A Modern Day Fairy Tale: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

Feel The Love with a Disney Vacation {+ win a $25 Gift Card!}


Welcome to the Feel the Love Giveaway Hop hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.
Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches and I've joined with a group of bloggers who want you to Feel the Love this February! Each blogger in this Hop has a giveaway worth at least $25 that you are sure to love!

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Be honest...how many of you read the name of this event and immediately flashed to The Lion King? If that's you, you're going to love this giveaway...it's all about Disney! It is certainly not a secret that I am a huge Disney fan. If you came to my home you'd be greeted by my Snow White garden statues and Disney doormat. A look in my closet would reveal a pair of glass slippers. And peek into my daughter's nursery to discover hints of Cinderella!! Needless to say, I'm a big fan of Disney! So a few years ago when we had the chance to visit Disneyland for the very first time it was an absolute dream come true! I honestly could not tell you who enjoyed the trip more-myself or my son. Regardless of age, visiting a Disney park is an absolute must for ANY Disney fan! But planning the trip can be a little overwhelming. Where do we stay? What's the best deal? What must we see once we get there? Wouldn't it be great if you had someone who knew all the ins and outs of Disney to help you plan your perfect trip...at no extra cost to you!?  This is where today's wonderful sponsor comes in.


Kelli Donahue is a Dream Vacation Pixie. Her agency, Pixie and Pirate Destinations, is earmarked as an authorized Disney vacation planner. So what exactly does that mean? Kelli provides customers with a concierge type service. She will help with finding the perfect resort to fit your needs, and even make your reservations for meals and other activities. Each family will receive an interactive vacation website, as well as a personalized itinerary with insider tips and tricks and fun history and facts about Disney. She basically helps you plan your ideal Disney vacation! The best part? The service is absolutely FREE (she will be paid by the Mouse after you travel only).



Sounds pretty wonderful, right? If you're looking into planning a trip to Disney, I highly suggest going through Kelli. She'll help you get the most out of your trip at no extra cost to you so you can simply relax and enjoy it all!! You can contact Kelli using the contact info below:

Kelli Donahue Phone: 740-500-0095 Email: Kelli.D@pixieandpiratedestinations.com FB page: https://www.facebook.com/PixieAndPirateDestinationsLlcKelliDonahue

And guess what? Kelli has very generously offered one lucky winner a $25 Disney Gift Card and a pair of Children's Mickey Mouse ears! (Gift card can be spent at any Disney Store or online, or at Disney Parks!) Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.



Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery.

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Feel the Love participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kelli Donahue of Pixie and Pirates Destinations LLC. All thoughts are 100% my own.

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Once you finished entering my giveaway, hop on over and enter to win the lovely Grand Prize - where you'll find a Maggie Bags Butterfly Bag, a delicious spread of Lovely Candy Co, and a girl's best friend - jewelry thanks to Jewelry in Candles by Karine!
FeeltheLoveGP

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Making Up For Lost Time {Snow Days}

A few years ago, my Shaun became obsessed with snow. He would wake up every morning, look out the window and cry when he discovered the snow had not come. He was convinced each day that THAT would be the day. There was only one little problem...

We lived in California!

So when we moved to Indiana, he could not wait to finally see that snow! We had at least one decent snow last year that I recall, but still he dreamed of more. This year, he has gotten his wish! (Thanks to, in my personal opinion, some extremely expensive and clever marketing from Disney for 'Frozen'...coincidence?)

Unfortunately, it's been a bit too cold to actually play in it as much as he'd like, but just seeing it every morning has been enough for him. He is certainly making up for lost time. 

Here's a brief look at my snow obsessed little man enjoying the snow days:




Are you getting a lot of snow where you are?
Are your little ones enjoying it, or are you ready for spring!?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Green Cleaning in the New Year {January Natural Living Blog Carnival}


Welcome to the January 2014 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Starting the New Year Off Green. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are reflecting on the successes they had from last year, and setting goals for themselves this year. Check out all of the posts to get ideas on how you can start your New Year off green!
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Several months ago, I was busy working away in one room while my son was playing trains in his playroom when I started smelling something horrible. I recognized the smell of Windex, but couldn't place the other scent. I immediately ran to find the source and was shocked to find my son taking his trains through an engine wash, spraying them with window cleaner and a chrome cleaner for my husband's motorcycle. The smell was overwhelming, and though I knew he had not ingested any the thought of him breathing in all those fumes was scary. Now of course, I had always left all these cleaners far out of reach, but my sneaky little had managed to climb onto my washer and dryer and onto the shelves above where all of our cleaning supplies were kept. Seriously, scary.

