10 Crafts You Can Make With Your Kids

Guest Post

 

Craft project is always something we’re looking forward to. Craft project with your kids involved is even more entertaining and enjoyable. Not only craft making is a fun and interesting activity for parents and kids, but it also encourages creative thinking and improves kid’s practical skills.

There are so many craft ideas that are easy to make. Whether if it’s a small project for your house or crafts for some special occasion, feel free to include your kids in the making process. Even if it’s something difficult to make, any help is welcome. It will keep your children entertained and busy, rather than spending time in front of TV or computer.

Here are some easy and exciting crafts you can make with your kids:

 

Flower Crown

Flower crown may sound like a complicated thing to make, but it’s not that hard. Supplies you need include scissors, glue, markers, a paper plate and tissue paper. Cut three slits through the center of the paper plate, and bend the triangles formed by the cuts upwards and paint it. Later, cut some flowers from tissue paper and color them. Finally, glue flowers to the crown.

Mask

We cannot imagine Halloween without masks. So, why buy them when you can make them by yourself with a little help from your kids. Many mask templates that can be found on the Internet. Download the template you want, print it and cut it around the edges. Color the mask the way you want. Finally, use elastic and tie it to each side of the mask.

Bags

We all have old, ripped clothes we don’t wear anymore. It’s probably somewhere in the attic waiting to end in the garbage eventually. Don’t throw it away. You may need it for your next awesome project. Use scissors to cut the fabric. Let your kid write or draw something on the fabric. You can put some stickers or your logo. Finally, sew fabrics using a needle to make it look like a bag.

Jewelry crafts

Jewelry crafts are very popular, and it’s something your girls will wear proudly. There are many ideas for craft jewelry. Let your imagination run wild. You can use thread, string or even dandelion. Another unusual jewelry craft is macaroni necklace which is very simple to make. Color the macaroni and string the macaroni through the yarn. Tie the ends of the string together.

Cards

Christmas, New year or Mother’s Day cards are kids favorite. Your friends and relatives will love handmade cards more than printed ones. Choose the paper, draw the line and cut along the line you just drew. Let your kids do rest of the work. Allow them to color, draw something, write some message or even dedicate it to someone special.

Animal crafts

Animal crafts will look amazing in kid’s room. You can use paper, fabrics or plasticine. Search for old fabrics and materials you don’t need anymore. If your kid is old enough to start stitching, teach him/her how to do it. However, watch closely while they do it.  If you use plasticine, let your kids make all the shapes.

Flower crafts

Flower crafts are usually made from paper or plasticine. However, one of the most interesting is a flower craft made from the eggshell. Let your kid color an eggshell using a marker pen. Then, use a straw and glue it to an eggshell. Let it dry for a few hours. Cut leaf-shaped forms from the paper and color it. Finally, attach paper leaves to straw using glue.

Cardboard castle

Use cardboard you don’t need anymore. Cut out a wide rectangle along the front, sides, and the back to form towers. Use markers, crayons to decorate the castle the way you want. You can then use cardboard castle to put kids toys or clothes.

Twig crafts

Nature crafts will make your kids go outdoors looking for leaves, twigs, grasses or flowers. Twig star ornament or twig spider web are great home decorations during holidays.

Pine cone crafts

Pinecones are fun to play as a kid, and there are hundreds of pine cone craft ideas. Decorate your home with Christmas pine cone crafts. You can use crayons, markers, or glitter spray for pine cones decoration.

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Back-To-School With The Disney Store

*Sponsored Post

I’ll admit that I’m that mom rejoicing for back-to-school. You should have seen me kick my heels and dance around the store once they brought out the school supplies! My kids love school and get super bored during the summer, even when I’m keeping them busy. Last year we purchased the best backpacks from The Disney Store, so we knew that’s where we’d like to get this year’s as well. We are a huge Disney family and love to watch all the classics over and over again. The toddler points out Mickey everywhere we go! So it was only fitting that we love visiting The Disney Store as well!

A huge thank you to The Disney Store for sending my kids their backpacks, lunchboxes, and water bottles for this school year! <3

In the video below, you’ll see the complete joy that my kids had as they opened their new backpacks and lunchboxes! We were all getting a little anxious for getting ready for back-to-school, but once we received their backpacks, we all got a little excited and less nervous! They knew they were coming and they were super excited when the box came! (I was happy because they stopped asking me to check the tracking number!) They couldn’t wait for me to even do the dishes, so there’s dirty dishes in the background and we’re sitting on the kitchen floor. Real life.

