kids-section

Category : Motherhood

The HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper

I never had the opportunity to use a bassinet when I had my first daughter, Audrey, since at eight pounds eleven ounces and twenty-two and half inches, you could say I gave birth to a toddler. So needless to say she went from bassinet to crib within the first two weeks. Since I am set to have our newest little bundle almost two weeks early via c-section (due to complications) I’m really excited to have a bassinet as an option this time around and share my HALO Bassinest review with you!

First off, I had heard before how surprisingly heavy this was but not until I saw the look on the poor FedEx guy’s face did it really hit me, so FYI, it’s VERY heavy.

HALO Bassinest

Assembling the HALO Bassinest

I decided to put it together myself just to see if someone eight months pregnant could do it, and really, it was VERY easy. In all my life of assembling everything from IKEA to kids toys did I ever see a product as well packaged as this bassinet. I would not worry about having this shipped anywhere to anyone, it was actually pretty impressive. The only thing I really needed help with was moving it from my dining room to the bed room since, like I said, it’s very heavy. My husband, who was my outstanding assistant and photographer, made a good point stating that the added weight makes it incredibly sturdy. And with a curious four year old and German shepherd I won’t have to worry about it tipping in the slightest.

halo bassinest

After assembly I started playing with the features and noticed that although the sidewall goes down it doesn’t stay down like I had previously thought. It pops back up as soon as you let go. Also, initially its kind of hard to push down, I thought I was breaking it or forcing it to go down and had to re-read the instructions to make sure I was doing it right. (Reading instructions, go figure, right?) However, the more I messed with it the more it loosened up. Although, I have to say, I think I would prefer it if it went down and stayed down, but we will see if that opinion changes after the baby comes. I could be completely wrong.

halo bassinest

The HALO Bassinest Style and Features

I really love the fabric and the pattern; it’s gender neutral, fits in well with my décor and doesn’t stand out as a “baby product” which is the worst. The padding is plush but firm without being overly soft or dangerous. And the swivel itself gives many options for placement next the bed. The music is quiet so I won’t have to worry about waking my husband from a sound sleep when I use it, same with the two levels of vibration. In addition there are two brightness levels on the lights which I know will be incredibly handy. I’m curious to see how the nursing timer will work when that time comes, but if it does work I think something like would be so smart.

Lastly, it does not come with a separate removable sheet but the pad itself is made from it own patterned polyester sheet material, which can be used on it’s own or with an additional sheet (as shown in the photos). But keep in mind that not any regular bassinet sheet will work. Because of the specific “figure eight” shape of the padding, a regular bassinet sheet would be too loose around the sides so they recommend you buy the sheet made specifically for the Bassinest. (Don’t worry, the price is comparable to regular bassinet sheets. I checked.)

We thought we had plenty of time but turns out Baby Abbey had other ideas and showed up four weeks early on January 28th at 10:57AM. Since she arrived due to complications, and via c-section, I found the Bassinest to be even more G-E-N-I-U-S than I imagined. Getting in and out of bed was more that just slightly painful (and even now, two weeks from delivery I’m still in pain) so just being able to pull her close to me with one hand so I can sooth her or pick her up was extremely helpful. Not to mention the ease of pushing it out of the way when I needed to get out of bed.

halo bassinest abbey

As it turns out the fold down side is helpful, but like I first thought, I wish it would stay down at times. When you can’t use your stomach muscles it’s hard to push down and grab baby at time same time. But like I thought it would, the sidewall has loosened up a bit making it easier to grab and transition, a definite plus.

halo bassinest

The control panel on the HALO Bassinest is clearly laid out and I love the light that has two settings. Bright but not bright enough to blind the baby but still able to see when sneaking in and out of the room. The only thing I would change is if the panel itself was backlit somehow. When you’re blurry and cross-eyed from lack of sleep you end up hitting all the buttons trying to find the vibrate and the next thing you know you’ve got lights and music and now you can’t figure out how to turn them off.

halo bassinest

In the end, Abbey and I highly recommend this bassinet if you’re in the market. The quality, size, and features make this one a must have for any new mother. It’s all the benefits of co-sleeping without any of the risk in a modern, high-tech and stylish package.  It’s the best of both worlds.

