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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

{WINNER} On-the-Go Time Toddler Tools Board Book Giveaway



The lucky winner for the On-the-Go Time Toddler Tools Board Book Giveaway that ended December 22, 2011 is..... (drum roll, please).


Congratulations to Lisa Smith (#91)



I have sent you an email. You have 48 hours to respond. Thanks everyone for participating in my giveaway contests.




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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Season's Greetings!
Wishing you all a Safe & Happy Holiday!


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

ABC.com Disney Prep & Landing Holiday Special December 23rd

Disney Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (http://abc.go.com/shows/prep-and-landing ) was aired on December 5th, but will be re-aired tomorrow on December 23, 2011 on ABC at 9:00 PM EST (8:00 Central).

I just watched a couple of the episodes with little Brandon and we both really enjoyed it. We love the animated shows. I thought the little elves were really adorable. Since it's almost Christmas, the holiday special was perfect and gets us into the holiday spirit.

Brief Synopsis:

The yuletide adventures of Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne continue this season. With the Big 2-5 fast approaching, Wayne and Lanny must race to recover classified North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid! Desperate to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos, Wayne seeks out the foremost Naughty Kid expert to aid in the mission, a bombastic member of the Coal Elf Brigade who also happens to be his estranged brother, Noel.

Visit ABC.com to view the rest of the webisodes, exclusive online content, and for more fun stuff!




Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the company or PR firm to share. Thanks to Fanscape, Inc. The expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.



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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Seattle Motorcycle Show 2011

 



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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

iCaughtSanta.com Photos

Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. iCaughtSanta.com is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.

In three simple steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can purchase Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for loved ones with children, making iCaughtSanta.com a great gift idea even if you don't have kids yourself.




How it works:


Step 1 - Capture Your Background
Take a digital picture of your Christmas tree or maybe your fireplace... it's up to you. This will be your background photo.

Horizontal, high-resolution pictures work best. Save your background photo to your computer and then upload it to this site.



Step 2 - Create your Photo
Pick one of our many Santa poses and magically place him into your background photo.

You can adjust his size, color, brightness and position with our easy-to-use tools. Then select a festive border, preview and finalize your design.



Step 3 - Share the Magic!
Download, email or print your photo, automatically, for quick pickup at a store near you. Plus you can share it instantly to more than 30 popular web sites:





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Monday, December 19, 2011

10 Safe Items to Use for Teething Babies


Any parent knows that teething babies can be really cranky. The sore, swollen gums are a source of anywhere from mild to severe discomfort and can last for weeks or months. The constant drooling and chewing on anything they can get in their mouths are clear signs of teething babies. Parents and caregivers are relentlessly looking for ways to ease the discomfort for these infants, but they don’t want to do more harm than good. Here are 10 items that are safe to use for teething babies.


1. Teething rings – There are a multitude of teething rings and toys available to purchase. The solid rubber ones are the safest and teething babies appreciate the ones with different textures. Gel filled teething toys can be placed in the refrigerator but should be avoided after the baby has teeth because they may rupture. Putting rubber or plastic teething rings in the freezer can hurt baby’s gums, so don’t try that.

2. Cold washcloth – Cold is the key to soothing an infants sore gums. Tie a knot in a damp washcloth and put it in the freezer. Babies like the cold and rough texture and the washcloth helps to absorb the excess drool as they chew. Keep a few on hand in a plastic bag in the freezer.

3. Finger – Merely rubbing the baby’s swollen gums with your finger can help sooth the discomfort from teething. Make sure your fingers are clean first and be careful with long, sharp fingernails. You can let your baby chew on your knuckle any time.

4. Cold food – Babies who are old enough to be eating solid foods can get some relief from frozen bananas, bagels, applesauce or yogurt. Be careful not to let them chew off a frozen chunk they can choke on.

5. Mesh feeder bag – To avoid a choking hazard, a mesh feeder bag can be filled with frozen or cold food for teething babies to chew on. These baby safe feeders allow you to use foods like carrots, apples or grapes and can be purchased in stores or made at home.

6. Medication – Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and is safe if used in moderation. Medication can be helpful if your baby is having trouble sleeping because of the teething, but be sure to use the dosage recommended and never use aspirin.

7. Teething gel – Topical teething gels and powders are also only safe if used in moderation. Lidocaine is the safest numbing agent to use, but using too much can cause it to numb the baby’s throat and inhibit the gag reflex.

8. Crackers – Teething crackers and zwieback toast are other food items that are safe for babies to chew on for relief. Make sure they’re unsweetened, textured and hard for the best effect.

9. Household items – Let your baby chew on a rubber gum massager or toothbrush while he’s teething. Other household items include wooden or plastic spoons, cups or anything hard and large enough not to be swallowed and cause a choking hazard.

