Monthly Archives: November 2011
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released recommendations that babies and toddlers should learn from play, not TV or computers. This is news to the 90% of parents who say that their children under 2 watch some form of electronic media. Parents of good will have bought the many video programs for infants and toddlers that are labeled as educational, but evidence does not support this since children under 2 do not have the needed understanding to learn from TV. Further studies have also shown that unstructured play time is more valuable for developing your child’s brain than electronic media.
Unstructured play helps children:
- To think creatively
- Problem solve
- Develop reasoning & motor skills.
It’s not easy to turn off the TV, but we have seen moms who are doing just that. Kristin from Our Ordinary Life decided to ditch TV & our friends at the National Wildlife Federation have great resources for helping kids turn off the TV and turn on creativity. We love that turning off the TV and playing with your child has health benefits for parents as well as helps your family to bond. We know it’s possible to limit TV, but we want to hear from you!
Do you set screen time limits for your children? If so, share your tips with us!
We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe it takes a mom community to raise a mom. This became VERY clear to me after the birth of my baby girl. I tend to be organized and prepared – a quality that has served me well in my job where I do a lot of multitasking with various teams of people. When it came to being a mom, however, there was no amount of organization or preparedness that could help me through some of the unforeseen events of my first steps in motherhood.
It started with my labor and delivery. I had my flexible birth plan all printed out so I was ready to go when I went into labor (I thought I was being prepared for anything by making it flexible – ha!). Nothing could have prepared me for the distress I experienced ten hours into my 21.5 hr labor and delivery. I had complications and what was supposed to be a joyous time of finally seeing and holding my baby, became a very scary time where we almost lost her. So much for my natural delivery and home bonding time! We ended up being in the hospital for a week which only gave us 1 day home with my husband before he had to return to work.
That was the start to a list of sickness and challenges for me and my baby. I never would have made it through those first few months without my family – my sister who became a second mom to my baby and became my extra set of hands, my mom who was encouraging me and cleaning my house, my mother in law who brought over meals, my friends (especially Sarah-my wisdom mom) who listened to me vent and my virtual mom community who became very real advocates for me.
My virtual mom community just came together without me organizing or preparing for it. Maybe that is what makes it so beautiful – it’s pure gift.
- Jennifer from Life After the Alter was one of the first to encourage me as my husband and I tried to get pregnant and it was not happening right away. She had been down that road and understood it well. She rejoiced with me as soon as she heard the news of my pregnancy and encouraged me along the way.
- I was able to laugh with Jennifer and Dee, two Kolcraft Moms, who I was lucky enough to share a few weeks of pregnancy with as they both prepare for baby #3.
- Jackie, another pregnant Kolcraft mom, gave me tips on helping baby sleep.
- Melissa, featured on a Mom Monday, was the first to help me take steps towards healing after birth trauma. She understood on a very personal level all that I went through and became an angel of hope for me.
- Ria and Suzanne from My Mommy Manual, gifted me with mom insight and friendship. (I’m so looking forward to taking their parenting course!)
- Christine from Girl on Fire reminds me to live my bliss and embrace it even when it’s difficult.
- Valerie from A Nation of Moms has taken me by the hand to help me past the mommy guilt of breastfeeding issues, having to put my baby in daycare while I work and a host of other “hot button mom guilt issues”.
These women and many more are my momtourage – women who inspire, encourage and love me on my mom journey. I’m new at this whole mommy journey, but I have a host of moms to walk with me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Who has helped you on your mom journey?
Veteran’s day is a time to remember, be grateful and work for a peaceful future, but how do we explain this to our children? We found a few websites that have helpful activities.
- State of Virginia website with activities for K-5
- Enchanted Learning site with games and crafts for kids of all ages
- Simple PowerPoint presentations on Veteran’s Day for kids
Another way to celebrate Veteran’s day is to visit a Veteran in your family or at a nursing home, etc. Your child can ask questions and get to know your own local hero who has given him/herself in service.
How will you be celebrating Veteran’s Day with your children?
Kolcraft continues the celebration of our 65th Anniversary with the Share the Moment Sweepstakes package which will turn everyday parenting moments into bonding moments!
We love that you can win a Contours® Optima™ Tandem Stroller that features reversible seats and height adjustable canopies all within a lightweight aluminum frame!
We also love babies getting a peaceful night of sleep so you can too! During the sweepstakes you can win a Contours® Innerspring Organic Cotton 2-stage Infant-Toddle Crib Mattress. This comfy crib mattress features a woven organic cotton cover that is soft and durable, enhanced with Crypton Green Technology for protection against wetness, stains, bacteria and allergens without the use of a plastic backing or coating!
It’s easy to win! Visit our anniversary website and click on Enter to Win! Good luck!
