Monthly Archives: August 2014

We *love* Breastfeeding

It has been a busy six weeks of writing about breastfeeding over on Sweet Pea Births!  Since this side has been a little neglected, here is a list of all the topics we have covered.  In addition, be sure to check out Cassandra’s Breastfeeding Cafe contribution on this blog HERE.

Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival

Guest Blogger: My Breastfed Story – How my story of being breastfed and seeing breastfeeding influenced my choices

Support: Helping Others – Krystyna’s story of being an example to other families

Keep Calm and Feed Your Baby – We all know that life goes on while breastfeeding and leaving the house means breastfeeding in public

Extended Breastfeeding: Past the First Birthday – The benefits of long-term breastfeeding

Wordless Wednesday – Breastfeeding + Babywearing

Bfing+AP = Transformation Central – How has breastfeeding changed your life?

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Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Breastfeeding: A Family Affair – Coach Bruss chimes in with his perspective on breastfeeding

Inside Look: Poncho Baby – Exclusive interview with the founder of Poncho Baby

Inside Look: Cover My Heart – Exclusive interview with the founder of Cover My Heart

Top 5 Breastfeeding Products  – Must-haves for nursing mamas!

Wordless Wednesday – Beautiful Breastfeeding <3

Breastfeeding Comfort Kit – Products you want in the first weeks of breastfeeding

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Black Breastfeeding Week

3 Ideas to Improve Black Breastfeeding Outcomes – Examining outcomes from a childbirth educator’s perspective

In Their Own Words: Dajanay – A Bradley Mom shares her story

In Their Own Words: Chris – A Bradley Dad shares his story

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Tuesday Tips: Allergen-Free Cupcake Recipe

I found this recipe in a Martha Stewart cookbook – it was so yummy I wanted to share it with you. The recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free and soy-free.  We adjusted it to be gluten-free for us. Kiddos loved them – they disappeared.

We made them without cocoa powder because I didn’t have it with me, and we substituted the white flour for a GF Sweet Baking mix from Gluten Free Creations Bakery & Cafe. We also used apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar…a little tip from the DC cupcakes show to make them a little sweeter  To top them off, we made a buttercream frosting colored with raspberry and strawberry juice.

Find the recipe here:
http://www.marthastewart.com/315948/divvies-chocolate-cupcakes

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Recipe from the “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes,” book, featuring 175 ideas for every occasion

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Our vanilla version of the Allergen-Free Chocolate Cupcake recipe shared on the Martha Stewart Show by Divvies Bakery in 2008

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We squeezed the juice from a handful of raspberries and two strawberries using a cheesecloth to make a natural food coloring.

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Food Network “Quick Vanilla Buttercream” recipe colored pink with raspberry and strawberry juice.

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Finished product…ultimate compliment was having someone ask which bakery I bought them at, even with a less-than-perfect “signature swirl” *wink*

National Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2014

On August 6th, 2011 the United States Breastfeeding Committee officially declared that August is National Breastfeeding Month.

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In honor of this month we have been featuring various images and posts across our Instagram & Facebook feeds with accompanying blog posts and today there are **two** new posts up on the Sweet Pea Births blog that are awesome for nursing mamas or mamas-to-be to check out!

Talisha from Modern Mommy Boutique was kind enough to participate in videos for us highlighting the top breastfeeding products as well as products for ultimate breastfeeding comfort. Check them out & let us know if there are any other *must haves* for you when nursing your sweet pea! <3

 

WW: Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Our theme this month was “Nature’s Best” as we celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month here in the USA.  This statue from Peru is a perfect way to kick off this post:

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So here are the #beautifulbfing images sent in by our readers, and some from way back in our personal archive to share with you – only one has ever been shared before, and I’m sharing it again because it was taken by one of our older children.  I love love love that they see breasts as normal and functional; and that sleeping mamas and babies are picture-worthy.

