Friday, March 29, 2013

Poison Control







    This week is Poison Control week and with the upcoming holiday and spring break I thought now is a good time to bring up the Poison Control information. Especially since if you have family visiting you or you are visiting a new place you really have to keep a good watch on your little ones because you never know what they will get into. Every parent needs to have the Poison Control phone number. If you are a parent, a babysitter, or even watch your nieces, nephews or grandchildren please program this number into your cell phone! That's right, I know most people do not have a home phone so please remember to keep important numbers programmed into your cell phone under "poison control". Also, if you are a parent it is still good to keep a list of numbers written down somewhere handy in case you have someone babysitting who perhaps does not have the phone numbers. So program this number into your phone and have it posted in your home as well.
Poison Control
     1-800-222-1222
Here are also some more tips for people on poisonous items and what to do if you suspect someone you know has been poisoned. Please spread the word! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and holiday. Happy Easter!


Poison Prevention Tips

Storage Tips:

  • Store medicines and products in their original containers.
  • Lock medicines and household products where children cannot see or reach them.
  • Use child-resistant packaging. Replace the caps tightly.
  • Store household products in a different place from food and medicine.
  • Keep purses and briefcases out of children’s reach.

Prevent Poisoning from Medicines:

  • Read the label before taking or giving medicine.
  • Use medicine only as directed by your doctor or the label.
  • Call medicine by its proper name, not "candy".
  • Take medicine in a place where children cannot watch, because children learn by imitating adults.

Prevent Poisoning from Products and Plants:

  • Use household products according to label directions. Mixing household products can cause dangerous gases to form.
  • Keep house plants out of children’s reach. Even if the plants are not poisonous, they might cause choking.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Keep appliances, furnaces, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves in good repair.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm.

General Poison Prevention Tips:

  • When answering the phone or the door, take open products (or your children!) with you.
  • Put the poison center number 1-800-222-1222 on or near your phone.
  • Be sure that every home where your child spends time is poison-proofed.



 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dirt Cake and Punch




     The Dirt Cake and the Butterfly Nectar Punch were two very popular things that I served at Xavier's First Birthday party. (See, Xavier's First Birthday) So I thought I would share these recipes with my loyal fans. The Dirt Cake is so sinfully delicious. Be careful feeding this to toddlers, kids or even adults it has a ton of sugar, yet it is so yummy. I usually dig out a spoonful and serve it in a small plastic cup for kids. That way looks like a lot but not actually a large amount. I got the Dirt Cake recipe from a friend so close to our family she is considered family, her name is Carol and she is an awesome baker. Thank you Carol for your fabulous Dirt Cake which was a hit as always!
    As for the punch. I apologize I did not take more pictures of it. However, all I can say is it is a yellow/orange color. I did not think it was that fabulous but apparently a good punch recipe is hard to find. This is my staple punch recipe that I always have on hand for parties. It made a good, Butterfly Nectar. It is nonalcoholic, however, I will say you can make this for adult parties as well. I have added Vodka to it and if you find the Whipped Vanilla Vodka that tastes great in it as it will remind you of an orange creamsicle. I hope one or both of these recipes comes in handy the next time you have a party!

Dirt Cake
Ingredients:
- 1 large package of Oreo Cookies
- 16 oz. of Cool Whip
- 2 packages instant Vanilla or French Vanilla pudding
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 cup of confectionary sugar
- 1 stick of butter or 1/2 cup of margarine
- 1-2 tsp. of vanilla

-Optional:
Gummy worms are optional but fun! (not in picture)
It is fun to serve in a child's beach pail, flower pot or other container. Serve with a scoop in cup or mug.

Directions:
Crumble cookies with food processor or rolling pin in plastic bag.




 Cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the cup of confectionary sugar and fold in the Cool Whip. In a separate bowl, mix pudding with milk and add vanilla. Fold together pudding mixture and cream cheese/cool whip mixture.




 Start with a layer of crushed cookies and alternate layers of creamy mixture and crushed cookies in pail, flower pot or other container, ending with a layer of crushed cookies, giving the appearance of "dirt". Chill 3-4 hours or overnight.