Did you use a Bassinet with your babies?

Are you looking for a bassinet? Was this review helpful?

 

 Disclosure: I was sent a HALO Bassinest for review. All my thoughts and opinions are my very own.

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If there’s one thing I know it’s a good pregnancy test as I have tried them all. When I found myself surprisingly pregnant with my daughter it was more of a wham-bam-guess-what-ma’am and for the proceeding years I thought that’s what it would always be: easy.

Turns out that was not the case and when the time finally came for us to actively start trying to have a baby what followed was over three long years of doctors appointments, the always sexy scheduled intercourse and drug store baskets overflowing with every pregnancy test on the market until I found this little gem: the Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator.

weeks_estimator_pregnancy-n

What is it and how does it work?

The Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator is a game changer in the pregnancy testing field as it not only tells you if you are pregnant but it also tells you how far along you are from your date of ovulation. By using two different strips within the test – a low-sensitivity strip and a high-sensitivity strip – to determine HCG levels (the pregnancy hormone), you are able to get a clear digital read out in just minutes. Keep in mind that the test will only give you the estimated number of weeks since ovulation if your result comes up positive.

Clearblue Pregnancy Test Ovulation Monitor

After the initial positive result the very next thing on your mind is always “how far along am I?” Even though I had my ovulation dates clearly marked on my calendar even I had that same reaction and thankfully, this test clears up that mystery immediately. How could this not be your go-to test when so much is hanging in the balance? And in case you were wondering, I am currently eight months pregnant with a baby girl due to make her grand appearance some time in early February and thanks to Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator I knew right away!

Clearview Pic

Our journey to conception was long and often times very painful and discouraging. The lowest point being when I was diagnosed with Secondary Infertility which is an umbrella term for “we have no idea what’s really wrong with you since you seem to have done this just fine before”. But now here we are, and with every ache, pain, and sleepless night I just look towards the very fast approaching finish line and remind myself that it’s all for little miss Abigail, and what better reason is there than that?

Are you trying to get pregnant?

Enter the Clearblue Pregnancy Test GIVEAWAY!

Contest is open to US residents only
Contest ends on 1/29/2014

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Get your stroller ready for winter

If you’ve ever pushed your stroller in the rain, or snow, or even just in cold weather, you know exactly what stroller mittens are for! But, do you realize how cool they are? Stroller mittens aren’t just mittens that you use to push your stroller — they actually attach to your stroller bar and stay there, so you can easily slip your hands in and out of the mittens to help your baby get bucked or to pull out your wallet to pay for a coffee. When you’re ready to push, just slip your hands back inside the stroller mittens and off you go!

5 Stroller mittens to keep warm

Stroller Mittens

 

Top row:
For the stylish mom: WarMMuffs 212, 7 A.M. Enfant, $38
7 A.M. Enfant really makes all of the rules when it comes to stroller mittens, carrying the largest variety, the most colors and stroller mittens of all different levels of warmth to keep your hands cozy no matter where you live. We can’t resist these hot pink stroller mittens, the perfect winter stroller accessory to go with your super-post stroller.

For the sporty mom: Bar Mitts Baby Jogger Stroller Covers, BicycleHero.com, $55
Designed by a company that makes accessories for cyclists, these stroller mittens are hardcore. Made from the same materials they use in the best wetsuits, they will keep your hands warm and dry as you take Baby on a run in your jogging stroller.

Middle row:
For the mild weather mom: Hand Warmer Stroller Gloves, Etsy, $38
A one-piece stroller mitten that comes in a variety of colors and fabrics (including faux fur!), these will keep your hands warm in climates that aren’t as extreme. We love that it attaches so easily onto the stroller handle, making it a breeze to throw it onto your stroller as you rush out the door.

