Author Archives: mommyhasalife

6 Steps to Ensure Your Baby’s Good Oral Health

Kid at dentist

After the birth of your baby, you may be most focused on their eating habits and development. But to help your child obtain the ultimate oral health later in life, you need to begin their preventative care early on. The following are critical steps that will allow you to ensure good oral health for your child.

Begin to Clean Before You See Teeth

Your job as a parent is important and involves critical duties such as creating a healthy environment for your child to grow up in. To help start your child’s life off right, you want to gradually introduce oral care such as teeth cleaning before their pearly whites have begun to come in. Getting them used to dental hygiene by gently cleaning off their gums once they are done with feedings sets a good routine. Using a warm, damp cloth, wrap the material around your finger. They also make rubber devices that adhere onto your finger to use for wiping down excess milk and food.

Schedule an Exam

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Dental Association recommend a child gets their initial exam by the age of one. Family dentistry provides personalized care for both children and adults. Comprehensive exams detect if your child has tooth decay or cavities. Your family dentist will also be able to determine if your child needs braces or other devices such as a mouth guard as their mouth grows and develops. When you take excellent care of your child’s teeth when they’re young, you’ll form good habits for the coming years.

Take Extra Care

Some parents think that a child’s baby teeth are unimportant because they aren’t their permanent set. But a child’s primary set are critical as they reserve space for the final set to come in. Baby teeth also help her child talk and eat food as they grow. If they’re not properly looked after, your tiny tot could be prone to gingivitis, tooth decay and infections.

Be on the Lookout

Signs your child may have a cavity includes pain, discomfort and tooth discoloration. You can do your part to reduce your child’s chances of cavities by skipping bottle feeding when they go to bed. Juice is another contributing factor to cavities as the liquid contains high volumes of sugar. Plan on filling your infant’s bottle with water, formula or breast milk.

Practice After Meal Hygiene

If you’re looking to clean your child’s mouth after liquid meals, offer your baby a bottle or cup of water to drink. This method helps formula and milk wash away easily. As your child becomes used to the motions of a toothbrush, gently clean any residue off their teeth and gums. This is especially important as you introduce solid foods to your baby.

Introducing Toothpaste

At the age of two, you’ll probably be ready to introduce a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to your child’s brushing regimen. Start with a small amount and guide them to brush at least twice per day. This should be done in the morning when they clean their face and at the end of the day when you’re getting ready for bed. To encourage this daily ritual and make it fun, let your child choose their favorite flavored toothpaste. You’ll also find brushes that come in their favorite animated character. You can also practice oral habits together as a family. This allows your child the chance to stay on task and learn the proper brushing technique from an experienced adult. If you’re unsure, enlist the help of your dental care provider.

With your baby’s teeth soon making an appearance, it’s time to help them chart a course to the best oral health care. Although the initial set of baby teeth are in for just a short period of time before the tooth fairy collects them, staying on track with the above tips prepares them for when their permanent teeth come in for good.

Mark and I took his daughter to see Beauty and the Beast yesterday.  Even after all the talk about how one of the actors is gay, I honestly did not even notice this in the film- or maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention.  But even so- it is everywhere and in 2017, we are used to seeing it- it does not phase us at all.  Over the last 20 years being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Trans has become normal.  It is in every Netflix Series I have watched, most reality TV show, movies– oh and of course real life.  Something that was once so private, is now very public, something that did not seem so common is now everywhere.

Okay– times have changed and quality of life has improved for members of that community because we are normalizing this.

So why is it when I am watching these same shows they are bottle feeding.  Why is it something that EVERY woman’s body was made to do since the beginning of time is something that is still considered to so many something that should be done in private, gross, or not normal.  The fact that as a nursing mom- asking to use a fitting room when I was at Neiman Marcus two years ago to nurse Caleb (in fear that if I did nurse in public I would offend OTHER PEOPLE) – was referred to the BATHROOM— (Don’t worry– I did not accept that offer– it was fitting room or I would rejoin my family for lunch and just nurse him at the table (like I should have to begin with- but again… so much fear of offending other people).

