Patriotic Punch

Excited to share a holidays/seasons Guest Post from Education.com on recipes that are focused on math topics (units of measurement) for second grade development.

All children are different and can participate in helping out in the kitchen while supervised. Education.com has tons of math and reading/writing activities available for Pre-K through 5th grade.

Enjoy a Patriotic Punch activity to share for the HOT summer season!

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This Fourth of July, follow in the footsteps of the First Ladies of the White House by serving some punch at your next get together!

Here are three recipes that you and your child can make together. It's a perfect activity to help your child learn and practice his measuring skills! In keeping with the holiday theme, these three recipes use red summer fruit and draw on the White House tradition of serving lemonade on the Fourth of July. For an especially festive touch, try serving these drinks on ice with a colorful, homemade patriotic drink parasols! 

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Did you Know: 
Lemonade was actually once a “political” issue in the White House! From 1877 to 1881, our First Lady, Lucy Webb Hayes, the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes, refused to serve alcohol in the White House. Lucy was a devoted Methodist and supporter of the Temperance (anti-alcohol) movement in the United States. Instead of alcohol, she served lemonade at White House gatherings. It was the source of a fair amount of controversy back then! To thank Lucy, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union commissioned a full length portrait of her which hung in the White House. Some of her less supportive constituents gave her the nickname “Lemonade Lucy”!

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Education.com aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, Education.com provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more. 
 

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(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!

8 Things No One Told Me About Potty Training!

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

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YIKES! I was never told that there are so many methods to potty training!

1. Girl VS. Boy- I guess I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed on that one! Maybe you were, but I literally thought you just sit them down on the universal kid potties (BOY or GIRL), and they would get it in there. WRONG! Boys will have that little wand pointing in many directions!

2. Young VS. Older- My son was showing signs of being ready for the potty (said everyone in my family, lol). He wasn’t old enough to talk, so I read about how to teach a non talking human to pee in the potty. 

3. 3 Days VS. Longer- I saw a lot of articles claiming to get your child potty trained in just 3 DAYS. Then of course there are longer ones. I’m on the long journey!

4. You MUST stay Home- No grocieres, not visiting friends, NOTHING. If you want any chance of that 3 day success, you must eat, sleep and breath watching for signs of your child being ready to go to the potty. 

5. Graduate to Pull Ups or Undies??- 

  • Pull-Up Training Pants: I thought these were the only thing I needed for this step. I’ve read some articles on skipping these to keep from needing to train your child to stop using those as well. The advise was to move straight to undies. The reasoning for this is Pull Ups have too much padding (close to diapers). Kids might revert to going in their training pants, instead of holding it to avoid being wet when wearing only undies.
  • Undies - The size 2T/3T is the first size in pull-ups and undies. Try not to be intimidated by the “2T” If your child isn’t age 2 yet. Buy them and try them out on your child. My son is 18 months and he fits just fine in them!

Training pull up diapers have less padding than diapers with ripp-able sides for easy removing! Don’t pull them down after a #2! Trust Me!

6. Sitting and/or Standing- Currently I’m working on the sitting part, which if you had a girl would not be a problem. I currently only had enough time for the pee part, so we are still continuing our potty training journey (stay tuned!)

7. The Night Shift - This is were PADDING comes in HANDY! My son sleeps through the night, but his bladder doesn’t!

8. 3 Days (at least!) of Cleaning All Waste - From off of the floor, or carpet… or tub, bed, chair, couch, and walls… have I left any other surface of a home out?? 

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What Helped Me?

3 Days of Pure NAKED-NESS-  NO CLOTHES! Except for the Night Shift! My son needed to SEE where this sensation he felt was coming from. That way he would know where to put his waste eventually!

Padding or Dog Pee Pads- The Night shift is one I haven’t figured out yet! Until I do I have loaded the bed with peeing pads for dogs or padding for the handicap or elderly

Must Have/Gain Patience- Even though I would set a timer and check every 30 min… My son was just peeing in random segments and I couldn’t catch his accidents as much as I tried to!

