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Giving Thanks – Giveaways

Yay! It’s Thanksgiving week.  This is my favorite holiday–a time for family fellowship, delicious food, and a time to be thankful for our blessings.  Even amidst tough recessional times, we always have things to be thankful for, and usually it’s the things that matter most.

I’m thankful for my wonderful husband and adorable son.  They keep me laughing, and they keep my feet grounded when times are rough.  Let’s face it, the road of parenthood is anything but smooth, but at least it’s adventurous and enriching.  My life is so much fuller because of my amazing family.

I’m also thankful for my blessed Savior, Christ Jesus.  In spite of the wretched and sinful wreck that I am, He called me His own and accepted me into his flock.

I’m very thankful to all of you who continue to read my posts.  You know there are days when I’m all over the place with my writing, or there are times I’ve been silent, but you’ve stuck with me.  Thank you!

Things have been rather chaotic hectic insane stressful busy lately with starting up a practice while Calvin’s been teething and getting over a very nasty cold.  There are only so many hours in a day.  I only have 2 hands, and most of the time I use them to take care of my son instead of do things to get the business side of the practice organized, so, we’re a little behind schedule.

As a result, I need to reorganize my blogging commitments so I can do my best to stay on track with everything.  Here’s where I’d love feedback from YOU!  Help me make Traveling with Baby the exceptional blog you’ve grown to love.

What do you enjoy most about visiting this site? Do you love the Calvin photos?  The posts on natural, wholesome health? Posts on motherhood?  Posts on travel?  Other than the product reviews and giveaways, tell me what you look forward to reading, and I’ll make a point to keep your faves as I streamline this blog.

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I’m a big fan of babywearing.  If I could sew and design the ultimate baby carrier, I would.  But since that’s not one of my skills, I defer to the creators and distributors of some of the best baby carriers around. Kristen at Along for the Ride is giving away an embroidered Ergo Baby Carrier Hands Free System.

Of course, I want to give thanks by providing a couple of giveaways of my own.

Giveaway #1:

treasury20storybooksScholastic just released Treasury of 20 Storybook Classics on 4 DVDs.  The Scholastic stories you and your youngsters have grown to love are brought to life on the little screen.  This fantastic set includes my personal favorite The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.  There are over 4 hours of story-time fun for ages 2 through 8 in this award-winning treasury (Caldecott Medal, NAPPA Gold Award, and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal among 32 others).  From Karma Wilson’s best-sellers Bear Snores On and Bear Wants More to my personal favorite, Beverly Cleary’s classic The Mouse and the Motorcycle, the entire family is sure to adore these treasures featuring celebrity narration by Sean Hayes, James Naughton, B.D. Wong, and others.  The read-along feature, truly makes this set edu-tainment for young readers.  Make the Treasury of 20 Storybook Classics part of your library today by ordering online. You can also win your own set here at TWB, retail value $29.95.

Giveaway #2:

The December I turned 6-years-old, I visited my grandparents in Washington state (we drove ALL the way from Texas).  My grandmother taught me to memorize T’was the Night Before Christmas.  I loved that poem, and I recited it for the entire family when we gathered to celebrate Christmas.  I love the beautiful imagery that it conjures up.  I hope that reciting T’was the Night Before Christmas along with  reading about the birth of Christ in the book of Luke become part of our household Christmas traditions for years to come.

nightbeforechristmassstdvd-ns1As a 6-year-old, I was able to read the poem, and my grandmother recited it to me numerous times which helped me to learn it as a child.  But, with today’s DVD technology, even pre-schoolers can learn it with Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures: The Night Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales come to life.  The award-winning DVD features 7 stories plus the Spanish version of Too Many Tamales. Louise August’s In the Month of Kislev, teaches children about true meaning of Hannukkah and a little about yummy potato pancakes.  Alfre Woodard narrates Seven Candles for Kwanzaa.  And, Anthony Edwards narrates the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore, The Night Before Christmas.  Get all of your holiday tales in this lovely treasure which is perfect for every family’s DVD library.  73 minutes of storytime for ages 3 through 9.  Order yours online, or win your own copy here at TWB, retail value $14.95.

