Archive for Parenting

Best Colleges 2014 Book

This is a sponsored post.

Best Colleges

 

I am entering a new phase of parenting in that I have a child looking at colleges! Very weird for me! Bobbie is doing all the research for college requirements, SATs, applications, etc. U.S. News & World Report provides college rankings every year. I thought their new Best Colleges 2014 book would be helpful to my daughter as she narrows down her college choices.

About Best Colleges 2014

Here are four things Bobbie took from the book and the rest of the post is basically written by her, not me:

• It provides information on colleges all across the United States for students of all backgrounds and interests.

• Gives advice for students who don’t have straight A’s and encouragement and support for getting into college.

• Provides a checklist for preparing for college, which she thought was really helpful.

• It offers information on everything from the application process, getting financial aid, to finding the right school.

Best Colleges 2014 was very helpful and gives you a good idea of what you need to do to prepare for college, as well as offering encouragement and advice from high school students who have already gone through the college process.

The checklist provides a detailed step-by-step list of everything you need to do starting at 9th grade and ending with acceptance into college.

They didn’t limit the advice to students seeking to gain entrance to an Ivy League college; they had several sections dedicated to helping B- students get into a great college.

The sections on gaining financial aid were incredibly helpful and something we definitely need help with in knowing how to apply for the different financial help available to us.

If you would like to pick up a copy of Best Colleges 2014 , use the following code SCHOOL25 to receive a discount!

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Changing a Flat Tire

FFR Flat Tire 022814

Changing a Flat Tire

On Friday my daughter and I were doing the paper routes and got a flat tire. At four o’clock in the morning. That’s right, AM. I have never changed a flat tire in my life. I’ve watched flat tires be changed and know the basics but we still had my hubby call AAA since I wanted to keep my cell line open for the warehouse manager to call me back. We ended up needing his and his son’s assistance in getting the papers delivered because we had to wait 3.5 hours for AAA to get someone out to fix the tire. There was no way I would get them delivered in time.

My daughter and I watched a YouTube video of how to fix a flat tire. It was informative but we still laughed at the common sense tips the man provided. Things like don’t let the lug nuts roll in the grass – to which we responded, what about rolling away in the snow or melting in the snow? We were being silly at this point due to the long wait, boredom and lack of sleep. Another tip he gave was not to put your tire in the road….seriously? Anyhoo….we had no worries over that happening as we got our flat at the front door of the funeral home. Yep. We deliver to the funeral home and that’s where we discovered our flat, though I suspected at the previous stop as we were coming out the driveway.

We tried to change the flat tire. We had the car jacked up but after all that we could not get the lug nuts off, even with the little X-bar thingy. Don’t you love my automotive vocabulary?! Hubby is not here to give me the correct terminology right now. My dad would roll over in his grave. He was Mr. Car Man himself.

That was our excitement for the weekend because after that rough start on Friday all I wanted to do was sleep. Not really, I just need more sleep. I do have plans for my husband to teach our older children and I how to change a flat tire, to change the oil, how to check the air in the tire with a tire gauge etc. I think it’s important we all learn these basic automotive tasks.

Hubby got the tire fixed, but the tires still need to be aligned and a tie rod replaced. Goodyear just didn’t have time to do it on Friday.

Have you ever changed a flat tire? Will you teach your daughters (and or sons)?

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CBR – Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for CBR (Cord Blood Registry).”

Guest Dad Blogger:  Scott

Did you know that Cord Blood Stem Cells have been used for treatment for more than 80 conditions? I never knew this.

Here’s another interesting fact:

“Newborn stem cells can trigger natural repair processes in the body by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to injured or diseased areas. They can also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and other tissues.”

It just goes to show you how important it is to choose a Cord Blood Registry. More treatments are being evaluated by FDA-regulated clinical trials to help with common health issues including autism. Yet, 90% of blood cord is discarded and goes to medical waste.

With the capacity to create diverse cells for our own immune system, tissue, blood and organs; stem cells are often called the body’s “master cells”.  If your family decides to make the decision to bank your child’s cord blood, you need to do this before the due date. Obtaining the blood cord cells is very simple and painless. After the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, the blood cells are then transferred to a “collection bag”. You have options with banking cord blood cells, you can private bank or donate to a public bank.