It was in that moment that I decided something had to change.  I could not have my little guy getting into all these toxic chemicals again, especially with a new baby on the way! I had been reading a little bit on more natural cleaning solutions, and knew that at that time it was time to take the plunge and start creating my own more natural cleaners. It did not take long for me to become hooked. I realized that not only was it so much better for my family, but it was incredibly easy and cheap too. I discovered that most of my cleaning needs could be done easily with products we regularly had in the house- vinegar, water and baking soda. Truly, that is all you need!

A simple mixture of half water/half vinegar is the perfect all purpose cleaner. For counter top, windows, etc. I simply mix it in a spray bottle. For floors, the same solution can be put in a bucket. By itself, the mixture works just fine with those two ingredients. The downfall? Vinegar stinks. Sure, the smell fades very quickly but during the cleaning, it's definitely an issue. So, to calm the smell, you can also mix in some essential oils. Personally, I love using orange oil. It smells wonderful and orange is known to have great cleaning power. (If you'd prefer not to use oils, you can also steep citrus peels in the vinegar before mixing with water. It is more time consuming of course, but an even cheaper option too!) I have found that this cleaner works amazingly well for just about everything- even better than most store bought cleaners.

And if there is anything vinegar won't clean, chances are baking soda will to the job. Seriously, I've fallen in love with it- so many amazing uses...I wish I'd discovered it sooner. I won't go into all of them, but if you're interested just do a quick google search of uses for baking soda- you'll be amazed. For now, I'll just share my favorite. If there is one chore I hate the most, it is without a doubt doing the dishes. And my absolute least favorite thing to wash? The crock pot! Food gets cooked on and it seems near impossible to clean at times. Very frustrating, right? And then I learned the secret...just put a little baking soda at the bottom, add hot water and let it soak. Our water gets hot enough straight out of the faucet that we don't need too, but you can also run the crock pot for a little bit while it soaks as well. After maybe an hour-if that- all that cooked on food wipes away easily. After learning this secret, I've started using a baking soda & hot water soak on all my tricky dishes and it truly works wonders!

For the last several months of 2013, I switched many of our usual cleaners over to these simple, more natural solutions. One of my big goals for 2014 is to continue this progress. I have truly discovered that these solutions work so much better for us than anything I've tried in the past...and they're better for us too! I am learning more and more tips and tricks and cannot wait to learn more!

Have you made the switch to green cleaning? If you haven't what's keeping you from taking the plunge?
If you have, any great green cleaning tips and tricks to share?
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Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

Natural in the New Year with Buttons Diapers-and Wet Bags too! {A Review & Giveaway}

**Product received for review.



Welcome to the Natural in the New Year Giveaway Hop hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.
The New Year seems to be a time when most people start evaluating ways that they can live happier, richer, and healthier lives. I've joined a group of 30 other bloggers that have come together to help you do just that... in a more natural way! Each blog in the linky below has a natural prize to give away worth at least $25! So, join us all by going more Natural in the New Year!

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When you begin looking into cloth diapering, you may find that you are being told that you need a TON of accessories. In time, you'll likely discover that some of these-while quite nice to have- aren't absolutely necessary to successfully cloth diaper. In my opinion, wet bags are not one of these- they are awesome! For those brand new to cloth diapering, wet bags (or soiled bags as my son prefers to call them) are bags featuring some type of waterproof lining to store your wet diapers in until laundry day. You just toss them in the bag after each change to keep the smell at bay (and your diaper bag dry when you're on the go). Personally, we have four and find that to be a good number for us...two smaller ones for the diaper bag, and two larger ones for the house. This allows us to have one available for travel and one available for home at all times, even when the others are in the wash. You might find four to be excessive, or you might find you need more, but chances are you're going to want at least one...but where do you buy a good one?