For the mom who needs extra warmth: Tako Stroller Mittens, Stroller Boutique, $19
Providing warmth on top of warmth on top of even more warmth, these mittens have you covered for cold weather. First, you can wear your own gloves inside of them. Then, they are lined with fleece to keep you extra warm. And, in a very thoughtful feature, they have even covered your stroller handle, inside the mittens.

Bottom row:
For the handmade mom: Handmitten, Haypenny Design, $50
Custom-made mittens that cover your entire stroller handlebar… and that are guaranteed to be unique, Haypenny Design makes each pair themselves. You can contact them directly to chat about creating a pattern or color that matches your stroller!

Do you think stroller mittens are a must-have stroller accessory?
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summer vacation inferiority syndrome

Dear Sassy:

I’m dreading summer. Did you ever think anyone would ever say that? Well, I am, because summer is coming soon and we have no plans. There’s no money for a big fancy vacation or summer camp or even day camp. I have no idea how we’re going to get through all those days before school starts again. Plus, my kids know their friends are going to summer camp and to Hawaii, and they want to go too. How will I survive?

Dear Summer Unlovin’:

Seems like you are well and truly screwed. The thought of a whole summer of nowhere to go and nothing to do with my kids brings a wintry chill into my heart. If I were to spend summer this way, the children would be climbing the walls and I would be going out of my mind. You should not suffer this fate. So what must you do?

Cue “Let It Go” from Frozen, of course. Minus the ice castle.

Let go (and encourage your kids to, also) of jealousy about other people’s plans. You’ll never be able to keep up with Joneses in summer activities or anything else. Best to let them have their awesome vacations/summer camps/swimming pools/life size bounce houses in the backyard, be happy for them, and move on.

Your solution is to think of this positively instead of negatively. Focus on what you CAN do!

First, count up how many days of summer vacation you truly have, and schedule them. My kids’ school is off for exactly 69 days. Count them up for your own kids.

Now figure out the events you already have planned, and weekends maybe when their other parent is home. You can subtract those days.

Now take each week and plan something new that is cheap or free. Consider that if you are going out, you have to take time to get the kids ready, get everyone in the car, drive to the thing, and reverse all of that when you get home. Lots of time and energy is consumed, and you don’t have to worry about the school schedule, so leave yourself plenty of padding. No rushing necessary. Bonus, right?!

Add a playdate every week. Identify all the kids and families you know who will be around at least for part of the summer. Call them up and plan a playdate – invite their kids to your house or the park or the beach, and gratefully accept if they offer to host. I have a friend who has triplets – triplets – and at the beginning of the summer she maps out what they’re going to do every day of every week and plans playdates far in advance. Her kids are 6 now and she still seems relatively sane.

Next add a chore for each child to complete every week. This can be a longer household project like cleaning out the garage or a weekly task like taking out the garbage. Make sure at least some of the kids’ time is filled productively.

I do recommend planning one big special event, maybe midway through the summer, for your family to look forward to. By now you must have one special destination or activity that you all love to do together. Berry picking? An amusement park visit? Have the kids help you out with earning a little extra money towards this adventure so it will have even more meaning when it arrives.

In fact, have the kids help you out with this whole plan. Invite their suggestions and feedback, and make the summer calendar together. Make a summer wish list (but not a “bucket list,” for the love of all things inappropriate) and post it on the fridge.

Before you know it, the number of “blank” days will be really small!

Your biggest goal is to avoid having your children draped all over your house like wilted flowers, doing nothing but playing video games, watching TV, eating all the food, and whining “I’m bored,” or fighting with each other, and driving you insane. To that end, you’d better make for damn sure you build some “me-time” in there for yourself.

Stay strong, friend. Summer’s always over just when you start to love it.

