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How to Build a Home Birth Kit in 20 Items

What you need to have for your home birth kit in 20 items! Prepare for your home birth by collection this home birth kit.

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

How to Get Kids to Eat Whole Foods – Real Mom Answers

Have you ever felt like you were alone in the struggle to feed your kids whole foods? 

Today we will here from 3 different bloggers who give their answers and advice to the question:

 

How to Get Kids to Eat Whole Foods?

 

Continue reading on Whole New Mom for the real mom answers. 

 

What about you?

Are you getting 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day that you need? Check out Greens.

I am just in love with Greens for a whole food supplement I feel good about giving my whole family.

Adam and I feel energized when we drink it at the 2 pm slump. Adam’s acidity is improving as well as his skin. I’m also giving to Aidalyn since she is in the super picky 3 year old eating stage.

 

fb party post 17 greens what they do

 

 

greens-ingredients

 

You can read more about Greens here on GrassfedMamaWraps.com

 

 

Cutie Bees Healthy Clothes for Kids

Cutie Bees Organic clothing for kids giveaway

Cutie Bees Healthy Clothes for Kids

 

Of course you have heard about organic food being the best for your kids, but what about organic clothes?

Pooja, the creator of Cutie Bees, discovered that her daughter’s clothing was just as important as the food she was feeding her.

Pooja’s daughter was having consistent skin rashes. After trying to eliminate various sources of irritants, she found that her daughter was reacting to the toxins in her clothes.

Pooja set out on a mission to create a designer clothing line for kids that was also

healthy, safe and non-toxic.  read more

Braidin Review and Giveaway

Braidin Giveaway

Braidin Review and Giveaway

I am so excited to tell you all about The Braidin. When I first saw this product, I knew that so many parents out there would love to know about it.

This company was so nice to send me a product to test out and one to give away to one of my readers!

 

First let me tell you what it is. Have you ever been getting ready to leave and the baby spits up on you, or you drop some make up on your shirt?

What about your kids? When they are getting ready for school and drop some toothpaste on their shirt. UGH!

All these frustrations can be solved by the Braidin.

The Braidin has many uses and functions in today’s world.  Wearing a Braidin can reduce a person’s dry cleaning expenses, how often one washes their clothes, the life of one’s clothes and preserve hand me downs.  They are easy to put on (No buttons, No snap, No Velcro)  you just place it over your shoulders and the shape and fabric hold it on place!

  read more

Clutter Free in 30 Days

Clutter Free in 30 Days

 

March is typically Spring Cleaning month. The air is warming up outside and people are starting to venture out of their winter caves. As part of our New Years resolutions this year, Adam and I decided that we wanted to be more organized in 2014 and tame the clutter. 

Neither of us are neat freaks, but we do both want a tidy house. We honestly did really good keeping our house tame of clutter until we had kids. They come with so much stuff (and some of it you only use for a few months, then it is no longer needed).

I was honest about my clutter in my Honest Pictures post. 

Honest Pictures

When we moved, we were able to get rid of several things that we were no longer using. We’ve realized that after being here in Virginia for 1.5 years that there is even more that we don’t need.

Clutter Free in 30 Days

Since Adam and I are planners, we sat down and developed a plan that would work to be Clutter Free in 30 Days. 

Download my plan here:

First we decided to go room by room and sort the clutter into 3 bins

Keep

Give

Toss

We started in the kitchen, then the game room, then moved up stairs to the bedrooms.

Every item was evaluated on this criteria:

Do I love it? Do I use it? Do I need it? 

If it didn’t fit into one of those categories, then it went in the give or toss bin.

It is amazing how many things we have that we don’t even like.  read more

4 Reasons for Sensory Play & DIY Sensory Bag

4 Reasons for Sensory Play DIY sensory bag

4 Reasons for Sensory Play & DIY Sensory Bag

 

Sensory play is an important part of learning for babies and toddlers. Amanda Morgan, of www.notjustcute.com, explains in her article that kids learn more through experience and play rather than being taught.

