Surviving Parenthood

Goodnight Moon

by Mother of two

Our is so loved that it is rough around the edges.

What can I say about this great classic?  I purchased this book out of peer pressure.  The reviews were great and many of my friends highly recommended it.  When I got my copy, I did not understand what all the hype was about. The color scheme is odd.  Black & white pages were alternated with color pages.  Green and red dominated the color pages.  I was not impressed at all!

Contrary to my belief, Little Lum just fell in love with this book.  After a few readings, he was excited to find the little mouse throughout the book.  He also began pointing out the other things in the room.  Pretty soon he was reading along with me.  He loves to pitch in and finish my sentences and can get pretty upset if I don’t pause long enough to give him a chance to do it.  This is an all-time classic and a must have in every child’s collection.


Baby Essentials: Evenflo Glass Bottles

by Mother of two

4 oz. & 8 oz. bottles

When it comes to baby bottles, I am old fashioned.  I still remember the old glass bottles that my parents used for my brother back in the early 80’s.  With the birth of Little Lum, I purchased a set of glass bottles.  At the time, Evenflo was the only company that made a readily available
glass baby bottle.  Now glass bottles are more popular and companies like Bornfree, Dr. Brown, and Munchkin, manufacture glass bottles in addition to their plastic line.

There are good reasons to go “glass”.  My Evenflo glass bottles do have a plastic ring and cap, but they are made from BPA-Free plastic.  The Evenflo’s have no painted markings on the bottles because the graduations are formed onto the glass so they will never fade or scratch off. Glass bottles also retain heat better then plastic. The Evenflo comes in two sizes 4 or 8 oz. bottles and plastic sleeves are available if you want to improve the grip.

The glass bottles are easy to clean and safe on the microwave sterilizer or boiling over water if you prefer (even the nipple and plastic parts).  Their nipple replacements are inexpensive and you have two varieties to choose from.  The Classic which is a standard nipple and the Purely Comfi, which has a curvier nipple to fit your infant’s mouth better. An added plus for the Evenflo is that their bottles are compatible with my Medela Breast Pump.  This is very convenient.  I can just screw on my Evenflo bottles directly on to my breast pump.   When I am done, I can just transfer the bottles to the refrigerator.  I can even freeze the bottles if I want since they are glass.


Children’s Book Shelf

by Mother of two

We purchased this bookshelf to store all of the Little Lum’s books but I think we might actually need a second one for his growing collection.  We use the top section to display his favorite books like a library and use the bottom bins to store the ones that have fallen out of favor to save some room.  He really likes his shelf because it’s built to his height and he can pick and choose some of the books he wants before his bedtime.  On occasion, he will even dig into the bins for an older book.

I really like the canvas style children’s book shelf. My son simply adores his bookshelf, and he looks so cute digging around through it. There are other less expensive models on Amazon, but instead of using canvas they use a plastic/nylon mesh material similar to reusable shopping bags.  Personally, I just prefer canvas because they feel and look more natural to me.

The shelf did require a small amount of assembly but it was very simple. I actually did most of it by myself.


Cheapest Baby Formula Ever

by Mother of two

I have used Good Start Protect formula for both my babies. Good Start contains  “Unique Comfort Proteins for Easy Digestion”.  It also contains DHA, ARA & B. lactis (natural probiotic).  I initially used Emfamil for Little Lum when he was a newborn until he started to spit-up and as a result I switched over to Good Start.  With Little Wing, I have only used Good Start and I have never had a problem (knock on wood).

This week CVS has one of the best deals on Good Start (23.2 oz) formulas that I have seen.   CVS has both the Gentle (orange label) & Protect (green label) on sale for $21.99.  The offer is for a FREE, $10 gift card for every $30 purchase with a limit of 5 gift cards per week.

I bought seven (7),  paid a total of $153.93, and received $50 worth of gift cards.  Final price $14.85 each after the gift card, that’s over 30% in saving. I am stocked up!  This price even beats out Walmart & Amazon.

 


Karen Katz

by Mother of two

Just a few of Karen Katz's books from Little Lum's Library.

Karen Katz is one of my son’s favorite authors.  The pages are colorful and the text is simple and not overly wordy for a one year old. What’s special about the book are the flaps on every page.  The flaps help to engage the young reader through a process of reading and discovery. The text and illustration will pose a question (which brings out the reader’s curiosity) and follows up by allowing him to discover the answer through the text and illustration underneath the flap.  The books can be purchased individually, but the box sets are by far the best deal you will find.

We started with two (2) box sets:   “Baby’s Box of Family Fun” and “Baby’s Box of Fun” because they were the best deals. Little Lum’s favorite books in the sets were “Toes, Ears, & Nose!” & “Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?” Through time I’ve had to repair those two with tape so often that the books have acquired a laminated look from the glossy tape.  At almost three, my Little
Lum has moved on to more sophisticated books but he will still occasionally request one of Katz books to read, especially when he sees me reading to his younger brother, Little Wing.

We got our box sets from Amazon.


Melissa & Doug

by Mother of two

Melissa & Doug make the best wooden and soft toys for children.  When I buy toys for my 2 jumping babies I am particularly concerned about the quality of their toys.  My older son still likes to chew on toys even though he is almost 3 years old so safety and quality is important to me.  I can also appreciate the fact that they are made in the U.S.A. so I don’t have to worry about potentially lead contaminated toys.  I know that there are a lot of similar toys out there but in many cases they come from China (So buyers beware).

