Bee & Butterfly | White Teeth | Cosmetic Dentistry | Southern Dental | AprilNoelle.com

Beautiful White Teeth For the Whole Family

**This post is brought to you by Southern Dental Care. All stories and opinions are my own.**

Each day after school, Bee starts sharing her day as soon as she gets into the car. Some days, she doesn’t stop talking until we get home. Recently, her focus has been on a mission to lose her first tooth. A classmate has already lost their first tooth and Bee just can’t wait until the Tooth Fairy comes to visit for the first time.

Of course, the Tooth Fairy doesn’t always stop by our house (don’t judge).

That said I’m certainly not ready for her to grow up and I’m not ready for potential tooth problems.

When I was about 12, my teeth started moving. More specifically, my lower teeth pushed out my middle bottom tooth. With each bite, my top teeth pushed out this bottom tooth. Slowly over the next couple of years, my gums no longer supported my tooth and I almost lost it.

Thankfully, braces saved me from having a gap in my smile. Cosmetic dentistry to the rescue!

Teeth Tips

Those were prime teeth days for me. I had the cleanest, whitest teeth. I hated the idea of food stuck in my teeth and followed all of the dentist’s directions on keeping white teeth, even though it was often difficult.

Brushing – I brushed no less than three times a day, after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Flossing – With the braces, for the first time ever, I was able to get between my teeth to floss and boy did my teeth appreciate it.

Mouthwash – Sometimes I had food stuck in my braces and it was gross. I kept a bottle of this in my backpack for any time I couldn’t brush.

Avoid Tobacco – This was easy. I don’t smoke because it’s absolutely disgusting.

Limit Sodas, Coffee and Alcohol – I was too young to drink and don’t particularly enjoy coffee. Those two were easy. At that time, I drank more soda than I do today, but with the braces, I cut all of that out!

Take My Vitamins – Even though I hate taking pills, I was all over this one! I wanted to make sure that any movement in my mouth would be supported from the inside out.

Make My Appointments – Well, I didn’t want to wear braces any longer than I had to, so I made sure that I went to every appointment ON TIME.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Mom & Son | White Teeth | Cosmetic Dentistry | Southern Dental | AprilNoelle.comSometimes, you can do everything right and still have issues with your teeth. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry has become commonplace. Men and women alike will stop by their dentist to get widespread treatments like bleaching, bonding, veneers and reshaping. Who doesn’t want beautiful white teeth?

Bleaching is the most common. You can pick up a bleaching kit from any store or pharmacy. Even though they don’t get the best results, you can do it yourself.

Now the rest need a dentist’s touch.

Bonding is tooth-colored material used to fill in gaps or change the color of teeth.

Bridges are made to bridge the gaps created by one or more missing teeth.

Crowns, also known as caps, cover a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and appearance. Whereas veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic placed over the front teeth to change the color or shape of your teeth.

Finally, tooth reshaping and contouring, is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped or irregularly shaped teeth or even overlapping teeth in a single session.

How to Find the Perfect Dentist

The condition of your teeth and desired result you want often dictates the best procedure. A good dentist, like this one in New Orleans, can answer any questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. Those questions should include:

  • How will my smile change?
  • What should I expect through the course of treatment?
  • Will there be any maintenence?

What should I look for in a cosmetic dentist?

Make sure your dentist is skilled in cosmetic dentistry. Before you start treatment, ask your dentist for the following items:

Before and after photos. These photos will allow you to examine the results of other patients being treated by the dentist to make sure his or her work fits your dental needs.

 White Teeth | Cosmetic Dentistry | Southern Dental | AprilNoelle.com

References. References allow you to get a sense of the quality of care the dentist provides.

Proof of continuing education. Be certain that your dentist has taken continuing education courses to keep him or her up-to-date with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.

Your dentist can answer the questions you have about the techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and your desired result often indicate the best procedure for you.

This post was brought to you by

Southern Dental Care
7301 Westbank Expy
Marrero, LA 70072
Phone: 504-347-1014

Read More
Outdoor Science Lab for Kids | AprilNoelle.com

Flipped Water Glass Experiment from Outdoor Science Lab for Kids

Weekends can be tons of fun, but on some weekends, where the primary goal is to clean up after the recent hurricane, ideas and energy can fall flat pretty quickly.

When I received Outdoor Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke, I was excited and hesitant. See, I have spent tons of time checking books like this out of the library, only to find out that I need to buy a bunch of things from the store to get them to work properly.

Outdoor Science Lab for Kids is nothing like that.

Many of these experiments can be done with a simple search around the home. Even when you do have to go to the store, you will likely use it all, no random items sitting around the house after you’re done.

 

I also had the opportunity to speak with the author, Liz Heinecke (this is not verbatim, just giving you the highlights):

Flipped Water Glass | Outdoor Science Lab for Kids | AprilNoelle.comWhy did you write Outside Science Lab for Kids?

My background is in art and science. I actually have a masters’ degree in bacteriology. I worked in a research lab for 10 years. When I had kids, I stayed home with them, started doing science with them. That naturally progressed to me starting a blog (kitchenpantryscientist.com) where I would post the activities that we were doing together, which was really fun. Eventually, I started demonstrating science on our Twin Cities TV station, especially right around Halloween when everyone wants to do science at home. A publisher approached me to write my first book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, then I followed that up with Outdoor Science Lab for Kids, which came out this summer.

I tried to give parents simple explanations that parents can understand and pass along to their kids.

How old were your children when you started? 

When I started doing this, they were 2, 5 and 7. Now they’re 10, 14 and 16. I’ve really been doing this since my youngest was born. But I think my website is six years old. I would say your child should be about three to be fully engaged.

Because I had children that were spread out over a number of years, I tried to make projects that were safe enough for my youngest and my older children would be doing it at a more advanced level while my youngest was playing around with the ingredients or play around with the finished product.

