To date there have been 28 deaths in 2010 of children due to hyperthermia (heat stroke) from being left in hot vehicles. This tragedy happens for a number of reasons from caretakers being preoccupied and forgetting, to children playing in cars and getting locked in. As the weather only promises to get hotter, this Tip Tuesday we want to look at a few tips to keep in mind that can help prevent this tragedy from occurring with your child.
- Never leave your child alone in a car even if you are running a “quick” errand. Cars can heat up to over 20 degrees of the temperature outside in a matter of minutes.
- Put a large doll or teddy bear in your child’s car seat when not in use so that when you do put your child in the car seat, you put the doll in the front seat next to you as a visual reminder that your child is in the back seat.
- Put your briefcase, lunch or purse on the floor near the back seat so you are forced to go to the back seat and see your child when you leave your car.
- Lock your car when it is not in use. Your car is a great hiding spot for kids playing hide and seek. They can easily get locked in your car and overheat.
- Hide your car keys so your child cannot find them & accidentally lock himself inside it.
- Make sure anyone who watches your child knows these tips and follows them.
- If you see a child left alone in a car, be proactive and call 911. Your call could save a child from hyperthermia.
What tips do you have to help prevent hyperthermia?
You want your baby to have the best “start” to growing up healthy. This starts with good nutrition, but with all that a busy mom is juggling how is she to know what is the best food for her baby? We came across this amazingly helpful site Square One Organics. Not only do they sell organic baby food, but they have everything from food family awareness information to free down-loadable food journals for your baby’s different stages. And they worked with a medical team to make sure their superfoods remain top of the line, giving your baby all he needs to grow up healthy and give you peace of mind. This site was too good to keep to ourselves, so we interviewed the founder of Square One Organics for our Mom Monday.
Denise, Square One Organics grew out a real personal need when you found out your little son had food allergies. Can you tell us the “birth story” of Square One Organics?
The Square One Organics birth story begins with the 2001 Thanksgiving Day premature birth of our twins, Grace and Jed. We very quickly found out that Jed was allergic to dairy and soy. I was told that the only thing we could really do for him was to keep him away from foods containing dairy and soy while waiting for him to outgrow his allergies.
I’m a type A perfectionist kind of gal, so I absolutely needed something more to do. I decided to try to boost his immune system while we were “waiting”. When I started researching what foods would make an identifiable positive impact on growth and development, I ran right into the word “Superfoods”. I decided to focus primarily on those foods. I mean if a sleep deprived mom of twins is going to be up at 2:00am making her own organic baby food, I didn’t want to make anything that didn’t bring a lot to the nutrition party. The twins were thriving and other moms in my neighborhood started noticing what I was doing. A few of them encouraged me to turn my superfood routine into a business. After two years of product development with a medical and food team, Square One Organics came to market in June of 2008.
You make buying organic food very easy and affordable. We love the color coding on your packaging so parents can be sure baby is getting all her needed vitamins and minerals. Where did you receive the inspiration for this?
Prior to being a stay at home mom, I was a broker on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Yes, I was one of those people making all of the funny hand signals. I worked in the Euro Dollar Pit and all of the products we dealt with were organized by year, month and color. So I came from an environment where color was used to organize and streamline a complicated process. My husband was also a trader so I knew if I incorporated color, it would make feeding the babies a lot easier for him too.
Foods with an orange package are our Super Vitamin A foods, Red packs are our Super Vitamin C’s, Green Packs are our Supergreens and Purple packs are our cereals. We call our cereals Porridge because my husband is a hippie! You know, for a lot of families nutrition can feel like a challenging process. If color-coding the packaging takes the guesswork out of feeding, then I am so happy to have helped.
We did two other things to really bring home the color coding and to make healthy food choices fun. First, was to write and release The Square One Organics Children’s CD based on our approach. My husband is also a musician and played in the Lee DeWyze band for 5 years. I had so much research on these superfoods so I asked him if he and the band would do this for us. They did it! Who knew that Lee would go on to be the 2010 American Idol?
