Monday, May 18, 2009


Babes and Kids has MOVED!
Please change your bookmarks to:
Thanks :)

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Health Master

As moms, aren't we always looking for products that make our lives easier? I know I definitely am. So when I heard about the Health Master and how it could make my life easier by combining 20 different kitchen appliances, you'd better believe I was interested. The Living Well Health Master was introduced by Montel Williams with a focus to help others include a healthy diet in their everyday lives.

Pros: We've been through quite a few kitchen appliances in our house in the last few years. Choppers, blenders and mixers; we've had at least 2 of each of these. The Health Master packs a serious punch, and is incredibly powerful.  As taken from a Health Master press release:

"The HealthMaster’s design enables effortless food preparation without compromising efficiencies. The machine can perform numerous processing functions while working with one large batch. It features a 1100-watt, dual horsepower motor with a 100-year warranty and commercial-grade culinary angled stainless steel blades that emulsify at over 3000 RPM. Such blending reduces graininess and results in mixtures that don't chunk or separate for extended periods of time. The centrifugal friction allows soup to naturally cook, while simultaneously presenting the option to make a frozen sorbet—all with the same machine."

Isn't it amazing that you can cook soup in this? I'm sold right there!

The first recipe that I tried was a banana strawberry smoothie. I put everything into the health master and turned it on. It was completely pureed in less than 10 seconds. Best of all, there were no chunks, it was so smooth. My boys devoured these smoothies. I felt good knowing they were getting fruits and dairy without the added sugar.
Other pros?  Watch the video below:

Cons:  None!  Where was this appliance when I needed it!?

The Bottom Line:  A professional grade emulsifier that does everything!

Price:  $199

Where to Buy: Health Master Website

Rating:  Excellent!

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Strong as Steel

Summer is fast approaching, and that means swimsuits and less bulky clothing. I love getting to the gym and getting a good workout, but when I'm trying to balance family life and work, it doesn't always happen. GE has introduced a new workout video, Strong as Steel. It uses appliances you have in your kitchen to help you get fit! To learn more watch the video below, and to purchase, visit here.

Strong As Steel from Strong As Steel on Vimeo.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gymboree Discount

Gymboree currently has a 30% off coupon circulating. You can use it in store with this printable coupon.
Or, if you don't have a Gymboree near you, you can use the code CFFRIEND or CFCIRCLE to get the discount online. If you order online, shipping is $6.50. On top of all of that, gymbucks are going, so for every $50 you spend, you get a coupon for $25 off your next $50 purchase in a given time range.  

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Web md's definition of sleep deprivation:
"A sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks."

As a mom, this definition is all too familiar, right? It seems like as moms, we make a lot of sacrifices, one of them being sleep. I don't know how many times I've woken up with Chandler trying to climb into bed with DH and me, or feel someone breathing on me and wake up to find Chan staring me right in the face. Many times I've wondered how I could get him to stay in bed. Now there's something that will do just that: My Tot Clock. 
As taken from the My Tot Clock Website:
"My Tot Clock is an all-in-one sleep aid, alarm clock, nightlight, and timer for children ages 2+"

Pros: My Tot Clock is another great mom inspired company. Pamela Gonzalez was a sleep deprived mom who needed to teach her son to stay in bed and establish a routine. Thus, My Tot Clock was born.
I love how many functions this clock performs. Across the top of the clock, there are five different colored buttons. Each one correlates to a different activity.
Green = Encouragement
Red = Discipline
Light Blue = Naptime
Yellow = Awake Time
Dark Blue =Sleep Time

The face of the clock lights up each of these colors too, which makes it easy for a child to know what to expect. One function of this clock we've actually used a lot is the discipline. Since Chandler is 3 years old, when he gets in trouble, he goes to the naughty spot for 3 minutes. A lot of times it was hard for me to gauge how long he was in his naughty spot and it was a pain to always run to the oven to turn on the timer. Now I just make sure that My Tot Clock is close, we are able to set it to 3 minutes, and push the button. Chandler knows while the clock is red he is to stay in time out. Once his time is up, the clock isn't red anymore and a buzzer signals to let him know it is over. He is no longer trying to weasel his way out of time out, and I'm amazed at how effective this is.
Another button we really like is the sleep time. You can preset the sleep time button to the time your child normally goes to bed, and the bedtime routine will automatically start at that time. You can choose to have music, a story, and even white noise. Chandler loves to sit on his bed and listen to the story; it actually makes him excited to go to bed.

If you miss bedtime, or want to put your child to bed earlier, you can manually start the bedtime routine, which is nice. Once the bedtime routine is over, my tot clock makes a great night light and shines blue to know your child is to go to sleep. When we first started using this, I thought the blue light was way too bright. I then realized there was a dimmer on the back. How nice that someone has already thought of that.
You can also set an "alarm" so your child knows when it's ok and time to get out of bed. The clock will turn yellow and fun wake music starts to play.
My Tot Clock is very easy to use and has different cartridges you can buy and change out for the bedtime stories. The faceplate is also interchangable, and with 10 different choices, there's bound to be something for everyone!

Cons: I feel like the story that plays at bedtime is a bit fuzzy/static when you listen to it on the clock. Chandler doesn't seem to mind it, but I notice it. There were a couple different functions that I was also confused about when we first got My Tot Clock. For example, a few days after I got the clock, the face turned red and I couldn't figure out why it was doing this. Thanks to the FAQ on the My Tot Clock website, I was able to get my question answered. This particular page on their website is very helpful as it lists all FAQ's as well as tips and an online version of the user's guide. If you are planning on buying the Tot Clock, I would definitely bookmark this page.

