eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: August 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Creativity for Kids Craft Kits Review & Giveaway

My kids love doing crafts. Me, not so much. I am not creative and have trouble coming up with creative crafts that we actually have the supplies for. So I was  very excited to receive the Creativity for Kids craft kits. We received the Tile Art Necklaces, Deluxe Glitter Art, and Mossy Meadows Gnome Garden.

The first thing I loved about these kits was that everything you need is in the box. Creativity for Kids has made sure that everything you need is in the box, including detailed directions. The Tile Art Necklaces even included a pair of scissors for trimming the ribbon. We don't often have time to do crafts without Jaxon getting into everything. So when he naps, we need to use that time to actually create, not gather supplies from different rooms of the house. 
This kit is labeled ages 8-98. However, the girls (ages 9 & almost 8) needed lots of help from me to make these. It was pretty involved. 
For slightly older girls, this would be a great party activity since the kit includes enough supplies to make 8 necklaces. Just make sure you let the necklaces dry overnight before wearing them. The girls really wanted to wear their necklaces just a few hours after we made them and the clasp came apart from the tile because the glue was not fully dry.  
While they worked on their necklaces, I put Britain to work on the Mossy Meadows Gnome Garden (he said that glitter art and necklace making was too girly). He started by painting the base that the grass would grow in.  
Then, he painted the rocks and little house and once he was done painting, we had to let everything dry. The next day, we came back and added the soil, planted the grass seed, and set up the little Gnome Garden, complete with tiny ladybugs. 
It's been 14 days and now look what we have! How cool is that? We have loved watching the garden grow. I'd buy another one of these -the kids have really enjoyed watching the grass grow and playing with the little gnomes. I know they'd love to each plant their own garden next time. 

The Deluxe Glitter Art Kit is full of everything you need to decorate trinket boxes, gift tags, greeting cards, and envelopes. There's glitter glue, glitter stickers, glitter paper, and more. If you like sparkly things, this is the kit for you! This kit has a lot in it and there's plenty for more than one crafting session. You'll have the chance to win this kit below!
 Connect with Creativity for Kids on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

One lucky reader will win two craft kits: the Deluxe Glitter Art Kit and the Beach Buddies Shells Craft Kit. Enter using the easy Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received free products to test as part of a promotional program with MomSelect and Faber-Castell. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bees, Teeth, and Mommy Instincts

I've always known I'd do anything to help my kids, without hesitation, even if it meant putting myself in harm's way. That's just part of being a mom, right? I've never really had a chance to put it to the test, though, until this past Sunday.

Britain and Emily were playing outside in the backyard. I was in the kitchen and heard Britain start screaming hysterically. He and Emily were running around and appeared to be playing tag or chasing each other. But, as Britain turned, I saw a look of sheer terror on his face. I immediately ran outside to help him, thinking he had stepped in an ant bed. But as I got closer to him, I saw he was being attacked by bees! Emily was 30-40 feet away and appeared to be fine. I immediately began grabbing the bees off of Britain and crushing them between my fingers and hands. There were so many that swatting them away wasn't helping at all - they were just coming right back. Killing them was the only way to stop them from stinging. Jason had also come outside to see what was going on and he was getting attacked as well. Britain and Jason are both very allergic to bees, so I was terrified for them.

We began to try to get back to the house. Jason went inside and got the Benadryl out. The bees were all in Britain's clothes, so I was trying to get his clothes off of him while shepherding him to the back door. I managed to get his shirt off and kill a few more bees, but then Britain started to fall. I caught him, and managed to keep him from falling, but the momentum I used to keep him up caused me to fall. I fell flat on my face, hitting the sidewalk. I heard my tooth crack as I hit the sidewalk.

It all happened so fast, and yet, it felt like it took forever to get inside. Alex helped me get Benadryl into Britain (who was still hysterical). Emily had been stung twice so I gave her Benadryl as well. I put Britain in the shower to make sure all the bees were off of him, then went back to the kitchen. We had come in the sliding door and we let a lot of bees in with us. I killed at least 40 bees within minutes of being inside. I went to check on Jason. He had run back to the bedroom, since he had already been stung dozens of times and couldn't risk being stung anymore. When I opened the door, Jason yelled that I was letting bees in. They were all over me. I had been so busy killing them on the counter, in the air, and on the windows that I never even noticed they were all in my hair and inside my clothes. Jason rescued Jaxon (who had been sleeping) from the room and I began killing more bees. I have never seen so many bees before. I killed another 30 bees and finally got them out of my hair and clothes.  

