We are an independent mom-run online parenting magazine serving York Region.Please visit our homepage and enjoy all the information there, as well visit our blog, where we post news and information about baby & kids related information affecting new & expectant parents.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Teach My Toddler

Teach My™ Toddler was created by (Canadian) mom, Christy Cook. When she was looking for items to help her toddler with the alphabet, numbers, colours and shapes she had a hard time finding things, especially pieces that worked together.

Teach My™ Toddler was created.

In a portable tote lies everything you need to help your toddler learn basic numbers, letters, colours and shapes. Each of the four sections comes with
  • a fully coordinated puzzle
  • board book
  • teaching chart
  • and flash cards
We've been using our Teach My™ Toddler kit with my 2 1/2 year old for about 2 weeks, for the recommended 20 minutes a day and we are more than impressed. Before, using the Teach My™ Toddler kit our toddler could identify about 50% of the alphabet and he is now pretty close to 100%. The other day we started using the letters in the puzzle to spell words, like cat, dog and other simple ones. He loves doing the puzzles and reading the books and you can tell the sense of pride and accomplishment he feels when he is playing.

Other than the clear learning advantages
Teach My™ Toddler has helped make our toddler feel special. Since we have a new baby in the house, it's easy sometimes to forget that your toddler needs as much attention as the new baby. The 20 minutes a day have become a special time for him with Mommy or Daddy and he asks to play with his Teach My™ Toddler kit. In fact, in the morning it is the first toy he grabs and he insists that we play 'school' and he becomes the teacher -- the imaginative play aspect is a bonus!

I really like the fact that it's an all-in-one solution and that everything colour coordinates, as well I love seeing my little one's eyes light up when he goes "to work with his briefcase!"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Breaking the Good Mom Myth by Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is one incredible lady! She has a talent for writing a book that hits home with Moms! I felt so refreshed after reading this book. I walked away feeling good about myself, as a woman and as a mother. I also learned many great new parenting techniques and visions for the future.

Breaking the Good Mom Myth is a book all about letting go. It's about letting go of our expectations of ourselves as mothers as well as societal expectations and embracing who we are as a parent and moving forward.

Alyson Schafer is a great motivator. She encourages Moms to take care of themselves and to have confidence. She encourages Moms to worry less about what other people think and to focus more on their long term parenting goals.

This book was very motivating to me as a mother. I felt encouraged like I never have before. After reading this book, I can walk away with a new confidence about my parenting skills and choices. Schafer reminded me that we are all individuals and we all have our differences. Becoming a Mom does not change that.

The 8 myths that Schafer discusses in the book are the following:
Self Care is Selfish
My Children Are a Reflection of Me
My Marriage Can Wait
Good Mothers are All-Caring and All-Protecting
Good Mothers are in Control
Good Mothers Manage Sibling Conflict
Only the Best Education for My Child
Good Mothers Make Life Fun and Entertaining

In the book, Schafer offers many helpful and practical suggestions for dealing with your marriage after children as well as for many common parenting challenges.

I highly recommend this book to new and "old" Moms!

For more book reviews, please go to Amanda's Book Nook on our York Region Baby website!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Smart Choices

I was lucky enough to receive a Mom's First Day Kit from Smart Choices. The Mom's First Day Kit is packed with everything you need that provides comfort during those first days after childbirth and when nursing, and it's all contained in a handy canvas tote!

Included in the kit are
  • Hipster style Single-Use panty
  • femé Pad® (which provides cooling relief from vaginal irritations or inflamed hemorrhoids that may be caused by pregnancy or childbirth)
  • Single-Use Nursing Pads
  • SmartChoices breast soother (which provides warming therapy for blocked milk ducts, mastitis, or weaning and cooling therapy for engorgement)
  • Lanolin Plus
Mom's First Day Kit from Smart Choices really does have everything that a new mom needs in the first few days after birth and onwards. The nursing pads are amazingly thin as well as absorbent and the Lanolin Plus is perfect for a new nursing mother. This is by far on my Top 10 Favourite products that I've been able to test. The price of $50 for the entire kit is outstanding and would make a great shower gift for an expectant mom. The quality of the products from Smart Choices is really exceptional and made my first few weeks with my new baby all the better, as I had everything I needed to help with pain and discomfort, as well as nursing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Book Review: The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill

The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill
Review by Tricia Flindall

This book is written by Fiona Neill, who writes a column in the London Times newspaper called "Slummy Mummy". Her column was so popular that she turned some of the material into a novel. Her book centres on Lucy, a mother of three boys. She is married to Tom (Husband with a Short Fuse) and gave up a successful journalism career working for Newsnight, to bring up her children. They lead a fairly middle-class existence.

Fiona Neill really captures what it's like for a mother who is just going through the daily routine of making meals, school runs, school meetings and trying to keep up with all of the cleaning. Lucy begins to get bored with things and starts looking for something, or someone (Sexy Domesticated Dad), to liven up the domesticity.

I found this book a little bit hard to get into at first, however, once you read through the first couple of chapters you are hooked. The main character Lucy is a little bit wacky but very likable. The book focuses very much on adult relationships. It is interesting to read about the dynamics between her and her single/non-married friends (as we've all been there as the relationships change once someone gets married and has kids). It also details Lucy's relationship with her husband, other parents from her children's school and her relationship with her own parents and mother-in-law. While you often find yourself relating to these relationships, the story line can be a bit far-fetched at times yet entertaining all the same.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sew Cute: Personalized Baby Clothes & Unqiue Gifts

Review 1: My 2 1/2 year old daughter absolutely ADORES her personalized long sleeved shirt from Sew Cute! She wore it non-stop for the first weekend that she got it, showing it off to everyone she saw.

I am very impressed with the quality of the clothing. It is durable, soft and washes really well. The embroidery compliments the material perfectly and is top quality.
Sew Cutewear would definitely make a perfect, personalized gift for that new little one in your life. I highly recommend it!
Review 2: When I choose my daughter's name I knew that she wouldn't be able to get her name on items like pencils or pens or other items. I am so happy that I have found Sew Cute. It's a great Canadian-based mom-owned company that makes personalized clothing and accessories for babies and kids!

I love the monogrammed pink hat , with her initial "M" on it that will fit her from now, about 8 weeks old until she is one. It is great for both the winter, as well as Spring and Fall and it washes really well.

The matching long sleeve t-shirt we purchased for her matched the hat and I really love the colour of the shirt - nice and bright!

Her big brother is so proud to wear his shirt with the words "Big Brother" on it! A really good idea for a present for a new sibling. I would suggest getting the next size up in these as they fit small.

And finally Maeve's pink personalized hooded towel, is perfect for bath time and in the summer will be useful at the beach as well.

I am really excited to have found Sew Cute and will keep them top of mind for all the upcoming baby showers and as my kids grow! It really makes them feel special to have a shirt or hat made especially for them. As well, what a great idea to keep the personalized gear for babies so when they are a little older they can use for dress-up with dolls and to keep as a very special keepsake.