The Bottom Line: A must have for parents with young children. Creates structure for different activities in an easy to understand way for you and your child. 

Price: $49.95

Where to buy: My Tot Clock

Rating: Great

My Tot Clock has generously agreed to give one of these clocks away!

To Enter:
Visit My Tot Clock and tell me about a feature I didn't mention in this post - 1 entry

Additional Entries:
Blog about this giveaway with links back to Babes and Kids and My Tot Clock - 2 entries
Follow this blog - 1 entry
Enter another giveaway on Babes and Kids (All giveaways are listed on the top right sidebar, just click on one to enter.) - 1 entry
Grab my Blinkie or Button - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment!

Contest is open to US residents only and will end May 27th, 11:59 MST. Winner has 48 hours to contact me!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Courtesy of DH......

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Free Shipping at Land's End

With summer right around the corner, one can’t help but fantasize about a tropical getaway. In celebration of the season, Lands’ End has just launched “The Island” at, where one can enjoy a virtual island getaway. Amidst the backdrop of a private island paradise, you and your community can shop for Lands’ End swimsuit styles, enter an exciting sweepstakes and share the experience with friends through popular social media channels.
To celebrate the launch of The Island, Lands’ End is providing a promo code for free shipping starting Monday, May 4, and ending Monday, May 25. Simply enter the promo code and pin number below at checkout and you will get receive free shipping off your entire order.

Promo Code = ISLAND

PIN = 5262

If you've ever shopped Land's End you know they have great quality!

They have some incredibly cute swimwear, plus some great sales.
Links to Sales:
I also thought that this diaper tote was cute, and it's only $12.99.

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Chandler is still a huge Thomas fan and Rowan is starting to like to play with all of the trains too.  Right now, there are a bunch of Thomas & Friends dvd's starting at $6.49 with a double train!  You can't even get 1 train in the store normally for $6.49.  They run around $10.  Really great deal.  It's through Amazon, so if you spend $25 you get free super saver shipping.  

Here are a few of the ones at $6.49

For a full list of the sale dvds with trains, visit here.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

It seems that Sign Language for babies is being more and more widely used. Parents are reaping the benefits of being able to communicate with their babies when they are young, which is actually very rewarding for the baby and the parent. Diane Ryan, the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Sign Language is there to help parents achieve successful sign language. I tried signing with Chandler, but wasn't consistent. I didn't have any particular method, I just showed him the sign over and over. He didn't pick it up right away, so I became frustrated and just gave up. We have struggled with communication until about the last 6-7 months so it's been a long road. I really believe if I had kept trying to sign with him, communication would have come easier.
Generally speaking, babies who learn to sign speak sooner and have less frustration with communication. When we received this book, I was quite excited to give it a go with Rowan, now 16 months.

Pros: This book has a great introduction. It outlines what the fuss is all about, how you and your baby will benefit, and why and how it works. I think this is incredibly important. You need to know the benefits and why you should sign. Once you have some background, it makes it that much more motivating to do.
The second part of the book includes introducing signs, and my favorite part - teaching your baby to sign in 2 weeks! We have introduced the first three signs to Rowan, which are: more, eat and milk. (We are actually using drink instead of milk since he is a bit older.) We have been emphasizing "more" since it is a sign that babies easily pick up and according to the book is often their first spoken word. One thing that the book really emphasizes is consistency and making sure that all caregivers are signing. My DH is definitely on board and we are both making sure that we sign with Rowan. Often times, it seems when you start signing, you just sign. This book teaches you different techniques on how to actually teach a sign, which has been incredibly helpful. Another sign that I am really excited to start teaching Rowan is "pain." Once a baby learns this sign, they should be able to tell you where they are hurting or having pain. Nice, right? There are some great techniques outlined to teach this sign.
The next chapter focuses on teaching your baby to sign in 2 weeks. 2 weeks! Isn't that amazing? In order to do this, Diane suggests your baby be at least 11 months old. We started signing almost 3 weeks ago, and with the techniques outlined and a lot of consistency, Rowan has started signing more and eat. He signs more by clapping the tips of his fingers, but I bet he'll be doing it right in no time, and I'm impressed he's making an effort! He has only done both signs a few times and I was really hoping to get it on video, but we all know that babies do things on their own time and most times not on demand. I'm confident as time goes on, he will use both signs in his daily vocabulary.
The book has very clear, concise illustrations which are wonderful aids, and there are small tips throughout the book as well.
The next part of the book is about advanced signing and signing with toddlers. I've noticed Chandler has started to pick up some signs and looks quite proud of himself when he signs them. I think it's pretty cute too and love that he is learning a new skill.
As if this book isn't a good enough teaching aid, it also includes an appendix with FAQ's, dad's special rules, fun and games, and online resources. There is also journaling space in the back, which is nice to write down notes.
I think if I had read this book before signing with Chandler, I wouldn't have given up so easily with him.

Cons: I honestly have never read a book on baby sign language, so I don't have anything to compare this one to, but I don't have any Cons. The book is very well written, is concise and easy to understand, and has great illustrations, plus the techniques really work.

The Bottom Line: A wonderful book that will help you and your baby learn sign language. I would definitely recommend this if you want to start signing with your baby.

Where to Buy: Amazon - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Sign Language, 2nd Edition

The book retails for $14.95, but I noticed you can get it for $10.12 on Amazon. Definitely worth every penny! It would make a great baby gift too.

