2.  So… there you have it.  Evidence.  One weird thing will calm your baby down in a crying fit and it will make them cool for years to come.

(I was not drinking wine when I wrote this// this is just my life.)  Have a good week!

Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER): My experience.

Tonight I’ve decided to sit down and write about an uncomfortable experience.  Breastfeeding.  I know…I sound awful right?  How can I be a mom knowing good and well that “breast is best” and be uncomfortable by the process?  This is how.  It is called D-MER. Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex.  With both of my children I suffered from this awful condition.

Nearly 5 years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my son I knew I would breastfeed.  I knew nothing about it but knew I would do it because it was supposed to be the best thing for my baby.   At 41 weeks my sweet boy was born and took quite well to the breast.  I felt so happy and accomplished that we both knew exactly what to do.  It felt so natural.  It also felt… terrible.  I was a new mother so I didn’t know what to expect.  I just know that before my milk let down, I felt inconsolable sadness.  I felt such debilitating depression.  It came and went in less than a minute, but the feeling was so intense.  It lingered with me because the sadness felt physical.  The depression physically hurt.  I’d never been so overcome with intense grief and emotion that I felt like I would vomit.   Yet, every time the milk came down… there was the feeling again.  I didn’t say anything at first because I thought maybe I was just adjusting.  I didn’t want to admit that I hated the feeling.  No one had ever told me this happens… so everyone must be able to deal with it.  Admitting it would have made me a bad mother.  I told myself all of those things.  Finally, I mentioned it briefly to the lactation consultant at my hospital.  She thought it was interesting but didn’t have any idea what was going on.  She kind of blew it off and said, “well, if you know it passes you can just tell yourself that and get through the moment.”  This was true, but it was still upsetting.  I began to dread breastfeeding.

I shared my story with fellow moms and no one knew what I was talking about.  This apparently did not happen to all of my friends.  This hadn’t happened to my mother.  I was depressed, but determined to figure out what was going on.  I googled frantically and finally stumbled upon some information about D-MER.  It was EXACTLY what was happening to me!  Finally!  I had some answers!  Just seeing that there were others out there with this same condition comforted me immensely.  Unfortunately, there is still not much known about this condition.

I made it 6 months breastfeeding my son.  I had some postpartum issues in addition to the D-MER that stood in the way of breastfeeding for me.  My son also seemed to nurse constantly.  Stopping breastfeeding was a very sad decision to make and I had several moments of feeling like a failure, but ultimately it felt like the best decision at the time.

Last year I had my second child.  An 8 lb 10 oz baby girl.  She also took to the breast extremely well and I felt that joy and accomplishment again.  Unfortunately, like last time, the D-MER was back.  My daughter nursed around the clock and the let down of my milk was so intense.  I suffered from awful postpartum anxiety/OCD after the birth of my daughter, which seemed to make the intense emotions with breastfeeding much worse.  A few weeks postpartum I suffered a minor infection and had to go on medication.  I had to stop breastfeeding for 10 days or so.  I tried to keep up with pumping but with a 2.5 year old and a newborn… it was all too much.  I was overwhelmed with day to day life and D-MER didn’t make things ANY easier.  I made it a few months and then switched to formula at the suggestion of several doctors.  It is not the decision everyone would have made, or the decision I thought I would choose, but it was the best decision at the time for myself and our family.

Breastfeeding is a huge topic in the new mommy world.  There is almost a shame attached to not breastfeeding.  Because of this, mothers with any sort of issue feel guilty, embarrassed, less than, ashamed.   I can’t honestly put into words the hurt I felt/feel knowing that both of my children were excellent eaters that took extremely well to the breast and I was the reason they weren’t breastfed for an extended period.  I can’t go back to that place.  It was something that contributed to my extreme postpartum depression.  The guilt was unprecedented.  But because of this, I ask the mom community to come together for other moms, ALL moms.  You never know another person’s story.  You may not even know that conditions like D-MER exist.  Your experience is your own.  What a new mommy needs most is love.

I’ve linked to a few articles about Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex in this post and I encourage new mothers (or anyone) to check them out.  More research is needed for this condition as well as knowledge and support.  If you think you may be suffering from D-MER please see your doctor, and for now take comfort in the fact that I know what you’re going through, as well as many other moms.  It is TOUGH, but you will get through it.

6 Popular Diaper Rash Creams Reviewed!

 

I decided to do a review of diaper rash creams in the blog when my husband and I had a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of several different brands recently.  Yes… we are that exciting.  Over the years we have used many different brands.  Currently, my daughter is teething so she is getting the lovely diaper rash that goes along with that.  Her poor hiney is so red and chapped.  Luckily, I’ve figured out what works for us and would love to share my thoughts with you! I wish I’d read more about this when registering for my first baby’s baby showers!  Also in the posts you’ll notice a link to the Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep website.  This is a great tool for researching the environmental and health impact of common products.  It is amazing which products you think would be fairly safe that aren’t at all.  I recommend this website for any product you use fairly often.  A great resource!

 

Vaseline

Okay, the first on the list is just your standard Vaseline.  When I had my first child one of my best friend’s told me that her mother used Vaseline on her younger sister all the time to prevent diaper rash.  I found that this was a cheap option that seemed to work well! I think Vaseline serves as a great diaper rash preventative.  It is also nice to have Vaseline around the house to use for taking rectal temperatures or to put around the mouth for a chapped face.  I purchased 3 big tubs of it on Amazon and it lasted for a while!  More recently I bought a store brand from Walmart or Target and it works just as well!

