Archive for October, 2011

October 25th, 2011

Halloween Ideas for Every Age

Sometimes Halloween can be a little bit of a bore while your waiting for the long awaited trick-o-treating night. So we wanted to give you some ideas of things you can do on the days leading up to that sweet event.

Some fun games you can play with your kids is Pumpkin Bowling. I know this is not the typical thing you do with those orange things that sit on your porch but your kids will love being able to roll around their new found friends. This is an easy game, all you will need is  to arrange a triangle of 10 empty plastic 1- or 2-liter bottles or if you have cans those would also work. Just make sure they are completely empty so you don’t have any surprises left on your floor. Players take turns gently rolling a pumpkin into the pins, with three chances to knock them all down. You can have smaller kids get closer for a better chance at knocking the bottles over and making it more exciting for them.

Another fun game that might be a little better for kids that are big enough to hold a broom steady is Pumpkin Roll.  Determine a starting line and a finish line. Set 2 pumpkins (better for kids is small to medium size pumpkins) on their sides at the start and have the racers line up behind them. At “Go,” each pair of challengers uses sturdy brooms to propel the pumpkins over the finish line.  These games could also be fun for a way to keep kids entertained during Thanksgiving.

 

Healthy Halloween Apples

If your a fruit lover but want to add a little pzazz  to your healthy treat this is a fun way to add some extras and your kids will love that they get to choose what they add!

Ingredients

  • Apples
  • Popsicle or craft sticks
  • White chocolate chips and red and yellow food coloring OR orange candy melts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Thick skinned oranges
  • Whole cloves
  • Cut up fresh fruit, such as melon, grapes and pineapple
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Wax paper

Cooking Instructions

For the apples:

  1. Remove any labels. Wash apples and remove stem.
  2. Insert stick into top of apple.
  3. Melt white chocolate chips or candy melts according to package directions in microwave or on stove top. If you want to color the white chocolate, add a few drops each of yellow and red food coloring and stir to make orange.
  4. Use a tall cup or glass wide enough for the apple to fit into. (If using microwave, melt the chocolate or candy right in this cup.) Dip apples into melted candy or chocolate until completely covered.
  5. Place apple on wax paper.
  6. Decorate with chocolate chips to make a face or chocolate sprinkles for a festive apple.
  7. Allow to cool and harden on wax paper. You may put them into the refrigerator to speed the process.

Green Monster Cupcakes

Let your child’s creativity flow but allowing them to make any kind of monster face they want. It can be sweet or scary, the sky’s the limit.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For decoration:

  • One 16 oz. tub vanilla frosting
  • Green food coloring
  • Marshmallows (regular and mini)
  • Strawberry licorice laces
  • Licorice all sorts
  • Gummy rings
  • Gumdrops
  • Candy-coated chocolate
  • Sour tape
  • Red and black writing icing

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put all the cupcake ingredients in a bowl and beat them together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each halfway with the mixture.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the muffins have risen, are golden in color, and spring back into shape when pressed with your finger. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  5. Color the vanilla frosting using the food coloring.
  6. Spread the icing over the top of the cupcakes and decorate them with sweets.

Halloween Craft: Spirit Jugs

Fun way to light the path of trick-o-treaters to your house. Your kids will love making all the fun faces they can think of and see them light up!
Materials
  • Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
  • Black permanent marker
  • Craft knife
  • String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights
Instructions
  1. Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don’t dent.
  2. Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent’s job).
  3. Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.

We hope that you have a fun and save Halloween.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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October 18th, 2011

Cribs, Bassinets, and Co-sleepers, What’s the Difference?

Sleeping arrangements with a newborn can be a tricky task to figure out. You want to make sure you’re getting the rest you need to be an attentive parent during the day but also taking care of your baby’s needs at night when your half asleep. Your little newborn needs rest to grow, develop and help them be a happy baby for you while still getting nourishment the need. So do you keep your baby close in bed with you, do you use a bassinet, co-sleeper or a crib?. You the parent get to choose what works best for you, we just want to  give you some information to help make an educated decision.

There have been studies about parents having their babies sleep in bed with them. Some say it’s not a good idea, others say that its been done for hundreds of years, so which is the right answer? You are the best person to say. There are some things that you want to remember if your baby is sleeping in bed with you:

  • Always put babies under six months to sleep on their backs and not their tummies.
  • Don’t sleep with your baby if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or any substance that could diminish the awareness of your baby.
  • Don’t sleep with baby on soft surfaces, such as bean bags, water beds, and couches.
  • Avoid crevices between mattress and wall or mattress and side rail.
  • Avoid side rails, head boards, and foot boards that have slats that could entrap baby’s head.
  • Avoid putting your bed nearby curtains or blinds that have dangling strings that could strangle baby.
  • Only one baby in bed at a time, please.

These cautions have been shared from AskDrSears.com, safe co-sleeping research.

So is co-sleeping and a co-sleeper the same thing? Nope. Co-sleepers can be a bassinet type device that is attached to the side of your bed or it can be placed in your bed but has sides on it to prevent parents from rolling onto it. This allows for the parents to have the space they need to sleep, the baby has their own space to sleep but they are both within arms reach. So when its time for the baby to be feed, it’s an easy reach for mom.