During February CBR is having a promotion of $200.00 off of banking services.  Log onto  cordbankingbasics.com for more information.

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5 Ways to Save on Time and Money at Healthcare Clinic Chicago

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #HealthcareClinic #CollectiveBias

Screen Shot Healthcare Clinic Chicago

It has always been important to us to do everything we can to keep our family healthy. In the past when our large family has been under the weather it has taken us a l-o-n-g time to get over colds, the flu and even the chicken pox (7 children had it one after the other!). We are very grateful for our current health. It isn’t very often we get sick but when we do there are things that help us get healthy again. For example, when my husband gets wax build up in his ears to the point he can no longer hear, he goes to the Healthcare Clinic Chicago to get his ears candled or cleaned out. He has done this a couple of times, dropping by the clinic while out on errands or after work. No appointment necessary. It is very convenient and time saving for a busy parent.

FFR Robert's Ear Healthcare Clinic Chicago 2

The Walgreens Healthcare Clinic in Crystal Lake, IL has been very clean when we have dropped in and the Healthcare Providers have been courteous and personable. Both of these things has given us confidence in the professionals caring for our needs.

5 Ways to Save on Time and Healthcare Costs for Parents

1. As stated above, the Healthcare Clinic takes walk-ins. No appointment necessary, though you can schedule one should you desire to do so.

2. Use the Walgreen app to find a healthcare clinic nearest you.

Walgreens Healthcare Clinic Chicago

Put in your information, customize what you are looking for and a list of clinics near you will come up:

Walgreens Healthcare Clinic Chicago_1

3. Save on costly and unnecessary trips to the ER by visiting a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, since they are open on weekends and evenings.

4. With Walgreens Prescription Savings Club, club members receive 10% savings on all Healthcare Clinic services. Please note Walgreens website states: This discount cannot be used in conjunction with insurance.

5. Healthcare clinics have on-site pharmacies. No need to go elsewhere for prescriptions.

FFR Blondie Healthcare Clinic Chicago 2

As you can see, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic is very convenient and affordable. The next time we visit a Healthcare Clinic Chicago it will probably be to see if our youngest daughter’s ears need to be candled because we have a funny feeling she’s taking after her dad in that department!

What about you, have you ever visited a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic?

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a Family

Ah! Love is in the air – Valentine’s Day is coming!

Valentine's Day February 14

I remember the days of being Sweethearts -  going out to dinner, flowers, & candy.  My…My… can things change once kids enter the picture.  Valentine’s Day has changed in our house, we now celebrate as a family.   Here’s a few inexpensive ways to make Valentine’s Day a family event!

1.)     Make heart pancakes for breakfast – Make your favorite pancake mix, add a few drops of red food coloring.  Stir up the batter good and cook them.  When they are done cooking, take a heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out your heart pancakes.

2.)    Heart shaped sandwiches for lunch – This is a good craft as well as lunch.  Build your favorite sandwich and then use the heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out a really cute sandwich.

3.)    You need flowers for Valentine’s Day – Material needed:  a few sheets of colored tissue paper and a pipe cleaner for each flower.  Take the tissue paper and lay them on top of one another and then twist a pipe cleaner in the middle.  Fluff out the tissue paper to make tissue flowers.

4.)    You can’t have Valentine’s Day without chocolate -  My favorite is chocolate covered strawberries.  Buy strawberries at your local store and a bag or a few bars of your favorite chocolate.  Using a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals at first.  Stir the chocolate.  Once the chocolate starts to melt only microwave about 10 seconds or less, be careful not to burn the chocolate.  Use oven mitts to take the chocolate out of the microwave, it will be very hot.  Then dip your washed & dried strawberries into the chocolate, I sometimes use a spoon to coat the berry.  Place the chocolate strawberry on wax paper to dry.

Enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day as a family!

 

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React Mobile App

This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and React Mobile. All opinions are my own.

React Mobile

Have you ever felt like you need to do more to insure your family stays safe? I think we all have. React Mobile is a free safety app for Androids and iPhones that allows you to call out for help with the touch of a button if you encounter any kind of danger or safety issues!

