Category - Dad

A Healthier Me with Invisalign

Invisalign_logo

Happy March, or what’s left of it 🙂 Last month I wrote about my, “Induction to the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board.” A lot has happened since then.

I met with my assigned orthodontist for my initial consultation which included:

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  • Filling out dental and general health history forms
  • Meeting with the Orthodontic Treatment Coordinator
  • Having photos taken at several angles of my teeth and bite
  • An extensive consultation by the Orthodontist with explanations on how Invisalign could help improve my smile.

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After my initial consultation I scheduled the next appointment for my impressions. After my x-rays I prepared myself for my impressions. I had heard they were the worst part of the Invisalign procedure, but in my opinion they were a breeze, of course the “goop” didn’t taste great, but it also wasn’t the worst thing I’d experienced in life and my technician was pretty quick too.  I even learned that some offices {including mine now} offer a new technology that scans each tooth and is “goop-free”.

Here are my pictures of the equipment they used for impressions:

Invisalign Impression Equipment

and my impressions:

Invisalign Impressions

Although it seemed like forever until I got my first set of Invisalign aligners the day finally came. The technician had me try them on and checked the fit and also explained how to remove and replace the aligners, it was actually much easier than I had originally expected. I got 3 sets of aligners, {one for each week} and here’s what I think of them so far:

They have  improved my life in a lot of ways I never expected with very minimal side effects {mild soreness, and irritation of one aligner but solved with some dental wax}.

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  • My teeth are already moving – Not a whole lot but I can definitely feel and see the small changes
  • My teeth are whiter – I am brushing more than I ever have in my life AND drinking less coffee and pop {soda}
  • I am snacking a lot less, mostly because I don’t want to take my aligners out then clean my teeth and clean my aligners. A few chips isn’t worth it for me now.

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Now Invisalign only claims the first reason I love my aligners – teeth straightening, and I’m excited to go to my next appointment where I’ll get my attachments, and I think I heard the Orthodontist even mention rubber bands for my bite.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress as I go. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment here or email me with any questions you may have for yourself or your teen regarding Invisalign and Invisalign Teen.

Let the teeth straightening begin:

Invisalign Aligners MommyB

Also check out Invisalign on Facebook and Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/invisalign

I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, I receive complimentary Invisalign treatment, but am posting my own, personal opinions.

5 Things I Learned About Opera – My First Experience

 

Opera GlassesSaturday night my Facebook status read something like: “Heading to the Opera” I think I may have confused some people. While I am a work-at-home mom I have a few occasions when I get out of the house at night, typically it’s for a Mom’s Night Out or Night In, but sometimes I go to the movies, or even…the opera.

I was invited by Opera Carolina to attend their performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. This was my first experience with opera and I learned a lot from going. I think it’s definitely something worth experiencing at least once in your life.

1. Opera Carolina provides Subtitles for their performances. My guest/friend, photographer Jamie, and I weren’t sure how much of the show we’d be able to understand from watching the actions and movements of the cast, but were delightfully surprised to see a discrete sign above the stage with subtitles in English.

2. Tickets are affordable. When I think of the opera typically I think of high-class and high prices, this is not the case. Tickets at Opera Carolina range from $15 to $135 depending on where you are sitting and when you attend. The lower pricing is great for those of you who want to “check out” the opera without spending too much.

3. Leave your tuxedos and gowns at home. Again, another misconception I had of the opera, {that was a reason I hesitated to attend} was that I had to be in a ball gown, dripping with diamonds, and looking flawless. While I did look flawless I wore black dress pants and a cute blue top and did not feel out of place, now I didn’t see anyone in cutoffs so let’s not get carried away, but don’t worry about dying your wedding dress and wearing it just to fit in.

4. They have concessions. Just like any other show they offer concessions, drinks, and snacks are available for purchase. One of my friends, frequent opera-goer Lisa Frame always gets peanut M&Ms. Unfortunately for Jamie and I, being dinner skippers would have loved a three-course meal, but love that they offer a variety since I wasn’t even aware that would be an option.

5. It can be exciting and fun. Aside from getting ready and attending the opera in itself, there were some cool moments in Eugene Onegin. The story was based on love that was raw, twisted and even led to death. Not all the moments in this opera were a little slower especially after being up at 2:00 in the morning with Baby C.

Overall, I’m really glad that I decided to overcome my objections of what I “thought” the opera would be like. I enjoyed getting ready for the show, having fun with a hilarious friend, getting out of the house, and enjoying some culture. The cast and crew of Eugene Onegin is incredibly talented and I loved the music and even a few silly parts that were highlighted.