Last month I shared with you all about the super adorable cloth diapers from Buttons Diapers. After using ours for a bit, these quickly become a favorite in our stash. But did you know they now also make wet bags? They do! And they were kind enough to send me their large wet bag in Pebble for review.



First of all, let's talk about how absolutely adorable they are! They are available in both Pebble and Apple, with a cute little polka dot print. Both colors are perfectly gender neutral. One of the things I most liked about our Buttons diapers was that simple, cute style...this certainly carries over into the wet bags! I will admit however, I was a little bummed to see that they did not feature the adorable little button embroidery that I loved so much on the diapers. Still, I love the style and actually think this might be our favorite of the wet bags we have so far!



As I said, I received the large bag, which according to their website can hold up to six diapers (though I personally found it could hold more). They are also available in medium and small, so there is a size to fit all your needs. One of the things I like most about the large size, is that it is actually a wet/dry bag- meaning it has a zippered pocket in front so you can toss in a few clean diapers. I've found that these are particularly nice when on the go...rather than lugging a huge diaper bag into a public restroom, you can carry everything you need in the one bag! So much easier! Of course if you prefer a large diaper bag, this folds up easily and compactly so you can do so. The waterproof lining is the same high quality, durable PUL that I loved about the diapers as well. It features a convenient hanging loop so you can hang it on your changing table, bathroom door, etc. easily.




At just $16 for the largest bag, they are a great value too. The small bag (holding two diapers) is just $7...very inexpensive and perfect for short trips to the store! And to make it an even better deal, wet bags can last far beyond your cloth diapering days. They come in handy for days at the pool, messy eaters and in case of accidents once your little one is potty trained! So much cuter, and environmentally friendly than a plastic sack for soiled clothes, right?

Overall, I'm thrilled with our new Buttons wet bag, and am just overall absolutely in love with this company and their wonderful products! If you want to see everything they have to offer, check out the links below:


Visit the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And as part of the 'Natural in the New Year' giveaway hop event, Buttons is giving one lucky follower a $25 gift code to put towards anything on their website...a new diaper cover? a wet bag? some cloth wipes? The possibilities are endless! Enter using the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. 
So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Natural in the New Year participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.
Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.



Now that you've entered my Natural Giveaway, check out the Grand Prize for this Event...
NaturalNewYearGrandPrize

Enter the Grand Prize Here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Finley Grace: 5 Months


  • Our sweet little Finley Grace turned 5 months old on January 19th. (Where does the time go?)
  • Her last doctor's appointment was cancelled due to snow (or should I say the snowpocalypse?), so we don't have any official measurements, but according to our bathroom scale, she weighs right at 17 pounds (clothed). She certainly is a healthy, growing girl!
  • She just made the switch into 6-9/6-12 month clothes! Wowza!! My son- though also a healthy big baby- grew much more slowly, so this just seems crazy to me!!
  • Finley is rolling over like crazy now...you can't keep her still! It certainly makes for fun diaper changes!
  • She is a pretty quiet baby. She doesn't cry too much, babbles only when it suits her (though she certainly can babble with the best!), even her laugh is fairly quiet... but if anyone can get the big laughs from her, it's her big bubby! He gets her going like no one else. Her favorite is when he belly flops onto the bed...she thinks its hilarious!!
  • She's quite observant and seems to really pay attention to those around her. She will even mimic sounds with her tongue-or attempt to at least!
  • No teeth poking through yet, but she has certainly been working hard on them! Thanks to her teething necklace, she's been able to handle it pretty well, but there have been a few times where they've really seemed to bother her and make her restless. We've been using Camilia (a homeopathic remedy) and it helps tremendously...she loves it!
  • She is showing a great interest in food...and really has since birth- but we are waiting until she has at LEAST six months and showing all signs of readiness. For her big brother, that wasn't until 7.5 months. I'd been hoping she'd wait just as long if not longer, but I think she will be ready much sooner!
  • She's starting to show more and more interest in toys. For Christmas, she had gotten a Lion King 'Pounce n Play' that she absolutely loves!! Every day she seems to get a little bit better at grabbing the toys attached and moving them on her own. Aside from that, her favorite toy seems to be Follow Me Fiona...and she really does seem to be drawn to anything pink! She also really love music and being sung to.

