Google+ – an initial review

I’m not necessarily one of those people that jumps on every band wagon that seems interesting. I had many friends suggesting MySpace and Facebook, long before I actually joined.

But I must admit, I like to give almost all Google products a try. They really do a good job… most of the time.

So I’m now officially on Google + and here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • If you have an android phone, I HIGHLY suggest getting a Google+ account if for one reason only… You can set up an automatic upload of your videos and photos! God forbid something happens to your phone, you now will have all of your photos backed up, even the one you took moments before losing it! As a mother of a 2 year old, I find that an indispensable usage.
  • I like the privacy aspects of the “circles.” Unlike Facebook, you can select which circles you post to. No more need for private events, groups or the such. If you’re not sure what a circle is, its basically a category with selected people. For example, I have professional/co-workers, family, friends, acquaintances, and momma friends.  Now I can post pictures or silly little things my son does for just my family, friends and/or momma friends without feeling like I’m not appearing professional to those that I work with.  Another big “like”
  • Google+ is still very rough around the edges. There are a bunch of little things that I’ve come to know and love about Facebook that just aren’t available on Google+… at least not yet.

All in all, I think I’m going to try and give Google+ a good try. It definitely has a lot of potential and I look forward to using some of the other features and of course, I’m looking forward to new features that get developed.

Posted in Technology

Renewed appreciation for my blog

I originally started this blog so that when I have a second child, I don’t have to redo all of the research I had done already. So far, I haven’t had to need the information (but we’re still trying).

But one of my dear friends just recently had a baby. Its funny, because she’s asking about so many of the same things that I had questions about. I’ve been able to look up what I had wrote about and direct to her to it.

However, it does make me realize how much I’ve been slacking off lately. I’ve really only been using it for my personal benefit (for example, the speaker post). I’m thinking that its time to recommit to writing more articles. After all, there are still plenty of questions and concerns with a toddler.

Posted in Uncategorized

Stereo issues

We have had this crazy humming/feedback sound coming through our stereo whenever we play anything from our computer. It wasn’t always that way.

It has been driving my normally sane husband quite crazy. We just had that installed about a month or so go. Coincidentally, that was when the hum started. So today, we finally decided to tackle that annoying sound. After some thorough diagnostics, a few debates and some ha-ha moments, we realized that the noise is coming from the darn cable.

Luckily, we did a simple test to see to confirm it was the cable line. We hooked up a TV matching transformer to a UHF-to-cable (antenna to coaxle cable) converter between the cable line and the cable box. I’m a bit of a pack rat, so I actually had both pieces in our garage… you really never know when you’re going to need something. 😉

Anyways, it worked… well, sort of. The hum was gone – definitely a good thing. But the cool features of our cable box didn’t work (like On-Demand and DVR). Luckily, Amazon is coming to the rescue. We found a VSIS-EU Cable TV Ground Loop Isolator that should do the trick.

Let’s hope it works!


UPDATE: It worked like a charm! Absolutely no feedback on the stereo. This was my husband’s favorite Father’s Day gift!

Posted in Technology

Three In One Tricycle from Alex Toys on sale at Amazon

We’ve been looking at the 3-in-1 trikes for a long time now. I was so excited to see the Alex Ready, Set, Go! Red Trike on sale today on Amazon for only $79.99 – Its normally $199.99! Now let me see if I can fit it into the budget.

Posted in Miscellaneous

Dog barking while gone

I knew that our dog would bark when we were gone, but I only thought she barked for about 15 minutes. Apparently she barks for a really long time. So it looks like we’re going to need to get her the Premier SpraySense Anti-Bark Dog Collar.

I hope this works for her!

Posted in Personal

Piddle Pad

My friend and I were just talking about how her toddler daughter had a major blowout in the car seat the other day.  I mentioned the Piddle Pad to her and she had never heard of it. In case you don’t know what it is, its a waterproof pad that you can put in a car seat, chair or whatever.

We used it a lot when our son was a little baby, not in the car seat, but in the swing.  Since it was summer when he was little, I’d let him hang around in a cloth diaper without a cover (so he can get some air down there). The piddle pad was perfect for that. Its supposedly good for when you’re potty training your kids, too!

