Weekly Giveaway, Tooth Fairy Pillow | 46 Comments

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Mom 4 Life News & Giveaways

Hello!  Happy Friday.  I am writing you from Southern California.  Many of you know that we used to live in Southern California and moved to Idaho in June of this year.  Before we moved, my husband was offered a position working from home from the software company that he worked for (ESRI) in Redlands, CA.  We were thrilled with this option and accepted it and it has been working very well.  His company flew him down for training this week and we decided to also make it into a mini family vacation.  We have enjoyed visiting friends and family and after Trent (my husband) finished work today we went to Disneyland (we had bought season passes when we lived in CA and they hadn’t yet expired:)!  It feels really weird to be back here, so familiar.  It is nice to "vacation" in a place that you know so well.  You don’t have to look at a map and know all the fun things to do and you actually make time to do them (often unlike when you live there).  So we have been having fun.  I brought my video camera along just in case I would have a chance to do a video for the drawing but it just didn’t work out to fit it in. 

So this week I am using Random.Org to help me choose our winner for the tooth fairy pillow by Fairy Princess Designs.  We had 52 people leave a comment last week and I left at least one comment so I decided the first comment left would be #1 and so on and if it happened to choose a number that was my own comment it would default to the next number on the list (it generates a random list comprised of the number range provided).  Number 22 was our winner which is Julie Robinson, congratulations!  If you didn’t win, you can get your own pillow for one week at about 10% off the retail price.  For the girl pillows, click here.  For the boy styles, click here.

Donkeyfront This week you get the chance to win a super cute LilyBugs Fun Bottle and Sippy-Cup Cover.  These adorable, unique covers offer an easy grip for little hands.  Children can grip on to the playful, tactile (they crinkle) ears, fins, wings, etc. of the many different creatures available.  Fitting most bottles and sippy cups, they also keep little hands warm during the cold season and prevent "sweating" of cups in hot weather.  Because they are machine washable they are a breeze to clean as well.  In addition, they also offer a smooth transition from bottle to sippy cup since they fit on both and can be something that stays the same even when the container inside the LilyBug changes.  This giveaway is for the "DonkeyBug" shown in the photo above. 

Donkeyback To enter: I want to get some feedback from you.  Please leave a comment to this post with your thoughts on the items below to be entered.

I would like to know how important the YouTube videos that I have done in the past for the giveaways are to you.  I really enjoy doing them but am finding that they take up a chunk of time each week when I figure the time it takes to decide how to choose the winner, shoot the video (10 min), edit the video (30-45 min), save it upload it to YouTube (uploading it alone can take 30-55 min), etc.  I am trying to find some areas of my business that I can simplify (especially with baby #3 on the way) and am thinking this is an area I could spend less time in.  So please tell me, do you watch the videos each week?  Are they part of the reason you come back to enter?  Would you enter the giveaways if I didn’t have a video and just choose the winner in a boring, random way each week?  I will enjoy reading your comments and please know you will NOT offend me regardless of how you answer, I want your honesty here!  If you are new to the contest and want to see what I am referring to, click here to see previous YouTube videos done for prior giveaways.

You have until next week Tuesday night (November 27th), midnight PST to enter, good luck!

Childwithdonkey   

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007

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To Co-Sleep or Not to Co-Sleep | 11 Comments

By Julie Johnson | Category: The Journey of Motherhood

I woke up yesterday morning to a local radio talk show host mentioning  the dangers of co-sleeping. I actually like this guy from past shows. He is funny and interesting. Yet, instead of hitting the snooze button, my ears were ready to hear what he had to say on the subject. The only thing I did like was that his wife was still breastfeeding their 9 month old and she brings the baby back into bed with her to nurse about 3-4 times a week. He doesn’t think this is safe and wished that she didn’t do it. He went on to mention all the "dangers" associated with bed sharing. Whether I believe in bed sharing or not, let’s be practical here. The main concerns that we all hear are the risks of SIDS with co-sleeping. I find it illogical to think that it is safer for an infant to sleep in another room, down the hall no less, instead of being close to it’s mother.

With my first two children, my bed was my bed. That was that. If I had to sleep on their floor for whatever reason, so be it. Then came the "princess" and I figured out that I actually slept better with her right there.  When you have a child with you in bed, where are the mother’s hands? They are usually laying on top of the baby. When your child moves or lack of movement, a mother is aware. It is real hard to have that kind of reassurance when the baby is down the hall. Now I am not saying that everyone needs to co-sleep. Co-sleeping is kinda like childbirth classes, you prepare for it, study the pros and cons for your family situation and pay attention more to the "technique" of it. 

I would like to hear people’s opinion though. Have they done it, was it successful?
As for our "princess" when I was finally sick of being kicked in the back, I attempted to transition her back to her own room.  I will confess…she was ready for a twin bed. (And my back has since recovered.)

CAPPA’s Certified Lactation Educator and Trainer
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Lamaze childbirth educator
doula
mom
owner of Birth and Breastfeeding Solutions

Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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Simple Salt Dough | Leave a comment

By kristinabjornbak | Category: Kids Crafts

The holidays are coming, and for me, that means crafts.  I love doing crafts, but with little hands in the house, I have to be careful about what kinds of crafts I do and when.  However, I love to include my children if I can, and it gives us a great opportunity to spend quality time together.  A great way to do this is to use salt dough.

