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Every mama needs a good stroller and a fabulous diaper bag and we have found two fabulous finds!  The Guzzie and Guss G+G101 works like a full-size stroller, but is compact enough to fit in the smallest spaces and weighs only 16lbs! It will hold any infant car seat and the fabric is a heavy gauge nylon which is highly resistant to normal wear, tear and fading, while the footrest and bumper bar are wrapped in a dirt-resistant material that makes it simple to clean.

Here's what we love about the G+G101 Stroller:

Ultra compact fold and Lightweight
Flip out Visor 5-point harness
Full Suspension
Linked rear Brake
Lockable front wheels
Removable front bar
Car seat compatible

And what a better match to the red stroller than a diaper bag from The Bumble Collection.  One of our favorite bags is the Rachel Roundabout in Royal Ruby Montage.

Here's why we love it:

Water & Stain Resistant
Comfort Handle Straps
Built-in Stroller Straps

Top Zipper Closure for added security
Soil-Proof Changing Pad
Wipeable Fabric

But here's the best part, we are giving away the G+G101 Stroller, the Rachel Roundabout Diaper Bag and an Undercover Mama!

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Chasing a busy toddler or picking up after kids all day? Back pain while pregnant? The good news is, your baby is growing. That's exactly what should be happening -- but the downside of pregnancy is the weight gain and body changes can put a lot of stress on your back (especially if you are chasing other kids around). If you find yourself with a lot of back pain, especially in the last stages of pregnancy, have we got the tool for you: The Grip 'n Grab Picker Upper. This is mostly applicable to baby #2 and onward but we promise it is so worth it!

Save your back, the price is your pride... and $17.99 to have it shipped to your door!

One of our favorite fun new finds at the ABC Kids Expo was the phil&ted's Alpha Carseat.

Here's why we love it:

A safe, adaptable and lightweight innovation from phil&teds that solves a parent's key challenge of carrying baby safely in a vehicle, on a stroller and on your arm. The alpha car seat fits on to many strollers including all current phil&teds strollers. It's easy to install in to the car with a LATCH base to click the car seat in and out, and on to the stroller with one hand. You will be safety assured with huge high side protection, thick EPS foam, 5-point harness with chest clip and removable padded liner for newborns. The quality design and cleanable fabrics look great both in car and on stroller. You can purchase the phil&ted's Alpha Carseat at Diapers.com.

What more could you want from a car seat for your baby?

Even better, we are giving away a phil&ted's alpha carseat to one lucky winner!

 

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Baby's First Foods

Hello, my name is Michele and I am the founder of the baby food blog - Baby FoodE, which means that I am overly obsessed with making (and eating) baby food! My philosophy on making baby food is simple - use fresh in-season organic produce mixed with a dash of spices and herbs to create delicious purees that your baby (and yourself) will devour. Healthy eating habits start early and the more you expose your baby's pallet to a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholesome grains and good for you fats, the more they will continue to eat a variety of foods as they get older. Not to mention the more nutrient dense and colorful your baby's diet is the more their brains will develop, their bones will grow and their internal organs and digestive system will thrive.

So let's start at the beginning -

WHEN IS YOUR LITTLE ONE READY FOR PUREES?

There is no exact age that determines if your baby is ready for puree foods but generally babies are ready between 4-6 months of age. Watch and listen to your baby, they will give you the signs you need to know if they are ready or not for puree's.

  • Can your baby sit up?
  • Is your baby able to hold her head and neck in an upright position?
  • Does your baby reach for or eye your food while you are eating?
  • Is she hungry more often and not satisfied with her normal amount of breast milk or formula?
  • Has her birth weight doubled?
  • Is she able to keep purees in her mouth and not let it dribble out?


If you answered yes to most of the questions above, then congratulations, your baby is ready to begin the fun adventure of eating! If not, don't worry, your baby will get there one day soon.

NOW BRING ON THE FOOD:

There is no right or wrong puree to try first, but for allergy reasons I would recommend starting with a one food puree not a mixture of two or more different food purees. Try to keep it easy and simple. After they master these starter purees, they will have plenty of time to become adventurous

Mashed up Avocado
Cooked Egg Yolk
Apples + Cinnamon
Carrots + Nutmeg
Homemade Rice Cereal
Homemade Oat Cereal
Mashed up Banana
Sweet Potato + Curry

POPULAR RECIPES

Applesauce

Apples + Cinnamon

6 Organic Apples
1/2 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Wash, peel, core and roughly chop apples. Place apples, water and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until you can smash the apples down with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally. Let cool. Transfer all ingredients into a blender and puree for 30-60 seconds or until smooth.