So if we were doing an experiment like Cornstarch Goo, my older children would stir it, because it’s pretty hard to stir. My youngest would just play with the goo.

Also, my older children would write in science notebooks (which I mentioned in the book). The older ones could actually write down the words if we were learning about surface tension, draw pictures and write the date.  My younger one just scribbled.

 

More Interview to Come…

I will be adding to this over at LosetheCape.com and UrbanMommies.com. I will highlight the articles as they become available.

Let’s the get the experiment started!

 

Lab 27: Flipped Water Glass

Materials

  • Glass with a mouth small enough to cover with a playing card
  • Deck of playing cards
  • Water

Safety Tips & Hints

  • The cards may be damaged by water.
  • Small children may need assistance with this experiment.

Protocol

Step 1: Add some water to your glass. Make sure the glass is only partially full so that there is some air on the top.

Step 2: Cover the mouth of the glass completely with a playing card. Don’t leave any gaps and keep the card flat.

Step 3: Put one hand flat over the card, being careful not to bend the card, and quickly invert the glass. It might be easier to use your fingers instead of your palm.

Step 4: In no water is leaking out, remove your hand from the card. The card should remain on the mouth of the glass, holding the water in.

Step 5: If you have a leak, try again! You may need a new card.

Creative Enrichment

  1. Add more water to the glass. How much water can you add?
  2. Put dish soap around the edge of the glass. Do you get the same results?
  3. Make pin holes in the card and repeat the experiment. Does the water leak through the holes? Why or why not?

The Science Behind the Fun

We live at the bottom of an ocean of air molecules. Although we don’t notice it, these molecules push on our bodies and everything around us with a powerful force called atmospheric pressure. This pressure pushes on us from all directions.

When you flip the covered water glass over, water molecules in the glass are pulled down by gravity. However, the force of the water pushing down is lower than the force of atmospheric pressure pushing up on the car, so the water stays in the glass.

Surface tension is at work as well, since water molecules like to stick together, forming an elastic-like skin at their surface. Some water molecules even stick to the card due to another force called adhesion, which helps hold the card on the glass.

If your friends ask, just tell them that atmospheric pressure provides enough push to keep the card on the glass and that surface tension and adhesion help stop leaks.

 

Buy now:
From Outdoor Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke
© 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
Text © 2016 Liz Lee Heinecke
Photography © 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

Get Liz’s other book too!
 
 

I’m part of blog tour, so check out some of the other wonderful sites on this tour to see more great experiments

10/17/16  ME! https://www.aprilnoelle.com
10/18/16  Happy Healthy Hip Parenting http://www.happyhealthyhip.com/blog/
10/19/16  Mom of 2 Dancershttp://www.scrappyd.blogspot.com
10/20/16  Just Joannahttp://justjoanna.com
10/21/16  Familylicioushttp://familylicious.com
10/22/16  Say it, “Rah-shay”http://sayitrahshay.com
10/23/16  Honey Badger Momhttp://honeybadgermom.com
10/24/16  The Life of a Home Momhttp://homemom3.com
10/25/16  Mom, Are We There Yet?http://momarewethereyet.net
10/26/16  Bless Their Hearts Momhttp://blesstheirheartsmom.blogspot.com
10/27/16  Central Minnesota Momhttp://centralmnmom.com
10/28/16  Cassandra M’s Placewww.cassandramsplace.com
10/29/16  My Silly Little Ganghttp://mysillylittlegang.com
10/30/16  Houseful of Nicholeshttp://housefulofnicholes.com
10/31/16  Cook with 5 kidswww.cookwith5kids.com

Read More
Honoring Child Safety Week sponsored by Diono | AprilNoelle.com

Honoring Child Passenger Safety Week

Sometimes learning a new routine sucks, but sometimes it’s great.

At our new school, the teachers help my daughters in and out of their car seats. I love that I don’t have to get in and out of the car and that someone else has to buckle them.

One particular day, when a teacher was helping Butterfly out of the car, she mentioned that she was happy to see that “her precious girl” was strapped in properly.

I also see the issue clearly when others take my daughters for a ride. I always begin with a 10-minute tutorial on how to properly secure the car seat, then buckle in my daughters. Everyone rolls their eyes, but I take my daughters’ safety seriously, especially in thousand pound vehicles.

So when I found out that this week,September 18-24, 2016 is Child Passenger Safety Week, an annual event put together by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) to raise awareness for car seat safety, I had to spread the news.

Leading Death Among Children

Did you know that according to the CDC, accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States?

Seriously, this is something that can be prevented by parents just taking a few extra seconds tucking in their child into their car seat can save their life!

Are you harnessing your child into their seats correctly?

Harness 101

 

Diono teamed up with their Global Safety Advocate and Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor, Allana Pinkerton, to gather her favorite car seat safety tips for Child Passenger Safety Week.


Why is car seat safety so important?

Here are the facts:

  • Car crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.
  • Four out of five car seats are not properly installed.
  • Car seats reduce the risk of injury by 71-82% and reduce the risk of death by 28% in comparison to seat belts alone.

When it comes to car seat safety, there is no such thing as “overprotective.” Car seats save lives!

Here are ten safety tips to ensure your child is snug and safe in their car seat:

1. Read the manual:

Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. Luckily, your child’s car seat does. We know the manual can seem daunting, but it is detailed for a reason. You should always read both the car seat manual AND your vehicle manual, as both contain vital information about installation, seat belt function, seating positions and safety warnings. Before installing, allow yourself plenty of time to get to know your car seat. Store your manuals in a safe spot (like your glove box or storage compartment) so you can reference them later as your child grows.

2. Harnessing 101:

Is your child properly harnessed? Whether rear-facing or forward-facing, the chest clip on your child’s harness should always be placed at armpit level. This ensures the harness stays on the child’s shoulders for maximum safety. The 5-point harness should fit snug and comfortable. You should not be able to pinch the harness strap at the collar bone.