Rating: Excellent

Want to win a copy?

Here's how to enter: (There will be 2 winners!)

Tell me why you think signing with your baby is important - 1 entry

Additional entries:

Put me on your blogroll (text link) - 1 entry

Follow me - 1 entry

Blog or tweet this giveaway - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment.

Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents and will close May 25 at 11:59 MST. I will contact winner and winner has 48 hours to reply or I will draw a new winner.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas! I hope you are able to have a nice day and take some time for yourself, you deserve it!

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Working Moms

I'm wondering how many of you are feeling the pull of the economy? I'm sure most of you are affected one way or another. I know our little family definitely is. My DH's company has been downsizing some, and we just found out his bonus for the year is getting cut. He gets his bonus as an advance each month, so that means less money every month. We decided back in December that it might be a good idea for me to get a job to pay off student loans, get out of debt, and build our savings and food storage. I looked for months without any success and was literally applying everywhere. This was discouraging as I have a B.A. in Health Science. I didn't particularly want to work days because I wanted to be home with my boys. I finally got a job as a Health Unit Coordinator in an Emergency Room 45 minutes from where we live. It pays well, but I am definitely feeling the stress of trying to work, clean house, and take care of my boys. My DH helps out a ton, which is amazing, but it's still stressful. I work graves so a lot of time I am running on little sleep which tends to wear on a person. As I write, I am going on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep in the last 40 hours. I don't really want to work, I'd rather stay home with my lovable munchkins, but I'll do what I have to do to make sure our family stays ahead of the game.

I received this yesterday and thought it was quite interesting:

According to Adecco’s latest Workplace Insight Survey, 80% of women are working because they have to, not because they want to. Additionally, almost half (48%) of working moms are more stressed due to the current economic climate and the majority (65%) are cutting their family budget.
Some further evidence that the economy is taking a toll on working mothers is that almost half (48%) of working moms wish they could spend more time with their kids with nearly one in five (16%) reporting that their work hours have increased in this economy. Also, nearly one in five (19%) of working moms are overcompensating by purchasing material goods for their children.

Other stats you may find interesting include:
• Re-entering the work force – 13% of working moms went back to working full-time in this economy
• Feeling overwhelmed – Nearly 1/3 (30%) or working moms feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at home
• Being a role model – Working mothers are nearly 20% more likely to think their kids find them to be a role model than non-working moms
• Children of working moms are better behaved and better in school – 74% of working moms think their children do well in school while 60% of nonworking moms feel this way. 72% of working moms think their children are well behaved compared to 65% of non-working moms

While the majority work because they have to, there are distinct advantages to being a working mother. According to the survey, children of mothers who work are more likely to be better behaved and do better in school. 74% of working moms think their children do well in school compared to 60% of non-working moms. 72% of working moms think their children are well behaved while 65% of non-working moms feel this way. Additionally, working mothers are 10% more likely to think their kids find them to be a role model than non-working moms (67% vs. 57% respectively).

Interesting, isn't it? Although I hope to not be in the workforce for too long, it's nice to know that there are Pros about it. Kudos to all of those moms who balance working along with their kids. And Kudos to all you stay at home moms too. It's a tough job!

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Trendy Tadpole

Isn't it funny how babies seem to have a personality from day 1? Why not let them express themselves then? The Trendy Tadpole lets your baby, toddler, or child do just that, express themselves through fun and personalized tees. A few months ago, Rowan starting carrying this little stuffed panda with him. It was perfect for him to hold right under the neck. He would often sit and look at him and then smile at the panda and then at me. I found it fitting
that The Trendy Tadpole had the cutest panda shirt and knew Rowan would love it. The day we got it in the mail, I showed it to him. He did the same thing he did when he looked at his panda shirt; smiled at the shirt and then looked up and smiled at me. Priceless.

Pros: With 37 designs to choose from, there's sure to be something for everyone. A few of my favorites include the buddha belly (What baby doesn't have one of those?), and the frog design that says Oh snap. Innovative, isn't it? There are tons of other cute and trendy designs. The designs come in snapsuits, lap shirts, and tee shirts with sizing ranging from 3 months to a kid's size 12. They even have mens and womens sizes available. You can also choose between short and long sleeved. The possibilities are endless!
I was incredibly impressed with how soft these tees were an how well they wash up. After washing Rowan's panda tee 4 times, we had no piling and the graphic still looked like new. It says on the trendy tadpole website to wash inside out and dry on low because they shrink a lot. We didn't have the problem with Rowan's shirt, it had very minimal shrinking.

Cons: These shirts run a bit small. I was told about this before receiving Rowan's shirt, and it also states it on the product info page. If you don't happen to check the product info page, you might end up ordering a shirt that is too small. Rowan is 16 months and is just starting to wear 18-24 month clothes. His panda shirt is a size 2T and fits him well. So if you are going to place an order, make sure to order up a size!

The Bottom Line: Trendy and fun designs, super soft cotton, washes up well.

Price: $22 (Only $11 with promotional code listed at the end of the post!)

Where to Buy: The Trendy Tadpole

Rating: Great

The Trendy Tadpole is offering 50% off their shirts! Enter the code WHOLESALE at checkout to get your 50% discount.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crayola Giveaway Challenge

3 Kids and Us is doing a great Crayoloa Outdoor giveaway. I'm excited to spend more time outside with Chandler and Rowan this summer doing fun activities. We'd love to win a Crayola Gift Pack! Go check it out and get yourself entered!