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BREASTS ARE TO FEED BABIES.  THIS is why God gave women boobs… When they are feeding babies, they are not sexual.  Legally, I am allowed to feed my baby anywhere that my baby and I are allowed to be WITHOUT A COVER.  (By the way have you every tried using one of those covers… it is hot… and half the time baby is pulling the blanket off anyway.  (I have a scarf cover I got from the big latch on last year that I keep to use just in case I am in a situation that I need to feed my baby, and don’t feel comfortable nursing without a cover and trust me I have those moments.)

But the truth is… I shouldn’t feel this way.  As a nursing mom trying to provide the best start in life to my baby as possible, I shouldn’t have to feel awkward, or embarrassed (or like I am going to embarrass my son who is 7 and of course has friends and I don’t think any of his friends know what breastfeeding is, so if his friends are over, I go to another room to feed the baby– and same at cub scouts).  If we worked together to NORMALIZE BREASTFEEDING children would grow up knowing what breastfeeding is, knowing that they were breastfed, everyone would be used to seeing mothers feed their babies, so that when I am at the play area at the mall I wouldn’t get glares from the other side (I mean come on– play area at the mall– we are all moms here… why are you glaring out me as I am nursing my two month old.)

And this is just it- people are so thrown off by seeing moms breastfeed because you do not see it every day.  Breastfeeding is NOT normalized in the United States.  

We need to change this WE NEED TO NORMALIZE BREASTFEEDING.  We need to make people used to seeing it.  WE NEED TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT BREASTFEEDING IS NORMAL (and what it is… because a 10 year old asking why I am feeing the baby from my stomach- should not be something that is asked because by 10, I would think they would know).  Boys and Girls both need to know what breastfeeding is because breastfeeding is a normal fact of life.  Then girls will understand the importance of it and boys will grow up to be supportive father’s when their wives decide to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding baby

What about the first time mom that chooses to breastfeed, NORMALIZE BREASTFEEDING so she will be so used to other mothers also breastfeeding that she won’t feel embarrassed when she is out of the house and needs to feed her baby.  I was this mom- especially with Colton and in the beginning with Caleb- trying to find somewhere to hide to feed them– I have so many stories of this… including being SO thankful for the Baby Care Station at the Canfield Fair because poor Colton was so hungry and I was so afraid to nurse him and of course forgot a blanket– it was like 100 degrees.. why would I need one other than to cover and SWEAT while I fed my baby.  OH or how about when my own husband (now ex husband) embarrassed me when we were at Bob Evans with his family and my friend, and Colton was hungry so I was feeding him WITH A COVER when told me I needed to go to the bathroom to feed him.  I was so embarrassed I bundled up my hungry baby and went out to the FREEZING car so I could feed him.  I am still thankful for my friend that stood up for me that day.

So this is my challenge to you.  In our country we are normalizing so many things in this generation, let’s work together to normalize breastfeeding (again- let me remind you before formula this was how women fed their babies).  I would love to see breastfeeding on television shows and in movies, if a baby is eating- make him/her breastfed and TALK ABOUT BREASTFEEDING in the show positively!  If you are a nursing mother, stop being afraid to breastfeed in public.  If you are a nursing mother and you see a young mom nursing, stop and sit with her and breastfeed too- I know it sounds weird, but for me- I feel much more comfortable nursing in a situation that there are other moms also nursing.  If you are a parent, teach your children WHAT BREASTFEEDING IS and that it is a natural part of the functions for a woman and the healthiest way to feed a baby.  If you are a teacher, especially a sex education, parenting, or health teacher, please teach about breastfeeding in your class– this shouldn’t be a secret or something to be ashamed about.

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ALSO- My Challenge to you.  Is to normalize leaving baby boys intact (in most states in the US)- we need to stop cutting off vital parts of penises for no reason at all.  God made every baby perfect, there is no reason to alter any part of a healthy baby’s body without his (or her) permission (and I am pretty sure a newborn can not talk and tell you to cut off a functioning, healthy part of their penis just because you feel like that is the way it should be.)  (And I have SO much more I could add to this, but that is all for another blog post).  Go to Your Whole Baby or Saving Sons to get more information on circumcision.  

