Category - MommyB And Me

Fun Stocking Stuffers – Christmas Coupons

Christmas

ChristmasDaddyB and I don’t normally buy a lot for each other when Christmas comes around. In fact, we will usually pick one item both of us could use and buy a joint gift for each other. We were considering a car-top carrier because of all of our trips, in the past we’ve bought theme park season passes, and this year we decided on a Keurig brand coffee maker.

I do like to get him presents from the girls though, it not only is exciting for our girls to shop for daddy, but again teaches them that we are supposed to give to others on Christmas. They love their daddy so much that asking them to help was a guaranteed, “YES!!”

I have bought a few things here and there, trying to be creative. I wanted to add one more stocking stuffer for him {hoping that he doesn’t read this, or if he does that he pretends that he didn’t.} When I was a child I remember making coupon books as gifts for my mom. I loved doing this and I think my mom liked it too, I’m sure some of you have also done this and it’s super simple. Lucky for me since my, “proverbial plate” is full.

Miss A and I sat down and brainstormed what would be fun to coupon to daddy. We mostly thought of “things that you can’t hold in your hands,” – this was the easiest way I could describe intangible gifts to her. Then, I used Picnik.com {my favorite photo editing program} and “jazzed” up the girls Christmas pictures, and switched over to paint.net {a free “paint” program.} I added some text in a fun font and put our unique gift ideas on the tags, and here’s what we came up with:

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With a few easy, free programs, some cute photos, and a little bit of time on the computer you can make these for your favorite recipient this Christmas. They can “cash-in” the coupons whenever they want, or keep for sentimental reasons. Enjoy!!!

Have you made coupon books before? What is your favorite coupon for?

MommyB and Me: Mom Groups

MommyB and MeA month after I had Little Miss A, Daddy B got a job in Charlotte, North Carolina and we moved into an apartment until we closed on our house a month later. So aside from a very stressful, last-minute move, I was also a brand new mom and didn’t have a support system here at all.

After a couple of months I started finding some great moms groups and began to “reinvent myself.” I didn’t want to be just a mom, but I knew I would never be my pre-mommy self again either. Having moms around me saved my life! I do not know where I would be to this day without great mom groups.

Having had the great support from other moms this time around, with the birth of Baby C, I think it’s helped me even more. I have had some wonderful mom friends, some of whom I’ve never even met, give food, cards, call, and just supporting me through words and kindness. I am beyond blessed by my mom’s groups.

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I highly suggest any mom or especially mom-to-be to seek out a moms group, even if you have friends that are moms. I know some people may think it’s weird to join a mom’s group if you’re not a mom yet, but if you’re expecting it is such an amazing help to have people routing for you and maybe even get some pregnancy and labor/delivery advice.

Here are a few resources to finding mom groups in your area. Each region varies.

Meetup.com a general meeting place for any groups, but depending on your area there may be few or many choices. I would tend to lean towards parent groups that allow no membership fee or one with a trial membership to make sure that the events fit your style, child’s age, and location.

The MommiesThe Mommies Network, I belong to Charlotte Mommies, but there are a number of Mommies groups in each state. The thing I love about the Mommies Network is their discussion board, I typically chat with other moms about pregnancy, babies and toddlers, plus there is a great section if you want to promote your business, find help, or even buy or sell items.

I don’t belong to these groups but, I stumbled across the MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club, it looks a lot like The Mommies Network from what I can read. There is also the more well known MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) that meet in a church but encourage any and all mommas and kids to join.

Although sometimes it’s hard to introduce ourselves to new people you’ll already have something in common with these women….you’re mothers! Try attending a play date at a park or public location before you attend something at a persons home, or if you want to get to know the parents before taking your child out, see if the group has mom’s nights out.

I strongly recommend if you don’t have a support system in place, get one, it helps me be a better mom, have great socialization for my children and myself, and I’ve made some pretty wonderful, lifelong friends because of my moms groups.

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Do you have any mom/parenting groups you’d like to share?

MommyB and Me Tips: Make Way for Baby

MommyB and Me With Baby C on the way at the end of March we’ve been telling Little Miss A lots about what to expect; the baby’s going to cry a lot, she won’t be able to do a lot of big girl things like you, she’ll sleep in mommy and daddy’s room when she comes home…and so on.

I feel it’s really important to prepare her as much as possible now and since she’s almost 3 she really understands a lot of it.

She’s been taking good care of her dollies, bottle feeding them, burping them, and of course diapering them.

Since I’m having a c-section I also told her that I would have a “boo-boo” on my tummy so when I came home from the hospital she’d need to be extra careful and that I couldn’t play with her like normal right away. Speaking of hospital, unfortunately in North Carolina (and perhaps other states, I haven’t really researched because it wouldn’t matter for me anyway,) there is a ban on all visitors under the age of 18 due to the H1N1 outbreaks. This could mean, and probably will mean that Little Miss A will not be able to visit me in the hospital. Once again, since I’m having a c-section that means at the very least I’ll be in the hospital for 2 days, away from her. Of course it makes me super sad, being that I’ve only left her overnight once and she was with DaddyB.