Pregnancy brings hope and joy over a new little life, but it also means giving up a few things along the way like drinking. Have no fear, Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-be by Natalie Bovis Nelsen is here to help you through the holidays and beyond.
We love this book because it gives you options for liquorless drinks that include health benefits for the pregnant mom. The drinks are divided by trimester and includes one of our favorites – the Fruity Folate Shake! It also has ideas for Preggatini Parties- a modern spin on a baby shower and recipes for “de-virginized” drinks for dad.
Weigh in – were you pregnant over the holidays? What were your drink alternatives especially if you didn’t announce yet that you were pregnant?
Snowstorms in October on the East Coast. Unusually warm weather in the Mid-West. Despite the strange, unseasonable weather across the nation some things are necessary – like changing your summer clothing for warmer pants, sweaters, etc. because cooler weather will inevitably arrive. If you are like me who has limited space, you need to store away one season of clothes while you swap clothes for the current season.
A great chemical-free alternative to mothballs and the like is to soak a few cotton balls or cotton squares in pure lavender essential oil and wrap them in cheesecloth. Put a few of these satchels in each box of clothes before storing. The scent repels pesty bugs and it keeps your clothes smelling like a spring garden!
What tips do you have for storing clothes for the winter?
It’s my first day back to work at Kolcraft which seems fitting since it’s Mom Monday. It feels like an eternity since I’ve last blogged (for those who are not long-time readers, I worked up until the day before I went into labor which was August 9, 2011). In so many ways before baby (now known as BB) seems like a whole other life. What have I been doing since August? I’ve been getting to know the little girl who has truly changed me.
BB I never left the house without looking “put together”. Now if I am able to run a brush through my hair I consider that “put together”. I used to be able to knock out multiple errands in an hour. Now I consider it a victory if I can do one errand. I used to be able to leave the house with just a small pocketbook. Now I resemble a pack-mule lugging a diaper bag, daycare “stuff”, car seat – you name it. But the biggest change from BB is one you can’t really notice from the outside, because it’s one that has happened in my heart. I’ve felt concern on a level I’ve never had to endure before. I’ve learned to love in a whole new way. And I’ve experienced a deep, profound joy that I never knew existed.
Yes, these past three months were about diapers, spit up, sleepless nights, crying and unfortunately sickness. I’m not saying it was easy (I have a whole new respect for Stay At Home Moms), but it was a precious time I will always cherish. Now I’m moving to the next phase of learning the lesson of “letting go”. I dropped off my baby at daycare and it broke my heart to have to leave her. It’s not easy to be a mom who works outside the home, but it is what it is and I find myself having to trust in a whole new way. I have to trust that these people will care for my baby and look out for her best interests and do a good job at it. I can’t control this – I just have to let go. I’m lucky I am returning to a workplace with a compassionate boss, a president and CEO who stopped by to make sure I was “ok” and welcome me back and great co-workers. I also love what I do. I get to work with amazing moms and dads who help me to become a better parent.
Motherhood is a crazy ride I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams how exhausting it is, but more than that how each second bursts forth with love and possibility as I marvel at the gift of my little girl. So here I am – back to work and blessed beyond belief.
As the leaves begin to slowly change and fall off the trees, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors for these fun fall activities the whole family will enjoy this weekend!
- Apple picking can be fun for the whole family and is a great way to teach kids about the importance of good nutrition. Some orchards and farms even have fun hay rides.
- As the sun goes down and the weather gets cooler, gather family around a warm fire and make yummy s’mores.
- Bundle up and head to your nearest state park for a nature hike. Hiking is a fun way to explore nature and stay active as a family.
- It’s not too late to have a fun family camping adventure in your own backyard before the winter frost hits (Link to camping post).
What fun fall activities are you doing with your family this weekend?
Being based in Chicago, the Kolcraft staff knows all too well the challenges of raising a family in the city. When living quarters are tight and the kids are growing up quickly before our eyes, products that offer space saving solutions and extended usage are not only convenient, they are essential! Check out some of our favorite space saving, multi-use products below:
When space in the nursery or child’s playroom is at a premium, 2-in-1 products that offer extended use are a great option. Kolcraft’s Baby Sit & Step 2-in-1 Activity Center easily converts from a height adjustable activity center to a walk-behind walker.
Happy Birthday Cookie Monster! Kolcraft is a big fan, and partner, of Sesame Street. In honor of our friends on Sesame Street we are celebrating Cookie Monster’s birthday.
Fun Facts About Cookie Monster:
- Cookie Monster was in the first episode of Sesame Street
- Chocolate chip cookies are his favorite kind
- His signature song “C is for Cookie” first aired in 1971 and is one of the best known Sesame Street songs
- Starting in 2006, Cookie Monster shared a new philosophy, “Cookies are a sometimes food”
- Cookie Monster has a mother, father, younger sister, and identically designed cousin
Happy Birthday Cookie Monster! Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?