Thursday, January 31, 2013

DaddyScrubs What Daddy Bear Loves Set Review & Giveaway


I recently discovered a company that I wish I would have known about before we had our kids called DaddyScrubs. DaddyScrubs was founded by a father of 6 kids who wanted to make a brand that "was built upon the premise that new Dads deserve to feel special and comfortable during one of life’s most exciting – and most important – times. We’re talkin’ labor, delivery and beyond!"



DaddyScrubs introduced its line of Daddy Gifts, including their signature DaddyScrubs, I’m the Daddy™ tees, hoodies, hats and accessories in September 2009. This trusted and unique brand was created by a Dad – for Dads – in every stage of fatherhood, from frantic first-timers to the calm, cool and collected veterans of the maternity ward!



I wish I would have gotten Mike the scrubs for our hospital stays! DaddyScrubs makes all sorts of great daddy to be and new dad gifts!

Mike received the What Daddy Bear Loves set which includes the book and an adorable teddy bear



Daddy Bear loves spending time with his little cub while they hike, raft, climb and explore.  Just like Daddy Bear, you too can enjoy spending time with your child while you read this story, and others in the series, together - sharing smiles and laughter while learning what it is Daddy Bear loves most of all!

The book is a nice quality board book with thick pages. It is the story of Daddy Bear and his cub as they go on adventures such as hiking and rafting. It focuses on how much Daddy Bear loves his cub and is a very heartwarming story. Grace loves having Mike read it to her. My only critique is that there are a lot of words on each page since each page documents one of their different adventures. It is a bit much for her toddler attention span and so we tend to really shorten each page. However, it will be a great book for her to grow with. The teddy bear is very soft and is the perfect size for her to carry around.

Grace refuses to sit still for pictures lately, but I captured a special moment of Mike reading the book to Connor at bedtime last night:


This set would be wonderful as an expectant father gift or as a new dad gift for Father's Day! You can order it here for only 15.99!

Giveaway

DaddyScrubs is giving one of my lucky readers a What Daddy Bear Loves Set!

How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter.  The giveaway runs through Thursday, February 7th at 11:59 PM CST! Open to US residents only.

The first two entries are mandatory- Like Moments That Take My Breath Away on Facebook and visit DaddyScrubs and leave me a comment on this post telling me your favorite product. Once you complete these entries, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
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.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Left Behind

Connor has been such an easy baby that my emotional recovery from giving birth has been a ton easier than it was with Grace. But I'm struggling with other emotions totally unrelated to baby blues.

In the past few weeks I have heard about 4 friends of mine who have gotten large promotions in the library world. All of them were around the same level as I was when I quit my job to become a stay at home mom and now they've all gotten into much higher level jobs. And I'm happy for them, I really am. But I can't help but feel a pang of jealousy as they excitedly talk about their new responsibilities. I could be doing what they're doing. I could be in upper management and I could be making more money than I had been before. I just feel left behind I guess.

I feel ungrateful talking about this because I know how blessed I am to be able to stay at home. I know how hard Mike works so that I am able to be at home with our kids. I love being a stay at home mom and I love my kids. I wouldn't change anything, but that jealousy is still there. When I'm dealing with Grace's tantrums or Connor's blowout diapers, I can't help but wonder what could have been. Do any other stay at home moms struggle with this?

Sorry to get so serious but it's been bothering me for several weeks. I promise I'll get back to the fun stuff tomorrow!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Connor: 3 Months Old

Connor,

You are now 3 months old. You don't look like a newborn anymore and people always think you are older than you are, probably because of your hair.

You are a chunk, weighing in at 14 lbs 15 oz putting you in the 85th percentile. It doesn't suprise me at all since you pretty much want to eat all the time. You're 24 1/4 inches (64th percentile) and your head is 16 1/4 inches (52nd percentile.) You've got rolls on your legs that I absolutely love. You are in size 2 diapers and 3-6 month clothes. I put you in a 9 month sleeper the other day and it fit fairly well. I don't think the 3-6 month clothes will last much longer.

You've got such a personality for a 3 month old. We can already tell you're going to be a funny, easy going, social guy.
  • You are a great sleeper generally. You still sleep most nights from about 10:30 PM- 5 AM. Naps are hit and miss, but your normally take at least one good 2 hour nap during the day, sometimes longer. You sleep very well when you are swaddled, not so much when your hands are free. You also take lots of cat naps during the day.
  • Your eyes are steel gray and your hair is still dark brown. You have so much hair! When we go out, every single person we talk to mentions how much hair you have. It hasn't really fallen out much although it's starting to thin out in the back just from you sleeping on it. I'm hoping you won't get the bald spot on the back of your head like your big sister. 