May your family be richly blessed with love, fellowship and thankfulness this Thanksgiving!

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Fine print:

Two winners will be selected for The Night Before Christmas DVD, and one winner will be selected for the 20 Storybook Treasury (via random.org)  To enter, leave a comment answering the questions above in red telling me what features and posts on TWB you’ve enjoyed reading and that you’d love for me to continue posting as I streamline this blog.  In your comment, please indicate which DVD you’d prefer to win.  Dibs goes to the first randomly drawn name, but hey, there are 3 winners, so you do have increased odds of winning something fun for your family!

Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you to claim your prize, or it’ll go to another amazing person.  This contest is open to U.S. only.

This contest runs until 11:59PM (EST) on November 30, 2008.

Two winners will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after December 1st. If a winner(s) doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.

Posted by Dr. Dolly on Traveling with Baby

200th Post Celebration

UPDATE

Congratulations to the winners!  The winner of the Scholastic DVD: Corduroy…and More Stories About Caring is Sarah, on August 15th, 2008 at 12:19 pm who said:

“I don’t know if there are videos of these or not, but my kids’ favorite books include: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle); Brown Bear, Brown Bear (Eric Carle); Hippos Go Berserk (Sandra Boynton); Moo Baa Lalala (Sandra Boynton); and Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown)”

Alternates:

Heather, on August 16th, 2008 at 9:33 pm Said:

Jack’s current favorite book is “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” I don’t know how well that would work animated but he doesn’t quite sit still for a longer storybook. Althought he does also enjoy a childs bible we have with many short bible stories, that might work better for the dvd.

kristen c, on August 17th, 2008 at 12:23 am Said:

And as for the children’s book come to live action, my kids and I vote for “Where the Wild things are” by Maurice Sendak. Wouldn’t that one be fun with the rolling yellow eyes and sharp claws and wild rumpus? )

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The winner of the HAPPYBABY giveaway package is Heather, on August 16th, 2008 at 9:31 pm who said:

Wow 200 posts in just 15 months, so impressive, Congrats Dolly!!! I hope my blog is someday half as successful and helpful to others as yours is! Jack has now had avocado’s, banannas, and will start sweet potatos soon. He would love to try “smarter squash + wiser apple”.

ALTERNATES:

kristen c, on August 17th, 2008 at 12:20 am Said: 

Hi Dolly! I…er…holly would love to try the mac n cheese plus veggies for sure!

Carol Ezovski, on August 17th, 2008 at 10:20 pm Said:

We’d like to try Sweeter Potatoes + Purer Pear

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Traveling with Baby is proud to celebrate it’s 200th post in the 15 months it’s been active.  Thanks so much, loyal readers, for inspiring the content with great feedback via comments and e-mails.  To extend gratitude in honor of this two-hundredth post, Traveling with Baby is teaming up with two companies to offer two giveaways for two readers.

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First up is a grand-slam giveaway from HAPPYBABY.  One reader will win an organic cotton baby tee shirt; a free trial coupon to HAPPYBABY for fresh, frozen, organic baby food; 3 cans of HAPPYBELLIES (organic brown rice cereal, organic oatmeal, cereal or organic multi-grain cereal); and coupons for Fresh Baby’s homemade baby food starter kit. (Retail value $55)

I love that HAPPYBABY is organic and chock-full of DHA for baby’s growing and developing nervous system (this brand could also be called SMARTBABY).

HAPPYBITES is a new line by HAPPY baby: this hand-held toddler/kids line with hidden veggies in every bite was just released in stores nationwide.  Who doesn’t like Mac+Cheese when its got hidden veggies and a delicious vegetable-based dipping sauce?

Check out the HAPPYBABY, HAPPYBELLIES menu.  Purchase HAPPYBELLIES online.