Since her last update, she has experienced her first Christmas, first New Years and first major snowstorm! She has grown tremendously, and though I wish time would slow down, we are still loving watching her learn and discover each and every day! I cannot wait to see what the next month holds for her!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Guest Post by Shaun

hi im randi and shaun is on my PC
hes shaun and he has an Wii PlayStation 2 GameCube XBOX 360 Nintendo 64
his favorite game is super mario bros her sisters name is finley grase













This post was written by Shaun. He wanted to be a blogger too. Feel free to show him some comment love, I will be certain to pass them along!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mama-To-Be's Look Great With Belli {A Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway}



We just rang in 2014 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU! Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Mama's Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. The Blogging Mamas Network, along with co-hosts Mama's Baby Cupcakes, So Easy Being Green, and Viva Veltoro want to give the special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year!
This Event will run from January 15-29 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you achieve that new look!




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**Product received for review.


When it comes to looking great, perhaps one of the most important places to start is with skincare. From face to body, if your skin looks great, its likely everything else will follow. New moms tend to have more specific skincare needs. For the mom to be its stretching and dry skin, acne, and uneven skin tones. New moms deal with the leftover stretchmarks and loosened skin left behind by pregnancy and those dark under eye circles that accompany the sleepless nights. Regardless of the stage of motherhood you are in, Belli Skincare has just what you need to look and feel great! And most importantly it's safe for mom and baby!


A few months ago Belli allowed me to review their awesome Bounce Back Kit- an awesome solution for anyone looking to get their body back after baby.  You can read my review on that here. But this is just one of the many great products Belli has to offer. The product I'm sharing with you today is all about the mom to be- the Belli Your Best Baby Bump Duo. Here is a little information about this fabulous gift set:




  • Belli Your Best Baby Bump Duo helps prevent the appearance of stretch marks with the Elasticity Belly Oil & All Day Moisture Body Lotion:
  • Maintains the look of smooth, healthy skin
  • Nourishes and moisturizes to help prepare the skin for stretching during pregnancy
  • Features aromatherapy for a spa-like experience and results

  • Belli Elasticity Belly Oil:
  • A luxurious blend of pure plant extracts
  • Features scientifically researched ingredients including Vitamin E and Gotu Kola, that help prepare skin for stretching
  • Cocoa butter provides deep, rich moisture
  • Lavender and sweet almond oil soothe and calm the senses, while nourishing and moisturizing to help skin stretch without damage

  • Belli All Day Moisture Body Lotion:
  • A luxuriously emollient cream that deeply moisturizes and comforts dry skin
  • Contains antioxidant vitamin E
  • Chamomile soothes and refreshes skin
  • Features lemon oil which provides an uplifting scent


  • Use morning and night throughout pregnancy. After showering, apply Belli Elasticity Belly Oil to stomach, breasts, hips and buttocks and massage into skin by rubbing in a circular motion. Follow with Belli All Day Moisture Body Lotion.
And of course like all products from Belli, it is completely safe for mom and baby. They have been allergy tested and free of taratogens (linked to birth defects and miscarriages), artificial dyes or fragrances, phthalates or paraben preservatives. It is completely safe to use throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding!!

You can purchase this gift set and other wonderful Belli products at 
belliskincare.com, buybuy Baby, select ULTA stores, and other fine retailers nationwide and connect with them at the links below:

Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.
Follow on Instagram.

And Belli is going to help one very lucky mama to be look her very best in her changing new look with the chance to win a Your Best Baby Duo of their very own. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.



Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. Viva VeltoroSo Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Mama's Got A New Look participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Now that you've entered my giveaway, be sure to enter the grand prize, and hop along to all the other participating bloggers to enter!


This wonderful Grand Prize has two packages up for grabs. The first prize pack, Fashion Mama, features a whole Gel Nail Kit from Couture Gel Nail Polish, a $100 Gift Code to the online jewelry retailer The Vintage Pearl, and a crocheted Infinity Scarf in winner's choice of color from Treasured by Holly.
Our second prize pack, New Mama, features a breastfeeding camisole from Undercover Mama, a Chewbeads "Jane" necklace in winner's choice of color, winner's choice of fabric for a diapers/wipes carrying case from The Diaper Clutch, Bamboobies set of Multi Pack Pads, and winner's choice of item shown from Loving Moments by Leading Lady and their Maternity to Nursing line.

