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Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Keeping Baby Safe

September 19th, 2008 by amy

This September marks the 25th anniversary of Baby Safety Month sponsored by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association. With all the recent news about lead in toys and concerns over Bisphenol-A in baby feeding products, we’ll raise a mom-ocktail and toast keeping our babies safe!

Baby Asleep in Car Seat

Baby Asleep in Car Seat

Three easy and FREE tips for thrifty mamas like us:

  • Tomorrow is National Car Seat Check Saturday - so find a child car seat inspection station near you or check your local mom’s club for child safety inspection fairs in your area.
  • Get customized notification via e-mail of all recalls and product alerts, as they are announced from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Check your baby bottles and sippy cups to make sure they are BPA free, using this handy directory which lists all the brands and manufacturer websites

Clamoring for more safety tips?  Here’s a tip for each day of the month, double ‘em up and start today.

Here’s to keeping our babies safe and healthy!

Cutting coupons not corners

September 3rd, 2008 by Glow Mama

Who doesn’t like a bargain - especially these days when prices are so high and the budgets are a little tighter?  And while there have been some great back-to-school savings going on everywhere, what about us moms who are still a long way away from buying backpacks and laptops? 

Well, here are a few online coupon codes we have soucred especially for us new mommies and mommies-to-be…

  • *  Nursery bedding - free shipping on $50+ at Babyage.com with code BED0605 
  • *  Maternity clothes - flat $7 shipping on A Pea in a Pod
  • *  Diaper bags - 20% off diaper bags at Babycenter.com with code MYOWNBAG
  • *  Breastpumps - $25-$60 off the Medela breastpumps at drugstore.com
  • *  Delivery gown - $10 off the gorgeous labor gowns at B.Y.O.G with code MWS10
  • *  Slings & carriers - 10% off at babiesrus.com with code 922629 (exp 9/18)
  • *  Vitamin hydration - 15% off all Glow Mama with code HYD09

Please let us know if you find any other good online coupon codes - we would love to share the savings.

Free Photo Sharing Fun

September 1st, 2008 by art mama

Ah, how the online world has opened up so many other worlds to explore, share and expand our knowledge! And with our technical gadget world turning all digital, (almost) gone are the days of holding yellow-edged photo albums in your hands. The good news is, with online photo sharing websites, family and friends from all over the world can “ooh and ahh” over your precious little one at all stages!

I was turned onto to Snapfish while I was pregnant and my friend sent an email invitation to view photos of her newborn. What I immediately liked about Snapfish is that, one, it is free, and even though you have to fill out a very short registration form, you are never ever bothered with pesky emails from Snapfish asking you to do things you don’t want to do. Once we had baby Solina, we immediately created an online album on Snapfish. It is super easy to just upload photos by selecting about 15 photos at a time. You can add captions and create the order you want your slideshow to run. Then you just add all of your email addresses and Snapfish creates an email template that invites everyone to click on a link and go directly to your online album. The email template features one photo of your choice, and you can write a personal letter to all of your recipients. I like that it is sort of like our Solina Newsletter. And every time I send it out, I always get positive responses.

Another cool feature about Snapfish, and I’m sure other online albums, is that you can create virtually anything with your favorite photo on it, including coffee mugs, posters, mouse pads, refrigerator magnets, and more. You just select the “gift” type and select the photo you want and within 10 days you will get your item. If you are old fashioned and still want an actual 3-D photo album, you can also get your photos printed to pick up at any Walgreens store. You can even print a photo book.

Ready to get started? Below are the top-rated sites and their features

Shutterfly – Like Snapfish, it’s free to use, unlimited photo storage, 50 free 4×6 prints when you join, easy to share online albums through their Share Sites program which is like a personalized web page, photo gift options, edit and enhance photos. Easy and cheap print orders for pick up at any Target store.

Share Site example for Baby Album

Photoworks – Free to use, unlimited photo storage, 25 free 4×6 prints when you join, easy to share online albums with their PhotoMail program, photo gift options, edit and enhance photos, can create personalized photo page. Easy and cheap print orders on Kodak Perfect Touch in a wide range of sizes.

My Photo Album – Free to use, unlimited photo and video storage, 20 free 4×6 prints when you join, easy to share online albums with your own personalized web address, photo gift options, edit and enhance photos, can personalize your albums with backgrounds, skins and frames. Easy and cheap print orders.

Picasa – Google’s free photo software that locates all photos on your computer and instantly organizes them, allows you to rename them, make albums and add photo effects, password protect albums, and share them via email.