If you want to check out Opera Carolina and see Eugene Onegin on March 22nd or March 25th, or just check out what the opera is all about head over to their website here: http://www.operacarolina.org/operas/

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Thank you to Opera Carolina and Opera Social Bytes for having me and my guest and for the complimentary items. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review and was not obligated to write this review specifically. All of the thoughts expressed above are my own honest opinions, yours may vary.

No More Moose and Zee – Nick Jr. Changes

No to Nick Jr.?

Lately Nick Jr. has been making a lot of changes, and not everyone is happy about them. First, a new Marina appeared on The Fresh Beat Band with no warning or transition, then Nick Jr. lied about when new episodes of Fresh Beat Band would appear, new show Mike the Knight aired on February 6th in the US, and now a slurry of changes have hit the channel and parents are not happy. Here are just a couple of comments from Nick Jr.’s Facebook wall this morning:

Nick Jr Facebook PagePersonally, I think that Nick Jr. should have learned it’s lesson from The Fresh Beat Band and the uproar from parents being upset about such an abrupt change with no transition or warning. Some parents hate change and will be upset regardless, however I think there are parents/viewers who would have been more receptive to the changes had Nick been more up front with things going on behind the scenes.

Sprout does a great job of introducing new characters, like one of their Sunny Side Up Show co-hosts Liz. Weeks before they broadcast Liz they showed her on breaks in-between the show, they also let children know who the host of the next week’s show will be. Disney Junior too is among children’s programming that understands that children transition better when change is slow rather than overnight. Disney Junior has been showing off commercials for one of their upcoming shows, Doc McStuffins throughout their normal programming and even recently announced that they will be airing programming for the younger crowd all day. {Which I personally am very excited for since we’ll have an alternative to other channels that we watch solely because Disney Junior changes to cater to older kids at a certain time of day.}

So it’s not that Nick Jr. couldn’t transition, however we may never know why they didn’t choose to transition more slowly or keep Moose and Zee around. No more recycling Gnomes on Ice cups, silly songs about candy canes and candy corn, and fun learning games about the hidden letters Big R and little r.

What are your thoughts? Are you bothered like so many other parents, do you want to Boycott Nick Jr., or could you and your children care less?

What programming will you and your children continue to watch?

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No to Nick Jr.?

also check out these other related Nickelodeon posts:

Interview with 2Carats – Shayna Rose & Elizabeth Shea Part 1

Interview with 2Carats – Shayna Rose & Elizabeth Shea Part 1

Shayna Rose and Elizabeth Shea 2Carats Trailer by MommyBKnowsBest

What Happened To The Fresh Beat’s Marina

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 Episodes

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 – New September Episodes

Dora’s Explorer Girls: Dora All Grown Up

NickJr Lied!

A Happy Green Life Natural Laundry Wash {Guest Review}

A Happy Green Life Logo

A Happy Green Life LogoDuring the last 1.5 years of my cloth diaper journey, I’ve tried at least five different brands of cloth-safe detergent.

Most recently, thanks to Mommy B, I had the opportunity to try several scents of A Happy Green Life’s natural laundry wash.

A Happy Green Life (AHGL) was started by two moms who cloth diaper their babies. They wanted a detergent that’s safe for the diapers and worked well for their husbands’ uniforms (one husband is a professional chef and the other is in the military).

Their laundry wash is made from naturally occurring chemicals and compounds – sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and sodium percarbonate. They offer laundry washes scented with synthetic fragrance oils as well scents made with 100% natural essential oils.

Immediately upon opening the package containing the detergent samples, I was overwhelmed by the strong smell, particularly from the synthetic blends. I tend to be somewhat sensitive to strong smells and AHGL’s scents are so strong, they actually made me sneeze when I opened them. Even now, as they sit beside me as I write this review, they are irritating my nose a bit.

Having said that, the scents do smell good – including Monkey Farts, Bite Me, and Lavender Apple. AHGL offers more than 20 scents. My laundry room actually smells fantastic with the detergent sitting in there.

A Happy Green Life Laundry Wash

After washing, my clothes and diapers didn’t seem to retain such a strong scent. Some of the scents I could lightly smell after washing and some I couldn’t smell at all.

What really impressed me about AHGL’s laundry wash is how well it took the chlorine smell out of swimsuits and towels that sat overnight because we forgot to put them in the washer.

