Alrighty, mamas! Since our visit to the dentist, I have compiled a simple list of 7 things that you can do to ensure optimal dental health for your kiddos. A special thanks to my partner, Jubilee Dental Group, for making our dentist visit easy and stress-free, for getting our teeth squeaky clean and for getting our dental habits back on track! Here we go...
1. Visit a family-friendly dentist, like Jubilee Dental Group, every six months. Family-friendly dentists make it easy for the entire family to have their dental work done all in one swoop. Not only that, but in the case of Jubilee Dental, the staff is highly trained in working with children, and offers toys and special goodie bags at the end of each appointment. Neither one of my kids had any tears during their appointments; in fact, they loved visiting the dentist, especially after receiving their special toys, and look forward to our next visit - which is key!
2. Brush teeth 2x per day. Brushing in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after the last meal of the day is important for the removal of bacteria and to strengthen enamel of teeth.
3. Use a fluoride containing toothpaste. Yes, there is controversy around fluoride, especially fluoride found in kid's toothpaste, but the best way to prevent cavities and to ensure oral health is through the use of fluoride containing toothpaste. Look for a toothpaste that is ADA (American Dental Association) Approved. This ensures that the correct amount of fluoride is included in the toothpaste (not too much and not too little). FYI: only flouride-containg toothpaste is included in ADA-Approved toothpastes, so any other toothpaste that doesn't contain fluoride will not be approved. The key with fluoride-containing toothpaste is to ensure that you are not using too much toothpaste in each brushing session, especially when it comes to brushing your children's teeth. The ADA recommends only a "smear" of toothpaste, generally the size of a grain of rice, to ensure that kids are not overdoing it on the fluoride. When the child reaches the age of three, you can increase the size of the toothpaste to pea size. My favorite ADA recommended toothpaste here.
4. Store toothbrushes upright, or standing up. A great idea is to invest in a toothbrush holder! Recommended holder here.
5. Replace toothbrushes ever three months, and do not allow kiddos to share toothbrushes. The mouth is home to roughly 700 species of bacteria and sharing toothbrushes can spread this bacteria.
6. Brush teeth for two minutes. Amazon's Alexa has a fun feature in which she will play a song that lasts the duration of how long a child should brush their teeth for (two minutes). Or, invest in a teeth-brushing timer. Recommended toothbrush timer (and holder) here.
7. Clean toothbrushes after every use. Simply rinse toothbrush with warm water and allow the toothbrush to dry by standing it upright in an open-air location.
7. Floss once per day. Using kid's flossers can make flossing a lot easier. Here are my favorites here.
That's all for now! Happy brushing and flossing, mamas!
A few weeks back, I took my boys to their annual checkups. They both checked out healthy with the exception of one thing. The pediatrician asked when the last time was that either of them saw a dentist. I drew a blank. Rhett, my 3.5 year old, had only seen a dentist once in his life, and it was when we lived in Georgetown. I think he was one. And Vance, being 1.5 years old, had never seen a dentist before. I responded remorsefully as any mother would, telling the pediatrician that they were due for dentist appointments and we would make them as soon as possible. He agreed, giving me a few names of pediatric dentists in the area.
As I left that day, I scrambled to remember the names of those pediatric dentists that Dr. Brown had shared. I didn't know of any dentists being new to the Dallas area. Not only that, ideally I would love to find a dentist that could see all of us in one swoop; both a kid-friendly and adult-friendly practice. The boys weren't the only ones who lacked a proper teeth cleaning. I hadn't seen the dentist since right after I delivered Vance. Embarrassingly, that means I hadn't been to a dentist in almost two years! The problem wasn't so much that I didn't like going to the dentist, it was the fact that as a stay-at-home mom, it was nearly impossible to take the boys with me to a dental cleaning, and then a hassle to find a separate dentist for them. Also appointments were generally booked out so far that I couldn't keep track or plan that much in advance.
My mind searched for answers, wondering if I could find a family dentist that saw both kids and moms. This is when I was introduced to Jubilee Dental. Jubilee Dental is a family dentist located in the Dallas area, including locations in Allen and Lewisville. They also have locations in Wichita Falls, Sherman-Denison, and in Midwest City, OK. Their mission is to make regular visits to the dentist easy, comfortable and stress-free. Not only that, their goal is to work with families on a safe and comprehensive treatment plan to provide the highest quality care for families. Yes, they see kids AND adults, making it possible to see the entire family in one appointment. All of this, plus a kid-friendly environment to distract my children while I had my own dental exam... and I was sold.
Today, I am going to talk about a brief background on the importance of kid's oral health based on my own research. Thereafter, I will follow up with an additional blog post after I visit Jubilee Dental to share what I have learned and to review my experience. Here we go!
Why are early childhood dental visits important?
Early childhood dental visits are important to ensure that children build healthy oral hygiene and to correct any issues or habits that may hinder their oral health. Visiting the dentist earlier will give your child a better chance at preventing tooth decay and cavities. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than forty percent of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten. Tooth decay in children is absolutely preventable with the help of early and regular trips to the dentist.