Enjoy a Family Night out at with Ovation Brands and GSN’s IDIOTEST! #Giveaway

Gather up your kiddos and plan a fun family night out to dinner at one the Ovation Brands restaurants – Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, Country Buffet – and Furr’s Fresh Buffet!

Each Thursday, from March 2nd through April 6th between 5 pm and 8 pm, kids may participate in different interactive and educational activities in Ovation Brands’ restaurants and Furr’s Fresh Buffet locations.The featured activities are as follows:●      March 2 – Brain Games

●      March 9 – Trivia Time!

●      March 16 – Game Show Night

●      March 23 – Kidiotest!

●      March 30 – Act it out!

●      April 6 – Spin to Win!

This is some added fun for your family while they enjoy a delicious meal.
Idiotest_Prize PackOh and I am going to be giving away ONE Family Prize pack that will include:  one (1) pair of Idiotest Glasses, one (1) Idiotest stylus bracelet, one (1) Idiotest stress brain and four (4) free meal passes for you and your family to enjoy a meal at any of Ovation Brands’ locations.
This giveaway is happening on my Facebook Page, so GO HERE to Enter!

This House Is Not A Home

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Any single mom knows the struggle of trying to provide for a family. It’s not easy when you’re the only breadwinner in your house. Most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. But, that doesn’t lessen the struggle. Living on a budget is always tough, but never more so than when it comes to the home. Not only do you have to take care of the place, but the bills and mortgage payments fall to you alone. That can often mean that you end in a home that’s far from ideal. If you’re trying to cope in a property that’s far from your dreams, it’s time to see the silver lining. Any house can become a home with a little tender loving care. And that’s one thing you have by the bucket load!

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MAKE YOUR MARK


A lot of the time, a house can fail to feel like home because you’ve yet to put your mark on it. Yes, some houses capture our hearts on first viewing. A lot of the time, though, that’s a matter of furniture and decor, rather than an effect of the house itself. Remember that houses are just bricks and mortar. The heart comes from what you fill it with! So, get to work putting your mark on your home as soon as possible. Include your little ones in this. They are, of course, the central part of your heart. So, sit down and get crafting with them. Let them paint pictures and hang them on the walls. Hang photographs, too, to give the place a more comforting feel! It can also help to buy furniture you love. Any room can look fantastic if you pick the right pieces. As you build your collection, you’ll see that the empty shell you found it hard to love is starting to come together.

THERE’S ALWAYS RENOVATION

If your problem is with layout rather than aesthetic, consider renovation. This is still going to cost, but it should be a lot cheaper than buying a larger house. And, remember that you don’t have to do the work straight away. You could save up for the project and get it done later down the line. When the time comes, turn to a company like The Renovation Company. Most renovation companies aim to work fast, so you won’t have to worry about work taking place for too long. You’ll be able to work with the professionals to achieve a home you love.

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A LIVED IN HOME IS A HAPPY ONE

If you’ve just moved in, don’t despair. The same as making your mark, living in a home gives it heart. Before you have any memories there, your home will be an empty shell to you. But, the more time you spend there, the more it will feel like an extension of your family. Make an effort to spend quality time at home, especially to start with. Your family is what will transfer those cold rooms into warm havens of comfort!

Tips To Help Pack For Young Kids on a Summer Vacation

When you are planning your summer vacation, there are a few different things to think about. First of all, you need to choose your destination. From there, you’ll choose the accommodation, travel and things like insurance. But when you get closer to the time, you need to think about packing for your trip. When you’ve got kids, it can take a little more planning too. But packing as light as possible is always a good idea. You don’t want to bring back clothes that haven’t even been worn, but you’ve had to carry them around the whole time. You also might want to save space for new things like souvenirs and all important snacks. So here are my tips for packing for a trip with young kids.

