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Gift ideas

>> Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Over the holidays, my children were spoiled with all sorts of gifts from family. My daughter especially made out well, since her first birthday was just a few days before Christmas. Everything they got was great, but here are some of my personal favorites that the kids got.

My mom got my 3 year old the Disney Me Reader. My son picked up on how to use it really
easily. The child just pushes the button of which book they want to read. Then each page has a shape at the top, so there will be a little *ding* to indicate it's time to turn the page, and push the button that matches the top of the next page. He loves that he can "read" the book on his own, and loves getting to push the matching buttons.
It totally reminds me of elementary school back in the day, and having those massive headphones and the tape player, and you'd listen along with the book and it would make that little *ding* when it was time to turn the page.

For my daughters first birthday, my sisters got her the "My Pal Violet" (They also have My Pal Scout for the fellas). She is still a little too young to appreciate it, but let me tell you, I appreciate
it!! It's seriously the coolest thing.
You hook up the "pal" to your computer, go to their website and program it specifically for your child. It says the child's name (and my child's name isn't at all common, and they still had it on their list). You also pick your child's favorite food, pet, songs, etc so that the "pal" talks about those things. It also plays up to 15 minutes of bedtime music. It's the cutest thing!

My son also got a VTech MobiGo Touch Learning System. I was very hesitant to get this for him because I am so paranoid about him getting addicted to this kind of stuff. (Seeing as how he knows how to use my husbands smart phone waaaay more efficiently than I do because of how much he plays with it) But it's been great. There aren't many games on the actual game system, but he had a lot of fun with them. We also got him the Cars game, which has helped him a lot with learning letters. You can also download games off of their website. He's really enjoyed having it, and we've really enjoyed having something to keep him busy during desperate times.

So if you are looking for gifts for some of the children in your lives, I highly recommend all of those!


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Mimi the Sardine Giveaway Winner

>> Monday, January 30, 2012

The winner of the Mimi the Sardine bib and spillmat giveaway is:

With the coordinating comment:

Congratulations! Please e-mail service@milanmaternity.com by February 1, 11:59pm PST to claim your prize, or another winner will be


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What I Wish I Had Known #4

>> Friday, January 27, 2012


No, really. I promise. It will.

With my first pregnancy, I was pretty much clueless. Sure, I was nervous and had tinges of fear every now and again, but I think I was mostly just numb.

My second time around, it seemed like I had so much to worry about.

The baby kept flipping and wouldn't stay head down. Whhhy wouldn't she stay in position?
I wasn't planning to have an epidural. Whhhhy did I think I could do this??
I already had a child that someone needed to take care of, but I had no family around, and the baby was due right before Christmas so people had plans/were busy doing holiday things/I was just having a hard time finding someone. Whhhhy couldn't I find someone???
I was going past my due date. Whhhhy wouldn't this baby just come already????

And the list of things that I was worried/stressed/absolutely freaking out about went on and on. There is a saying "Everything works out in the end. If it's not working out, it's not the end." But I wasn't buying into it.

I really wish I had known, and truly believed, that it would all work out. Because it did. Every single last detail worked out and in the end I had a beautiful baby girl in my arms. I had nothing at all to worry about. (Although, when it came down to the end, and my water broke, and I couldn't get a hold of my husband, or either of the babysitters, it was starting to kind of feel like it wouldn't.) But it did, it all worked out wonderfully, and it will for you, too.


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In my dreams!

>> Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Don't forget about the Mimi the Sardine Giveaway. Click here to enter!

I didn't have these 3 things when I was pregnant, but in my dream world, I would have!

1. This coat looks absolutely comfy and warm! And a coat for maternity and babywearing?! How awesome is that?!

2. I don't have a picture for this one, but in my dreams, I'd totally have a personal trainer through out my pregnancy. And not just any personal trainer. One that would come to my house daily, cook me healthy meals, and call me through out the day to give me encouragement. I have a feeling I'd do a lot better and feel better after the baby was born. That's not too much to ask, is it?

3. This maternity pillow looks like a dream! I'm one of those people that has about 17 million pillows surrounding me when I'm pregnant. But having one massive one would be a lot easier to keep up with. But I don't think my husband would be ok with being kicked out of the bed.

What would you have during pregnancy in your dream world?


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What I Wish I Had Known #3

>> Friday, January 20, 2012

Don't forget about the Mimi the Sardine Giveaway. Click here to enter!