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Next, one reader will win the newly released Corduroy…and More Stories About Caring DVD by Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures. Corduroy, the beloved character from Don Freeman’s classic storybook, turns 40 in this year!  SCHOLASTIC STORYBOOK TREASURES™ celebrates the milestone with a newly enhanced DVD — CORDUROY…AND MORE STORIES ABOUT CARING. This endearing collection of seven award-winning, family-favorite adaptations features celebrity narrators like Mia Farrow (Be Kind Rewind), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park IV) and David De Vries (Remember the Titans).  It’s now available to add to every family’s home entertainment library for $14.95.

The title story features a combination of live action and stop-motion animated adaptation of the original Corduroy .  In this bear-y wonderful tale, Corduroy longs for someone to take him home from the department store.  When he discovers one of his buttons is missing, he sets out to find it, thinking that will hasten his purchase.  Will he find it first or be discovered by the store’s security guard?  This original production from Weston Woods Studios won several national awards from the American Film Festival, the American Library Association and the New York International Film & Video Festival.

This heartwarming DVD also features six more animated stories for more than an hour of classic storytime fun for kids (ages 2-9).  Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is based on the tale by Virginia Lee Burton, and it’s narrated by David De Vries; The Happy Lion, based on the story by Louise Fatio; I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, based on the story by Rose Lewis and narrated by Mia Farrow; Smile for Auntie, based on the tale by Diane Paterson; The Happy Owls, based on the story by Celestino Piatti; and Goose, based on the story by Molly Bang, narrated by Laura Dern. And, as with all new releases in the line, the DVD includes an innovative read-along function which highlights words as they are read, encouraging kids to follow the narration and develop a love of reading.

The live action sequence with the title’s namesake was originally filmed in 1986.  However, it’s a timeless classic with very little script and lots of family fun with an endearing fuzzy, cuddly, and curious bear.  My son was engaged and laughing before the film even began–he just enjoyed the Scholastic intro sequence with animated characters.  The special effects were pretty seamless for the transition from a man in a bear suit costume-to-a bear puppet-to-a stuffed bear.  It was an adorable short film and my son was definitely entertained.

Read more about Scholastic and Weston Woods Studios.

Purchase your own copy of Corduroy…and More Stories about Caring DVD online.

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To enter the giveaway for HAPPYBABY, leave a comment on what product/flavor you’d like your baby would like to try.  To enter for the DVD, leave a comment on which classic children’s book you’d love to see come to life on film.  One entry per person per giveaway.  Remember, TWO is the key to this 200th post celebration.  No more than TWO comments, please.  The contest for the Traveling with Baby 200th post Celebration ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, August 22nd. The winner will be announced on Saturday, August 23rd.

The winner for each prize and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.

Check back at Traveling with Baby for more reviews and contests, there are many more cool giveaways lined up for August.

Green Apparel for the Breastfeeding Mama

I was recently shopping at my local health foods store when I came across the most adorable organic baby body suit and cap set by Maggie’s Organics.  Turns out that this creative apparel line won the 2006 Natural Products Expo East award for “Best New Green Product”.  I discovered the Maggie’s Organics website, and learned that they don’t just make cool baby stuff, but they make socks, scarves, and cute tops for nursing moms.  Score!

Maggie’s has a cool site and a great mission: to produce and provide comfortable, durable, affordable, and beautiful articles of apparel and accessories made from materials that restore, sustain, and enhance the resources, including human, from which they are made.

Maggie’s Organics began with socks–this company was launched fter learning about the harsh facts of conventional cotton cultivation and garment manufacturing back in 1992.  Then, they added tee-shirts, tights, lounge pants, and other garments produced from organic fibers.  They’ve been selling organic fibers for 16 years, and they’ve long been featured at natural products’ stores nationwide, most notably at Whole Foods.