Submit your question for Ask Sassy here! (Or just email me, darling. We can keep it between us. AskSassy@savvysassymoms.com) You can also follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page, where I share pro tips on life every week.

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canadian carpool sign

Dear Sassy:

I’ve been part of a three-family carpool for most of the school year. The moms and I all trade off picking the kids up from school. There are four kids involved. In the past few months one of the moms (the one who has two kids) has been bailing on carpool close to the last minute, leaving the other mom and I to scramble to cover pickup. This has happened at least three times. Plus, her kids can be kind of obnoxious and loud in the car. I wouldn’t mind dropping them out of carpool, but I don’t want to be rude. What should I do?

Dear Carpool Queen:

Uh, hello. Someone already won the rude title and it was not you! What do you have to lose by dropping that flake out of the mix? Not her respect, because not showing up to fulfill an obligation is the number one sign of disrespect for another person, in my opinion.

Okay, okay. I’ll simmer down a bit. The last thing you need is for me to go off about how much I hate it when people flake. If you commit to something, follow through. If you think you can’t, don’t commit. It’s all I ask. Well, I ask a lot, actually. My standards are high. It’s just that I see the potential inside all of you, and I want you to be the best person you can be. The world deserves the you that lives in there. YOU deserve that you.

I ask this of you from a place of love. Honest. And also I would like for people to show up on time for things.

Putting myself in Carpool Flake’s shoes though (we’d better not see a cereal named this in a few months – if we do, you’ll all know where the idea came from). I wonder if something weird is going on with her. You say you’ve been a part of this carpool for a while now, and I assume that up until now it has run smoothly. Did she get a new job? Have an illness? Maybe she’s pregnant and not ready to tell you? Another red flag is that the kids are acting up, too. Kids are so sensitive to changes in their families – they might be reacting to whatever is going on with the mom.

Whatever the reason, perhaps knowing it will help you and the third carpool mom adjust accordingly. It is not rude of you to inquire about the changes in her behavior, especially if you note that her actions are affecting two other families.

Sure, you could drop-kick the lady out of carpool, and if she can’t ever hold up her third of the pickup and dropoff duties, maybe she should be cut loose. But if it’s something beyond her control, and she needs that proverbial village to help out, this is a great opportunity to extend a helping hand. You never know when you’ll need one. Why not treat her the way you’d want to be treated if this were you? You’d want someone to speak up, right?

About those kids: if they’re acting obnoxious in the car, by all means, tell them to knock it off. I have no problem disciplining other people’s kids when they are under my supervision, especially when I am driving and their safety is literally in my hands. I fully expect other parents to act accordingly when they are watching my children, too.

When you are collaborating on parenting duties with other families like this, you do need a certain level of trust in the other adults. If Carpool Flake mom turns out to be unworthy of that trust, she shouldn’t be held responsible for the care and delivery of your kids, and vice versa. But start by giving her the benefit of the doubt. Your words of concern might turn out to be a lifesaver to a struggling mom.

Submit your question for Ask Sassy here! (Or just email me, darling. We can keep it between us. AskSassy@savvysassymoms.com) You can also follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page, where I share pro tips on life every week.

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girls telling secrets

Dear Sassy,

My 9-year-old daughter has been having some trouble with her friends at school. The girls have gotten into this thing where they tell secrets and whisper in front of each other and exclude other girls from the circle. My daughter has been on the giving and receiving end of this and it hurts her feelings. I’m not sure what to tell her and it’s breaking my heart.

Dear Secret Keeper’s Mother,

You’re a woman, you know how this goes down. No matter how old you get, this kind of rude behavior still happens. I was at a dinner party just a few months ago, where 10 ladies were gathered around a table enjoying the evening. But two of them whispered into each other’s ears and giggled several times throughout the night. Call me paranoid, but I wondered what the heck they were whispering about. Was it me? Did I forget deodorant that day? Was there broccoli stuck in my teeth?