3. Rear-facing is 5X safer:

Rear-facing car seats offer maximum protection for your child’s head, neck and spinal cord, yet 77% of children are moved into a forward-facing seat too soon. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay rear-facing until at least two years of age. Don’t rush to move your child to the forward-facing position. Because every child develops at a different rate, age is not the only factor to consider. As best practice, we recommend keeping your child rear-facing to the maximum weight or height of their car seat.

4. Re-check the harness slot:

When was the last time you checked your child’s car seat for proper harness slot placement? When positioning a 5-point harness on your child, stick to this important rule. For rear-facing seats, the harness straps should be at or BELOW the child’s shoulders. For forward-facing seats, the harness straps should be at or ABOVE the child’s shoulders. Because your little one is constantly growing, check frequently for proper positioning.

childpassengersafetyweek-2016_blogimage_harnessslots


5. Don’t skip the booster:

Vehicles are equipped with seat belts meant for ADULTS. They do not fit children properly until they are between 9-12 years old. Once a child has outgrown their 5-point harness, they are ready for a booster seat. Boosters help ensure proper seat belt position and help reduce injury by 45% compared to a seat belt alone. To determine whether your child is ready to use a seat belt only, check out the 5-Step Test.

Honoring Child Safety Week sponsored by Diono | AprilNoelle.com6. Use the tether:

Are you using the top tether on your car seat? Head injury is one of the most common injuries for children in a car crash. The top tether provides additional safety for your child while forward-facing, keeping the head from hitting the seat in front and minimizing strain on the neck and spinal column during a crash. Refer to your car seat manual AND vehicle manual to determine proper tether installation.

7. Always buckle:

No matter how close to home or your destination, always buckle your child and yourself. Car crashes often happen close to home, and even a low-speed crash can cause serious injury. Take the time to properly fasten your children AND yourself each and every trip.

8. Proper belt path:

When using a seat belt to install a car seat, check to make sure you are using the proper belt path. Some car seats have two, one for rear-facing and one for forward-facing. Check your manual for more information.

9. Seat belt or LATCH, not both:

Never use the seat belt and lower anchor connectors at the same time, unless permitted by the car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer. Choose one or the other. Remember that some car seats have lower anchor weight limits, so check your car seat manual to make sure your child has not exceeded the LATCH limit.

10. The million-dollar question:

The number one question that parents like to ask a Child Passenger Safety Technician is “what is the best car seat?” When it comes to car seat safety, there is no one seat fits all. The right car seat is the one that fits your vehicle, fits your child, and the one you will use correctly every time you travel. Not every car seat will fit every vehicle or every child.  It’s best to try before you buy or purchase from a retailer with a convenient return policy. If you have friends with car seats, try theirs out too.

[tweetthis]It’s easy to protect my child with #DionoSafetyTips [/tweetthis]

Knowledge is power! Each and every day this week we will be sharing these tips on our social media channels. Follow along at #DionoSafetyTips and help us spread the importance of car seat safety by sharing our posts. Our number one goal is to get as many children traveling safely down the road as possible.

More Infographics (click to enlarge)

 

I want to thank Diono for providing these awesome infographics to drive home some safety points! Head over to their site in order to win a new car seat!

Did you learn anything new from these infographics?

 

Read More
First Week of School is Done | AprilNoelle.com

What a Difference a School Makes

I know that until my girls were born, I was extremely active in my son’s school life. After having Bee, my first daughter, I slacked off. I did what I could from home, but it wasn’t much.

Day One

When I dropped off the children on the first day, I really expected to drop and go. Instead, it went like this: drop, drop, drop and stay, then take one back home.

I knew I would stay with my two-year-old for a bit and make sure that she was adjusted to the class before leaving. Butterfly did great. She rarely looked at me, except to give me a loving smile and then back to playing.

Around 10, the teacher rang a gentle bell and sang a cute little “goodbye” song.

At the time, I was under the impression that she was kicking out the adults, but asking all of us to go home. I had missed the memo that the first day was a short one. The benefit of taking the little ones home before they are tired and irritable means that they will be excited to return. Makes sense, right?

First Week of School is Done | AprilNoelle.comAs a parent, you have the option of doing this every day for the first week. Of course, my Butterfly didn’t need that at all.

Butterfly and I had a great day alone, watching movies, eating popcorn and most of all, for her, not being interrupted by her sister.

When I went to pick up Bunny, her brother, he was ecstatic. He told me all about his first day of school but most importantly working on ways to change. He gave me the list of things he needed for his locker so that he will be organized: a locker bin for important papers, a shelf, and a pencil holder.

This was great news. If I could show you his room, you would know why.

Day Two

I spent Wednesday buying additional school uniforms and locker supply shopping. Then, we prepped his locker for an hour so that he didn’t have to do it in the morning.

Day Three

Thursday, I spoke to teachers and the new head of school. At the of end the day at a New Parent Cocktail Party, where I met a lot of new parents, administration, and parent volunteers, without being surrounded by our kids. I met so many great people and made connections with those who had gone through this transition as I had.

Day Four

Friday was the best. On this day, the primary school has an assembly. After a few words from the administration, it’s practically run by the students. This particular one was run by 3rd graders with the theme of “Proud to be an American” in honor of 9/11.

Almost every kid had a turn at the mic and each one had to say something alone. Not a nervous nelly in the bunch. These kids were ready and on point. Watching them as they all had matching uniforms (the only day of the week that it was mandatory), this assembly finally made me comfortable to leave me children in this school’s hands.

How is the school year going for you?

 

Read More

6 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables

 

I remember at one of Bunny’s first parties with his playgroup. He was about three and we were having a great time. One of the other moms asked him if he wanted some candy. He excitedly ran over to the vegetable platter and snacked on carrots and tomatoes. The moms all looked at me jaws dropped. My son had picked veggies over candy. By this time, he hadn’t had candy often, maybe 5 times in his life.