PEAS

Peas + Zucchini + Mint

2 Organic Medium Zucchini
1 1/2 cup Frozen or Fresh Organic Peas
8 Mint Leaves

Wash, trim zucchini of the top root section and slice into 3" pieces. Place zucchini in a steam pot and steam over boiling water for 5 minutes. Take steamer basket off heat and let cool. Add peas to the water you used in the steamer basket and heat on low for 3-5 minutes. Strain. Add peas, zucchini and mint to blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Some Other Popular Starter Baby Food Recipes

Peaches + Cloves
Sweet Potato + Curry
Carrots + Nutmeg
Egg Yolk + Avocado

We're back from the ABC Expo and can't wait to share some of our favorite Fun, New, Finds!

We loved the Guzzie and Guss Perch Hanging High Chair. If your you are tight on space or dining out, the guzzie+Guss G+G 201 Perch Hanging High Chair gives your little one place to sit at the table. The Perch Hanging High-Chair clamps onto most tables and folds up for easy storage. A convenient travel bag is included which you will be able to store under the seat when not in use. What also makes that chair so popular is its high back; it will give more comfort and support when your little one is leaning back.

We have teamed up with Guzzie and Guss to giveaway a Perch in teal!

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Even better, they have a bunch of instructional videos to ensure that you are using the Perch properly.

You can find even more videos here, here, here, and here.  

And look how easy it is to clean:

Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum Recovery. The overlooked, not so glamorous side of child birth. In addition to the hormone swings and newborn to take care of, mamas also must also deal with the after effects of actually giving birth. While this isn't something that is talked about with quite as much enthusiasm, I thought I'd share some of my favorite postpartum recovery essentials:

1- Granny Panties- Don't even think about real underwear. Big, cotton, breathable grannie panties are the way to go. You'll be stuffing them full of pads and icepacks and anything else that brings some relief. In the hospital they have mesh underwear so be sure to snag a few extra pairs. I promise you'll thank me later.

2- For Your Bottom- In my hospital they had Tucks Pads with witch hazel which helped soothe and cool everything. I combined this with the more all natural route of New Mama Bottom Spray by Earth Mama Angel Baby This is cooling, soothing perineal mist that helps ease discomfort of postpartum vaginal soreness and swelling, episiotomies and hemorrhoids.

3- Extra Heavy Super Absorbent Pads- The hospital will send you home with some, but many women will probably need a few more. Go for Always Maxi Overnight Extra Heavy Flow With Wings. In my opinion (and coming from someone with heavy periods) these are the most absorbent pads on the market.

4- Nipple Balm- Most mothers suffer from sore and cracked nipples in the first few weeks. We love Bamboobies Organic Nipple Balm! It helps relieve a bit of the pain and all ingredients are safe for ingestion by your breastfeeding baby.

5- Water Bottle- In addition to helping keep your milk up while nursing, water can do wonders for your body. Plus, it will help you get back to being regular with your bowel movements.

What are your top Postpartum Recovery Essentials?

We're back from the ABC Kids Expo and we've brought a surprise!  We are giving away a Motorola Digital 2.8" Video Baby Monitor - MBP33S!  This is an amazing digital Baby Monitor and includes Two-Way Communication, Infrared Night Vision, Room Temperature Display (always know the temperature in your baby's room), 5 Lullabies, Low Battery Alert, Out-of-Range Alert, Rechargeable Battery, Flip-Out Stand, Split-Screen Function with Use of Additional Cameras.  Yes we said a split screen function that can be used with additional cameras! 

Talk about peace of mind!

Enter to win below:

Chatbooks

As moms, we are constantly on the hunt for anything fabulous and anything that makes life easier. I don't know about you, but after my first baby I miserably failed at keeping up with baby books for my kids. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty awesome at taking pictures with my smartphone and I will confess I have a slight addiction to Instagram. But actually getting those photos into any sort of book is where I find my disconnect. Enter CHATBOOKS.

Chatbooks

Chatbooks is an app that collects all your Instagram pics and prints them into 6 by 6 inch photo books. There’s one picture per page with your caption and each book is 60 pages. Then every time you hit another sixty pictures in Instragram, you get an email notifying you to look over your pictures and then they will automatically send you a new book. Yes I said automatically, as in you don't even have to think about it! And the best part? It only cost $6 per book and the shipping is FREE!  And don't worry if you aren't an avid Instagram user because Chatbooks offers a non-Instagram option as well.

