Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunshine and Spice Hair Flower Giveaway [CLOSED]

Sunshine and Spice is a cute Etsy boutique with items for newborns to 3T and whose name accurately describes its products. The shop includes onesies, outfits, bibs, burp cloths, swaddle blankets, and hair flowers. Although mostly girl oriented, there are some items for boys, such as this cute onesie the seller sent me. It is thick and long sleeved, perfect for our highly air-conditioned church building.

Adorable tie!

If I had a girl, I would totally love these items:

I love plaid on little girls!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

*Excellent quality.
*Cute fabric patterns and designs.
*Unique outfits.
*Wide selection of items for your baby or toddler.

*More boy items please!

Sunshine and Spice will be giving away a hair flower of your choice.

Mandatory 1st Entry: Visit Sunshine and Spice and tell me which hair flower you like best.

5 entries: Blog about this giveaway, linking to this post and to Sunshine and Spice. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.

2 entries: Heart Sunshine and Spice on Etsy.

2 entries: Follow this blog via GFC.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

1 entry: Post this giveaway on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Tuesday, February 8. The winner will be announced Wednesday, February 9. Please leave your email address in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!


The winner of the Home Sweet Homebodies headband is comment #15 "I would pick the cream Anna Headband... that is gorgeous" by Casey. Congratulations! I will be contacting you shortly. Thanks to everyone else who has made this giveaway the most successful to date!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby Bill of Rights

Note: The original came from a pamphlet I received at the hospital before taking Baby home. I greatly expanded on it and then adapted it to make it more like the real Bill of Rights.

Freedom of Speech: I have the right to cry and be answered. I don't cry to upset you; I cry because I can't tell how how I feel any other way. I'm hot, cold, hungry, tired, scared, or lonely. You'll soon know what each cry means. You won't spoil me by anwering; you'll help me be a better baby, and we'll both be happier.

I also have the right to hear your speech. Sing, hum, babble, or read to me. I may not know what you're saying, but your voice tones say, "I love you." And communicating with me helps me learn.

Right to Arms: I have to right to be held in your arms. Everything is so big and new to me--I don't understand where I am or who I am and I get scared. When you hold me close and kiss me, I feel better. Your breath and heartbeat make me feel I belong to you.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: I have the right to be treated with respect and care. Yelling at me hurts my feelings and shaking me hurts my body. I don't mean to upset you. Please remember I am new to the world and am learning about myself and my surroundings. Overlook my baby weaknesses.

Love:  I have the right to be loved unconditionally. You are the most important person in my world! I can't make it physically or emotionally without you. Get to know me, have fun with me, and love me just the way I am.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Home Sweet Homebodies Headband Giveaway [CLOSED]

Winter means warm coats, big boots, and soft mittens. But let's not forget about our poor ears and necks! Home Sweet Homebodies sells beautiful hand-crocheted headbands and scarves. The seller also has a blog of the same name where she shares crafting projects.

My favorite headband

Another favorite.

Smiles*Beautifully made. (And isn't she beautiful too?) I love the pearl accent.
*Rich colors, including neutrals to match any outfit.
*Warm and soft.
*Functional and fashionable!

Frowns*Made for a 20-23 in. head, so you might have fitting issues if you have a very large or very small head. However, she does custom orders--problem solved!
*It would be nice to also have the option of buying a matching headband and scarf set at a lower price than buying both individually.

The seller is giving away a headband of your choice. If you would like to purchase one now, she has a deal going on: "Want to take 15% off any headband, or 10% off any scarf? Share my etsy shop on facebook, twitter, your blog, or any other social networking site, and send me a message with the link to your post, including whether you want a headband or a scarf. After that, I will send you the correlating coupon code!"

Mandatory 1st Entry: Visit Home Sweet Homebodies and tell me which headband you would choose if you won.

5 entries: Blog about this giveaway, linking to Home Sweet Homebodies and this blog. Leave a link to your blog post in your comment.

2 entries: Heart Home Sweet Homebodies on Etsy.

2 entries: Follow this blog via GFC.