What age should children start visiting the dentist and how often?
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that a child's first visit should be when the first tooth erupts in the mouth, no later than the age of one to two. The key is to start introducing children to the dentist early, not only to inspect things such as tooth decay, bite and oral hygiene, but also to familiarize them with the dentist. Thereafter, children should be visiting the dentist every six months.
What increases the risk of cavities in young children?
What decreases the risk of cavities in young children?
What kind of toothpaste is both effective and safe?
I've heard the argument for both fluoride containing toothpaste and fluoride-free toothpaste, and I look forward to hearing what Jubilee Dental has to say. As for fluoride toothpaste, apparently toothpaste containing fluoride is the only way to prevent cavities and prevents cavities by at least 25%. Not only that, but fluoride also makes the enamel of teeth stronger. Fluoride containing toothpaste is also touted as a "natural" ingredient, since it is a naturally occurring mineral. Further, the FDA has approved fluoride as a safe and effective treatment and has limited the amount of fluoride in children's toothpaste as a "safe" amount for kiddos to ingest.
Moral of the story, based on my own personal research, it seems that fluoride is a necessary part of achieving oral health in children (and adults).
So how do you find the right toothpaste for your kids? Experts recommend choosing a toothpaste that has been awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means that the toothpaste has passed several tests proving that the toothpaste is both safe and effective. Not only that, but the safety and efficacy is scientifically proven. Albeit, only fluoride-containing toothpastes are awarded ADA Seals of Acceptance, so any fluoride-free toothpaste will not fall within this category, unfortunately. Last point, ensure that the toothpaste does not contain added sugar that would promote rather than prevent cavities.
Do kids need to floss?
Oral B suggests that when kids hit the age in which their teeth are close enough together that they are touching, so around age two to three, that parents should introduce the habit of flossing. Whoa! However, children develop their own ability to floss around the age of ten. I will ask the dentist about this one!
How often should kids switch out their toothbrushes?
According to the American Dental Association, toothbrushes need to be replaced around once every three months. This is primarily due to bristle wear. As the bristles wear down, the amount of plaque they’re able to remove goes down significantly. Simultaneously, it is important to rid the toothbrush of as much bacteria as possible after each brush. How can you do this? The toothbrush should be well-shaken under water to prevent bacteria from building up. Brushes should always be stored standing up (who knew?)! A toothbrush holder is a worthwhile invest. And lastly, toothbrushes should never touch each other while being stored.
How can your family visit the dentist regularly?
As I mentioned before, visiting the dentist can be a pain. What I suggest in making these appointments as pain-free as possible is to find a local family dentist, like Jubilee Dental Group. In my opinion, to up your chances of consistent visits (every six months), I would choose a dentist that offers the following:
Stay Tuned for Tips from Our Upcoming Visit
We will be visiting the dentist next week, so please stay tuned for all of our tips and tricks on family dental health from Jubilee Dental Group.
This message has been sponsored by Jubilee Dental Group.
As most of you know, I have started selling Beautycounter. Ugh. I know. Annoying. Another multi-level marketing company to bombard you. I get it. I was you; I am you. I had written it in stone that I would never, could never sell anything for a MLM company.
In fact, I had these same thoughts when I attended a party a few months ago in which they were selling Beautycounter products, among other things. Despite my frustration walking up to the beautifully displayed Beautycounter table, I had already been thinking about switching up my skincare and makeup routine for cleaner, safer products, so I figured, why not support my friend and give it a try? Needless to say, I caved.
So I did it. I bought three Beautycounter products, thinking that I was doing a good deed. I knew that Beautycounter products were safer and cleaner; I mean the founder pushes for stricter regulation in the beauty industry for gosh sakes. I felt good about my purchase, but also skeptical that these 'clean' products may not actually work. In the past, I hadn't had the best experience with clean products because they didn't match up to the chemically-infused ones, and usually ended up switching back to my former routine.
But I decided to give Beautycounter a chance. Waiting for my products to be delivered, I was actually anticipating their delivery... like any woman would. They finally arrived and I gave them a try. Shock horror, I was beside myself when I realized these products were not only safe and clean, but that they were also equal to or greater than my existing skincare and beauty products. You think I'm lying. I get it.
After I became intrigued with Beautycounter over the next few days, my girlfriend followed up with a phone call asking if I wanted to sell their stuff. I then got off the phone and told my husband, absolutely not. I mean, I loved the products, but seriously... a MLM company? Heck-to-the-no. I vowed I would never hold my friends hostage, right? But then I had another voice in my head telling me that these products actually work. And not just that, more and more women are looking for safer alternatives that actually work. I felt that Beautycounter was the answer. It was good stuff and I couldn't deny it.