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Write a List

It helps to write a list for each person on the trip. So in my case, I write out a list of the things that I will need, and then for my son. It helps knowing a rough itinerary by now too. Then you plan accordingly. If you’re going to be at the beach every day, then a couple of bathing suits is a good idea. If you will only visit once, then one will be enough. So check what you plan to do when you are away. Then write down what each of you will need to pack.

Check Your Accommodation

For a summer vacation, there are a few different things that you might need. Think about towels and beach bags, for example. But do you need to pack them? If you check at your hotel or accommodation, it will normally let you know if there are pool towels or beach towels that you can use. If it doesn’t state it, then it is best to pack a few just in case.

Pack To Be Sun Safe

It is a no-brainer that you need to pack the things that you’ll need to be safe in the sun. So think sunscreen, sunglasses, and sunhats. It is worth getting a new sunhat each year as it needs to fit our kids properly, otherwise, they just won’t wear them. Somewhere like the Dolce Gabbana Kids summer range has a few different styles that would work for little ones (as well as for yourself if you’re feeling fancy).

Pack into Ziplock Bags

If you’ve got little ones that do like to dress themselves then it can be a good idea to pack clothes into ziplock bags. You can write on them what they are for or what day they should be worn. It makes unpacking at the other end much easier, as well as keeping things neat and organized. It is a great way to track what you are taking as you can cross things off you list as you pack them away in a ziplock bag.

I hope that you found these tips useful. It is always a good idea to take extra time to think about your packing with young kids. It makes it easier and much less stressful.

Replace These Things Before It Gets Serious

We all rely on certain things in life, whether it’s an appliance to help us live a better quality of life, or our mode of transport that gets us from A-B. These are the things you should replace before it gets serious:

Your Car
If you have a family, then making sure the vehicle you take them from A-B in is as safe as possible is crucial. When was the last time you checked the oil, water, and other important factors? Making sure you keep an eye on these things, and that you drive carefully will keep it running smoothly.

Your Mattress
When your mattress gets old, it can stop giving you the support that you really need as you sleep. When you don’t get the support and quality of sleep you really need, this can affect your life. If you’re waking up feeling less than great in the morning, this could be the reason why.

Your Water Filter
Having a water filter is pretty important, assuming you don’t want to drink fluoride and chlorine. Fluoride is associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. If you don’t change your filter often enough, you’ll end up drinking water that’s dirtier than the water being filtered in the first place.

Your HVAC
The air quality of your home is absolutely crucial, so you must know when to replace it. The following infographic can help you to figure out when it needs to be replaced.


Infographic By Home Comfort USA

Freeze! Are You Storing Food Properly?

Most of us rely on our refrigerators and freezers to preserve food and keep it fresh. If you don’t store food safely, it can be damaging to your health. Here are some simple tips to enable you to get the best out of your groceries, and prevent unwanted illnesses.

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Checking the temperature

It’s really important that your refrigerator and freezer are set at the right temperature to keep your food fresh. The temperature in the fridge should be lower than 5 degrees while the freezer should be set at around -17 degrees. If the fridge or freezer are too warm, they won’t do their job properly. If you keep having to adjust the temperature, or the thermometer reading seems to change on a regular basis, this may indicate a fault, and it’s wise to get your appliances checked out by a company like City Appliance Repair. Some units have built-in thermometers. If your’s doesn’t, and you want to check the temperature, you can use a normal thermometer.

Which foods to refrigerate and freeze

You can’t freeze everything, so always check the labels before you put anything in the freezer. You should be able to spot small badges that give you advice. In most cases, if you can freeze the food, you should do it as soon after purchase as possible. If you’ve bought something, and it has passed its use by date, don’t then put it in the freezer. Use by dates are only guidelines, but they are there for your safety, and you should only freeze items before the use-by date. You can freeze foods and then defrost them after the use-by date. There are lots of different types of foods you can store in the refrigerator, including fruit and vegetables, dairy products, cooked and raw meat, fish, and eggs.

Organizing your refrigerator

It’s wise to use the different compartments of your refrigerator for different types of food. Keep meat, poultry, and fish in sealed containers at the bottom of the refrigerator, and separate them from dairy products and cooked meat. Many of us keep bottles of milk in the fridge door, but they’re actually best stored on the shelves towards the bottom, as temperatures tend to be coolest here.

