I think pajamas are a wonderful gift to give or receive during the holidays. I especially love the Nick & Nora PJs from Target. They are available in a range of sizes from 12 months up to adult XXXL, so you can buy for family and friends of all ages. My favorites are the Flannel Monkey Pajama Sets - the boys' in blue and the girls' in pink are currently on sale for $12.99 each.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In 19 years of practice, Wisconsin obstetrician Dr. Ken Merkitch had never experienced anything like it. He wasn’t just seeing double, he was seeing octuple.
In one 24-hour period beginning last Friday and ending early Saturday, he delivered four sets of twins and nine babies overall at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis.
“It started out very quiet,” Merkitch told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer on Wednesday.
For more of the story and to watch the video of their apperance on TODAY, click here.
Here's a bit of advice on preventing ear infections from a fellow Baby Blog Addict.
"I wanted to pass along something that I learned years ago and it saved me so many trips to the doctor.
I noticed when my daughter was almost two that everytime she had a runny nose it would turn into an ear infection. We were helping with a camp session during the month of July and she had gotten her third ear infection of the summer. We were about to do tubes when a nurse practicioner friend of ours at the camp told me something that I had NEVER heard. She said that when you give children a decongestant when the have a runny nose that it dries it up but dries it THICK and that is when they get an ear infection. She said to give then an EXPECTORANT – like Robitussin DM. I don’t think that we have had an ear infection since and she is now 4 ½.
I just wanted to pass this along as we are about to enter this cold season. Thought that this may help someone else like it helped me!!"
During all the recent recalls, I think Robitussin has been in the clear (except for a recall at the end of October regarding missing labeling on their dosage cup). We recommend that you ask your health care professional before giving any medication to your children. Thanks for the advice, Renee.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sending out your holiday cards? Live with Regis and Kelly wants to be included on your mailing list! If you have a Holiday Photo they want to see it... and you just might see it on their show during the holiday season!
Photo submissions by mail must be received by December 14, 2007. Send your holiday card and your On-Air Photo Release to Live.
If online is easier or you need more time, they are also accepting submissions online which must be received by January 4, 2008.
Check out Live's site for all the details. Good luck!
Worried about your baby or toddler trying to reach for the ornaments or pull down the Christmas tree?
Here are two ideas that might not be the prettiest, but they work.
1) Do you own a Superyard XT? Set it up around your Christmas tree and the presents. Our son didn't like to play in his much, but it was worth the investment when we used a it around our entertainment center when he was reaching at everything. At $64.99 at Babies R Us, it isn't cheap, but it might be worth it to keep your sanity throughout the holiday season and for safety's sake.
2) If you are not using your Pack n Play and you have a small Christmas tree, just reverse roles. Put the tree & presents in the pack n play and let your child play on the floor with the tree out of reach.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Blogger has come a long way, but sometimes it's still frustrating to write a "quick post". How many times do you backspace only to delete a picture that you just uploaded? Well, I have a quick tip that will save a lot of time.
If you accidentally delete a picture or a phrase, just use Ctrl-Z (hold down the Ctrl key and press Z) and your last action will be restored!
Kitchen Play Sets are not just for little girls anymore. Boys and girls alike love the pretend play that their own kitchen offers and what parent doesn't love a toy that keeps a child's attention for hours and hours and years to come?
There are many options ranging from $38 (the Homestyle Kitchen Play Set at Wal-Mart) up to $649 (the Pottery Barn Kitchen Set), so shop around.
Here are a few ideas:
- The Little Tikes Play Smarter Cook 'N Learn Kitchen for $89.88 at Wal-Mart - it's compact if you are limited on space and it's gender neutral. My son received this kitchen set with its faux granite countertop and faux stainless steel appliances for his second birthday and loves it. It's a little limited on counter and storage space, so I guess it's more like a studio kitchen.
- If you're looking for a wooden kitchen set, try the Just Like Home: Wooden Bistro Kitchen on sale for $109.99 at Toys R Us. It includes a refrigerator, oven, microwave and sink all in one.
- Or check out this wooden set at K-Mart if you have a big play house or lots of room. There are three parts to the My First Kenmore Kitchen: the Oven ($89.99), Refrigerator ($89.99) and Sink ($69.99). It's temporarily out of stock at kmart.com, but may still be available at your local stores. It was in our newspaper insert on Sunday.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Today is November 25th and that means exactly one month until Christmas!!!!
Don't stress. A couple of weeks ago, a discussion was started on our forum about Christmas gift ideas. We'll highlight some from the discussion and a few of our own over the next month. Feel free to continue to offer suggestions on our forum too. It's always great to get ideas from other parents.