One challenge with cloth diapering is that detergent can build up in your diapers and cause stink issues. AHGL seemed to rinse well from our diapers and clothing and got them fairly clean. Stains remained on some diapers that were heavily soiled, but that’s common with most cloth diapers. I haven’t found a detergent yet that takes out all the staining. A quick way to get rid of stains (cloth diapers or any clothing) is to put them out in the sun while they’re wet. You’ll be amazed how well it works!

Like all cloth-friendly detergents, AHGL’s laundry wash does not contain optical brighteners, phosphates or soap.

You can find A Happy Green Life laundry wash and additional products they offer on their website and through select retailers. A 50/100 load bag costs $10, which seems to be on the lower end of what many cloth diaper-safe detergents cost.

Jamie BioAfter a 13+ years PR/communications career, Jamie K. recently took on her most challenging job yet – as a fulltime CFO (chief family officer). Currently, she lives in Alabama with her husband, an officer in the Air

Force, and her toddler son and infant daughter. She’s a big fan of deal sites, attempts to be eco-friendly, and struggles daily with the great balancing act of being a super mom.

Although products were provided for this review, the opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Game Night for Adults – Hasbro’s NEW Taboo {Giveaway-CLOSED}

Taboo-PKG

DaddyB and I have recently decided that we need to bring back Adult Game Night, you know, where adult friends come over and you have a game night while the kiddos are tucked safely in bed? Yeah, that. We used to have lots of game nights with our friends when we were dating, and after we were married, but now that we have the girls it’s hard for us to get out of the house as much. We’re totally down for hosting though!!

Taboo-PKGBecause we love our classic games and we know most people already know the rules we stick to those we are comfortable with, {and occasionally add in a new one.} This time we decided to try out Hasbro’s word game, Taboo. Hasbro sent us the new, and improved Taboo to check out and play and here are some of our thoughts:

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  • We loved that there are new words, it spices up the game a little and allows for more creativity.
  • The new game changing die is pretty cool and adds a new element to Taboo by making it even more challenging to get your teammates to say the word.
  • Same fun opportunities to be silly and have a good time

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  • Needs 2 AA batteries that are not included (I personally love when games add this for you)
  • You need at least 4 players to have teams (however for game night we often have many more)

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We love the new take on this classic game and had a great time with friends. At $26.99 MRSP it’s a pretty decent price for a game that will last for years of play, definitely a great housewarming gift for friends or birthday present for the game lover.

Hasbro is giving one lucky MommyB Knows Best reader their own new Taboo game! 

How to Win

Head over to Hasbro’s website here: http://www.hasbro.com and tell me what other games look appealing to you. Leave one comment per game for additional entries. {If you don’t use the prize for yourself consider giving it as a gift.}

1. Leave a comment on another post on my website. (1 comment per post, no limit otherwise.)

2. Follow Hasbro on Twitter

2. Follow MommyBKnowsBest on Twitter

3. Tweet– using @mommybknowsbest and @familygamenight with a url linking back to this giveaway. (up to 5 tweets a day)

Not an entry because MommyB Knows Best follows Facebook TOS, but we’d love it if you’d go check out Hasbro here: on Facebook and if you want to follow MommyB Knows Best (again not an entry but I’d love you forever if you did) click here: MommyB Knows Best Facebook

RulesGiveaway ends February 17th @7:00am. The winner will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

I received a copy of Taboo from Hasbro in order to give my honest thoughts about the product. I was not compensated for this post and the opinions expressed in the post above are my own, true thoughts, however yours may vary.

Disney’s Lady and the Tramp DVD Blu-Ray

Lady and the Tramp

Happy Valentine’s Day!! A day for love, romance, and having fun with those closest to you. I tried to think of, “the greatest love story of all” to share with you. I thought of writing about my own love story with DaddyB but figured it may be too epic, then I thought of sharing my love with my children and while I love them immensely it’s not quite the same love I was thinking of writing about. Then, it hit me, why not write about a couple with love that bridged the divide, a classic love; Lady and the Tramp. 

I know that’s probably not what you were thinking, but for me, this Disney movie is timeless. I’ll admit it’s been quite a few years around a decade at least  since I’ve seen the movie. I remembered the general plot, but for some reason couldn’t remember the “villian.” Until I saw the box open up with the Siamese cats and then remembered the red-eyed rat that may scare some children.

Miss A is now almost 5, but she’s always been very sensitive to violence and “scary things” and was a little frightened by the movie, but I can see her enjoying it when she is older. I know many of her friends who are the same age also enjoy this, and other, more intense Disney movies. I think it really just depends on your own child.