Maggie’s Organics generously offered to let me sample and review their 3/4- length sleeve criss-cross blouse.  I’d been totally disenchanted with other nursing tops that either looked frumpy or were too short, too low cut.  I was thrilled to try a garment that was form fitting with just enough ease to be comfortable (ahhh . . . cotton).  The versatility of the neckline gave me the option for how modest or revealing I wanted it to be.  I love options.  Plus, the blouse is cut so that extra fabric scoops in the front and behind to prevent unsightly belly button flashing when you’re moving around (sitting down, standing up, etc.).  I love the 3/4 length sleeve.  Not long enough to get in the way when taking care of a baby, yet long enough to keep you warm when sitting underneath air conditioning vents on full arctic blast.  I’d love to get one of these in other color options: terracotta, green apple, plum, and, teal.  They actually have a sleeveless style criss-cross top, too.

The criss-cross top does allow for easy access for nursing, and because the criss-cross stops just below the bust, you can keep your belly warm while nursing, too.  That’s my favorite feature with nursing tops . . . and now, I’ve finally found one that I don’t mind wearing long after I stop nursing Calvin.  It looks great with dress slacks for working in a professional office.  Plus, it’s an economical choice at a mere $22.

I think the only area of improvement would be to offer this great top in more color options: white, kelly green, and candy apple red would be my choices.

Green Goodness

Check out Maggie’s Outlet where discounted prices are offered daily.  Maggie’s is also featuring new products every day.  They’re currently rolling out all new leg warmers and scarves for the fall.  And, they’re recycling their irregular socks into a cute sock monkey toy.  Now, how about that for a green company!

Besides making great organic clothing options from sustainable resources, Maggie’s strives to convert as many acres of land as possible from conventional to organic farming methods.  Also, they’re passionate about creating an alternative to the poor working conditions and pay in the apparel industry.  Maggie’s Organics was instrumental in creating the Fair Trade Zone, a 100% worker-owned Sewing Co-Operative in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua–it’s the first worker-owned cooperative in the world to gain Free Trade Zone status! You can check out their 13-minute video on the development of the sewing co-operative on Maggie’s site.

Especially for You

Save 20% on orders of $30 or more at Maggie’s Organics with coupon code  TRAVEBABY08 (expires August 28, 2008).  That’s BIG SAVINGS on green and pretty organic cotton apparel.  

Camelbak Leads the Pack

I’ve been a fan of Camelbak since I was in the military and used a Sabre hydration pack on flying missions and physical fitness workouts when stationed in the desert overseas.  While in Chiropractic College, I was an avid runner, and I got a lot of use out of my runner’s hydration pack (Flashflo).  Since I’m a mom, my hydration needs are different.  I don’t want to carry a pack on my back or on my waist since toting Calvin around (sling or no sling) is enough.  But, I still need my H2O, and Camelbak answers the call for clear, pretty, plastic, BPA-Free bottles for moms and kids with an exclamation point in the Better Bottle.

These jewel-toned bottles come in 0.5L (perfect for kiddos), 0.75L (perfect to carry in your hand), and 1L (great for a LONG hike or road trip), either with the classic cap or the bite valve.  The bite valve doesn’t spill when turned upside-down and shaken.  It’s a feature unique to Camelbak products that I find positively brilliant.  You don’t have to tilt your head back to take a sip . . . perfect for staying hydrated in the middle of the night for nursing mommies!  This 0.75L Better Bottle by Camelbak is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE drinking bottle . . . at 3 AM, I don’t even have to sit up in bed to get a drink, and I don’t have to worry about spilling water all over me when I’m half groggy anyway.

Camelbak Better Bottle Features

  • Made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, the bottle is completely BPA-free and is dishwasher safe
  • Tritan™ copolyester provides excellent impact resistance and is suitable for both warm and cold beverages
  • Bypass the potential hazards of drinking from wide openings—CamelBak’s Big Bite valve eliminates awkward drips and spills
  • Just bite and sip and the beverage flows through the valve—you don’t even need to tip the bottle to drink
  • But if lifting and tipping is your preferred method, no problem; just remove the straw inside
  • Big Bite valve has an articulating stem, so when not in use it folds down next to the bottle and stays clean
  • Carry the integrated handle in the crook of a finger, or connect it to a pack or waistbelt with a small carabiner
  • Simply unscrew the cap to uncover bottle’s wide-mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning; standard cap size fits many other wide-mouth bottles
  • Specially shaped bottle fits nicely in your hand and accommodates most automobile cup holders
  • All components are dishwasher safe (top rack only); do not microwave
  • CamelBak does not recommend the use of carbonated beverages with the straw configuration; remove straw and drink by tipping and sipping

