Thursday, June 30, 2016

June is Potty Training Month!

The potty training journey is an emotional one for everyone involved. Little ones are eager to become a big kid, but can get frustrated with the process involved. Parents look forward to getting rid of diapers, but it can be a tough realization that you don’t have a little baby anymore.

There are tons of methods people use to reach the end goal, and reading all of the articles could leave you confused and back at the beginning. While we won’t tell you that one is best, we can say that to make the process a bit easier, you’ll want to have the right gear. Here are some of our favorite Bumkins products that have come in handy while we’ve helped our little ones down the sometimes-bumpy road of potty training:

Wet/Dry Bag: Accidents will happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Keep a clean, dry change of clothes handy, and have a place to store the wet, messy clothes with a Wet/Dry Bag. The waterproof back pocket is perfect for clothes, and the front pocket can hold wipes to clean up any messes, toilet seat covers, or any other potty accessories.

Large Snack Bag: As little ones progress, accidents get less frequent and smaller, so you may not need to bring a full change of clothes. Keep extra underpants in a Large Snack Bag, which can then be used to carry the wet ones after changing.

Small Snack Bag: Rewards can be the key in motivating some of the more stubborn children. Whatever forms of currency/bribery you use – M&Ms, lollipops, cookies, stickers – keep a stash at the ready in a Small Snack Bag.

Splat Mat: Sometimes, little ones are so involved in whatever they are playing/watching/reading, they’ll wait too long to make a trip to the potty and an accident can occur. Have them sit on a Splat Mat while they’re focused on their fun and you’ll keep furniture and floors clean and dry.

While some kids take to potty-training quickly, it can take a while for others. Don’t be discouraged! It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in the stall of a public restroom waiting for what seems like forever as your kid does anything but go potty, but know that you will, one day, be able to ditch the diaper bag and enjoy the freedom of a toilet-trained kiddo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Painting Fireworks for the 4th!

By Carly of Carly G. Media

With everyone in the patriotic spirit, Independence Day is a perfect time to craft with kids. Save your empty toilet paper rolls and grab some red, white, and blue paints to make fireworks the whole family can enjoy.

What you will need:
  • Red, white, and blue paints 
  • 3 toilet paper rolls
  • 3 paper bowls
  • Scissors 
  • Tape 
  • Paper

  • Start by cutting strips into one end of the toilet paper rolls. The deeper the cuts, the bigger the firework blast.
  • Pour red, white, and blue paint into separate paper bowls.
  • Have kids dip the fanned out end of the toilet paper roll into the paint.
  • Stamp the toilet paper roll onto a piece of paper.
  • Repeat with each color.
  • Tada! Fun and easy firework art for the holiday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Breakfast: An Edible Ode to Dad on Father's Day

By Jessica a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist

Fathers Day Breakfast ideas

Everyone told us when our first child was born that the time would fly by. They were right. Our three sons are now in fifth grade, first grade, and preschool. The last decade has brought my husband and me more mess, more noise, more laughter, more driving, more potty jokes, more sweetness, more struggle, more laundry, and more love than we ever imagined possible.

We’re finally down to one five-point harness car-seat and one booster. No more cribs, diapers, highchairs, or strollers. Kid-induced sleep deprivation is no longer an issue. We used to spend many hours arguing over how to sleep-train: Ferber vs. Sears vs. Happiest Baby on the Block vs. Babywise…thankfully, we survived that stage (twice, with our first two kids…the third one loved to sleep, thankfully). My babydaddy and I still wake up too early and stay up too late, but now we can blame Netflix, HBO, and work.

Every day I am grateful that I picked a great dad for my kids. On our first date, sixteen years ago, he charmed me with stories about his siblings and grandparents. So I knew right from the beginning that he was a family-oriented person.

Since then, his actions have demonstrated his values. He prioritizes our family’s needs. He’s loving, honest, responsible, kind, a good sport, and very well-organized. He dresses better than me, and almost always knows pop culture references before I do. He’s super goofy, which people don’t really expect at first because he has very good manners. He’s good at explaining things, and making small talk. He’s good at being a friend and teaching our kids how to be a good friend to others. Our kids know that their dad is the expert on camping and hiking. He shows them how to fix things around the house. They know he’s the one to ask about art, architecture, how to organize their desk and what’s going on with just about every sport and playoff situation going on. He explains personal finance concepts, how to run a business, and stuff that’s related to our iPhones and computers. And “he doesn’t make us eat too many vegetables, like you,” said our six-year-old when I asked him to tell me his favorite thing about his dad.