Butterfly Nectar Punch

Ingredients:
- 1 can (6 oz.) Orange juice, thawed
- 1 can (6 oz.) lemonade, thawed
- 1 quart of apple juice
- 2 quarts of ginger ale

- Combine in a punch bowl and serve.
Optional for an adult beverage mix in Vodka or Whipped Vanilla Vodka

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: Eric Carle Children's Book Author






    If you did not realize how important reading is as an adult you will realize how important it is when you have a child. There are tons of classic children's stories that are simply "must haves" when it comes to your child's book collection. I must admit these books are clearly "must have" additions to your child's book collection. They were not around when I was little however, they are very popular now, so make sure you are able to read them to your child either through purchasing them or borrowing them from your local library. They are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle (Brown Bear is also by Bill Martin Jr.).
   




    If you have been reading my blog posts this week you will know that The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is Xavier's favorite book. He carries it everywhere and frequently will hand it to us and want to sit on our lap while we read it to him. We even caught him the other day looking at the book with a stuffed animal. It looked like he was trying to "read" the book to the stuffed animal. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was even the theme for his first birthday party last Saturday. ( See Xavier's 1st Birthday).  What is so wonderful about The Very Hungry Catepillar is the story teaches so many things to your child. It not only teaches the metamorphosis of the caterpillar but also days of the week, colors, numbers and even to eat healthy or you will get a stomachache. Plus it is a board book with different size pages which helps your child learn to turn the page. It is one of the first books that Xavier learned to turn the pages while you are reading.





   The Very Busy Spider By Eric Carle is also a great addition to your child's library because like The Very Hungry Caterpillar it also teaches a lot while you are reading the story. It not only teaches kids to work hard for what they want but also about farm animals. I love the pages in this book. The pages are thick and bound together. The graphics are popped out a little for texture as well. It is a nice transition book from board to full on page books. Your child will not be able to rip through the pages but can still learn that some books are easier to turn then board books. Xavier always loves when I pull out The Very Busy Spider, the beautiful illustrations and the fun textures always makes him smile and I must admit it is my favorite book as well.





     Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr. is a wonderful book written in a rhyming verse. As much as it may be annoying to adults to read rhyming verse, rhyming is very important to children. It is easier for them to grasp language skills through rhyming so make sure you have a lot of rhyming in your children's books. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a great book that teaches children about different animals and colors. They will love the big, colorful illustrations while you are reading them the rhyme throughout the book. The pages of this book are regular pages that are just stronger then normal so it is the last in a transition series with these three books.
      Make sure to incorporate reading as much as possible in your child's life. It helps then to learn new things, develop language skills and it is a great bonding experience. It is also important to keep their books out during the day where they can reach them. Let your child know that reading is always a fun activity to do. Be sure to keep your child's library stocked with lots of great children's books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


To find out more about the children's author and illustrator Eric Carle you can visit his website by clicking here

You can purchase The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at many major retailers for around $5.00-$12.00 each.


 Disclosure
   No products,compensation or services were given to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC guidelines.



If you would like me to do a review of your product or service feel free to send me an email at
ReneeArbia@yahoo.com




   

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Xavier's First Birthday Party


   You only turn one once so we made sure it was really special for Xavier. I did not want it too big as I did not want him to feel overwhelmed so we just invited our family and close friends and had it on a Saturday afternoon. We debated about what theme to do Xavier's party in. I know what you are thinking, that we picked the theme, but I only narrowed it down to two themes, Xavier picked it. We narrowed it down to his favorite book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle or Sesame Street. At the time we were talking about it, Xavier brought me his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar because he wanted to be read to and that was it. He made the decision for us. Especially since his Elmo doll was right near the book and he could of easily grabbed that to play with instead. So I took the very hungry caterpillar theme and ran with it. Thank you so very much to Pinterest. Although we put all the decorations up ourselves the inspiration came from other mom's caterpillar parties on Pinterest. You can find them on my Pinterest page on the baby board if you would like them, please give those moms the creative decoration credit. However, it is so helpful to have somewhere to pull inspiration from.












    Saturday morning was rainy and gloomy. I was disappointed that I did not get to decorate the outside of the house nor spend as much time outside as we would have liked. However, everyone had a blast. It even cleared up later after cake and we were able to play outside for a while. Which was great because Xavier got to play with some of his new presents.