These backpacks and lunchboxes are perfect for kids and we already know how well they hold up! If a backpack can survive being dragged on the sidewalk everyday after preschool, it can handle just about anything! 😉 Aubrey chose the Rapunzel collection and Baileigh chose the Minnie Mouse collection. I wasn’t surprised with either of their choices, to be honest. The colors are so vibrant in both of these collections- they just make you happy when you look at them!

We love that the lunchboxes are big enough to hold their lunches and morning snack but not so big that it would be difficult for a kindergartner to carry. The girls got such a hoot out of the “purse straps” on them and love to wear their lunchboxes like a purse on their way to the lunchroom. The straps can also come un-clipped in case that’s not a feature your child adores like mine.

If you’re still searching for the very best backpack for your little ones to take back-to-school, daycare, or overnight trips to grandma’s- look no further than The Disney Store. Spider-Man, Frozen, Cars 3, Avengers, Ariel, Star Wars, Mickey- these are just a few options! With so many collections, there’s something for everyone!

And can we just talk about the fact that this kid just entered First Grade?! Seriously? Where does the time go?!

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Getting Pregnant with Growing Generations

Sponsored Post

If you’re looking to grow your family but you’re having some medical difficulties, look no farther than Growing Generations. Infertility and the waiting/trying to get pregnant can be such a difficult time for you and your partner. Emotions are strong, patience is thin and all you want is a baby. Using an egg donation to have a baby is sometimes a simpler choice for your body when looking at options like using in-vitro fertilization. Growing Generations makes the process easy for your family and allows you to be picky on the characteristics your donor has. For instance, you can choose the blood type, hair color, eye color, and ethnicity. You’ll also get to see their health history along with their family medical history- because that’s important! Once the egg is retrieved, fertilized, and placed into your uterus, you can continue the pregnancy as normal. Getting pregnant doesn’t need to be difficult for your family with the help of Growing Generations. Take a look at the infographic below and don’t hesitate to contact Growing Generations with any questions! <3

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Newlie Co. Lily Tote Diaper Bag Review

*Please note: I did receive the diaper bag and stroller straps for the purpose of this review.
No other compensation was made. All opinions are 100% my own.* 
Newlie Co. kindly sent me the Lily Tote diaper bag in the Sandalwood color for the purpose of this review. This diaper bag is not only adorable but super functional whether you have a newborn, toddler, or lots of kids! It’s made with high quality faux leather and makes me feel so stylish when I carry it! It’s super roomy on the inside and I can easily pack everything I need for the day out with the kids. It’s a very cloth diaper friendly diaper bag- that’s how much it can pack!!! There are 6 inside pockets so it’s easy to stay organized and find anything in a pinch! Because let’s be honest, most things done with kids is not slow, unless they’re looking for their shoes or cleaning their room.

This diaper bag has zipper pockets on both the front and back- they’re the perfect size for your wallet, keys, cell phone, and mommy essentials! I absolutely love that the bottle pockets are on the inside of the bag because it gives it more of a “purse” look than a “diaper bag” look. The Lily Tote also includes a detachable messenger strap so you can wear it over your shoulder cross-body. This is totally one of those bags that can be doubled as a diaper bag and a purse, or can be used as a purse after you’re done with the diaper days. I love nothing more than a bag that can be used for years!

Being a mom, doesn’t mean you need a pastel diaper bag with Winnie the Pooh on it. You can be both a mom and a fashionable you! When I carry this bag, it’s not only super functional, but it boosts my confidence! I feel like I look more put together, even if I’m just wearing leggings! 😉

Newlie Co. also sent me their stroller straps, which are sold separately. They are made of nylon webbing and faux black leather. These stroller straps are made for their bags, so they hold the bag well. But beware- don’t overload the diaper bag or your stroller may tip over if there’s not a baby in the seat to counter-weigh it! I’ve learned this from experience…. 😉 Overall, I really liked using their stroller straps because my usual ones just didn’t work right with the Newlie Co. diaper bag. While I don’t think stroller straps are a “must have,” I highly recommend them since they make life at least ten times easier when strolling. *photos to come of stroller straps*

 

 

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A Look @ Babyganics + a Review!