The first idea is from kerri:
"My favorite gifts for my kids are memberships for things like the zoo, aquarium, dancing lessons or gymnastics lessons or even magazine subscriptions. It is the gift that keeps on giving."
I love this idea! I loved getting Highlights when I was a kid and was just thinking about it for my two-year-old son. He loves to get the mail and he loves to read. I didn't realize that they had one magazine called Highlights High Five for younger children 2-6 and one for older children 6-12 years old simply titled Highlights.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Why not start a new tradition in your home by making pumpkin pancakes with your kids on Thanksgiving morning.
We featured a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes a while back, but in honor of Thanksgiving, here it is again. I actually think pumpkin pancakes are better than regular pancakes, because they taste so moist. My family has already eaten them twice this week and we'll have them again tomorrow morning.
1/2 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup milk
2 cups all purpose baking mix (like Jiffy or Bisquick)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I leave out the spice)
1. In a bowl, mix together the baking mix, sugar and pumpkin pie spice (optional).
2. In another bowl, mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil and milk.
3. Add flour mixture all at once. Stir just until blended.
4. Coat a griddle/skillet with a spray of canola oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
5. Over medium high heat, cook pancakes until golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancakes have a bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges.
Yield: 10 pancakes.
This is a fun activity for pre-schoolers up to adults from National Geographic Kids. You can create your own Wild & Wacky story. There are lots of topics to choose from, but I chose "This Game Is For The Birds" in honor of Turkey Day.
Just fill in the blanks and click "read" to see the results. Print it out and read it to the whole family.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Lots of bloggers use slideshows like bubbleshare and slide as an element in their blog sidebars.
Now Blogger is allowing you to show off your photos with their latest tool for your blog: the Slideshow page element. This feature lets you add a slick little slideshow of your photos from Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Photobucket, or any site that supports Media RSS.
The photos will show up in your blog’s sidebar, gently fading into one another. Your readers will be able to go forward and backward, pause, and click through to the photo’s web page.
The 2007 Kodak/Gap Casting Call Finalists were announced today. Check out the Top 20 boys and girls narrowed down from more than 800,000 entries! I'm glad I wasn't a judge for that. Now it's up to you to decide who will be Gap’s next star models. You can vote once a day, every day (after a simple one time registration) through December 15th.
If you didn't send in a picture of your adorable child or didn't make the top 20 this year, there's always next year. I'm sure there will be a 2008 Gap Casting Call.
Monday, November 19, 2007
We know that lots of baby blog addicts are addicted to Adoption Blogs. They are some of the most interesting and rewarding to follow, and they offer inspiration and support for families considering adoption and going through the same experiences.
November is National Adoption Month. It's a month set aside to raise awareness about the adoption of children from foster care. For more, check out the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
We also have an adoption category on our forum, so feel free to share you experience or ask fellow bloggers any questions you may have regarding adoption.
Check out this list of the Best Adoption Blogs according to adoptivefamilies.com. But do it at your own risk. You may have to add even more blogs to your ever-expanding favorites list...and do you really have any more time to blog hop?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I discovered The American Child Photographers Charity Guild while searching for a photographer for family pictures and just had to share this great site with all of you. According to their site, they are a non-profit, volunteer based organization of child photographers from all over the country who have come together to form a guild dedicated to children in need and their families. These photographers donate their time and talent for parents experiencing a critically ill, extremely premature newborn or early infant loss at any stage.
The site is a great resource to find talented photographers for family pictures and a great way to support these photographers who give of their talents for such a good cause. Check out their registry to find a photographer in your area.
A few weeks ago we featured the website tinyprints.com in our website spotlight. Now Tiny Prints is offering a special opportunity for you to contribute money (at no cost to you) to one of three charities through their website.
Tiny Prints has partnered with 3 different charities (Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, Ronald McDonald House of Stanford and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay) and anyone who goes to the link below can donate $0.10 from Tiny Prints to the charity of their choice with the click of a button.
Check it out at http://give.tinyprints.com/.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
>> Two-year-old sleeps through high-speed wreck...
>> Baby born with two heads...
>> Natural alternatives to treat sniffles...
>> Budgeting for a baby...
>> Website offering odds on JLo's baby...
>> Diabetes: a threat to mom and baby...
>> Building a better baby bottle...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I usually don't like recipes with more than five or six ingredients, but this soup is so easy that I don't mind the longer list. Just dump everything into the slow cooker and let it cook.
1 pound shredded, cooked chicken or 1 pound raw chicken, shredded halfway through
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Top with shredded mexican cheese, green onions, sour cream & tortilla chips
1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
2. To serve, top each bowl of soup with shredded cheese, green onions, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.
- Try tossing in two or three raw chicken breasts and shredding halfway through instead of going through the trouble of cooking the chicken first.
- Replace 2 cups of water with an extra can of broth.