So like any fool, I called my girlfriend back up and told her that I was in. At the very least I could recoup my investment and all would be fine in the world. I purchased a huge bundle of stuff from Beautycounter and waited for it to arrive. It came and I've been trying out the products like a kid in a candy shop. Suffice it to say, I am impressed by everything the company stands for - the more I learn - and the effectiveness of the products! I don't want to sell you on it, but if, like me, you've had this little voice in your ear urging you to buy cleaner, safer products, I encourage you to give Beautycounter a shot.
Daily Makeup Routine
Okay, so what is in the video? This is my first video... really ever. So excuse the editing glitches and weird lighting switch up. I tried my best, but at the end of the day, I wanted to capture a video of my new and improved makeup routine featuring Beautycounter. Below are the products linked if you are any interest. And also my Beautycounter account because ... what the heck! <3
Beautycounter Tint Skin
Beautycounter Dew Skin
Beautycounter Matte Bronzer
Beautycounter Blush Duo
Beautycounter Concealer Touchup Pen
Beautycounter Eyeshadow Duo
Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara
Whoa, it feels like forever and a day since I sat down and blogged. With the holidays coming up and now that we are settled into our Dallas home, I figured now would be the perfect time to start back up. I wanted to start a little something called the 25 Days of Christmas this year, which will include an Instagram post on each day leading up until the 25 days of Christmas featuring these questions and topics. Basically, this is a quick Q+A with 25 questions about my family and all things Christmas! Here we go...
The 25 Days of Christmas
8 months pregnant with Kai- Baby #1
OK, everyone...all the below info is directly from my incredible nutritionist Cheri Swanson. I've pretty much learned almost everything I know from her about nutrition and my body. In fact, she was my mom's nutritionist when I was a baby! How crazy is that! At an early age I really became proactive in my health and wanted to learn the importance of fueling my body with food and how to properly do so. Cheri has helped me beyond measure, especially with my first pregnancy. I gained only 17 pounds, never got swollen, and you couldn't tell I was pregnant from behind. It was a pretty awesome pregnancy! This pregnancy has been different in a handful of ways, as with any second pregnancy, your baby bump pops MUCH earlier (at least in my case). With the help of Cheri and doing my own part with eating a whole food diet and researching the best foods for my body with a growing baby, I am feeling wonderful at 25 WEEKS! The below RECOMMENDED DAILY FOOD INTAKE is what I have been following, not rigorously, but to the best of my ability. I do however, always buy the best of the best when it comes to grocery shopping (with budget in mind) and NEVER skimp on organic fruits and veggies. : )
All that to say, I attribute so much to this amazing woman and cannot say enough wonderful things about her. She is an incredible wealth of knowledge and very well known in our community and throughout. Here on Cateandila.com, we will be sharing more articles and info from Cheri, but for now you can check out swansonhealthcenter.com to see all the goodness on pretty much anything health related! Another one of my favorite go-tos is Weston A Price. Cheri's and Price's practices and beliefs line up directly with each other. You can check out a very similar PREGNANCY AND NURSING DIET from him here: www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers
Have fun! Believe me, you won't get enough of these two!
19 days postpartum with Kai
Best Pregnancy Nutrition:
Nutrition for your baby begins long before conception. Among “primitive” populations, a common practice among isolated groups involves the feeding of special foods to both men and women for a period of time before conception occurs. Dr. Weston Price, whose research was informed by studying these groups, revealed that these foods—including organ meats, fish eggs, shell fish, and animal fats—were rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D as well as macro and trace minerals. Grass-fed meat, wild fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables (especially leafy greens rich in folic acid), pastured butter or coconut oil, yogurt, and kefir. All will contribute to optimum levels of vitamin A and D, as well as other nutrients and trace minerals essential for the beginning of life.
These foods will start by healing your body and enriching your developing eggs. They’ll nourish developing sperm as well. They’ll increase your fertile fluid, health to your reproductive organs, circulation and overall fertility. All of this works together to create an optimally healthy infant. According to David Williams, principal investigator for the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, “DNA expression can be altered at any age, but the fetus is especially susceptible because these pathways are very active as tissues grow and differentiate.” In other words, a mother’s eating habits, exercise regime, stress levels and environment actually have the power to shape the genes passed down are thought to impact the susceptibility of her child to leukemia, lymphoma, and neurological cancers, and possibly adult-onset cancers.1
Six Months Prior to Conception (Mom and Dad)
First Trimester- Large amounts of hormones are circulating during this time, with estrogen being the most prevalent. Estrogen is responsible for inhibiting ovulation and enriching the endometrium. Along with a healthy diet, a proper supplementation program will ensure that you baby receives all its requirements.
What is Wrong with Most Prenatal Vitamins?
If you look at the basic prenatal vitamin that is recommended, you will find many concerning flaws.The FDA tested 324 multivitamin-multimineral products that targeted pregnant women or small children for the presence of lead, and found that only 4 of them, or 1% tested lead-free. Lead is of particular concern during pregnancy because it causes fetal brain damage, and limited IQ, and can lead to behavioral and learning disabilities in young children.2
ALSO, Women with a slow DHFR enzyme cannot efficiently break down folic acid, which can actually block folate receptors. Therefore folate should be “methylfolate” not folic acid.