If you’ve never heard of salt dough, it’s something akin to modeling clay.  If you do a quick internet search, you’ll find a great number of salt dough recipes.  Choose one that suits you.  However, to keep it safe for the little ones, choose one that doesn’t have any extra non-safe additives, such as perfume.  A simple salt dough recipe consists of salt (obviously), flour, water, and sometimes cooking oil.

Follow the recipe for mixing and drying.  To add safe colors, consider "painting" with food coloring after the creation is dry, or knead food coloring into the dough before you model it.  Mixing part-way will give you a marble effect.  Of course, for older children who won’t be tempted to put things in their mouths or knock things over, acrylic paint is fine once the model is dry.

Have fun and let the kids be creative.  Use cookie cutters to make Christmas ornaments, let the kids make hand prints, or let them make something all their own.  But remember: if your child says that blob is a dog, then it’s a dog.

Kristina B.

Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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A New Baby Is Born And So Is A Need To Exercise | 2 Comments

By kimevans | Category: Fit 4 Life

Kim_2 Wow, it’s simply amazing how you forget, no matter how many children you have, how all consuming a newborn is.  They are full of wonder and amazement and you find your wondering how you’re going to get anything done (for yourself) now that they’re a part of your life.  My husband and I welcomed our new son into our lives just over a month ago and we are so in love with him.  He’s our second child, we also have two-year old daughter who loves being a “big sista” and is already very helpful. Yet with all the help in the world I still find that my “to do” list doesn’t shorten, rather with each passing day I have more I want to do yet no time.

By way of a quick introduction, my name is Kim Evans, I’m the co-founder of fit+giggles, a mom of 2 (as you now know).  I’m married to a wonderfully supportive husband and we have a 6-year old Vizsla/Weimaraner dog with boundless energy.  My family and I are California natives and we live in San Diego.  Exercise is my passion and with everything I do I try to incorporate fun and creativity into it.

Growing up I always had one sport or another that I was involved in.  My love for exercise was formalized just over a year ago when a friend of mine and I officially opened the “doors” to a health and wellness company called fit+giggles…check us out at fitandgiggles.com.  The mission of fit+giggles is to reduce the aches, pains and injuries of new Moms while increasing their strength, agility and balance through improved function to achieve a healthier mind, body and spirit. Our first product is a postnatal exercise DVD that allows Mom’s to exercise with their babies…and I must add that the idea for the company was born from necessity.  This business was developed when, as a brand new Mom, I simply couldn’t find the time to exercise and I was experiencing all sorts of “new Mom” aches and pains.  My friend, a physical therapist, helped me exercise my way away from those pains.  With that, we set out to educate anyone and everyone we could reach on how they to could rid their body of these same pains.

This past January we were at a baby/new mom trade show in Los Angeles and had the amazing fortune of meeting Heather, the founder of Mom 4 Life.  Heather asked to sell our DVD on her website, and because she believed in our vision she welcomed me to contribute to this blog newsletter.  What a great way, I thought, to share my exercise passion and program with other new Moms. My hope is that together we can all get back into our pre-baby shape, learn safe and functional ways to do everyday activities like squatting to pick up dropped items, lunging to reach for the binky that’s rolled behind a chair or stretching to alleviate tension in the upper back, etc. all while bonding with our new babies.  My goal is to share with you what I’m doing on a regular basis to get my body back to feeling happy.  So with the intros out of the way, here we go.

October 1, 2007 – This is the long anticipated day that we welcomed Wyatt into this world.  My doctors advised me that exercise was something I shouldn’t be focusing on and that I need to allow my body to heal.  Hmmm, sounds like a fine idea but we all know that as soon as you have your new baby, your back to using your muscles in ways that they haven’t been used during the past 9 months or so.  You might not be officially exercising (I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say “who has the energy for that anyway”), but we are all rocking side to side for hours on end soothing our baby, bending over and squatting in funny ways to pick up dropped blankets, burp cloths, and binkys, and doing the oh so awkward and straining reach to get the car seat in and out of the car without waking the baby.  These are just a few of the things we do that, without a good night’s sleep, will likely cause you to break a small sweat or start to pant.  We quickly find that we’re using our muscles right away just to do everyday activities with the baby safely cradled in one arm.  Life doesn’t give us the 6 weeks window that doctors want us to take without “strenuous” exercise. 

With that being said, please join me on the journey of getting our bodies ready to tackle everyday activities safely…let’s take it together.

How did you start your journey back to your pre-baby body and comfort level, I’d love to hear about it?

Happy Bonding,
Kim
A Mom and Exerciser 4 Life

Posted Monday, November 12, 2007

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The “office” of Mom 4 Life video | 9 Comments

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Surprize Me!

Here is something just for fun. . . we wanted to make a video highlighting our staff and a bit about what they do and who they are.  It took us a week or so to put it all together but we have it done and I would love to share it with you.  Click here to see the short 3 minute clip or click on the image below.  For those of you who are fans of the sitcom "the office" (as Britta, Anneke and I are), I hope you will feel that we did it justice!  Let me know what you think (and I am concerned if the volume is too low so let me know about that too).

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007

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