Bags, babies, beauty, and whatever else crosses my mind...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Updated Britax B-Ready Stroller review!

Here's our updated review and final review showing the Britax B-ready with the infant carseat on the bottom. We've now ordered the second toddler seat for the bottom, and will be installing it this week. So the next follow-up review I do on the B-ready will have the two toddler seats!

This shows updated wear & tear on the stroller, as well as how it has held up with over a year of use:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Girls' First Fire Alarm!

"*The floor! The floor! The floor is on fire...* no really, we need to come check your dance room to make sure the floor isn't on fire!"

So the girls got to experience their first (thankfully false) fire alarm the other day, however the end scenario was kind of funny... so I thought I would share!

I do Zumba classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the girls go to child care in the building while I'm at class as well. Monday seemed like a normal day, until 15 minutes before class was to be over - the building fire alarms started going off. The instructor went to turn off the music (because in Zumba we get LOUUUUUD) - and everyone started looking at each other to figure out what was going on, a few seconds later someone finally asked if we should go out in the hallway to figure out what was happening... and asking which exit door we should use.

At that point, my Mommy instincts kicked in and without turning around to respond to anyone I scooped up my things (conveniently placed next to the room door - I think I may subconsciously take this spot in the room for exactly this reason - I dunno??) and was the first person out of the classroom door running towards the stairs to get up to child care. I could hear the instructor behind me saying, "Well, I guess we're going that way." (LOL... also funny after the fact!)

I wasn't necessarily in a panic, but I was on high alert - because we didn't know what the situation was and whether it was a false alarm yet or if something was in fact going on in the building that we needed to evacuate from. I high-tailed it to child care, where a number of parents were also there getting their kids - and workers were trying to figure out how many arms they had available to carry children out whose parent hadn't gotten up there yet. I scooped up Cupcake, who I spotted right away and happened to be right near the half wall near the entrance to the child care room...

Then I realized that Peanut was still in one of the swings in the baby area! One of the workers behind the wall was going over to get her out right as I was coming into the room - and I pointed to Peanut as she pulled her out of the swing, letting the worker know she was mine & I would take Peanut as well to  free up her arms to gather up other children. All in all, it probably took less than 2 minutes to get up to the child care and get the girls out of the building... so I think that it went well as an alarm for preparedness.

I grabbed our stroller that was parked right outside of the child care - while holding both girls- and wobbly pushed everything & everyone outside, thankful for other kind gym members that were holding the exit doors open for people carrying children out.

We stood outside for a minute, I helped the girls get their jackets on and stowed them away in the stroller... after only a few minutes it was determined it was a false alarm and we could go back inside. After getting back into child care, I waited for a minute because I knew they would want to do a head count to make sure all of the kids were accounted for - and gauged the girls' reaction to the alarm... (The visual alarm system was still going off, but the noise part was silenced.) They both seemed fairly disinterested in the whole alarm thing and more preoccupied with getting back to playing with toys and/or getting back to their swing. So I re-signed them in and went back to class to finish up the end of class.

After being back in class for only a few minutes into the first song, maintenance arrived with a ladder and plunked it down in the middle of the room! (While we are still dancing.) He started fanning the fire alarm in the ceiling, and shook his head saying, "Yep." As he got down off of the ladder, he jokingly told the instructor to take it easy on us - because it was OUR ROOM that set the fire alarm off!

Apparently, a combination of the heat from the room and dust in the fire alarm vent had triggered the alarm and they had to get up there and clean it out during the class following ours. So I guess the Zumba ladies are so hot... we set the fire alarm off!

Hope you enjoyed our little anecdote from Monday... thanks to my hubby for telling me I should share - it is kind of a funny scenario for the girls' first fire alarm!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Playing a bit of catch up!

Well, things have been busy, busy, busy!! We've been swapping out cars, going to lessons, and getting things done around the house... all this has not left a lot of time for blogging unfortunately! I have continued to do videos for Stay at Home Mom September on my You Tube channel, beingmommywithstyle. I've also posted a few fun videos on Bags4Bubbles as well.

As a part of SAHM September, I have added additional videos on Finding Mommy Time & a Gymboree Clothing Haul!