If you look at One A Day Women’s Prenatal, a very common recommendation, you will find the following food dyes: Red 40 Dye, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake and DL-Alpha-tocopheryl Acetate – the synthetic form of vitamin E that is continually problematic in studies. What is wrong with food dyes? These food dyes have been found to inhibit mitochondrial respiration; the powerhouse of your cell that houses maternal DNA. Red 3 causes cancer in animals, with evidence that other dyes also are carcinogenic. Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. At least four dyes (Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) cause hypersensitivity reactions, and numerous studies found Yellow 5 positive for genotoxicity.
An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recently acknowledged that synthetic food dyes can exacerbate the conditions associated with ADHD and other behavioral problems. While the consumption of synthetic food dyes has increased five-fold since 1955, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD increased from 150,000 in 1970, to 5.4 million by 2007.
A 2007 study in Lancet found such a strong correlation with synthetic food dyes and hyperactive behaviors in children, that they contacted the British government concluding that the harm done by artificial food dyes to children’s IQ was similar to the impact of lead on their developing brains, and that banning these additives would result in a 30 percent reduction in the prevalence of ADHD in children.
Supplements to start now, and continue through delivery and while breastfeeding:*Contact us for the vitamin and mineral recommendations specific for you.
1. Virgin Cod Liver Oil or Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil
Vitamin A and D are two of the most important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Maja H. Zile, of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, found that the major target tissues of vitamin A deficiency include the heart, central nervous system, the circulatory, urogenital and respiratory systems, and the development of the skull, skeleton and limbs. Vitamin A deficiencies during the period when any of these systems begin specialization can result in abnormalities and defects.
Recently it has been discovered that the omega-3 fats are necessary for the complete development of the human brain during pregnancy and the first two years of life. The omega-3 fat and its derivative, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is so essential to a child’s development that if a mother and infant are deficient in it, the child’s nervous system and immune system may never fully develop, and it can cause a lifetime of unexplained emotional, learning, and immune system health-issues. In addition, the DHA in animal-based omega-3 fats will prevent the vast majority of premature deliveries.3 There was a California Proposition 65 lawsuit against CVS pharmacy, GNC, Solgar and seven other national brands for selling fish oil laced with PCB’s, which are one of the most dangerous environmental pollutants. PCB’s are strongly tied to cancer and multiple birth defects. 4,5
2. Vitamin D3 Liquid by Seeking Health
The largest randomized controlled trial to date from the Medical University of South Carolina took 256 pregnant women and separated the group into two groups, 2,000 and 4,000 IU daily starting 3-4 months of pregnancy. A control group of 400IU was not allowed because the ethics committee felt that this would endanger the women and their newborns. This is the amount women take with just a prenatal vitamin! The results showed that the 4,000 IU group had 2.4 times higher of having an infant in the 50th percentile of birth weight compared to the 2000 IU group. Lower vitamin D levels were predictive of preterm delivery, infections and other complications.
Contains the good bacteria bifidus, which is passed on from the mother to the child and is important for a strong start (immunity) in life.
Solution: The problem can be from taking the wrong kind of iron, inadequate folic acid, magnesium and inadequate probiotics.
The fetal liver assumes some of the placenta’s duty as a filter and the fetus also begins to synthesize fats from carbohydrates and stores carbohydrates and iron. The last part of this trimester and the beginning of the third is when fetal bones start to thicken.
Common complaint: I’m getting leg cramps!
Solution: Continue the same diet, emphasizing calcium rich foods. Leg cramps are a sign of inadequate calcium intake. Switch to a chewable calcium and up magnesium.
Third TrimesterThe fetal brain growth is rapid and the baby is developing subcutaneous fat. This is when high quality eggs are very important along with vitamin E. Daily consumption of eggs ensures adequate lecithin, A, D, cholesterol, saturated fat, EPA and DHA, all crucial for brain development.
Common complaint: I’m getting acid reflux!
Solution: The stomach gets pushed up which can cause discomfort. Taking chewable calcium magnesium (1 per meal) can give much needed relief and ginger or peppermint tea as needed.
Labor and DeliveryDuring labor, digestion stops. It is important before labor begins to be consuming small frequent meals so that you do not have a full stomach.
1. Is Your DNA Your Destiny? Healthy Living Wellness. November Issue, Pg 184.
2. FDA Finds Lead in Vitamins. http://tinyurl.com/67nkpt3. Finnegan, John, The Facts About Fats, Celestial Arts, 1993
4. Environ Sci Technol, 2009 (Oct 15); 43 (20): 7946-51. http://tinyrul.com/y78q6n8
5. Ann Ig, 2008 (May); 20 (2 Supple 1): 59-64. http://tinyurl.com/y78q6n8
I sure hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did! All the best to you ladies, whether pregnant or not! If you don't have a lot of self control with food, get an accountability partner that will encourage you to make baby steps or just remind you of the importance of your health and especially for your baby. : ) If you're married or have a significant other in your life, encourage them to get on track with you and eat healthy! You got this!
