Surviving Parenthood

Otter Box Great Customer Service!

by Mother of two

Crack in my old Otterbox.

Otter Box Great Customer Service!

I have an iPhone 4.  With 2 short tempered little boys that have a tendency of throwing the phone when either the 4G or Wi-Fi service is interrupted, I rely on my Otter Box to protect it.  The Otter Box cover has a hard plastic shell that is covered by a soft plastic wrap for a better grip.  It will double the size of your phone, but it will go above and beyond to keep my phone in one piece.  My phone has been through my minivan accident where it flew from the third row of the car to slam on the front dash to daily tantrum beatings by the boys.  After two years, my phone is still intact and working perfectly thanks to the superb protection from Otter Box phone case.

Recently, I noticed some cracks in my hard plastic cover when I was cleaning my phone.  I was disappointed and I wanted to know if it was still covered under warranty.  I called them up to ask if it was still covered, otherwise I would have asked my credit card company to replace it instead.  I spoke with a customer service representative and he said that they would replace it, with no question asked.

I gave them my name, address, phone, & where I purchased the phone.  He told me that if the company still makes the case, they will replace it regardless of the 1 year limited warranty.  Their main concern was that my phone was protected.  So nice!  My poor phone greatly appreciates it!  They didn’t have my exact color but gave me a list to pick from.  My new cover should be arriving within a week or two (they are currently out of stock due to the high demand for iPhone 5 covers).

If you have young kids handling your smartphones or tablets Otter Box covers might be a good choice!  I purchased my case from Amazon but you can also purchase it directly from their site as well at

How to get your baby to sleep through the night?

by Mother of two

“How to get your baby to sleep through the night?”  is the million dollar question for all struggling parents trying to get a decent night sleep.  There are countless books and articles published on the subject promising you results, but I personally do not believe that there is a perfect solution.  Your results will always vary from baby to baby and from parent to parent.  Ultimately as a parent you will try anything that will work for your baby, so with that in mind here are some tips that I hope you will find useful.

  1. Establishing a Bedtime Routine – Regardless of what sleeping methods you are contemplating,  a bedtime routine is helpful.  It helps encourage your baby to recognize that bedtime is approaching.  Our bedtime routine includes, a short book, a diaper change, a change into pajamas, the dimming of lights, and soft classical music.  Whatever you choose for your sleep routine, just know that consistency and repetition will be the key to establishing your routine.
  2. Recognizing Sleep Patterns – Make sure you notice your baby’s sleeping pattern.  There should be one stretch where he/she sleeps longer than usual.  If this is during the day, I would try to shift it gradually until this long stretch is firmly moved to nighttime hours.  You do this by keeping your baby awake longer before his naps to make the adjustments.  This is easier said than done, this may take a few days so be patient.
  3. Feeding – Try to see if your baby will feed more right before bedtime.  1-2 ounces might make a difference, but don’t force your baby.  When he or she is able to take baby cereal, try to add some into the baby formula.  The solid food will keep your baby full and asleep for longer stretches of the night.
  4. Baby Swing – Might help your baby sleep longer at night.  I mainly only use it at night time to maximize sleeping time (for baby & Mommy).  But do not use it all the time, or your baby will get so used (mostly addicted) to it that he will only sleep while being swung.
  5. Pacifier – Some babies won’t take a pacifier and others will.  Regardless of how you feel, pacifiers can help your baby sleep longer.  We don’t judge!
  6. Soothing Bath –A warm soothing bath helps to directly calm and relax your baby. This is a great addition to your bedtime routine.
  7. Swaddling – Newborns especially like a tight swaddle to mimic their time in the womb.  This also helps keep their hands from swatting their faces and waking themselves up.  The right swaddling method may take some practice to master.  I personally prefer larger blankets to make a tight wrap around my newborn.
  8. Be Realistic – Your few weeks old baby will not sleep through the night.  Some will not completely sleep through the night until he/she is over a year old.  Be grateful if your baby wakes up to feed and goes right back to sleep afterwards.

Don’t ever feel like a failure!  Even if you tried everything and feel like nothing has worked.  It is not you or your baby’s fault.  With Little Lum, I tried to follow a rigorous routine and it backfired on me.  We had to take him for long drives at night to get him to sleep.  And he didn’t sleep through the night without waking up for milk until he was past one year old.

With Little Wing, he was much easier.  He was able to sleep through the night without any problems.  We still read a book, dim the lights, and turn on soft classical music for him.  Around 10-11 months he even stopped waking up to drink milk.  What a sweetheart!

Each kid is different.  Don’t be so hard on yourself or your baby.  Be flexible and just go with the flow.  (Easier said than done, especially when you have to wake up a few times a night).  Good Luck!

Surviving Parenthood: Smartphone

by Mother of two

I got my I-Phone a few months after I had Little Wing.  I never thought I would need a smartphone before but with two kids, it really has saved me a lot of time.  I can quickly check emails, search the internet, and even place orders on Amazon without having to wait for my computer to boot up.  It makes things in life more convenient.  I can accomplish things while I wait in line at the grocery store or waiting to pick up food for dinner.  I can also enjoy my favorite shows or movies through my Netflix application & plays games whenever I have a bit of down time.  All in all, my smartphone has served me well.   Given how busy life can be for a parent, a smartphone allows you to be more productive and squeeze in a few minutes of alone time here and there.