  • You love motion, your swing, the car, mommy and daddy walking you around, mommy wearing you in the carrier, you don't care as long as you are moving. It calms you down quickly.
  • You made your first trip to Wichita this month and you were a champ. Only about 15 minutes of fussing total for the entire 6 hour round trip. 
  • Your favorite toys are your Lamaze moose, the soft Very Hungry Caterpillar book, and your bouncer with the penguin on it. 
Talking to your Lamaze moose
  • You are really starting to love your pacifier. 
  • You rolled over from your tummy to your back for the first time! I thought it was a fluke so we put you back on your tummy again and you quickly rolled to the other side. You do not like tummy time and are happy that you've figured out how to avoid it.
  • You are trying very hard to sit up by yourself. I don't think it will be long before you succeed,  you are very strong for your age.
  • You adore your big sister. She can make you laugh faster than anyone and your face lights up when you see her. You love watching her play and you talk to her when we are in the car. 
Laughing at Grace

She thought she needed to read you Winnie the Pooh instead of letting me take your picture. You sat and listened to her "read" for 5 minutes.

  • You are a talker. You spend a lot of your day "talking" to mommy which basically involves us saying a-goo back and forth. You think it's pretty hilarious and I'm pretty fond of it too. When you are nursing, you will randomly look up and me, grin, say a-goo and go back to eating. My heart melts every time.

  • You have an umbilical hernia that appeared this month. The pediatrician swears they're not genetic, but your sister had one too. You'll end up with an outie when it closes up and I think it's pretty cute now.
  • You love being naked. You can be screaming and the moment I start taking your clothes off, you start to smile and kick your legs. You love stretching your legs out as far as you can and kicking them as hard as you can.  

  • However, you really don't like being cold so we have to limit your naked time. You also don't really like being put down. Your are a social boy and really want people to be interacting with you.
  • You have become a mommy's boy. You let other people hold you, but when you are fussy, you only want mommy. You really aren't fussy all that often so it's generally not a big deal.

You are such a pleasant, fun and easy baby. It's hard to remember life without you now! You're growing so fast. I know you will be hitting milestones like crazy the next few months. You really want to move so I think you might be an early crawler.


We love you sweet boy. Your smile lights up the room and I can't wait to see your fun personality develop.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

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Monday, January 28, 2013

They're plotting against me already


Grace: Connor, I think we need to work together. I'm pretty sure we are letting mommy sleep too much. Every time I ask for ice cream she tells me no. If she's really tired, she'll say yes so I'll stop crying. I have a plan.
Connor: But I don't get ice cream.
Grace: I will give you some of mine.
Connor: Okay!
Grace: Let mommy fall asleep and after about an hour, wake up and cry. I'll listen and after I hear her put you back to sleep, I'll wake up and scream. Once you hear me calm down, you can cry again so she'll pick you up. Only let her sleep about 15 minutes between taking care of us. Then she will be much happier and give me (ok, us) ice cream!
Connor: Okay big sister!

Yes, I swear this is happening. How else could they be coordinating my lack of sleep so well? I'm terrified of their teenage years!
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The secret to soft chocolate chip cookies!

I've learned the secret to making soft cookies. Yes, I have to write a post on this because I am now obsessed with making and eating chocolate chip cookies.

I mentioned in Grace's birthday party post that I made her a big chocolate chip cookie cake instead of a normal cake. I did it for several reason, the main one being that she LOVES cookies, but also because I've been craving chocolate chip cookies lately. I have more cravings when I'm nursing than I do when I'm pregnant.

So over New Years weekend when my family was in town, I made a cookie cake to see how it would turn out. I'm glad I did, because this is what happened:

Keeping cookies moist

Do you notice all of the cookie parts all over the bottom of the oven? Yeah, they smelled awful. The cookie still tasted amazing though. I baked it on a Pampered Chef Baking Stone and I stuck to the Tollhouse recipe, there's no need to change a tried and true classic in my opinion. I can't make cookies without remembering the episode of Friends where Monica is trying to figure out Phoebe's grandmother's cookie recipe and it finally ends up being the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. I miss that show!