The React Mobile App is very easy to use. All you have to do is download the app to your phone. Here are the specific features of this app:

- SOS Alerts email
- SOS via text
- SOS to Facebook and Twitter
- SOS to dedicated user console
- GPS location tracking
- 911 button/prompt
- Group SMS messages

The app will give you several options right from the get-go.

React Mobile_4

You can sign up using your email or Facebook account. I choose to register using my email.

React Mobile_5

At the bottom of the app you have four different choices: Map, Send SOS, Contacts (you can add your own contacts) and Send SMS Message to broadcast to your contact list.

React Mobile_6

The SOS messaging system allows you to alert authorities, family and friends if you are in trouble or need assistance with the swipe of your finger.

React Mobile_1

The React Mobil App even has a “Follow Me” feature and your family can follow you in real-time for those non-emergency situations where you may feel unsafe and just want to touch base with those you love. How reassuring is that? I can see this being very useful when you have teens in the house!

React Mobile_3

There is a “Settings” feature that allows you to post your alert message to Facebook or twitter, as well as a setting to choose which country you are in. The React Mobile App is currently only available in the USA and Canada.

React Mobile App_2

To learn more about the app, check out the video below:

React Mobile Personal Safety App from Robb on Vimeo.

You can also connect with React below:

React Mobile Web site: www.ReactMobile.com
Apple iTunes Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/react-standard-edition/id522851588?mt=8
Google Play Download (available on select smartphones): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.reactmobile.lite

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Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle iPad App Plus $50 iTunes Giveaway

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This is a featured review.


Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle iPad App Review

by Brande
 

 

Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle App
Dabby Dill woke up in a Pickle, she had the hiccups! Follow Dabby on her journey to find the remedy for these hiccups. This book app is recommended for kids 4 to 8 years old. This iPad app requires a 6.1 operating system or later.

There are 4 modes in the book app.

Story Mode – You have a narrator reading to you and you touch the arrow for the next page.

Read Along – You narrator will read to you again. However this time each word is underlined as the narrator reads, helping your child as they read & follow along.

Self-Read – Your child will read by themselves. Allowing your child the freedom to read at their own pace.

Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle_1

Play Game – Great memory game! Follow the hiccup pattern with Dabby and her 3 friends. It’s very similar to the game Simon.

Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle App_2

I found this book app very educational. My favorite is the read along. With the words underlined it really helps my daughter learn her words and vocabulary. I love each mode, this book app can grow with your child.

Click here to find Dabby Dill & The Pickle Hiccup in the iTunes store!


Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle App Giveaway Plus $50 Giveaway

by Theresa

Five of you have the opportunity to win an iTunes’s code to download Dabby Dill & The Hiccup Pickle iPad app for free, plus each of you will also receive a $10 iTunes e-gift card with the app code! Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My-Baby-Book App

FFR Featured Post

My-Baby-Book app is a cute little app to record all the necessary information from your pregnancy test, pregnancy through to your baby’s first 18 months of life. I think it would be a great tool since so often I would write down milestones on sticky notes to add to our baby book….once I got around to it. Then I would end up losing them or misplacing them. Whereas with the app I always have my phone on me and it would be easy to grab it and make the necessary notes in the My-Baby-Book app for milestones baby reached as they happened. Very handy and convenient. Busy moms, techie moms and moms trying to go digital will appreciate what this app has to offer by way of storing important dates, times, milestones etc.

The home page needs to be swiped to start the app and takes you to the cover of the My-Baby-Book app, which allows you to edit and personalize it with your baby’s name:

My Baby App_1

My Baby App_7

The next page is the table of contents. The main menu is a bear with building blocks…cutest menu I’ve seen yet! The main menu is located in the top left corner when not in use.

My Baby App_2

Here’s what Kim, mom of two, had to say about My-Baby-Book app:

What a useful app! I love that you can store all of your baby’s growth information on your phone or tablet so when you’re at the doctor it’s on hand and easy to update. My favorite is the baby’s firsts section. I’m always writing down on post-it’s when my daughter does something for the first time. The post-it notes have been piling up since I haven’t had time to dig out her baby book to write them in. Great features and super user friendly!