ENTER THE GRAND PRIZE HERE.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Diapers for the Little Rockstars {A Rock-A-Bums Review & Giveaway}

**Product received for review.

When you made the plunge into cloth diapering and started doing your research, were you overwhelmed by the large number of options available? I know I certainly was. And I'm not just speaking of brands, but just types in general. Pocket diapers, all in ones, all in twos, covers, prefolds, pockets...where to begin? Which is better? And what will work best for ME? Initially, I thought pocket diapers would be our best option, so we bought several and while we do still like pockets, I soon discovered all in twos were really more my cup of tea. But how great would it be to have one diaper that allowed you to try out all these different diapering systems in one simple diaper? With Rock-A-Bums, you can do just that!





For this review, Rock-A-Bums was kind enough to send me the Rock-A-Bum 2.0 with Snaps in red.



Design, Fit & Functionality

The Rock-A-Bums 2.0 is a one size cloth diaper featuring 4 adjustable rise options and your choice of snaps or aplix. Of the many diapers we have tried for my daughter, I would say this may be one of the types that have fit her the best. Perhaps the greatest feature of this diaper hands down in the versatility. The unique 5-in-1 design allows the flexibility to choose. You can use it as an all in one, all in two, pocket, hybrid (with disposable insert) or bombshell cover for disposable diaper. That's right, you don't even have to be a regular cloth diaper use to benefit from this diaper. I cannot tell you how many times when my son was a baby in disposables that we had to do complete outfit changes- him AND us-when the diaper just could not contain the mess. The hazards of a breastfed baby I suppose! Having a simple cover to hold it all in would certainly have been a lifesaver then! And the back elastic is absolutely perfect for holding it in, regardless of which way you use it! I have tried using it as both the all in two and the pocket. Both ways work wonderfully, but I've certainly found that I prefer the all in two. I've also found it to be a great nighttime diaper, with the two included inserts, I can snap one in the pocket and lay the other one on top for extra absorbency through the night.


The inserts are made from microfiber, topped with a charcoal bamboo layer that wicks away moisture and is safe against baby's skin. They are very absorbent, and still trim. And for those a little uneasy about the possibility of stains, the charcoal bamboo camouflages those better than the typical white insert. This is also another benefit of the black velvet-y lining!


Style

When it comes to style, Rock-A-Bums has it. They are available in three colors- red, black and white. By themselves the colors don't seem too exciting but with the contrast in the snaps and the fun logo they definitely pop! They are gender neutral, and while I love them for my daughter, I think they could be even more fun for a little boy- pair with some fun rock and roll leg warmers- perhaps a little band tee? The perfect look for ANY little rock star! This is certainly the ideal diaper for the stylish parent who likes to have a little fun with their children's style!



Value

At $16.95, these are probably mid-range cost in the cloth diaper world- not the cheapest out there, but far from the priciest as well. But for the quality, it's most definitely a great deal- especially when you take into account the TWO included inserts...no need to buy extras for nighttime use! Add in the versatility and fun style, it's certainly worth every penny in my opinion.

Overall, I was extremely happy with the Rock-A-Bums 2.0 and cannot wait to add more to our stash. They fit great, worked well, looked great and a good price for it all. Truly, you cannot go wrong!

To find out more about Rock-A-Bums or order your own, visit the links below:

Shop the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.


Want to try one for yourself before you buy? Rock-A-Bums is offering one very lucky reader the chance to win one of their very own! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery.
Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Resolutions for 2014

We are already halfway through the month and I've yet to write the obligatory new year's resolution post. I suppose it's a good thing I was not resolving to stop procrastinating, right? But each year I do try to make several goals that I hope to accomplish. It's never anything too difficult, but rather something I feel is truly attainable. It seems most people give up on their resolutions because they let themselves down early on and see no point continuing so by just resolving to do my best to improve in that area in the end any improvement is still good.

So what are my resolutions this year?