1 entry: Follow Home Sweet Homebodies (the blog) via GFC.

1 entry: Post this giveaway on Facebook.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Sunday, January 30. The winner will be announced Monday, January 31. Please leave your email address in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The winner of the Hand Maiden SC eco felt toy is comment #18 "I liked HandMaiden SC on Facebook" by Liz. Congratulations! I will be contacting you shortly to get your information to send to the seller.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Baby Jokes

What does a baby corn call his father?
What does a baby computer call his father?
How many babysitters does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Light bulbs don't wear diapers.
How do you get a baby astronaut to sleep?
You rocket.
Three men in a bar were discussing coincidences. The first man said, "My wife was reading A Tale of Two Cities and she gave birth to twins."

"That's funny," the second man remarked. "My wife was reading The Three Musketeers and she gave birth to triplets."

The third man shouted, "Oh no, I have to rush home!"

When asked what the problem was, he exclaimed, "When I left the house, my wife was reading Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves!"
Little Johnny's new baby brother was screaming up a storm. Johnny asked his mom, "Where'd we get him?"

His mother replied, "He came from heaven, Johnny."

Johnny said, "Wow! I can see why they threw him out!"
A Parent's Dictionary

Amnesia: Condition that enables a woman who has given birth to have sex again.
Bottlefeeding: An opportunity for Dad to get up at 2 a.m. too.
Carpet: Expensive floor covering used to catch spills and clean mud off shoes.
Date: Infrequent outings with Dad where Mom can enjoy worrying about the kids in a different setting.
Drinking glass: Any carton or bottle left open in the fridge.
Eat: What kids do between meals, but not at them.
Family planning: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to stop you from falling into financial disaster.
Feedback: The inevitable result when a baby doesn't appreciate strained carrots.
Grandparents: People who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.
Hearsay: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a rude word.
Impregnable: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.
Independent: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.
Prenatal: When your life was still somewhat your own.
Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes.
Show off: A child who is more talented than yours.
Sterilize: What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it.
Thunderstorm: A chance to see how many family members can fit into one bed.
Two-minute warning: When a baby's face turns red and he or she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.
Tell me a funny baby joke! Please keep it clean and appropriate.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Elimination Communication

Bugaboo (4 mos.) on his potty chair

 What is elimination communication?
Elimination communication (EC), also known as infant potty training or the diaper-free method, is teaching infants to recognize when and where to go potty. Although the focus is on potty training, the real goal is to bond with your baby through communication, trust, and respect.

Can infants really be potty trained?
Yes. Babies already know when they have to "go": you can tell when a newborn is going by his or her facial expressions, body language, and sounds. We untrain infants by putting them in diapers and letting them get used to being dirty. Then when they become toddlers, we have to teach them how to recognize their urges, hold it, and relieve themselves once on the toilet.

Is infant potty training easier than toddler potty training?
Not necessarily. You may find traditional methods easier than EC. It takes time, effort, and patience--the last being vital. In fact, it is recommended that if you cannot be patient then stick to traditional potty training. EC is all about being positive; there are no punishments for accidents or not going.

How long does elimination communication take?
The length of time depends on how you define "potty trained." Obviously, an infant will not be potty trained in the same way that a toddler would simply because their capabilities are different. Babies will always need help and may not verbally communicate their need to go. Even so, most infants who start EC end by 18 months to 2 years.