More of the Table of Contents:

My Baby App_3

There’s even a page for details about Mommy and Daddy:

My Baby App_4

A page for pregnancy notes:

My Baby App_5

Growth charts:

My Baby App_ 5

There are even pages for baby’s firsts and birthday details:

My Baby App_7

Overall, we think this app is very useful!! It can be found on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id780610409

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Chicco NaturalFit

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Chicco. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.”

Chicco is a brand name that I have come to trust and love. They sell a multitude of products designed with babies and parents in mind.  Their new line of bottles and pacifiers, Chicco NaturalFit, go above and beyond to keep babies happy.  Their advanced feeding and soothing system grow with your baby as your babies feeding style is constantly changing.

Chicco1

Their NaturalFit bottles come in three distinct nipple shapes. The first stage is Squeezing and the nipples are designed for newborns.  The nipple is actually angled so it is easier for a newborn to drink. Because of the way it’s positioned the nipple will always be full with milk so it is almost impossible for baby to swallow air. This is super important since babies swallowing air can lead to an upset tummy, which means the baby may be cranky.  I noticed the nipple is also very soft and flexible, similar to a breast. This makes it easier for moms who decide to breast and bottle feed. These nipples come in two flow categories, newborn and medium.

Chicco2

The second stage is Transition and the nipples are designed for babies around four months old.  The nipples are more upright since babies have better neck control. My favorite feature about this nipple is it has three different flow positions. One nipple can adjust to three different flows; slow, medium, and fast. This was amazing to me! When I have purchased bottles in the past I would have to be constantly buying new nipples to go with how my baby was eating. Sometimes I would even have one faster flowing nipple for lunchtime when she was super hungry, and then another slower nipple for bedtime when she was relaxing and just enjoying her nighttime bottle. Trying to keep track of all of the nipple flows was a pain in the butt! This nipple you simply place in the baby’s bouth with the flow number you want closest to baby’s chin. That’s it! It is way less nipples to keep track of, and very easy to use.

The third stage is Sucking and the nipples are designed for babies around six months old.  The tip is more elongated to encourage swallowing and to help with the muscle development. This nipple is available in fast flow and a Y-cut flow for introducting thicker liquids.  For my daughter, she is 9 months old, we used the fast flow. It seemed a little faster than what she’s been using, but she didn’t seem to mind.  She finished faster and had an easy time holding onto the bottle. She thinks she’s a big shot and likes to hold her own bottle on my lap.

Their NaturalFit orthodontic pacifiers are also great products. They are BPA free and Latex free. Their designed with soft silicone and they have tiny ridges and grooves at an angled shape. They come in a variety of colors and sizes based on how old your baby is.

Chicco3

Overall I was really impressed with Chicco NaturalFit. Their design and genius adjustable flow nipple are something I would highly recommend to my mommy friends.  These products are now available in store and online at buybuy BABY.  For more information on Chicco NaturalFit check out their website:

http://www.chiccousa.com/

 

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Kidoodle.tv – Dad Central

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I participated in a Blog Blast Program on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV.  I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

By Guest Dad Blogger Scott -

This is best thing next to sliced bread!  I love it!  My daughter loves it!  BONUS!  She loves watching Mario Brothers (I didn’t even know there was such a thing.)

Kidoodle.TV is age appropriate television viewing for your children, that you control.  When first setting it up you choose the age of your child/children.  The next screen will ask if you want to remove or add any addition programs.  Easy Right?

kid tv 2

Ok your child is ready to watch Kidoodle.TV.  You the parent will log on by entering your email address and password.  Then move onto the next screen, choose the child.  It asks how long you’d like to child to watch.  Once that time is up,Kidoodle.TV stops and says…

Kid tv 3 Kid TV 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidoodle.TV is on Facebook and  Twitter click here to follow them!

Even better there’s a free trial going on for December! Try it today! Did I mention if you sign up for a free trial by December 31, you have a chance to win 1 in 10 tablets or 1 in 10 Kidoodle.TV for a year!

Sign up today!

 

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