The difference between me and your daughter is that I know a true friend would come out and say “Hey Sassy, you’ve got broccoli stuck in your teeth.” She wouldn’t whisper into another woman’s ear and then laugh about it. I can blow off those secretive women as people I don’t want to hang out with again, or if they are good friends behaving badly, I have no problem calling them out on it. (In this case, I chose the former. My real friends don’t act like that.)

But that wisdom has been hard-won over decades (at least two) of social conflict trial and error. And that, my friend, is what you have to step back and allow your daughter to experience.

You cannot fix this for her.

Believe me, I’d be the first in line if it was okay to march down to the school to give those kids a piece of my mind for treating my kid badly. One of the hardest things about parenthood is letting your kids go through pain, and with the advent of snotty little girls’ social circles around your daughter’s age, you’re dealing with a most exquisite and tricky form of it. There’s not much you can do about it besides modeling the behavior you want to see in her, and reinforcing your love.

Without lecturing, here are some key topics you can work into your conversations when she comes home from school or social activities, sad because the other girls are keeping secrets from her, or feeling superior because she’s made it to the inner circle:

-Empathy. When she sees her friends being mean or hurtful to another child, how does it make her feel? What would she want someone to do if she was the one being picked on or whispered about? Remember, it’s not appropriate to counsel her to bitchslap the bully, but you can encourage her to take a stand.

-Standing up for herself. Instead of having your daughter report the incidents to you so you can get to the bottom of the story – “And then what happened? And who did what?” – remind her that the only person she is in charge of is herself. If a friend hurts her feelings, it’s up to her to say “It hurts my feelings when you whisper in front of me.” That can be hard, especially for a girl who feels shy, but your job, Mom, is to at least inform your daughter of the most important tool she has: her voice.

-Respect for others. She doesn’t have to be friends with everyone, but she should at least be respectful. Having been on both ends of hurtful behavior, she now knows what it’s like to be the excluded kid. You can make your own observations about what you see go down with the girls, like “That girl looked sad when nobody was playing with her,” versus telling your daughter how to behave, to stimulate conversations about treating others nicely.

Choosing friends wisely. Alas, while parents have influence over a child’s friends, we cannot force them to pick the ones we like. You can, however, point out that “mean girl” behavior is not the kind of thing a real friend would do. Encourage your daughter to hang out with the kids whose treatment and activities seem to make her happy and less involved in drama. And then stand back and let her make her own choices.

I know that advice seems so vague that now you want to bitchslap me, but you’ve got to face it here, lady. This is a personality-forming issue and a teaching moment. (Aren’t those the worst?) It’s not something that can be fixed with a secret-dissolving spell. As exhausting as it is to model positive, character-building behavior for your daughter, this is what you signed up for. She will get through this snotty-girl storm, and the best you can do is be the steady one she can hold onto while it’s happening.

Submit your question for Ask Sassy here! (Or just email me, darling. We can keep it between us. AskSassy@savvysassymoms.com) You can also follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page, where I share pro tips on life every week.

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someecards.com - Having kids is the first of many bad parenting choices.

Dear Sassy:

I am a new mom and I am about to lose it. It seems like everywhere I go with my baby, someone has something to say about her or what I’m doing and it’s driving me crazy. It’s okay when people tell me she’s cute or beautiful or whatever, but when they criticize me or tell me I should do something differently, I am shocked that they don’t keep their opinions to themselves. This happens with family, with friends, and even with complete strangers! What should I do to put these people in their places so they will leave me alone?

Dear Newbie:

I hate to tell you this, sister, but you will never be alone again. Oh sure, it’s true that being a new mother can feel like one of the loneliest jobs in the world, but you have just joined a club that is so old I expect it to show up in the next episode of Cosmos. Once you cart your baby around, you are inviting people to scrutinize, judge, pick apart, criticize, and speculate about your parenting methods, what you ate during your pregnancy, the worthiness of your baby, even the very air you are allowing her to breathe. And if you never take your baby out in public, those judgements will still be made, but in this case it will be behind your back. Basically, you’re screwed.