Britain was still hysterical, and so after getting him out of the shower, I examined him to see if he needed to go to the emergency room. A quick check revealed only 4 stings, which was nothing short of a miracle considering how many bees were all over him when I reached him. I still don't know how he managed to avoid being stung more than that. A quick call to the doctor confirmed that Benadryl was enough for him & Emily. They were both okay the next morning. Jason has large red welts where he received multiple stings close together in some areas. 

It wasn't until later that we realized these were yellowjackets. Apparently, Jason and Britain are not allergic to yellowjackets like they are to honeybees. This is what saved Jason, since the number of stings he received would have landed him in the hospital had they been honeybees.

Reflecting back on this, I've realized how my mommy instincts kicked in for this situation. I don't like to go outside without shoes on. We have chickens in the backyard who poop everywhere. But I flew out the door without even thinking about putting on shoes. I don't like to kill bugs. I usually call Jason to handle that. I definitely don't kill bugs with my hands! Ever. But I killed scores of yellowjackets with my bare hands, not even thinking that they might sting me. I was just in the mode of "Must Save Britain" and completely unfocused on saving myself (as evidenced by the fact that I was still being stung even after everyone else was safe and dosed with Benadryl). 

I ended up with dozens of stings. I have stings on the ends of almost all of my fingers, all over my hands, my chest, my hips, back, and legs. I broke my tooth and busted my chin, lip, and knee when I fell. I look like I've been in a fight...and lost. My tooth...well, my tooth is bad. 
All banged up
I saw the dentist today and he said my tooth had been crushed to the bone. It will have to be removed later this week. I'll get a temporary tooth, and later, a permanent fake tooth as a replacement. For now, the dentist was able to remove the nerve so I'm not in pain anymore. He also fashioned a temporary fix to make my tooth look more normal until I can get to the oral surgeon for the extraction. 

I'm not looking forward to this process :(

Mrs. Tuesday's Departure Book Blast - $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Mrs. Tuesday's Departure Book Blast - $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 

Meet Author Suzanne Anderson

I was born in Fort Lauderdale, attended the University of Michigan on an athletic scholarship for swimming and then worked on Wall Street. I left the bright lights of the big city fifteen years ago and traveled the world. I now live in the mountains of Colorado, where I pursue my dream of writing novels.

Website: http://www.suzanneanderson.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Anderson-Author-Page/201662786512944
Twitter: https://twitter.com/seakiev

Mrs. Tuesday's Departure
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…
Hungary's fragile alliance with Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children’s book author, and her family out of harm's way for most of the war. Now as the F├╝hrer's desperation grows during the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie's younger sister, Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in peril; Natalie's twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.
Ilona and her husband take the last two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and Mila from the encroaching danger. Anna's paranoid explosion at a university where she was once a professor, sparked by delusions over an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape. Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make; which of her family will she save?
An inspirational story of faith and family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure demonstrates the power of faith to light even the most harrowing darkness.
... faith is the evidence of things not seen.
I love reading historical fiction set during World War II, so I'm really looking forward to reading Mrs. Tuesday's Departure. Does this look like a book you'd be interested in? Enter to win the $100 Amazon code below and you'll be able to purchase this book and many more! 

Giveaway Details:
$100 Amazon Gift Code
Ends 8/21/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, August 13, 2012

AstroBrights Back to School Crafts + Sweepstakes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's back to school time! I love shopping for school supplies and have been having so much fun this year picking out the things our kids need. While it is not on the official school supply list, one thing that is on my personal school supply list is AstroBrights Paper! Why AstroBrights Paper? It comes in 23 brilliant colors so anything you create with it is sure to stand out and get noticed. In fact, I was at Office Max today and the AstroBrights Paper display grabbed my attention immediately! This paper is perfect for all sorts of things, from sending a note to the teacher (the bright yellow is sure to grab her attention) to birthday party invitations to flyers to announcements. The bold colors also make it easy to organize forms, schedules, and reports.

To help personalize school supplies, let your kids pick their favorite color AstroBright Paper and decorate it with stickers and markers (be sure and add their name somewhere).  Then, simply slide the paper under the front clear cover of their three-ring binder. In a couple of months, when they are ready for a design change, they can easily change the paper to another color! AstroBrights Papers can be found at Staples, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Office Depot, and Office Max. 

You can help support your local elementary school by entering the AstroBrights "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes. The winner will receive a cash prize and school supplies valued at $30,000 for the elementary school of their choice. 

You can also check out the family friendly "Make Something AstroBright" design challenges by visiting Astrobrights on Facebook. Share your projects with video and pictures for the chance to win Astrobrights paper and other prizes.