We'd love to hear from you! Please leave your comments and questions below.
I'm a firm believer in essential oils and their powerful benefits. I discovered them a couple years ago but started educating myself and using them in the last year or so. They've become part of our daily routine whether it's for household cleaning products, using them topically, treating various ailments like colds, aches, restlessness, and even teething pain. We also diffuse them daily in different rooms in our home to create a sense of calm, revitalization, or to enhance a particular mood. Because of my beliefs in the vast benefits and healing properties of essential oils, I sought out to find the best of the best in aromatherapy.
What is Aromatherapy?
"Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine practice utilizing fragrant/aromatic essential oils that are derived from a wide variety of healing plants. When inhaled or applied to the skin, therapeutic-grade essential oils (also sometimes called volatile oils) have been shown to help people overcome various health problems without the need for medications." - Dr. Axe
In my search, I came across Organic Aromas. They have created the most beautiful nebulizing diffusers which do not use heat or water; thus, perfectly maintaining the organic, therapeutic properties of their essential oils. The best part is, these eco-friendly and elegant diffusers are made from glass and handcrafted hardwood to create a product unlike any other of its kind. The Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser looks gorgeous in any room and is the easiest and most hassle free diffuser I've ever used and owned. NO WATER = NO MESS. I don't have to worry about water damage on our wood tables or having any spills. It also does not make any noise, unlike most diffusers I have come across.
The Difference Between a Diffuser and a Nebulizing Diffuser
The real difference is there is no heat or water used, as mentioned earlier, and glass is used instead of plastic. (This is a WIN-WIN in our household as we continue to become more consciously aware of using eco-minded products).
This is important because the essential oil is not diluted or impaired, maintains it's integrity without the use of heat, will not off-gas, and is completely non-toxic, unlike it's competitors who are made of BPA containing plastics.
"They use water to carry the essential oils into the air. Not only can the oils eventually damage the plastic diffuser, but the water means that your home is filled with added humidity! Also, the scent emitted is weaker because it is diluted by water."
"They are messy and dangerous, working almost like a kerosene lamp that burns flammable chemicals and completely changes their molecular makeup. Sure, it smells nice, but that’s about it. And it’s far more dangerous."
"They work similarly, and are the more common option used today. But they still use heat, which means that your essential oils are diminished in quality thanks to the burning that causes changes in the oil on a molecular level."
"They use heating elements to gradually evaporate a mixture of oil and/or water. It works, but is far less effective, works for a shorter period and creates a weaker aroma."
DID YOU KNOW...
Essential Oils For The Whole Family
Some of my favorite essential oil blends are the ones I use for our kiddos. Because this is something we practice, if you will, as a family, our kindergartener Kai notices the effects of his oils, as do I- especially when it's time to settle down and go to sleep. As a mama, I am VERY GRATEFUL for our Organic Aromas Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser because it really does help at bedtime.
Below are just a couple blends we diffuse often:
For a great resource regarding safe practices with essential oils, among other natural and effective remedies, I refer to Mommypotamus.
***It's important to remember not to go overboard with the use of essential oils, especially with children. They must be used appropriately and only when needed. I do not use them everyday for the kids and choose safe oils when I do use them. Not ALL essential oils are safe for kids. When in doubt, speak to a professional or a qualified aromatherapist.
CLICK HERE FOR ORGANIC AROMAS ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS
HOW ESSENTIAL OILS WORK:
How To Choose The Best Essential Oils
There are many benefits to essential oils, but used improperly, can actually pose a threat to your body. Oftentimes, certain essential oil brands and non organic essential oils are full of synthetics and can contain harmful GMOs, pesticides, and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. When buying essential oils, be sure to look for these three things:
I hope you've found this article helpful! Comment below with some of your favorite blends and share the wealth and knowledge of essential oils and aromatherapy.
Thank you to Organic Aromas for making the highest quality diffusers so families like ours can be secure in knowing our home is the healthiest it can be with your five-star innovative designs and expert safety in creating pure oils using the best in therapeutic values.
Please consider talking with an expert in aromatherapy especially before using on children.
Cate and Ila is a personal blog written by Cate Burchell and Ila Raybould. Our purpose is to share our personal experiences and information as we seek to improve the health of our families through holisitic living.
Information found on the Cate and Ila site is meant to motivate you to make healthy choices based on your own research in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site! Reliance on any information provided by Cate and Ila, others appearing on the Site at the invitation of Cate and Ila, or other visitors to the Site is solely at your own risk.
Happy First Birthday, Vancey!
Today, I wanted to recap Vance's Birthday Party. First off, I cannot believe this little guy is one. Looking back, we started this blog when I found out that I was pregnant with him. Fast forward to his first birthday, and it has been nine months and one year since the conception of this blog - and the conception of Vance! Kind of a funny way of thinking about it, but also very special.
