Celebrating Motherhood and Your Baby’s First Moments

Thank you to JOHNSON’S Baby for partnering with me to share some awesome #favbabyfirsts with you guys in a compensated post. Hope you enjoy – and I hope you share your own too!

Ahhhhhh…. Motherhood. A burden and a blessing. Almost all good stuff though – right? Except for “those days,” … I know you know what I mean <3 There are so many “firsts” that are absolutely wonderous to behold – first words, first steps, seeing them grow into kiddos that discover new things. But there are also so many “firsts” that are exhausting – they learn to speak so they can back talk you, they walk so they can run away from you, they discover things they have no business messing with… It’s a huge process of love and frustration. But so totally worth it.

J&J Motherhood

To celebrate these firsts, and the wonder and joy of being a mother, JOHNSON’S Baby has a campaign called #FavBabyFirsts – which is all about sharing your most special first memories of your little one. To kickstart it, they invited me, and a couple of other awesome mom bloggers – Crazy Adventures in Parenting, and That Chic Mom – to join a live Google+ Hangout with the absolutely lovely and down to earth Tammin Sursok from Pretty Little Liars. It was kind of surreal to chat with someone who’s a celeb like that, with my hair in a messy bun and totally not prepared, lol. But it was awesome that as we chatted, you can see that no matter who you are – all moms go through these SAME types of feelings when you have a baby. I’ve always found that so beautiful and amazing. Check it out:

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Potty Training Help – No Matter What Stage You’re In!

Big thank you to Pull-Ups for letting me share info about their Big Kid Academy, and all of the amazing free potty training tools and information they have. #Sponsored.

We’ve finally got potty training down, 99%. It was a challenge. Abby started before she was two – and did amazing, right off the bat. Then she was diagnosed with a seizure disorder, which was rough on all of us. So we kind of stalled on trying to push any new changes for a long time. Which also means I’m a pro at potty training – I’ve been doing it for a long time :) All kids are unique, all families are unique, and potty training can be a challenge. Don’t get discouraged, don’t try one of the “trendy methods” like 3-day potty training {only 23% of parents have tried this, and most admit it doesn’t work.} Take your time, and make sure to use Pull-Ups™ from the start.

Potty Training Tips: Getting Started and Keeping it Going

There are a lot of reasons to use Pull-Ups from the start of potty training, and I’ll share more later in this post. But first I want to share an amazingly awesome resource with you guys – whether you’re just getting started potty training, are in that middle stage and frustrated by a lack of progress, or are almost finished up. It’s the Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy, and you will LOVE it. I pinky promise. Check it out:

Pull-Up's Big Kid Academy Homepage - Potty training tips!

It’s super easy to enroll in the Pull-Up’s Big Kids Academy. Head to their website at Pull-Ups.com to get started. See that bright and cheerful homepage? It’s just waiting to help you get going, so click “Enroll Now” to join. Then add your info and what stage you are in on your potty training adventure to get signed up, so you get personalized tips to help you along the way.

Potty training tips from experts

Need some advice when things aren’t going as expected? Want to share a potty training tip with other parents? Well, the Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy site will build you a personalized dashboard filled with information, tips, and offers that are perfect for you and your little one. From articles that fit your potty training stage, to cool activities and ideas to make potty training fun, plus coupons and product info. Awesome, right?

Pull-Ups Readiness Quiz - How to figure out if kids are ready to potty train?

If you’re brand new to potty training, the Pull-Up’s Big Kid Academy site will share thing like the readiness quiz, so you can determine if your kiddo is ready to start potty training. These types of tips and tools will be right on your personalized dashboard.

Then you’ve got super fun interactive stuff on the site too – Like the potty dance videos. You’re kiddo can choose their favorite character, and it’ll show you a fun video of how to do the “Potty Dance.” The step by step directions are also included on the site. Why a potty dance? It gives kids a reason to celebrate when they have a big accomplishment – going potty! It makes it more fun, less like work. And, the songs remind them that pulling up their Pull-Up is being a big kid – versus having mom or dad give them a diaper. And if you’re the parent of a toddler, you know they do NOT want anything to do with being a baby anymore :) Pull-Ups help them get involved, and teach independence since they can pull them off and on by themselves. And they’re way more convenient and economical than a diaper too. {Get Huggies Pull-Ups Training Pants with Learning Designs on Amazon, and enroll in Subscribe and Save, so you never run out!}

And now – one of my FAVORITE potty training helpers… The Pull-Ups Time to Potty App! This was a lifesaver to us when getting Abby potty trained. Being a mom is a busy job, and it can be hard to always remember when to take a toddler to try to potty, especially if you’re on the go. But the app will give you regular reminders, to keep things consistent.

Potty Time App

And, kids love it – because every time they go potty successfully, they get a reward, since it unlocks super cool new games each time they go to the potty.  Abby would try to go the bathroom every 10 minutes just because she wanted new games :) If they have accidents, you add those in, and the timer will adjust the potty break time to be personalized to you. And it tracks your kiddo’s progress, so you can see how things are improving week by week!