LOTS of Wipes!! - My son is so active! The very first day of training, my son was scared of the potty chair and would run from me when I brought it towards him. Pee/Poop would be on him, me, and everywhere!!

WaterWipes are amazing! My son never had a diaper rash, EVER! The wipes are 99.9% water and .1% grapefruit seed extract. Just 2 Ingredients & CHEMICAL FREE! These wipes have the best durable cloth napkins, which have made #2’s so quick and easy for me. The stickiest stuff is so easy to wipe off of my son! LOVE THESE!

I found WaterWipes at my local Meijer! You can find WaterWipes with their Store Locator

Such a safe & natural option for my son while we train. I don't relocate the wipes in another container because they are NOT inter folded & DON'T contain preservatives (YAY!). The package keeps up to 15 months before being opened. Once I open the pack, I use the wipes within a month.

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Constant Positive Reinforcement- My son got his peeing down in the potty because of the constant cheers! 

Don’t Keep the Potty in Just the Bathroom- I moved that potty all around the house! Have it everywhere he goes! This is why I couldn’t dream of leaving the house during training!

Check every 30 min, seriously! Set a timer.

Try more than one method, just get that pee in that potty!

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(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!

5 Moms Tell Their Secrets on Handling Unwarranted Parenting Advise

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I personally cringe inside when I am given parenting advise directly, out of no where, and without my asking for it.

For example, I took my son to see his grandmother on his dad's side, at an apartment complex during the summer. I arrived really early and my little guys grandma wasn't home yet. I went to the apartment complexes' main building (Leasing, swimming pool, etc.)  to ask "Is there a kids area with like slides or swings?". 

The Manager informed me that the apartment complex did NOT have one. My question was answered. I had to think of what I was going to do with my active little boy, who was at that point, tired of all the toys he has played with during the very long car ride to grandmas house.

Plan C: The Manager decided to give me my Unwarranted Parenting Advise by politely suggested to me that I can give him some toys to play with while I wait.  ...   ...   ...  I needed a moment with myself in order to keep from turning green and growing out of my clothes until I became Miss.Hulk!

But I did manage to dig deep and politely let her know that I knew that, and I was just asking where the kids area was.

I don't know why something so simple, nearly had me lose it. Maybe it was my hormones from discontinuing breastfeeding? Or maybe she thought I was babysitting and needed suggestions that was bare minimum simple. I have not one clue! The manager was only trying to be helpful, rIght!? 

Usually it's not a great idea to get into politics/religion/money or the death penalty if you want to keep some of your friends.

But it seems to be an unfiltered tongue when it comes to parenting. Which may be the touchiest subject out there.

Breastfeeding vs bottle, co-sleeping vs crib, how much tv, how you bath them, how this and how that. Whether they don't have kids, failed to raise their own correctly, have kids that are nothing like you or your family. Everyone has an opinion in the matter!

I realized I never wanted to get that angry at something so small about parental advice that ever since then I make sure to let others share their advise no matter how cringe worthy it may sound that I have either thought about trying that or if I have already tried it

  • 1st I let them know my "Parenting Style" is more of a "Go with the Flow, Trial and Error". I'll try many different ways until I get a good end result. Any outside advise given to me I'll hear it out, keep it in the back of my mind as I test many different ways out for the best fit for the moment.
  • 2nd I listen like I said I would and close with "That sounds interesting, maybe I'll try that, I'll have to see how this whole thing goes"

BAM! No Hulk, just pure conversation that leads right back to me having confidence over making the best choices for the little guy of mine. 

I've reached out to other moms out there, and came across some excellent tips that I can't wait to share below on how they handle the advise they didn't ask for.

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ParentalPowWow
"As a newly divorced mom raising an autistic son and running a design business at home, here is how I often respond to advice from others... esp my own mom:
  1. Thanks for that suggestion. It's interesting that you offer that because since _______ (child's name) has been doing/taking/eating _______ (name of product, technique etc), he's improved...
  2.  That may work for you but we are all just so unique and it's important that I follow my gut along with how my body reacts to...
  3. The important thng is how I feel and not what you want simply because its happens to be your personal opinion on the matter. For that very reason, I study and research ________ (topic) to better educate myself then apply accordingly.
Hope this helps!"

