Quick Tip Tuesday: Skipping the party!



So, I’ve been slammed with work. That is why I haven’t been updating. I watch my kids full time and do transcription for a dermatology clinic part time. I stay busy! I wish I could blog whenever I wanted to… but I can’t unfortunately. I love it when I have the time!!

Today’s tip is kind of up to you to decide if it works for you or not. Today is my son’s birthday. He is 4! I cannot believe he is 4 years old. I feel like I had him yesterday. I remember them placing him on my chest. I sobbed. I was so happy to meet him. I was so tired. I was so in love. The nurse looked over at me and said “what’s wrong? are you in pain? why are you crying?.” I thought it was very bizarre. This was the single most important moment of my life to that point and this lady was weirded out over my emotion!

I’ve thought about this moment so many times in the past 4 years. It represents so much more to me. The nurse, for whatever reason, felt that I wasn’t acting appropriately. Maybe she was concerned something was wrong… but I kind of just wanted the space to feel my feelings.

This past year has been a hard one for our family. Jack has had troubles at preschool (his former preschool) and Claire has had her allergy battles, etc. I suffered with my postpartum anxiety/OCD and we’ve just been run ragged it feels like. Once again, I haven’t really been allotted the time to “feel my feelings.”

Because of the craziness of the year I chose to do “no party birthdays.” This was a hard decision because it was Claire’s first birthday and Jack is obsessed with birthdays! (really, the kids in his class had to list something they love at valentine’s day- most kids in his class chose their mom or dad… Jack chose birthdays). I made this decision because every year I’ve gone all out and thrown Jack full on Pinterest parties. We’ve had tons of people… too many gifts, big cakes, etc. At the end of the day we’re ALL exhausted, our bank account is a bit smaller, and Jack has a ton of toys he doesn’t touch for 6 months. Also, I read this article recently and decided that I want to be a family like this.

I’ve REALLY realized recently how rapidly my children are growing up. It is happening so quickly. I want to experience things with them. I want to connect and enjoy them. I won’t care about a billion cutesy pinterest inspired pictures in the future, I’ll care about having an amazing birthday experience with my 4 year old! As long as he is happy, I’m happy. I’m glad we will have a birthday where we don’t have to worry about details and can focus on the joy his birthday brings!

He has made a few requests this birthday. He wants to go to “target, the movies, food lion, lowes, and the mountains.” LOL. I can make some of those happen. I took him to Target and he got birthday hats and a scooter. He had cupcakes with his friends at school. We’re going to jump at a trampoline park this weekend and eating dinner at his favorite restaurant tonight. We’re going to the beach next month. (what we also did with his sister for her first birthday! she saw the beach for the 1st time on her 1st birthday!) He is excited and I am getting the opportunity to share that enjoyment with him– rather than worry about small details.

Give it a try. See if it works for you 🙂

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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 😉

Sunscreen review: Badger Kids SPF 30


Ahhhhh! My computer died. This is the ultimate mom thing…my kids used my computer as a trampoline and suddenly it was really loud and finally died on me. Now it is at the computer store getting a new fan 😩. I am lost without it! So this is why I’ve been MIA. I have missed the blog!

Okay so- this review…as promised.


Badger Balm SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream, 2.9 Ounce

First- I’ll tell you why I decided to review this sunscreen first. I consulted my favorite website, ewg.org, (I really am obsessed right? I go there so often.) and looked around at their top 2016 kid’s sunscreens. The 2017 list wasn’t out yet and I needed sunscreen quick! It is hot here already and my kids are pasty just like their mama.  After browsing the list I decided some were too expensive (looking at you California Baby ) and tried to find some that wouldn’t completely break the bank.  Badger was one of the first ones I found that looked good without requiring I sell an organ to purchase it.  So…I did. I ordered the sunscreen on April 10 from Amazon and it came quickly! (Amazon prime is my favorite thing.) I couldn’t wait to use it…and used it that same week for the first time on my kids when we went for a walk around the lake.  I loved it!

So let’s get a few of the facts out of the way first before I fangirl over this.  I ordered Badger balm SPF 30 kids sunscreen. 2.9 oz with a tangerine and vanilla scent! This bottle was $13.82 on Amazon.  It is 100% certified natural with 98% organic ingredients. It is water and sweat resistant for 40 minutes of activity (including swimming). It is made of only 6 ingredients, it is hypoallergenic and and biodegradable. Pretty great right?  I hoped so! It sounded perfect on paper so I thought I’d try it out.

