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4 Ways You Can Improve Your Dog’s Health

A dog is often a much-loved member of the family, which is why many people will want to protect their pet’s health as much as possible. However, many pet owners can make some big mistakes when caring for a canine companion. Ensure your pet lives a long and happy life and read the four ways to improve your dog’s health.

  1. Fruit & Vegetables

We all understand the importance of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Yet, we often do not consider the ingredients for dogs, despite the fact they are packed full of live enzymes that can improve your pet’s health.

Whole foods are full to the brim with fiber, which can aid digestion and bowel movements. They also offer many nutrients that will ensure your pet enjoys a happier, healthier body. It may also be beneficial to add puree vegetables to their bowl, as they offer maximum nutrient absorption, which can aid their teeth and gum maintenance.

  1. No Artificial Preservatives or Flavors

Many of us wouldn’t dream of eating foods filled with artificial preservatives or flavors, so why would you allow your pet to eat them? Avoid unhealthy processed foods and opt for healthy foods that are made from 100% meat, such as duck treats for dogs. Look for an option that is low in fat but high in protein, so they will have the energy they need each day without the weight gain.

  1. Regular Exercise

Physical activity is important to a dog’s general health. As well as improving their energy levels, it will also allow a pet to explore new surroundings and boost his or her happiness. The level of exercise your dog should enjoy every day will depend on his or her age, size, breed and current health. However, it is believed every dog should enjoy between 30 minutes to two hours of exercise each day. Pets that often need the most exercise include Labrador retrievers, collies, hounds and German shepherds.

  1. Do Not Overfeed Your Dog

It is essential you speak to a veterinarian about the amount of food a dog will need to lose, gain or maintain his or her weight. Stick to the vet’s recommendation and do not overfeed your dog. Also, if your pet is overweight, it’s often wise to feed him or her earlier in the day, so your dog has more time to work it off. However, you should feed your dog regularly throughout the day if he or she needs more calories in their diet.

It’s not a bad thing if a young dog is on the skinny side, as your canine companion may pile on the weight easily with age. Do not overfeed your dog to gain weight unless otherwise recommended by a veterinarian, as weight gain will happen naturally.

Do you have any top tips for caring for a dog’s health? We’d love to hear them. Please share your advice in the comment section below.

Family night with Beyblade Burst at Ovation Brands Restaurants!

A new announcement for the the Ovation Brands portfolio of restaurants – Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, Country Buffet – and Furr’s Fresh Buffet have rolled out a new Family Night promotion featuring the popular battle top game and animated series BEYBLADE BURST! Each Thursday, from June 8th through July 13th between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., kids may participate in different interactive and educational activities in Ovation Brands’ restaurants and Furr’s Fresh Buffet locations. We will even be hosting a BEYBLADE BURST tournament!

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The featured activities are as follows:

  • June 8 – In It to Spin It
  • June 15 – Bey. Launch. Burst.
  • June 22 – Trip to the World of Japan
  • June 29 – BEYBLADE Game Night
  • July 6 – Don’t Wake the Dragon
  • July 13 – Give It a Whirl

beyblade prize pack

One lucky Mommy Has A Life reader will win a special prize pack, which includes the following: one (1) BEYBLADE BURST Epic Rivals Battle Set, which includes 2 launchers, 2 tops and 1 beystadium, as well as four (4) free meal passes for you and your family to enjoy a meal at any of Ovation Brands’ locations.

How to enter:  I posted a fun Facebook Post for you to enter.  Play along to win :-)  Contest ends at 11:59 EST June 19th!

We received our prize pack and our boys have been begging us to open the Beyblade Battle Set.  We are moving, so I told them we aren’t opening any new toys until we are IN the new house, so they are (not so) patiently waiting so we can open ours and have fun with it!

Attaining Future Financial Freedom For Your Family

Everyone wants the best for their kids. You want them to go on and have the best possible job they can find. You want them to be able to enjoy their life freely; without having to work too hard. And, of course, you don’t want them to have to worry about money. Unfortunately, most people fail to secure these things for themselves; let alone their kids. So, to help you out, this post will be going through some of the best things you can do to ensure stress-free future finances for you and your kids. Now, you just have to do the legwork!