 

  A Mother Thing

"I get a lot of unsolicited parenting advice from all sides. Most of it doesn't really suit me because I have a different parenting style than they do. But I generally stay polite, thank them for their interest and do whatever the hell I want.
The worst is when I get lectured by "friends" who don't even have kids. I have a friend who is constantly telling me I'm not doing enough for my kids because I don't take them to the doctor for every sniffle.
My husband's best friend keeps telling me my boys need haircuts.
It's unreal how okay people think it is to tell you their thoughts. But again, I generally just smile and thank them and then put it out of my mind."

 

My Mom Made That

"I usually get a lot of advice from older people about the number of layers a child should be wearing, or when they should be eating solids, or weaned. With that, I've learned that in reality, not only am I more up-to-date than they are, I usually have more experience with young children.
I just smile and nod. It's not worth arguing with them.
Now that I have a tween, I get advice and suggestions from family and others about how I should handle him. I'm less confident in parenting this age (it's my first time with a tween), so I actually engage with them in conversation, even if unsolicited.
I think a lot of people are trying to interact and have a relationship with your family in some way, and just want to feel helpful.
I do have a couple of people who don't have kiddos and are friends who offer advice. My line is usually, "It's a lot easier to tell people how to raise children than it is to actually raise them."
Then I just disengage."
 

My Window Sill

"Unasked, unwanted advice is not usually well-received - at least not by me.
Especially when you're talking about one of my 6 kids or the way I parent!
However, there were two ways I usually responded if someone gave me this type of advice.
  1. Thank them and tell them I would think about it.
  2. Say something non-discriminating like, "Oh really?" or "Oh? That's interesting that you think that."
  3. THEN I would go home and think about it.
There are a few things to consider here as well:
  • Does the person care about me and my kids? If so, then I should consider what they had to say. Take a few days and cool off, then look at it objectively.
  • If the person doesn't seem to care about me or my kids, I just let it slough off in a "consider the source" attitude.
  • However, even if the person seemed to be doing it for the wrong reason, I always tried to evaluate to see if there was any truth in their criticism. After all, I did want to be the best mom, so even the worst advice-giver might be right - much as it pained me to admit it.
One other point: if someone told me that they didn't think my husband was doing thus and so right with our kids, I always told them to speak to my husband.
I will never be a part of using that to tear down my man. Even if I agreed with them, I would not use that as an opportunity to level the playing field.
I figured if they thought it was serious enough they'd be willing to approach my husband. If they were just using it to tear us down or to tear him down to me, then they wouldn't take the time to talk to him - and we were all winners."
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How do YOU Handle Unwarranted Parenting Advise??

I would love to see a picture of your little you's at #chocolatemamalovesvanilla on any of the following social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

 

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(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!

Kids Email Review

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Now that I have entered the world of Parenthood, in a time of technology. I realized that I can never be too safe or cautious of what, where, who, or whatever my child is getting into.

We are all pretty aware that the internet would be one of those cautions!

As a young kid I had an e-mail address. I was apart of the era where the internet had just become a household thing. Shortly after the internet erupted. Email & Chat Rooms became such a hot commodity. At the same time it also became a predators buffet!

I remember chatting in those chat rooms with tons of people. I had no clue about them, but I started to engage into private conversations because of curiosity and boredom.

Luckily, for me I made up a fake name, location, and life. I always thought one day I would be a secret agent. The web gave me the outlet to pretend. After all I was just a child with an imagination and curiosity.

Also as a child, I was very lucky that I wasn’t lonely. I had a loving family that I never had thoughts of seeking out love away from home. This isn’t always the case, that has been proven! Too many children have been unlucky in the crossfire of this internet take-off.

