Friday, April 29, 2011

The Good The Bad and The Ugly When Returning to Work


The Good The Bad and The Ugly When Returning to Work

(Sorry this is a long one!)

As many of you know, I was laid off from my job in July 2010.  A job that I held for ten years. 

With the economy the way it is, summer turned to winter and winter turned to spring without much luck on the job front.  Not for lack of trying, I put out applications and resumes left and right.


Almost nine months after my last day with my prior employer, I applied for a position with a great company extremely close to my house (BONUS!) and while they had already begun the final selection phase for that spot, they had another slot opening up in the HR department so I went for it.

I interviewed on a Thursday morning, had a second interview Friday afternoon where I was offered the position.  The boss wanted me to start the following Monday but I had to make daycare arrangements and the company required that I pass a background check prior to starting so I started Wednesday. 

Over the weekend I visited the daycare center that she would be starting at (this is her first center experience, until now she was in home care or home with me).  She loved it, she clicked right away with the other kids and I had to practically drag her away from playing after our visit. I thought that interaction with more children would be beneficial for her so I set it up that three days a week (M,W,F) she would go to the center and Tuesday/Thursday she would go to her friend's house.

For the first few days (Wednesday-Friday) I decided she should go to her BFF's house (they used to watch her full time when I worked before).  I thought it would help with the transition from being home with mommy all day to being at daycare all day. 

Monday was her first full day at the center.  I dropped her off, she was happy as can be and barley acknowledged me when I said good bye.  When I went to pick her up she couldn't stop talking about how great the day was. 

The next day she went to her friend's house, all was normal.

Wednesday when we left the house, all seemed fine.  We talked about playing at school and everything seemed great.  That was until I tried to put her down so I could leave.  She clung desperately to my neck crying for me not to leave.  Begging me to take her with me. By the time I left we were both in tears.  I called to check on her at lunch and was told that she only cried for a little bit after I left and was fine and happy the rest of the day.  She was ecstatic to see my husband and myself and told us about her day on the way home.

Whew!  That transition not so bad.  Smooth Sailing from her out, Right?

Thursday she went to her friend's with very little fuss.  Only one, "Mommy stay" before running off and playing.

We talked about going to school all Thursday evening and she seemed happy and talked about her new friend so I thought we were past the trouble and I was thrilled that I only had one day of bad transition.

I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG!



I felt terrible, was emotionally exhausted and wanted to break down in tears but I knew that I could not let her win this one.  I wanted nothing more than to scoop her up, take her home and tell my new employer that I just couldn't do it but I knew that this job was the best thing for my family and hoped that eventually she would adjust and love it there as much as she did the first day.

I guess we will see how Monday goes.  Maybe today was the worst of it.  If not, I might have to make my husband take her, I am not sure how much longer I can stay strong and leave her there crying.

So what is the Good the Bay and the Ugly when returning to work?

The Good = Getting a job and contributing financially to the family again
The Bad = Not getting to spend all day with my wonderful daughter
The Ugly = Horrible separation tantrums every day when I take her to day care.  I hope this gets better, it is tearing me up and I am not sure how much more I can take it before the guilt eats me up and I quit working!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to Survive Long Journeys with Kids


 How to Survive Long Journeys with Kids
 By Amy Greenacre

Do you dread going on long car journeys with the kids? Have you ever felt like turning back home only minutes into the drive? Well do not fear.

Long trips with the little ones can be (to put it nicely) interesting, however, here are 10 things you can do to make travel time a little bit more bearable.

1. Bring a Collection of CDs
Before you set off, make sure you load the car with a selection of your children's favourite CDs. Singing along to an array of nursery rhymes and fun tunes is a great way to ease boredom and keep the kids entertained. Ok, so you may have Ba Ba Black Sheep or Humpty Dumpty in your head throughout the rest of your trip, but that has to be better than tears and tantrums.

2. Personal Devices
If you have children of different ages who literally hate any of the same music, why not let them bring along their iPods, personal CD players, or games devices for entertainment? This will save inevitable arguments and will mean you can listen to whatever you want along the way. If you are worried the technology will ruin family time, you can always agree that the devices are only for the duration of the car journey and give them back for the way home.