    Xavier had a fabulous day! He really loved his birthday party. When Nick and I were setting everything up the night before. I had no idea how much he would or would not notice and like and all I said was "I hope he at least notices everything and it makes him laugh and smile". I have never seen my son as happy as he was at his birthday party. He ate with everyone, he of course loved his cupcake. (His first taste of sugar). He played in the ball pit with his friend, Grayson. He even opened his presents and played with them. He was very sociable and sat on people's laps and was giving hugs and kisses. He ran around and played and had a blast. He finally crashed at 8:15pm and crashed all day Sunday and was pretty quiet Monday as well. Today is Tuesday and he finally seems like he is back to his normal self.








   I would say it was a successful first birthday party. We even got compliments on the decorations, food and how much the birthday boy was enjoying himself. I do not have a lot of advice for throwing your child a birthday party but I will say that two things really helped Xavier's mood. I planned the party around him. I held the party from 1-4pm which are Xavier's best hours of the day. Also, we kept it at our house, where he is comfortable. His highchair was still at the table, his toys were where they always are and I really think that made a big difference, because he was able to take in all the extra fun without being in a new surrounding. I would highly recommend doing your first birthday party at your home during your child's best hours. As everyone just wants to see the birthday boy smile and have fun and I am glad that they all got to see how much he really enjoyed his day!








These fantastic photos were taken by our very, great, friend Bill Gainous. Thank you so much for coming up for Xavier's party and capturing these moments as well. We love you and hope to see you again soon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Xavier!




Dear Xavier,
    Today is March 25, 2013 and it is an extremely special day for our little family because it is your first birthday! A year ago today our little family of two became a three. How happy you have made your father and I. We knew we would be. We dreamed of you. We dreamed of having a baby and what it would be like. What kind of parents we would be. All the things we could play with you.
   You were planned, and we are very lucky because I got pregnant with you right away. We decided not to find out if you were a boy or a girl because there are very few good surprises in life, take as many as you can. We both honestly thought you were a girl. Although Nick really wanted a boy. I think he didn't want to get his hopes up. Everybody said you were a girl so we just assumed the "majority" was correct. When you came out and you were the boy your father had always dreamed of, and the amazing boy I never knew how much I wanted. You were certainly anything but the "majority" to us.
   This whole year has been amazing for us. We have tossed our old lives aside and rearranged our entire lives around you. You would think that you would be thanking us. However, it is us who should thank you. Thank you Xavier. Thank you for choosing us to be your parents.  Thank you for your smile and love that you bring to our lives everyday. Thank you for smiling no matter how early in the morning it is that you wake up. Thank you for laughing at the breakfast table while you eat your cheerios, your oatmeal, and then some of mommy and daddy's breakfast as well. Thank you for letting us watch as you went from cooing to babbling to now saying "Momma", "Dadda" and "Hi". Thank you for letting us help you to learn how to crawl and walk. You are trying to teach yourself to run now. Thank you for cuddling up with us when you need us. For throwing your arms around our necks and nuzzling with your little smile. Thank you for running around the house with toy balls and animal puzzle pieces in your hands and leaving them around the floor for us to trip on. Thank you for banging your water cup up and down on the table to splash yourself in the face and make yourself laugh. Thank you for loving us reading stories to you. Especially your favorites, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Caterpillar's Springtime Day, Snuggle Puppy, Eight Silly Monkeys and Lullaby Moon. Thank you for showing us your favorite color is orange, favorite foods are mushrooms, olives and eggplant and favorite animal, well, that's a toss between a monkey, giraffe and tiger. Most of all thank you for teaching Nick and I how to love another unconditionally. To enjoy every second of life as it comes because it goes by so fast. To laugh as much as possible because you never know when what you thought was bad, really, was just a "peek-a-bo". And to remember to always get up when you get knocked down and keep trying until you get it right. For life is just one great big adventure and as you are starting off on your new path of life just know that your father and I are your allies and will always be here for you when you need us.
   So, Happy First Birthday to our son, Xavier! We love you soooooooo very much and we are so excited for what your next year of life will bring to our little family.
Love,
Your Mom and Dad :) smooches!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Countdown


    There is a big milestone headed our way this week. Xavier is turning one on Monday. I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. We were warned that it does. I do not feel like I have missed anything but it still went by faster than we would have liked.
    Tomorrow, is Xavier's first birthday party. It is not anything huge just a picnic with close friends and family but it's a huge deal to Nick and I and hopefully Xavier. If nothing else I hope it's a day that Xavier feels lots of love and laughter, fun and food. I'm sure he will not remember his first birthday but I hope he looks back on the pictures and knows how loved he is and how much we all enjoy having him in our lives.