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Since the take-off of the internet, more and more technology arrises to the surface. Giving kids more and more access to the sometimes harsh and cruel world they have no real clue about.

I’ve stumbled upon a safer outlet for this generation of children to grow up with. It is specifically for kids, called KidsEmail . It’s Email FOR Kids!

What if you could: 

  • Edit a Contact List in which your child could ONLY exchange (receive and send) mail from
  • Have copies of outgoing mail messaged to you?
  • Filter the bad words out?
  • Choose to allow/remove any attachments, links, and/or Images from emails?
  • Add additional parents email for notifications for an extra set of chaperoning?
You can at KidsEmail ! YAY!

It's really amazing to be able to customize everything, all the way to the background! There was a cool wolf background that I loved, and other cute themes to choose from!

So lets just say I post this, and it goes viral (lol, a girl can dream right!), then a bunch of terrible people sign up to pretend to be other children?

The "Email Queue" is a place for messages that are waiting for your approval before being sent to your children! How awesome is that! This is where you can approve or reject any of the messages sent to your little angels!

 

YOU the parent, are the one who creates the contact list! You may even select a picture for the contact.

 

How about those moments when your little angel has been very very naughty? Grounding kids to their room is actually a reward in our era. Sending them outside seems like the punishment.

KidsEmail makes it easy to help you out with no e-mail access during set times of your choosing. For those wonderful moments your child thinks they are smarter then you are. :-)

 

The keeping your kids safe part of parenting can be VERY overwhelming. Any new concepts and technology I come across, about keeping our children safe, while allowing them to experience the world, with it’s ever growing innovations is a deffinate plus for me!

Check out KidsEmail for yourself, the website offers a very long free trail! :-D

I'd love to know as a parent some actions you do to keep your kids safe on the internet! Leave your comments below!

This post is sponsored by KidsEmail. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla!

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(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!

7 Books to Help You Talk to Your Child about being Biracial

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Good evening all! I’m so excited that Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla has given me the opportunity to collaborate with her for this guest post!

I’m still working on our book collection, but I put together a review of 7 books that I think are great for talking to your kids about what it means to be biracial. And for those of you who aren’t raising biracial children, these books are good for the classroom, church or even for parents who adopt outside of their race.

As a school counselor, I’ve learned that kids in general usually have some sort of identity crisis in middle or in high school. Why add the confusion of who am I (race wise) to that? 

10 years ago, many of these books didn’t exist. What did parents of biracial children use as a reference point for their children? We love books in my house!  Before my children were even born, some of these were in my possession. I wanted to be sure that my children were confident in who they were from an early age. It’s never too early to talk about the difficult subjects. Here we go…

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Big Hair, Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates

 

My girls absolutely love this book! It celebrates diversity in curly hair. The little girl in the book celebrates that her hair is unique and it doesn’t bother her if people talk or stare. This is perfect for teaching little girls to love their curls!

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The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

This was one of the first books I bought before I had my first child. I love that it relates skin color to food (honey, cinnamon, toffee, butterscotch). The front cover has brown girls and a blonde girl, but there are also Indian and Asian people in the book.

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Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff

I had to buy this book because the illustration on the front cover looks like my family. The picture sold me before I opened the cover! This book is written in a poetic, sing-songy rhythm. That element wasn’t my favorite because it some places the words didn’t make sense, however the message is definitely there.

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Mixed Like Me by Gina Golliday-Cabell

I just purchased this book last week, but I think it’s my favorite! I love that the book just jumps right into the issue. The child asks why his mother isn’t mixed like him and he expresses his insecurities about not fitting in. Here’s one of my favorite lines from the book: “Although we look different, we really are the same. Your features are beautiful so don’t be ashamed.” If you don’t purchase any other books, this is a must in your collection.

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Sesame Street We’re Different, We’re the Same

If your kids love Sesame Street, then this book is the place to start. Sesame Street has never disappointed when it came to educating and talking about diversity. Not only does it show diversity in skin color, but it also shows many of the characters that we have come to know and love on Sesame Street.