My kids love to create things and lately, using paper seems to be their favorite way to create. Lately, they have been creating a lot of doll clothes using paper (perhaps I should introduce them to paper dolls?) They typically color white paper and then cut it to the shape they want it to be. I know they could come up with some unique and festive clothes for their dolls using the AstroBrights papers. What would your kids create using AstroBrights Paper?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dyson DC24 Vacuum Giveaway

Mom Powered Media proudly presents the 

Dyson DC24 Giveaway

Dyson "The Ball" DC24 Vacuum
Impress yourself with your beautiful floors when you use the Dyson DC24 All-Floors Lightweight Upright Vacuum. Ultra lightweight and compact makes vacuuming with this machine effortless. The Dyson "Ball" technology turns the vacuum on a dime with no loss of suction, combined with the patented Root Cyclone technology makes this one extreme powerhouse of clean.

Dyson "The Ball" DC24 All-Floors Lightweight Upright Vacuum Includes:
  • Bristle brush
  • Product manual
Product Features:
  • Clear hygienic dust collection bin - empty the bin with a push of a button
  • Lifetime washable HEPA filter - requires no maintenance and lasts for the life of the vacuum
  • Fingertip brush control - turn brushbar on and off at the touch of a button
  • Motorized brushbar - powerful bristles remove dirt and pet hair from carpets
  • On-board tool storage - brush, stair and crevice tools store right on your vacuum so they're always on hand
  • Reversible wand - for dual usage
  • On-board tool storage - brush, stair and crevice tools store right on your vacuum so they're always on hand
  • Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Many vacuums use filters to trap dirt, which can cause clogs and suction problems. But Dyson, maker of the world's first cyclonic bagless vacuum, features technology that uses centrifugal force to separate dirt out of the airflow, so the vacuum doesn't clog. Dyson proves no loss of suction using the IEC 60312 Cl 2.9 test standard. As the only vacuum to be certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and featuring Clean Exhaust Air, it's easy to see why Dyson is an excellent choice for all your floor surfaces. Dyson vacuum cleaners are amazing! I own the Dyson DC-25 Vacuum and it's very similar to the DC-24 and works wonderfully for my floors!

One lucky winner will receive a Dyson DC24 All-Floors Lightweight Upright Vacuum

Giveaway ends August 31st at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
Thank you to Mom Powered Media owners: Mom to Bed by 8, Powered By Mom and Real Mom Reviews for organizing this event.
Make sure to visit our fantastic co-hosting blogs This Mama Knows, To Sew With Love and Life With Levi.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NEW! Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds Cereal Review & Giveaway!

I’m a big fan of Fiber One products. I enjoy their bars and I like the Fiber One brownies for a sweet treat I don't have to feel guilty eating. The kids (especially Jaxon) like the Fiber One Chewy bars, which we reviewed a few months ago. So I was excited to try their cereal, even though I’m not much of a cereal eater.

I love breakfast – it’s definitely my favorite meal of the day. But breakfast for me is usually anything but cereal. There’s a couple of reasons for this: I don’t like milk, and I am picky about cereal. I don’t like super sugary artificially colored cereals, but I don’t like boring flakes that lack flavor and get soggy either. I recently tried almond milk and love it. I found it to be a great milk replacement for me, but I had yet to find a cereal I really liked.  

But then Fiber One sent me their new Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal to try. I love almonds, so I was intrigued. The flakes were promising, with lots of texture. They also tasted good dry – this is a cereal that would be good to munch on straight from the box. Each 1 cup serving is 180 calories and contains 11 g of fiber! That’s almost half of your daily fiber needs. It contains both whole grain wheat and whole grain oats, so it’s very filling.

After I added almond milk, I let the cereal sit for a few minutes first, to taste the flakes ability to hold up to the milk. They were not soggy at all and retained their crunchiness. In addition to the textured flakes, the cereal has oat and nut clusters to give it extra crunch. There are also almond slices in the cereal, which is awesome!

The cereal was sweet, but not syrupy sweet. I was concerned about where the sweetness was coming from, and was pleased when I checked the ingredients list and find out that sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, and brown sugar syrup used instead of something artificial. There are 12 g of sugars per serving. That sounded like a lot to me, so I compared it to other cereal boxes that we had on hand and found that most of our cereals contained between 9-11 g of sugar, while one contained 19g (yikes!). I’d love to see Fiber One bring the sugar content down just a little bit. 

Jaxon loves it! 

I really like it, too! I love that it is filling and tastes great!  

Want to try some yourself? You can print a coupon for $1.25 off of one box by clicking here. One lucky reader will win a Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds gift package containing 2 boxes of cereal, spoon, and a Fiber One wooden bowl. Enter using the super easy Rafflecopter form below!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Costume Discounters Offers Great Halloween Costumes for Boys!