10. Popsicles – Frozen juice make great popsicles that can sooth tender gums that are safe for teething infants. They can get pretty messy though.

Always make sure anything that goes into a baby’s mouth is disinfected and clean. Babies will chew on anything and everything when they’re teething so keep choking hazards out of their reach. Even though this can be a trying time in your baby’s development, remember that it’s only temporary. Watch for those first teeth to emerge and after that you’ll want to give your baby anything to chew on but your fingers. Ouch!


Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the company or PR firm to share. Thanks to babysittingjobs.com for the article. The expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Preschool Potluck with Santa

Friday, December 16th was Brandon's last day at Preschool before the Christmas break. All the preschool classes had a potluck and we had a special guest -- that's right, it was Santa!







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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Burnaby Village Museum Field Trip

Oh, how can I forget to post this??? This was one of little Brandon's adventures and it was a field trip to the Burnaby Village Museum. It was an evening field trip to see the Heritage Christmas Event. We had a ride in a school bus with the Frog Hollow Community group and Thunderbird Community group. When we got there, we saw beautiful Christmas lights. It's funny how all these years I've been living here in Vancouver, I have never had a chance to visit this place.


Everyone met up at Frog Hollow. Brandon was already excited and looking forward to riding the school bus.


We arrive at Burnaby Village Museum and we explored the area.


Old Chinese Herbal Shop


Old Bakery Shop


Crafts: Making Reindeer Masks


Finally, the carousel ride



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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What to Expect Parenting Books Review & Giveaway



When I was had my baby (Brandon), the first book I went to get was What to Expect The First Years. Then I passed it on to a friend who had their baby after me. I also have What to Expect The Toddler Years and I refer to it when I need a quick reference and find answers to my concerns. I really enjoy the What To Expect series books that Heidi Murkoff and her team put together. Whatever I need to know, it's all in the books. And not only WTE books are available as hard copies, there's even an online community at www.whattoexpect.com where parents can interact with each other and share their ideas, photos, and stories.

Besides mentioning the What to Expect The Toddler Years book that I currently own, I was also given the opportunity to review the other series in the newest edition that was sent to me: What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect The First Year, and What to Expect The Second Year.





What to Expect When You're Expecting

The brand new fourth edition is in print and it is filled with the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information on all things pregnancy for a new generation of expectant moms. Realistic, supportive, easy to access, and overflowing with practical tips, covering everything you'll need (and want) to know about life's most amazing journey from preconception planning to birth to those first miraculous weeks with a new baby. This informative book will answer all of your pregnancy concerns.

What to Expect The First Year

This second edition has all the latest info that every mom and dad needs. Every question and answer have been revisited, and in response to letters from readers, dozens of new Q&As have been added. This comprehensive follow-up to the What To Expect When You're Expecting offers everything you want to know about the care and feeding of your infant. The book covers monthly growth and development, feeding for every age and stage, sleep strategies that really work, and the very best ways to stimulate baby. It also provides practical tips on how to give a bath, decode baby's crying, and most up-to-date medical advice.

What to Expect The Second Year

This is the new book that is the continuation of What To Expect the First Year. The complete why, when, and how-to guide to your toddler's wonder year. From the first birthday to the second, everything you need to know about caring for, nurturing, understanding, and keeping up with your incredible 1-year-old.

This excellent book provides solutions, strategies, and tips on all things toddler on the listed topics:
- Feeding picky eaters
- Solving sleep issues
- Getting your toddler talking
- Temper Tantrums
- Cultivating curiosity
- Making sens of toddler behavior
- Keeping your toddler safe and healthy

Heidi Murkoff have also written What to Expect Kids series books (such as "What to Expect When You Go to the Doctor" and "What to Expect at Preschool") that would help you and your child through their day-to-day activities in their toddler years.


{WHERE TO BUY}
The books are available for purchase at www.whattoexpect.com bookstore or through Amazon.com available in hard copy format or kindle version.

{Giveaway: WIN IT}

Three (3) lucky readers will have a chance to WIN their very own copy of the What To Expect book of their choice. Chosen winners will be selected via Random.org through Rafflecopter and is open to US & Canada (ends January 16, 2012).

{Please wait while Rafflecopter entry form loads...}


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I received a copy of the "What to Expect" Books at no charge in exchange for a review of my opinion. The opinions expressed are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest Post: How to Keep Everyone Happy at Your Child’s Birthday Party

The following is a guest post by Melissa C. from Blog Content Guild Thank-you Melissa for the great article.

There’s this one mom at my children’s school who always throws the best birthday parties. She always has the best party supplies, the best activities planned, and the best birthday cake possible. At the parties, she always seems calm and collected. She makes it look easy. In my experience, however, throwing birthday parties for my young kids is a challenge. Inevitably, I can’t find the right Mario birthday party supplies, I bake the cake for too long, I plan party activities the kids don’t like, and I invite my child’s arch nemesis, which just makes everything uncomfortable.