Follow Meagan Paullin – Sunshine and Sippy Cups’s board Potty Training Tips on Pinterest.

So – what do you think? Join the conversation on the Pull-Ups Facebook page, or feel free to ask me questions ANY time over on my own Facebook page or on Twitter. And be sure to follow Pull-Ups on Pinterest – it’s a newer account, so make sure to share with your friends too. They’re growing it every day and it’s a great resource! :) I also have a rockin’ Potty Training Pinterest board you can check out too, above. And moms – give yourself a pat on the back. Potty training is challenging, but you’re doing a great job – no matter what stage you’re at! :)


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How to Raise Healthier, Happier Children

One of my favorite quotes about parenting is this one, “Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.” - David Bly. I was so terrified to become a mom, and had a long, winding road that brought me to motherhood. But this quote was one I clung to – there are a lot of small things that, really, in the long run, don’t matter that much. Whether I cloth diaper or use disposables, whether I buy the coolest new baby gear, whether I know the “best” ways to do every thing… Well, she’s still going to make it through in one piece. The more important thing in the whole world to me is that she grows up to be kind. Someone who treats others with understanding and compassion, who gives back to those around her, who does her small part to make the world a little brighter and better. Oh yeah – and I want her to be funny. :) Which she totally is. So, I try to set the best example that I can, apologize when I’m wrong, and explain when I make mistakes. And along the way, I hope I’m teaching her some important lessons about living healthy and happy…

Making kids happy quote

“The Best Way to Make Children Good is to Make them Happy” –  Oscar Wilde [Read more...]

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Rock Out with PLAYMOBIL PopStars & Your Fave Tunes!

Big thanks to PLAYMOBIL for sharing product & information with me, so that I could try it out and show you guys how this cool PopStars set works – and for providing an additional PLAYMOBIL PopStars set for a winner too…

There are a lot of cool things about being a mom. One of those things is introducing your kiddos to things that you loved as a kid – whether it’s a favorite cartoon, a candy you couldn’t get enough of, or an awesome toy that brought your imagination to life. I kind of love that Abby ended up coming into my world a little later in life, when so many of my fave toys from childhood are cool again. Things like Cabbage Patch dolls, Care Bears, and My Little Pony. But there are also some toys that just kind of always stayed cool – things like Lego, Mario Brother games, and one of my favorites – PLAYMOBIL. I spent many, many, many hours as a little girl playing with my PLAYMOBIL sets. And I love them just as much now…

PLAYMOBIL PopStars Playset Review [Read more...]

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I’m Free to Do Anything… If My Mom Says I Can – State of the Kid Results from Highlights

Who else has fond memories of reading Highlights magazine as a kid? They were some of my very favorite things to read. And I love that they have 3 versions, perfect for kids of all ages – Abby just outgrew the Hello magazine for ages 0-2, and is now reading High Five, the version for kids 2-6. Then when she grows older, we’ll transition to traditional version for kids aged 6-12. We didn’t find a preschool for her this year, so I’m trying to do “preschool at home” – and Highlights are such a great resource to make learning fun! I think one of the reasons that Highlights does such a great job at creating content is that they truly believe in listening to kids, to learn what they like, what they think, what they want to know about. Which is where the State of the Kid survey comes from…

Highlights Magazine State of the Kid [Read more...]

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How to Help & Support Your Child’s Teacher this School Year

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Wet Ones, about supporting teachers this school year. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s kids have finally started school now. And in most areas – fall is in the air… The leaves are beginning to change, the air is crisper in the morning, and most important of all – Pumpkin Spice Lattes are available once again. {Yum, oh yum.} But, even though you’ve done the main back to school shopping, that doesn’t mean that your work is done – there are a ton of things you can do to help support the hard work that you’re kiddo’s teachers are doing throughout the school year.

How to help teachers all year long

How to help teachers all year long

We all know that for some crazy reason, our schools are almost always underfunded. Most of us would say that schools are one of the most important places for our tax dollars to go – yet unlike the DMV, the courts, or the police department, teachers buy huge amounts of supplies that are needed to do their jobs out of their own pocket. They work many hours off the clock, have to do tons of continuing education, and aren’t that highly paid. But, clearly, they do it because they love it – which is why they deserve our support, right? Here are some great ways to show support:

Teacher Appreciation Gifts that Rock [Read more...]

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No Matter Where You Roam – These Tips Keep You Connected to Home

How do you stay connected to family and friends who are far away?… Friends and family are so super crazy-important to me. I’m lucky that the majority of my family lives right in here in the same city that I do, and at the farthest they’re just across the state of Washington, a few hours away. But my Mister has a big family – 11 brothers and sisters! – who all live over in Ohio. We were super lucky to be able to bring his dad and one of his brothers over to visit recently, to see Mike’s oldest daughter graduate from high school. It was so great to spend a week getting to know them – and Abby adored them both! I know we were all pretty darn bummed when it was time for them to leave, knowing that they would be so far away again.

Using technology to stay connected [Read more...]

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