Book Review: I Love You Just Because by Donna Keith Illustrated by Alison Edgson

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Three different baby bears, one family. I Love You Just Because by Donna Keith is all about loving someone for what is on the inside, not the outside. This sweet little rhyming book is great for older preschool children and up. The lesson to be learned is: Even if you look different from one another, that doesn’t mean that you are not special in your own way.

I Love You Just Because is inspired by the author’s daughter’s interracial family. I personally think it would also be a great book for a family who is adopting or for a child that has already been adopted. I really liked the bible verses on each page, as a child grows, each verse can be discussed in different ways.

The illustrations by Alison Edgson are cute and fun. They engaged my son, who is 2. He enjoyed pointing to the different animals and learning about different types of bears.

Overall, I would say this is a decent children’s book. I would definitely recommend it, as I said above, to a family who plans on adopting, or to a family that has already adopted. The rhymes seem forced on many of the pages, which seems to be a trend with christian children’s books. I wish authors would just write stories that didn’t rhyme, sometimes.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Fit Snack Subscription August 2016 Review

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I missed last month’s Fit Snack review and for that I am very sorry. The box was great, as always, and filled with tons of delicious snacks. Things have been more hectic and exhausting around here and blogging has, unfortunately, been pushed towards the side, for now. With that being said, here is my August Fit Snack review:

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Elmhurst Harvest Pistachio Milk: Non-daily milk alternative. Since this drink is made with pistachios and walnuts, I can’t drink it. It is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and GMO free. It is in our fridge for my husband to try out. We got a huge sample, which is great.

Dandies Marshmallows: I am so excited to try these, come fall, in my hot chocolate. Dandies are made with natural ingredients. They are gelatin free, vegan, contain no GMOs, and are kosher. Get in my belly, marshmallows.

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Vintage Italia’s Pasta Chips: These Tuscan- inspired chips can’t be missed. I ate them with my lunch one day (don’t judge my waffle lunch!) and really enjoyed them. My box also came with a coupon for a free bag (I have seen them at Walmart!) and a coupon for $1 off another bag. We will be redeeming both coupons, for sure.

Detour Bar: Jim ate this protein after a 16 mile run. He said it was really good. it is made with whey protein and healthy fiber. It does not have any artificial ingredients and is gluten free!

Barney Almond Butter: I can’t used these samples, since they’re almond, but Jim will take them to work and use it on crackers.

Bite Fuel Protein Cookie: Jim said these protein cookies were not very good. He said they tasted like protein powder. They are made with 18 grams of whey protein, do not contain GMOs, and are gluten free.

Hotze Vitamins: This was a bonus item and I probably will not use them.

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Now is a great time to sign up for a Fit Snack subscription. All of the snacks would great additions to anyone’s lunch box. Why not start your child’s year off on the right foot by giving them healthy, nutritious snacks, every single day.

If you have never heard about Fit Snack, please check out another one of my posts about the amazing subscription box company based out of Colorado. I love how each box comes with new exercises, workout tips (this month was a four week outdoors fitness challenge, perfect for fall), and coupon codes for some of the snacks in the box.

I was given a Fit Snack box in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Fit Snack!

A Summer Adventure to Remember

Jim found this really cool trail and beach near our house. You can’t swim in the water, but you can play in the sand. What a great way to end my 29th year of life and the eve of my 30th Birthday. Sometimes it’s the little, spontaneous moments  that you never want to forget.

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We hiked for about 1/2 mile to the beach. It was so quiet.

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We worked on our gross motor skills but putting sand in buckets

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Fact: Jimmie was pretty upset because he just realized he was playing in sand. Hence, the sweet, sweet cuddles.

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Sometimes selfies just don’t work out #selfiegonewrong

 

10 Not-So-Common Pieces of Advice for New Moms

The worst piece of parenting advice I ever received was, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” I tried to nap when the baby napped; I tried to go to bed when the baby went to bed. But if I sleep when the baby sleeps when do I get some “me” time? I’m all about listening to parenting advice. Sometimes it isn’t practical; but sometimes it is really helpful. Here are ten pieces of advice that I would like to pass along to other new moms, without sounding like a know-it-all:

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  1. When you’re in the hospital, ask the nurses to take the baby to the nursery for a few hours. My brother gave me this advice right before I went into labor and it was a lifesaver. I understand that rooming with your child is the best option, and I am all about it for the majority of the hospital stay. But getting a few (okay maybe one) hours of uninterrupted sleep before you take your newborn home feels amazing.
  2. Teach your baby how to fall asleep on their own before six months. I read this piece of advice in a book and it was one of our sleeping goals with our son. We were very diligent with it (even though rocking a baby to sleep is the sweetest thing ever) and he was self-soothing by three months (with the help of a sound machine).
  3. It is okay to stop breast feeding. Not many people are going to tell you this, but I will. You know what’s important? That your baby eats. It doesn’t matter if it is formula or breast milk. Eating is what is best. Period.
  4. Go to library time even when your baby is teeny tiny. You can start going to library time at your local library as soon as you baby is born, although I would wait a couple of weeks. Your child starts to learn way before they enter this world, and continue to learn every single day after that. Not only is library time beneficial for your baby, it is also the best place to meet mom friends. Plus, it’s a free mommy/daddy and me class.
  5. Get off your phones at the park. I don’t care how many other moms try to rationalize being on their phones at the park while their kids are busy playing. If you want to be on your phone, don’t take them to the park. I’m not saying you have to play with them the entire time you are there, but at least watch them and wave every once in a while. Our parents didn’t have cell phones at the park and they survived parenthood. I get it, we all need a break. I am all about putting myself in mommy time-out, but the park isn’t the place to do it. (Of course, the occasional picture is acceptable.)
  6. Giving a baby solid foods before six months is kind of a waste. Sure, it is fun to see your baby spit mashed peas out and make funny faces. But let me tell you, bottle feeding and breast feeding really are easier. We started our son at exactly six months on solids and he is a fantastic eater at almost 2 ½. He even slept through the night at four months, without the help of rice cereal/oatmeal.
  7. Get your kid off the bottle by the time they turn one. I know this is easier said than done but when our son was 11 months, we started taking one bottle away every week. By the time it was the day before his Birthday, he was drinking whole milk from a straw cup, and we never looked back. The older they get, the harder it is to take the bottle away. Plus, who actually enjoys cleaning bottles?
  8. Speaking of cups, skip the sippy. I was all about trying to get Jimmie to use a sippy cup even though he had mastered a straw cup. Sippy cups are basically bottles with different lids, just another item you’re going to have to wean your child off of. Straw cups help children develop stronger mouth muscles for speech.
  9. Give your child the food you are eating almost every single night. Even when I think our son is going to hate the meal I have prepared, I give him some (plus other options I know he will eat) just so he can try it. Sometimes, he loves our main course more than his. By now, he eats 95% of the same foods we eat, even spicy foods like Korean dishes. It is very rare that I make him something completely different than what we are eating. And if he doesn’t eat what we give him for dinner, he doesn’t get anything else. It sounds harsh, but he probably only completely refuses dinner once or twice a month because of this. Kids eat when they’re hungry.
  10. Parenting is hard. Okay this isn’t advice, it is just a fact. Not only is it physically exhausting but it is also emotionally exhausting. I bite my tongue whenever I am about to tell another parent that they grow up too fast and to enjoy these days. Because honestly, we have had many not so great days in our house. Some days, I am far from enjoying parenting. Don’t feel guilty. Just open a bottle of wine, pray for bedtime, and start again tomorrow. You’re doing great! (For every bad day, there are two good days, remember that, too.)