I applied it to my kids and immediately noticed the smell. It was wonderful! The mix of the tangerine and vanilla was very pleasing.  It was nice that it didn’t immediately smell like chemicals.  It also applied really well. It went on smoothly and wasn’t cakey at all. I did have to rub it in really well, but for me, this made me feel better! I like a thick sunscreen that is really protecting my kids’ skin.  Once it was rubbed in it left a slight white residue but it didn’t bother me or the kids.  So far, so good!

After an hour on the trail the kids were burn-free and the sunscreen protected them quite well! I noticed that the tangerine/vanilla scent fades after a few minutes and the smell is the typical “sunscreen” smell, but again, not a problem.  I was really satisfied with our first experience with Badger.

I’ve used this sunscreen several times since, most recently at a birthday party when my son and daughter were playing in water, and it did not disappoint.  A friend commented on how great it smelled and I was pleased that it worked so well even when they were playing in the water. I questioned my husband as to whether we remembered to apply it to my daughter’s face and he pointed out that you could see the water beading up on her cheeks–showing us that it was there and working! I love that this sunscreen is so effective, yet so gentle.  It does not irritate the skin of my super sensitive-skinned kids.

Overall I give this sunscreen an A!  It works, it smells nice, the price is good! I think it will go a long way as it is so thick. It has protected my kids from the sun several times at this point and I look forward to taking it with us on our beach vacation in a month!

What other sunscreens do you guys recommend? I am going to try ThinkSport next but would love to know if there is a sunscreen you trust over others! Leave suggestions 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!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Shower Crayon Learning!


Okay, it is 8 pm and I am posting my quick tip Tuesday!  Maybe I should just continue to call this Quick Tip Tuesday and actually post on Wednesday ha!  It is funny how often I go not realizing what day it is until halfway through.  I am tired haha.

Today’s tip is one I am so excited about sharing.  I discovered this over a year ago.  My son was 2, almost 3 and I wanted to start practicing words with him.  He is already so interested in how words are spelled, but he has a tough time sitting still!  It makes practicing a bit difficult.  I gifted him with Shower crayons the Christmas before and while bathing him one night decided to write a few words on the wall.  Before I knew it he was learning the words and we were adding more!! He was so excited to learn a new word each bath and I found that he was identifying them without error!

I posted a video to social media and friends were so impressed with how well he knew sight words.  He eventually was spelling a few 10 letter words!  This is something we have been able to keep up with and I am excited to share with my 1 year old in the next year or so.

Shower crayons are pretty cheap and lots of fun.  Your kids will think it is fun to draw all over the bathroom walls and they wipe off pretty easily.  I highly recommend this when you want to introduce sight words to your little one!

bathtub crayons
At just 3 years old my son was identifying every word you see here and spelling most of them!

Quick Tip Tuesday: EWG.org 


Okay so- Quick Tip Tuesday is actually Wednesday this week. Let me tell you why…

I sat down to my computer last night to blog and I just couldn’t. I was exhausted. (The title from this blog didn’t come out of nowhere lol.)  I’ve been dealing with some emotional stuff lately and perhaps I’ll blog about that when I’m ready. Just know that it is hard to be a mommy. It is the most rewarding thing in life I believe, but it comes with its challenges.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything…but I have my moments like everyone.  Thankfully I had a good therapy session this morning and felt rejuvenated. So here we go…

The tip today is really a recommendation for a really great website! I mentioned it in my previous post.  Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep  This website is fantastic, especially right before sunscreen season! (Well, every season should be sunscreen season, but you know what I mean).

This website allows you to research all of your cosmetic products to see the environmental impact and health risks associated with them! It gives each item a rating and breaks down each ingredient. It tells you how dangerous the ingredient is and how it could affect you and/or the environment. Every year they release their list of recommended sunscreens for children and I consult it every year before buying more.

There is so much to learn from this website.  I have referenced it for years and it has made me a more educated consumer. I feel so much better knowing exactly what I’m putting on my body and what I’m exposing my babies to!  The truth is…there are so many harmful products and exposures for ourselves and our kids. Their little systems are still developing and I want to do the best I can to expose them to as few chemicals as possible (within reason!).  Check it out!

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.