So trying to be the pro-active mommy that I love to be I started thinking of things I could do to help her prepare even more, especially with me being in the hospital. Here’s a list of a few fun things to do with your kiddo(s) whether or not you’ll be away from them to get them excited about the new arrival.

MommyB and Me Baby TipMake a paper chain– I love these paper chains! You can use them to decorate anything and also they’re great for countdowns. I decided that I’d cut some strips of pink and purple construction paper, about an inch/inch and a half thick and Little Miss A could decorate them with stickers and markers. She was more excited that I thought she’d be, and the best part is she can count down to the day Baby C will come home from the hospital (so long as my darling husband and family members remember to do this with her while I’m in the hospital, hint hint.)  You can also buy some paper chain kits, but I figure why waste the money, and home-made is so much better in this case.

Make a Video- We also plan on making a video or video chatting as a way for Little Miss A to be able to meet her little sister, in case the hospital regulations don’t lift before Baby C is born. I don’t want Miss A to think that I’ve gone and left her and now all of a sudden I show up at home with a new baby, the end. She loves video chatting with her grandmom and papa so I know she’d love the video as well.

Siblings, depending on their age, can also help you decorate baby’s room, pick out clothes or stuffed animals, talk to the baby, and kiss your belly. Really, everything depends on your child, try to pick something they love, music -make a song up about them and the baby, art- have them draw a picture for the nursery door, so many options! This will help big brother/sister bond with baby before they even arrive and feel like they’re a part of the process.

Do you have any great tips for me or other expecting parents out there to help their child feel included???

MommyB and Me Paci Tips

MommyB and MeWhether you call it a Paci, Binky, or a Plug pacifiers are often a major part of parenting. Typically your child will receive their first pacifier in the hospital, unless you express otherwise. It is from this moment that some children begin their addiction. Dum-dum-dum!

When Little Miss A started off on the “Paci” we never knew that she would be so attached. There were moments when we contemplated saying, “goodbye,” to it, but just didn’t see the need to give it up quite yet. We decided that we’d give Paci up cold turkey now since Baby C is on her way and all of the other “big girl” tasks have been checked off, (potty trained, big girl bed, getting herself dressed (mostly,)).

There are so many ways to rid your home of the pacifier. If you’re in the market for pacifier removal pronto feel free to try some ideas from the following list.

MommyB and Me Paci FairyBinkie/Paci Fairy – typically you use this when your child is old enough to understand bribery. The Fairy comes in the middle of the night, takes said Paci and leaves the child a small gift. Make sure the child knows there is a no return policy. There’s even a Paci Fairy Website where you can buy a book to read and prepare your child for this transition.

Paci with Props – With this technique you can do many things, like planting a Paci and a tree at the same time and watching how the tree grows as your child grows, and it’s great for the environment too! You can also tie pacifier or multiple pacifiers to fun balloons and send them to (Angels, birdies, Care Bears, basically anything that lives in the sky.) Or you can also mail them to someone your child knows, personally I don’t highly recommend this one though because the child may form a never-ending hatred towards that person since they “stole my paci.”

Paci Party – *This is the one we used for Miss A. Whether it be an at-home party or something outside your home, make saying, “Goodbye,” to Paci a celebration. We took Miss A to Build-A-Bear, where she got to pick out her favorite friend and when she put the “heart” in she also let them put her Paci in as well. We invited friends to make it even more of a celebration and ended up playing and having lunch together afterwards as well. And again, if you don’t want to spend money getting rid of Paci there are several other options.

Broken Binkie – A lot of moms I know swear by either putting a hole in paci with a needle so the suction is lost or by snipping off the end. Once the Binkie doesn’t work anymore some kids just simply give it up or put it in the trash themselves.

MommyB and Me Paci TipsMy main recommendations are:

1. The sooner the better. I think had we gotten rid of the Paci earlier it would have been less of a struggle because she wouldn’t have been as attached, although she does understand that she’s a “Big girl,” now.

2. Make sure the timing is right for you and your family. If your child is sick or making big changes it’s probably not the best time to give up this security blanket for them.

3. Patience, patience, patience. For some children giving up their pacifier is like giving up a substance to an adult. Don’t expect them to be fine with it the first night (although it’s a bonus if all goes well.)

4. Lastly, reward them for doing such a great job, giving verbal, physical, and material rewards will only enforce the fact that giving up one of their prized possessions is tough but you’re proud of them.

What are your pacifier struggles? Have you given up the pacifier? Share your stories and ideas with us!

MommyB and Me – Breakfast

At breakfast this morning, I was trying to think of something cute to add to my blog, something both moms, dads, and hopefully their kids would like too. As I was munching on my delicious vittles, I thought how fun it would be to do tips for parents to use and for parents to use to trick have fun with their kids.

So since I was in the middle of the “most important meal of the day,” I figured I would start my first MommyB and Me post with just that, BREAKFAST!!

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