The good news is, who cares?

When it’s a stranger or casual acquaintance, the best possible thing you can do is ignore them or blow it off. Do NOT engage. That will only keep your blood boiling and that’s not good for the baby. Haha, I kid. It’s not good for YOU.

I remember being at a barbecue and chatting with a couple. We all had toddlers, and I had just taken a full time job and enrolled my son in daycare. The husband looked me straight in the eye and said “Oh, I could NEVER put my child in daycare. Why have kids if you’re going to have them raised by someone else? Blah blah and so on judgy blustery judgement.”

I blinked and looked at his wife. She just blinked back. We were both speechless. Instead of retorting, I simply let that conversation die and wandered off to mingle with someone else in the crowd.

Luckily I barely knew those people. I could let them just wander out of my life. But like you, I am also still shocked when a stranger is so obnoxious. Whether or not you think you are right or wrong, sometimes it is just plain rude to force your opinion on another person, and I say that is especially true when it comes to new mothers, who are struggling to find themselves now that their lives have changed.

But what about your friends? Your family? You need them around now more than ever to support you as you get used to this new life of yours. If you can’t let their comments roll off their back, you should indeed address them.

Ask for support. Try appealing to your judgmental mother-in-law’s sense of sympathy. Tell her “I’m really struggling here. I am exhausted, and doing the best I can. I really need your kindness right now as I learn how to be a good mother.”

Draw the line. If someone is continuously pushing your buttons, you may have to get firm with that person. Say “I appreciate your trying to help, but I have decided to do this my way. Of course nobody has my baby’s best interest at a higher priority than I do.”

Misery loves company

The ancient parent club is not all bad, of course. Sometimes the best comfort for what ails you is the company of other parents. To show you how not alone you truly are, I asked the Savvy Sassy Moms community to share their experiences. See? Strangers can be awesome too.

What is the rudest thing someone has said to you when you were out with your kids?

Once I had an older couple at a coffee shop keep asking my children if they were freezing. Over and over and over again. It was horribly condescending and I think I finally snapped at them a bit.

Someone asked if I was the nanny.

I don’t even hit 5’0” and my husband has a baby face (sans beard, haha) – we have gotten many a dirty look in public!

The security guard at my son’s school said, “it’s okay, my wife had trouble losing the baby weight too.” It was three weeks after I had my son. No joke.

“She’s so pretty! She looks nothing like you.”

File under offense is the best defense: I’m usually pretty quick on the loud pre-emptive strike to prevent commenting.

When my daughter was just a year old she was obsessed with the biggest, tallest, curviest slide at the park. Every day she’d climb up a bit, look down and then climb down. Each day she went a little higher. She reached the top, peered into the tunnel slide in front of her, looked down at me and climbed back down. The routine was the same the next day – with one exception. She climbed all the up and onto the slide and came shooting down. I ran around to catch her when she came sliding out – laughing. Another mom standing nearby told me I was irresponsible in letting my tiny girl take on that big slide. What was I thinking? I explained to her in very precise terms my daughter’s trajectory up the ladder and down the slide. Then I turned my back to her and walked away with my gleeful kid.

I would say more it’s what they do. Like cut in line or maybe not let us go ahead in the bathroom line. I believe there was a time or two when the woman would just ignore my plea that my kid was going to piss in her pants.

How about the 50,000 times I was asked “How old is he?” Really? She is dressed from head to toe like a pink court jester. I know she looks just like her Irish daddy, but it’s America, people – girls wear pink when they’re 2 months old!

One guy was particularly rude when he saw the triple stroller.
Man: How can you look so happy with 3? (He had 3 dogs.)
Me: You look happy with yours.
Man: Well I can lock mine in the yard.