1. Attempt to plant a garden this spring. I say attempt because,well honestly I've never really planted anything in my life! It could certainly be an interesting experience but one I a very much looking forward to. This will be a family project that I'm hoping is successful! I just love the idea of growing my own food and knowing exactly where it came from. Not to mention the money saving! I cannot wait to get started. I am certain you will be reading more about my progress when the time comes.

2. Clean greener. This is something I actually started in 2013 and want to continue with. I will be writing a post going more in depth about this subject later in the month!

3. Get back in the kitchen more. During the last several months of my pregnancy I dealt with a lot of back pain/contractions that made doing pretty well anything rather difficult...and then baby came around and exhaustion set in. I'm sad to say that this has led to eating out a lot more than I would care to. It's been getting better, but this is definitely an area I want to work on in 2014!

4. Be more organized. A common resolution of course, but a necessary one. It NEEDS to happen for the sanity of myself and my household.

5. Continue to improve and grow my blog. 2013 was a HUGE year for A Modern Day Fairy Tale. I made the decision to do more with it and started working hard to achieve that goal. I am still in awe at everything I have accomplished so far and hope to continue the progress in the year(s) to come!!

Do you make resolutions? (More importantly, do you keep them?) What goals do you hope to accomplish in 2014?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Autism and Sensory Overload

Christmas is a wonderful and exciting time for all of us...especially the children! There is so much magic and excitement all around. The holiday lights. The bustle of the mall. The anticipation of gifts. The traveling home for the holidays. It can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be quite overwhelming as well. This is especially true for those with Autism.

While we had a mostly great visit with our family over the holidays this year, Shaun also had a very difficult time. On top of the usual craziness of Christmas, Shaun had also already been out of routine for over a week due to being sick the week before his official break began. This alone would have been a lot to take but on top of even all that he had to deal with some major sensory overload.

So what is sensory overload?

You can read a pretty good summary on Wikipedia here...but to sum it up it occurs when one or more of the senses is overstimulated, often associated with Autism and/or Sensory Processing Disorder. Symptoms can include covering ears, being easily irritated, shutting down/distancing from others, poor eye contact, getting overexcited, being overly sensitive to sounds, lights or touch, sleeplessness, angry outbursts..the list goes on!

Imagine being in a super crowded, super loud room. So loud you cannot hear yourself think. Chances are you probably won't be able to tolerate it for too long, right? Now imagine this is never-ending. For some with Autism this is their normal. Where we hear only the dominate sounds in a room they may hear every little sound. Or feel or see things differently than you or I would. It's not that they have supersonic hearing or vision, it's just that where our brains normally filter out the background noises their bodies struggle with this. The result- meltdowns, irritability and even aggression. It is not a matter of discipline or that the child is a 'bad kid'  They are simply overwhelmed and don't know how to handle it all.

So what can you do when in a situation where you find yourself dealing with a child experiencing sensory overload? Reduce the noise if possible, give them their space and most importantly- BE UNDERSTANDING!!

When you see a child having a meltdown in the middle of a crowded mall, resist the urge to pass judgement. Don't assume the child is not being disciplined appropriately and please do not suggest that a spanking would solve the problem. I can assure you that my child does receive discipline but a spanking will most certainly not cure his Autism and in this case will only make matters worse. Us parents are doing the best we can in that moment and while we appreciate your support and understanding, we do not appreciate the judgement.

Do you have a child or loved one in your life that deals with sensory overload? What tricks have you learned to help them out? Any tips to pass along to those who have never been there?

Monday, January 6, 2014

InstaDecember

Whew...is it just me or is anyone else still trying to catch their breath from the whirlwind that was December!? Between preparations for Christmas, sickness, and traveling home for the holidays- we kept busy, busy, busy! Here is a brief peek at what the month held for us via Instagram:



I stumbled across these adorable shots of Shaun and Daddy in an old coat of Shaun's.
I don't know when they had them taken, but they made my day!




Shaun and I got a little silly...or perhaps a lot.
We'll blame the excitement of Christmas.

(But really, that's just us!)


But we had our calm, cuddling moments too.



Big brother decided to help mama with diaper changes...he prepped this Flip diaper all by himself! (I'm pretty sure even daddy wouldn't know how to do that...what a big helper he is!)


He also showed sister how to play video games- Minecraft, of course!


