Snack Cups

Since our little munchkin is all about the snacks, we found snack cups to be indispensable. The two best snack cups on the market for toddlers are the Made For Mom Snack Trap and the Munchkin Snack Catchers.

Both have their benefits and drawbacks. Both promote fine motor skills, help foster your child’s emerging independence and both prevent your child from just dumping the cup and all the contents everywhere. However, just know that they don’t prevent all spills. There is an opening and depending on the size of the snack, some snacks fall out of it easier than others. But no matter what, it still prevents more spills than an open cup. Also, I’ve read that some kids learn how to hold one of the flaps down and dump the contents.

My favorite use is when we’re strolling along. I don’t like giving him snacks when I can’t see him, but I don’t mind giving him the HAPPYMETLS Organic Yogurt Snacks for Babies & Toddlers since they easily melt in the mouth. I use simple plastic rings to keep the snack cup attached to the stroller but you can use the Made For Mom Take Me with Tether, the Booginhead SippiGrip or similar product to help keep the cup attached to the stroller.


Made For Mom Snack Trap – This is our favorite of the two

What we like about it:

  • Easy grip handle
  • The plastic isn’t too stiff for beginning snackers to use easily
  • Cute pictures
  • You can purchase the optional Made For Mom Snack Trap Lid Accessory Pack. This set is cool because it also comes with a sippy cup lid.
  • BPA free, latex free, lead free

What we don’t like about it:

  • The plastic isn’t too stiff so sometimes you get more snacks falling out
  • Cup doesn’t easily stay upright when clumsy hands are grabbing at it

(4.5/5)


Munchkin Snack Catchers

What we like about it:

  • Very bright, gender neutral colors
  • Rubber bottom protects tables and keeps the snack cup more stable
  • The rubber is a bit stiff so the snacks don’t easily fall out
  • BPA free

What we don’t like about it:

  • The plastic is a bit stiff and was difficult for young snacking babies to get their hands in and out
  • The handles weren’t as easy for a young snacker to hold on to
  • Does not have a lid for travel – optional or not

(4/5)

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Posted in Feeding, Reviews

Paper Plates

After my post yesterday, one of my friends made a comment to me that the Duggar’s use paper plates. WOW! If you don’t know who the Duggar’s are they are the family that is the focus of the TV show “19 Kids and Counting.”  They actually have 20 kids now.

So just think, every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner at least 22 paper plates are used! How many trees need to be cut down each year just so this family can eat off of paper plates and not do dishes? I admit, maybe if I had 20 children I would want to do some things to cut down on my own daily chores. BUT as a mom, I already have a problem with the amount of waste my little family creates… and we really don’t have that much in comparison to a lot of other families.

Paper plates and napkins are not used in our house. We have some in the garage for when we have a large party with kids. No matter how tired I might be, I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I could make the simple change of not using paper plates and napkins to help cut down on environmental waste. The Duggar’s are contributing to the environmental problems that they are leaving their children and grandchildren. I’m glad its on their conscience and not mine.

Anyways, I really like using real plates and cloth napkins. I feel like a grown up and every meal feels just a little more special. And besides, I save a lot of money, too!

Posted in Being Green, Thriftiness

Cloth Napkins

My dear friend and her two girls came over the other day. They came for lunch, then we went to the beach and then we had dinner. I have been using cloth napkins for quite a few years now and I had forgotten why I had even started using them.

While we were eating I thought back to when we started. I had gotten on a total green make-over. I got rid of all of my beauty products that had fragrance, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), parabens and petroleum based additives. I changed all of our lights to CFL (Compact florescent lighting) bulbs. And I bought a bunch of cloth napkins.

As always, I try to save money where I can. So I hit up the clearance items at Ross, TJ Maxx and any store that sold napkins. I remember not wanting to spend more than $1 per napkin. In fact, I got most of them for about $0.60 each.

Today, we’re still using those napkins. If I think about how much paper and money I have saved over the last 3 years, its actually quite a bit. I love it when you can be green without spending a lot of green.

Posted in Being Green, Thriftiness

Plush Beauty Bar for moms and kids

Two of my favorite ways to pamper myself are to go and get a mani/pedi and to get my eyebrows done. I especially like to get my eyebrows tinted as it hides the gray hairs that are intermittently popping up – ugh.