Co-sleepers offer a unique way for both parents to bond with their baby from the time they arrive home from the hospital. Having the baby within arms reach you can offer extra love, comfort and closeness your newborn is use to but still feel safe in knowing your baby isn’t in your bed or protected in your bed.

Now, maybe your thinking that a bassinet and a co-sleeper are the same thing? In a way, they could be, but co-sleepers can attach directly to the bed as mentioned previously , they can be put directly in the bed or they are a stand along but have on side that is a little shorter for convenience. Bassinets can be close to your bed but they are generally a stand along device.

Bassinets are smaller than cribs which helps your baby to feel like they still have a small area to sleep in similar to the feeling of being in the womb.  Bassinets come in many different styles to fit each families needs and wants.

Eventually most babies sleep in a crib after the parents feel it is time. For some its 3 weeks others it could be 9 months or longer. Either way cribs are a comfortable place for your baby to sleep when your both ready for the change. And if your concerned about the extra space within a crib you can also find baby safe inserts to help your little one stay in one place.

As a parent, the most important part is to do what you feel is best for you baby. Be smart about the products you purchase to make sure they are certified for safety, quality, performance and functionality.

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October 14th, 2011

Petunia Pickle Bottom Lover!

A couple of months ago I won the Tour in Yoshino carrier by Petunia Pickle Bottom!  I never win anything-I couldn’t believe it!  I was so excited to see if I would love the carrier as much as I love my PPB diaper bag.  Well, all I can say is, I am hooked!  When I first got the carrier I thought…YAY, a cute carrier for my new baby girl.  Little did I know, there were WAY more things I would love about this carrier than just it’s looks!  I have had other carriers & brands, that have collected dust because they were either uncomfortable to me or my baby, or more importantly..too much of a hassle!

With 3 little ones, getting anything done is a huge task.  But honestly-I can tell you I have used this carrier while doing dishes, cooking dinner, doing laundry…even game night with friends!  =D  It kinda cracks me up because I think my baby thinks I’m just holding her all day, making a VERY happy baby!
We also took the carrier to Disneyland & Sea World!  Not only did we get comment after comment about how cute it was, It was SO nice not having to hold her during all of the shows!  It was so easy to get on and off and get baby in and out!  Oh and it is SO soft so it never gave my baby a rash on her face like others I have tried!

I truly can’t say enough good things about this carrier.  I LOVE it and would recommend it to ANYONE!  I can’t wait to pass it on to my friends when they have baby girls-or baby boys if they don’t care about the pink!)

Thanks again Around My Baby!  You have saved me in more occasions than I can count!  =)

Brooke

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October 5th, 2011

Potty Training – Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

Get Ready

If your child is near or has passed his first birthday, you can begin incorporating pre-potty training ideas into his life. They are simple things that will lay the groundwork for potty training and will make the process much easier when you’re ready to begin.

  • During diaper changes, narrate the process to teach your toddler the words and meanings for bathroom-related functions, such as pee-pee and poo-poo. Include descriptive words that you’ll use during the process, such as wet, dry, wipe, and wash.
  • If you’re comfortable with it, bring your child with you when you use the toilet. Explain what you’re doing. Tell him that when he gets bigger, he’ll put his pee-pee and poo-poo in the toilet instead of in his diaper. Let him flush the toilet if he wants to.
  • Help your toddler identify what’s happening when she wets or fills her diaper. Tell her, “You’re going poo-poo in your diaper.” Have her watch you dump and flush.
  • Start giving your child simple directions and help him to follow them. For example, ask him to get a toy from another room or to put the spoon in the dishwasher.
  • Encourage your child to do things on her own: put on her socks, pull up her pants, carry a cup to the sink, or fetch a book.
  • Have a daily sit-and-read time together.
  • Take the readiness quiz again every month or two to see if you’re ready to move on to active potty learning.

 

Get Set

  • Buy a potty chair, a dozen pairs of training pants, four or more elastic-waist pants or shorts, and a supply of pull-up diapers or disposables with a feel-the-wetness sensation liner.
  • Put the potty in the bathroom, and tell your child what it’s for.
  • Read books about going potty to your child.
  • Let your child practice just sitting on the potty without expecting a deposit.

Go

  • Begin dressing your child in training pants or pull-up diapers.
  • Create a potty routine–have your child sit on the potty when she first wakes up, after meals, before getting in the car, and before bed.
  • If your child looks like she needs to go–tell, don’t ask! Say, “Let’s go to the potty.”
  • Boys and girls both can learn sitting down. Teach your son to hold his penis down. He can learn to stand when he’s tall enough to reach.
  • Your child must relax to go: read a book, tell a story, sing, or talk about the day.

 

  • Make hand washing a fun part of the routine. Keep a step stool by the sink, and have colorful, child-friendly soap available.
  • Praise her when she goes!
  • Expect accidents, and clean them up calmly.
  • Matter-of-factly use diapers or pull-ups for naps and bedtime.
  • Either cover the car seat or use pull-ups or diapers for car trips.
  • Visit new bathrooms frequently when away from home.
  • Be patient! It will take three to twelve months for your child to be an independent toileter.

Stop

  • If your child has temper tantrums or sheds tears over potty training, or if you find yourself getting angry, then stop training. Review your training plan and then try again, using a slightly different approach if necessary, in a month or two.

 

This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Potty Training Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006)

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