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You

It’s best to start a process like this by thinking about yourself. If you can’t afford to support yourself; you won’t be able to afford to support your child. In most cases, it’s best to do this sort of work before you have any children. This isn’t always possible, though. So, you may have to simply start as soon as possible. This section will be going through a couple of the areas that have to be considered before you start making provisions for your kids.

Most people’s finances aren’t exactly in the best shape. It’s getting harder and harder for people to save their money; thanks to lower incomes and higher prices in stores. But, if you can’t save your money; you won’t be able to do anything for your kids. So, you need to look at the improvements you can currently make. A lot of people don’t need to buy everything that they spend money on. Instead, they could use cheaper alternatives or nothing at all. The biggest industries that this applies to are cosmetics and technology; which are both unnecessary to life. Using websites like Experian can give you loads of great ideas to help you start working on your finances. And, they don’t cost a fortune to use. Along with this, you could also ask your bank for some advice.

Next, you need to be considering what life will be like when you leave work. Retirement has become a huge issue for a lot of countries. You’re very likely to retire much later than your parents did. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Most people earn enough to contribute to a decent private pension, to supplement whatever they have. To find out whether or not you need to improve this area, you need to do some work. Look at your current rate of pension investment, and use calculators to see what it could be worth when you retire. Most people find that they won’t have enough money to get by.

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The Kids

Once you have a better handle on your own money, you can start to consider what you want to do for your children. At this point, you have to establish a balance. Your child won’t need much money until they leave home. So, you shouldn’t be showering them with money while they grow up. Instead, you should teach them the value of money. And, give them ways to make sure that they don’t lose it.

It’s very beneficial to a young person to have some savings behind them, in the modern world. Nowadays, to rent a property, you need to have huge amounts of money to pay in fees and deposits. Of course, this won’t be impossible for them to pay. But, it really helps if they have the money in advance for their first time. Being able to buy a car as soon as they can drive is great, too. Along with a host of other benefits that come from savings. Your child should play an active part in their savings, too. Where you can, you should have them make deposits into their own account. This will start to teach them about savings, and why they are important. Just make sure that you are building some savings for yourself at the same time.

Investments are one of the best possible ways to give your child financial freedom in the future. And, there are loads of options that you can take advantage of. To start, you need to think about risk. All investments come with some degree of risk. Investments with higher risk will usually have a better return; but, ones with lower risk will have a lower return. At the start, you can afford to take some risks with your money. But, as time goes on and you make more to invest; you’ll want to start getting a little safer. One of the best investments to make for your children is a savings bond. This sort of investment is incredibly secure, while still offering a good return. A lot of the time, these options are government backed. This means that even if they do fall through; you still get your investment back.

One of the biggest and best investments to make for a child comes in the form of property. It’s getting increasingly difficult for young people to buy their own homes. But, for those who already have a home, it’s much easier. It’s likely that you have the finances to pay for a small mortgage if you’re able to make other investments. Finding property for sale is nice and easy, too. Most places have loads of businesses that specialise in this sort of trade. This sort of investment will give you child the freedom of living rent-free. And, once they’ve left the property; you can start to rent it out to other people. Whether you decide to give the property to the child or not; it’s still a great way to help them out.

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Good Money Tips

It can be hard to make sure that you have enough money to cover things like this. Most people don’t have huge amounts of money to put away for their children. So, you might have to employ some clever tactics to make this possible. A big part of this will come from the research that you do yourself. But, to help you out, this section will be covering some basic tips to help you out.

First, it’s time to consider budgeting. When you want to start budgeting your money, you have to be very hard on yourself. People with habits of overspending will find it very easy to slip into old habits, without the right work. So, your first budget should only include the absolute essentials. And, you should live this way for at least a month. After this period, you should have a good idea of how much money you have going spare. Most of this money should go into your savings. But, of course, you will deserve a treat after this time. So, it’s okay to spend a small portion of the money on yourself.