But as any mom (stay at home, work at home or working) can tell you, getting the time to go do something so “extravagant” is really not so easy.

Not anymore (at least if you live in the Los Angeles area)! Plush Beauty Bar created by moms for moms is a beauty salon that offers nail and waxing services. Some of the awesome features (taken directly from their website):

  • Low-fume / low-toxic nail polish & treatments – NO Acrylics
  • Children’s play area
  • Ample stroller parking
  • Fast, high-quality service
  • Renowned Brow Shaping Team
  • Comfy armchairs for nursing
  • Roomy bathroom with changing table

So if you’re a mom in Los Angeles and you’re in dire need of some TLC, go to Plush Beauty Bar.

Posted in Beauty, Things to do in LA

Another blissful night

Last night was the second night in a row that my son slept through the night! After a year of not getting hardly any sleep, it feels amazing! He went to bed at 7:30 pm and didn’t wake up until 5:30 am. Unfortunately, he didn’t go back to sleep and stayed awake until his morning nap.

He went down easily for his nap at 9:45. He seemed revved up around 9am still, so around 9:30 we sat on his big, comfy orange chair and read a book, nursed and then I put him down without a peep.

I really think that the night weaning is what has lead to this glorious time in our life. Thinking back to the last time period in which he slept longer I do recall he wasn’t nursing as much in the night because he was eating a lot more during the day.

Munchkin was depending on the night weaning, he wasn’t eating as much during the day as I’d like. He was eating a wide variety of food but lately it seemed like his portions were getting smaller and smaller. And no matter how hard I tried he just wouldn’t eat more.

However, yesterday I couldn’t believe how much he was eating. He definitely was tanking up on fuel to last him through the night. I’m hoping he has a hearty appetite again today so that we can all get another night of good sleep.

Posted in Sleep

Night Weaning Success

As much as I have not enjoyed being sleep deprived, I must admit I have secretly enjoyed the majority of night wakings with my son. I love having him curled up next to me as he’s nursing. He’s growing up and becoming an independent little boy (as he should).

Lately, he’s been turning away from me after he’s finished instead of sleeping peacefully in my arms or he’s been all about nipples. Both of which do not bring the happy, joyful moments that I have enjoyed throughout the night.

So I finally decided to completely night wean him. Let me tell you, that first night was ROUGH! He woke up every 40 minutes from 2:30 am until 7am!

However, last night (the second night) he slept all the way through the night until 4:45 am!  He hasn’t done that in months. I’m hoping this is the beginning of a beautiful sleep pattern. Now if only my dog could stop scratching in the middle of the night.  Anyone know how to sleep train a dog?  😉

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Posted in Sleep

Cheers

My son loves breakfast shakes, especially the almond butter, peanut butter and blueberry-banana shakes that I make. I find that breakfast shakes are a good way to make sure that he gets some of his much needed nutrition. Every morning he’s so happy he holds his cup up really high, smiles and then takes a big swig.

So one morning, I took my own shake glass and “cheers’d” him. He squealed with delight. Now when I hand him his shake, he of course takes a big swig and waits for me to sit down. As soon as I’m seated he thrusts his little cup out and we “cheers.” He always follows the cheers with a big swig of yumminess.

Lately, I’ve been trying to wake up in time to make our shakes before my husband leaves for work. Today, I got the shake done in time, so before heading out the door, my hubby sat down, raised his coffee cup and the three of us “cheers’d” with delight. I love these moments with my boys!

Posted in Miscellaneous

Nipple Twister

I was talking to a fellow mom the other day about breastfeeding a toddler. Her son is just a few days younger than my son so its fun to compare notes. In my normal fashion of not holding anything back, I proceeded to tell her how my little munchkin will take his hand and circumnavigate through any piece of clothing I am wearing to find the other nipple. At which time he will pinch, twist and pull.  Fun times!

If I try to keep him from getting to my nipple he starts screaming. If you’ve ever heard my son scream, you’d know why it is not so easy to just let him cry. I usually cave in and let him twist away.