- Add a can of black beans.
- I like to freeze individual servings of the leftovers for quick meals.
- Double the recipe so you can freeze even more leftovers.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
1. Take pictures frequently and a lot of them.
2. Capture feelings.
3. Get close.
4. Try different angles.
5. Use a simple background.
6. Use natural light.
7. Set up before bringing in baby.
8. Use a fast shutter speed.
9. Make sure the temperature of the room is comfortable.
10. Incorporate play.
I am definitely in compliance with #1, no doubt about it. I think #3 - Get close - is so important and often overlooked. How many times do we hand our camera off to someone to take a picture of our family, only to get more of the sky or the building behind us than our faces?
If you are ever asked to take a picture for someone, please use the zoom or if you don't know how, just take a few steps closer to the people, don't just snap without any thought.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Elisabeth Hasselbeck called in to "The View" this morning to reveal the name of her newborn son: Taylor Thomas Hasselbeck. The baby was born Friday at an Arizona hospital. He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces.
Click here to watch the announcement on "The View" this morning.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Personalized address stamps are great for birth announcements, thank you notes, christmas cards and invitations.
Check out these from Expressionery.com. In addition to monogram and decorative stamps, they also feature sorority and college stamps.
The personalized stamps are normally $38, but expressionery.com is advertising a limited time offer of 40% off plus free shipping (use offer code HOME4 in the shopping cart), making the stamps just $22.80 each!
These would make great Christmas gifts for teachers, friends and family.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Piklpaper offers fun and unique designs for holiday cards, announcements, note cards, bag tags, enclosure cards, and more.
Polka dots is their holiday theme this year, so you'll see them in lots of their greetings and gifts. Their Christmas cards run $1.25 for a 4"x6" and $1.50 each for the 5” x 7”. What's great is that you can get a collection (cards, enclosures, labels and bookmarks) in the same design.
Don't miss their adorable diaper bag tags and unique piklpocketpics - a series of six photos folded accordion style that travel in a custom made pocket. Piklpocketpics are the same size as a credit card so they fit easily in any wallet or pocket book and are a great gift for grand parents at just $12.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Just when we think worrying about lead paint in toys is too much to handle, we are learning about another shocking recall.
About 4.2 million Chinese-made children's toys were recalled today after U.S. regulators learned a chemical on the toy beads turns into a powerful "date-rape" drug when swallowed.
Two children in the USA went into comas after ingesting beads that were part of Aqua Dots craft sets. They have since recovered, CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said.
The toy, distributed by Toronto-based Spin Master, was sold in the USA in mass-merchandise stores from April through November of this year, CPSC said. Wal-Mart named Aqua Dots one of its 12 top toys this year, and it was the 2007 Toy of the Year in Australia.
Spin Master says it has stopped shipping the toy. Retailers have removed it from store shelves.
A fellow blogger wrote that her twins love the LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD. She said it was a great learning tool for them to learn phonics and she was amazed at how quickly they picked it up. I took her advice and bought it for my son Jack and he loves it too.
The DVD received five stars and rave reviews from parents online. Here's a quick desciption of the DVD:
Tad, Leap, and Lily hop from the pages of the amazingly popular Leap Pad learning toys onto the television screen in this attention grabbing phonics program.
Thanks for the DVD recommendation, Nikki.
Also of note, a great companion to the DVD is the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnet Set. These would make great Christmas gifts.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Mattel Inc. on Tuesday recalled more than 172,000 Fisher-Price kitchen toys in the United States and Europe because several children choked and gagged on small, detachable parts. The company has received 48 reports of small parts separating from these toys, which feature a sink, a refrigerator and a range.
For a free repair kit, toy owners should contact Fisher-Price at 888-812-7187. For more information, visit Mattel's website or the CPSC.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
We're getting lots of questions about The Gap Casting Call that we featured on Baby Blog Addict a few weeks ago. According to the official contest site, the entry period ended on October 24th and voting for your favorite star models will begin November 20, 2007.
Good luck to everyone who entered!
Now that Halloween is behind us, I guess it's ok to start talking Christmas. On the Baby Blog Addict forum Tammy asks...
Do you have any gift ideas for Christmas this year? Or have you received or bought anything that you thought was cute? I am trying to get ideas for my 3 boys as well as gifts for friends and family."
Reply to her on our forum and get ideas from other Baby Blog Addicts there too.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
We received some adorable Halloween pictures of your little ones. It was so hard to choose favorites, so we decided to feature two pictures that stood out to us as the Most Creative Costumes. We've also included all the Halloween cuties in a slideshow in the post below. You may even get some great ideas for next year! It's never too early to start planning. Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures.
The Murray Crew Halloweiners
The Three Amigos - Luke with his dogs Holly and Gretta