Anyways, V's big day was something that we couldn't believe came so quickly. I have a theory that life goes faster with the more kids you have, and this was certainly true with baby boy number two. As a second child, sorry bud, the birthday game is slightly different than it was with our first. For Lincoln's first birthday, I began planning months in advance. I chose a super creative theme, spent hours making custom signs, conceptualized a cake concept with a specialty baker, spent way too much money on the cake, compiled over-the-top party favors. You get the point.
When it came to V's first birthday, I had similar anticipation, but wasn't as organized or creative this time around. I wanted it to be special, but also had two kids to care for with much less time to plan. While his birthday was a little more low key than Lincoln's, I still managed to hit it out of the park without investing as much time and energy. To do this, I focused on a few big ticket items rather than micromanaging every little detail. The three items I focused on were:
Theme + Decor
I'll start with the theme. In the Raybould household, every child's birthday must have a theme because I'm OCD like that. Themes, as fun and necessary as they are, help to create organization and cohesiveness to party planning! Our tradition in selecting themes for the two boys' birthday parties started naturally with Lincoln's first birthday. We simply thought about the one thing that embodied him around the time of his birthday, and for Lincoln, that happed to be airplanes. At the time, we lived in Georgetown, DC, where the planes constantly flew over head. Lincoln soon became obsessed with planes and would perch up at our windowed door to see them every time they flew by. So, what better theme than an airplane theme? I put a little twist on it and decided to go with "vintage fighter planes" because it sounded and looked cooler. Carrying on, for Lincoln's second birthday, he was obsessed with sports, so we did a sports theme.
When it came to choosing Vance's first birthday theme, it was clear as day what we were going to choose. Vance loves music and dancing, and has since he could pick up a beat - probably around six months. Therefore, it was easy to choose the theme being music. We also reside in Nashville, which is the country music capital and also the city he was born in. Needless to say, it was the perfect birthday theme.
So perfect, in fact, that it had to be tainted (or enhanced) by the fact that we chose to throw his birthday on Saint Patrick's Day. March 17th. I pondered keeping the music theme and nixing anything that involved green and Saint Patrick's Day, but what kind of birthday witch would do that? Ultimately, we combined the two themes and Vance's big day ended up being St. Patty's Day green mixed in with music and guitars. You can imagine what that does to an OCD party planner like myself... simply not cohesive AT ALL, but whatever, I let it slide. :)
With the theme being self-explanatory, we went simple with decor focusing on the colors: green, gold and black. We ordered some music note balloons and also a "1" balloon in the coordinating colors and purchased matching napkins, plates, etc. At the last minute, I did go all out on his "ONE" birthday sign, which you can see in the background of the photos. Yes, I made it. I was at Walmart and found all of the supplies as I was pursuing (kid-free) through the aisles. It was cheap and easy, which is really the only reason why I did it.
The biggest cash item was V's birthday cake. To say the least, I am a bit of a cake enthusiast. For Lincoln's birthday party we, no joke, spent over $200 on his cake. For me, it isn't about spending the most amount of money possible, but instead, it's about coming up with a cake that fully represents my kids! Not only that, but selfishly, it is beyond satisfactory to partake in conceptualizing the cake concept and to watch it perfectly come to life. Seriously, I think I have an obsession (or problem).
Ryan, my husband, never let me live down the fact that we spent so much on our first son's birthday cake. So much that I vowed I would never overspend on a birthday cake again... that is, until our second son turned one. It was too tempting! I love specialty cakes that perfectly embody the theme, and thus my little boys.
After deciding to (most likely) move forward with a cake, I started reaching out to a few cake companies for bids. The numbers they threw out were over $200, which wasn't in the cards for us. At the last minute, I reached out to my neighbor and asked if she had a recommendation, which she did. It was a bakery called My Sweet Dessert in Franklin, TN.
My Sweet Dessert was within a reasonable price range, which I felt comfortable spending for the kind of cake I knew I was going to get. I had seen her beautiful cakes at my neighbor's kid's birthday parties, which assured me they were totally worth the price.
In addition to the cake, I always recommend asking for or purchasing a smash cake that compliments the larger cake. If you go with a specialty cake decorator, they will almost always have this option. Sometimes they even throw in the smash cake for free. We always go with a vanilla flavor smash cake, which is easier to clean that a darker flavored cake.
If I were to recommend anything to a parent throwing a kid's birthday party, it would be to get something fun for the kids to do! Getting a bounce house is our go-to. It's easy, cost efficient and always hits home with the kids. Our (other) sweet friends and neighbors had lent us their bounce house for Lincoln's second birthday and also offered it for V's first birthday. Of course, we said yes! We love this bounce house so much that we purchased our own days after the party. You can find it here.
In sum, the day was incredibly special. V devoured two pieces of cake and played nonstop with his neighborhood friends. He felt celebrated and we brought together community to do so... which is the most important part.
Anyways, hope y'all enjoyed seeing his birthday come to life! We still cannot believe how fast this year went by and that our sweet baby is ONE.