 

As a Guidance Guide Brand Ambassador- I received this amazing package from Babyganics! Inside the package included baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, body lotion, and body wash/shampoo. I’ve used a few Babyganics items in the past- but not all of these!

Baby Wipes

Babyganics face, hand & baby wipes are made with plant-based ingredients. These baby wipes are super thick- but not so thick that you can’t handle them easily. They also have a slight texture to them to help clean up the messiest messes on baby! They’re fragrance free, so super gentle on baby’s sensitive skin. Added bonus? They’re also free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial dyes! I’m very particular about what baby wipes I use for diaper changes and these are my new favorite- hands down! They get the job done but without a bunch of added “stuff.”

 

Hand Sanitizer

Visitors in my house probably think I’m a germaphobe because there is hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE throughout my house. I also be sure to keep one in the diaper bag. This was a product that I already owned and love. There are seriously only 7 ingredients in the alcohol-free version. This particular hand sanitizer also foams, so it’s fun for the kids! And we all know that if the kids think it’s fun…. they’ll actually use it! 😉 My favorite part about this hand saniziter is that it doesn’t have a sticky feel after it’s all rubbed in. A little bit also goes a long way, so even the travel size lasts a long time!

 

Sunscreen

Here in Ohio, we don’t need sunscreen until May…. sometimes June! I’m really picky about the sunscreen I use, if I’m being honest. Babyganics’ Suncreen is SPF 50 and is mineral based. In their sunscreen, you will not find PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. It’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients. Being tear free and non-allergenic, it seems like a pretty good sunscreen to try! Babyganics also states that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes! I’ll definitely be trying this on the kids this summer for sure!

 

 

Body Lotion

I absolutely love this body lotion! Jackson loves his bath time, but it’s hard on his skin since he has some eczema. This lotion isn’t harsh on his sensitive skin but still smells super good! (We have the chamomile verbena scent!) It has all the good stuff- plant-based and certified organic ingredients like aloe, shea butter, olive oil, vitamin E and avocado oil. And again, you won’t find any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes in this lotion! Jackson’s skin is super smooth after we use it and it also doesn’t get that sticky feeling. I’ve even started using on super dry hands- totally helps moisturize them. It’s also not super thick, so it’s much easier to rub in than some other baby lotions we’ve tried.

 

 

Body Wash/Shampoo

The Babyganics Shampoo & Body Wash is also a foaming soap- like their hand sanitizer. So obviously, it’s a huge hit with the kids! I love it because I don’t have to lather it up. I feel like that step has already been done for me! This particular soap makes me happy because it’s also tear free- we all know babies and toddlers don’t sit still for long! I like knowing that we won’t have a complete meltdown if some gets into Jackson’s eyes. Like the rest of the products, it’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients and is free of all the junk. It not only cleans baby’s sensitive skin, but it also has a 100% natural NeoNourish® seed oil blend to nourish skin as well.

 

 

All in all, I’m really happy with the Babyganics products! Last summer, I found their Insect Repellent and fell in love with it right away! But after trying all these products- it really makes me want to take a trip to Target and grab a few other of their products to try! So tell me this- do you use any Babyganics products in your home? What’s your favorite??? 🙂

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Why I Love Target- The #MomLife Addiction

It’s true- I’m addicted to Target. You’ll find me browsing around the store maybe two or three times a week. Why? Well- Because it’s the magical land of the basic stay-at-home-mom. You might think I’m joking. But this is serious. I really do love Target.

10 reasons we’re all a little (or a lot) addicted to Target:

It’s basically the SAHM meeting ground. I meet up with a couple other moms for “Target dates” a few times a week. Other than hanging out with my husband after he comes home from work, this is sometimes my only other form of adult interaction.

Starbucks. I basically function on caffeine at this point. With three kids, I’m not allowed to sleep through the night. One of them is always waking me up. Starbucks in the store makes it much more worth it for me to go to Target. Plus- I earn free Starbucks because of the Starbucks rewards program!

The dollar section. Well, not everything a dollar anymore. All the items in Bullseye’s Playground is between $1 and $5. It’s super rare that I don’t have at least one product from that area. You can find holiday décor, arts and crafts, party supplies, gift wrap, toys for kids, candy. So much to choose from!!!