Now, that I have more children, the candy restrictions are not as strict, but I still have two of my three kids who will opt for vegetable over many other foods. The one, my eldest daughter, Bee, she’s a special case, with a story that goes all the way back into my womb. Even with Bee, she can eat her share of fruits and vegetables.

But how do I have three children who willing eat vegetables, even at young ages as 2 and 4? Here are my tips to get your kids to eat more vegetables.

Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables | AprilNoelle.com

Start Early

When introducing your children to foods, opt for the savory vegetables instead of the sweet fruit more often. They will like and appreciate the flavor of vegetables when their taste buds aren’t longing for the sweet.

Eat More Vegetables

You, yes, you. If you eat more vegetables, they will want to eat what you eat. Set the example for your children on what your vegetable eating expectations are and over time, they will understand and follow suit.

From Your Plate to Yours

I don’t have any problem with any baby food company. But their food doesn’t taste like your food. If you make green beans with a slice of bacon for flavor, then that’s a “new” flavor to them which they may or may not like as they make the move from pureed to solid foods. I always kept an individual serving sized blender on the counter and, before I added salt or hot spices, would toss in the veggies in the blender to serve the kids a pureed version of what we were eating. I would actually do this for all of our meals, but it was especially useful for vegetables.

Serve Often

We have vegetables at every meal after breakfast. Often, I will make a display where they will have various options to eat them. I have a three-part serving tray where I put one fruit and two vegetable options at least one snack a day. In the beginning, Bee would have nothing to do with it, or only eat the fruit. After about a week, she would scarf down all three choices without a second thought.

Creative Music Note Veggie Platter | Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables | AprilNoelle.com

Be Creative

As above, I try to incorporate vegetables however I can. The more fuss that they see you make, the more they want it. Bee rarely eats celery, but take time designing a music note and she couldn’t wait to dive in and eat all of the pieces. I think she just wanted to destroy my project. Whatever works.

Raw or Cooked?

For most of my youth, I did not like cooked vegetables. I would eat fresh carrots, celery, lettuce, etc. but wouldn’t touch a cooked broccoli floret. I thought they were mushy and relatively tasteless. I found out as I got older that people would often overcook their vegetables. When I learned to properly cook vegetables, I liked them a lot more. Try mixing up their options, cooked and raw.

When all else fails, be sneaky and trick them into eating their vegetables.

 

Try Sneakz Organic!

Sneakz dreamed up a way to make eating healthy fun for kids by adding 1/2 serving of daily vegetables to delicious organic milkshakes. I received these milkshakes in exchange for my honest review.

Get Your Kids to Eat More Vegetables | Sneakz | AprilNoelle.com

Why not combine the veggies with something they already like?

My kids really enjoyed these milkshakes. We started with the chocolate milkshake which I thought would be a favorite, but I quickly learned that they loved strawberry even more.

Bunny, my son, said he could taste the vegetables, but that didn’t stop him from drinking one of these every day until they were gone.

Remember Bee, my non-veggie eater? She was happy to opt to have this milkshake instead of eating the vegetables.

Butterfly could only finish about a half of a box (approx. 4 oz.) each time. She was excited to drink it, but couldn’t finish it.

Bunny Drinking Sneakz | AprilNoelle.com

What’s different about Sneakz Organic Yummy Veggie Nutrition?

1/2 Serving of Veggies

Each box has 1/2 serving of veggies, making it a delicious snack with nutritional benefits for a balanced diet.

Organic Dairy

Our Non-GMO and grass fed cows produce the highest quality organic milk which is healthy and safe for your little ones.

Natural Cane Sugar

Sneakz is sweetened with natural cane sugar and has fewer grams per ounce than flavored milks by Organic Valley and Horizon Milks.

Drawback

I only found one drawback for this delicious product… the name. I couldn’t bring myself to tell my children it was named “Sneakz”. Obviously, Bunny could just read the name, but I didn’t want to let my littles know about “sneaking”.

Sneakz | AprilNoelle.com

 

Now for a giveaway!

Four winners will win a free 4-pack of Sneakz Organic drinks in a flavor of your choice (chocolate, strawberry or vanilla). See the policy page for our Giveaway Policy.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Where to Buy Sneakz Organic

You can buy Sneakz at H-E-B, Albertson’s, Safeway, Wegmans, Sprouts, and coming soon to Wal-Mart.

Website | Store Finder | Amazon

 

Read More

Summer Camp at Home: Music Theme {and many more themes}

Music

This summer, I am collaborating with a great group of women to bring your 7 Weeks of Summer Camp at Home. Each week, we will be bringing you new books, snacks, recipes and activities to enjoy with your children. I’m bringing to you a week’s worth of musical activities for your young ones.

I’ve always dreamed of having a musical household. So I’m making it happen. My son playing piano and the rest of us singing loud and often. When the mood suits me to go all-in, I love to teach them some of the fundamentals of music. Not just for fun, students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district. (Johnson, C. M. & Memmott, J. E. (2007))

Summer Camp at Home

This summer, create a home summer camp with a Music theme.  My kids are so musical and love singing, dancing and playing instruments. It’s part of our routine year round. Yet, thinking about this summer, I wanted to do a concentrated lesson plan.

Books

Music Theme Summer Camp at Home

For the really little (birth to 5 years old), I recommend the Sing Along With Me! series which has five slider mechanisms and a QR code inside that links to both an instrumental and vocal version of the nursery rhyme. Simply scan for little ones to listen and sing along!