Defrosting food

If you decide you want a chicken breast or some fish cakes for dinner, and they’re in the freezer, simply remove them and leave them to defrost at room temperature. It is possible to cook some foods from frozen, but you should always defrost meat thoroughly. When you’re cooking meat and fish, ensure that it’s cooked through before serving.

The way you cook your food is really important, but don’t turn a blind eye to storage. Always check best before and use by dates, and avoid eating anything that is passed its best. You can freeze most foods, but check the labels before you do. Make sure your appliances are working properly. If there’s a fault, or you’re worried that something isn’t quite right, seek advice. If you cook food that hasn’t been stored safely, there is a risk of food poisoning.

Our visit to Castaway Bay in Sandusky Ohio

My family got the opportunity to visit Cedar Point’s Indoor Water Park: Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio last weekend.  We definitely had a ball.  The two older boys kept saying over and over again about how much fun they were having and that really made this mom happy- and when they say it without you asking about it, you know they are having a great time.

First- I have to say the room set up was AWESOME.  We stayed in a Tarpon Suite, I think it was a Bay View because we had a view of the water and that was really nice, especially since the weather was kind of nice so we did enjoy sitting on the balcony a bit.  The best part about the Tarpon Suite is that it has a King Sized bed and then a separate room for the kiddos with 4 bunk beds.  This gave mom and dad a bit of privacy and the kids not only had their own area for play and relaxing, but also their own beds.  So no fighting over bed sharing!!

Castaway Bay Tarpon Suite

Like any family, we quickly unpacked and got into our suites and headed down to the water park.  The kids were excited, parents are excited, and we were ready to go!  The Indoor Water Park is just what we needed during these cold winter months (which actually aren’t THAT cold this year- but still not hot enough that we are enjoying any type of outdoor swimming in Ohio).  It is 80 degrees in the water park, so you have that warm tropical weather and it is nice and warm when going between activities in your wet swimsuit.

There are a variety of activities for all ages too!  The littlest ones and I spent most of our time in the Toddler Tidepool, which is complete with three small slides, and a few other splashing activities for the little ones.  Caleb really enjoyed the slides!!  Things we all enjoyed were the Creature Cove (has basketball hoops, and floating snakes and other creatures to play on), the Wave Pool, and Lookout Lagoon’s Family Funhouse.

Castaway Bay Water Park

The older kids enjoyed the slides!  That is what they spent most of their days doing, going up and down the slides!  There is one cool raft slide that is either one or two person, a set of 3 speed slides, and some other fun slides that are on the Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse.  They also said they liked going in the hot tub, which would be the Grotto.

So the waterpark itself got two thumbs up from the kids and the parents.  BUT Castaway Bay offers other things to do as well, so if you get tired of the water and need a break there are other options.  Club Castaway has crafts offered from 10-2 every day.  And at night they have a dance party and a movie followed by a meet and greet with Snoopy!

My kiddos got to color shirts during our stay in Club Castaway and while they were doing that I chatted with the team member on duty and she told me that they have more activities on Saturdays, where they have a movie playing and the kids can make their own trail mix.  Our stay was a Sunday to Monday, and we did not make it to Club Castaway until Monday morning and they did have a movie playing during the craft when we were there.

 

There are also a variety of restaurants.  We ate at Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner (Tip: Ask to sit at the worst table to get 10% off your total bill!), and got snacks and lunch at Big Daddy’s Snack Shack that is inside the water park.  There is also Mango Mike’s, which is a breakfast buffet, and Ebb and Eddy’s which has coffee, quick breakfast items and lunch (we got Starbuck’s Coffee here in the morning).  There is also an upscale dining restaurant available at Bay Harbor and of course Room Service as well.

 

We also hit up the arcade just before we left on Monday- and honestly had the waterpark and arcade been open longer, we would have stayed longer!!  But we promised the boys that we would do the arcade so we stopped in.  Colton was super excited because I was able to win him an Ocalot (Minecraft) stuffed toy from one of the machines.  (Super Cool Mom Points for me!)

