Nine More Months

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Swim Safety Tips with SwimWays

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for #SwimWays. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Summer will be here before you know it! Here in Southern California it's Summer every other week, basically. But real Summer will be here soon enough, and we can't be more excited for all of the fun activities that it brings. Our favorite of course being swimming.

A day at the pool is so much fun for my little ones, but it can be really stressful for me. I used to be terrified to take all four of my kids to the pool without help, which severely limited our pool days, sadly. Over the past couple of years I've gotten a little better, a little wiser, but definitely not older. Anyway, enough denying my upcoming 30th birthday, I've put together some Summer Swim Safety Tips to help keep your kids safe while they're having fun at the pool.

1. Set clear rules, and make sure everyone understands them. We have very simple rules that even my toddler knows to follow. The first one is: No entering the pool without a grown up. For the toddler, he's also not allowed to get in the water without his life vest. The next rule is: Stay where your feet can touch the bottom of the pool unless a grown up is with you. My older boys can get a little brave, and I worry that if they have any trouble, I might not be able to get to them quickly. The last rule is mainly for my sanity: Stay where I can see you. I count heads constantly when we're in the pool, and I start to panic if I can't see one of my kids at any given moment, so I just ask them to stay in my view at all times. If they can't see me, that means I can't see them,

2. Use lifeguard-approved floating devices. For each stage it's a little different. My older two can swim unassisted and they like to dive for toys, so no more floaties or life vests for them. They have boogie boards that they can strap to their arm when swimming around, and it's an added sense of security for them and for me. My toddler has a life vest that gives him a lot of confidence in the pool, and gives me peace of mind. And the baby, though she stays with me at all times, has a SwimWays Baby Spring Float that she absolutely loves floating around in. It also gives me a free arm if I need it.

3. Keep little ones within arm's reach. I try to keep a hand on the baby float the entire time we're in the pool. Of course sometimes I let go to splash or tickle her, but I don't let her get away from me. My toddler likes to swim free, but I do ask him to stay close to me. He's happy as can be swimming back and forth between the wall or the stairs and me.

4. Take advantage of swimming lessons. Not all parents can afford to put their kids in a swim school. Look in your area for special events or local deals on swim classes. You can check out for some great resources on classes. One swim class is better than nothing! Some areas even have free group swimming safety classes to celebrate National Learn to Swim Day, which is May 16, 2015. Everyone deserves to know how to swim!

5. Have fun! Swimming should be fun for everyone, including parents. Bring lots of toys to play with and make sure to have enough sunscreen to last the day.

We had a lot of fun swimming with our new SwimWays Baby Spring Float. Before we got it, taking the baby into the pool was kind of a chore. She loves the water, but she simultaneously wants to be held and doesn't want to be held at the same time. It's exhausting.

The SwimWays Baby Spring Float was so much more relaxing for both of us. She was instant smiles, and loved being pushed and pulled around the pool. She could even splash in the water right in front of her.

We think the Baby Spring Float is the best baby float you can buy! It is perfect for introducing babies to the water without any stress or tears. It won't take forever to blow up, either. The inside ring took me about 4 big breaths, and the outside took me about 10. Obviously your lung capacity will differ from mine, but you'll have plenty of air left when you're done.

You can pick up a Baby Spring Float from ToysRUs. While you're there, check out the rest of the SwimSteps line - products designed in stages to help children become confident swimmers.

Have a safe swimming season!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Orange County Community Foundation - Give Where Your Heart Lives

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the client. All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. 

When you make charitable contributions, where do they go? Do you choose based on common interests? Do you give locally, nationally, or even globally? While I personally support any kind of giving, it is most important to me to put my time, effort, and money into my local community. It can sometimes be overwhelming to try to pick from all of the great local non-profits, which is where the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) comes in.

The OCCF connects families, individuals, and business with non-profits throughout orange county who need support. They offer grants and resources to help strengthen our local charities and build community.

This year, the OCCF is making it even easier to contribute to your favorite local charities with their first ever i♥oc Giving Day. During this special 30-hour period, they hope to raise at least $2 million combined for the participating organizations.

Why should I give on Giving Day?