Second was to put together The Square One Organics Superfood Guide. Again using colors and Vitamin Categories we show families a lot of superfoods, not just the one’s Square One Organics offers.
Your mission statement makes our baby hearts happy here at Kolcraft. Can you talk more about your philosophy behind Square One Organics?
Every food in the Square One® line is a Super Food. We choose organic foods because we believe that what you don’t give a child is just as important as what you do. Organic foods are free of pesticides and harmful chemicals. The only ingredients you will find in our purees are organic fruits, vegetables, grains and water. Our cups are #5 recyclable polypropylene one of the top three healthiest types of plastic for food containers. Number 5 polypropylene does not contain Bisphenol-A and has not been shown to leach carcinogens or endocrine disruptors.
The philosophy behind the brand came out of what was happening in our house with the twins and our “waiting period” with Jed. Thinking back about how ubber diligent we were is pretty funny. In addition to keeping their food really pure and simple, “we” removed everything from their environment that could have challenged their immune systems.
My husband loves to tell the story about the day I threw away his deodorant and tooth paste. I had just finished researching chemicals and their possible effects on infants. I was concerned about some of the ingredients I saw on the labels of the products he was using at the time. So I just threw them all away one day. I did think it was rather nice of me to replace his traditional deodorant with a salt rock and tooth paste with baking soda! I think the brand reflects that purity. That is why the Square One Organics line offers nothing but unblended organic superfoods and water, cooked first to be safe and then immediately frozen. We let the freezer do the preserving. Also the cooking and freezing approach results in food that has a remarkable taste. Unblended foods with a remarkable taste, makes the transition to table food much easier.
What was the biggest challenge to starting Square One Organics?
I would say that in general the biggest challenge is the number of hours you have to work. The balancing act between family and family business can get pretty interesting.
Have you seen a difference in your children’s eating habits and overall health since they have been “raised organically?”
I would say most certainly yes. They independently make some pretty impressive food choices. They will be starting third grade next year and let me tell you, the lunch room social scene is quite the deal. So even with all the interesting food happening around them they still plow throw the organic whole foods we send with them!
Now for a quick glance into Denise’s life.
What has been your greatest joy as a mom? My greatest joy is that I get the privilege of being Jed and Grace’s mom. Sharing their life, is truly my privilege.
What keeps you going through busy days? The hope that one day I will finally talk my husband into taking down the knotty pine paneling in our basement. He loves it.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Coffee, diet coke out of the can and the Outlander Series of Books by Diana Gabaldon
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? I would sleep late and have my husband’s Eggs Benedict and coffee for breakfast. Then go for a long walk along the lake front with a huge cup of coffee and our dog Smokey. I would have a burger at Moody’s in Chicago for lunch with my husband. After lunch, I would meet up with my gal pals for coffee and a gab fest. Then off to my mom and dad’s house for dinner. The gals would certainly join my family along with my brother’s crew. It gives me great joy to watch my children play with my brother’s kids. My mother, who is all Italian, would have to cook on this day and make our family’s Italian meat sauce. My father who is also Italian would have to go to the Italian bakery. We would have fresh caprese salad to start; the main course would be pasta and my mom’s sauce, Italian bread, sausage, neck bones and meat balls. It matters not which pasta is served, what is important here is her sauce. My brother and I both make it and come pretty close, but nobody makes it like she does. Dessert would be any sort of coconut chocolate concoction and Italian cookies – Oh and coffee! I would make sure that on this day I did not do any dishes and I would fall asleep watching Mary Tyler Moore Show reruns.
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would the title be? You know my mom gave me a plaque for the wall of my home office when I started Square One Organics. It reads: “Wish, Hope, Dream…. Then Make it Happen!” I think that would be a pretty good title.
We know you and baby will love Square One Organics. To get you started on your Square One Organics journey, we are having a giveaway!