Baby Nap. Jackson gets some of his best naps during our Target trips. He usually ends up driving me crazy in the cart so he ends up in a baby carrier on my back. Within a few minutes, he falls asleep. Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. But it’s still a perk when it does! 😉

Cartwheel. If you haven’t heard of the Cartwheel app, then you’re seriously missing out. You can find a lot of instant coupons on your phone in this app. I save a good amount of money using it!

The atmosphere. I swear they have to be pumping something into the air in Target. It almost makes me instantly happy walking through those doors. It could be because I’m a shopaholic. Or it could be the air. Ehhhh. Whichever it is, it’s fine for me.

Clearance. Let’s be honest- Target makes it super easy to find clearance items. Again, I usually end up with at least one clearance item in my cart. I’ve found some pretty good deals through the years!

Price matching. Did you know that Target will price match? Yep. I went to purchase a new cup for Jackson and it was $3 cheaper on Amazon prime. I really didn’t want to wait 2 days for the cup so I went to customer service. They price matched it quickly and easily! I got the Amazon Prime price but that day. Oh and I got to use the next reason I love Target…..

RED Card. My RED card makes me so happy. It’s a debit card attached to my bank account. Every time I use it, I automatically get 5% off. I can also use it to get free shipping with that 5% discount on target.com. Sure, 5% doesn’t sound like a whole lot…. but using it with the Cartwheel app, printable coupons on their site, manufacturer coupons, clearance- all that savings really adds up!!!!

Awesome Stuff! You see that amazing sweatshirt and giant coffee mug in the picture above? Yeah. Those are Target purchases. Basically the best coffee mug and sweatshirt I’ve ever purchased. I love Target. <3

 

 

BONUS. I’m raising little Target lovers as well. Baileigh loves Target just as much as I do. I see this as both a good thing…. and a problem. 😉 She asks me to take her to Target multiple times a week. Thank goodness she goes to school through the week so she only goes once. Because she talks me into things like little hats:

 

 

 

*This is not a Sponsored post. At all. I received no compensation for posting how much I love shopping at Target. However, there are some affiliate links throughout the post to help make a tad bit of $$$$ to keep this website going.*

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MommyCon- Is it worth it?!

Mama- it’s worth it.

I have already gone over the MommyCon Basics & FAQS, MommyCon on a Budget, 10 Tips for MommyCon, and the latest post- MommyCon VIP. But in case you still need some convincing on just how awesome MommyCon is….

 

My goodie bag from Columbus 2015

The Goodie Bag

In case I didn’t write enough about it, did you know that every attendee will leave the MommyCon event with a super awesome goodie bag filled with stuff?! The sponsors have been pretty generous in the past. While this shouldn’t be your #1 reason to attend MommyCon- I can tell you that in my experience, the goodie bag is worth more than your general admission ticket price. It’s filled with samples, coupons, and full sized products.

 

The Sessions

The sessions and seminars you’ll attend at MommyCon will probably leave you with some awesome new knowledge. And in my experience as a parent- knowledge really is power. Whether you’re taking away facts from Cloth Diapering 101 or from Kim Rosas’ Reusable Menstraul Products- that’s up to you! I highly recommend attending as many sessions that you can squeeze in!

 

Jackson wearing Cotton Babies’ Exclusive MommyCon Flip Diaper for 2016

Exclusive Products

Did you know that many vendors go to MommyCon with “MommyCon Exclusives?” Cloth diaper companies like Cotton Babies and Smart Bottoms have had exclusive diapers. Pink Lemonade Shop had an exclusive pad print. Eylas had an exclusive water bottle last year. Tekhni typically has an exclusive wrap for each MommyCon event. Basically- lots of things you’ll find ONLY at MommyCon! 😉

The Giveaways

Now, I know I didn’t talk much about this. Did you know that at the end of event day- MommyCon does a HUGE giveaway?! I mean like $10,000 worth of products huge. It’s really easy to enter- go to MommyCon! When you check-in at the beginning of the day, you’ll be given a badge with a number. That number is your “ticket number” so to speak. If you hear/see your number called- YOU WON! You’ll get additional entries for any VIP tickets you purchase. My first year, a few moms couldn’t stay for the giveaway. They handed me their badges since they wouldn’t get to use them. I won a set of RePlay, even though it was with my own badge number. But I was super excited!!!! You can not win a giveaway if you are not present. So if you can stay the whole day- I suggest you hang around. (There have been car seats and strollers given away! 😉 So yeah- be there.)

