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Archive for the ‘Babies’ Category

Hosting a baby shower?  What should you serve?  Although the hostess puts much effort in determining what foods will be on the baby shower menu, we know that if there was a bowl of potato chips on the table, few would complain.

However, if you’re one who thinks a bowl of chips is totally unacceptable, perhaps we can give you some suggestions that will make your baby shower the envy of all mommies.

For starters you want to keep it buffet style. Most guests will be eating over their laps, so you’ll need to keep it simple; simple to make and simple to eat. Sloppy joes or spaghetti might not be the best idea.

The time of day will help determine what to serve. If you schedule your shower at breakfast time you will obviously have breakfast foods: fruit, pigs in a blanket, orange juice (or mimosas), bagels or pastries.

Lunch showers will be a little lighter. You could serve a vegetable tray, antipasto or perhaps shrimp cocktail. Seven layer taco dip and tortilla chips are always a big hit.

Depending on when you will put the food out, you may want to have small finger bowls of nuts, pretzels or trail-mix strategically placed around the room.

Whether or not you serve cocktails is up to the mommy-to-be. Some guests feel uncomfortable about partaking when the guest of honor isn’t. In other circles it doesn’t matter. Have coffee, tea and lemonade available as well.

Keep in mind that there are no rules for baby showers. Most of us are so busy it’s hard to take a few hours out to enjoy an afternoon with the girls. What food you serve really isn’t that important. If you’re not a cook, or don’t feel you have time to cook – then don’t.

Pick up prepared items at the store. Put some prepackaged meatballs in the crock pot; toss some mini-tacos in the oven, and crack open a package of cookies.

If you are hosting a shower for your friend or relative, you probably already know some of her favorite foods. You may also know what foods or smells make her a little queasy. If you’re not sure – ask. Reinforce that it is her day – and she can have anything she wants to eat at the shower. She may surprise you with a response like watermelon and sauerkraut.

Most importantly – keep it simple. Don’t stress. Just have fun.

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Product Name:  Jeep Overland Jogging Stroller
Submitted by:  Melanie Triplett; St. Paul, MN
Rating:  9
Where to buy:  Amazon.com

Description:  The Jeep Overland Jogging Stroller is a traditional fixed front wheel jogging stroller with an ultra-light aluminum frame. All 3 wheels have reflectors, there is a child tray, parent tray with a “music on the move” hook up for IPods or walkmans, and the canopy can swing front or back to block out the sun. It comes in black and silver vinyl and the seat has ample padding that can be wiped clean with a sponge. It has an adjustable 5-point harness, a big lower basket, and a rear brake system.

Review: I’ve been jogging with the Jeep Overland for over 8 months now with a son ranging from 15 pounds to 22 pounds. This is my absolute favorite baby product purchase because it allows me to stay in shape (lost all my baby weight with it) while keeping my son nearby and lets both of us get outside in the fresh air.

The rear brake works in an instant and the music on the move is a lifesaver to keep my ambition up. My son even dances along to the music, which is loud enough for us, but not enough to disturb the neighborhood.

I’ve used this jogger on the street, sidewalk, grass and dirt trail and have been pleased with its ability on all these terrains.  I wouldn’t use it for walking or for going to the mall because it’s too bulky and difficult to turn without speed behind it.

The canopy could be a little longer, but it does unzip and slide forward so my son is never being blinded by the sun.

The basket underneath is big enough to carry 2 full diapers bags, and the parent tray can hold 2 water bottles. This is a steal for all its features.

Criticism: It’s difficult to turn at first, but after a few runs, it became very easy and I only have to pull up on the back wheels for especially tight turns. I can do so without slowing my pace at all.

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Baby’s first birthday – Can you believe it?  It’s hard to believe that your baby is walking, eating table food, and beginning to speak. Baby has developed a unique personality during this year and is not afraid to express it.

Need some scrapbooking ideas on how to make this 1st birthday page special?

Picture Ideas:

  • You must have a picture of baby wearing a party hat.
  • Snap a picture of baby with each party guest.
  • Randomly take photos of baby interacting with all the new people in the house.
  • Take a picture of the beautiful birthday cake before and after you light the candle.
  • Take a wide shot of all the party guests singing “Happy Birthday” to baby.
  • As daddy shows baby how to blow out the candle, keep the cameras clicking.
  • Baby can help you with the present pictures by ripping the wrapping paper off.

Scrapbooking Ideas:

  • Scrapbook paper with a background of balloons will do. Use a glue stick to make streaks on the sides of the page. Shake birthday confetti on the page and pour off the excess. Crop the party pictures into big squares.
  • Cut photos in the shape of balloons, cakes, or the number one.
  • Create small bows from baby’s wrapping paper and put one on top of each picture to turn them into presents. The title of this page would be “Baby’s First Birthday.”

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While waiting for your baby’s due date to arrive, use that time wisely to design a nursery that will grow with your child.  A little planning now can save you time and money down the road as your baby becomes older.

Painting:  When painting the walls of the room, most people tend to go with an off-white.  But if you want to be more creative, a popular idea is to paint below the chair rail green for grass and above it blue for the sky.  From there, you can simply change the decorations to fit the interests of the child. 

Decorations:  Posters and other artwork are an easy and inexpensive way of decorating a room quickly.  This allows you to keep up with the child’s interests and letting them select the posters gives them input for their room.  