I have two birth stories, and they are both completely different, in every way. I won't go into all the details, but with my firstborn, I had an epidural. There was never any doubt in my mind that that's what I was going to do. I remember so clearly being in the hospital room while I was in labor and hearing the woman in the room next door screaming like crazy. I felt embarrassed for her. I vowed that I would never, ever scream during childbirth.

My birth experience with the epidural turned out to not be a good one. The epidural didn't completely take on one side and I was in so much pain. So fast forward a couple years, when I'm pregnant with my second, and I decided I wasn't going to get an epidural. Why face my massive fear of needles all over again for something that won't even work right and leaves me in more pain?

But I was nervous. Could I actually handle the pain? And would I actually know what to do? Even though I'd given birth before, it's like I'd forgotten how it goes and didn't know if I'd remember how to push, etc.

I wish I had known that my body would take over and I had no need to worry about anything. I kid you not, my body knew what to do, and guided me through it. All the worry about wondering if I'd know what to do was pointless. And...I screamed. A lot. A very embarrassing amount. And guess what. I don't care, because like I said, my body took over, and apparently that's what I needed to do to work through the pain.

So if you are worried at all about the birth experience, don't worry, and know that your body will take control and you will get through it!


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Life with a toddler

>> Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't forget about the Mimi the Sardine Giveaway. Click here to enter!

My sister pinned this for me on Pinterest (or Pinster as my husband can't help but call it for some reason.) (And yes, my sister loves me so much she created a board just for me.)

These rules are so very true. And has been even more fun to deal with after my daughters first birthday and Christmas. My son applies all of these rules to her things to.


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Mimi the Sardine Review and Giveaway

>> Friday, January 13, 2012

Kids are messy, and moms are busy. Mimi the Sardine knows both are true, and has you covered! Mimi the Sardine makes earth and family-friendly, playful and cool eating accessories for children including bibs, spillmats, placemats, and aprons. They are made with organic cotton and have a water-based acrylic coating (not PVC), and meet the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard which certifies that the fabric does not contain harmful chemicals and components. They are permanently water, soil, and mess resistant yet remain soft and supple. They make cleaning up so easy! You can just wipe them clean, or they are also machine washable. We were sent a spill mat and apron to review. My son is in that food throwing stage, so the spillmat has been a lifesaver to my wood floors! It also is perfect to set on the carpet for having "picnics" in the family room. They can also be used to protect your table for playdough, fingerpaint, and other art projects.

The kids apron we absolutely loved. It's completely adjustable- just pull the side straps to move the apron up higher on the neck. My daughter loves to help with the baking, and she finally has an apron that fits her right and will grow with her. I love how food/liquid resistant it is, and you can just wipe it clean if it does happen to get dirty.

Mimi the Sardine is generously giving one lucky reader an ocean spillmat and matching bib!

Here's how to enter: (leave a comment for each entry completed)

1. Visit Mimi the Sardine and comment on what product you'd love to try.

Extra Entries:

2. Multiple Entries-Share this giveaway with one of the "share buttons" at the bottom of this post. It's super easy to share to Facebook, twitter, your blog, or e-mail! (Two entries for each way shared, and for each day shared)

3. "Like" Mimi the Sardine on Facebook

4. Follow this blog

5. "Like" Milan Maternity on Facebook

6. Post one of our buttons on your blog and leave the link (one entry for each)

7. Follow Mimi the Sardine or Milan Maternity on twitter (one entry for each)

Giveaway open until Wednesday, January 25th, 11:59pm PST. Winner will be chosen by random.org. Good luck!


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You're already doing it!

>> Thursday, January 12, 2012

Almost everything I see online these days has to do with exercising and getting in shape as we start this new year. But the truth of the matter is, as moms we don't always have time to do the things that are suggested. Or, if we are pregnant, we don't have a ton of energy or are limited in what we can do.

So if you are feeling bad that you aren't able to get to the gym to burn some calories, or if you want to feel better knowing that you are already doing "simple" things right at home that are burning calories, here's a list for you:

Vacuuming -- 25 minutes of vacuuming around your home will burn just about 100 calories.

Gardening -- Like to garden? It's the digging and raking that will reap the most fitness benefits. These are the bigger calorie burners when it comes to gardening. In fact, you can burn up to 100 in just 15 minutes with these movements.

Dancing -- 20 minutes of dancing at a moderate pace will burn 100 calories.
My son loves to have dance parties during the day. It's an easy, fun way to do it while playing and interacting with your kids. Even as a baby, he loved when I'd hold him and dance around the room with him.