Wheels on the Bus
Old McDonald Had a Farm
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
If You’re Happy and You Know it
Incy Wincy Spider

For the ones a little older (5+), I recommend getting more into the different genres of music:

Realistic Rock for Kids
Hip Hop Speaks to Children
Take-Off: American All-Girl Bands During World War II
Trombone Shorty
My First Orchestra Book

Snacks

Xylophone Tart | Guitar Deviled Eggs | Music Note Veggie Tray | Mini Drum Cakes | Microphone Cake Pops

Guitar Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

6 Eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 tablespoon of dill relish
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of paprika
Celery or carrots for garnish

Directions:

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Add water to depth of 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.

Drain and fill the saucepan with cold water and ice. Tap each egg firmly on the counter until cracks form all over the shell. Peel under cold running water.

Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Add relish, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Dash of paprika to top.

Cut celery into 3-inch pieces and/or slice the baby carrots lengthwise and place on top.

Serve.

Music Note Veggie Tray

Music Theme- Summer Camp At Home SeriesThis super simple vegetable display gets the kiddos to eat their veggies while being fun and playful.

With just four ingredients, you can prepare this in just a few minutes.

Ingredients:

Baby Carrots
Grape Tomatoes
Celery
Dressing

 

 

 

 

Activities

Make your own instruments

Popsicle Stick Harmonica  |  Kazoo  |  Microphone  |  Bongo Shaker Güiro  |  Guitar

 

Make music everywhere

Take a drumstick or chopstick and let the kids bang on a bunch of different items, such as pots, pans, bowls, cabinets, boxes, etc. If you have a little time, make musical glasses.

 

Music Water Glasses Activities | AprilNoelle.com
Photo from: Connections Academy

 

This post is part of a HUGE resource for you!  We’re joining 13 other bloggers in 7 weeks of themed Summer Camp at Home activities.  These themed activities will fill the weeks of summer with learning, fun, and play.  Check out all of the Summer Camp at Home themes below:

Missed any of the Summer Camp at Home Series. Check them out here:

Week 1: Monday 5/30 – Self-Love ThemeOcean Theme 
Week 2: Monday 6/6 –  Saving Money ThemeGardening/Going Green Theme
Week 3: Monday 6/13 – Black History ThemeMusic Theme
Week 6: Monday 7/4 – Dinosaur ThemeCooking Theme
Week 7: Monday 7/11 – Astronomy Theme & Around the World Theme

7 Weeks of Summer Camp at Home | AprilNoelle.com

Read More

50 Ways to Multitask While Breastfeeding

**This post contains affiliate links. 
If you decide to purchase, there’s no extra cost to you and it helps me keep this blog going.**

<
Today, we welcome Renee Show and her book, Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding. Thankfully, I just finished breastfeeding myself (after about 20 months). This book would have come in handy just a short couple of months ago. So, to make sure that the rest of you use your time wisely, here are 50 ways to multitask while breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding takes up an incredible amount of a new mother’s time. I know this from experience.

I breastfed each of my 4 children for the first year of their lives. Though not an official breastfeeding “expert,” I have spent well over 1,000 hours of my life breastfeeding.

It’s not unusual for new moms to be shocked by the sheer amount of hours that they need to breastfeed new babies, especially when starting out. Even people, like me, who are extremely committed to the idea that “breast is best,” can feel a bit overwhelmed by the time involved in sticking to that commitment.

It’s no fun feeling like you’ve been reduced to a milk machine.

One evening while I was breastfeeding my 2nd baby (who was famous for long nursing sessions), I had an epiphany. I discovered that I had become adept at multitasking while breastfeeding. I realized that I no longer needed to view breastfeeding as dominating all of my time, but rather as a vehicle that let me accomplish many other things simultaneously. 

Since that evening, I began listing all of the things I would catch myself doing during nursing sessions. As I had 2 more babies, my list grew. Eventually, I had discovered 50 ways to multitask while breastfeeding, and I wrote a book called Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding.
.

Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding

As its book description states, this is not another manual on “how to breastfeed.” Rather, it’s a guide for “how to make the most out of breastfeeding.” It includes:

  • a strategy for positive thinking about nursing
  • an overview of nursing gear
  • 50 ways to multitask while nursing
  • a bonus discussion about weaning

My hope is that this book will help other new mamas persevere in their breastfeeding efforts, showing them that their nursing sessions are incredible blessings rather than time-draining hassles.

Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon. Either version makes a great gift for a new mom. Breastfeeding is essentially a one-woman job; anything you can do to show your support for breastfeeding moms will be greatly appreciated!

Group Materials

I want Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding to bring new moms together. That’s why I developed a FREE discussion guide, including excerpts from the book, to be used by new moms looking for an easy, stress-free way to start their own Mommy Group. Anyone can download a complimentary copy of the discussion guide at: http://www.MommyForAMoment.com

FREE discussion guide available at:

250 x 250 with Words

Stay tricky, Mamas!

Renee Show

Read More

Baby’s Brilliant App Sizzling Summer $250 Giveaway {2 Winners}

Baby's Brilliant Logo
Technology is moving so quickly and children are learning to use phones and tablets before they can even talk. The more apps that come on the market, it’s hard to tell which ones to try out for baby. There are so many options that include songs, animals, pictures or drawing. With Baby’s Brilliant, you get everything in one!
What’s so different about Baby’s Brilliant?
  • Hearing-impaired children can use Baby’s Brilliant
  • After careful research, Baby’s Brilliant have found the most appealing animations to keep babies engage
  • Videos are not just visual, but interactive, they can click on the videos to listen to their sounds
  • Baby’s Brilliant is bilingual!
  • Baby’s Brilliant has a soft and soothing night light for baby
If you are looking for an app that has bright and engaging images, is bilingual, is engaging for the hearing impaired child, has interactive videos and can let baby click on animals to hear sounds and even one that has a soothing night light then Baby’s Brilliant is the app for you! Classical music and videos that help baby explore the world around them is what makes this app so engaging among the fun images.
Baby’s Brilliant is offering 2 giveaways-a $150 Visa Gift Card and $100 Amazon Gift Card. 2 winners will win one of the gifts above. To thank Baby’s Brilliant, I encourage you download or share this with a mother of a baby or toddler so they can experience all there is and leave a review in respect. It is not mandatory, but we all know the best way to thank such an incredible brand is to leave them reviews!
Visit http://babysbrilliant.com/ and learn more, then head to your iOS Apple store and download today! To enter the giveaway, see the below form!
BabysBrilliant-Summer-2015-Giveaway-200