Saving can be greatly aided by simply taking the right approach. A lot of people see their savings as a money sink. It’s something that takes money each month, without giving any real benefits. But, what if you lost your job? Or, what if your child gets into a school overseas and can’t afford to get there? Issues like this can be made into nothing; if you have savings behind you. Being aware of how something can help you will give you a lot of motivation to keep working on it.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to start making some big changes to your finances. Being able to support your child into their adult life is a great gift. And, you can make a huge impact on their success through doing this. Ultimately, this is one of the best things a parent can do. So, if you want to give your child as much as you can; this is the way to do it.`

Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues fun at Ovation Brands Restaurants

Each Thursday, from April 20th through May 25th 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. Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues App encourages STEAM education and kids will be able to participate in activities featuring mystery, science, coding and sleuthing every Thursday night during the promotional period.

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The featured activities are as follows:

  • May 4 – A-MAZE-ING Detective!
  • May 11 – Invisible Ink & Ultimate Nancy Drew Journal Giveaway!
  • May 18 – Family Mystery!
  • May 25 – Code it with Robot Puppy!

This is a great opportunity to enjoy a FUN Family dinner with your kids at the Ovation Brands restaurants – Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, Country Buffet – and Furr’s Fresh Buffet!  We recently took our kids and they have been asking when will go back to “the place they can eat whatever they want”— So it is definitely a fun place to go.  :-)

I am giving away a Family 4 Pack of Passes to any Ovation Brands Restaurant AND a Nancy Drew Journal to ONE Lucky Mommy Has A Like Winner.  Please check out my Facebook Page for the official contest.  :-)

Nancy Drew Fan Journal with Text

Our super fun day at Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

What a fun day we had at Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo!  We packed up our cooler, packed up our kids, packed up the van and off we went at 7:30 AM to get to the zoo before 8:30 for a super fun day!  And just to clarify… there are 8 of us all together.  So 2 babies, 4 children, and 2 adults.

Welcome to the Zoo

We got there at 8:30 and they started letting people in shortly after that and we headed to Komodo Cafe for a Buffet Breakfast.  The breakfast food was DELICIOUS!  Pancakes, Sausage, Home Fries, fruit, orange juice, coffee… YUM.  The buffet was definitely nice and a GREAT start to our day.  (with full bellies!)

Crafts!  They had a few simple craft options for the little ones to do.  They could choose between a butterfly, an airplane, or coloring a paper egg.  These were all simple enough for the preschool aged children, but also fun for the school aged children.

cohen with the EB 2017

A visit with the Easter Bunny!  What was nice about this event is that you do need a special ticket to attend and they only sell so many.  So there was not a long line to visit the Easter Bunny and when we got up there I didn’t feel rushed like you do at the mall.  We have a few little ones that are afraid of costumed characters (and stuffed animals… Caleb…) so we needed the time to visit with Mr. Easter Bunny.

The Easter Egg Hunt.  This was the highlight for our gang.  Everyone talked about the Easter Egg Hunt ALL day.  First- how cool is it that the Egg Hunt takes place in the zoo, like where you walk to see the animals!  Second- the eggs were not filled with candy, instead the eggs were empty and you turned in the eggs for a goodie bag after the egg hunt.  There were two special Golden Eggs that you got an extra special prize with- I have no idea what that prize was since we did not find any Golden Eggs.  BUT- the goodie bags were very nice and included a cute stuffed animal along with some other small trinkets.  What was nice for this mom was that those stuffed animals doubled as souvenirs from the zoo.

After the egg hunt you had until 10:30 to visit with the Easter Bunny and then we were able to enjoy the Akron Zoo for the rest of the day and the kids had a ball!!

Day at the Akron Zoo

 

Would I recommend Breakfast with the Bunny?  YES!  This was a really fun day for our kids and I feel like everyone should experience a special event at the Akron Zoo at least once– or maybe even a yearly tradition!  This was the first time we had the opportunity to do something like this and I really felt it was worth the price tag (a big question I got when I was telling people that we were going).

Factors into the price:  #1- The breakfast buffet!  This an all you can eat, good quality meal.
#2 The Easter Activities- Visit with the bunny with virtually no line (umm- have you waited more than an hour at the mall– because that was us at Christmas time with Santa!), a personalized-no-rush visit with the bunny, a fun egg hunt IN the zoo, and a craft!
#3 The goodie bag had a stuffed animal so we saved money having to buy souvenirs for 6 kids.  (that is like $10 per kid right there!)
#4 Admission to the Zoo!
#5 – Free Parking too- and we got a close spot!