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The Lamb-a-roo

This was a the cutest, sweetest story! If your children have ever told you they wanted to be someone else, then this is the story for you! A kangaroo adopts a lamb, and both try to relate to each other in strange ways. This is a story your children will grow to love, and I think you will too! If talking to your children directly about race related issues at a young age seems scary for you, you can take the more overt way by reading them this book. I promise you, it won’t disappoint!

I am Mixed by Garcelle Beavais & Sebastian Jones

Last but not least, I am mixed talks about what it means to be mixed. If you ever watched the Jamie Foxx show in the 90’s, then you’ll remember Fancy. She’s the author of this book! If my review of how awesome this book is isn’t enough for you, then maybe you’ll appreciate that Halle Berry gave it a thumbs up too! One of the most unique features about this book is the conversation piece for kids and parents at the end. There’s a family tree page, about me, and even a guide for conversation written just for parents! 


In my experience, the more you can talk to children about difficult issues, and the sooner you can do it, the sooner they will prepared for the difficult road ahead. Society will try to put your child into one box, and they will be often be rejected by people because they are too much of one race and not enough of another.  I plan to continue adding to our collection. If you haven’t started one, I hope you will now! 

 XOXO 

About Diedre

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Diedre Anthony, blogger at ARE THOSE YOUR KIDS?

Recently published by the Huffington Post. She is a middle school counselor with two children, ages 4 and 1.5. She has been married to her husband since December 2009. In her free time she likes to eat, travel, read and spend time with her family.

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(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!

How To: Giving Baby a 1st Birthday Party!

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Theme- 

This is the FUN Part! This is where your imagination can soar to your hearts desire! Coming up with a theme is what puts everything else into perspective. If you have a popular theme in mind such as a Luau, Superhero’s, Fairy Tales, and so much more. You’ll have so many decoration options accessible for being bought at the store. If you get more creative with themes, then your also going to have to get creative in making your own decorations to get your theme across. 

Aidan’s 1st Birthday Safari/Wildlife Theme: Animal Print Balloons (Dollar store), Tree Logs (backyard), Safari Hats, Safari Binoculars, Safari Jeep Photo Prop, Animal Face Masks, Safari Game, Table decorations (Dollar Store), Candy (Dollar Store), Paper Cups and Plates.

Other (Crayons for Animal Coloring pages, Animal Face Sticker set, Animal print paper bags as gift bags, Food Label's made from paper name cards)

12 Month Growth Reveal!

Just like snapping pictures of your pregnant belly for 9 months. I’ve seen so many different Idea’s for taking photo's of your baby’s growth throughout the year, every month for 12 months. Get your creative juices going and snap pictures of your adorable bundle of joy!

No matter what you choose, every baby is different. It’s so cute to see how babies develop over a month to month time frame from birth to 1 year. My biggest observations that changed by the 12th month is baby’s size and HAIR! Just love it!

Hope you enjoy my Photo/Video Version of the 12 Month Growth Reveal! It all goes with the Safari/Jungle theme!

Food-

This can end up being the stressful part if you are the one making the food for your party. Just like other types of parties such as Christmas parties or Super Bowl parties, there tends to be food trends as well. For example, you can usually find chips and dip, burgers, or chili at a super bowl party. Keep this in mind for your theme, what foods would make your theme stick out?

For Aidans Safari Theme I made Dirt cups (chocolate pudding, crumbled oreos, & gummy worms) to resemble dirt and worms, Banana Pudding (dolloped with fresh whipped cream!) for the monkeys that will be attending :-), Garlic Hummus with Bell Peppers, Pretzels and Chips served on the side for the Lion’s Head (Food Creativity Pictured Below!).

For the main meal I made sliders and planned to arranged them in the shape of a snake! I ran behind on time and didn’t get the burgers out to the guest to arrange them, but if I had just a little more time! (oh, well! 1st birthday are insane to plan! Hang in there!) The options are fun. If you want less stress, you can always get catering or even order a bunch of pizzas!