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Breastfeeding Awareness Month #beautifulbfing #normalizebfing #NBM14

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Tandem Nursing – Breastfeeding Awareness Month #beautifulbfing #normalizebfing #NBM14

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Puma breastfeeding one of her babies on an evening stroll – Breastfeeding Awareness Month #beautifulbfing #normalizebfing #NBM14

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From covered…

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…to confident and posting #selfies on social media

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Breastfeeding Awareness Month #beautifulbfing #normalizebfing #NBM14 #extendedbreastfeeding #biologicalbfing

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Breastfeeding Awareness Month #beautifulbfing #normalizebfing #NBM14 #extendedbreastfeeding #biologicalbfing

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Breastfeeding Awareness Month #beautifulbfing #normalizebfing #NBM14 #extendedbreastfeeding #biologicalbfing

the noggle™ - product designed by two AZ dads to make the back seat cool again!

Tuesday Tip: The Noggle™

This is one of those inventions that is so simple it’s brilliant.  Better yet, it’s a small business that is keeping at least the sewing part of production local, creating jobs right here in Arizona.  Shop small, shop local and a brilliant gadget that improves car travel for all of us – it sounds like a winner!!

The invention is called “The Noggle”.  Two Arizona dads figured out how to help their little ones beat the heat while riding in the car…a very hot place if you are sitting in the back seat without any direct air flow.  Conversely, I remember freezing in the back seat during the winter-time when I was growing up in Upstate New York.  This gadget comes in handy whether it’s hot or cold in your part of the world!! It can redirect whatever temperature air you are using and direct it towards your Sweet Peas.

Forward facing child - you can hang the noggle™ from a seat or let them hold the hose and direct the air flow themselves.

Forward facing child – you can hang the noggle™ from a seat or let them hold the hose and direct the air flow themselves.

Using the noggle™ with a rear-facing child - it can direct air down their back, where AZ Sweet Peas tend to be the sweatiest!

Using the noggle™ with a rear-facing child – it can direct air down their back, where AZ Sweet Peas tend to be the sweatiest!

From the “About Us” section of their website, www.nogglenation.com:

The heat of an Arizona Summer can be merciless. Shortly after putting my son, Hunter in the car he would begin to sweat and quickly become irritated waiting for the air conditioning to reach him in the backseat. This made travel very difficult trying to comfort a fussy child while staying focused driving the vehicle. One afternoon, my good friend Chris and I began looking for a way to beat the heat in the backseat. We worked with various parts and instruments to find a simple system that would allow A/C to be redirected to blow on both Hunter and Chris’s children. After a couple of weeks and many failed designs, we were able to create an effective design that would become the Noggle. Hunter loved it and I was thrilled! No more sweaty and uncomfortable car rides for him and no more dangerous distracted driving for me.

Check out a News Clip from a local television station HERE

We have a couple of SPB mamas who got these for their Sweet Peas – Jennifer was kind enough to share a review for your consideration:

We live in Phoenix. It is hot. In summer, it gets very hot. We have a baby. And a Honda Civic. Our civic has 4 air conditioning vents; all in the front of the passenger compartment.  This all adds up to a backseat in the car  that gets uncomfortably *hot*. My Sweet Pea is still rear-facing and spent all of last summer stewing in her car seat in a pool of her own sweat. As a result, I spent most of last summer hiding out at home with a baby.

Now she’s a toddler and she likes going places. I didn’t want to deny her the chance to get out and do things.  She also drives with me to and from work, so I had to figure out a solution. A new car wasn’t an option so I decided to try the noggle™.

My husband wasn’t sold on the idea of the noggle™.  We found them to be bit pricey. However, he finally agreed we should give it a shot this summer. The very first time we tried it, an evening in mid-May, made him a believer. “She’s cold!” he exclaimed as we pulled her out of the car.