My oldest son is 10 now, and I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a birthday party for him that some kid didn’t end up crying at. Fortunately, I think I’m getting better at parties. This year my youngest daughter turned five, and her party was actually a success (for the most part). I have a lot of experience making mistakes and learning from them when it comes to throwing birthday parties for my kids. Here are some ideas I believe will help parents who don’t know where to begin when it comes to throwing a party for kids:

• Ask your kid to tell you specifically whom they want to invite to the party. This will help prevent you from inviting someone your child and the other children at the party may not get along with.

• Bake the birthday cake and clean the house the night before the party. Trust me. You’ll be doing a lot of things the day of the party, and won’t have much time do all those things.

• Order affordable party favors online weeks ahead of time. You can find great deals on kids’ party favors online. Order them in advance so you don’t have to worry about picking them up right before the party.

• Ask your child what games he or she plays with the other kids at recess. This will give you insight into what games you should plan to play at the party. It’s good to have activities and games planned out ahead of time. If you don’t plan anything for the kids to do, they’re more likely to get into trouble or bicker with each other.

• Kids absolutely love piñatas, so consider including one at every birthday party you throw. Just make sure you establish clear rules for how the candy from the piñata will be shared. If one child ends up with half of the candy, several other children will end up crying. This is something I know from firsthand experience.

So, try out the tips above, try to stay as calm as possible, and make sure your son or daughter has a great birthday party!





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Free Christmas Apps for Kids {Review}



My Story Time

My Story Time allows kids to construct simple stories or messages using an assortment of pictures and words. Designed for children 6 years and older, it is the perfect way to motivate early readers to practice their reading and writing skills. And not to mention that My Story Time is also a fantastic way to encourage kids to explore their creative sides.

Key features:
•12 different animated holiday pictures
•Selection of appropriate words to create custom messages
•Lets you save your stories or email them to someone
•Encourages kids to explore writing





It took me a while to figure this one out and didn't know what to do because the ad banner bar was covering the functions and I couldn't see the buttons. I couldn't make a story with the ad in the way at the bottom. If the ad banner could be minimized by swiping it off the page or if it could've been placed somewhere else, it would've been better. Brandon and I later figured out there were more stories by swiping the boxes to rotate to a new picture. The lovely animated illustrations are adorable. The app is for the older kids who can already know how to read and write. I read the story to him and he was okay with that.

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12 Days to Christmas

Features:
•12 in 1 pack of Christmas activities and stories
•Good mix of stories, activities and games to sustain kids’ interest
•Cheerful holiday interface
•Games that help in developing eye-hand coordination
•Heart-warming holiday stories
•3D Clay animated interactive book
•3D animated video book






Brandon and I like this app the most. Another free app so there are ads. The banner bar only showed a black rectangle and wasn't showing any ads. It was still a bit distracting because it was blocking over the text of the story books at the bottom. The app has various fun activities and game to keep him interested. He loves the watching the Candy Fish Christmas animation video. And we got to decorate a gingerbread man, design a wreath, and even do some coloring. This one is quite a fun app.


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Jerricho the Elf

The star of this story is Jerricho. Little Jerricho has been chosen to be one of Santa's elves this Christmas. However, poor Jerricho loses his lucky hat as he sets out to catch the bus to North Pole. This is when things begin to go terribly wrong! Join Jerricho in his adventures as he chases a goblin and braves an avalanche. Find out if he accomplishes his mission.








There's an option to purchase the ad-free version. This is a nice animated storybook. It has interactive features where kids can touch and drag to move objects within the story. This is kind of like a surprise where we find out what tap actions and gestures does what. We had fun experimenting with the actions actions around each of the pages.

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My Xmas Tree

This app lets you share your decorated Xmas tree with your friends, but the most exciting part is that the tree grows in real time even when the app is closed.

Features:
• Xmas Tree that grows in real time and will grow fully on Xmas (but you can set the time –earlier/later)
• Get gifts as you water the tree
• Daily alarm to remind you to water the tree so that you don’t miss on your gifts
• To the point graphics giving a visual treat
• Share with your friends through facebook and e-mail





Brandon quickly got bored with this app. I'm still a little bit confused with the countdown. Not sure if it is a glitch or mistake, but the Christmas countdown is wrong. It was Dec. 10th and the counter is reading 350 days till Christmas. And I wasn't able to set the time. All it did was sow the full Christmas tree with decorations after I pressed that function. Another problem is that all the gifts we've collected (from watering the tree) had disappeared after I closed and reopened the app again.

My suggestions for improvements: getting the countdown fixed, animation of tree growing, and perhaps implementing touch and tap interactions

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