Cake-

This is the main thing everyone will be expecting. You can forget everything else, but everyone will be looking for the Cake! This is where you can personalize till it meets all your expectations. I made a Marble Cake (Chocolate and Vanilla) with Candy Coated Chocolate Frosting and called it Zebra Cake! To add more creativity, toy animals were placed around the cake. Just remember to take a picture before it gets eaten! And don’t forget candles are a must for birthdays! Especially the very first! All you need is 1 anyways! :-D

Party Favors-

Some people don’t do party favors, so this is completely optional! But if you decide to have them you can choose to have party favors for Adults and Children, or you could cater to the children only! You can have toys in the goodie bag or you can have candy and other edibles in the goodie bag. 

I choose to have toys in the goodie bag. It’s bad enough to watch your kids sugar intake on halloween, I didn’t want to send parents home with more sugar problems!

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Some non-edible party favor ideas include: Stamps, Slinky'sBubbles, Animal TattoesStickers, Paddles, Whistles, and Kaleidoscopes (not pictured). Instead of candy directly in the bag, I had candy decorating the table and it’s up to the parents to decide if they want their children to take it home (pictures are mints wrapped in animal print wrappers)

I also choose to create a fake SWAMP for the kids to play with made of JELLO! Throw some water and bugs (Dollar Store Bugs!) in a container and you've got a very fun, creepy, ooey, gooey, texture for kids to play in for some time! I got the kid friendly sensory idea from No Time For Flash Cards and the children LOVED it at my party. So I guess everyone should try this with kids at some point in life! :-D

Drinks-

Depending on your crowd, meaning if you have mostly party raging friends coming over who don’t get to party anymore because of the kids (and this is the only time they are going to get out of the house and interact with other adult humans) Bring on the Alcohol! Make it pretty and make sure to be very very very clear on the kid drinks versus the adult beverages!

Gift Opening-

Not much to say about this part besides: AWESOME! Gifts are always awesome to receive. They are very much appreciated as well! You can choose to have a time frame where all the gifts are opened at the same time, or if your party is a coming and going type of deal, you can open them at different times. Particularly if a guest is about to leave you can open them up in front of everyone or separately. Whatever you heart desires, the outcome is the same when being showered with gifts and love!

Epic 1st Birthday Fails-

Remember, It’s OKAY if everything doesn’t go according to plan! If it wasn't meant to be, then it wasn’t meant to be! It’s your little one’s 1st Birthday! Thats whats important, and everything you attempted to do was with your whole heart and you can’t be mad when you want this very day to be special! 

Take all the fails as a lesson for Birthday Number 2, Or baby #2 (3, 4, 5 and however many more! Even godchildren, nieces or nephews that you choose to help throw one for!) 

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Below I listed my Fails because I’m not  perfect or ashamed and you shouldn’t be either! We are just Humans :-)

  • Fail #1- Party DID not START on time! (Due to still cooking! I cooked EVERYTHING, lesson #1!)
  • Fail #2- I put my 1st guest to arrive to work :-( They helped me get the food out that was running behind and last minute decorating!
  • Fail #3- I Forgot to add extra water to Lemonade! So it was very strong! Agh, Sorry Folks for the sugar rush! 
  • Fail #4 - I didn’t get to arrange my burger slider in the shape of a snake as I planned because food ran behind while guest were already there
  • Fail #5- I had to have my Mother and Aunt pass out the walk-in gifts and walk-out goodie bags because I could not :-(
  • Fail #6- I didn’t get to show the special 12 month video of Aidan because there wasn’t enough time! 
  • Fail #7- This is the worst! Because everything ran behind, I didn’t get any pictures of the Final Set-Up of everything before guest arrived! I could cry about this but I kept it together! lol Keep it together People! LOL

P.s. Listing these fail’s was almost as REFRESHING as a confessional… almost! :-D

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I do not take credit for any of the animal pictures used in my video. Below I have linked back to the photo's original location for Proper Credit:

  1. http://jamesminshall.com/2012/11/30/evolution-is-awesome-part-2-50-more-incredible-nature-photographs/
  2. http://welovecatsandkittens.com/cat-pictures/19-pictures-big-cats-cute/
  3. http://www.listoid.com/list/125
  4. https://www.thedodo.com/sheep-cant-believe-exist-1058582950.html
  5. http://earthandanimals.tumblr.com/post/104645106964
  6. http://preppyparadise.tumblr.com
  7. https://mobile.twitter.com/ZooBorns/status/324880573980106752/photo/1
  8. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnicholson/6766419951/
  9. https://www.flickr.com/photos/9203661@N02/1164047074/
  10. https://www.flickr.com/photos/67341611@N00/8269910270/
  11. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/look-at-this-baby-orangutan-and-her-mom?sub=2236877_1185374#.smPkA09Mq
  12. http://livingearth.org.uk/projects/great-ape-conservation/
  13. http://vurtual.tumblr.com/post/49311531912/brillangoer-met-jong-by-theo-kruse
  14. http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/adorable-baby-animals-25/
  15. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e0/8d/3c/e08d3cf368af3426d3bb229c4be437a7.jpg
  16. http://alittlebitofsillinessreally.tumblr.com/post/48436670256
  17. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/8737115/Pictures-of-the-day-2-September-2011.html?image=12
  18. https://iso.500px.com/shams-story-how-a-sad-looking-owl-made-for-a-very-happy-photographer/
  19. http://www.cuded.com/2011/08/snow-monkeys-by-masashi-mochida/
  20. http://crescentmoon06.tumblr.com/post/21913300231/earth-song-newborn-by-marina-cano
  21. http://attackofthecute.com/on/?i=15141
  22. http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/animals/images/31301478/title/gorilla-baby-photo
  23. http://travel.aol.co.uk/2011/03/19/mother-gorilla-kisses-newborn-baby-at-Taronga-Zoo-Sydney/
  24. http://www.getaway.co.za/photo/albums/wildlife/15-most-adorable-pictures/attachment/my-mom-3/
  25. http://zsazsabellagio.blogspot.com/2012/01/call-your-mom.html
  26. http://cooljeweledmoon.tumblr.com
  27. http://coffeelovinmom.tumblr.com/post/15497983656
  28. http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/24-photos-of-animals-that-know-what-love-is?sub=2157653_1091761#.ukNq2kJbZ
  29. http://www.houseandleisure.co.za/sands-of-time/
  30. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2091731/Gladys-Porter-Zoo-Western-lowland-gorilla-just-endangered-newborn-down.html
  31. http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2010/07/index.html
  32. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173033/Gorilla-fist-Newborn-sleeps-mothers-chest-definitely-safe-hands.html
  33. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b7/2b/fd/b72bfd08058ac2fa4a8613fca7702f44.jpg
  34. http://www.answers.com/article/1292922/happy-mothers-day-to-all-the-moms-out-there-even-the-non-human-ones
  35. http://weheartit.com/search/entries?page=14&query=cute+animals+love
  36. http://www.treasuresofthesouthwest.com/turquoise-jewelry.html
  37. http://indulgy.com/post/VLV8QcbiT1/mama-and-baby-gorilla
  38. http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/animals-hanging-out-with-miniature-versions-of-the#.ctA6g7n2K
  39. http://www.buzzfeed.com/burnred/a-real-bear-hug-281t
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(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!

Getting the Most Out of Your Babies Clothes by Brand

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You either just had a baby, your about to have one, or plan on one in the future. Besides the crib, carseat/stroller, and the diapers, you are probably excited or overwhelmed (or both!) about what you invasion your baby wearing, and definitely how many of those outfit you need!

Babies grow at rapid speed! You want to make sure you have enough clothes for each month of you babies first year. It is also helpful to buy clothes that will last your babies lightning speed growth. This will help stretch your pocketbook.