Fabric Designs:  There are many wonderful novelty prints available in the fabric store.  They are a great way to decorate and make a coordinated room.  Purchase a yard or two of the print, cut out the designs, and use a fabric starch to stick the designs to the wall (use a liquid spray starch, soaking the pieces, apply them to the walls, they will stick after they dry).  This works wonderfully, especially in apartment where you may not be able to use nails.  If you sew, you can also create matching curtains and possibly bedding as well.

Magnetic paint: A recent addition to the decorating tools available is magnetic paint.  While a bit more expensive than regular paint, it’s great to use in a child’s room.  Paint a coat, or two (following the directions) over the primer, then paint over the magnetic paint with the main color used in the room.  Alphabet and number magnets then become not only a decoration, but educational. 

Chalkboard paint:  Another fun paint to use in a child’s room is chalkboard paint.  Using it either below the chair rail, or just in one area, makes a great place for a child to be creative, without damaging the rest of the walls.  For my daughter’s room, I painted a square and then mitre cut and painted/decorated a board to make a cute frame for the chalkboard.

Probably the most important aspect to keep in mind while decorating a room to grow with your child is the furniture.  There are many “convertible” beds, that can be used as a crib, then a day bed, and eventually a twin bed, with the simple addition of support braces and a mattress.

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Product Name:  Fisher Price Roll-a-Rounds Drop & Roar Dinosaur
Submitted by:  Elizabeth Kelley; Richmond, VA
Rating:  8
Where to buy:  Amazon.com

Description:  My son received this for Christmas at age 7 months. He absolutely loved the sounds and lights as he dropped the balls through the different holes in the dinosaur’s back. Each different hole sends the ball on a different path, from the dinosaur’s mouth to the tail. The hole in the middle sends the ball on a short maze that your child can watch. This toy comes with four Roll-a-Round balls, and will accept any Roll-a-Round ball through the holes.

Review: I enjoy that this toy has different options for your child to try. They will learn the cause and effect of multiple areas of the toy.  It also helped him learn to crawl as he tried to chase the balls that rolled out of the dinosaur’s mouth or down his tail. My son’s gross motor skills also became better after playing with this toy.

I also enjoy that you can mix and match the Roll-a-Round balls from any Roll-a-Round toy to use with this Drop & Roar Dinosaur When you send the ball through the hole leading to the dinosaur’s mouth, he either laughs or growls and is incredibly cute.

My son plays with this toy for hours. I recommend this toy to any young child, as it is a very fun toy. You may even find yourself playing along with your child. I did.

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I’ve never met a shower hostess who didn’t run around like a crazy woman cleaning her house before the guest arrived. Sure there are those whose house always looks meticulous, but many houses get the deep clean only when company arrives.

It’s a given that the house will be clean, but the one thing that the guests will rave about is how cute the decorations look.  Then, you will know you’ve done a good job.

Decorating for a shower doesn’t need to be a big deal. If you know the baby’s gender then blue or pink will be the color du jour. If you don’t know, then pretty pastels work well too.

Take a trip to your favorite party supply store and you’ll have no problem coming up with decorations. Crepe paper, balloons cardboard cut-outs abound in these types of stores. You can never go wrong with streamers and balloons. You don’t even need to tape balloons to anything – just merely have them spread across the floor for a festive look.

If you decide on a particular theme, that will make decorating easy… just follow suit. If the theme is simply baby, then you have many choices. You can make or buy banners to hang either inside or outside. Hang balloons from the mailbox to make it easier for guests to find the party place.

Don’t’ forget party plates, napkins and cups. Cake tastes so much better on cute little baby themed plates rather than on your fine china or paper plates, don’t you agree? While you’re at it, don’t forget a table cloth. Not only does it tie the whole look together, it makes for easy clean up.

You may want to decorate a “throne” for mom. Take your biggest, most comfortable chair (but one that she can get out of relatively easily.) and decorate it with streamers and balloons. For an added touch give her a crown to wear.

Sure you want your guests to walk into a beautifully decorated room, but more importantly they will be walking into a room full of love and cheerfulness. It is HER special day…make her feel that way.

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The ultrasound showed that a bouncing baby boy is on the way. Now you need to prepare a room in which he can grow and have adventures. You may want to stimulate his very active imagination along with his very active play. However, sometimes it’s wise to create a cozier, less stimulating room, so your baby boy is easier to put to sleep at night. You can adapt any of the themes below to be perfect for your baby boy.

Cars

Cars are a tried and true theme for a boy’s room. You can find pages of wallpaper borders with cars in every color scheme. There are car shaped beds and other accessories that will fit into the theme as they grow older. An area rug with streets printed on it is a perfect addition. It is sure to become a favorite as your son gets older.

Trains

Little boys seem to love trains. Decorating the room with toy trains is a perfect fit. Some people have even built a suspended track around the room for a decorative and fun accent. Thomas the Tank is a very popular and natural way to add to your train themed room.

Boats

Boats are another good theme for a boy’s room. You can find inspiration for your room by examining the simple designs of signal flags to life preservers. Pirates would also be a great addition to a boat themed room as pirates are very popular with little boys.

Sports

A sports-themed room is very easy to set up for a baby’s nursery. Combine items from football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey – which are all easy to find. From preprinted wallpaper and borders to stencils and even actual balls and other equipment, decorating the room is a snap. If mom or dad has some trophies from their glory days, these would make wonderful accents. Of course, you can always find banners and posters from your favorite teams to add even more visual appeal to your baby’s room.

Characters

Popular shows such as Bob the Builder, Blue’s Clues, Diego and Sesame Street offer bedding sets and accessories that will make decorating very easy for the baby’s room.

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