Overall, I love this movie because I think it’s a sweet love story that shows it’s good to open up to new experiences and people. And the movie can teach about love, but it’s an innocent love that can translate to friendship as well. It’s the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day and already out on the store shelves. If you’re looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or just something fun to do with the kids, make a big bowl of pasta for dinner, grab your copy of Lady and the Tramp and enjoy watching with a bowl of popcorn for family movie night. There’s something for everyone. Be sure to visit my post with great printables, recipes, and activities here: http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/friday-fun-with-lady-and-the-tramp/

Also check out one of my favorite movie review sites for ratings and how appropriate it is for your family: Common Sense Media’s Lady and the Tramp Review.

Are you watching any movies with your family for Valentine’s Day? Which one??

I received a review copy of this DVD, and have not been paid for my opinions. The opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary.

Friday Fun with Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Unbeknownst to most of you I was ill with the flu on Sunday. Full-on-flu. I was in bed right after church at 1:30pm and stayed in bed till 6:30am the next morning, mostly because my body wouldn’t let me move. I was achy all over, joints, head, back. Flip-Flopped all day and night long between being super cold and having chills and needing the fan on. No fun at all.

Lady and the Tramp

Needless to say I’m still recovering, each day I’m feeling better and was so blessed to have hubby home on Sunday so that I could stay in bed and not have to take care of the girls in my poor condition. I figured today would be a nice opportunity to post something fun, that the family could enjoy, yours and mine.

And if any of you aren’t feeling well, need a break, or even want to color and have fun with your kiddos here are some great activity pages from the movie Lady and the Tramp. This great, classic movie hit store shelves this Tuesday on DVD/Blu-Ray! I love that all the great movies are starting to do this because I enjoy watching films that hold special meaning and memories to me and the fact that I can now share that with my girls is priceless.

So here you go, feel free to print, and if you want to take a picture and add it on my Facebook page that would be incredible and totally make my day. It may just make my sickies go away all-together!!

Here’s a little preview of one of the coloring sheets (there are several, but this one is super cute!!) Click on the links to the right for the PDF versions and print out for hours of fun!

Lady and the Tramp Color

 

LADY AND THE TRAMP – COLORING SHEET

LADY AND THE TRAMP – CONNECT THE DOTS

LADY AND THE TRAMP – SPAGHETTI & MEATBALL RECIPE

Do you have memories from Lady and the Tramp or other classic Disney movies? Please share them here, in the comment section, I would love to hear them!

 

 

How do you Celebrate Black History Month?

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. For those you who you don’t know, here’s a little background info:

In 1926 historian, Carter G. Woodson and some other influentials created, “Negro History Week”, however the beginnings of what is now, “Black History Month,” began years before. His goal was to educate people about African-American history, their cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. In 1976, February was proclaimed “Black History Month” and continues to be observed each calendar year.

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

As you know DaddyB and I have two beautiful girls, who are almost 2 and 5. He is African American and a smidge Native American and I am Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon) and that makes our girls AMAZING!! Oh yeah, and they’re multi-racial. We are very blessed to be living in the world today, as opposed to several years ago, and while we’ve seen our share of racism displayed in many ways, we are thankful to those who paved the path for where we now stand.

Miss A RACE exhibitThis time of year last year I got to visit an amazing exhibit called, “RACE: Are We So Different,” and it was amazing, I learned so much and really enjoyed it, definitely wish I could have bottled all of that information to show the girls as they grow since some of the material was way over their heads. Miss A did get to play with some puppets from different races and check out some other aspects and Baby C was thrilled to sit in her stroller and people watch.

We may be naĂŻve, but we see each person as they are and love our family just how we are too. Because I do not know as much as I would like about Black Culture both in the states and around the world, I have spend some hours online educating myself and trying to figure out how to best celebrate this month, Black History Month with my family. Since my girls are still quite young we want to make sure we engage in activities and practices that are age appropriate and family appropriate.

I have always said, and will always say that as a parent or caregiver, you have to do what you think is best for your own family, so while we may not choose to celebrate how another family celebrates that’s what makes us unique and our very own family of four. We don’t want race to be the only determining factor in their life, however we do want them to embrace and celebrate their background. I know many African-American people who do not celebrate and also some who are very diligent about it, would love help figuring out the best fits for our family to introduce our daughters to this side of their heritage.

We want our girls to have a balanced life and most of all to love and honor God, each other and others.