The giveaway will include:
• 12-pack super starter pack with a goodie bag
• Square One cd
• Super food shopping guide with two recipes
That’s a 50 dollar value!
It’s easy to enter.
• Visit Square One Organics and let us know your favorite aspect of the site by leaving a comment on Baby Matters Blog. This is mandatory to enter.
Some days it is hard to get dinner on the table, but eating out with a family won’t work with your monthly budget either. Did you know that many restaurants have special “kids eat free” days? That’s right – there may be some dinner relief in sight at an affordable price!
Specials vary from restaurant to restaurant and are subject to change at any time, but we are listing some of the “kids eat free” deals we have found. (It’s best to call beforehand to make sure the restaurant honors these specials.)
Applebee’s - Mondays, get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Captain D’s -Thursdays, get two free kid’s meals with any adult entree purchase, dine in only.
Chevys – Tuesdays, get one free kid’s meal with one adult entrée, dine-in only.
Denny’s - Up to two kids 10 and younger eat free with each adult purchase of $2.50 or more, from 4pm to 10pm on select nights.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit -Sundays, one child eats free with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Lone Star Steak House -Tuesdays, up to two kids eat free with the purchase of one adult entrée.
Luby’s – Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée, typically on a weekday evening after 4:30pm.
Marie Callender’s -Tuesdays and Saturdays you get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Perkins – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 10pm, get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Steak ‘n Shake – Saturdays and Sundays, get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée of $9 or more. Dine-in only.
We also like website My Kids Eat Free to find local deals.
Our Kolcraft Cuddle ‘n Care rocking bassinet is a loved item because it gives baby a secure, cozy sleeping environment with a comforting electronic mobile that goes from bassinet to crib! We love that this product has an extended life through the mobile and we are even more excited about the new gender-neutral fashion.
Some other features that we love:
* Mesh side windows allow increased air flow
* Easily converts to a rocking bassinet
* Mobile has soothing vibrations with variable speed control andeight classical songs and four ambient sounds with volume control
* Soft-glow light
* Extra large storage basket
We would love to hear from you about what must-have features you want in a bassinet. Please leave your thoughts in our comment section.
It may seem like yesterday you were waking up every few hours for feeding or soothing your new baby, but a year has gone by and it’s time to celebrate your child’s first birthday! There are all sorts of ways you can celebrate your child’s first birthday from themed parties to special traditions including the popular “smash cake.” One first birthday party that caught our attention was thrown by a co-worker (you may remember Hyon from our interview back in May.) We loved that she had so many traditions from her Korean heritage at her daughter’s first birthday party.
One tradition is to lay out certain objects for the child to grab. This is supposed to represent their future path in life. You can see from the photo that Oliv grabbed a stethoscope. Looks like Mommy and Daddy better start saving for medical school!
You will also notice Oliv is in the traditional Korean dress Han-Bok. Besides adding to Oliv’s insane cuteness factor, Hyon has found a wonderful way to teach her children about their heritage through the symbols they have incorporated into family celebrations.
There are many ways you can bring your family traditions and heritage into your celebrations. You can even start new traditions that your children can pass on to their children!
What ways do you share your family heritage with your children? Have you incorporated any of these traditions into first birthday celebrations?
Did you ever feel like you can never quite get it together when it comes to the “b” word? We know the feeling and know that as a mom you are juggling A LOT so we thought for today’s Tip Tuesday, we could take a “mommy time out” to just reflect on the whole work/life balance. We are excited to have Sara Aldworth as our guest blogger.
Every mom is a working mom. Whether a full time, stay-at-home or a “9 to 5″ career mom, every mom struggles with the work/life balance. I’m a mom to 2 little girls, ages 5 and 2, and with our next baby due in November, I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately pondering this work/life balance and wondering what tweaks I will need to make this autumn!