On Bags4Bubbles, I've shared my new favorite item to collect... and a favorite makeup look.

I'm hoping things will get a bit more back to "normal" soon, as it seems like we've been so busy lately - I've hardly had time to even assess what we've been up to! I have been enjoying my additional Zumba classes at the gym and addtional activities for the girls.

In bag related news, I haven't had a wishlist for the longest time... and I think I finally have one forming! So as I think on it a bit more, I'll have to do an updated post, with what I *think* my wishlist for the future is going to be!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Independent Play Time - SAHM September

Independent play time is an important part of our schedule that we've worked on since the girls were around 6 months old. It starts in the play pen (or play yard) with a few toys and for a minimal amount of time - a great chance to clear out dishes from the sink or Swiffer the kitchen floor. Slowly the time amount builds and what started out as 10 or 15 minutes can grow to 30 minutes or even longer.

When they are younger, I found that I could be in an adjacent room where I could still see the play yard and my daughter would still play independently. This was important to me to not only let her gain the independence, but also get more comfortable with the idea myself. As she lengthened the time where she could play in the play yard, I could continue to add to chores that I could get done during the time that she was playing independently - and eventually it could even turn into a long enough period of time that you could get something essential done like take a shower.

For us, starting independent play time (IPT) early on really helped, because it eased the transition into the next phase of IPT once your child becomes a toddler... room time. Room time is a challenge all its own, as your child grows, they begin to explore their surroundings and want to expand their boundaries. Making sure their room is child proofed and a safe surrounding to have your toddler in for short periods of time independently is the foundation, once that is completed... you can begin your transition from IPT in the play yard, to independent play time in your child's room - or as we call it around our house, "room time".

Room time for us started early, before Cupcake's 2nd birthday actually... she was well adept at keeping herself entertained for up to a 45 minute period for IPT and was ready to drop her first nap. (When I had been taking my shower.) At this point, we decided to transition to toddler room time during her original first nap time and it has worked out great as far as time of day for us.

We started the transition over Christmas break while my husband was here to help with it. Once you begin the transition, it is like "starting all over again" - starting out with a short amount of time and slowly adding to it. We started out sitting in the room with her for the first week, then trialed room time for a short 5-10 minute period in the beginning - with one of us sitting outside of the door. That went well, so we slowly started adding to it and could move to other areas in the house on the second level. (Her baby monitor would be left on in the room of course, to hear the activity that was going on... and you could also use a video monitor during this time if you had one as well.)

Eventually, room time turned into the time on our schedule when Mommy was able to go take a shower, and also conveniently lines up with Peanut's morning nap time. (See my post on daily schedules for more about lining up a baby and toddler schedule together.

I'm very glad to have found out about the concept of independent play time and room time through our Babywise groups... these have worked out great for us and are an important part of our schedule each day. Do you do IPT or room time at your house?

Here's the link to the SAHM September video on Independent Play Time:

Friday, September 7, 2012

More SAHM September!

Stay at home mom September continues... with my thoughts on a weekly cleaning schedule and when to fit it in a day. What cleaning chores do you find yourself doing daily? And do you like to do certain cleaning chores on particular days of the week?

See the downloadable schedule HERE

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stay at Home Mom September!

I started a new video series on beingmommywithstyle called "Stay at Home Mom September" to address a number of SAHM issue videos that I had been thinking of doing for a while now! I'm excited for this new series, because I think it will be a great way to start dialogue on different SAHM issues and also help me develop on these topics as well.

Some ideas I'm planning on addressing in the series are SAHM cleaning routines, daytime schedules, independent play time, activities with babies & toddlers (at home or outside of the house), and more! Please let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like me to address during this September video series! I hope to have a new video posted every few days during the month of September, depending on what time allows me to film.

Here is the introduction video to the series, on SAHM daytime schedules around the house:

I've found that schedules really help us to stay focused and happy throughout the day. Both the kids and myself know what is coming up next in the schedule and it keeps our day moving.

Our sample schedule is posted here in Google Documents and you're welcome to peruse it, just please note back its origin to Mom's Got a Brand New Bag or beingmommywithstyle if you use it elsewhere... Thanks!