If you have any tips, blog posts or ideas on how you and your family celebrate, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance for the support.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: User dbking

The Next Big Leap in my Life – She turns 5

MIss A turning 5

MIss A turning 5

 This little er, big girl is breaking my heart. This year Miss A turns….5. Ack, I get agida when I event think about that number. For me, being a stay-at-home mom and extremely hands-on with my girls from birth, “5 years-old” means she’s growing up. The older she gets the less she needs mommy, she’ll be in Kindergarten in the Fall and inevitably I’ll see her less during the week, and that means that some day, she’ll be grown, hopefully go to college and have her own family.

Now before I get too far ahead of myself, because I often tend to do that, {I’m a worrywart you see} I know this is the normal progression of parenthood, however it seems like a big leap to me. Before she turns five, and goes off to Kindergarten I want to enjoy the rest of this school year and summer celebrating four!

We have decided make a checklist of 4 big/new things to do before she goes to Kindergarten.

  1. Get her hair straightened {temporarily} for her birthday party.
  2. Take a family trip to SeaWorld, she loves exploring new things.
  3. Sign her up for a semi-competitive sport.
  4. Invite one of her friends over for a sleepover.
I think these “goals” will not only help us transition from preschooler to big girl, but make the rest of our time before Kindergarten starts even that more memorable.

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From bumper to bumper, the all-new CR-V is loaded with pretty much everything you need to tackle your Leap List. It’s your ultra-versatile adventure partner, and it’s built to take you just about anywhere you want to go. Learn more at leaplist.honda.com.

What’s your next, “Big Leap” in life? What do you want to accomplish before that leap?

Compensation was provided by Honda via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Honda.

Welcome Back to the Wiggles – How to Help Your Child Deal with Character Changes

The Wiggles Welcome Back Greg

The Wiggles Welcome Back GregRecently Greg Page, one of the founding members of The Wiggles children’s music group,  announced he’d be returning to his original spot. If you’re in the, “new class” of parenting and only know The Wiggles as; Anthony, Jeff, Murray, and Sam, then perhaps you didn’t know that Greg Page took leave from The Wiggles in 2006 due to an unexpected illness.

Leaving the “yellow shirt” slot open, Sam Moran stepped in. Sam had been a part of The Wiggles show since 1998 and was a great addition when he stepped up to take the lead singer position for The Wiggles. Now that Greg is rejoining The Wiggles, Sam will be taking time to continue working on his own personal music ventures, (he released The Colour of Love in 2010) and also to spend time with his family.

Thankfully, there was a great person who was able to step in for a time and also step back from this position. Sam has been praised for continuing the success of The Wiggles during Greg’s leave. Yet when the day comes for Greg to rejoin the group and appear in his yellow shirt this year, there may be some confused or upset children.

With any television show there is a chance that characters will need to be replaced. I featured this story on The Fresh Beat Band replacing their, “Marina” character: What Happened to the Fresh Beat’s Marina? And with all of the traffic and comments it has had you can tell the change certainly struck a nerve in viewing homes. Recently other children’s television shows that have replaced characters or voices have been Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, and one who did it well, Blues Clues.

Not all shows give such great transition to a new character as Blues Clues with their switch from Steve to Joe, so as parents we need to learn the best ways to deal with these changes, because like it or not, they will happen. You may adapt these tips for your own child depending on their age and maturity.

  1. Watch TV with your child – this gives your child an opportunity to discuss with you and you and opportunity to ask them questions, gauge their comfort with the changes and opens lines of communication.
  2. Do your homework – if your child has a favorite show, why not set it up for a Google Alert or receive newsletters from that show so you can be abreast of changes before they even appear on the tube.
  3. Explain TV vs Reality – of course this depends on the show and your child’s age, but in an age appropriate manner discuss what they think differences between television and real-life are and have fun with it.
  4. Keep a positive attitude – so many of us parents are upset when characters change even when often, our children move on easily. When we aren’t disturbed by things, occasionally it will help our kids deal as well.
  5. Choose different programming – if your child is very upset and no amount of discussion will ease their minds choose to watch something else on TV, but keep in mind characters in some shows may change. You can always opt to watch recorded versions of that show as well to keep with the consistency however boredom is a factor there.
  6. Turn off the TV – when all else fails, or if TV seems to be more of an issue in your household, perhaps it’s time for a break from shows and the television in general. Get your kids interested in puzzles, coloring books, imaginative play, and if it’s nice weather head outside for some fresh air.

Do you have any tips to add?

Have any children’s television character switches effected your home?