Some of the reviews complain because the material isn’t stiff. But I like it because it isn’t stiff. Who want’s to sit on a stiff piece of material anyways… especially during summer!

I find it washes up really easy and is super portable. The soft material lends itself to being thrown easily in a bag. I’d highly recommend it for taking on trips with you, especially if your child is just getting potty trained and you have to go on a plane! If there is an accident, your child won’t have to sit in a pee or poop soaked seat the whole flight. And I’m sure the airline crew would be thankful too!

It does bunch up sometimes, so you do have to adjust it almost every time before you put your child on it, but I don’t see it as too much effort. Afterall, you have to adjust the seat belts every time, too.

Posted in Reviews

Amazon’s price for Frontline Plus just can’t be beat

I’m always amazed at how much lower Amazon’s prices usually are. And when it comes to Frontline Plus for dogs, its really cheaper!

Posted in Personal – Baby Gizmo Weekly Giveaway – Baby Gizmo Weekly Giveaway.

This week’s new give away: An awesome Phil & Ted’s stroller!  Good luck (although, I really hope I win it)!

Posted in Give Aways

Tiny Birds Organics is having a moving SALE!

Tiny Birds is having a moving sale.  Everything is 60% off with FREE shipping, too!  Now’s the chance to get some of those items you’ve been putting off just because you’ve been waiting for a great sale.

If you’ve never ordered from them before, they are super helpful and really great to work with.

Happy shopping!

Posted in Cloth Diapers, Feeding

Letting your toddler watch TV

Sitting in front of the “boob tube” (as my grandpa used to call it) has been a much talked about conversation in our household. I grew up with the TV on almost all the time, my husband did not. I enjoy LOTS and LOTS of different shows, my husband does not. I’m pretty lazy (I mean I do what I’ve got to do, but I’m not very motivated to do things in general). I’ve wondered if that comes from watching so much TV.

Now that I have a son and need to think about his future, I keep going back and forth on the issue. So the other day at a play date I brought it up to some other moms. Of course, with almost everything concerning parenting ask a question and you’ll get just as many answers as there are parents. Toddlers and TV watching got even more of a response than I had expected.

There is soooo much conflicting information about whether it is good or not. In general, all of the recommendations say that kids under 2 should not watch TV. The main reason is that there is not enough good research on the effects – good or bad. As with most hot button issues, organizations will usually err on the side of caution.

Part of the reason for the lack of research is the ability to document language capability at the beginning of the study. That’s why most studies you find about kids and TV involve kids 3 or older.

Of those studies, I found a really interesting study from 2006 on the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) website… “A Systematic Review for the Effects of Television Viewing by Infants and Preschoolers.” Its a very interesting study because it doesn’t say that all TV is bad, just some TV. Its really the quality of the programing that affects the children, not the TV itself. In fact, it found the educational program actually increased positive behaviors and other programming increased negative behaviors. The categories researched were learning, racial attitudes, social behaviors, imaginative play, aggression and self-regulation. Programs such as Sesame Street were proven to have a positive impact on preschoolers, in particular in learning language.

To begin with, I was really against having my son watch any TV. However, I had talked to a few moms and they had noticed that there toddlers (under the age of 2) had actually learned some things from the programming they provided, such as how to sign, letter recognition, animal recognition and some general words.

Up until a couple of months ago, my son could care less if the TV was on. But now, he really likes to watch it. So I started letting him watch some TV every day. He really digs Sesame Street, especially Elmo! And to be honest, Sesame Street is on the TV right now so that I could get some things done around the house, including writing this post.Funny enough, he is trading off sitting in his chair watching the TV and getting up playing with his little golf set. The worries of him being sedentary too long do not seem to be a concern, at least as of yet.

It is a mixed blessing. I do get some needed breaks that I wasn’t getting until he started tuning in, especially since my husband works 6 days a week and long hours, too. But I feel like I’m not a very good caregiver on the days when the TV is longer than I had planned. We do go out and play every day, in fact we already went to the park this morning before nap time. And soon we’ll be running some errands and then hitting up a park afterwards.

We read every day together, we play games every day, we go outside and play. So for now, Sesame Street will be on the TV when mommy needs some much needed peace and quiet, or a few moments to get some things done.

Posted in Parenting