We have been participating in the Pampers Gifts to Grow program for about 3 years now.  It's a great way to earn rewards for using Pampers diapers.  If you use the code HAPPYMOTHERSDAY you can receive a free point on Pamper's Gifts to Grow!  Expires 7/31/09.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It seems that as time goes on, we are using the internet more and more, especially for education.  Although my kids are still quite young, I worry what they will be exposed to when they start using the internet for school and other purposes.  I want to be able to safeguard and monitor what they are doing, and I'm sure other parents want to as well.  Now you can, with the PG Key.

The PG key plugs into any USB port and controls when and how long the computer is used, allows your child to search safely online, and allows you to monitor what they access.  This product is inspired by dads who work in an IT based business for approximately 20 years.  Dads that have children between the ages of 6-11 who saw the need to protect them.  I always know if a company is inspired by a parent, it is going to be that much better.
As taken from PG Key's website, here is a little more background on how it was created:

"PG Key was created by a design and development team that includes industry experts with years of experience in creating powerful yet easy to use software applications. In addition to the experienced technical members, the team also includes representatives from law enforcement (an FBI agent that specializes in cyber crimes), education (a PHD that currently serves as a district superintendent), the medical community (an MD and current member of the American Board of Pediatrics) and many others … including ordinary, non-technical, but concerned parents."

Pros:  The PG key was painless to install.  It was very easy and installed in less than a minute.  Once installed, I unplugged it from the USB port to see what would happen.  Immediately the computer went into a type of sleep mode and it was evident I needed to plug it back in in order to get the computer up and running again.  I then decided to try to go to a website that I thought the PG key might think was questionable.  It blocked the site, no problem.  One of my favorite features about the PG key is that it records up to 60 hours of online activity.  This includes searches, chat sessions, and much much more.  You simply plug the PG key into the computer and can view all of their activity in a movie style mode.  Amazing, right?  If that wasn't cool enough, if you choose to do so, PG Key will send you a text on your cell if your child types in a search word that might be questionable or isn't in the bounds you have set.  It is very compact in size and has a keychain loop on the end for easy attachment to keys.  I am incredibly impressed with the capabilites of the PG Key as well as the ease of use.  It definitely gives parents that extra peace of mind.  If you go to PG's website, you can get a free 30 day trial of PG Key.  That's how confident they are about their product, and I think they have every reason to be, it is really that great. 
A few more of the specifications:
Capacity: 1 GB - 60 hours of recorded video
Compatibility: PC or Notebook with a USB interface
Operating Systems: Windows Vista/XP
Transfer Rate: High Speed
Data Retention:  10 Years Minimum
LED Indicator Light: Flash when data is being read or written
Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

Cons:  We are Mac users in our house.  I had to install PG Key on a family member's PC so that I could give an honest, accurate review.  I felt a little frustrated that PG Key isn't compatible with Macs, but then I visited their website, and they have already acknowledged this problem.  It looks like a PG Key for Macs will be coming out soon!  

The Bottom Line:  An easy to use safeguard for kids who use the internet, gives parents peace of mind.

Price:  $59.95 

Where to Buy:  PG Key Website

Rating:  Excellent 

Win One!

Mandatory Entry:
Visit PG's site and tell me something I didn't mention in this post:  1 entry

Additional Entries:
Follow this blog - 1 entry
Grab my Button or Blinkie - 1 entry
Put me on your blogroll - 1 entry
Tweet or blog this giveaway - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment.
Contest is open to US residents only and will end 11:59 MST on May 20th.  Winner has 48 hours to contact me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All you is a great magazine for the everyday woman.  As a mom, I love this magazine as it provides easy delicious recipes, advice about style and home, and just offers advice for everyday life.  This magazine also has a TON of coupons, usually over $50 worth.  Since I am an avid couponer, these magazines more than pay for themselves. They retail for $2.49 an issue and you can find them where magazines are sold.  Before I bought a subscription, I saw them at Walmart, so I know they carry it.

Want to win a year subscription?  (A $30 value!)

Here's How

One Time Entries:

Follow this Blog - 1 Entry

Subscribe to Posts - 1 entry

Unlimited Entries:

Leave me a comment and tell me why you'd like to win this subscription - 1 entry for each comment

Read another blog post I've written and tell me which one it was - 1 entry for each post read

Blog or tweet about this giveaway  - 1 entry for every blog post or tweet

Please leave each entry as a separate comment.  

This giveaway is 1 day only!  It is open to US residents only and will close May 6th at 12:00 pm MST.  Winner will also be announced tomorrow.  Winner has 48 hours to contact me or I will redraw.

JVC has some amazing video cameras, particularly the Everio Series. I am absolutely in LOVE with the HD series as I know it would capture amazing HD video of my beautiful little family. I'd love to be able to look back on those memories, not to mention it has some way cool features, a few of my favorites being the auto face detection and the memory capabilities.

JVC is also sponsoring a giveawy for 4 lucky winners to Blogher 09. I really wanted to go to Blogher but didn't register in time and didn't have the $$. Generous of JVC, isn't it? I would be absolutely floored to be one of the 4. You can visit JVC's Blogher sweepstakes to enter yourself if you are interested!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chandler loves to look at and read books.  We have made it a habit to always read books before he takes naps and before bed.  We usually tell him to pick 3 or 4 and he carefully scans through them to pick the ones he likes the most.  He is getting to the stage where he is really interested in the storyline of a book.  I know that reading with your child is extremely important, and I believe that the content and what it teaches is a very important aspect of that.  The Dr. Hippo Series Books help you and your child learn about different medical issues and how to handle them in a wonderful, entertaining way.