Now a couple months and 114F later, when we pull her out of her car seat, she’s generally a bit sweaty. But then again, so am I – it can’t be helped in the desert.  I think that she would be less sweaty if I could direct the noggle™ so that it actually blew air in her direction.  This is not a design flaw on the part of the noggle™ manufacturer.  She’s just afraid of wind, so we face the air nozzle away from her.

What are some things I like? It works! Also, I like how it connects to the vent. It also easily twists off if I have a passenger in the front but no baby in the back. 

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What don’t I like? We have an 8-foot noggle™ based off the recommendations on their website; but it is a bit long for my car. We are looking to get an SUV in the near future so this may turn out to be a good thing since it will fit well in an SUV. (Plus, the easy twist off feature mentioned above, will make it easy to switch the noggle™ between cars.) For now, the length is a bit annoying. Also, the price. The noggle™ is basically a fancy, pretty-patterned vacuum hose. In fact, a friend made her own noggle-hack from a vacuum hose for about $10. That being said, I would have paid much more to make sure my baby was safe and as comfortable as possible. And frankly, I knew I have no MacGyver tendencies so I wouldn’t be fashioning one out of a straw, some string, and duct tape; and since my husband wasn’t a believer he would have continually bumped it to the bottom of his honey – do list…so it was either go without or pay up. At the end of the day, I can say that I am glad I paid for a device that securely attaches to the vent and near our Sweet Pea so that we can drive worry-free.

All in all, the noggle™ is something I would definitely recommend to any parent in a warm climate.

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Jennifer also wanted to pass along a suggestion that reminds her when her Sweet Pea is with her in the car.  We have all heard those heart-breaking stories of good parents who forget about the child in the car seat, and then go back to the car and find unspeakable tragedy.  She only connects her noggle™ hose to the vent when her Sweet Pea is in the car with her.  She is in the habit of disconnecting the noggle™ when they arrive at their destination, which serves as a reminder to take her Sweet Pea out of the car .

So we have some great news for our readers – the folks at the noggle™ have been very generous.  They provided us with a coupon code to share with you to make this more affordable for our Sweet Pea Families… thank you so much, the noggle™ crew!!

Coupon Code for 15% off:
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Our readers can enter the code “sweetpea” at checkout to get the 15% off.  I am so excited for you because they normally only offer 10% off.  Take advantage of the bonus while it lasts!

What do you think? Will you be getting a noggle™ for your family?

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Otteroo: The water tool you need

UPDATE 7.7.15  RECALL NOTICE
It is advised that consumers immediately stop using the recalled inflatable baby floats and contact the firm to receive a free replacement.

READ MORE ABOUT THE RECALL HERE
http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/Recall-Alerts/2015/Otteroo-Corp-Recalls-Inflatable-Baby-Floats/

I was fortunate enough to attend the Club MomMe Spring Family Fest in Orange County at the beginning of June.  There were so many amazing vendors there – here is one that fits best on our family blog since it is a great tool after the Birth-Day.

Otteroo is a float designed to be used with infants 8 weeks and up through the time when a child is acclimated to the water and able to support their own weight without tipping over – that is different for every Sweet Pea.  At first, I wondered how comfortable I would be with allowing one of our Sweet Peas to have something attached around their neck.  After seeing it in person and reading about all the research and effort that was taken to make sure it was safe, I felt like this is definitely a product I wanted to share with you.

See Otteroo in action HERE

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Creator and Founder of Otteroo, Tiffany Chiu, provided us with this information to share with you.  She sent me the Q&A that they have developed for media.  She has been kind enough to provide our readers with a coupon code – thank you, Tiffany!

How important is it that very young children are comfortable around water? How does your product help with that?
Infants start to “pick & choose” activities and objects that they like and do not like, at around 6 months old by familiarity and how they feel with it. With otteroo, infants and babies find that water play is fun, they become familiar with how to move their arms and legs in water, and also navigate their way around the tub on their own. We believe that this will eventually promote a sense of confidence and independence in water for the infant. The transition to mommy-and-me swim classes that usually start around six months, or swim classes later on, should be much less dramatic when the baby already loves moving around in the water.