As soon as a baby is born (and data shows that even in utero), they are learning from their environments. Sensory play is a fun a easy way for kids to learn and discover about shapes, textures, sounds, smells and tastes.

As babies develop, they are using their senses to explore. That is why everything goes in their mouths (besides when they are teething). They are trying to discover and learn about different textures and taste.

 

4 Reasons for Sensory Play

1) Using sensory play encourages language skill development.  New experiences require new words and phrases to be learned. Children are motivated through play to learn and develop new skills. Learning through the senses helps children

 develop classifying and categorization skills. 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

Top Toys for 6 Month Olds

top toys for 6 months olds

Top Toys for 6 Month Olds

Everyone always is asking what to buy for their baby’s birthday or special occasions. Sometimes it is hard to know what are the best toys out there for different developmental ages. Right now Annaleigh is 8 months old and so much fun. At 6 months, she just starting to really have fun and play. It was a whole new world for her to explore! We have tested out these toys. I wanted to share her favorite ones.

Here are my top picks toys for 6 month olds:

1) Exersaucer

Annaleigh loves that she can sit up and play in her exersaucer. She enjoys being about to look around the room and watch Aidalyn run around. The exersaucer also gives her a chance to use her newly developed head control and work towards sitting up by strengthening her core muscles.

 2) Easy to Grab Toys

Annaleigh is all about being about to hold toys in her hands. The perfect toys for this age are the ones with fun colors and lots of small things to catch her attention. The easier for them to hold onto, the less picking up you will have to do. Annaleigh loves toys that make gentle noises like rattles and crinkle sounds.

Here are some examples of grab-able toys: 


3) Toys that Grow with your Child

It is no new idea that kids grow fast. Toys that can adapt to their growing body and abilities are the best because they will last as an engaging toy. Soon these babies will be sitting up then crawling and eventually running circles around you!

Here are some toys that grow that I personally love: 

4) Toys to Chew

Teething is a common woe to 6 month olds. They want to chew on anything and everything they can get their teeth on! Even if it isn’t designed to be chewed on, babies will find a way to soothe their gums.

Sophie the Giraffe Teether (affiliate link) was a gift from a friend. I had seen Sophie before, but didn’t have one with Aidalyn. Annaleigh doesn’t take a paci, but she just seems to enjoy chewing on Sophie. I think she will be a great toy to have as we continue to teethe.

Here are some toys that are designed to be chewed on: 

 

6 months is such a fun age. They start growing out of the itty bitty stage and are really to really develop in speech and motor.

I love watching Annaleigh learn and discover. She is so close to sitting up on her own. Even at 8 months, she will balance for a few seconds and then fall over. She wants to crawl so badly too. She is sort of scooting and rolling everywhere she wants to go.

I hope you love her picks for your 6 month old.

 

What are your favorite 6 month old toys?

 
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How to keep Growing in Life

How to keep growing in life

How to keep growing and to have life among the growing.

Life Among the Growing…. What does that actually mean to me?

This phrase really speaks to me deeply in several ways.

First, I think about how I want to be continually growing into a better person with each day and opportunity I get. If you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backwards. If you aren’t growing, you are dying. 

This is in my personal life as a wife and mom. In my spiritual life, I want to continually study and grow in God’s words.

Secondly, I think about my little girls. I love life with them as I get to watch them grow. Time flies by so quickly and I’m blessed that I am able to stay home with them in this fleeting stage.

Thirdly, I like to think about life. What is happening in my life and around me. What am I learning these days?

What are some ways that we can continue to grow and not become stagnant? 

1) Try something new.

Visit a new town, a new restaurant, a new museum.

2) Read a book.

How many books have you read recently? I prefer nonfiction for sure, but last summer I got into some mystery novels that were fun to read as well.

3) Learn a new skill.

Always wanted to know how to fix something by yourself or understand how something works? Find out!

4) Be around others who are growing.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. read more