Sunday, June 5, 2011

Get Ready for the JUNE FEST Blog GIVEAWAY

Our lucky June Winner will have an opportunity to select one item from either of Carrie's Shops - HappyLittleMonkey or MonkeySeeMonkeyDo. Carrie is a Florida native now living in Tallahassee. She creates wonderful products for kids with practicality, utility and parents in mind.

HappyLittleMonkey specializes in great baby gifts and you can choose a Premium Swaddling Blanket and Burp Cloth Set from this Shop similar to this lovely blue, aqua and white blanket combo as your Giveaway.
MonkeySeeMonkeyDo features items for bigger kids, from age 1 to around kindergarten and growing. Or select as your Giveaway, an Appliqued Shirt from this Shop. Here's an example of Carrie's special designs.

Carrie spends hours searching for just the perfect materials and fabrics for her fabulous creations and, in addition to the Giveaway, if Team FEST members purchase a Swaddling Blanket Set by July 4th, Carrie will monogram the blanket or burp cloth FREE when FEST members use the code GOTEAMFEST in the comments.

HOW TO ENTER: Enter to win by visiting Carrie at either or both of her Shops HappyLittleMonkey or MonkeySeeMonkeyDo or any of the FEST Team members listed in the Member Section. Find your favorite item, share it with us and tell us why you love it. Remember to add your email address so we can contact you if you are the Winner! Winner picked on 07/04/11. Simple and Easy!

About the Artist:
Carrie is a stay-at-home mommy of two little ones and loves the opportunity to create great things! Her product inspiration comes from her kids, and then she create things that Moms will love too.
Carrie learned how to sew as a little girl, along-side her mother who gave Carrie her very own machine at a very young age!

Sport Brella

I was at the beach this weekend with the baby and saw this family using this cool umbrella. I asked the name and he told me SPORT BRELLA. It's just perfect when you have kids and it will protect them from the sun and wind big time. Here is a picture.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The FEST Team May Blog GIVEAWAY!!!

The FEST Team proudly presents our May Daze BLOG GIVEAWAY selection from Laura of Tierrasolpaz. Laura is an accomplished artist who enjoys creating mixed media art, jewelry, photography, zines, stationary, decoupage pieces, paper crafts - anything that materials may inspire her with. Laura uses recycled materials, or follows an upcycle philosophy whenever possible helping to keep the final cost of her creations affordable to the buyer. She is proud to be part of the etsy community of independent designers, creators, artists, and crafters alike.

Her giveaway is a stunningly beautiful and glorious sunset over water with mountains in the background of Lake Mead in Las Vegas, Nevada. The photograph will be delivered as an 8 x 10 glossy professionally printed picture.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit the team blog post May Daze BLOG GIVEAWAY to enter to win the lovely and colorful photograph by visiting Laura at Tierrasolpaz or any of the FEST Team Members listed in the Member Section. Find your favorite item, share it with us and tell us why you love it. Remember to leave your email or contact info so we can reach you if you're the lucky winner. The winner will be picked on June 4rd. Simple and Easy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We are praying for you Cameron and Courtney

In life we all have our problems and our struggles. Some small that seem so big at the time and some so large some days it is hard to get out of bed and we wonder how we are going to get through it. I recently had one of those moments. Everything seemed like it was just stacking on my shoulders and I just broke. In that moment I called one of my best friends Courtney. I have known her since middle school. We have been through so many things in our life. Some good, some not so good. We have gone days talking to each other every day to at one point not talking for years. As I was talking to her threw all the tears I said to her. . . You know, it could always be worse. There are so many people out in the world that have bigger problems in their life then I do. And at that point I felt really selfish! I am sitting here on the phone crying to my best friend about my problems and not even seeing that she has so much more on her shoulders then I ever will. So for that I am sorry, and I feel I need to share her story. If anyone needs prayer in their life and some kind of miracle it is my friend Courtney and her son Cameron.

Here is her story. . .

Courtney got pregnant last year with her 3rd baby. In all of her pregnancies she has had problems. This was the worse. She was only 6 weeks along and she had already been to the hospital more then once. She also managed to move to Texas for 5 months and then moved back to Reno. Not even being back in Reno 2 hours she was checked into the hospital. She was later released, and stayed home on bed rest for a few weeks. She was 25 weeks and 4 day along (about 6 months) and ended up back in the hospital. She had to have an emergency C-section. At 4:04am on October 6, 2010 Cameron James Damon Boswell was born only weighing 1 lb 5 oz. Cameron was born with lots of complication. He was born 15 weeks early. Right away he had problems with his heart, and his lungs were not developed. Courtney had to wait a long 9 weeks before she could even hold him in her arms.