So this Father’s Day, the kids and I will be showing this very special guy how much we appreciate him with our usual festive traditions. We’ll make breakfast at home, which is very likely to include pancakes with berries and chocolate chips - a recent family favorite. There will definitely be bacon, since my husband loves bacon. Coffee and a green smoothie will also be on the menu (for us, not the kids). There will also be goofy cards and crafty homemade gifts. We always plan the day around doing a family activity, like a hike or a swim. For rainy or too-hot days, we’ve been known to visit to an art museum or an indoor rock climbing gym. Then we always head back home for some down time to relax.

Here are some Father’s Day breakfasting tips to make the morning fun and energize everyone for a fun day of celebrating Dad: 

1. Choose one of dad’s favorite recipes; keep it simple to assemble or prepare.

2. Shop for ingredients the day before to make the morning go smoothly.

3. Kids can help out too, by arranging fruit on a plate, pressing buttons on the blender for a smoothie, or setting the table. Playing “restaurant” and drawing a menu is fun for preschoolers.

Recipe ideas: -

Avocado toast: Toast whole grain bread and spread sliced ripe avocado on it. You can also mix mashed avocado with a squirt of lemon juice and spread it. Add a sprinkle of salt and a dash of pepper. Top with a scrambled, soft-boiled, or fried egg.

Eggs, hash browns & fruit: My kids love the task of cracking eggs into a bowl and beat them. Use frozen hash browns, or grate your own potatoes. Rinsing fruit is a fun task for toddlers.

Crepes with Nutella and sliced bananas – Mix up the crepe batter and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Or buy crepes, ready-made, at the grocery store.

Veggie and cheese omelette: Chop veggies the night before and let everyone pick which ones they want to include. Bagel with lox and cream cheese: Shop for these ingredients in advance. Add sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and capers. Arrange on a plate – voila!

Breakfast sandwich – a scrambled egg and a slice of melted cheese on an English muffin is always a home run.

Fathers day breakfast

Monday, June 6, 2016

Celebrating Nova's 6 Month Half Birthday

By Alicia of Lollygag Learning

Reaching Nova's 6 month "birthday" felt like a big milestone in our family. She has learned so much in the past few weeks- sitting unsupported, pulling herself to stand in her crib, first words and signs, and she is working really hard on crawling. As parents we have survived half a year of parenting two little ones. We decided to celebrate Nova's half birthday and the start of a new phase of her life. I made a cupcake out of pure avocado by filling a silicone cupcake liner with sliced and mashed avocado.

Avocado Cupcake
1 ripe avocado
1 silicone cupcake liner
1 candle
Paper towels

  1. Cut avocado in half. Slice one half and cut a couple slices into small segments to fit in the silicone cupcake liner. These slices will hold the candle in place. Reserve the other slices for your baby to explore.
  2. Scoop the flesh of the other half of avocado into a bowl and mash as desired. You can add a bit of water, breastmilk, or formula if you want to make it more creamy.
  3. Fill a Ziploc bag with the mashed avocado and snip the bottom corner off with scissors. Pipe the mashed avocado into the cupcake liner to create a frosted look.
  4. Serve immediately to enjoy the pretty, fresh color! This recipe will work with a variety of first foods such as banana, sweet potato, or butternut squash.

Be ready for a huge mess! We took the celebration out to our back porch and used our Bumbo Seat with the tray that way it could all be washed down after her meal. Our Bumkins Superbib saved a lot of cleaning and stains. The thing I love about Superbibs is they can be washed a few different ways. If it’s not a major mess I wipe it down with a damp cloth. I also toss them in a sink of warm soapy water, rinse, and hang to dry. A few times per week I toss the Superbibs in the laundry with my kitchen towels and washcloths then hang to dry.

Big sister Josie was very excited to be a part of the celebration and eagerly ran to Nova with a spoonful of avocado before we were ready! It was a lot of fun to watch Nova taste her cupcake and explore the texture. I did offer her a few bites of mashed avocado on a spoon but she was most interested in feeding herself the large slices I had set aside.

Keep in mind that your baby’s first meal will probably only be a few bites. The prep for our celebration lasted longer than the time she spent eating but it was a lot of fun to share the experience as a family. I am glad we have memories and photos to show the girls from Nova’s half birthday! Once Nova started showing she was done we hosed everything down... baby included!

Disclosure: I received Bumkins product in exchange for this post. All opinions are mine.