If it takes so long, then why should I try elimination communication?
  • EC is not any more inconvenient than having to change diapers all day.
  • You change less diapers.
  • You save money on diapers.
  • Your child is potty trained sooner.
  • It eliminates the battle you may face with potty training a toddler.
  • Most important, you bond and learn to communicate with your baby.
Where should I start?
  1. For a few days, record when your baby eats, sleeps, and eliminates. Look for a pattern.
  2. Watch for signs your baby makes when he or she is pooping and peeing. Common signs include obvious noises (passing gas, grunting), concentration, tensing, kicking legs, fussiness, crying, look of relief, gestures, and smiling.
  3. Start by putting your baby over the potty--or wherever else you choose: sink, tub, toilet, bowl--at the most obvious times, such as when he or she wakes up in the morning and after feedings. Your baby may or may not go.
  4. Make an association with EC through a cue, such as a noise (sssssssss) or gesture (ASL for potty is shaking your fist with the thumb between the first two fingers).
  5. Next, try to recognize your baby's signs and get your baby on the potty as soon as you catch a sign. Depending on age, your baby may try to tell you by the cue you chose.
What else do I need to know about infant potty training?
  • Newborns should be held in a comfortable position until they are old enough to sit up on their own on a potty chair, though you may choose to hold them for as long as desired, especially if it's working for your baby. For more information on positions, read Infant Potty Training by Laurie Boucke. I got all my information and motivation from this book (and I only browsed through the first few chapters).
  • It may take time for your baby to get used to the potty or being held in certain positions. Distract them with songs or the bathroom mirror. If your baby does not go after a few minutes or gets fussy, stop. You do not want him or her to associate potty time with negative feelings.
  • The best time to start is before your baby is six months old. However, it is never too late to start! The aforementioned book addresses how to adapt EC for late starters.
  • View every caught poo or pee as a success and appreciate every milestone your baby makes. If you focus on the end result too much, you may become discouraged.
  • Although EC takes a lot of effort, it is easier than you think! You can even do it part-time. I just started on Saturday and have already experienced success.
  • Other family members and caregivers can be involved. Just make sure you are all on the same page.
  • EC is harmless, fun, and doable. Others may laugh at you, but you'll be the one laughing in the end when your child is potty trained at 2 and theirs hasn't even started!
Read an update on our journey with infant potty training!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Twigs and Tweets Review

Another giveaway blog introduced me to the Etsy shop Twigs and Tweets. Her business is so successful (which tells you something about her products) she no longer has time to provide for giveaways, but she kindly discounted an item for me. She makes crinkle toys and blankets, some with ribbons for babies to suck on. I chose the millipede crinkle toy with ribbons. My baby is not much of a toy player, but he does like this one.

Bugs playing with his new toy

*The crinkle sound is crisp.
*The underside is super soft minky dots.
*The fabric and ribbon patterns are adorable and varied.
*It is machine washable and dryer safe, both of which I tested. What mom doesn't appreciate that?

*Because she is so busy, orders take a couple weeks.
*Update: a couple ribbons have fallen out, not due to rough play, making me concerned with choking. And some of the patterns on the ribbons have flaked off, which I hope my baby didn't ingest.

Hand Maiden Santa Cruz Eco Felt Toys Giveaway [CLOSED]

I discovered this really cute Etsy shop called Hand Maiden Santa Cruz that makes eco-friendly, felt toys. Her shop is new and currently consists of play food. She sent me three products to review, and let me tell you, they are adorable!

deluxe pancake special

whole wheat quesadilla

donuts and tea

*Cute. How can you not love how adorable and yummy the food looks? Makes me hungry!
*Environmentally friendly, child safe, and long lasting.
*Easy to fix if necessary, even if you can't sew, like me.
*Made with love. You can just tell by the quality and creativity of her products.
*Quiet: perfect toys for church or other places requiring silence. No noise from playing with it or if it falls or hits a chair (or kid, for that matter).
*Easy to pack and take along because they are small, flat, and light.

*Plastic toys are easier to clean. But that doesn't make them better!

Hand Maiden will be giving away your choice of the pancake breakfast or tea for two.

Mandatory 1st Entry: Visit her shop and tell me which felt toy you would choose.

5 entries: Blog about this giveaway, linking to this post and to Hand Maiden Santa Cruz. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.

2 entries: Like Hand Maiden SC on Facebook.

1 entry: Heart Hand Maiden Santa Cruz on Etsy.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

1 entry: Put my button on your blog.

1 entry: Follow my blog.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be posted by 11:59 p.m. MST Tuesday, January 18. The winner will be announced Wednesday, January 19. Please leave your email address in one of your entries so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!
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