There are 5 books in the series which include:
The Little Elephant with the Big Earache
Katie Caught a Cold
Peeper has a Fever
Sadie's Sore Throat
The Moose with Loose Poops

The Hippocratic Press was founded by Dr. Charlotte Cowan.  She practiced for many years in Boston and noted  the different emotions and how children changed when they were sick.  She also noted how parents seemed to react the same way.  Many children and their parents didn't understand what was going on.   As taken from the Dr. Hippo website, this is how the Dr. Hippo series was born:

"The idea of writing stories for sick children evolved as a natural combination of her professional experience and her childhood love of reading. As a pediatrician, Dr. Cowan developed a strong intuition that children would do better with their illnesses if they both understood what was happening to them and realized that they would get better. As a fan of children's books, she recognized that they offered the perfect medium for her message.

Before long, Dr. Cowan began to write age appropriate stories for her patients. Through her animal characters, she not only entertains her audience but also combines empathy with education. Reading her stories, children and their parents will feel comforted and cared for as they face together the inevitable illnesses of childhood."

Pros:  These books are highly captivating. The illustrations are beautiful and the text is written so that a small child can easily understand it.   Chandler's favorite are:  The Moose with Loose Poops, and Sadie's Sore Throat.  The title in and of itself
wants to make you read them, right?  I think a book is wonderful when it's title can immediately capture your attention.  They are published in hardback which makes them extremely durable.  They've already been toted all around the house, taken to church, and even on a road trip.  They still look great.  That is definitely one thing I love about hardcover books.  
The fact that they are written written by a Pediatrician lets you know that you can trust the information, which is a huge plus!
I think the medical issues that are covered in these books are so appropriate.  Those covered include colds, fevers, ear infections, sore throats, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Although my boys are still small, we have experienced every one of these illnesses with one or the other.  
I specifically remember one time when Chandler was sick and throwing up.  After being woken in the middle of the night, we proceeded to change his bedding, give him a bath, and put him back in bed.  He started feeling terrible again, and began throwing up.  He looked at me and kept saying:  "Help me mama!  help - what is it?"  I felt a bit helpless, not knowing how to keep it simple in explaining what happened.   The Dr. hippo series outlines easy ways to explain to your child what is happening during an illness, while telling a story at the same time.  I LOVE this.
Another strong Pro is the parent's guides that are included in the back of each of the books.  It is a laminated fold out that outlines common questions about that illness, offers advice to parents, and guides them as to when they should call the Dr. 
To learn more about each Dr. Hippo book, click here.
I really am excited to spread the word about the Dr. Hippo series.  My youngest has had a lot of health problems that have had us in and out of the Dr.'s office.  Although I feel I am much more educated than I was to begin with, these books would have been a great starting resource for me.  

Cons:  I wish that these books were available in paperback as well.  I'd love to be able to give them as gifts, and this might make it more affordable to do so.  

The Bottom Line:  Entertaining and educational with wonderful illustrations and great text, the Dr. Hippo series are a must have in any children's library.  

Where to Buy:  Your local bookstore, Amazon (Links to books below)
The Little Elephant with the Big Earache

Price:  $17.95

Rating:  Excellent

Want to Win the Entire Series?

Here's How to Enter:

Mandatory Entry:
Visit Dr. Hippo's website and tell me something I didn't mention in this post - 1 entry

Additional Entries:
Follow Babes and Kids - 1 entry

Blog or tweet about this giveaway - 1 entry

Subscribe to my posts - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment.  Contest is open to US residents only and will end at 11:59 MST on May 18th.  Winner will be chosen via, and has 48 hours to claim their prize, or I will redraw. (Please leave contact information or come back and check the giveaway winners page.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Giveaway Winners

Instead of having a separate post everytime I announce a winner, I have decided to post them all on one page. You can find the link in the right hand side bar. I will try to contact winners when they have won a prize, but if they go unclaimed for 48 hours, I will redraw. Make sure to check the giveaway winners link often to see if you have won something from Babes and Kids Review!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brushing isn't always fun for kids. Chandler normally doesn't like it, and we have a bit of a struggle. We weren't as good as we should have been about encouraging Chan to brush his teeth....and then we went to the dentist. At age 3, he had 2 big cavities. One was in his back molar and I couldn't believe how big it was when the dentist showed it to me. Like his mom, he has very weak enamel. Too bad he didn't inherit his dad's teeth who has never had a cavity. After this experience, we resolved to be better about encouraging Chan to brush his teeth and make sure it gets done. The firefly toothbrush by Dr. Fresh helps make brushing fun, which is exactly what we need.

Pros: The firefly toothbrush is true to it's name. If you push the bottom part of the toothbrush, it lights up and starts to flash, just like a firefly. It then flashes for 1 minute. Once it is done flashing, brushing is done! It's so nice to have a timer in it. I tell Chan to watch the light while I brush his teeth and he gets a kick out of it. It's a big improvement as he used to only let us brush his teeth for 10-20 seconds. The compact head is perfect for little kids, and the bristles of the brush are very soft, which lets me know it isn't too harsh on little gums. It is also great for little hands to hold and Chandler has now started to want to brush his teeth by himself. A HUGE perk of the firefly toothbrush is it's cost. They are only 99 cents! When I normally buy toothbrushes for my boys, I end up spending $3-4, so the firefly is definitely something I am switching to.