So yes- take your kids to check out Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo.  There is still ONE more day left for you go this year (April 15th), and if you can’t make it to that day, please be on the look out for this event for next year!

Easter Egg Hunts and Activities in the Mahoning Valley

Easter time is upon us and this is one of my favorite times of year to find fun (and usually free) community events to go to!

If you would like your event added to this page, please email me at mommyhasalife@gmail.com  

 

Friday, April 7, 2017

6-7 PM
Grace Chapel Community Church
4075 Lamor Rd, Hermitage, Pennsylvania 16148
Families bring your kids to our annual Easter Egg Hunt. This is a night filled with fun, surprises, and the story of Jesus resurrection
7:15 Family Movie night Trolls

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Starts at 8:30 AM Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

Easter Egg Hunt at Greenford Luthern Church
7450 W South Range Rd, Salem, OH
9AM-11 AM 
Children of all ages are welcome to join us for time of fun and fellowship while Easter Egg Hunting and sharing/learning about resurrection rolls.

The Grille 29
29 North Main Street in Hubbard, OH 
9AM-11 AM
We will be having a breakfast buffet and easter egg hunt on April 8th at 9:00am. 
The breakfast buffet will start at 9:00am 
Children 10 and under- $5
Adults-$8 
The easter egg hunt will be for children 10 and under.
Basket Raffle proceeds will be added to the Bunny Hop’s Hospice of the Valley donations

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8th Annual Wick Park Easter Egg Hunt & Pancake Breakfast
10 AM – 1 PM
260 Park Ave, Youngstown, Ohio 44504
The Wick Park Neighborhood Association (WPNA) with the support of councilmen Nate Pinkard and Julius Oliver, Ursuline High School, YSU Greek Organizations and the Youngstown Rotary will be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast in Wick Park on Youngstown’s north side for children ages 1 to 12 on Saturday, April 8th, 2017.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST: 10AM-1PM
Suggested donation: Adults $5, Kids $2.
EGG HUNT: 11AM – 1PM
*11AM: Crafts, coloring contest, science table, Easter bunny and face-painting will begin at 11AM
**NOON: The actual egg hunt will begin at noon and children will be grouped by age (1-2yo, 3-4yo, 5-7yo, 8-10yo) with staggered start times. Children ages 11-12 will be doing a scavenger hunt. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult. First 100 children registered will receive a goody bag.
***Bring your own basket/bag and dress for weather and MUD.** Rain boots are strongly suggested – event is rain or shine.

Austintown Bounce Bounce with the Bunny Eggstravaganza
$5 Admission
10-12 Egg Hunt, Visits with the Bunny, and Prizes, and of course Bouncing in the Inflatables.

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11:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt at Trinity Luthern Church in Niles, OH
Come and join the fun! We will have games, crafts, snacks, and of course – the hunt! With a prize for every hunter!

Crossroads Egg Hunt 2017
April 8th
1pm- 3pm
Austintown Park
6000 Kirk Rd
Canfield, Ohio 44406

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Starts at 8:30 AM Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

Thelma’s Sports Nook
285 E High Street Ext, Sharpsville, Pennsylvania 16150
4/9/17 1 PM- 3 PM
Come join us for our 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt this year! It will be held at The Pavilion from 1 until 3.
There are 3 different age groups:
Up to 4 years old
5 years to 9 years
10 years and up
The Easter Bunny will also be there with goodies and plenty of picture opportuinties!

Friday, April 14, 2017

10 AM-11 AM Easter Egg Hunt at Playground World
4400 Renaissance Parkway, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
Followed by open play for $6 per child

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Starts at 8:30 AM Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

10-11 AM @ Struthers Parkside Church
Free Easter Egg Hunt

1:00 @ Memorial Baptist Church
56 Water Street, Poland, Ohio 44514
Come join us on April 15th at 1:00 pm for our Easter egg hunt. Rain or shine we will be hiding eggs for all ages!