Life seemed “easy” when my husband and I had our first daughter. Financially, it made most sense for him to be a full time stay at home parent, while I continued on in my career as a marketing professional for a boutique agency. And while I did have a meltdown moment as my maternity leave came to a close, I felt confident that my husband and I could make the transition fairly painless. I headed off to work, breast pump in hand, and plastered photos of our daughter all over my workspace. I also arranged for my husband to bring our daughter downtown to my office for a weekly family lunch date. Despite the daily time spent apart, each evening reunion with my baby girl was a joyful one and I worked hard to foster our connectedness through breastfeeding, keeping her close to me at night and wearing her in a baby carrier during the weekends when I had my entire days to spend with her.
Fast forward to baby #2! Things were getting a bit more challenging. Our oldest daughter was now 2, and true to her age, frequently testing boundaries. Having an infant on one hand and a high spirited toddler on the other kept both my husband and I on our toes. For the first time, I started to genuinely struggle with the feeling that I didn’t have enough hours in the day. As I had done with our first child, I diligently pumped breast milk while at work, further wallpapered my office with baby pictures and kept my infant daughter close to my side at night and during weekends. But when I was at home- what to do? My toddler was so anxious for me to reconnect with her, but my infant needed bonding time too. And my husband? Let’s just say our own bonding was at an all time low.
So how did we rebound from this? It wasn’t easy. I’m still not sure we’ve got it right, and I’ve definitely come to an understanding that being a parent is about both quality AND quantity time. We worked hard to involve our toddler in the bonding process with her little sister. Even a job as simple as putting a dirty diaper in the trash pail made her feel like a superstar helper. Giving our toddler her own baby doll and letting her model parenting behavior helped too. My trooper of a husband began trucking both kids downtown for monthly family lunches which became a highlight not only for me, but for my coworkers as well. And though the infamous “mom guilt” did plague me from time to time, I made sure to leave work at the office, so I could devote my full attention to our children when I was physically present with them. I also learned that during this particular season of parenting, I needed to learn how to say “no” when extra curricular commitments looked as if they would take too much time away from the family. Perhaps more importantly, I learned when to say “yes” – my husband and I started making, and enforcing, our own time. Enlisting the help of Grandma one evening a week, he and I went on dates, intent on keeping our own relationship fresh and alive.
Our third child is due near Thanksgiving. I know with his arrival will come many of the same challenges and emotions we’ve faced with our first children, plus a few more. I will continue to work full time while my husband continues on his path of stay-at-home dad. Our oldest daughter will be starting full time kindergarten, throwing a new layer of complexity on the family schedule. Can life and work be balanced? I think it probably can. But it has taken me a conscientious effort to do so and the recognition that family life, by its very nature, is fluid! Once I think I’ve got it down, I can be sure it will change again.
I’d like to hear from other moms – how do you manage the work/life balance? (Knowing that work and life means different things to different moms!)
Sara is a mom to two girls and a boy on the way. She has been working full time as a professional marketer since 1999. When not working or spending time with her family, she’s a voracious reader, enjoys a round of golf with her own parents and volunteers at her church.
Toys, household items, mommy pamper items, gift cards – you name it and most likely Leslie will have had it as a giveaway on her blog. Live Love Laugh with Leslie is a treasure seeker’s heaven. We met Leslie through Blogmania and wanted to give you a snapshot of her blog.
What inspired you to start a blog?
My sister-in-law inspired me to start a blog. She told me about the whole bloggy world. It sounded so interesting, that I decided to create a blog. My blog name came from my husband.
What was one of your favorite giveaways?
I love the Fairytale Brownies giveaway. Food giveaways are so tasty!
You are part of Blogmania. Tell us about your product for Blogmania.
I have 2 great ones & am working on others! I have Kolcraft Jeep Liberty Renegade Walker and a $50 Gift Certificate to any of CSN 200+ Stores! More products to come!
What have you learned from working with moms through your blog & how has that inspired your own life?