 

My Little Lum loves the puzzles and food play products while the Little Wing enjoys their fill & spill sets. There is a large variety to choose from and I would suggest these as a Christmas gift or stocking stuffer to anyone with a young child in their
life.

 


Cancer Causing Chemicals in Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo

by Mother of two

Parents Beware:  The Associated Press recently released an article regarding Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo.  Apparently, there are trace amounts of dioxane & quarternium-15, both are potential cancer-causing chemicals, in Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo & Wash.

 

I was freaked out after I read the article because we use Johnson & Johnson shampoo at home for both kids.  During my effort to find a replacement product, I looked up Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo (also made by J&J).  To my dismay Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo contains polyquarternium-10.  I am not a chemist but it sounds pretty similar to quarternium-15.

 

In the end based on all I’ve read the best product that we found as our replacement was Burt’s Bee Baby Shampoo & Wash.  It cost a little more, but there is no price on safety and besides that it is actually very cheap if you buy it online.

 

Amazon is selling Two (2) 12oz bottles for $11.71 with Subscribe & Save.  A single bottle would have cost almost $9 each at the local Target store, and that already is considered cheap.


Joovy Scooter X2

by Mother of two

Large Canopy

2 cup holders and 2 zipper pockets for storage.

Little Lum sleeping comfortably.

We were forced to test out our new Joovy Scooter X2 on this past Sunday at Disneyland.  Grandma was kind enough to volunteer to watch Little Wing, so that we could take Little Lum to Disneyland. We recently purchased our new double stroller but had not had a chance to test it out until our trip.  We swapped out the old Graco Quattro Stroller from the minivan into my car and stored the new Joovy Scooter into the minivan. When we got to Disneyland this past Sunday we only had the new double stroller & a single umbrella stroller in the minivan.  The umbrella stroller doesn’t have enough storage space for our gear so we were forced to use the double stroller with just one kid.  It worked out well.

 

Assembly was really easy, and it mainly consisted of installing the 4 wheels.  The front wheels snapped on very easily.  The back wheels required the threading of washers, inserting pins, and capping.  We actually spent more time trying to figure out what to do with an extra part. The box came with a steel rod to hold the box together but it did not belong with the stroller.  We spent the majority of our time trying to figure out why it wasn’t listed on the manual.  It was really, silly that we spent more than 30 minutes trying to figure this out. I guess we just have to blame it on sleep deprivation.

 

When I was researching for a new double stroller, I wanted something in the range of $200 that would be comfortable for the kids to go to Disneyland.  I was drawn by the price, extra large storage, individually reclining seats, extra large canopy, easy breaking system, and parents’ cup holders.  Stirring and handling was pretty good too.  Little Lum took a very comfortable long nap in it this week.

 

There is no such thing as a perfect stroller and there are a few things that they can improve upon.  First of all, I sometimes kick the brake bar at the bottom if I am not careful.  I am 5’6” and the handle bars are long enough for me, but I could imagine a slightly longer bar putting more distance between my feet and the brake bar.  The seat/safety bar can get dirty during folding if you are not careful, but it can be completely avoided if you know how to do it properly. All you have to do is to (1) first remove the safety bar from the stroller followed by (2) folding the edge of the actual seats upwards and finally (3) lift up the front of stroller as you collapse it to avoid the front from touching the ground. If you follow these steps your stroller should stay clean.

 

Overall, I am very satisfied with purchase and it meets a lot of my requirements.  We are excited to test it out at Disneyland with both kids on our next trip!

We got ours from Amazon with free 2 day shipping with Amazon Mom.


It’s Tiger!

by Mother of two

Tiger

My husband surprised Little Lum this week with Tiger, Kipper’s opinionated best friend.  He arrived in a yellow envelop similar to Kipper, with a custom declaration reading “Tiger, stuff toy”, from across the pond.  If you are not familiar, Kipper The Dog is a book series by Mick Inkpen that turned into a cute cartoon series on Nick Jr.  The cartoons have innocent themes and simple animation making it very appropriate for young children.  We purchased the Kipper Quad pack for our son and he completely loves it.


Disneyland Annual Pasport

by Mother of two

Our New Pass

Our old pass was returned to us, after a hold was punched on the lower right hand corner.

 

We finally renewed our Disneyland Annual Passes.  Our Little Lum has been asking for Disneyland for quite some time now.  The old passes had expired back in April, and because we have been busy with our second baby we have not had a chance to go until now.  My husband purchased the Southern California Resident Annual Passes from his work for $239 each, regular price is $269.  So for starters we saved $60 on both passes!  Now our dilemma was when to go.  We wanted to go the coming Saturday, but all Saturdays were designated as blackout days for our type of pass.

We had heard a rumor that when you activate your pass (the first time you use it) you can get entry into the park on any date, even a blackout date.  Risking being turned away, we took a chance packed the kids and headed down to Anaheim. Lucky for us, we got in!!!!!

 

Actually, it wasn’t luck at all.  According to Disneyland policy, you can purchase a single day ticket and go into Disneyland, and visit the Disney City Hall to upgrade your ticket into an Annual Pass.  So technically it is legitimate.  Luck had nothing to do with it. To speed up the registration process, we brought our old passes so we skipped the long line to take a new picture. The new passes are thicker and do not have your pictures on the back.  When you scan the card, your picture appears on the check in screen for the screener.  The new cards also have a Disney Photo Pass bar code on the back, so you don’t have to carry 2 cards.

Little Lum had a fantastic day at (what I like to call) Dland & Ca Adventure.  He told Daddy the he “LOVES Disneyland!”.