Cons: The bottom part of the toothbrush is a bit hard for Chandler to push to get it flashing. I usually have to do it for him. Not sure if this is just our brush. In this case though, it doesn't seem to be too big of a deal as the Pros greatly outweigh the 1 Con.

The Bottom Line: Very affordable, fun toothbrush that encourages brushing.

Price: 99 cents

Where to Buy: Local retailers & Drug stores.

Want a Firefly Toothbrush of your own? Two readers will win one!

Here's how to enter:

Mandatory Entry:
Tell me what you like about the firefly toothbrush - 1 entry

Additional Entries:
Subscribe to this blog - 1 entry
Follow me - 1 entry
Blog or tweet about it - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment, it really helps when I go to draw the winner!

Giveaway ends 11:59 MST, May 15 and is open to US residents only. Giveaway winner has 3 days to contact me or I will draw another winner.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

MomDot Party!

MomDot is having a party ALL of May to celebrate Trisha's 31st birthday! (She is the author of MomDot) There will be a giveaways daily and there will even be a giveaway for an awesome swing set! Be sure to check it out!

My boys love to watch dvd's, that no secret in our house.  So when I was introduced to eebee, I was automatically excited because eebee encourages babies to do and discover.  Yes, I said babies.  Chandler is 3 1/2 and is definitely not a baby anymore, but he is constantly asking to watch Eebee.  At 15 months, Rowan is intruiged with Eebee, but that is to be expected, right?

Pros:  I think a company's goal and philosophy is incredibly important, especially to parents.  As taken from eebee's adventures website, here is an exerpt of their philosophy:

"eebee's adventures are designed to engage you and your baby with rich play experiences that provide powerful lessons that memorizing letters, numbers, colors and shapes simply can and do not."

I think it's great when babies and toddlers learn ther numbers, colors, and so on, but it doesn't teach important things like cause and effect and problem solving.  I am so happy to see a product that is based around this very thing.  

We were able to review a 3 dvd set featuring Eebee, which included:
Exploring Real Stuff
Figuring Things Out
All in a Day's Play

Each dvd includes adventures with eebee, play by play guides (expert commentary on every adventure), a developmental perspective (a video Q&A with academic leaders), eebee's beat (a mini music & movement adventure), and song selections.  They are each 75 minutes which makes them a great value.  

I love that all three of these dvds explore cause and effect.  Rowan is really into this stage as he often drops his sippy cup from his high chair simply to see what it will do when it falls.  There are numerous ideas for parents to help their children explore different properties in the eebee dvds.  
In the dvd,  All in a Day's Play, they show a baby banging on pots and pans.  This may not seem like much, but it allows babies to explore sound, music, soft and loud, and rhythms.  I decided to put this to the test, and it was amazing how I could see the wheels turning as Rowan banged on his pots and pans, and discovered all of these sounds, etc.   

 The possibilities are endless, and I love how it encourages developmental skills with your baby.  In the dvd Figuring Things Out, a baby is allowed to experiment with a flashlight.  This was also a big hit with both of my boys and really allowed them to explore light and dark, and on and off.  

I think eebee is a perfect fit for babies and even toddlers.  A cute, brightly colored puppet is just the key to engage attention.  The eebee theme song it catchy and I find Chandler getting up to dance every time it comes on.  

As Eebee's tagline states:  Every Baby Learns By Doing.  I couldn't agree more.

Cons:  Honestly, I tried to find a con with eebee and I couldn't.  Ultimately, I am writing the reviews, but feedback from my two munchkins is the most important to me.  When I see them learning and exploring, and developing their senses, and staying interested in something for more than a few minutes, it's amazing.  That's a great product.  

The Bottom Line:  Hands on dvd series that teaches essental developmental skills, while still being entertaining and engaging.

Price:  $17.95 per dvd, or $48.45 for a 3 pack

Where to Buy:  eebee site

Rating:  Excellent

Would you like your baby to experience eebee for themselves?  Eebee is giving a dvd away!
Here's how to enter:

Mandatory Entry
Visit eebee's website, and tell me something about eebee that I didn't tell you in this review - 1 entry

Extra Entries

Follow this blog - 1 entry

Grab my button or blinkie - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment.  Thanks!

Giveaway is open to US residents only and will end May 14th, 11:59 pm MST.  Winner has 3 days to contact me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tonight from 5-10 pm, Baskin Robbins is holding their 31 cent scoop event to help honor firefighters.  At participating locations, you can get a small scoop for 31 cents.  Call ahead to make sure the location near you is participating!  Find your closest location here.

Wordless Wednesday

I am going to start participating in Wordless Wednesday over at Mom Dot. I guess this one isn't completely wordless.

DH's idea of a baby carrier?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I've turned to orajel when both of my boys were teething.  They have been around for 40 years, so of course I feel like I can trust their products.  Rowan is working on his eye teeth, which I think are the worst of them all.  3 of them have finally broken through, but we are still waiting for the last one.  Orajel has a new teething gel out - cooling cucumber teething gel.  I was anxious to give it a try and see if it gave Rowan and relief.