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read More

A Day in My Life ~ #AAF with Jenessa {Mothering in Real Life}

A couple of weeks have passed since my last #AskAwayFriday. This school year has been great for my son, but taxing on me. My son is now in school 2-3 days a week from 8:45 to 5:00. He’s in a several clubs after school, so I have the two LOs all day. Having my son around means that I can get a break as he entertains both of the girls. I haven’t had that, since he has chores after school, then dinner, then bedtime. The process for putting my daughters to sleep starts at 9, but often doesn’t end until 10. Quite honestly, after all of that, the last thing I want to do is blog. Feel free to leave me any comments on how to cope with this schedule, it would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I have an AWESOME giveaway going on… Mommy Needs a Vacay! It’s a free vacation… check out the details HERE!

I have also completed a 30 Day Fitness Devotional. I have not put together an entire post, but if you’d like to review it for me, and give me your honest feedback, from what you get out of it to changes or clarifications, please click HERE and fill out the form.

…on to #AskAwayFriday…

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers! By offering a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts… NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Christy from Uplifting Families, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings and Amber from Bold Fit Mom
So…grab the brand, new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

#AAF photo AAFBadge200_zpsb37e620f.png

This week, Jenessa from Mothering {in Real Life} hits me with some hard questions. As a wife and mother of three, she has a lot of experience where I’m just learning. She delves into detail about her children, her marriage and her bouts of depression. She keeps things real. Make sure you check out her responses to my questions.

Jenessa AAF

1) Tell me some random facts about yourself, that you haven’t shared on the blog before. I’m right-handed. I don’t like mushy foods like peas or bananas. I loved school, but hated taking tests, even though I would get an A on most of them. Does three constitute some?

2) What are each of your children’s favorite: movie, tv show, food, book, color, article of clothing. Bad mommy! I have no idea for most of these. I know Bee loves Frozen, Cinderella AND Ariel. Her favorite color is blue. Her favorite article of clothing is the Cinderella dress I bought her from Costco. I know Bunny loves to draw and Minecraft. His favorite color is green. He loves Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books. Butterfly is too young for any favorites yet.
Cinderella 1
3) What fall season premieres or new shows are you looking forward to? So many! This fall lineup looks awesome! Thursday nights will be dedicated to ABC with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. I’m looking forward to the Gotham, Black-ish, Forever, Gracepoint, Stalkers, Madam Secretary, The Mindy Project. Seriously, I can go on! I’m a bit of a TV-aholic!
4) What advice would you give to someone starting on a weight loss journey? Take it slow. Find something you know you can conquer. Those small victories will encourage you to keep going. If you’re addicted to soda, but you’re sure you can kick it, do it! You’ll feel great when it you conquer the first thing, then move on to the next! And remember, you didn’t gain the weight over night (at least most of us), don’t expect to take it off overnight. Two pounds per week is reasonable, and that’s likely still faster than you put it on.
5) You have been through some rough times in your life. What is something that helps you get through those hard times? God, my husband and my kids. A church service, a bible study or self-study can really put things into perspective. A hug from my family really can change my mood. A drink or two is helpful too!
6) Name 5 things you love about your husband and 5 quirks he has that drive you crazy. Five? Oh goodness.
LOVE His:
  • Kindness,
  • Willingness to accept me as I am,
  • Willingness to clean if I haven’t,
  • Strength, and
  • Love for his kids.

Drive me crazy, his:

  • Ability to only think about him,
  • One-track mind,
  • Indecisiveness,
  • Lack of desire to change, and
  • Lack of willingness to break the speed limit.
7) I dare you to post a picture of the messiest room in your house – without cleaning it up first! I don’t really have messy rooms. I have messy areas. This is my side of my bedroom. The rest of the room is clean.
wpid-my-side-of-the-bed.jpg.jpeg
8) What are your favorite blog resources or websites? SITS Girls, Blogelina
9) Describe a typical day at your house. Right now, it mainly consists of me trying to figure out how to put down Butterfly long enough to get anything done without screams and fits of tears.
We wake up (all in my bed because my bed seems to be everyone’s favorite spot). I spend about 20 minutes trying to wake up, because I’ve been awake for an hour or two in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Then I feed the girls breakfast, which Butterfly promptly refuses to eat, and sits in her chair screaming as I try to make Bee the rest of her breakfast. Then I turn on some educational television, of which Butterfly enjoys on my lap and Bee watches while she eats. Then, lately, I’ve been trying a more educational approach all around, so we are learning the calendar, how to write, numbers from 11-20, and sight words. Around 10, I try to put Butterfly down for her nap by nursing her to sleep, just to have Bee wake her up as soon as I put her in her bed. Then, an hour to two of fussing, whining and crying until lunch, which Butterfly WILL eat on her own. Then, I nurse her to sleep for her nap, which she can sleep up to two hours, if Bee doesn’t also wake her up from that nap. I play games with Bee, until Butterfly wakes up. Snack time for both girls, then movie/fun tv time ~ normally Netflix or something on Demand. If I can get Butterfly to play, I’ll start dinner. Otherwise, I wait until I get my son. He comes home, plays the piano, does his chore, then he’ll watch the girls while I start dinner. THANK GOD for no homework!
Hubby comes home around 6:30 or 7, then we eat, he bathes the kids, and then the bedtime ritual begins. Read a book, Butterfly nurses, Bee is patted on the back on my husband’s lap. Butterfly lays down in her bed, and it’s normally about 9-9:30. I’m exhausted, enjoy a glass of wine, watch something on the DVR, go to sleep and start all over again!
10) Tell a funny story from your childhood. If any friends or family read this, feel free to pipe up, because I can’t think of one. My childhood wasn’t fun or funny.
That’s it for this week’s #AskAwayFriday… check out the other posts, and of course, Jenessa’s!
Read More

A Broken Heart {#FTSF}

We all have amazing bodies… I can tell you about giving birth to four children, losing and gaining weight, withstanding sports injuries, and even the fact that most of my scars are barely visible. But I’m not.