EWG rating: 1

Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

Second on the list is Aquaphor.  The Aquaphor I have tried is the Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing ointment.  I really like Aquaphor as it is very similar to Vaseline.  It has Petrolatum (petroleum) as the active ingredient.  Unlike Vaseline, which is pure petroleum, Aquaphor has other ingredients (Panethenol, Lanolin, etc.) that help with the consistency and healing of the skin.  It comes highly recommended by dermatologists.  I have also bought Aquaphor for my children’s cheeks.  My son and daughter are both very faired skinned and their cheeks chap easily.  I cover their cheeks in the winter with Aquaphor before playing out in the cold wind and at night when they’re sleeping.  I like Aquaphor for a rash that isn’t terrible.  I feel like it can help a rash that is starting to resolve quickly without getting worse.  For more intense rashes, I look to other ointments.

EWG rating: 2

Desitin Rapid Relief Cream

Desitin is the diaper cream that my mom used with my little brother when he was little.  After having kids she would say, “You need to go get some Desitin… Desitin works so well!”  When I registered for gifts for my baby showers I included a ton of Desitin per my mother’s request and I have to say I was a little disappointed –Maybe because my mother built it up to be a cure all.   When I used Desitin it was just okay.  It didn’t dramatically fix my kid’s diaper rash.  It didn’t last very long and seemed to go on pretty thin.  I personally prefer a diaper rash cream that is thick and will still be there when I go to change my baby’s diaper.  My final thoughts on this cream… if someone gave it to me I’d use it, but I most likely wouldn’t buy it.

EWG rating: 5

A+D Zinc Oxide Cream

A+D was the diaper rash cream we used often with my son.  I think A+D is very similar to Desitin.  We tried the kind that was for the treatment of diaper rash that is made with Dimethicone and Zinc Oxide.  I think that A+D works fine, but like Desitin Rapid Relief, I feel that you have to put it on constantly.  It seems to go on thin and wipe off easily.  I felt like this didn’t help my son and daughter’s rashes.  I personally wanted something much thicker.  Again, like Desitin, I would definitely use A+D but I don’t buy it myself anymore.  I prefer other creams over this one.

EWG rating: 5

Boudreaux Butt Paste Original Diaper Rash Ointment – 2 oz

I have a love/hate relationship with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.  I think it works pretty well.  The color is a bit weird.  There is no unpleasant scent.  I definitely have a tube of it at my house and use it fairly often.  One thing about this diaper rash cream is that it will stain furniture if you have an accident.   We found this out the hard way when my son sat on it on my mother in-law’s couch.  It took a lot of elbow grease but it finally *mostly* came out.  It is an oil-based product, like other creams, so it WILL stain clothing and furniture.  This is just something to keep in mind.  Honestly, keep this in mind with ALL diaper rash creams.  We’ve had a few too many accidents with diaper cream.  I’ve stepped on it, sat on it, etc.    I prefer this over Desitin or A+D, mainly because it is thicker and stays on a bit longer.

EWG rating: 1

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment, 3 Ounces

Okay, I saved the best for last.  Burt’s Bees Baby Diaper Rash ointment with Zinc Oxide.  I absolutely LOVE this diaper rash cream.   The smell is amazing.  It has a good amount of Zinc Oxide (a product most of these diaper rash creams include) which really helps the toughest diaper rash.  I think the best thing about this diaper rash ointment though is that it is really thick.  It is very well made and goes on thicker than any other cream on this list.  You don’t need very much of it to cover most of the diaper area.  It is a little pricier than other creams on this list but not by much and because it is thicker it lasts longer.  Sometimes I buy the gift set that comes with Baby Wash, a small bar of soap and Baby lotion.  I’ve found the gift set on Amazon for as low as 15 dollars before, so it is a great deal.  (Prices fluctuate from day to day.)  I highly recommend this cream, and most other products from Burt’s Bees honestly.  Their products are gentle on the skin, smell great and have a pretty good Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep rating.  We always keep this in the house and reserve it for the worst of diaper rashes!  It is very effective!

EWG Rating: 1

I hope you found this helpful!  These were the most common creams I received at baby showers before my first child was born.  Like most baby products, it takes some trial and error to figure out which products works best for you and your baby.   Do you have a diaper rash cream recommendation?  What works best for you?  Leave suggestions or thoughts in the comments.

Quick Tip Tuesday: Finger painting!


Recently I bought some of the Alex Jr. finger painting paints so my son and I could be creative and messy on days we have to stay inside.  This paint was a little runny, so if we were planning on painting for real I wouldn’t recommend it– but for finger painting it was nice! Very easy to wipe off and very vibrant colors.  My daughter who just turned 1 was really wanting to join the party. Against my better judgment I sat her down and let her play. Of course, it instantly went toward her mouth! I cleaned her up and had to get creative. I felt bad not letting her play too but she is just too young for finger painting with these paints. Although they’re non-toxic and recommended for 18+ months, I knew my sweet girl would try to make a meal out of them.  I thought for a second and realized that a 1 year old can “paint” with anything!  I took some apple + broccoli + avocado purée and dropped it right onto her high chair tray. Her eyes lit up! She immediately started “painting” like her brother had with his real paint.  She also got to sample hers 😉   It was a win-win!

You can make a lot of fun projects/art with ingredients right in your pantry! This one is a favorite so far :). Enjoy!