3. Travel Games
There are a whole range of fun and silly games you can play in the car that require very little thought and preparation. For instance, why not create a list of things your children should see en route and get them to tick them off along the way? Tell them the first person to see everything gets a prize and hopefully they will be so busy looking for red vans and blue motorbikes they won't notice the time passing by.

4. Puppets
If you have young children, then it would be a really good idea to buy a few puppets for the journey. If you get stuck in a long traffic jam then whip out your cheerful friends and put on a show over the front seats. The kids will only get miserable if they are bored, so think up your best story, put on your best voices and get performing — you might want to practice beforehand, just in case.

5. Goody Bags
The week before your trip gather up a selection of magazines, colouring books, felt tip pens, puzzles and toys and create a little goody bag for each of your kids. Place them in the car the night before your adventure and in the morning see the surprise on their faces as they climb on board. Start their road trip in style and give them something to enjoy along the way.

6. Pack Snacks
It may sound simple, but packing a whole selection of snacks really is a great idea. Take things that won't turn to mush, dry out, or melt in the car such as sandwiches and fruit and enjoy a little picnic en route. Feed your children something small every 30 minutes and they will be so busy nibbling they won't notice the time flying past. Having plenty of grub will ease everyone's hunger and will hopefully keep people in a friendly mood.

7. Comfortable Clothes
If you are heading off on a long journey, make sure you dress your kids in comfortable clothes. Belts, buckles and buttons digging into their skin will only make them irritable and a fidgety child is not what you want on the road. Anything soft and cosy is ideal and you can always get them changed into something more stylish when you reach your destination.

8. Duvet and Pillows
Bringing a duvet and a few pillows along for the journey is a great way to help your kids feel snuggly and settled in the back of the car. Although they may not actually sleep (one can only dream), they should feel more relaxed and content with a few home comforts around them. Cars are not the most comfy places, so anything you can do to help is a bonus.

9. Take a Break
Drivers are encouraged to take regular breaks when driving long distances, so make sure you stay alert by pulling over now and again. With kids you may need regular loo breaks anyway, but these are a great chance to let everyone stretch their legs, top up on snacks and come back into the car feeling refreshed for the next leg.

10. Travel at Night
If you really do have a long way to travel with little ones, it is often best to travel at night. The roads are a lot quieter and usually you can get from A to B without worrying about excessive traffic or horrible traffic jams. A great tip is to dress your youngsters in their pyjamas before you set off. That way, they will feel comfortable and if they do nod off, you can simply lift them out of the back seat straight into their beds.

So there you have it, ten ways to make a long journey just that little bit easier when travelling with children. Pack a few home comforts, stock up on goodies and enjoy a great break away.

Make the most of quality time with your kids with a stay at chessington world of adventures hotel - enjoy the zoo and the theme park too.


**Disclaimer: this post was not written by Over Thirty Mommy, it is a guest post written by Amy Greenacre** 

Kiddieland Trike and Scooter Recalls


Kiddieland Trike and Scooter Recalls


Kiddieland Disney Princess Plastic Trikes Recalled Due to Laceration Hazard 
 The plastic castle display and the princess figures protruding from the top of the handle bar pose a laceration hazard if a child falls on it.

This recall involves the Disney Princess Plastic Racing Trikes. The trikes are pink and fuchsia with a purple seat and wheels. On top of the handlebar, there is a rotating castle display surrounded by three princess figures. "Disney Princess" is printed on the label in front of the trike just below the handlebar.

Full recall details: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11205.html

Kiddieland Children's Scooters Recalled Due to Laceration Hazard

A child’s finger can get caught in the hinge mechanism between the steering column and the platform, posing a laceration hazard.

This recall involves three models of Kiddieland “Lights and Sounds” three-wheeled scooters including a red Spiderman, a blue Thomas & Friends™ and a pink girl’s scooter. The scooters have buttons on the handle that play music and sounds. “Kiddieland” is molded on the back of the steering mechanism. Spiderman or Thomas & Friends™ are found on the steering mechanism and platform. The girl’s model has butterflies on the platform.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit Review


Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit Review


Everyone knows the saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" but did you know that almost 60% of U.S. parents of children ages 3-17 admit that their child skips breakfast and 58% of U.S. moms say they skip breakfast regularly. 