1:30-5:00 @ The Sand Hill Stable
4311 State Route 303, Mantua, Ohio 44255
Join us for the 4th annual Easter Egg Hunt! Egg Hunt is $5/child and pony rides are $3. The Easter bunny will be here starting at 1:30PM, egg hunt will begin at 2PM. Visit with the minis, donkeys, goats, pigs, & rabbit! Over 2000 eggs this year!

 

Check out Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo!

The Akron Zoo is one of our favorite places to visit every year!  This is one zoo that always has something fun going on and a lot of cool experiences to be had at this zoo.  When Colton was younger, we used to go to Story Safari, which was one really cool story time and they even brought in animals for a hands on experience, so when I have seen Breakfast with the Bunny in the past I REALLY wanted to go.

Well, this year I am over the moon excited that we are going to Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo!  This is an exclusive event that you must register for and buy a ticket for, so if you are thinking about it, DO NOT DELAY, from what I can tell, they will probably sell out.

Akron Zoo Breakfast with the Bunny

What exactly is Breakfast with the Bunny?

I am sure this is your first question.  You arrive at the zoo at 8:30 A.M. and there is an indoor area where they will have crafts, activities, visits with the Easter Bunny, and of course a breakfast buffet.  The egg hunt will take place outside, and it is an egg hunt with prizes!  After you are done with all the fun Breakfast with the Bunny activities you also have access to the zoo for the entire day, from 10 A.M. – 5 P.M..

What days will they be offering Breakfast with the Bunny?

How much does it cost for this super fun event?

Akron Zoo Members

  • Adults: $16
  • Child: $23

Non-members

  • Adults: $24
  • Child: $29

I feel like everyone needs to experience one of these events at least once in their childhood, so if you have been on the fence, take the plunge!  The Akron Zoo does a FABULOUS job with these special events and I know I am excited to take our family!

How do I register?

Go to the Akron Zoo’s Website  and click on the date that you would like to attend.  It will take you to a site where you can select your tickets, register and pay.  VERY EASY!

Akron Zoo Logo

Also, please check out Membership to the Akron Zoo.  This a great value for a whole year of fun for your family!  We did the Akron Zoo membership three years ago and it was worth every penny!  You get a lot of added bonuses and discounts (along with free admission and parking) all year!

Swaddle your baby with the Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean for a good night’s sleep (for both of you!)

One thing I love is when people notice that my natural parenting efforts actually work.  One thing I swear by is swaddling.  Cohen is 3 months old and sleeps very well when swaddled, and not so well when not swaddled.  His favorite (and my favorite) swaddle wrap is the Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean.

Look at this smile, you can tell he loves being swaddled in his Nested Bean Zen Swaddle:
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The Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean is different from any other swaddle wrap I have used in the past, and I have used many different blankets and wraps for swaddling with my other two babies.  The biggest difference is the Zen Swaddle has 3 lightly weighted sections that provide extra security, mimicking the mother’s touch.  One weighted section on the chest, and two on the sides.

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While the weighted portions are the most important feature to me at this point, I also like that one swaddle wrap can go from birth to 6 months.  There is a smaller pocket for newborns and smaller babies, and this wrap can be used swaddling arms in or out.  These two features eliminate buying a newborn and then bigger size swaddle, so you can use this for longer.  Sadly, by the time you baby is 6 months he probably won’t want to be swaddled any more since he will probably be gearing toward being mobile!  (I personally do not even want to think about Cohen being mobile- he is just fine being my chubby little baby!)

Swaddling your baby with the Nested Bean Zen Swaddle is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1.  Put your baby in the swaddle wrap.  If he is no longer a newborn, use the big pocket.  If he is a newborn, use the inner pocket and then fold up the extra fabric.  Cohen is about 3 months so I use the outer pouch.

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2. Put the weighted bean pouches on chest and under arms, and wrap baby’s right (your left) side around him.

3. Wrap the other side with velcro and secure velcro.

And you are done, you now have a little baby burrito :-)

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Cohen absolutely LOVES his Nested Bean Swaddle wrap, and I really love how soundly he sleeps when he is swaddled in it.

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Nested Bean is giving away a Zen Swaddle to one lucky Mommy Has A Life reader.  To enter, please use the rafflecopter for below.  Giveaway ends Friday, April 14th at 11:59 PM EST.
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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.

Colton

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.