The Experience

I have only given you some tools to make your MommyCon experience great. Now- it’s completely up to you to make it great. Take pictures. Meet new mom friends. Meet some of the small businesses that are exhibiting there. Buy yourself something. Buy something for your kiddos. Learn some new information. Take the day to be “free” if you go without kids. Take the day to bond with your significant other, if they go with you. The experience will vary from person to person since no two people will visit the exact same sessions, meet the same people, or buy the same things. The “ideal” MommyCon experience is unique to everyone and really- your overall experience is up to you!

 

Still need to buy your general admission ticket? Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off, combine this with the social sharing discount at checkout for a total of $7 off!

 

 


 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in my MommyCon Series! And be on the lookout for a GIVEAWAY of MommyCon tickets! EEEEK!

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ezpz Placemat Review

ezpz mats have become a “must-have” product in my book for toddlers. We currently have the Mini Mat, the Happy Mat, the Snack Mat, and the new book- Making Mealtime ezpz: Fun Ways to Fill the Happy Mat.

Some of you may be wondering…. “What is ezpz?” ezpz placemats are silicone placemats marketed for kids that suction to most tabletops. These mats are made of food grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex and phthalate free.

ezpz placemats are super handy once your child has reached the age of eating food, but wants to play and throw their plate or bowl on the floor. The Happy Mat suctions nicely to tabletops, while the Mini Mat is designed to fit on most highchairs.

 

I will admit that I’m not a Pinteresty mom in any way, shape, or form. This is one reason why I love these mats. Jackson’s food can look so fun with very little effort. And let’s face it- kids seem to eat more when their food looks fun. I don’t understand the logic behind it, but we all know it’s true! These placemats are also dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and oven safe (up to 350 degrees) so cooking with them and clean-up are easy!

 

Jackson really likes to snack, but he doesn’t want to sit in his highchair during snack time. The Snack Mat has become a favorite, and was actually our first ezpz mat! I can put his snack in the bowl, suction it to our floating floor, and he can play while snacking- and I don’t have to worry about him just tipping the bowl over for fun!

 

Now this may sound silly…. But I’m a mom on a budget. These mats aren’t exactly cheap, although I wouldn’t say they’re expensive either. Because they’re made of silicone, they won’t show signs of wear. This means that they really won’t have to be replaced. The ezpz mats that I use for Jackson now, can be stored away for any future babies. It doesn’t hold onto bacteria either since it’s a nonporous material- and it also shouldn’t stain! (although, I’m sure cooking some red sauce in it may be harder to get out!)

 

We really like to take the ezpz mats with us when we leave the house. Jackson has used his mats at restaurants and family member’s homes. We put the Mini Mat into a Smart Bottoms wet bag and the Happy Mat fits perfectly in a Smart Bottoms On-the-Go wet bag. It really depends on where we’re going, what’s clean, and what we’ll be eating for me to decide which one to take. If it’s super messy food, I’ll take the Happy Mat (for example) because sometimes my Mini Mat doesn’t want to stick to all surfaces. If it’s somewhere that he’s eating chicken and fries or something just not messy, and maybe it’s a quicker meal, then I’ll probably bring along the Mini Mat.

 

You can see in the photo above that there isn’t much size difference in the actual plate portion of the mats. A Happy Mat’s portion sizes (designed with toddlers in mind) are 4oz, 4oz, and 10oz while the Mini Mat’s (designed more for infants) portion sizes are 2oz, 2oz, and 4oz.

 

All in all, I’m really happy that I decided to try these ezpz mats and I like that they do make my life a bit easier. Jackson also likes them and in reality- that’s really all that matters.

 

 

*Please note: I purchased the Mini Mat and Snack Mat myself. The Happy Mat and book were provided by my participation as a Guidance Guide Ambassador. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

 

 

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Preparing Kids for Real Life: 3 Essential Lessons

-A Guest Blog-

As parents, our jobs come down to one major thing.

Each and every day, we work hard to prepare our kids for the day they leave the home.

For me, this carries a different meaning every day of the week. On some days, it means helping with homework. On others, it means a healthy dose of discipline.

… But every day, it means consistency: in my love, my lessons, and my values. Because at the end of the day, when my kids walk out the door to take on the world, that’s all that they will truly be able to take with them.