There are so many opportunities for giving throughout the year. What makes the i♥oc Giving Day so special?
  • Your Giving Day donation stays 100% local.
  • You choose the cause and your gift benefits them directly.
  • Your donation pooled with others throughout OC makes a bigger impact.
  • Starting at just $25 for donations, a little goes a long way.
  • Supersize your gift with $500,000 in bonuses and prizes to be awarded.

Where does your heart live?

Find out more about the more than 340 participating nonprofits, and see which ones are closest to your heart by visiting the i♥oc Giving Day page. You can also enter to win $150 to grant to the charity of your choice either through the Giving Day page, or by using the rafflecopter widget below. The prize will be awarded by OCCF and it is not the responsibilty of Nine More Months for winner selection and redemption.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 6, 2015

20 Unexpected Uses for Baby Wipes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias

When you have four kids, shopping trips have to be efficient. One of my favorite places to go is Sam's Club because I can get everything I need for the little ones in one place, and without spending our entire paycheck!

Sam's Club's Member's Mark brand has lots of great baby products that fit your life and your budget. I'm fortunate that my two babies can wear the same size diapers, so I can buy one large package that lasts us well until the next big shopping trip.

Another thing I love about Sam's Club is how great they treat their members! The employees are always helpful, and very generous with samples for my kids, too! They also have a great pharmacy to help keep your whole family healthy. You can even find great parenting tips, such as Diaper Rash Basics, and how to deal with picky eaters in this month's online issue of Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine, a free resource provided to Sam's Club Members! The magazine is a great way to find simple solutions for problems, and discover great products at Sam's Club.

As much as I love getting more for my money, I also love getting the most out of my baby products. One of the most multi-functional products that you probably have in your house right now is baby wipes. Those suckers can do almost anything! Since I have a nice stockpile of them, I can keep a package in every single room of the house, for more than just diaper changes. They can do all kinds of things! Inspired by the great tips in the Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine, I've put together a list of 20 things you might not have known you could use baby wipes for!

In the Bathroom: 

Remove Makeup - They're made to be gentle, so I have no problem using them to take off waterproof mascara and other hard to wash off cosmetics.

Stray Hair or Bed Head - If you have some strands that don't want to cooperate, just wipe them down with a baby wipe. The conditioning ingredients help tame them and keep them in place.

Get Deodorant or Toothpaste off of clothes - Before kids it was such a bummer when I got one (or both) of these on my outfit as I was getting ready! I would have to find something else to wear because I couldn't figure out how to get it off without the washing machine. These both wipe off with a diaper wipe easily.

Get Hair Dye off Skin - When dyeing hair at home, you always get a little dye on your skin. It comes right off, no stain at all, with a swipe of a baby wipe.

Last Minute Clean Up - Ever have an unexpected guest come by and you know your bathroom is a mess? After I answer the door I just say, "I was just about to run to the restroom, excuse me for a second and make yourself at home!" A quick clean up with a diaper wipe and no one is the wiser! (How do you think I cleaned up for that photo?)

In the Laundry: 

Take stains off clothes - Fresh stains come right off with a baby wipe. I no longer worry when my kids eat something messy. 

Freshen Wrinkled Clothing - Throw a wet baby wipe or two in the dryer to freshen up wrinkled clothes.

In the Kitchen: 

Lunchbox Wipes - Don't worry while your messy eater is at school. Put a wipe in a small baggy in their lunch and they can wipe themselves up much easier than with a dry napkin. (I've trained mine to save the wipe baggy so we can reuse it.)

Cold Pack - Fold a few wipes and place them in a sandwich bag. Add a little water, not more than the wipes can absorb, and freeze. Now you have a perfect portable and affordable cold pack.

Around the House: 

Couch Spills - Keep your couch stain free! Every time something spills, just wipe it up with a baby wipe and it will be as good as new. 

Dusting - The little grooves in the baby wipes are great for holding dust.

Craft Clean Up - Acrylic paint, glue, markers, glitter, etc. It all comes off the table pretty easily if you clean as you go with baby wipes.

Remove Crayon - I've successfully removed crayon from the table, walls, doors, TV, computer screen, and the couch with baby wipes!

Spot Clean the Floor - Weird sticky spots disappear quickly when wiped up with a baby wipe.