Cameron is now 6 months old and weighs 14 lbs 4 oz . In six month this little boy has had many surgeries. Including a heart surgery, hernia surgery, and a trach put in to help get him off the vent, to only name a few. He has gone through so much fighting for his life every day. He has come so far in his short 6 month of life, but not far enough.

Everyday she is able to get out of bed. She get her kids off to school and then goes to the hospital. She spends most of the day just holding Cameron, breathing him in, talking to him and praying for him to keep up his fight. Then she goes home, spends time with Dylan, and Kaylee. Gets them off to bed, and goes back to the hospital. Every time she has to leave Cameron she struggles with it. The thought of something going wrong, the thought that she will not be able to get there in time to hold his hand, or just the thought that he is there alone. So most nights she does not even sleep more then a few hours in fear that the phone may ring and she will not hear it.

Courtney manages to care for and split her time between Cameron in the hospital, but also for her two other children at home, Dylan 13 and Kaylee 6. She is often torn between not spending enough time with Dylan and Kaylee but also not being able to hold Cameron's hand when he has his bad days, which are more often then good ones. Two weeks ago Courtney got a call from the Lung Specialist and was told, over the phone, that there was not anything more they were able to do for Cameron. They set up an time to talk with her and give her some options on how she was to let Cameron die. Cameron has had many struggles. His biggest is his lungs. He is not responding to steroids, and is not able to breath on his own. He needs new lungs, but the doctors say that he can not get new lungs because he is to sick.

Despite all the negative things that Courtney has been faced with she manages to keep it together and stay very positive. She is apart of a few support groups including What to expect when you are expecting, and Care bridge. She takes time to read everything that people write to her and responds to them. She updates her face book all the time to let everyone know how Cameron is doing. She has called and written other hospitals to get just another opinion or option for Cameron. She has not had any success. How could any mother be asked to choose how they would like their son to die??

Cameron has been here for 6 months and already he has touched so many hearts and lives.

There are so many times I don't even know what to say to Courtney and I have to hold back the tears. I can not even begin to imagine what she is going through. You may ask why am I sharing her story?? I admire her! For her strength, her ability to stay positive, her courage, and for her ability to stay strong and not give up! She has not once even thought of letting her little boy go. I want her to know that there are many people who support her. She is such a great person, a great friend, and a great mother! I pray that Cameron will prove the doctors wrong, get better, and Courtney will be able to take him home and he will live a long health life.

So. . . I am asking you, all my friends, just to say a prayer. Please pray for Courtney, her family, and for Cameron. He is a fighter and we are not giving up on him!

If you have any question about Cameron you can email Courtney at or you can follow her posts on her face book (Courtney McClure), What to expect when you are expecting, or Care bridge. Feel free to pass this along to all your friends.
By Sabrina Carlock

Friday, March 4, 2011

Can You Spoil a Newborn?!?

Find out why it's impossible to spoil a newborn with your love and attention.

Whether it’s from a family member or a well-meaning neighbor, almost every new mommy has heard the same warning at some point or another: “If you keep picking up your baby every time she cries, you’re going to spoil her.” Or “Watch out — you can spoil a newborn by feeding her whenever she wants.” To those who say you pay too much attention — don’t pay them any attention (true for much of the unwanted baby advice you’ll be getting). The truth is, it’s impossible to spoil a newborn. That’s right, impossible! And the experts agree. Here’s what the research shows:

Newborns cry because they have basic needs — to be fed, held, comforted, and loved. Their needs are actually the same as their wants at this age. And it is your job to listen to your instincts and respond to those needs and wants as best you can. If that means toting your infant around in a sling while you do the laundry or getting up every few hours throughout the night to nurse, so be it. That won’t spoil a newborn. Far from it. When you respond to your newborn’s cries and try to meet her needs, you’re teaching her to feel secure and confident. And that security and confidence will result in less crying and more independence in the long run. That’s because young babies who feel a deep trust in their parents tend to develop a secure sense of self that helps them self-soothe later on.