Anyway, I love cookies, but I don't like crunchy cookies. I love it when they're soft right out of the oven. A friend of mine from my cake class mentioned that if you take a flat spatula and press the cookies down flat as soon as they come out of the oven, they will stay moist for days. I figured it was worth a try and it worked! It took about 3 days for all of this cookie to get eaten and it was just as soft on the last day as it was on the first.

I learned my lesson with Grace's cookie cake and left more space along the edges of the stone for it to spread. A little still spilled over, but it was much better. Again, I flattened it with a spatula and it was moist and delicious for her party the next day. I think the guests agreed because it was gone within an hour!

Keeping cookies moist

Now I want cookies. I might have to send Mike to the store to get some butter!

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Like a big girl: Nuby Fun Drinking Cups Review

Grace thinks she is now a big girl. She doesn't want her food cut up into little pieces, she wants to sit in a regular chair at the dinner table, and she wants to drink out of adult cups. I'm not quite ready for her to start using our glass cups yet as that could be pretty disastrous, so I was happy to receive the Fun Drinking Cups from Nuby!

Nûby™ Fun Drinking Cups™ are bright, fun and durable enough to withstand the challenges of daily use. They are great for children who are just beginning to drink from an open cup because they are sized perfectly for smaller hands. They feature a fun design and are available in a variety of colors.

She loves them! She uses them every night for dinner and I have started trying to let her use them during the day as well, with mixed results. Most times, it just ends up getting spilled, but practice makes perfect, right?

Doing well with the cup

Mommy is mean and makes her wipe it up when she spills
Her pediatrician really wants us to start using open cups as much as possible so I will be buying more of these to use. I love that they are plastic, so they won't get damaged when she drops them or knocks them over. Also, I love the fun designs and bright colors! They fit well in her hand and she can carry them easily without dropping them.

Nuby Fun Cups are available at these retailers:
  • www.BuyBabyDirect.com
  • www.Amazon.com
  • www.Diapers.com
I am writing this post as part of the NUBY Mommy Blogger Program. I did not receive compensation for this post, although as part of the program I may receive items to sample or review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.
 
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grace's 2nd Birthday Curious George Party

When I started planning Grace's second birthday party, I was excited that one of her favorite TV shows right now is Curious George (or Ah-Ah George as she calls him.) I love Curious George and I thought it would make a great party theme.

I designed the invitations myself and printed them with a Shutterfly credit.

Curious George Birthday Party Invitation

I am really happy with the way they turned out!

I decided that I wasn't going to go crazy for this party. I honestly didn't have time to make a fancy cake this year like I did last year, so I decided to do a few minimal decorations and a chocolate chip cookie cake.

I made a banner using cardstock, my Cricut Machine and some curling ribbon. The pennants were cut out by hand and the letters were cut out on the Cricut wih the Birthday Cakes cartridge. We used command strip hooks to hang it.

Pennant Banner

We had basic appetizers plus a ton of homemade chocolate chip cookies! The cookies were a huge hit with both the kids and the adults. I have the secret for keeping chocolate chip cookies soft and I'll share it soon!

I made this cookie cake for Grace and used a plastic Curious George figurine that a friend found for me. I was not happy with the writing but I love how the border turned out. It was a great alternative to a regular cake and it was gone by the end of the party.

I made a Curious George balloon bunch with Grace's pictures and had tons of Curious George books out as decorations.
Curious George balloon decoration


I found several Curious George images that I blew up, printed out, and taped to the walls.




Grace wasn't fond of everyone singing to her.



When it was time to open presents, it became pretty apparent that Grace wanted nothing to do with it.


So her friend Brooke decided to step in to help for a few minutes while Grace played. Obviously playing in the wagon is more fun than opening presents.

Grace's favorite gift of the day was her homemade baby basket, baby, and quilt from her Aunt Sharon.



She had a great time playing with her friends, so the party was a success!

I got Grace's Curious George outfit at Leo & Lyla! They make adorable custom children's outfits and ship nationwide. Here's an entire post about them for more info! To celebrate Grace's birthday, Leo & Lyla is offering a special discount just for Moments That Take My Breath Away readers! Use the code 20FORGRACE for 20% off your purchase. It will be active until 1/31. It can be used on Leo & Lyla's Etsy page or for custom orders through Facebook and email. It cannot be used at the Mommy Shop.

I can totally understand why people pay to have their party somewhere, it's so much work to have it at home. But I loved seeing her face when she saw all of the "Ah-Ah George" decorations. This is the 2nd year in a row I've forgotten to get a family picture during the party, hopefully I'll remember next year!

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