What is the #1 excuse for people skipping the most important meal of the day? Not enough time for preparation!

That excuse is not going to work anymore!  Why? because Seneca Farms has just released Oatmeal & Fruit!

What is Oatmeal & Fruit?  Oatmeal & Fruit is the newest addition to the Seneca Farms line of healthy "good for you" products.  Oatmeal & Fruit comes in 6oz microwaveable cups, just heat (45seconds) and eat!  Who doesn't have 45 seconds for a healthy and delicious breakfast?  It takes more time than that to make a cup of coffee!  Oatmeal & Fruit is currently available in two great flavors, Apple Cinnamon and Vanilla Peach with Cranberry Apple and Maple & Brown Sugar to be introduced soon. 

 Over Thirty Mommy's Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised by the Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit.  I was not sure how microwave oatmeal would taste, but it was very yummy.  It is perfect for mornings when I do not have time to make a full breakfast or if I need something to grab and eat at the office.  The flavors are very good (not to strong and not too weak), my favorite is the Vanilla Peach.   I was also pleased by the consistency, it is not like instant oatmeal, it is smooth and delicious!


WHERE TO BUY - You can find Oatmeal & Fruit at Walmart and other retail stores.

COUPON - Seneca Farms is giving away product coupons on their Facebook page.


**Disclaimer: I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting.   I received two 2-packs of Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit for the purpose of this review .  This is solely the opinion of Over Thirty Mommy. Other people may have different experiences with the.**  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Little Wonder Woman



My Little Wonder Woman

My daughter  recently attended her BFF's princess themed birthday party.  All guests were to attend dressed as a prince or princess so I searched all over the internet for just the right princess dress. I had to go all out since it was her first dress up outfit (Halloween Costumes not included) and her first dress up birthday party.

That party sparked her interest in building a collection of dress up costumes for her and her BFF to play with when they get together.

I went to Costume Supercenter to start building her dress up collection.  Since she is my little princess, I spent an hour looking over all the beautiful princess dresses.  I also looked at the adorable girls superhero costumes
because everyone at some point wants to be a superhero!


I saved at least a dozen of my favorite costumes to the shopping cart and then we sat down to select our her favorite.  I tried (more than once) to sway her towards one of the beautiful princess dresses but as you could have guessed (by the photos or the title of the post!) she was sold on the Deluxe Wonder Woman Childrens Costume the minute she saw it.

(We call this her Super Stomp)

No matter how hard I tried, she would not budge from the Wonder Woman costume.  Her mind was made up and she is very persistent for a two year old.

She put it on the second it arrived and we ran out to the front yard so that she could be "SUPER".  Every time she puts it on, she runs to me an says "look mom, I'm Super". She has already gotten to where she can put it on herself, she came in the other day with it on over her pajamas.

I ordered it a size large so it would fit for a while, the boot tops are a bit big but the dress itself  fits perfect.  The deluxe costume came with the dress, cape, boot tops, bracelets, belt and a headband.  Everything that a little Wonder Woman would need to fly off and save the day. (just in case you want to see one more photo of her in her adorable costume! here you go!)


Costume Supercenter carries so much more than just Halloween costumes, their costumes can be used for dress up, themed parties and they even have some adorable Easter Costumes right now.  They have a vast selection of costumes for infants, toddlers, children, and adults.  I am already looking through the Halloween Costumes for Girls to select her outfit for this year.


***Disclosure: I received the WonderWoman costume for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are 100% mine ***

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Best Mother's Day Thus Far


 My Best Mother's Day Thus Far


Mother's Day is approaching fast (husbands and children: make sure you are prepared!!) and I am excited to have a day to sit around and do nothing (lol, like that would ever happen).  Really though, I am looking forward to adding another great Mother's Day to the ones I have had so far.

My husband and I have been married just shy of 12 years but we waited almost 10 years before starting our family.  My daughter is now two so this will only be my third Mother's Day.