Is the bath and beach market growing as baby swimming lessons become more popular?
We have seen a lot of energy and focus being directed toward children’s bath, beach and pool markets, which is great, but we saw a gap in the array of swim lessons and water familiarity building tools for infants under six months of age in the USA.  We came to the conclusion that parents who wanted their babies to love and enjoy the water and interact with it in a positive, fun way, didn’t have much help from the marketplace aside from bath toys and various infant bath tub options.  We wanted to answer to this demand by encouraging babies’ natural love for being buoyant and freely moving their arms and legs in the water as it allows them the gravity-free like sensation that they can not get on dry land.

What is the most common water-related concern that parents face? (safety? kids hating bathtime?)

For all parents, the greatest fear related to water is what could happen in the split second that they are not watching the child by, or in the water.  And we could not agree more.  Like with all child bath and pool floating devices, we make sure that parents know that they must watch the infant within an arm’s length the entire time the infant is in the tub.  Our customer service is very personal and hands on so that we can ensure that parents have inflated the dual chambers, and are also using the floatie properly.
Not so much a concern as it is a tiring hassle for parents is when the child hates taking a bath and puts up a fight; or if you have twins.  To this, we feel that otteroo is a revolutionary bath time essential as it makes bath time fun, something to look forward to, for the baby, and it allows the parent’s arms to be free to wash the infant.  You will be able to bathe the twins simultaneously while they have fun with being in the water together.

DESIGN FEATURES

  • Otteroo features a cushioned chin rest and rounded smooth edges at every touch point to ensure the baby’s comfort.
  • Our patented design allows the floatie to stretch out horizontally rather than vertically, making it easy for parents to place on and off the baby.
  • The two circular openings also allow the floatie to comfortably expand as the infant grows and naturally drains any splashed up water.
  • The new click-in strap design makes it a snap to secure.
  • Softest, highest grade, toxin-free and latex-free plastic for a lick-safe, smell- and rash-free experience for the infant. No ink is used on any exposed surfaces.


Tiffany has been kind enough to provide SPF readers a 20% off coupon code that expires 9/30: Enter 20KB2014 at check out to receive 20% off of your order

For more information on the Otteroo story, please check out
http://otteroo.com/pages/about-us

SOS: Help! It’s HOT! Going crazy inside!!

Posted by Krystyna Bowman

This was originally posted last July, but as many of you are probably finding yourself at the end of your patience with these high temps & lack of indoor activities we thought it would be helpful to revisit a few ideas!

July August is here, and the heat of Arizona is officially upon us!! Even if you are not living in AZ, you may also be in need of indoor play ideas in your part of the world. Since the temperature is only going up, I want to share some ideas to enjoy the summer with your family and not get overheated.

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Do you like to be outdoors?  The Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens offer earlier open times – maybe the one in your area does, too.  We have always enjoyed going early in the day when the mornings are under the 100F mark.  The city parks are opening their splash pads – check out your city’s website and find out locations and hours.

If you have a little room in your budget, you can sign up for classes in your child’s age group.  Here are some ideas: music, gymnastics, swimming lessons, summer camps held at churches or dance schools.

Are there any museums in your area?  You can see if they offer special programming for children, and ask if they offer group discounts.  Maybe you can get some friends together for a discount while having a museum playdate!!  In addition, check your local museums for Family Free Days over the summer months.  We have found that arriving right at opening time, or going a couple of hours before closing helps to avoid the crowds.   Museums let us enjoy some time out of the house and out of the sun while allowing our little explorers all kinds of growth opportunities.