Here are three tips for preparing your child for the ‘real world’…

 

Teach the Value of a Dollar

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Every parent wants to spoil their kids, it’s only natural. But one of the best ways you can prepare your child for adulthood is by teaching the importance of hard work, and the true value of a dollar.

Perhaps celebrity A-lister Mila Kunis put it best:

“[Ashton Kutcher and I] both came from pretty, pretty, solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth… It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, mommy and daddy may have a dollar… But you’re poor.”

Harsh, but there’s a key take-away here. The real world is harsh, and the earlier you teach this lesson to your kids, the easier their transition into it will be.

 

Instill Healthy Habits

picnic

Healthy habits start young, and stick with us into old age.

Encourage good eating habits (which doesn’t necessarily mean banning all the bad stuff altogether!), consideration (that means good manners!), a thirst for physical activity, and to limit device use (and when to do so!).

A great tool I use to not only teach my kids healthy device habits, but also cultivate accountability is a unique parental control app called OurPact, a parental control app that lets parents remotely manage their kids device habits.

Ever since using the app, my kids are getting good nights of sleep, know that devices are not allowed (let alone won’t work) at the dinner table, and do their homework without distractions beeping in their face every other minute. Cherry on the cake? They know that when they make an agreement, they’ll be held accountable for it. The app is free, and will change your life.

 

Chores, Chores, Chores

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We all have that friend who was coddled into early adulthood, and had a really hard time learning how to live as an independent adult. (In university, one of my roommates didn’t know how to do laundry, had a filthy room, and seemed to think dishes were able to miraculously clean themselves. Our room-mate relationship didn’t last long for this very reason, and she’s still adjusting to the reality of having to take care of her own sh*t.)

Teach your kids early on how to do household chores independently. Not only will this help lighten your load, but it will also work wonders to help prepare your child for independent living down the road.

The real world can be a scary place, but if you start preparing your child for their transition into it early on, they’ll ease into it like hot bath!

 

 

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My Three Reasons for Mom-Guilt 

  
I won’t lie… Mom-Guilt is something I deal with basically every day. And honestly, I have more “reasons” for mom guilt than I could fit in a typical blog post. So here’s my three reasons for mom-guilt. 

  

Aubrey 

 Aubrey is our oldest daughter and she’s five. Five has been such a great age for her. But I’ve had a lot of mom-guilt with her lately. She’s always been my helper and she’s always tried to be the center of our attention. And with a new baby in the house, it makes things a little difficult for her. Don’t get me wrong- she is obsessed with her brother! But it’s hard that she has to share her mommy and daddy with yet another person, and that tiny person requires a lot of attention. I’ve had to sit down and explain to her that he can’t feed himself, can’t go to the bathroom on his own, can’t entertain himself, etc. And she totally understands and acknowledges that— but it doesn’t make it any easier for either of us. I can’t tell you how many times I have put her to bed and then felt plain awful about how much time may have been taken away from her that day. But then I also remember, that I’ve given her something as well and that’s siblings. She’ll have people there for her when her father and I aren’t on this earth anymore. And for that… I’m a little grateful. 
  
Baileigh

Baileigh May. Oh man. This one is hard. So much mom-guilt over this one. She is SO different from her sister and literally in almost every aspect. And I’m trying so hard to not throw her into the “middle child” group because I’ve seen how that an affect a kid in the long run. But sometimes… I do it without even thinking. For instance, Aubrey needed a shirt for picture day and Jackson needed a pair of those terry fake jeans— I walked out of the store with just those things. But then it was pointed out to me that I left with nothing for Baileigh. I totally didn’t do it on purpose… But I felt so awful when it was pointed out to me. Super mom-guilt. I didn’t forget about her but it was obvious I wasn’t thinking about her while I was shopping either. Since that day, I’ve made it a point to get a little something for everyone if I need to get something but it’s just not fair. And although “life isn’t fair,” it’s not necessarily a lesson that I find important to teach at three years old. 
  
Jackson 

So he’s still new to the family. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the mom-guilt with him. Obviously we cloth diaper, since that is what this blog was founded upon. But I’ll admit that we’ve used a fair share of disposable diapers too. We also breastfeed. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about giving him some formula to give myself a break. (It hasn’t happened- but I’m hanging on by a thread most days.) 