Today, I’m going to share a story of one beautiful child’s body.

This story of a newborn… His mom’s labor was uneventful… as uneventful as a labor can be, until a fever kicked in and the risk to having a VBAC was putting both of them at risk. After contemplation and discussion, a second cesarean was performed on the mom and a beautiful baby boy popped out.

This was no ordinary baby boy. This boy had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means he was born with an underdeveloped left side of the heart, basically the left side is non-existent.

hypoplasticleftheart

Luckily the mother knew about this condition, and was prepared. She was prepared as you could be knowing that her child would have open heart surgery on day seven of life. The mother was told that her child would need three surgeries, each of which have a 25% fatality rate, throughout his life. He would not play sports, he would likely not be an active child. Even if the surgeries were a success, a host of other related problems could occur:

  • Blockage of the artificial shunt
  • Serious infections
  • Chronic diarrhea (from a disease called protein-losing enteropathy)
  • Fluid in the abdomen (ascites) and in the lungs (pleural effusion)
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular, fast heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Strokes and other nervous system complications
  • Sudden death

This baby spent his life in the NICU (newborn intensive care unit), being cared for by nurses, and being visited by his own parents.

The early days

As planned, on day seven, his skin and rib cage were opened from neck to belly button in order to access the heart. The surgery was seven hours… and his parents patiently waited in another room. His broken heart was repaired but not whole.

The surgery was a success! A stint was placed in his heart so that the right side would be able to do the functions of both sides. He looked peaceful in his bed, with his chest pulled apart, a piece of plastic covering the opened area, as the swelling decreased. He was mostly sedated and on a breathing machine, but otherwise did not struggle. All of this was normal.

post op

As the days and weeks passed, his rib cage fused, the staples holding the two pieces together could be removed and the skin sewn back together.

He was all one again… yet he was more than one. He was my son. He lived a total of seven weeks, but his body endured more than most do in a lifetime.

the final days

Read more HERE.

This is the first year that I did not remember him on the day of his passing. I don’t yet know how I feel about that. I miss him dearly and wish I could hold him one last time.

Remembering Alexander ~ June 1, 2007-July 24, 2007

This has been another edition of Finish the Sentence Friday.

FTSF

Read More

Working Out is Hard to Do ~ #AAF with Liv {Live from Surprise}

For some weird reason, I think my life is going to get easier and I’ll get more time to do what I need to do. This week, both my girls were sick and I spent the week schlepping them to the doctor and nursing them back to health. We even had two cars this week, only for it to be raining with two sick kids for us not to enjoy it. Alas, I look forward to #AskAwayFriday where I can get to know another blogger, instead of thinking too much about this one. 🙂

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers! By offering a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts… NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Christy from Uplifting Families, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings and Amber from Bold Fit Mom
So…grab the brand, new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