My first Mother's day, my daughter was only 3 months so she really did not understand what was going on but thanks to my wonderful husband he made it special and memorable.  My daughter (with his assistance) colored me a card and she (with my husbands money! lol) got me a beautiful pendant with her birthstone in it.  Then we went over to my mother's for an afternoon BBQ.

Last year was also nice and I got to spend the entire day with just my husband and our daughter (my mom was working so we celebrated with her the following weekend).  We had a nice family day together and they got me a card and flowers.  Wiggle Bean was a little over a year old but I think that she still did not understand that it was a special day for mommy.

This year I am really looking forward to Mother's Day because Wiggle Bean is a little older and I think she will understand what the day means.  I have no idea what they have planned for the day but I am sure it will include a card, I should leave them a link to some of the really adorable Mother's Day cards available at Tiny Prints.

While my first Mother's Day will always hold a dear place in my heart, I am sure that this year's Mother's Day will be the best.

Just remember that even if your Mother's Day day does not go exactly as planned, you are a mother every day so every day you are loved by your child is Mother's Day and that is always the best!




**Disclosure: I received a Tiny Prints gift code for my opinions, which are my own**

Get a Leg Up With School Zone's Big Spelling 1-3 Review and Giveaway


Get a Leg Up With School Zone's Big Spelling 1-3


About School Zone
The School Zone Learning Center began as a retail teachers supply outlet 1972.  In 1974, after changes in education, The Learning Center released a six workbook series for home use.  School Zone Publishing Company was incorporated in 1979.  The product line has expanded yearly and currently includes almost two hundred educational products.

The School Zone product line includes flash cards, workbooks, games and software.  They even have apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch as well as iBooks and apps available from the Intel AppUp Center.

About Big Spelling 1-3

How can 26 letters spell big success? When a child recognizes and understands letter combinations it gives reading and writing a huge boost. You can tell it when they can spell it! The proven activities in Big Spelling 1-3 will help your child be successful in school by teaching spelling patterns, word recognition, letter sounds, and more. With focus on essential first, second, and third grade spelling skills and over 300 pages of practice, your child will work and learn for many happy hours.


 

                                                      Fun Features & Big Benefits
• 319 workbook pages for hours of learning activities
• Perforated pages great for use as individual, tear-out worksheets
• Wide range of words, pictures, and word pictures
• Parent Guide inside cover
• Easy-reference, companion online Answer Key
• Fun, affordable learning!




Skills: word recognition; spelling patterns; beginning sounds; ending sounds; consonants; vowels; short vowels; long vowels; blends; silent letter; prefixes and suffixes; contractions; compound words; rhymes; opposites







Over Thirty Mommy's Thoughts about School Zone's Big Spelling 1-3

My little one is a bit to young for this particular spelling book (but School Zone does have a preschool line of workbooks that I will be looking into) but my sister was kind enough to let me use her son as my tester for this review.  Her son is 8 and really enjoyed the spelling book.  He though that it was "cool" and really interesting.  His mother liked how vibrant the pictures were and noticed that they kept his attention longer than other education materials they have used in the past.  She felt that all the activities kept the learning interesting and made it seem less like school work since it was fun and not just a plain boring spelling book.


School Zone Big Spelling 1-3 Giveaway
WIN IT! 
One Over Thirty Mommy Reader will 
be randomly chosen to receive a copy of Big Spelling 1-3
How to Enter: Mandatory
To enter the giveaway please leave me a comment telling me what School Zone learning tool would be the most beneficial for your child

Extra Entries:
You must complete the mandatory entry before doing any extra entries.
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 Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Good luck!
 
Limitations:
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents 18+ only. Please have a valid email address in your comment or on your blogger profile.  