 Another way to save money is to limit the amount of designer branded clothes for the 1st year. Save designer for when your child is old enough to stay in them for longer periods of time. Until then, a good rule of thumb if you can't resist those cute designer outfits, is to buy them in the sizes for specific occasions (Holidays, Special Events, Pictures, etc.).

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Types of Baby Clothes

Bodysuits/Onesies - These usually go over your baby's head with snap buttons on the bottom. Making it easy to keep diapers in place and accessible for diaper changes

Layette- A whole put together outfit (onesie/shirt, pants, and head cap)

Rompers - It's like a Bodysuit, instead it has the shorts built into it, making this a perfect summer outfit

Side Snap Shirts - Shirts with a couple of snaps on the shoulder, sometimes the snaps are located on the top back of the shirt

Sleepers- These Snap or Zip down the middle or from one foot to your baby's neckline. Perfect for keeping baby warm during their 1st months of life when they can't sleep with blankets in their crib. Also perfect for warmth years later!

Sweaters - Just like Adults, except small enough for your baby

Undershirts - Thin little shirts or Thin Bodysuits/Onesies to go under baby's outfit for an extra layer or even by itself on an extremely hot day.


Other

Head Cap - A snug fitting head cap to keep baby's head warm

Pairs of Booties - These are like hand mittens except they are for baby's feet to stay covered and warm without then wearing shoes

Pairs of Hand Mittens - Place hand mittens on baby's hands to keep them warm, and to keep your baby from scratching their face

Pairs of Socks - Keeps baby's feet warm


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Brands of Clothes by Fit

Brands are evaluated from a Tight, Roomy, and Just Right perspective over a years time below. The Sizes In Parenthesis are the sizes I have tested out the most.

Sizes Evaluated During Baby's 1st Year:

Newborn vs. 0-3months

3months vs. 0-3months vs. 3-6months

6months vs. 3-6months vs. 6-9months vs. 6-12months

9months vs. 6-9months vs. 9-12months

12months vs. 12-18months

Tight:

- If it Says 3 Months It barely fits a Three month old baby, and if your baby is bigger then average, Forget it!

  • RuggedBear (3-6months)

 

Lots of room to grow:

 - If it says 3 months, it could be worn longer than the month suggested

  • Yoga Sprout (0-3months)
  • Circo (0-3months)
  • Small Wonders (0-3months)
  • Gerber (3months)
  • Carters (3months)
  • Little me

 

Just Right:

- If it Says 3 Months It is literal

  • Bon Babe (3-6months)
  • First Impressions* (3months)
  • Burts Bees
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Always remember that every baby is different. You as a mother will learn your baby as he/she grows. This is just a guide to help you during your first year of parenthood when purchasing clothes. 

If your child was born premie, or small enough to fit premie, your child most likely will be a month or so behind what the clothes label reads. For example, if your baby is turning 6 months, they most likely will be/are in the 3-6 month labeled clothing still. This is perfectly fine, just remember to buy clothes the category before from then out.

Tips - 

The fit of a particular size also makes a difference for your baby if it is labeled:

Premie, Newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months:

This size normally means it is for your baby when they turn that age and wear it until it doesn't fit anymore. These sizes worked for me for a couple months.

0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months :

This size normally means it goes in quarters, so you have at least 3 months in these age groups.

Other (6-12 months):

This supposedly means they can fit these for 6 months! I DO NOT like these. It is to much of a size gap for growing babies. If your baby is 6 months, it usually is way too large and hang/falls off of them. On the other hand if you have a large baby who outgrows sizes quickly, these may be perfect for you!

*First Impressions has sizes of 6-12 months. Other then that there other sizes tend to be quite literal. 

Hopefully, I helped you with baby clothes sizes, because they grow so fast I would love to hear about any clothes brands out there and how those sizes worked for you!

Comment
(1) You must ask permission to use my photos and (2) Content found here on Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla may not be republished word-for-word. Please note, re-word, and source recipes if not your own development. © Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla. All images & content are copyright protected. I ask for you to refrain from using my images without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and/or link back to this post for the recipe. Please and Thank You!