Pros:  Orajel uses Benzocaine which is a local topical anesthetic.  It works by blocking nerve signals in the body, thus creating the numbing feeling.  Click here to learn more about Benzocaine.  Orajel has that signature taste.  If you've ever used orajel, you know what I am talking about.  Both of my boys cringe when they use normal orajel, and with good reason.  Although the product works well, it doesn't exactly taste good.  This new cooling cucumber gel tastes so much better.  It has a nice melon flavor, and tastes actually very good. (Yes, I would know because it was mommy tested :) )  Rowan actually opens his mouth when he sees it coming because he knows it tastes good.  It's always nice to give your child medicine that they don't fight you on.  
There is a suggestion to keep it in the refrigerator for extra cooling.  I really like this suggestion because we all know that cold things feel good on sore gums.  
The gel includes cucumber extract which also helps to soothe the gums.  
I really think a little goes a long way too, which means you have to buy the product less often.  
It is the #1 pediatrician  recommended teething pain reliever because it allows your baby instant relief.  It has really helped Rowan calm right down when he is having teething pain, which I love.  It definitely works well.

Cons:  Sometimes the consistency doesn't stay the same.  I may squeeze the tube and get a gel out that is more firm, and then all of a sudden it seems to be straight liquid, which can sometimes make a mess.  I notice the consistency is somewhat better when refrigerated.  I'm also not hugely fond of having to cut the tip of the tube. The first time I bought orajel, I cut it way to far down, and the gel starting oozing out everywhere.  I'm sure not to make that mistake now, and make sure I cut it towards the top.  Just a tip for those using or wanting to buy orajel!

The Bottom Line:  Wonderful new teething gel, great taste, works well.

Price:  $5.99 for .33 ounces

Where to Buy:  All major grocers and retailers.  For a location near you, visit baby orajel.

Rating:  Excellent

Baby Orajel sent me 5 extra tubes to give away!  That means 5 winners.

Here's how to enter to win a tube:

Have you ever used orajel?  If so, what is your favorite feature? - 1 entry

You can enter this contest unlimited times, as long as your comments are centered around teething or Baby Orajel.  Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

Contest ends May 5th at 11:59 MST.  Open to US residents only, winners have 3 days to contact me after winning.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eebee Baby

Ever heard of Eebee Baby?  He is ridiculously cute and even helps babies learn.

Here is a sneak peek of Eebee here:

Want to learn more about Eebee?  Make sure to come back and read more about him on Thursday!

PS - I've added a giveaway on the Inchworm Shoes Post.  Be sure to enter!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Isn't it crazy how kids outgrow shoes and clothes in a ridiculous amount of time?  It seems like I have just bought Chan or Rowan a new shirt or pair of shoes, and next thing I know, it's too small.  Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a shoe that could grow with your child?  There is, they are called Inchworm Shoes.

Pros:  I absolutely love the concept behind these shoes.  We were able to review the Milan Strap in a size 10-11.I really like the style and color of the Milan and feel that it is very trendy. Inchworm shoes have 2 sizes in one.  Their iFit technology allows the shoe to "grow" expanding it's size right before your eyes.  Chan is in a size 10 right now.  Once that is too small, there is a button on the side that you push. You then pull on the shoe to expand it.  The bottom part of the shoe has a small view window that let's you know what size it is.  It starts as a size 10, and can expand to a size 10.5 and size 11.  Since his foot isn't growing quite so fast, I expect that these shoes will last us a good year.  To understand this concept fully, with great pictures, visit here.  Nice, right?  Chandler loves these shoes because they are easy to take on and off.  This particular style has a velcro closure on the top which is holds in place very well. The velcro really stays in place.  The shoes are very durable, and although we've only had it a few weeks, they still look brand new.  The inside sole and padding seem very comfortable and the bottom of the sole is quite thick with great traction.  We are planning to do some hiking this summer as a family, and I think these shoes will be great for Chandler because of the comfort and traction.  Inchworm shoes are offered in children's size, starting at a size 10-11, and going up to sizes 4-5.  With 18 styles to choose from, there is bound to be something you'll love.  

Cons:  These shoes are a bit heavier than Chandler's other shoes, and I think it took him a day or two to get used to that.  The middle part of the shoe that extends is also not very flexible.  I think this could be due to the fairly new technology, and the fact that it needs to be less flexible to provide support and be able to extend.  I'm sure that it is something that will get better in time as Chan breaks them in.  It's also hard to extend the shoe, I struggled with a bit, but it seems like consumers have also been concerned about this aspect, as it is in Inchworm's FAQ's.  Here's how Inchworm responded:

"We like to say that our shoes are, "parent adjustable". They do require some hand strength to adjust- however, we would not want children to adjust the shoes, and we would not want them to inadvertently change sizes while in use. Therefore we have made them firm in the adjustment area. Consider also that the shoes will be adjusted only a couple or a few times during the time that they are owned.
We also find that it is helpful to view the size on the bottom before attempting to change the size. This way, one can tell whether to "open" or "close" the shoe."

Fair enough, this definitely makes sense.  And honestly, how often are you going to be changing the size?
I would also love to see how Inchworm was founded and a shoe sizing guide put up on their site.

The Bottom Line:  Wonderful Innovative product that will save Moms time and money when it comes to buying shoes.  A bit heavy and unflexible, but seem to be outweighed by the Cons.

Price: $39.95

Where to Buy: Inchworm Shoes

Rating:  Great

Want to win your own pair of Inchworm shoes?  Inchworm is giving a pair to one reader!

Here's how to enter:

Visit Inchworm and tell me your favorite style - 1 entry

Follow this blog - 1 entry

Grab my button or blinkie - 1 entry

Please leave each entry as a separate comment.  Contest is open to US residents and will end May 9th, 11:59, MST.

Mommy's quiet time is giving away a custom blog design by Subjective Beauty.  Her work is great!  I love her punky monkeys design page, and would love to have her do some work on my blog.  Go check it out!

