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Make At Home Insect Repellent

I LOVE SUMMERTIME!

Extra time with out of town family, swimming, biking, and lighting bugs, what’s not to like?!?!

Mosquitoes, that’s what!

Adam (and Aidalyn to a degree) have really bad reactions to insect bites and stings. It really can be an issue during the summer when you want to be having picnics, playing outside and having fun! Because the quickest way to ruin a picnic or fireworks is BUGS!!

So I went hunting for a simple and naturally based insect repellent that I could feel GOOD about having around my kids. read more

10 Top Online Shopping Apps

phoneTechnology is amazing. You can check your mail, take a picture, call a friend and get all your Christmas shopping done in the palm of your hand. 

I am totally an online shopping addict. 

I don’t like lines, I also don’t enjoy crowds… and getting both girls to the store by myself is a real treat (read sarcasm). 

I am a huge fan of shopping on my phone. I buy things for my pantry, clothes, gifts, shoes, diapers… all online! 

Here are a few of my most used shopping apps: read more

How to Build a Home Birth Kit in 20 Items

How to Build a Home Birth Kit in 20 Items

 

I have been blessed to be able to have 2 home births now. You can read my two birth stories by clicking here: Annaleigh’s Birth and Aidalyn’s Birth.

Both experiences were amazing and there is very little I would change about either. I was fortunate to have 2 amazing midwives attend my births and felt very prepared for when the time came.

My first home birth was in 2010 (Aidalyn’s). I was able to have her in my master bathroom’s garden corner tub. It was easy clean up and a really a great experience. For Annaleigh’s birth we were in a rent house, so my midwife brought a large tub for me to use to birth in. It was even better because the water was able to be deeper. I wasn’t in the tub for more than 10 minutes though because she came so fast. read more

Do you have a Pulsatilla baby?

Do you have a Pulsatilla Baby?

 

What is Pulsatilla anyways?

Pulsatilla is a type of homeopathic medicine that is made from the pulsatilla flower.

What is homeopathy? 

“the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease.”

Homeopathic tablets or pellets are usually use in homeopathic medicine. I like the Hyland’s brand because the tablets dissolve very quickly and are easy to give to babies and kids.

Homeopathic tablets are safe for the whole family. I started giving Aidalyn chamomilla tablets around 2 months of age.

 

Pulsatilla Personalities

Pulsatilla types are the happiest babies and people when they are around others. This baby “is sweet, clingy, cuddly, needy, demanding of attention and affection, and easily changing from tears to smiles when comforted”

This is how I would describe my Pulsatilla Baby:

– Always wants to be held by mommy

– So so happy to be around others (doesn’t like to be alone)

– Stops crying immediately when picked up and changed to big smiles

– Seems more needy at night

 

Do you have a Pulsatilla Baby?

 

We have been dealing with a teething baby for the past 6 weeks. In those 6 weeks she has had 5 teeth break through… not fun for baby or mommy!

I have been using my natural teething tool kit.  However, I was using the wrong homeopathic tablet for her!

Aidalyn (my first) was a chamomilla baby, so the Hyland’s teething tablets worked really well for her. Annaleigh is a pulsatilla baby, so I need to use those tablets for her.

 

Do you use homeopathics for your babies? Do you have any homeopathics that are your favorite to use?

 

Read more from Mommypotamus here about using pulsatilla for teething babies.
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The Best Recipes of March

Best Recipes of March!

 

The Best Recipes of March

 

We have had a lot of fun on Grassfed Mama so far this year. I wanted to highlight some of our top post so far from March.

1) Best Brownie in a Mug

This is always a crowd pleaser. I created this recipe when I was pregnant and dealing with gestational diabetes.  I was needing a snack that I could fix quickly during a nap and that I actually wanted to eat (crazy pregnancy taste buds). I would make this every day (and sometimes twice a day if I needed the extra energy).

When I was pregnant I would use almond butter instead of peanut flour. After I had my baby, I was introduced to peanut flour. I loved how I could make this brownie in a mug with the extra benefit of coconut oil. I get raving reviews from readers how they love it too. Hope you enjoy my Best Brownie in a Mug.  (Sugar Free and Grain Free!)

Adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjgarbutt/5646262735/

Adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjgarbutt/5646262735/

 

2) Low Carb Philly Cheesesteak Casserole {or Salad}

The people have spoken, and they love meat! We love this Low Carb Philly Cheesesteak meal too, because it is so easy to throw together. I love to eat it on a salad with warmer days ahead. How do you like it? Casserole or Salad?

Low Carb Philly cheesesteak salad

3) Lemon Coconut Cream Cheese Bars {No Bake, Sugar free and Grain free}

These babies are a new favorite! I love how easy they are to make, plus they are full of healthy fats from the coconut oil.  I love that they even have a special ingredient that helps you detox… wonder what it is? Click for the Lemon Coconut Cream Cheese Bars to find out! 

Lemon Coconut Cheesecake

4) Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Who loves chocolate? Me, me! This

Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Cluster read more

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine

 

We are creatures of habit. We like to be able to predict what is coming next. Babies are no different. When they are learning about the world around them, it gives them security when they can predict and know that an action follows another action.