When my daughter was born, she lacked a fold in the cartilage of both her ears so they didn’t just stick out, they also sort of scooped forward like Fritos chips. While we were at the park one day, someone actually looked right at her, laughed, and said, “Oh my GOD look at HIS EARS!” …being mistaken for a boy is no big deal – it was the ear thing that got me. This stranger was not TRYING to be mean – – but it was like she thought we were in on the same joke. But my baby girl wasn’t a joke to me.

“Why aren’t you breastfeeding? It’s so much better for them.” And of my c-section, “so sorry you didn’t get to experience birth.” Ummm, what???

Send in your problem for Sassy to solve, whether it’s a parenting question, relationship dilemma, or a snafu with social etiquette and it may get answered in a future column. Sassy is here to help! Submit your question for Ask Sassy here! (Or just email me, darling. We can keep it between us. AskSassy@savvysassymoms.com) You can also follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page, where I share pro tips on life every week.

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gifts for expectant moms, Bliss

Inspired gift giving for the expectant mom

A new baby is the perfect excuse to celebrate not only the precious new life but the new mom, as well. Then there’s the age-old question of how to choose a gift for the expecting mom. Sure, there are the crowd favorites of diapers, wipes and onesies (so many onesies!), but what if you want to be unique? What if you want to give her something that stands out, comes from the heart and that she will absolutely love? Hava Skovron tackles this challenge in her simple and beautiful book, Bliss: A Guide to Inspired Gift Giving for the Expectant Mom. The book reads like a guide to monthly gift-giving for the expectant mom, with each month focusing on a new topic, and it is, in a word, genius.

Like “Elf on the Shelf” for Babies

The book is split up into the months of pregnancy, beginning in month three and going through birth, with each month having its own symbol. Think: Traditional anniversary symbols, i.e. paper, cotton, wood, etc. These work as a great basis for anyone looking to shower a mom-to-be with love and to let her know you are thinking of her and appreciate the difficult work she is doing!

A few of my favorite ideas are:
  • A pregnancy journal
  • Baby carrier — an essential baby gear item
  • Photo album or picture frame — to hold memories
  • Bliss Basket — full of all seven bliss symbols
  • Charm bracelet — with a baby themed charm or initial
  • Food — bringing the new (and tired) parents a fresh meal is one of the most valuable gifts of all
Gifts from the heart

Bliss is a great book for those needing some inspiration in the gift-giving department. It’s a wonderful collection of thoughtful gifts straight from the heart that any expectant mom would just love to receive. I would know — I am one!

You can purchase Bliss by Hava Skovron on Amazon, $18.57

What special or unique gifts have you given?
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Every new mom needs a diaper bag. Some moms like to change their diaper bag with the changing season. Others use one until it can’t be used anymore, then buy the newest diaper bag trend on the market. I am the latter, and currently on my third diaper bag. My first diaper bag was way too small and flimsy, my second bag was good but after a few years of use it is just worn, and my third is the new Tania Bee Storksak diaper bag.

Storksak TANIA BEEThis Storksak bag is my first designer baby changing bag, and I adore it. Storksak prides itself in saying their baby changing bags are ‘A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place’. The new Tania Bee does the job wonderfully and looks beautiful too, just in time for spring.

Storksack diaper bagStorksak designer diaper bags are the ultimate accessory for stylish moms and dads (yes, dads like their own diaper bags too) but still functional as a baby changing bag. The Tania Bee is roomy with plenty of space for two kids worth of diapering, snack needs for a long day out. The bag is made out of lightweight wipe clean, water resistant polyester fabric, with a multitude of easy drop-in pockets.

Storksak Details

Storksak DiaperbagThe Storksak can be worn several different ways, across the body, over the shoulder (long or short), on the stroller, with the included velcro stroller straps (so much easier to use than stroller clips). The Tania Bee bag style comes with a padded changing mat, insulated bottle holder, key holder. It also has four external pockets and seven internal pockets including a mobile phone pocket and zipped pocket for valuables.