Once Calvin can figure out how to use the bite valve, I think this is going to make a GREAT sippy cup in the 0.5L size.  For now, he finds my .75L bottle his most favorite chew toy.  My husband is eager to try the 1L bottle while he works in tree canopies as an arborist.  I like that it’s slim enough to fit in the bottle pockets of most diaper bags and stroller cup holders.  Best of all (besides the smart design) is that it’s BPA-FREE and dishwasher safe.  Camelbak products have ALWAYS been BPA-Free.  FYI, these nifty bottles are designed for ages 5 and older since the bite valve is removable for cleaning (grip with all your might, twist, and pull)–it may be a choking hazard.  Links to retailers are available on Camelbak’s site.  I’ve seen these bottles priced anywhere from $10 to $13 online, and they’re worth every smart penny.  There are several color options available: black, grey, green, pine, pink, red, ocean, orange, light blue, purple, and brown.

Wow!  Thanks, Camelbak.  You anticipated the desires of the consumers and you provided a fabulous product.

**WIN IT**

One reader will win a .75L (24 oz.) BPA-Free Better Bottle by Camelbak retail value $13).  Color depends upon availability.  To enter, visit Camelbak’s site and browse all their cool hydration options.  Then, come back to this post and leave a comment.  Any comment will do, but it must be relevant to this post.  Tell me what Camelbak product you’d like to try.  Tell me what you like best about the Better Bottle.  Be creative, visit Camelbak’s site, and have fun.  The contest ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, July 8th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 9th.

Only one entry per person each contest week. Multiple entries will be deleted. The winner and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post and on Prizey. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the winner! Amy, on July 3rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm Said:

I’ve been wanting to try one – and something SPILL PROOF would be great for this prego… and how pretty is the berry color?

–By Dr. Dolly

Things Calvin and I Find Absolutely Fabulous

I’m going on my 3rd week of the journey of parenthood, and there have been a few items that we absolutely could not live without. True, every baby is different, but there are some things that are just tremendous for infant care. We’d like to share those with you.

Natural Baby Care

Baby Bee by Burt’s Bees is gentle for baby’s skin but it smells so great, you’ll want to use it on you! The mild buttermilk soap is great for bath time. The buttermilk lotion smells wonderfully sweet on baby and keeps the skin soft and supple. The diaper ointment contains vitamins A and E. The best part is that everything comes in full size and a convenient to go size in a zippered container complete with dusting powder, shampoo and wash, diaper ointment, and buttermilk lotion. . . perfect for keeping in the diaper bag when you’re on the go!

Night Lights

Even though Calvin’s crib is in our room, we still utilize a couple of night lights for a few reasons: late night diaper changes, and dim lighting for us to get ready for bed without disturbing baby, and those middle of the night feedings when Calvin and I need a little help with latch-on.

I LOVE the spoka night light from Ikea. It’s a soft rubber shell surrounding a soft glowing light in either red, green, or blue. It comes with an rechargable plug. Dim enough to not disturb sleeping baby, yet bright enough to do a late night diaper change.

Also, for those late night feedings, I use a krill light (uses 2 AA batteries) which also doubles as a camping/hunting/hiking light that’s easy on the eyes.

Swaddle

Check out The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp and you’ll learn to swaddle like a pro in a flash as well as calm your baby with a hair dryer. As for swaddles, I highly recommend Swaddle Me by Kiddopotamus. The velcro allows it to STAY swaddled, and the bottom pocket allows you to check and change baby’s diaper without unswaddling the top. When baby gets fussy, help him get back into that comforting fetal position in a swaddle. It’s also great when baby’s trying to fall asleep, but the startle or Moro reflex keeps baby awake. We LOVE the swaddle!

As Calvin gets older and we get more adventurous instead of staying at home, we’ll explore more things and provide our recommendations.