I know it's still hot outside so it's really hard to think about Halloween, but it's right around the corner. Last year, we ended up looking for Halloween costumes for a couple of weeks before Halloween. We had the hardest time finding costumes the kids would like. Though we found quite a few options, none of them were cute, all of them were expensive, and most were cheaply made. This year, we're going to be better prepared, thanks to Costume Discounters.  

We were sent a zombie ninja costume for Britain to review. He was thrilled when it arrived and immediately went to put it on, even though the air conditioning was not working that day and it was like 90 degrees inside our house. 

As you can see the costume is pretty detailed. It includes several pieces: pants, a tunic, an "apron" that goes over the tunic and has an attached hood, a belt tie, and a mask with attached bloody ninja star. My kids love details on their costumes and most of the costumes at Costume Discounters have those extra little touches that make the costume special and fun.

It does not include the socks or the sword seen in the next picture. However, the kid who was modeling it online had a sword and was wearing black socks so Britain insisted on duplicating the look! 

If you're looking for discounted costumes for boys this year, Costume Discounters is the place to go. They have a huge selection! Whether your son wants to be a pirate or a cowboy or Spiderman, they have you covered. They also offer the lowest prices guaranteed - if you find the costume priced better somewhere else, they'll match the price and take off an additional 20%. They also offer free exchanges! Right now, their current promotion is 20% off of costumes priced $20 or more. With the wide selection of costumes, you're sure to find something that your child will love.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Little One Books Review & Giveaway

Little One Books is a online retailer of children's books, music, and videos. They are not your typical retailer of children's products - you won't find every book that has ever been written for a child on this site. Instead, each book, DVD, or audio CD is carefully reviewed before being chosen. As you shop the site, you'll find a detailed synopsis of why the product was selected along with what child reviewers thought of that product. It makes it so easy to choose something that your child will love. They also make age recommendations for each product on their site. As a parent, I appreciated this feature, but I also think this is a wonderful site to recommend to grandparents or other relatives who may have trouble shopping for children's books and media. Little One Books has made it easy to choose a gift that the child in your life is sure to enjoy!

We were sent the Baby Genius Favorite Sing-A-Longs video. This video contains both original songs as well as classics like Old McDonald's Farm and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Jaxon doesn't watch much television yet, but lately he has begun liking things like the theme song to Elmo or Dora the Explorer. I thought that a video that contained nothing but music and cartoon animals would be perfect for him. The video was recommended for ages 2+, but I thought Jaxon could grow into it, if necessary. 

The video starts with songs about the characters that illustrate the video. Jaxon was not interested in that part at all. However, he enjoyed several of the other songs on the video, like "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" and "Old McDonald Had a Farm". I think that as he gets a little bit older, he'll be more interested. For now, we just skip ahead to his favorite songs. I really liked that the DVD also came with an audio CD containing each of the songs. It makes it easy to enjoy Jaxon's favorite songs in the car. 

Currently, when you place an order of $35 or more from Little One Books, you will receive a free tote bag and free shipping!  

Little One Books has generously offered to give one of my readers a Baby Genius Favorite Children's Songs DVD! Enter using the easy Rafflecopter form below.

Connect with Little One Books on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to stay updated on current promotions and great gift ideas! 

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I was provided a DVD for review. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I did it.

I finally did it. 

I left my baby boy with someone other than my husband.

And guess what? We BOTH came out of the experience unscathed. Well, there was a lot of separation anxiety that we had to overcome, but that was all on my end- Jaxon seemed to be perfectly okay.

A few months back, I posted about how I was leaving Jaxon with my mother-in-law so we could go out for our anniversary. Well, in the end, I just couldn't leave him. I chickened out. I didn't blog about it because, well, I felt like a wimp. 

But tonight, we had a couple of things going on where we both felt like Jaxon would be better off staying with Jason's mom at her house than going with us. We had to drop the big kids off at her house anyway, so we decided to try it and see what Jaxon would do when we tried to leave. He surprised me by giving us both "goodbye" kisses and then going to play, barely looking up as we walked out the door. 

I checked on him via text throughout the evening, thinking I'd need to go pick him up. We weren't too far away, so I knew I could go get him and be back to where I needed to be within 20 minutes if anything went wrong. He had missed his nap today, so I expected him to be extra fussy and wanting to nurse a lot. But he did just fine without me, even falling asleep without his customary bedtime nursing. 

He did wake up before we got there and was very glad to see us when we arrived to pick up the kids. He didn't seem to have any lasting resentment towards me, lol, though he did nurse for about 20 minutes!

It wasn't nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be. Jaxon seemed to have enjoyed himself. I was a little bit lonesome without my baby sidekick. It was definitely weird not having him with me. That's the longest period of time I've ever been away from him.

My baby is getting so big! So tell me, am I weird to feel this way about leaving him when he's 17 1/2 months old? How old was your baby when you left them for the first time?