Newborns aren’t manipulative. Worried that your baby may be using her whimpers and tears to manipulate you? Even your precious angel isn’t smart enough for that kind of complicated thought at this young age. Newborns’ needs and wants are much more straightforward. So each time you or your hubby quickly responds to your infant’s cries for food, a cuddle, or help nodding off to sleep, you’re reinforcing the notion that you’ll be there for your little one and that she can count on you. This notion will not spoil a newborn but will instead help her develop a healthy bond with her parents. Of course there will be times when you can’t get to your infant as quickly as you might like (hey, mommies have to pee, too!), but responding to your infant’s needs as best you can will let your infant know she’s loved. And guess what? A baby who’s secure in her bond with her parents is a happier, less-needy baby — and becomes an older baby who has the courage to take on the world without clinging to you.

It's a little different with older babies. Once your baby gets to be about six months old, however, her wants will get more sophisticated and they may not be the same thing as her needs. For instance, an older baby may want to pull your hair or earring or she may want that TV remote with all the interesting buttons. In cases like that, it’s good to set some limits and teach discipline — that way, your baby will be more capable of understanding the concept that Mommy doesn’t always give me what I want, but she still loves me. For now, though, while your little one is still so young, remember that you can’t spoil a newborn — but you can teach her to trust in you and the world.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sleep Solutions for Babies

6 Ways to Establish a Blissful Baby Bedtime Routine
You've heard that bedtime routines will help lull your little one off to the land of Nod, but do you know how to start one? These tips will help you set the stage for sleep.

Just like many newbie moms, you’ve likely done your fair share of talking to experienced parents about baby sleep — and you’ve probably gotten an earful about how establishing a bedtime routine is key to instilling good sleep habits in your baby. And it’s true! A calming bedtime routine that follows a predictable pattern every night helps give your baby a heads-up that it’s time to put her little head down, which in turn helps her nod off more easily. What’s more, a bedtime routine is a wonderful way to bond with your little bundle at the end of a long day. After all, the time spent snuggling, singing lullabies, and quietly reading are some of the coziest — and calmest — you’ll get to spend with your precious peanut. So now that you’ve gotten the memo about the importance of establishing a comfortable bedtime routine, how exactly do you go about making it happen? To help you transition your baby into surefire sleep mode, keep these tips in mind:

1.) Don’t start a bedtime routine right away. No need to impose a sleep schedule on your newborn as soon as you bring her home. Your adorable bundle will likely sleep a lot those first few days. After all, she has to recover from the effort of being born (and truthfully, you’ll need to recover, too — so take advantage and catch up on your z’s now, while you can). Unfortunately, all that newborn sleep won’t come in long stretches of hours (sorry to say) because newborn eating — which will happen every two to three hours — takes precedence over a sleep schedule now. The fact is, it’ll probably be a few weeks before a pattern emerges (whatever it may be) to your newborn’s sleep. When it does...

2.) Observe your baby’s sleep tendencies. Before you bust out with a bedtime routine, get a sense of when your baby usually goes to sleep for her longest stretch of the night (keeping a sleep log can often help with this). Once you figure out when your little one’s longest snooze is (you’ll be lucky if your baby sleeps five hours in a row during these early months), you can start to time your bedtime routine in advance of that. For example, if your baby tends to sleep her longest stretch from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., aim to start fitting in a bedtime routine around 7:15 or 7:30 p.m.

3.) Start slowly. When you determine that you’re ready to start incorporating a bedtime routine into your baby’s life, slowly, over the next month or so, introduce the nighttime rituals that you want to be part of the mix. Tried-and-true bedtime charms include a soothing bath, gentle infant massages, a cuddly feeding (whether it’s from the breast or the bottle), reading a book or two, and singing lullabies (the songs and stories help your baby learn to take comfort in your voice, while the rhythm of your words will encourage her to drift off to sleep — especially when combined with cozy cuddles). Whichever rituals you choose to include, be consistent, and in time, your little sweetie will learn to equate those things with bedtime.

4.) Try to master the drowsy baby drop-off. At the end of your bedtime routine, if you can swing it, try to put your sleepy bundle down while she’s drowsy — but not actually asleep — so she gets used to falling asleep on her own (and not in your arms). This will make your life a lot easier when your baby is older, since you won’t have to spend hours (yes, it can take that long!) rocking or singing your sleepyhead off to dreamland. Plus, if your little one learns how to put herself to sleep at the beginning of the night, she should know how to put herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night (and wouldn’t that be nice!). It’s true that the drowsy baby tuck-in doesn’t work for every infant, but it’s well worth giving it a shot — and trying it over and over again, too!