Friday, April 24, 2009

SIDS Awareness Day

Today, April 24th is SIDS awareness day.  To help awareness day, here are some quick facts and tips about SIDS:

What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a sleeping infant under one year of age. In most situations, infants show no physical signs of distress and are perfectly healthy. Ninety percent of all SIDS fatalities occur before an infant reaches six months of age.

What can you do for your baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following measures that may help to prevent SIDS:

Place infants on their backs to sleep. As sleeping preference is a learned behavior, parents should consider using products such as Baby Sleeps Safe, a two-piece infant safety product that keeps babies sleeping safely and securely on their backs, to ensure their baby is comfortable with the position.

Do not place your infant to sleep in your bed. Instead, bring the crib into your room until your baby is at least six months old.

Make sure the crib has a firm mattress and avoid soft surfaces. Remove blankets, bumpers, toys or pillows.

Overheating an infant is a risk for SIDS. Clothe your infant to keep him warm, but avoid too many layers or warm room temperatures. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests placing an oscillating fan in the room to help circulation and cooling of air.

Offer your infant a pacifier. Studies have shown a lower rate of SIDS with infants who use pacifiers.

Breast-feed your infant whenever possible. Natural milk decreases the likelihood of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, known to contribute to SIDS risk.

I think these are some great ideas, and knowledge is power!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Huggies has a new rewards program called Enjoy the Ride.  I think eventually it will be similar to the Pampers Gifts To Grow program, which we have been participating in for 3 years now.  

As of now, you can redeem rewards points to enter sweepstakes, but I'm hoping you will be able to redeem them for prizes soon.   Once you register, you get 10 rewards points and can enter this code for an additional 5 points: TKHNF-RLPLS-TRPGB 
After you register, you also get a printable coupon for $2 off any package of diapers.  You can print this more than once!
(Deal seen on Money Saving Mom)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Here are the winners via random number generator:

Ipod Winner
Elita said...
84I am Elita and I also twitted.

Jack & Lily Shoes Winner
Beautiful For Thee Administrator said...
What I would like to know is how you are suppose to choose one? :-) These are way too cute!!! My favorites are the Pink Daisy Patch, Pink and Brown Saddle, Navy Hibiscus, and the Light Blue Prince. To be honest, I love them all. The features I love are the fact they are washable and have soft leather. Thanks for a great giveaway!

Please use the Contact Form to claim your prize within 3 days or I will draw another winner!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm always on the lookout for cool, innovative products, things that make life a little easier, and of course a little more fashionable. My Monkey Moo is a specialty company that sells comfortable and stylish stroller pads and blankets.

Pros: Here's a dilemma it seems I always face with the stroller and blankets: It's cold outside but warm enough to want to go walking. I need to put a blanket around Rowan who is usually the one in the stroller at this point. After a minute, even though  I have bundled him well, the blanket comes loose and starts dragging on the ground. It gets dirty, stuck in the wheels, and I end up having to stop and fix it every few minutes. My Monkey Moo stroller blankets are 26" wide by 32" long, which is the perfect size for covering up your little one without having worry about it dragging. Everytime we've used My Monkey Moo, we've had no problems with the blanket falling off or dragging and Rowan has stayed toasty warm.
We received the stroller pad and set in the pattern At the Zoo. The pattern is absolutely adorable, and I had the hardest time choosing as they have so may fashionable and fun patterns. The nice part about these sets is that they are reversible, allowing you to have two different looks. Immediately upon receiving the set, I was impressed by the great quality. The material is thick and both items are extremely well made. The backing is a VERY soft swirl chenille. It's so soft that I wanted to curl up with it! Doesn't Rowan look so warm? And YES, that is SNOW in APRIL.
I think the stroller pad is such a great idea. It protects the fabric on your stroller, gives a versatile look, and makes your little one that much more comfortable. I a decided to give the stroller pad a test run myself and what better way to do that than to sit on it. :) I know it sounds funny, but I need to give an honest review, right? It actually does a great job padding, even if it isn't intended for moms who weigh more than 20 lbs. Rowan looked super comfortable when sitting on his stroller pad. These pads have slots/holes where you can put the buckles and harness through to help it adapt to almost any stroller. And if this set isn't versatile enough, the stroller pad can double as a changing pad! These wash up really nicely, and I can see that our set is going to last for a long time.
My Monkey Moo is decidated to style and comfort 365 days a year. What a great attitude for a company to have, and I adore the name. Fun and catchy, right?

Cons: I feel like there isn't quite enough information about the company on the site and would love to learn more. As a consumer, I'd like to know how the company was inspired, the mind behind it. I also wish these were available in more stores as I notice there aren't any retailers in Utah where I'm at.

The Bottom Line: Great innovative baby gear, perfect for your strollers.

Price: $64 for blanket or pad $130 for Sets. (Please note this company is out of Canada, and all prices are figured in Canadian dollars. I assume if you place an order, the exchange will be figured in, so actual price in US dollars is less depending on exchange.)

Where to Buy: My Monkey Moo Online 

Rating: Great

My Monkey Moo has offered to GIVE AWAY a stroller and pad set!

Here's how to enter:

1 - Visit My Monkey Moo and tell me your favorite style and feature about this product - 2 entries

2 - Become a Follower or let me know you are one - 1 entry

3-  Tweet or blog this giveaway - 1 entry

4 - Subscribe to my posts (top left) - 1 entry

Contest is open to US and Canada residents and ends at 11:59 MST, May 5th.  Winner has 3 days to contact me.