Oh- if you aren’t signed up for Castaway Bay Birthday Club, you definitely need to sign your kids up.  Caleb’s birthday is coming up, so he got to redeem his Birthday Coupon while we were there and it included: A Free slice of Pizza from Big Daddy’s Snack Shack, 16 Free Game credits at the Arcade, and a free craft at Club Castaway.  If you aren’t staying the night, you can redeem the Birthday Club certificate for a free day pass to the water park!

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Castaway Bay is a great resort to get in a bit of a mini vacation close to home.  We definitely needed a little getaway and the smiles on the boys’ faces tells me they had a blast too!  They often run specials, and I have seen special rates on Groupon too, so if you need a deal to be able to go, check out their site and keep an out out on Groupon to get the best rate for a mini vacation for your family!

Thank you to Cedar Point and Castaway Bay for hosting our family, so I can share this experience on Mommy Has A Life

Create a Family Friendly Kitchen

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The kitchen is the hub of a family home. It’s the place where everyone gathers to cook, eat, laugh and love, so it is important that you create a family friendly kitchen that everyone can enjoy. Here are some great ideas to help you do just that:

Install Textured Flooring

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The kitchen and bathroom are two places where there is a good chance of slips and falls due to wet flooring. Although you can never completely get rid of the danger, you can make a slip-based accident much less likely by installing textured floor tiles, which offer an extra level of grip.

Curved Countertops

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If you are planning on remodelling your kitchen anytime soon, you might want to think about replacing your boxy kitchen islands and workspaces with curved ones.  By doing so, you will remove many of the sharp edges in the kitchen, so you won’t have to worry quite so much when the kids are running riot in the kitchen.

Add an Island

If you don’t already have one, and you have the space, adding a large kitchen island is a great way to bring the family together. You can be prepping veggies for the dinner as the kids sit around the island doing their homework and your partner works on their taxes, all in the one space.

Keep Dangerous Appliances Out of the Reach of Children

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There are lots of kitchen appliances that make life in the kitchen so much easier for us all. Things like sharp chef’s knives and high-speed blenders take the time and hard work out of cooking, but if you have small children, they could also pose a threat, which is why you should plan for plenty of high cupboards space or installs shelves well out of the reach of little hands.

Install a Whiteboard

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Installing a wipeable whiteboard, or even a classic blackboard with chalk, in the kitchen is a great way to keep the whole family organised. Use it to write shopping lists, dental appointment, homework and even recipes, and you’ll all know exactly what is going on from day to day.

The Kitchen Sink

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If you have a large family or you often have lots of guests over, check out some of the larger kitchen sinks available. Installing a large kitchen sink will stop your dishes from overflowing and creeping on to the counter when you’ve just made a big meal, and you’re not quite ready to clean up.

Add Entertainment

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If you want to encourage all members of your family to spend more time with you in the kitchen, you may want to think about installing a few sources of entertainment to keep everyone happy. You could mount a small kitchen TV on the wall to keep you company while you cook and entertain the kids before family meal time, or you could install a wireless sound system that will let you stream your favourite songs in the kitchen. Of course, you could go quite low-tech and simply bring a radio into the kitchen, but that’s less likely to convince the kids!

We are going to Castaway Bay! Oh and YOU CAN TOO!! #Giveaway

The one thing I love most as a parent is doing fun things with my family.  I feel like that is the great reward after all the work I put in as a mom on the day to day.  Next week we are making the trip to Sandusky, OH to enjoy the tropical paradise at Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark and Resort.

Please follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, I will be using #CastawayBay2017

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Guess what?  YOU can go too!  First- Castaway Bay has incredible deals starting at  $99 per night.  And that includes Water park admission for four guests!  BUT I am also giving away one four pack of day passes to Castaway Bay on my Facebook Page: Mommy Has A Life.

Go to THIS POST on my Facebook Page.  And Like, Comment and Share to be entered!

Good Luck!!