Storksak in NYC

The fashionable Tania is ultra modern and roomy, perfect for city and suburban moms. For Spring/Summer 2014 Storksak has updated the style with a chic gradient design, perfect to carry moms through every season. Plus Storksak’s are built to last, so you might only be replacing your diaper bag for an updated fashion accessory and not because of wear. To check out all of the amazing Storksak styles click here.

GIVEAWAY

We are giving away the StorkSak Tania Bee Diaper Bag!

STEP 1:  Follow Savvy Sassy Moms on Instagram

Step 2:  Enter through the Rafflecopter form below!

**Bonus Step 3:   Upload a picture showing us what’s in YOUR Diaper Bag on Instagram and tag @savvysassymoms (5 points)

 

WINNER – @mommies2bee

StorkSak Winner

 

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girl eating ice cream

Dear Sassy:

Okay, I have to confess. I love that my kids always have playmates because we are the “fun” house in the neighborhood. There are always a bunch of their friends from our street coming over and staying to play. But I am always running out of snacks! Every time I turn around they are asking for snacks or even helping themselves without asking. Their parents don’t send them here with food, it is always up to me to feed these hungry kids. What do I do?

Dear Lunch Lady:

I know it’s not lunch but it’s the image I have of you, wearing a hair net and doling out food as a line of children shuffles by. Meanwhile you’re also hemorrhaging money, because you have to keep buying food to replace the items the swarm of local kids are devouring.

But is it such a terrible price to pay? I mean, think about it. How many kids are we talking here, 2? Three? Ten? As they get older, I know they eat more, but they are also likely to get into more trouble. If your kids are playing at home because that’s where the fun (and snacks) can be found, then you are more able to keep an eye on them and find out what is going on in their lives. It won’t last forever, so if for now you need to keep your cabinets and drawers stocked with chips and cookies and freezer pops, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Just make sure to head to a big discount store and buy them in bulk for a reduced price!

Even though it might feel icky to ask, I’ll bet the other parents would be relieved that they can do something to contribute to your ad-hoc daycare.

It’s a tricky line to walk. If you yank the snacks and become the “mean mom” will the kids disappear? In that case, are they coming for your children’s company or just for the food you give them? Since when did you start running the local free snack shack? Try limiting the snacks to healthy or less expensive items, or just one snack per kid per visit, and see what happens.

What concerns me more is the kids who don’t ask first. If they are old enough to be hanging around at your house all the time with your children, they are old enough to ask politely for a snack. Rummaging around in your house for something to eat is not cool. I would give their parents the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t know this is happening, and maybe mention it to them when they come to pick up the little bugger. It’s worth letting them know so they can have a conversation at home about manners and being a gracious guest.

Speaking of these parents, why not invite them to share in the burden of feeding the children snacks? If one of the kids has a favorite, ask him to bring some to share next time he comes over. Let his parents know you’ll be rotating snack duty. If I was that kid’s mom, I’d be grateful he had a safe place to play and be out of my hair for a while, and I would happily pile snacks or reimbursement into your hands. In fact, even though it might feel icky to ask, I’ll bet the other parents would be relieved that they can do something to contribute to your ad-hoc daycare.

Another idea – why not institute Snack Time? At a set time, put out snacks for as many kids you have in-house at the moment, but no snacks before or after? You’ll still get some “I’m still hungry” whines, but this might minimize the amount of serving you feel compelled to do!

Bottom line: suck it up, honey, and remember that they won’t be young forever. Yes, I sound like one of those people who assures you that your baby will eventually sleep through the night. But this time I know I’m right.

Send in your problem for Sassy to solve, whether it’s a parenting question, relationship dilemma, or a snafu with social etiquette and it may get answered in a future column. Sassy is here to help! Submit your question for Ask Sassy here! (Or just email me, darling. We can keep it between us. AskSassy@savvysassymoms.com) You can also follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page, where I share pro tips on life every week.

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