This does mean that I don’t breastfeed in public anymore. Which actually is okay with both of us. He’s so interested in everything going on around him now that getting him to sit quietly while I feed him is nearly impossible.

Anyways, as I heard the words coming out of mouth about this and my friend started laughing hysterically, I immediately cringed. I definitely was thinking this was TMI. However, my friend blurted out “my son does the same thing!”

I thought it was important to share this little tidbit with the world. Maybe there’s another mom out there and is concerned. So the next time your little one is trying to tune in Tokyo, you can laugh a little and know that you are not alone.

Posted in Feeding

Not sleeping through the night

I love my son. He really is such a good, good baby. He rarely cries or fusses when we’re out and about. He’s very inquisitive, seems to have a knack for music (just like his father) and has the most amazing laugh that makes my heart smile every time. His sleeping patterns do not make me happy.

He’s had a routine for so long now that its actually quite easy to get him to go to sleep at night. On occasion we might get a few minutes of crying when we put him down but most nights he kind of fusses while I’m holding him after his book to let me know he’s ready to go to bed. I put him down, he rolls on to his side and drifts right off to sleep without any ordeal. He even goes down for his afternoon nap very easily.

So what’s the problem, right? His repeated waking in the middle of the night is driving me crazy. After we put him down, he sleeps for about 4-5 hours straight. But then the repeated night waking begins.

I can’t count how many times I’ve been just drifting off to sleep when all of a sudden  ***waaaaa*** is ringing in my ears. He’s really easy to soothe back to sleep so I’ve usually helped him to keep the peace in the middle of the night. Of course, daddy doesn’t wake up unless I let Munchkin cry for a little while – like last night. Lately, he’s been waking up every 40 minutes! By about the 3rd hour, I give up and bring him to bed with us.

This morning, he insisted that something is wrong with our child. My mommy instinct says he’s fine.

In general, I’m able to cope fairly well because I’m fortunate to be a stay-at-home-mom and I only have our little Munchkin (for now). So I usually take his morning nap with him – yes, he sleeps in our bed when we take the am nap. So by the time we wake up, both mommy and baby are completely refreshed and happy! Of course, since I take the am nap I have a hard time going to sleep before 11 pm. Which sucks, cause that’s when Munchkin is still sleeping.

Part of me really doesn’t mind the fact that his sleep patterns aren’t “normal” but then the other part of me feels like a bad mommy because my son can’t sleep.

I’m in the process of reading some MORE info on sleeping. I’m quite interested in the article in the references section.

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Posted in Sleep

Our son is finally in his own room

Its official – Our lovely son is finally in his own room. Munchkin turned 1 year a couple of weeks ago so I finally felt he was ready for his own room (I think mommy just wasn’t ready to give up those precious moments she shared with her son in the middle of the night and early hours of the morning).

Yesterday I moved his crib while daddy was at work – go mommy! DS helped of course. He held the screwdriver, played with the big bolts (with supervision – of course), tested out the mattress while it was on the floor and unloaded the bottom crib drawer of all of its contents.

Last night, he went down fairly easy. I held him a little longer than usual to make sure he was extra sleepy before putting him down. He didn’t wake up until midnight. He usually wakes up between 10:30 and midnight anyways so it wasn’t surprising.

He went back to sleep fairly quickly. BUT he woke up 5 more times until 5:30. At 5:30 he was unconsolable. My hubby woke up and after about 15 minutes or so he just said “let’s bring him to bed.” Our son quickly started to drift off to sleep.

Unfortunately, my husband could not. So he got up to take a shower and of course, woke our son up. Luckily, daddy took Munchkin for a walk with our dog and then into the living room to play so mommy could get some much needed shut eye.

Within about an hour, Munchkin was fussing and incredibly tired. So daddy brought him back to sleepy mommy and we both slept until 10:30 am!

Right now, Munchkin went to sleep in his crib for his nap fairly easily… only about 1 minute of fuss-crying. Daddy’s taking a nap and our dog is taking a nap with daddy. That means mommy has time for herself -hurray! Of course, I’m using these few precious moments to update y’all!

I hope Munchkin sleeps longer tonight and maybe mommy won’t need to take a morning nap with baby.

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Posted in Sleep