#AAF photo AAFBadge200_zpsb37e620f.png

This week, I exchange questions with Liv from Live by Surprise! New to the #AskAwayFriday scene, she’s jumped right in with some great questions. She is a momma of three that has found happiness with her second husband that could not be fulfilled by her first. Her story is one of inspiration, showing us her vulnerabilities of struggling with her ex, and making a great life with her husband, three children and a dog. Introducing Liv!
Live by Surprise 1
1). Do you feel like you’re a niche blogger?  If so, what niche do you fall into and why? I started my blog with a “niche”, weight loss, but as I started doing more blogging, I realized I wasn’t interested in only blogging about weight loss, especially considering 18 months out of the four years I’ve been doing it, I’ve been pregnant. It’s no fun, at least for me, to blog about health and weight loss, when your cravings are sweets, junk and carbs! I love talking about money and making sure women make wise money decisions because historically, we don’t pay that much attention, but when divorce is 50%, you want to be prepared to take on your money portfolio and keep yourself on track! I will be started a new site just for this shortly about women helping women take control of their lives and getting the support they need to succeed!
2). For new readers of your blog (like me) can you explain what the 100 lb Challenge is? Oh, there’s technically no “100lb Challenge”. Although now that I think about it, I really should have one. It’s 100lb Countdown, and when I started this blog, I was 260 pounds, mostly from depression. I’m currently 230, and I’m working to get down to 160 (hence, 100 pounds). Working out is hard to do with the little ones around. I would love to run an actual challenge, but I have to get some other folks involved! With three kids at home, I’m normally swamped dealing with them.
3). Which of your blog posts most represents who you are? The ones that are just are… The ones that don’t have a blog hop attached, or a sponsor, or a point. I don’t do many of them, even though many of them are in draft. However, I love to educate people, especially women, as I mentioned above. Those are more “me”. It’s hard for me to sell, even if I’m selling me. I normally feel that proof is in the pudding, but after you graduate from school, the proof is a little harder to grasp and show off in concrete terms.
4). You are pretty active on social media.  How do you use it to increase traffic to your blog?  What’s your favourite social media site and why? I love Twitter mainly because I find it least invasive. I don’t know why I find other mediums invasive, but because of the speed of Twitter, even if you tweet something multiple times, people are likely to only see it once, if at all, which makes me feel more comfortable in using it. I’m not that active, at least not as active as I want to be. I use tools like Triberr and Tweetily to make sure my timelines are active, because I don’t want them to go dormant. I would love to be able to carry on more conversations using Facebook, but when a post is only shown to 10 out of 900 or 20 out of 4000, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that. Wait, did I just go on a Facebook tangent, I think I did.
Just in shear numbers, the more times you post your information out there, the more likely people will find it. Since people are being bombarded with posts and mentions and whatnot, Twitter is something I feel comfortable with. Always moving, ever changing.
5). How long have you been doing #AAF?  What has been your favourite question so far? I think I’m at about 20 weeks, which means about 5 months. I had to dig to find my favorite question. I’m not sure that I have a favorite, but one that really touched me was from Carol: What is the most important thing that you want to teach your children? I want my children to be honest, hard working and smart individuals. I want them to find something the enjoy and work hard building it and making it grow. However, I want them to work smarter and not harder, when they can.
6). Summer has just started.  What are your summer plans? I don’t really have any summer plans even though summer has been very busy. We’ve already been to Orlando, South Carolina and a slew of other activities. I think this is definitely the mos active summer that I’e had since I’ve had children and loving every minute of it.
7). Like me, you have three little ones at home.  What do you find the most difficult with having that many? When they are all unhappy, restless or nasty. They seem to feed off of each other, and I can’t say I have the best coping mechanism. They become crazy, I become frazzled. They each have their way of dealing with it too… Bunny becomes hostile, Bee becomes loud and Butterfly becomes whiny. My head starts to hurt and separating them seems to be the only solution.  What do you think is easier than just having one? They take care of each other. Just as crazy as they can be together, they also love each other. They will play with each other and spend time laughing and tickling each other. The television turns to something they all can enjoy and mom can get a few minutes to clean or whatever.
8). What is your favourite book of all time? I’m not sure I have one. When I was younger, I read like I ate, all the time and out of necessity. I digested books, like I did food at the time. I didn’t savor the moment. I enjoyed the book for what they are. I really enjoyed War and Peace, which was a challenge read that I gave to myself as an adult. I love James Patterson books, the ones he wrote himself, not the ones ghostwritten.
9). Do you see your personality traits in any of your kids?  Which ones? Goodness, I see so many. In Bunny, I see my quiet intelligence. It makes me question whether nature or nurture is what is ingrained in the child, because things I don’t feel that I “taught” him, he shows. Bee showcases my stubbornness. Although, as a child, I was quiet and reserved, inside I hated so many things around me, which Bee seems to easily exude any dislike or hatred. Even when I didn’t say anything, many felt my unhappiness. Butterfly seems to share my short-temperedness. I’m amazed at how an eight month old can roll her eyes and not want to jump in the drama of the older two.
someecards.com - I can't wait for the day when I can drink with my kids instead of because of them.
10). What’s the best part of being a SAHM? Today, Bee and Butterfly didn’t feel good. I was able to sit with each of them in their grief, and nurse them to sleep. I may have not been able to take away their illnesses, but by being there, I know that they felt comforted. Even though having two sick children really sucks, those are the best days, the days that I don’t have to apologize for not coming in to work, the days that my husband doesn’t ask why dinner isn’t on the table, the days where holding my children are the most important task of the day.
And that’s it this week. Liv responded to my questions too! Make sure go over there and see her responses! Check out my previous #AAF posts!
Did you know that there’s an awesome Build Your Bundle – Homeschool Edition sale next week? Would you like to be an affiliate?

Read More

How to Save $$ on Your Children and Juicy Onion Burgers with Creative Style {5}

 

Image Map

Welcome to the Week 5 of the Creative Style Linkup! Thank you so much for yet another week of great linkups and the opportunity to connect with more bloggers last week! This week, apart from sharing your favorite blog posts with us you can grow your YouTube and Stumbleupon accounts. Did we mention that each week we will be selecting 3 favorite posts to pin to this Pinterest Board here? We’re excited to pin your posts to give you more exposure!

Your Stylish Co-Host:

 Butchered Hair 003Follow Tiki at Grow It Girl

 

Week 4 Results:

Most clicked:

Many of us struggle with making sure our hair grows healthy and long. Courtney at The Brown Girl with Long Hair shares her 5 Tips to Getting Longer Hair.

Our favorites:

6 ways to save money on things for children by Bev at Linkouture

6 Ways to Save $ on Children

Who doesn’t want to save money especially where the kids are concerned right? We’re so grateful to Bev for having shared this post with us.

There’s More to Her Than Her Hair by Julie at Don’t Lick Your Sister

Hair Have you ever been identified by the world by a specific physical trait? This has been something that has been happening to Julie’s beautiful daughter. Even if this hasn’t happened to you, we are certain you will enjoy reading her story.

Juicy Onion Burgers With Kale by Lori at Lor’s Culinary Creations

Juicy Onion BurgeresDid you ever think that eating a cheeseburger would mean no greens or perhaps needing to put them on the side if you were going to get them that meal? Well, Lori adds them onto the burger! It sounds so simple, yet delicious! Stop over and take a look at this yummy recipe.

Would you like to co-host the Creative Style Linkup with us? Email at spiritedlife@gmail.com and we’ll get you on the calendar!

Grab Our Button:

New Mama Diaries

 


Just a few guidelines:

 

  • Let us know you are new so we can visit you back.

 

  • Show us blog posts only. – No main pages, please.

 

 

  • Pay it forward by stopping by a few other blogs and show comment love.

 

 

Spread the word and Tweet about the link up! Sharing is caring!

In addition to your favorite posts, don’t forget to share your YouTube and Stumbleupon accounts this week. Follow and pin. Share the wealth! Without further ado, it’s time to linkup!

CSBlogPost[inlinkz_linkup id=422730 mode=1]
CreativeStyleStumbleUpon
[inlinkz_linkup id=422729 mode=1]
CreativeStyleYoutube[inlinkz_linkup id=422731 mode=1]

Thanks so much for joining us in linking up this week! Be sure and stop back by next week for more sharing!

Read More