I have learned about great products and fun giveaways. I have found out I have a lot in common with the other mommy bloggers. They are great people, good helpers and their friendship is awesome! They are there for you through many of life’s ups and downs. They have made me a better blogger and inspired me to have fun doing what I love.
Now for a quick glance into Leslie’s life.
What is always in your fridge? Drinks, drinks, and more drinks. Since living in Florida is so hot, I like to keep cold liquids in my fridge. But no alcohol here. Just mainly water and fruit juices.
What is your guilty pleasure? Ice Cream. I am a ice cream lover fanatic!
What is your favorite time of day? Nap Time! lol
What’s one thing on your list of dreams that you still need to accomplish? Earning a degree.
If someone was going to write a book of your life, what would the title be? Save the Drama for Your Mama
Head over to Live, Love, Laugh with Leslie & get ready to win some great giveaways!
Rainbows can be magical for children and adults and they are also a great opportunity to teach your child his colors! Our fruit-filled fun Friday activity will bring rainbows right to your kitchen! (This activity received 5 stars from Kolcraft. Our office loves it when we try out our recipes on them! )
What you will need:
- Fruit representing each color
- Sponge Cake (bundt shape)
- Cool Whip (or make your own whip cream!)
- Spatula to spread Cool Whip
- Knife to cut fruit (to be used by adult only)
- Optional – crayons or markers and blank piece of paper
Some fruit suggestions:
RED: Red raspberries, cherries, strawberries, red apples slices
ORANGE: Mandarin orange slices, cantalope, peach slices
YELLOW: Bananas, pineapple
GREEN: Kiwi, Green Grapes, Green apples, Honeydew Melon
VIOLET: Purple Grapes, plums
We didn’t use indigo because the color is so close to purple, it is hard for a toddler to distinguish
Talk to your toddler about rainbows. Tell her about the different rainbow legends such as the leprechauns and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Have your child draw a rainbow. Explain the different colors of the rainbow and ask your toddler if they know any fruit that is that color. You can have the fruit out in case they need a little visual reminder.
Very simply explain the color order of the rainbow. Have your child hand you the fruit that matches that color. Cut up the bigger fruit into small slices and have your toddler help you “frost” the cake with Cool Whip. Arrange the fruit on cake in rows or columns.
Start with the inner or outer ring or place one of each fruit at one end of the cake. This will help you plan if you need to adjust size of fruit. It will also serve as a guide for your child for what color fruit to place where.
You will have to stand a few of the fruit up to fit all the colors. We found this was easiest to do with the slices of fruit like apple or orange slices.
What ways have you taught your toddler his colors?
There is a mania spreading across mommy blogs called Blogmania! What is Blogmania? It’s a two-day giveaway extravaganza where you visit different blogs to win prizes from baby necessities to mommy necessities! Some blogs will have scavenger hunts to find product giveaways, some will have reviews, some will have contests. Each blog will have it’s own unique way of approaching Blogmania, but one constant is that at every blog you will find great giveaways!
Blogmania will take place September 15 & 16 across hundreds of blogs. Join Kolcraft in being part of the mania!
You may have heard about the BlogHer conference – a place where women bloggers have the chance to learn, share, connect and have fun. This conference is the epicenter of meeting the “who’s who” of the blog world. It was started in 2005 with the mission “to create opportunities for women who blog to gain exposure, education, community and economic empowerment.”
Since its inception, BlogHer site and conferences have grown at a rapid pace
We want to facilitate and curate a community that empowers our members and creates value for all. This mission is the driving force behind a community that now reaches more than 20 million people each month via BlogHer conferences and events, the BlogHer.Com news service and the BlogHer Publishing Network of more than 2,500 blogs. - BlogHer Website
If you are going to BlogHer10, please leave a comment. Kolcraft would love to meet you in person! We will be giving BlogHer attendees a “sneak peek” to our new review program and one lucky attendee will receive a golden ticket which will give her priority to review a product of her choice.
Look out NYC – here we come!