Baby subscription box review: Bluum versus Citrus Lane

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This month with the help of a coupon and a Groupon and a Living Social deal, I ended up ordering a Bluum box and a Citrus Lane box for the kiddies.  I was curious to see what kind of products each of them shipped and, honest, to stack them up against one another to see which I liked best. One of the mistakes I made is that I ordered one for each of the girls instead of ordering both for the same age...so take that into consideration. I ordered Bluum Box for Taylor, 10 months old.  And here is what I received. Ella's Kitchen - Stage 1 - Carrots,Apples,Parsnips:  Taylor is 10 months old......Stage 1 is like 4 months old.  Regardless, she loves it and gobbled it up. Blum Naturals - Towelettes - Cucumber: never going to use it.  Gave it to my SIL. Weleda - Calendula Weather Protection Creams: probably won't use it. We use AquaFore.  But, cute attempt. Haba - Clutching Tricorn - Orange: this one actually annoyed me.  A lot.  She's 10 month old - do I really need a newborn toy???? Deep Steep - Hand Scrub - Tangerine Melon: Will never use it.  But ya know, cute. I also ordered a Citrus Lane box for Addison, 3 years old. Here's what we got: A "make your own book": actually cute, can't wait to do this with Addi-pie Puzzles: adorable. Love them. Play doh: Okay, most kids have this.  But my kids are into arts and crafts and we always welcome play doh. Nail stuff for kids: cute. Great idea. Was so excited!  Then I opened the nail polish and it was chunky.  Big fail. … [Read more...]


32 little tid bits to make life easier with babies and toddlers

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Buy socks with the slip free rubber thingies (official term) (it's not) at the bottom.  Especially if your house is tiles and hardwood floors (which ours totally is). 1 piece pajamas are easier with babies before they're potty trained.  Two pieces pajamas are easier with toddlers who are potty training or trained. Don't pull all the toys out all the time.  Create a system where you can rotate toys in and put others away.  We have a tall bookcase with bins of toys.  We rotate which ones are on the bottom (and accessible) with those at the top about once a month and it's like having new toys every month. These Face and Hand wipes are life savers. - Tessa Have "special" toys that you only give when you need them to pre-occupy themselves for some amount of time.  These have to be thought of as "super special" by the kids.  In our house that's an iPad (which they rarely if ever get to play with), some puzzles they don't usually do, a sorting toy (round hole square peg kinda deal), and a Dora book with a "phone." If you don't think that you want to be in the house for every nap time or know that you won't be traveling or on the go for every nap time, rotate what you do as much as possible.  We go for walks, sleep in the crib, sleep in the car.  This gets harder as they get older but while they're 2 or less, I say teach them to be versatile.  Especially when there are two of them. Grocery store shopping + 2 year old + apple was a huge hit for us.  Our toddler could … [Read more...]


When I say “birthday”, you say “party”. Birthday!

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Party!   So the 3rd (OMG!) birthday party came and went, just like that.  On Wednesday this little tot turns 3 and I suppose I should stop calling her a toddler since she will be a pre-schooler.  But that's neither here nor there. Planning a birthday party in January when your house can barely house your own small family is a challenge (in creativity and bank account).  This year we decided to have the party at a favorite winter spot of ours, Stay and Play, an indoor playground.  This place as a venue for your kid's birthday party deserves a post of its own but let's just say this: I didn't stress a single moment from the minute that we decided to have the party there through the actual day.  And my experience was beyond pleasant and worry-free.  How they managed to accomplish this with a Type-A anxious mom?  That's to come. The toddler and her close buds had an absolutely amazing time.  Our incredibly shy and reserved girl ran around the place like she owned it, chasing her friends, going up and down the slide, even taking a break to use the potty.  Our day was filled with family, friends and laughter.  We played, we ate pizza, we blew out the birthday cupcake (with an immense amount of icing, made special by her mommy and auntie), we played some more.   We went home and opened an insane amount of gifts and spent more time visiting with family and playing with new toys.   I held back … [Read more...]


Getting toddlers to eat

getting your toddler to eat

I don't know about you guys, but getting a toddler to eat is a sport and an art form all at the same time.  Some days it's all about games and challenges.  Other days it's about teaching manners.  Yet other days it's about bribery.  And many many days it's about just keeping her in that chair (which, trust me, is not easy).  So if you're where we are, one day or every day, here are some tricks that have worked for us. Let's start with the most obvious.  Bribery.  Our trick is that we don't bride with chocolates or treats.  We bride with food that she loves to eat and bargain for bites of the food she doesn't want to eat.  For example, sweet peas.  That's right, our kid absolutely adores sweet peas.  So we place a few on her plate alongside the other food and then we hold on to more.  Once she's polished off the sweet peas from her plate and starts playing with the other food or saying that her "belly is full" (it's not, I promise you, 5 peas can't fill a belly, even one as tiny as our little Peanut), we offer more sweet peas.  But they come at a price - one sweet pea for one bite of some other food.  This trick works 80% of the time for us. Some other great bargaining foods for our Peanut: pomegranate seeds, clementines, broccoli, granola. Then there are the games. Game 1: pick a train, plane, or a car.  Then, whichever one she picks, we make that sound and motion for the forkful of food making its way to her mouth.  This one worked better when she was … [Read more...]


The 3 day potty training that wasn’t – part 3.

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Catch up on Part 1: being ready   and Part 2: our 3 day overview On our 3rd day of potty training we quit. And here is the thing that I am not sure that everyone is on the same page on: we were never disappointed that we had to quit.  No part of me, or my husband, felt that we failed or that we were frustrated that it didn't work.  Both of us felt bad that we drove her to feel pain and both of us felt guilty that we pushed her for something that we felt she was ready for but she clearly did not want to do.  But never did we ever feel disappointed that we stopped potty training and went back to diapers. In fact, one piece of advice that it seemed that everyone kept giving us was to not get frustrated with the first couple of days of potty training.  And I'm the kind of person that gets frustrated with things in general.  But I didn't feel frustrated at all during any of the potty training.  Maybe it was because I was well warned.  But mostly because we were asking an almost 3 year old to do something completely different from what she's done her entire life and that takes time. So here are some of the most common comments we get and some answers. Why didn't you stop sooner if you knew she was in pain? Because I know that change takes time and I know that my toddler takes a long time to adjust to change.  We honestly believed that she was ready to do this and further than that, we believed that she wanted to do this.  But we also knew that she would be … [Read more...]