Ironing clothes -- If you have to do it for the whole family you might as well know the calories you're burning. Just a bit more than 100 calories in 25 minutes. (Hopefully my husband doesn't read this or he'll try to use it as motivation to get me to iron his work shirts!)

Housework -- Vigorous housework for 20 minutes will burn a little more than 100 calories. You have to do it, so why not make it count?

Stand up! Don't sit when you can be on your feet-you'll burn about 40% more calories. So just take a stand-when you're on the phone, watching kids at the playground, making small talk at a party.

Pushing baby stroller -- Pushing a stroller burns approximately 60 calories in 20 minutes. No problem, two nice and easy 20-minute strolls per day will get the job done without even breaking a sweat.
And might I add, from my own experience, pushing a stroller with a flat tire--most definitely will help you burn more calories. I wouldn't suggest doing it if you just want a nice leisurely walk, but if it happens on accident, you have to look at the bright side, right?

Laugh: Watch something that's consistently funny and you could burn about 40 calories if you guffaw for 10 to 15 minutes straight.

Now, don't you feel better??
**list compiled from articles on ediets.com and shine.yahoo.com


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When it comes to diaper bags...

>> Monday, January 9, 2012

When I was visiting my family for the holidays, I had a 15 minute conversation with one of my sisters-in-law about diaper bags. (A sure that that you are a mom.) We concluded that we both wish we'd spent more money on one.

As we all probably know, when you are going to have a baby, you end up spending all sorts of money preparing for your new baby. So if you are anything like me, you figure there are some things that it will be fine to spend less on--like a diaper bag. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a less expensive diaper bag that has survived. I have been a mother for 3 years, and I'm one my 3rd or 4th diaper bag. With the money that I've spend on all of those ones, I could have bought one really nice one that would actually stand the test of time.

So I am here to tell you, if you can, spend the money on a better diaper bag!! I've already decided that I will be getting a high quality, nice one before I have another one. Here are some that I'm already drooling over:

Gladiola Diaper Bag by Amy Michelle (on sale for $99.95) I think this is one of my favorites, mainly because it doesn't at all look like a diaper bag. I also like the little pacifier clip on the inside...it's the simple things, really.

Baggino’s Combination Diaper Bag-N-Belt ($49) Honestly, I'm not sure of it's quality level and it's not all that expensive, but the bag and belt thing is very appealing to me. I can't tell you how many times I've had to change a diaper in public, and not only is it difficult having just two hands to do it, but putting the diaper bag down on the gross surfaces is, well---gross!

Safari Medallion Hobo Diaper Bag by OiOi ($140) I love the colors, the fabric, the design, and it appears to have all the pocket space I need.

Diddie change bag by Phil and Teds ($99.99) I love my Phil and Teds stroller, so I can't imagine having anything but love for their change bag.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Rambling Rose Sashay Satchel ($119) Another one I love because it isn't obviously a diaper bag. I also love that the pattern is something out of the ordinary. And the fact that it can also be used as a backpack is a plus.

Did you save or splurge on a diaper bag? Do you have any suggestions for good ones that last?


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Every once in a while...

>> Friday, January 6, 2012

In spite of the stress, tears, lack of sleep, and everything else, this is how I've been feeling lately. I have been overwhelmingly thankful for my children. We women are so lucky!


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The Million Moms Challenge

>> Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, everyone!! I'm having a hard time believing it's already 2012. Having kids speeds up time, and I'm not even joking.

So back in December there was an episode of 20/20 that absolutely moved me. You can watch the full episode by clicking here. It's 40 minutes, which I know can be hard to find, but definitely worth the time if you've got it. If you don't have the time---In short, it was about all of the difficulties women have in other countries when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. It reminded me of how very lucky we are that we have to opportunities and advances in medicine that we do. It's easy for me to forget that a lot of other places don't have experienced doctors like we do, or medicines that we do, or even basic knowledge like we do.

Because of a previous episode that was aired, they were able to help others out, and of course the help can continue. At the end, they talked about The Million Moms Challenge. By simply going to the site, and signing up (just entering your name, zip code, and email address) you can help them reach their goal of having 100,000 people sign up, and Johnson and Johnson will donate $100,000 to help moms and babies throughout the world. And of course they have a lot of other opportunities on the site for you to show your support and help if you are able.

What a great way to start off the new year---by helping out moms and babies in need around the world!


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