  So stay tuned next week for all the fun details! You can see the progression of his first year. The pictures and decorations from the party, recipes, reviews, etc. For moms who blog, birthday parties and holidays are like the superbowl. We get lots of posts out of just one party.
 
   I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I know that we will! :)



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Musical Associations


      Xavier and I were visiting a friend and their child the other day and she had on a channel of music that is only children's songs. I'm sure you know of such a channel, through Pandora, or your television you can find one. Of course I knew they existed, but Nick and I love music a lot so we usually vary our musical selections but children's has never been in our repertoire. Not that I have anything against it, but I figured if I wanted my child to like music they should like all music so why limit them to children's tunes only. However, I realized that I did not have an open mind. Xavier loved the children's music, they sing songs that I sing with him like ABC's and Bingo, etc. He would look at me and get all excited because it was a song he recognized. It also worked with shows that he recognized. He loves Yo Gabba Gabba and he knows a few of their songs and when they would come on the music station he would run to the tv and try to see if it was on tv. He would get all excited and dance.
    I decided to start playing the children's music station at home for him. He really seems to enjoy it a lot. He gets very excited when songs he knows come on and he likes to dance to them. It is funny how young we are when we realize music associations. He likes the children's music station because it is songs that he recognizes, that he remembers hearing with his mom or dad. Every time he hears those songs he gets all happy.
   It really is amazing how much children love music. They love the lullabies and the sing-a-longs. They always try to play with the musical toys. Nothing is better than ringing a bell or banging a drum.  It is amazing how much music they will pick up from now on. They are having music create memories in their life. They will hear music on the radio years from now and look back and say mom and I used to dance around the house to that song.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat




When you have a child you are constantly learning. Everyday your child will change and his/her needs change as well. You will always be looking at ways to improve your lives together and make things easier on both of you.
    Xavier has become extremely independent lately. He loves to feed himself. Which actually makes for a much more relaxed mealtime. Except we have been trying to figure out a better way of letting him feed himself. His high chair is one that attaches to our table (see Review: Chicco Hook On Chair). So when he eats it is either directly off the table top or on a plate. He has not quite figured out the plate yet. He tries to move it too much spilling food everywhere. So he was eating off the table, which was starting to get very messy. I decided to check Babies R Us for another eating alternative for my very independent soon to be toddler. I saw the Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat and decided that is exactly what we have been missing.
   The Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat is the perfect solution to keeping you and your child happy. It provides a clean, sanitary place for your child to eat off of and it makes mealtime clean up much quicker. What is great about the Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat is that it can also be used when you go to restaurants. It is made from a durable, safe material that contains no lead, PVC, phthalates or playtex. It stays in place with seven strong suction cups and has a scoop that catches spills before landing in your child's lap. It rolls up easily for storage in your diaper bag for when you are on the go.




  I mainly bought this to use at home, but I can see how it would be great to use at restaurants as well. At home, we actually put it on the table and then put his hook on highchair over it. Not that that was necessary to hold it down, as the suction cups work really well, but it was more because food has been getting between the highchair handles and the table and I wanted to protect the table better. It does not lay real flat at first, I noticed you have to leave it out for a couple of days to get it to really be flat. Our favorite part is by far the scoop. It has definitely caught the majority of Xavier's spills. I am afraid our dog Vito has been very disappointed with the lack of food on the floor since purchasing this. Also, even Xavier knows he has the scoop and he has even picked food out of it and finished eating. It is really easy to clean, much like a regular placemat. For the most part I wipe it off and then usually after dinner which is always particularly messy we take down the highchair and clean off the chair and wash the Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat as well. The clean up time has improved instantly. I am no longer worried about the table and how clean or not clean it is and if anything will stain it. It also makes it easier for Xavier to pick up food from it and for his plates and cups to stay on it.



   The Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat is a welcome addition to any toddler's feeding routine. You will be glad you got it, it is a great way to let your child still eat with you at the table but without the mess. You can find the Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat at your Babies R US or other retailers. It comes in green, blue and pink and costs around $ 10.99 which is a terrific value for such a great product! Pick up yours today to make your meals more enjoyable with your toddler instead of worrying about the mess!



Disclosure
   No products,compensation or services were given to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC guidelines.



If you would like me to do a review of your product or service feel free to send me an email at
ReneeArbia@yahoo.com

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