Giveaway ends midnight PST on 4/24/2011

**Disclaimer: I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting.   I received a copy of Big Spelling 1-3 for the purpose of this review .  This is solely the opinion of Over Thirty Mommy. Other people may have different experiences with the.** 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Organize Your Vehicle With Kiddie Catch-All Review and Giveaway


Organize Your Vehicle With Kiddie Catch-All 


About The Kiddie Catch-All

WOW, Why didn't I think of this product!  Oh, yeah because I am not that creative!  Hats off to a former professional nanny and mom (and her mom!) for coming up with such a simple ingenious product.  The Kiddie Catch-All features a 9” x 7” nylon bag (that is removable for easy washing!) attached to a BPA free plastic frame.  The Kiddie Catch-All fits most (not all) car seats.  There is a helpful guide in the Kiddie Catch-All FAQ, to see if it will fit your particular seat but they offer a 100% refund just in case it does not work out for you.


  
Over Thirty Mommy's Thoughts on the Kiddie Catch-All

LOVE IT!!!  That pretty much sums it up but I love it so much, I will share more.  I have no idea how have I survived the first two years of having a child with out this product? I can't count the number of times a toy has rolled off the back seat and I contorted myself while at a stop light to get it for my crying daughter or how often something was too far away for her to reach and I reach back to feel around the seat to get it for her.

The Kiddie Catch-All attached easily to both of out car seats and holds all of her essential car needs.  It easily holds her beverage, toys and snacks with plenty of room to spare.

We have not needed to wash the nylon bag yet but I did take it apart to see how simple it was to remove and put back together.

Since we installed (it was really easy do not really an "install") the Kiddie Catch-All in to both of our vehicles, I have not needed to chase down her water or a renegade toy.  So not only does it keep things well organized and clean but I feel it is a great safety feature because I am not trying to drive and reach for her items.

Where To Find Kiddie Catch-All
The Kiddie Catch-All is sold online BOGO for $12.95 plus S&H

Kiddie Catch-All Giveaway
WIN IT! 
One Over Thirty Mommy Readers will 
be randomly chosen to receive one Kiddie Catch-All for their vehicle.
How to Enter: Mandatory
To enter the giveaway please leave me a comment telling me something you like about the Kiddie Catch-All
or from their FAQ

Extra Entries:
You must complete the mandatory entry before doing any extra entries.
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 Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Good luck!
 
Limitations:
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents 18+ only. Please have a valid email address in your comment or on your blogger profile.  

Giveaway ends midnight PST on 4/20/2011

**Disclaimer: I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting.   I received two Kiddie Catch-Alls for the purpose of this review .  This is solely the opinion of Over Thirty Mommy. Other people may have different experiences with the.**   

Monday, April 4, 2011

Infantino Troy the Activity Truck Recall


Infantino Troy the Activity Truck Recall

Troy the Activity Truck


This recall involves "Troy the Activity Truck," which is blue, red and yellow with plastic star, circle and heart beads attached to the bead runs on the back of the truck and has a face on the front. "Infantino" is printed on the front of the toy truck. Model number 153-210, 206-110 or 506-110C is printed underneath the truck. When its switch is turned on, the truck plays music and the back wheels spin.

Parts in the form of hearts, stars, and circles can detach from the tubes on which they slide, presenting a gagging or choking hazard to young children.

Immediately stop using the activity truck and contact Infantino toll-free at (888) 808-3111 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at http://service.infantino.com to receive a free replacement toy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jennie-O Turkey Burger Recall


Jennie-O Turkey Burger Recall

Jennie-O Turkey Store is recalling approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products that may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Product Being Recalled
Jennie-O Turkey Store® All Natural Lean White Meat Turkey Burgers sold as a 4-pound carton containing 12 individually wrapped 1/3-pound turkey burgers distributed EXCLUSIVELY at Sam’s Club stores nationwide with a USE BY date of  DEC 23  2011, are voluntarily being recalled because of potential illness from Salmonella.


Consumers who have purchased Jennie-O Turkey Store® All Natural Lean White Meat Turkey Burgers from Sam’s Club stores with a USE BY date of  DEC 23  2011 should not consume it. 

Consumers should return this product to a Sam’s Club store for a full refund.

Consumer UPC#: 042222 261081

USE BY DATE: DEC 23  2011

IDENTIFYING LOT CODES: “32710” through “32780”

Distributed EXCLUSIVELY at Sam’s Club stores nationwide.

Please follow this link for more product information.

If you have questions, our Consumer Response Center is available at 1-800-621-3505.






     

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