If you are on a tight budget, pick some different places to go out every day.  You can still find plenty of ways to learn and grow – you just have to get a little more creative!  Here is a money-saving idea:  Let your destination pay for air conditioning!  Make it a point to leave the house while your kiddo and you are fresh and rested.  Here are some free places that you can go for a walkabout:

  • Shopping malls – be brave and drive a little farther. Go to one that isn’t in your neighborhood and you get A/C time coming and going as well!  While you are there, explore the children’s stores that have toys out for the kiddos to sample.  Our favorite place is Pottery Barn Kids.  I don’t like having the big playsets in our home, however, it’s great to have the kids go there and enjoy them, and then get to leave them behind!  Many shopping centers open early for mall walkers – it’s a great time to go to the children’s play areas before the stores open and the mall gets more crowded.  The story times/ mall activities listed in this month’s newsletters (activities in the Chandler, AZ area) all start between 10:00 am and 10:30 pm – depending on how your child naps, you might be able to do both, and then head home and get some chores done while your tired baby sleeps.
  • Big super-stores like PetSmart, Walmart and Target.  I like PetSmart and Walmart because they have lots of fish tanks+ with live fish to explore.  Here are the kiddos and Bruss playing with the fishing poles at Walmart – all the fun, none of the clutter :)Blog4 1375
  • Bass Pro Shop – they have a fish pond where the kiddos can learn to fish, plus lots of other things to see and explore.  Kiddos can enjoy some of the displays – Bruss says some of them are climbable!
  • Bookstore – Barnes & Noble has a great kids area with a reading area plus a different selection of books than you might find at the library.  You can look over on the “meetings and groups” list to find the monthly listing for their story times.
  • Grocery Store – instead of making a mad dash through the place with your list, go with the time and the intention of walking up and down all the aisles.  There are lots of foods to explore in the produce section, you can take your time and look in all the display cases, you can touch the doors in the frozen food section, and take in all the colors as you talk about how things are sorted, grouped and why your family makes the food choices that they make.  There are lots of smells to identify, with the added bonus of sensory items to touch in the pet aisle.
  • Office Buildings – does coach, or another family member or friend work in a high rise?  How about going to visit them?  While you are there, ride the elevator and look at some of the artwork along the different floors of the building.  You can get off at the different floors and observe the different views that you see at different heights.  You can check your local listings to see if there is a top deck restaurant that offers a 360 degree view of your city while you are dining.

You can also take advantage of the public libraries.  Pack yourself plenty of water, a couple of portable snacks, and head over to the stacks to hang out for a while before and/or after library activities.

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Need a day at home?  How about doing some sensory play?  One of our best investments was a sand and water table we bought when our oldest was a toddler.  We lost the lid a long time ago, however the base is still sturdy and usable.  You can do all water, or a mix of sand and water, or all sand.  Get out the stackable cups and measuring spoons you already have around the house and let your kids measure and pour to their hearts content!  You can hide toys in the sand.

We have also set up a water station in the kitchen.  We lay out a few towels first, and then fill different size pots with varying amounts of water.  If you are so inclined, you can set out some rice, beans, or pastas for the kiddos to “cook” with.  Let them spoon, measure and pour and get nice and wet.  As an added bonus, you can get a chore done by breaking out your mop when it’s time to clean up!

Do you have a “safe” place for your kiddos to play in the kitchen?  Maybe you can set up a drawer, a cabinet and a pantry shelf that are “safe” for them.  Ask them to look in the different places for different things – maybe a mini-scavenger hunt for all the items they will use at their water station!

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How about a fort?  Here is a fort we made using a kit the kiddos got for Christmas.  However, there is nothing wrong with taking a sheet and hanging it over a table, or taking some chairs into the middle of a room and hanging a sheet over those.  It’s great fun to play peek-a-boo, or create a temporary reading nook with a new twist.

HERE is a list of other sensory ideas that you can easily set up at home when your kiddos are tired of playing with their regular toys and walking through the house has become an exercise in futility.  My favorite on this list is freezing toys into a block of ice and then letting the kiddos carve them out with spoons.  That would feel really great when it’s 117F outside!

Send us your pictures of indoor fun!  What is your family’s favorite indoor, beat the heat idea?

Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.