Being a mother is seriously SO hard. Being a mother to three is as hard, if not harder, than I thought it would be. Our family life has finally adjusted since welcoming Jackson five months ago- but that doesn’t mean that it’s all high fives at te end of the day. Sometimes it takes everything I have in me to not cry over something I should have handled differently or something I should have or should not have said. There are days that this mom-guilt crap tears me up and I really just can’t help it. It’s a part of life, a part of living. It’s a part of raising these little humans that I’ve created. Some how, some way, i hope to have a better handle on my guilt as a mother.   

“Ah, yes. The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

                        -Rafiki, The Lion King 

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The Baby Bonanza and Kid Expo!

If you are in Columbus, Ohio, you should attend the 8th Annual Baby Bonanza and Kid Expo! It will be held this Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the Aladdin Shrine Event Center at Easton from 10am to 4pm.
The Baby Bonanza and Kid’s Expo is Ohio’s largest consumer, maternity, baby and child expo! There you will find:
-Exhibitors showcasing their products and services
-Diaper Derby Baby Races
-Educational Seminars
-A Dad’s Challenge
-Entertainment for the whole family

Fluff Bum Babies will be there to check out the local exhibitors and see what it’s all about! I have never been before and I’m pretty excited! My Columbus people: let me know if you’ve been to the bonanza and expo before and how your experience was!! 🙂

Tickets are $5.00 for parents, $4.00 for grandparents, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is also free. Make sure to bring some money in case you need a snack or find something you just can’t live without!!

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6 Easy, Fun, Quick Things To Do With Toddlers

I have two toddlers, ages 3 and 19 months. Sometimes, its really the little things that they enjoy. Here are 6 “little things” that you can do almost any day of the week, night or day. And I can promise, your little toddlers will enjoy!

  1. Dress Up. If you have little girls, you may have an entire corner dedicated to dress up stuff- tutus, tiaras, high heels, jewelry, etc. But you really don’t need these items to play dress up. A little girl will be just as happy to dress up in Mommy’s clothes and shoes while a little boy will be so happy to try and fill Daddy’s big shoes and his favorite ball cap. Take pictures, make memories. Enjoy the 20 minutes or so that you spend doing this. Someday, you’ll enjoy looking back on how small they were compared to you or Daddy. And putting on those over-sized shoes, clothes, and accessories will show just that perfectly!!
    dressup
  2. Bake. Little kids love to make something that they can eat. And who can really blame them?! Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up an extra thing of Peanut Butter and make those Peanut Butter Cookies that are so easy to make. Or grab one of those cake mixes, frosting tubs, and sprinkles. You can even go as simple as picking up the break and bake cookie dough! Your toddler will love helping you in the kitchen! They can do simple things like add ingredients (with help of course!), stir,  place something on the cookie sheet, or decorate!! Afterwards, enjoy those 15 minutes watching your delicious baked goods in the oven just talking, giggling, and spending some time together.
    bake
  3. Movie Night. I love having Family Movie Night!! Rent a new kids movie at your local RedBox or on your Streaming Device. Turn off the lights, make some popcorn, have some candy… Spend time together watching a new flick and snuggling on the couch under the blankets. Start it right after dinner or have a Pizza Party and eat during the movie too. Plan accordingly and you can have the kids in bed right after the movie is over. This one may be better for more laid back evenings like a Friday or Saturday night but you can even do this during the day!
    movie
  4. Art. This one can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it. Grab some paper, some crayons, and just sit at the table and color. Draw your family. Draw a superman. Draw a puppy. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your critic is only a 2 year old! You can also get out the watercolors, the play dough, or the finger paints. Make Christmas ornaments in July with Salt Dough. Get some string and macaroni and make necklaces. Just create something. Chances are, your little one will only be into this for 30 minutes or so but it will be well worth the mess!!
    art
  5. Have a Picnic. The neat things bout picnics, they can be indoors or outdoors. We have picnics often! Set a blanket down on the floor and everyone just take a seat on the blanket and eat. (You could also use a towel.) The best part about this: Pick up the blanket or towel and just put it in the laundry afterwards. Easy! In the spring/summer/fall, we like to take a bike ride into our local park on the bike trail. There’s a little picnic table under shelter just randomly along the trail. In the past, we’ve picked up Subway, a drink or two to share, and some chips. Simple, delicious, and we all enjoy the bike ride!!
    picnic picnic 2
  6. Educate. Once again, this can be as simple or as complex as you make it. Read a book. Get out a puzzle. Put different objects into a clear water or pop bottle. Get out the sand toys but put dry rice or beans in the box. Your toddler loves to explore! And exploring is educating in their world. Get out their favorite book and make up silly stories to go along with the pictures that are different than the book and listen to your little one tell you, “That’s not what happens!” Sing songs like ABCs, The Wheels on the Bus, Apples and Bananas, B-I-N-G-O, and The Clean Up Song. Toddlers LOVE music so using music along with education is perfect!