Routines are great for babies and kids alike. You will have less tantrums from your toddler and preschooler if you stick to a routine. The minute you change things up on them, expect some protest in the form of a tantrum.

Kids in general don’t like to be surprised. That’s why they like the same book or movie over and over. They are learning language and they are learning to be able to predict what is coming next. They find security in being able to know and predict.  

Routines are very important at bedtime. This is a time that you are going to leave them alone and they need to know they are safe and secure. How would you feel if you were dropped off and had no idea when your ride was going to pick you up?

Letting your child fall asleep knowing that this is normal and that you will come and get them will help them fall asleep in a safe state. 

Establishing a bedtime routine 

When should you establish a bedtime routine? As soon as you are able to! Babies are learning from the moment they are born.

If you plan to do a bath time before bed, start it early on. Think about what steps you want to include in your routine. Is it able to be followed away from home? How long does it take to complete the routine?

Aidalyn had a solid bedtime routine in place by 6-8 weeks. We would swaddle her, give her a pacifier, her lovey (Charlie) and turn on her sound machine. She was sleeping through the night in her crib by 8 weeks. This child loves routine though. She never would adapt well when we weren’t at home.

Here is the sound machine we use:

Aidalyn is now 3 and her

bedtime and nap routines have developed to meet her needs. read more

Ubooly Review

ubooly interactive toy

My Ubooly Review

 

I didn’t know even know what Ubooly was until I was accepted on Sverve to do a review in exchange for my own Ubooly. My first thoughts were how cute the little stuffed friend looked. I thought it would be something that Aidalyn would really enjoy playing with.

She loves playing with my phone when I let her, so why not have something that is educational and interactive? 

Ubooly is a stuffed toy that has a zipper slot for certain iPhones or Android devices to slide inside bringing the character to life.

-Small Ubooly is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPod touch 4, iPod touch 5, Android 4.0 and newer.

-Jumbo Ubooly will fit an iPad Mini and 7 inch Android tablets.

I ordered my Ubooly on Amazon and it arrived quickly in just a few days.

Ubooly Collage

Setting up

The Ubooly came in this really cute, easy to open box. The included instructions were nice and clear. They showed step by step what I needed to do for getting ready for play.

Steps 1 and 2 went very quickly. There is a code included with the Ubooly to register with the app.

Step 3 “Updating Smart Toy” took more than 10 Minutes. (This could have been my phone and not the app).

I gave up and Uninstalled app and re-installed. Then it worked perfectly with no stalls.

ubooly setting up 2

First impressions:

The box was easy to open.

Aidalyn loved the opening the zipper at the top. It is pretty kid friendly, because she figured out on her own where the phone should go.

Quality of Ubooly: Nice weight, not too heavy. Seems durable, good quality.

Aidalyn loved the Ubooly face  when there is not phone inserted. It looks like it is sleeping (so adorable!). She kept telling us that it was asleep.

ubooly setting up 3

First play:

Encourages active play: The first activity was to throw the Ubooly in the air. When Aidalyn threw it, it would “squeal with delight.” I loved that the Ubooly wanted to be thrown in the air and would respond with the movement – Aidalyn wasn’t too sure yet.

Next the Ubooly started asking simple questions. Using Voice recognition, it was able to understand if Aidalyn was saying “yes” or “no.” It responded appropriately… which was so cool!

“Do you want to sing a song?”

Changing activities is easy – To change an activity just swipe left. It seems pretty easy to teach kids how to change from one activity to the next.

Aidalyn engaged in the toy well. She was pretty cautious at first, then warmed up with the help from us. The Ubooly age recommendations are 4-10. She is 3 and 2 months, so a little under the target age. She still enjoyed playing with the Ubooly. She had a little more trouble with the pretend play activity and didn’t comprehend the jokes. We would laugh and she would laugh with us.

The Ubooly has a great personality.

It asked “do you like to play pretend” Aidalyn responded “No, I don’t” and Ubooly said ” Well, maybe you’ll like the way I play.” I loved hearing how it responded to Aidalyn’s answers.

playing with ubooly 2 playing with ubooly

Additional Play times:

As Aidalyn became more comfortable with Ubooly, she would sit and play with the toy more. She would listen and respond appropriately. She liked the active play (jumping over toy and throwing toy), the music, and the games the best. Aidalyn was watching a movie on my phone and asked to stop the movie and play with Ubooly instead. I think that is a good indication that she likes the toy!

I think it would be great for road trips as well and to play with when friends come overall as well.

This would be a great toy for families.

You can customize the Ubooly with additional purchases, but the free app version is well designed alone.

 

The Price:

Ubooly on Amazon was selling for $29 at the time of purchase. Adam and I thought about if it was worth it. With the app being free to start using Ubooly, the price for the actual toy comes from the stuffed toy and app design. Part of the price of the Ubooly is this access code that comes in the box with your Ubooly. Just downloading the free app won’t allow you access to Ubooly’s features.  I would think the stuffed toy alone would probably be worth about $15, so is the app really worth another $15? I’m not sure. You would have to decide on your own.