And this is what he was working on.
(It's a Windows logo.)


Finley's one long hair continued to grow.
She has a few longer hairs, but these one is drastically longer, and always sticks out!


Shaun started Christmas break a week early...but not under the best of circumstances.
Less than a week before we planned to head home for the holidays, he developed a rash on his hands and feet, and some sores in his mouth...you guessed it- hand, foot and mouth disease! And the trip to the doctor also revealed strep throat on top of it. Thankfully everything cleared up in time, and we were able to make our trip as planned (after getting the okay from every family member with young kids that we would be seeing, of course!)


Of course, we prepared for our Christmas celebration.
The highlight of the holidays for Shaun was his Playstation 2, which he begged for and insisted he must have. Thankfully, we were able to find just ONE at a local used game store nearby!


Home for the holidays- first up, my mom's for Christmas Eve and then Matt's family's for Christmas. Overall we were away from home for just under two weeks. It was great spending so much time with the family without being rushed, but I'm still playing catchup from being gone so long!


And of course, we celebrated Finley's very first Christmas!!

And through it all, my children remained their adorable selves:






 







Sunday, January 5, 2014

Introducing an Innovative New Diaper System from Snuggy Baby {A Review}

**Product received for review.
A few weeks ago I brought you the super exciting news that Snuggy Baby- a company best known for their adorable baby carriers and wet bags had just launched their newest product- an innovative new all in two cloth diapering system! I was lucky enough to be one of the very first mamas to try these adorable new diapers out and today I'm excited to share the details with all of you!




First up, let's talk about the design and fit. As I said before these are an all in two diaper system featuring adorable covers and absorbent inserts, sold separately. . But how do they work? You just snap the insert into the waterproof cover and when it's time to change baby, you can wipe the cover clean and replace only the insert. This is probably my favorite type of system personally. They take up less space, lead to less laundry and of course are more cost effective.

The covers are one size fitting babies from 8-35 pounds. As seen in many one size diapers, they offer 4 rise settings and crossover snaps to allow for the perfect fit for the smallest of babies. But unlike every other one size diaper out there, these also feature a wonderful new crotch and bottom snap system that actually allows you to adjust the WIDTH of the diaper. A common problem with one size diapers I found was that when our daughter was much smaller, they would fit in the rise and around the waist, but were just very wide and bulky- some to the point of looking uncomfortable even. While our girl no longer would need to use this feature, it would have been very handy earlier on. This truly sets this diaper apart from all the competitors!



The inserts are also very unique. Their shape allows for a great, trim fit as well as faster drying times. They snap and tuck into the diaper, keeping them in place easily. The jersey material keeps baby's skin feeling dry and is not only super soft on baby's skin, but also very absorbent as well. And for added absorbency, the newborn insert snaps in for a perfect booster!

And while the covers are designed to be used with the inserts, they also serve as great general covers as well. You can use them over prefolds, fitteds or even inserts from similar systems (just remember not to have microfiber inserts directly against baby's skin. I tried this out myself and found that it worked quite well- this is great for mamas who already have a good size stash of inserts and are just in the market for some adorable covers!



To see more about how this unique system works, you can watch the video below:


And adorable they are!

One of the first things that attracted me to Snuggy Baby in the first place was all the gorgeous prints on their wraps...the diapers are no different, featuring a fabulous variety of fun prints. I absolutely love the Fantasy Forest cover we received, as well as many of the other available options like Pink Paisley or Rainbow Chevron. (And for little boys the Moustaches and Pow prints are absolutely perfect!!) I look forward to the summer months so that I can just put Finley in a cute coordinating top or legwarmers and let the diaper be seen! It's seriously too cute to cover!! I mean, seriously...could this be any cuter?



Overall, I was extremely happy with our new Snuggy Baby Diaper System. They're innovative, high quality and absolutely stunning to look at! You can see these diapers and everything else Snuggy Baby has to offer at the links below:

Shop the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And Snuggy Baby has generously offered my readers a special discount through the end of the month! Just use the code FAIRYTALE at checkout to receive 10% off your total purchase... whether you're looking for a new wrap, a wet bag or some fun new diapers, you don't want to miss out on the deal!

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.