What little things have you done with your toddlers?? Let me know in the comments below!!

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A Big NO NO in Colder Weather!!

no coats in car seats

Just a friendly reminder: please DO NOT keep a puffy winter coat on your baby/toddler/child when putting them in a car. It is so unsafe and could cause harm if in a car crash. A few good alternatives are:

  • blanket in the car
  • allow the car to warm up before bringing baby out there
  • a light weight sweatshirt or fleece jacket
  • strapping baby in the car and then putting the coat on backwards

We have a special balnket in the car for the girls and they wear light, zip up sweatshirts. We put their heavy coats on to transport them from the house to the car, the car to the store, the car to the house, etc. but they are always taken off before strapping them into their car seat. Safety first!!

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Toddlers love Juice… Mommy DOESN’T!

Most toddlers start out with 1/2 their sippy cup of juice and then the other 1/2 is water. Mix the water and juice together and you’re giving the toddler more of something to drink with less sugar. Wrong. Juice is like toddler crack. At least in our house it is. And that is exactly why we cut it out of our children’s diet.

Some of you may be thinking, “Why would you cut out juice?” “Juice isn’t harmful.” “Juice is not full of sugar.” or even, “100% Juice only is just fine!” Nope. Nope and nope. I would only buy 100% juice for my kids with no added sugar. I thought that even 1/4 of their sippy cup mixed with 3/4 cup of water would be just fine. Nope. I lived. And I sure as heck learned!My kids only wanted juice. They would refuse milk, water, everything that wasn’t juice. They were addicted. I finally got them to break the habit by switching to milk only in the mornings and after nap time (when their dad was home) they could have juice. It was like day and night. They were calm and good listeners in the morning and then someone flipped the switch after nap time. It was the juice. Even though they didn’t have much of it, that small amount of “natural” sugar got to them. They were bouncing off the walls. It wasn’t until my husband really noticed a difference one weekend that we just stopped buying it. And I’m so happy we did!

Aubrey REFUSES to drink water. Plain water is just “YUCK” in her words. This means if she wants something to drink, her go to is milk. Milk is good for you so its not a huge bad thing… but too much of anything can be bad for you. Right now, we’re figuring out how to make our own flavored water. I looked at MIO but there’s so many ingredients in it that’s just not good for you. I might as well be giving them juice! I am looking at a special pitcher that has a place for fresh fruit and it will diffuse into the water. We’re also looking at adding essential oils and stevia to a pitcher every few days to also make a flavored type of water. This is just one more thing we did to become more “natural” parents!

Something I would like to point out: I am not depriving my children of fruit juice. If we go to a relative’s house and they offer my kids juice, that’s fine. We just prefer juice to be in moderation. We had also made the decision months ago to not buy juice boxes. After seeing pictures of the Capri Suns with mold in them, we decided to not take that chance. Juice boxes are expensive anyways!! If we do offer juice in the future, it will be homemade, raw juice from an awesome juicer. We just meed to purchase one first!

Mommas that also don’t do juice, what kind of drinks do your little ones drink regularly? Any tips to help me get Aubrey to drink plain water?

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A Late Merry Christmas!

My goal was to spend as much time with my family on Christmas with no distractions. I stayed off social media sites and of course, the blog. We were gone all day, so the computer wasn’t around to tempt me. 😉 Here’s our girls’ annual Christmas picture with Santa.
EASTLANDOH_20131223_000004_P

We had a wonderful Christmas Day with my family at lunch and my husband’s family at dinner time. Then, with my wonderful luck, I started to get sick Christmas evening and was in bed for the following two days. No fun. Since I’ve been feeling better today, we got some of the girls’ new toys out and put together. They love everything they received from Santa and family. Seeing their faces Christmas morning make all the time, energy, and money that we spend for Christmas worth it. 🙂

How was your Christmas? What was your child’s (or children’s) favorite gift? 🙂

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