We LOVE Chatbooks and are excited to partner with them for a giveaway. They are offering up a $60 Credit towards an Instagram Subscription. Enter to win below:

 

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Bamboobies ALS Challenge Accepted! Calling out all moms & The Leaky B@@bTheBabyGuyNYC and You! Lingerie to take the ALS ice bucket challenge!  Please accept our challenge and talk to your kids about ALS. For more information or to make a donation, please visit http://mda.org/ 


4 Tips to Beat the Baby Blues

After nine months of your body undergoing the most rapid and significant changes of your life, and then after intense physical exertion to bring your baby into the world in the most dramatic of ways, you should be able to sit back and relax, right? Well, maybe – that is, if your baby was born accompanied by a 24-hour nanny.

I found it exceedingly difficult to recover from birth and to bond with my first two babies. Struggling with a lack of sleep that led to hallucinations in the wee hours of the night, I quickly found myself in the midst of the baby blues both times.

The phrase “third time’s a charm” exists for a reason. By my third baby, I knew what was coming, and I created a plan that I hoped would either chase those ugly baby blues away, or at least minimize them. Happily, my plan worked, and I didn’t find myself crying in the shower or screaming at my confused husband just minutes after telling him how wonderful he is. These are the four things I recommend:

1. TALK – and talk and talk Analyze yourself like crazy.

Months before delivery, I started talking to my husband about how the baby blues felt after my other deliveries. Together, we analyzed my triggers: lack of sleep, not being validated, too much pressure to get back to routine. We talked about the warning signs that indicate I’m about to spiral: crying a lot, getting angry, not feeling like I’m bonding with the baby. Talk to your partner. Figure out what you need when you’re not feeling like yourself, and then make a plan to do what you need if and when you start to feel unhappy. For me, I need alone time, so I came up with ideas to get me out of the house by myself – and then I used those ideas once the baby was born. And keep talking after the baby is born. It’s ok to remind your husband every other day, “I really need you to ask me how I feel.” My husband actually put a reminder in his phone, which sounds ridiculous, but you know what? It worked. We talked. I didn’t spiral.

2. ACCEPT HELP

Say yes to help!  I accepted any help that was offered. My friend just texted to invite my kids over? Yes! The church offered to bring in meals? Yes! My sister wants to babysit and hold the baby while my husband and I get a bite to eat? Yes! I didn’t accept any help after my first baby, and I can tell you there was a huge difference this time when I did accept help. And don’t worry – once you feel back to normal, you can pay forward all the help that was given to you. And if you did step 1, then part of all that talking will help you understand ahead of time what kind of help you’re going to need. I realized I get overwhelmed when my house is cluttered, so I asked my husband to de-clutter every night. I realized I feel frustrated with my children quickly when my life is stressful, so I asked friends and family to be prepared to babysit. I realized I need lots of sleep, so when my husband was home, I let him take all the kids out of the house so I could take a nap.

3. HIRE HELP

I’m as cheap as they come, but I set aside money to hire a babysitter for the week after my husband went back to work. I knew that taking care of two kids was going to make it difficult to get to know my new baby. The babysitter’s mom dropped her off at lunch time, and I took her home once my husband came home from work. BEST DECISION EVER. I spent the mornings with my older kids, and then shut myself in my room with the baby in one hand and snacks in the other once the babysitter arrived. Since the older kids were taken care of, and I didn’t feel guilty because I was PAYING someone to take care of them, I felt completely free to stare at my baby and nap. It was wonderful. I paid the babysitter an extra dollar an hour to vacuum, sweep, do the dishes, and help the older kids clean their room. I literally had to do nothing that week except for cuddle and feed a newborn – and it was glorious.

4. GET RID OF GUILT

This is probably the most important thing! Remember: You just sacrificed your body for nine months, then pushed a baby out of said sacrificed body. If you’re nursing, you’re still sacrificing your body. Whether or not you’re nursing, you’re sacrificing sleep, time, and emotions for that little baby. It is perfectly fine for your husband to get up when the baby cries. So he has to work tomorrow? You just pushed a baby from your body! A girl’s gotta heal. It’s perfectly fine for you to take a nap, to accept a dinner from a friend, to let someone clean up, or hire house cleaners.

There is no rule book that says we have to do it all, and in fact, life is a lot better when we don’t.

Rebecca is journalist and piano teacher turned stay-at-home mom who also copy edits for SheKnows.com, and blogs here at Thrilled By the Thought.

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