Today, we wanted to share a shoe brand that we've recently come to know and love. If you're anything like us, you know how hard it is to find a "mom" shoe that is both trendy and functional. Surprisingly, we've found one in the brand that is YOU By SKECHERS. Do ya'll remember SKECHERS? I used to wear SKECHERS when I was a little girl. Funny how things come full circle since they are now one of my favorite brands of shoes as a mom. And here is why...
My ride or die everyday outfit is a good pair of workout pants paired with a comfy top. I am always dressed to workout (for the most part), even if I'm not going to. While I have my outfit down pat, I've had a difficult time finding a good pair of active shoes to compliment my outfit and also my lifestyle as a mama. What I have been looking for is a shoe that is somewhere in between a running shoe and a trendy shoe. Why? I feel geeky wearing running shoes all day long and generally trendy shoes aren't comfortable enough to wear the entire day. As a mom, I needed a shoe that allowed me to keep up with my kids all day long without feeling inhibited by discomfort.
Finally, Cate and I were introduced to YOU By SKECHERS. These shoes were exactly what we had been looking for! They are somewhere in between a workout shoe, but cute enough not to be one. Not only that, but they enhance our lives in a way that allows and permits us to be as lively and as active with our kids as we should be! Not sure about you, but I feel like when I'm not dressed appropriately, I have less fun with my kids. Alternatively, when I am dressed appropriately, - meaning active, flexible, and fitting - I have a way better time with my kids. YOU By SKECHERS allows me to do this.
Fun Facts About My YOU By SKECHERS
The three pairs of YOU By SKECHERS shoes that I own are:
Why do I love YOU By SKECHERS?
My favorite places to wear YOU By SKECHERS (besides all day everyday):
That's all for now, ladies! Get out and enjoy your kiddos.. hopefully with your YOU By SKECHERS!! Stay tuned for more of our fave products.
This content has been created in partnership with YOU By SKECHERS.
Diaper duty. Diaper changing and techniques are a must learn as a parent of babies. It is the inevitable duty that just comes with the territory of being a mom or dad- whether you mind it or not! It’s truly surprising how much can actually go into changing a wet or poopy diaper! With my firstborn I quickly learned I needed to have a station set up and all the goodies prepped and ready to go. Many a times I was unprepared and without necessary items (aka a diaper) and it made for changing baby’s diaper a heck of a lot harder and longer than it needed to be. Also, I didn't really know the importance of having a clean station and how using a diaper pale could be so beneficial!
Now with my second baby, I use the Playtex® Diaper Genie® Complete. It has an Odor Lock System, yes I'm serious, and double Air-Tight, odor controlling and antimicrobial clamps, which has been a game changer when it comes to keeping the room smelling fresh and getting rid of dirty diapers FAST! Most diaper pails I've come across make it hard to open and put the diaper in, with baby in hand; however, the Diaper Genie® has an easy-to-use foot pedal! The pail also comes fully assembled and has refills so I don't have to go up and down the stairs to put the dirty diaper in the trash. Even when I've done this, it's caused the entire garage to smell hideous very quickly. NOTE TO SELF- do not put dirty diapers in regular trash bins!
The How To's Of Diaper Changing
1.Wash Your Hands
Help reduce the spread of germs and run your hands under warm water so your hands aren’t freezing when you touch baby. He will appreciate it. : )
2. Use A Diaper Caddy
Put one by your changing station and LEAVE IT THERE. My husband used to laugh at me when Banx was first born. I’d change his diaper in pretty much any room of the house but would forget all the necessities. He’d hear me call out, “Babe…” and by the guilty tone of my voice he would laugh and bring me a diaper, wipes, cloth, or butt balm. Needless to say, I FINALLY learned my lesson and now use a basket to store all the diaper changing goods. It’s perfect and cute, too! In the nursery, everything is organized in the drawer of our changing table.
3. Stash Plenty of Diapers and Wipes
Always have back up! You definitely don’t want to be diaper-less or wipe-less mid diaper change! I recommend a company like Honest Diapers that come monthly or something that makes it easy. We sometimes order our diapers off Amazon Prime, but we have to remember to order before our supply is low!
4. Grab a Burp Cloth
Sometimes baby spits up when lying down in this position. Be prepared and have a burp cloth closeby!
5. Use a Distraction
Have a jar of tethers/pacifiers and some toys handy to give baby if he needs a distraction- This can help immensely especially if baby is squirmy. He may be more focused on the toy than the poop in his diaper!
6. Use a Waterproof Changing Pad or Cover
For the nursery I use the Nook Pebble Change Pad. The materials include- Eucalyptus, Organic Cotton, Zinc, Easy-Close Nylon Zipper. The fabric is water proof and it’s easy to clean. If you are changing baby on the couch or the bed, I recommend the Lil Helper Large Bamboo Change Mat. The top layer is quilted with 70% organic bamboo and 30% organic cotton on both sides and the top layer is made from pesticide and bleach-free bamboo/cotton. The waterproof barrier is phthalate; BPA, lead and heavy metal free. BOOM! It’s also easily folded and stored like a blanket, or you can take it with you on the go! It can also be used as a crib pad or a play mat. Pretty nifty, eh!?