Dirty Feet - Keep dirt outside. Wipe dirty feet at the door. Durable baby wipes can handle the job without falling apart.

Perfect Picnicware - Have you ever been eating on the go and realized you forgot a utensil? If you're like me you can probably dig up a dirty plastic fork or spoon in your car, but ew! If you wipe it with a baby wipe then dry with a napkin you'll be just fine.

In the Car:

A Quick Freshening Up - After a long drive you may feel a little gross. Freshen up with a few wipes when you're on the go.

Dirty Dashboard - Wipe with baby wipes to shine and clean your dash!

Clean the Windshield - Got a pesky squashed bug in your view? Next time you stop, wipe it off with a diaper wipe and it's gone. Run your wipers afterwards for a streak free finish. Works for bird droppings too!

Do you have any interesting uses for baby wipes?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Five Reasons to Spend Your Spring Break with Knott's Berry Farm

I was given tickets to attend the Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival by the awesome folks at GigaSavvy. They have also provided me with two tickets to give away, so be sure to read to the bottom to enter to win them! No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

At Home with Graco® - The Simple Sway™ Swing and More Multi-functional Baby Products

Tracking Pixel As a mom of four kids, it seems like I'm the resident expert on baby stuff for my friends and family. Even though it may seem like I'm a pro, baby gear is constantly changing and I still feel like I have a lot to learn! Graco® recently sent me a few of their newest products, and invited me to join some awesome San Diego bloggers and moms to learn more about and discuss these must-have baby items. While I've only been having babies for about 10 years, Graco® has been making trusted, quality and helpful products including car seats, strollers, travel systems, swings, highchairs, playards and more for over 60 years.

We all gathered at the beautiful home of Theresa, who is one of the lovely bloggers at Mom Smack. She set up a great brunch for us, and it was nice to just hang out and chat as moms, about mom stuff of course. I left my kids with a sitter, so it was extra nice for me to be able to have uninterrupted conversations. Well, uninterrupted by my kids, anyway.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Great Non-Candy Valentines for Little Ones

Valentines Day is a day to show your love and appreciation for friends and family. Although it's traditionally a holiday for couples, children celebrate it at school with their friends. Growing up, my mom always had a little treat for us on Valentines Day. It always made me feel special to know she was thinking of me that day. 

I decided to continue the tradition with my little ones as well. There is always an abundance of candy choices when it comes to Valentines Day, but I like to choose a gift that lasts longer than one day and isn't filled with sugar. These sweet gifts are sugar free and perfect for your tiny Valentines.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Family Time at Knott's NYE - Giveaway

This post and giveaway is sponsored by our friends at GigaSavvy on behalf of their client, Knott’s Berry Farm. SoCal Locale is running the giveaway and is responsible for the winner selection and prize fufillment.

After you have kids, New Year's Eve becomes a different kind of holiday. No more partying until way past midnight with our friends. Some years we were so tired that we just laid in bed and watched the countdown, passing out shortly after midnight. What a way to ring in the new year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sili Squeeze - Squeezing the Goodness out of the Holidays - Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post to help spread the word about Sili Squeeze and their 15 Days of Sili Giveaways. All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Have you heard of Sili Squeeze? It's the original reusable pouch, designed to hold smoothies, purees, yogurt, soups and more! Perfect for on-the-go families who are looking for healthier and more sustainable choices for their snacks, lunchboxes, or diaper bags. My kids just love applesauce pouches and other fruit (and sometimes veggie) purees, but I just hate all of the empty pouches that get thrown away. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Knott's Merry Farm Is Back!

This post is sponsored by our friends at GigaSavvy. We were given free tickets in exchange for sharing the details of the upcoming awesomeness that is Knott's Merry Farm! 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October is SIDS Awareness Month: Do You Know How to Reduce this Risk?

SIDS is the mysterious cause of death of many seemingly healthy infants each year. First times moms as well as seasoned moms spend the first few months of their baby's lives in fear of the worst. Knowing the facts and learning how to reduce the risk can really help put your mind at ease. Pamela Pimentel, RN, CEO of MOMS Orange County has some great information and advice for moms of infants who might be at risk.