5.) Abbreviate the routine during the day. In time you may likely find that your nighttime routine works just as well for naptime (in a modified form) as it does at bedtime. Take advantage of the sleep cues your baby knows and incorporate them into her before-nap pattern. While you probably don’t want to take the time or the effort to do a major bath or full-body massage, you may very well want to read a story or two or sing a song to help your cutie transition to naptime more easily.

6.) Adapt the bedtime routine if needed. While it’s important to be consistent with your baby’s bedtime routine while you’re establishing one, it’s equally important to be conscious of your growing baby’s changing needs as time goes on. For instance, as your baby gets older, bathtime before bed may turn into a rowdy activity instead of a calming one (once she learns to splash there may be no stopping her!); in that case, you’d ditch the tub and skip straight to a massage. Or if your baby starts to consistently fall asleep while you’re nursing or bottle feeding her without fueling up enough for the night, switch her before-bed snack to earlier in the bedtime routine. A little trial and error along the way can help you figure out a bedtime routine that will continue to work for your baby — and send her off to sleep feeling safe, secure, and loved.

Giving Water to a Baby

What a difference a few weeks make! You probably feel more like a seasoned pro than a fumbling first-timer. You can burp your baby with the best of them, and feedings aren’t as fraught with anxiety as they were just a mere month ago. And you’ve probably also gotten pretty adept at ignoring all the (uninvited) baby advice of strangers (or relatives!) that you don’t need (with a smile, of course). Despite your newfound confidence (at least on your good days), it’s hard not to fall prey to other people’s suggestions when you’re not sure of the information. So, if your mom or mother-in-law advises you to give your infant extra water (“She’ll get dehydrated in the hot sun without it!”), and you’re unsure about the latest advice on giving water to a baby, you may be tempted to give it a try. Here’s why you should turn away from the temptation:

Breast milk or formula is enough for young babies. Despite what well-meaning family members might say, experts now know that until your baby starts eating solid foods, infants get all the water they need from breast milk or formula. That’s right — both breast milk and/or formula will keep your infant plenty hydrated, even on steamy summer days when you might be wondering if you should offer your little hottie a cool sip of water. The only exception to the rule about not giving water to a baby this age is if the infant is sick and is losing fluids due to diarrhea or vomiting. (But ask your pediatrician about this first.)

Giving water to a baby can actually harm her. Unless she’s very sick, a baby who satisfies her appetite (and her need to suck) with bottles of water will miss out on the nutrition she needs from her feedings. If done regularly, this can cause weight loss, and in the case of breast-fed babies, it can decrease your breast-milk supply. Giving water to a baby in large amounts can even lead to oral water intoxication, a condition in which the electrolytes (such as sodium) in a baby’s bloodstream become diluted, inhibiting normal bodily functions and leading to dangerous problems such as low body temperature or seizures.

Just say no to juice too. Not only will it fill up your infant’s tiny tummy (leaving no room for milk), but also the sugar in juice can cause stomach cramping and diarrhea in young babies.

When can you start giving water to a baby, then? Most experts suggest that you wait until you’ve started feeding solids to your baby, when she’s between four and six months old. At that point, you can talk with your pediatrician about how much H2O to serve up to your little one. As for juice, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you hold off until your baby is six months old, and then, that you limit the quantity to four ounces a day. To make sure you don’t overdo it on juice (and that you don’t decay your tot’s few teeth), dilute it with water (half-and-half anyone?), and avoid giving the sweet stuff to your sweetie right before bed. But for now, though, just stick with breast milk or formula.

My Bundle of Joy is finally here!!!

After 41 weeks of waiting, my baby boy is finally here!
I've been so busy and exhausted but couldn't be happier!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

He's almost here!!!

I cannot believe 40 weeks went by so fast... January 10th was my due date and now since my baby boy is not in a hurry, I am going to be induced on Monday, January 17th!
I am a little nervous because I really wanted to have him when he is ready, but I am very anxious and it's going to be 41 weeks by Monday, so WE ARE READY!!!
Wish me luck and I will share some pictures after his arrival!

Happy 2011 to all of you!!!


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