7. Remove Baby's Clothing
This is self explanatory, but what I really mean is you might think about removing socks and pants altogether. For strictly wet diapers it’s not necessary. In fact, I usually leave shorts or pants on and pull them down to baby’s ankles. It can make the whole process a little easier; however, when their is poop involved I’ve changed way too many diapers where baby starts kicking and I lose grip of his feet and it gets all over his socks and pants. Talk about a mess!
8. Use a Bottom Wash or Wipe Warmer
I found this to be especially important when baby has started eating solids and the poops are stickier and messier. Warm wipes help to remove everything and the bottom wash helps to conserve the amount of wipes used and gives baby a fresh little bum rather than putting him in the bath. It may sound ridiculous because it kind of is, but it is totally worth the purchase! You can also make your own bottom wash using a dark glass spray bottle. It's hard to find a bottom wash without preservatives and chemicals in it. I like this little mixture HERE.
When Banx was an infant, I used organic cotton or bamboo small baby washcloths (SEE BELOW), wet them in warm water, rung out the cloth and used it to wipe his bottom. The wipes or cloths, if you will, that the hospital gave us when we came home with Banx were so rough. I also didn't feel comfortable using them because of the potential harsh chemicals that were used to make them (yes, this is why I love to choose organic as much as I can especially when baby is brand new with very sensitive, susceptible skin). Exposure to harsh chemicals early on can have side effects so I make an extra effort to use organic wipes/cloths and put him in organic jammies (where he spends most of his time sleeping in). Ya feel me?!
9. Wipe Well
Obviously! For girls, wipe front to back to prevent infections. For boys, this isn’t necessary. You may want to cover his penis with a cloth in case he decides to pee everywhere (I’m sure it’s happened to the best of us)
10. Use a Dry Cloth To Pat Baby's Bottom Dry
Since babies seem to get red bums and diaper rash often, be sure to have a handy dandy little cloth to be sure his bottom stays dry. I keep a couple in my drawer and wash them frequently. You can find organic bamboo washcloths HERE on Amazon. There a quite a few brands that make these soft organic washcloths. I stock up and have some for baby's face, some for his bottom, and others I use in the bath. They are great and can save you money on wipes. I also used them when the boys were first born since I didn't want to use any harsh wipes on their sensitive newborn skin. I didn't mind washing them after use because I felt good that they never had diaper rash.
11. Use a Bottom Balm
I don't always do this after each diaper change, but if baby's bum is a little red I like to use my zinc oxide paste. I swear by it! It works like a charm and clears his redness within a day! I also be sure to use petroleum free and chemical free products. Ya'll I can't stress this enough. READ YOUR LABELS! Sometimes I even come across a product that is all organic. Mama like! I highly recommend keeping organic coconut oil in the house in your kitchen, your bathroom, and baby's room or wherever is convenient. It is a MUST to have for various reasons and uses. It has anti- inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties which makes it great for cradle cap, eczema, diaper rash smooth hair, dry and chapped lips, baby acne, and more!
Here are a couple diaper rash salves to try:
Bee All Natural Organic Diaper Rash Salve- IN A GLASS JAR : )
Green Goo Organic Miracle- IN A GLASS JAR : )
Ora's Amazing Herbal Baby Salve- IN A GLASS JAR : )
Hills Remedy Diaper Rash Relief
Badger Baby Oil- IN A GLASS JAR : )
12. Use a Diaper Pail That Works!
The Playtex® Diaper Genie® Complete works wonders and prevents the room from smelling like the sewer. Diaper pails can actually help reduce the spread of germs. I love that I can open it with my foot because during diaper changes my hands are never free, especially when baby becomes really mobile. Sometimes it takes extra effort to hold him down on the table while rolling up the poopy diaper. The last thing I want to do is reach over and open the pail with my hand. Also, the refills are easy to replace. It's a no brainer and a win in my book!
13. Clean The Changing Area and Changing Pad Often
I keep my non-toxic cleaner and a paper towel role or rag in the boy’s bathroom that is nearby so I don’t have to run downstairs to get anything. This is really important to ensure baby doesn't catch any germs and just for cleanliness purposes. I do my best not to skimp on this area and have a couple organic changing pads covers on hand . I love the ones from Modern Burlap!
14. Clean Your Hands!
Ok, so some of you, like me, don't actually wash your hands with soap and water right after each diaper change. Let's be real! And for those of you that do, bravo! I use a Nature's Paradise Coconut Hand Cleanser hand spray when I'm not washing my hands. It does the trick and then I know I have to wash my hands later. A quick fix is better than no fix!
Ok so now on to what you probably DIDN'T KNOW...!
Diaper Changing and How To Reduce Colic