…And speaking of all this photo sharing, the BEST place to start is to enter Glow Mama’s very own photo sharing contest! Enter our Show Glow…Your Labor contest by submitting a photo of you and your baby or belly on Flickr’s Glow Mama Group page, and you can win a fabulous prize package of perfect pampering products worth $250! You have until September 15th–don’t miss the opportunity to show off your glow, be a part of great group of glowing mamas, and cross your fingers for the wonderful prize.

Put the “YOU” Into Motherhood!

August 18th, 2008 by art mama
Art Mama with baby in tow!

Art Mama with baby in tow

Everyone told me while I was pregnant just how much my life was going to change, how hard parenting was going to be, and how my life will no longer be mine. I took note and basically sloughed it off, since I wasn’t there yet. Well that time has arrived! With my daughter now 10-months-old and happy, healthy and just a pure delight—I am on a mission to find “me” again.

It all started one night when she was crying (teething, I think) and I was holding her because my husband couldn’t comfort her (she wanted mommy), and I found myself crying along with her. I came to the realization then that my entire world revolves around her, this beautiful being, and therefore my own “me” world has been lost in the revolution. Don’t get me wrong—I love my daughter so much it makes my heart hurt. But from someone who has lived 40 great years, had pretty much a “dream” career, a dream husband and a vibrant life as a couple, I am inevitably going to grieve my life as I knew it. I then made a pact with myself to become completely fulfilled as my own person so I can be the best mom I can be to my daughter.

I am still learning as I go along, but I want to share my thoughts so far on how we can begin to be loving and content moms, starting with pregnancy!

During pregnancy MAKE YOUR LIFE ALL ABOUT YOU! It is the last time you can do this for yourself, and it will also create a healthy and happy environment to grow that baby! This means that you can toss that guilt aside as you allow yourself to do things that make you happy, such as:

  • Ask your husband or partner to pamper you. Hello nightly foot rubs!
  • Rest and nap as much as you want and need. Don’t feel guilty for laying on the couch reading a good book every evening, or watching back-to-back episodes of Grey’s Anatomy! Or simply going to bed at 7:30 without doing the dishes!
  • Eat foods that taste good to you at the time, even if it’s only potatoes and avocados. Your body will garnish all the nutrition it needs to nourish your baby. I remember I couldn’t look at a salad or anything green throughout my entire pregnancy, but I loved my dad’s coleslaw and drank gallons of ice water. I still managed to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby!
  • Drink lots of ice cold Glow Mama! Everything I drank during pregnancy had to be ice cold and I couldn’t drink anything too sweet. So Glow Mama is perfect! If I knew about Mom-Mocktails back then, I would have been in heaven!
  • Buy maternity clothes that make you feel good about being pregnant and having a glorious belly!

Once you have your wonderful baby, there will definitely be months of an adjustment period when you are getting to know your baby. Caring for your baby is a 24-7 devotion, (I refuse to call it a “job”!), so just know that the first couple of months will consist of putting your needs on the back burner. But as you emerge out of your new-baby-fog, it is okay to start adding pieces of yourself back into your life.

I recently read an article in Parents Magazine that said of course you will be listening to lullabies and playing with baby toys trying to merge yourself into your baby’s world. But it’s also okay to merge your baby into YOUR world! I realized I actually had started to do this when she was 3 months old. We took our baby to poetry readings, holiday parties (no matter how cold it was outside) and art walks. We play her music we like, and she loves it! We took her on her first overnight trip in Tahoe for our anniversary, and to her first ballpark! In all occasions, she’s always a joy. It shows us she is interested in social interaction and that she’s adaptable. We are learning that we can be a fun family, doing things together that we all love

Us Girls in Tahoe

Three Generations of Happy Girls in Tahoe

From these early experiences, this is the most important lesson I’ve learned: Don’t be afraid to introduce your baby to the activities/music/food you enjoy, because it is probably THE key ingredient to growing a healthy family life!

Now I am branching out more. I started taking a yoga class where for an hour and a half each week I have time that is solely mine. It feels good to nourish my body and mind this way. And when I get home, I more excited than ever to see my baby girl! I also do a few hours of work during the day, even when my baby isn’t napping. She is really good at amusing herself and playing independently—which is such a healthy experience for baby and mommy!

My husband and I try to have a date night at least once every two weeks. We see now how vital it is to put this focus onto us as a couple. We’ve learned the hard way that if we don’t, our relationship will not progress effortlessly as it may have before! Remember, happy parents create happy children!

Pregnancy and motherhood is the most special, uniquely personal, loving and important time in a woman’s life. Yes, there are sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself. You have made this beautiful life, and you deserve to continue nurturing it with all the pleasures in the world.