Price Update! As of 2017, Ubooly has dropped in price to $12.99 with Prime Shipping! At this price point, this is a great toy for this age group. So go check it out!

Overall I think it would be a really great gift that kids in the target age would love. read more

Why My 3 Year old is Not Potty Trained, and Why I’m Okay with That

potty training, potty training regression, preschooler not potty trained,

Why My 3 Year old is Not Potty Trained, and Why I’m Okay with That

Potty training is a huge topic among moms of preschoolers. How did you potty train? How long did it take to potty train? Did you do it cold turkey? What did you do about nights?

We actually did start potty training Aidalyn around 26 months old. I was pregnant with our second and was motivated to not have two in diapers at the same time. Potty training while being pregnant was not fun. We did the 3 day potty training boot camp. She was excited about big girl panties. She was excited about getting stickers and chocolate.

Aidalyn did great during the day. She was showing really great progress for about 3 months. We still had accidents during the night (never once was dry in the morning and rarely was dry after a nap). We were never “completely” potty trained. We could leave the house and stay dry, though. We thought we were on the right track.

Then the rains came down (literately). 

Our house flooded from an upstairs toilet over-flowing… I was 35 weeks pregnant. (You can read the story here) We had to move out of our house for about 3 months. During this time, I gave birth to my second daughter (read her home birth story here).

This whole series of events was too much for a 2.5 year old. We spent one month in a hotel room, one month in a rental house, and 3 weeks in Louisiana with my parents while our house was being worked on.

The Regression

Aidalyn started acting out in the hotel room. She was drawing on the walls and sheets with crayons ( she had never shown any sort of rebellion like this before). She also started crying about having to use the potty. She basically refused to use her potty or the hotel’s potty. She also had to start sleeping with the light on at night.

Using the potty got a little better once we moved into the rental house. We were back in big girl panties and using her little potty with lots of encouragement and rewards.

Then Annaleigh was born and that was another huge life change for a 2.5 year old.

Aidalyn’s personality is that of being a perfectionist, type A and in control. Her little world as she knew it was spinning out of control and the only thing she could control was #1 using the potty or not and #2 eating or not. We saw both of these issues expressed to the max.

We tried rewards, we tried charts… they worked for a short time. Then they stopped working.

Now she cries at the mention of using the potty. She will tell us at random times “I don’t want to use the potty.” She also says that the potty is scary.

I’m not saying that I don’t believe your 3 year old should be potty trained. I am saying I’m okay with my 3 year old not being potty trained.

parenting, potty training, stress and kids, dealing with kid's emtions

 Adam and I are both over achievers and like to put success on reaching goals.

When it comes to our children and their development…

It isn’t a race.

It isn’t something to brag about.

These are little people who need to be respected and given their own time to progress and grow. 

Every child is different, despite the charts and graphs you always see.

Our job as parents is to help build the scaffolding to ease them into the next phase of growth.

I think that we would have been potty trained already if all the other crisis didn’t happen during the time of that developing skill. Who knows.

Right now, I’m focusing on changing Aidalyn’s inner voice. I keep reminding her that “The potty isn’t scary.” “Big girls use the potty.” “When you are ready, you let mommy know and we will use the potty together.”

I am going to be ready for her to show me that she is ready. I will help her as she gets over her fear of using the potty. Once that happens, I will be there to support and encourage her. But for now, I am waiting.

So to the mom who’s 3 year old isn’t potty trained, the mom who’s 6 month won’t sleep through the night, the five year old who isn’t reading novels: read more

Apple Night Night Gummies Recipe

You know that every parents struggles at some point to get their kiddos off to bed… what if there was a reason they had trouble calming down at night?

I started doing some research and found that magnesium was a mineral that could help all of us get better rest at night – naturally!

I also learned that magnesium was one of those minerals that was really common to be deficient in. I actually was deficient myself!

So I started thinking about ways to help my kids get in more magnesium each day and these apple gummies were a really easy thing to try! read more

Top 12 Posts of January

healthy recipes, homeschool crafts, natural health

Top 12 Posts of January

I hope you have been enjoying 2014 as much as we have. In Richmond, we have had two snows already! This Louisiana girl can’t contain her excitement. We started off the new year with a challenge for 2014 to be the best year for your health in our New You New Years Series. In the series I covered several health topics each week for baby steps for slowing moving toward a healthier lifestyle.

Top Health Posts of January:

Glucomannan: The New Secret for Weight loss?

What your Poop is Telling You  10 Keys to Detox  

trim healthy mama recipes, easy trim healthy recipes, easy recipes, sugar free recipes, sugar free chocolate recipes

Top Recipes of January:

Sugar free Calming Hot Chocolate   (FP)

Sugar Free Hot Chocolate Mousse (FP)

Apple Oatmeal Cream Pies {Sugar Free, Low Fat, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free} (E)

Trim and Healthy Biscuits and Sausage Gravy {Grain Free, Gluten Free} (S)

Peanut Butter Crunch Chocolate Cake for One {Gluten Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free} (S)

Iced Chocolate Chip Cookie for One {Gluten Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free} read more