Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crane Humidifier No Longer Working

In October 2009 I wrote a blog post on this site about my incredible appreciation for the Crane Frog Humidifier. But, less than a month after posting the blog our well-loved “Froggy” is no longer working and I am sadly disappointed.

I never really got a chance to blog about this as I was hoping that by cleaning it again, giving it a major overall that it would begin working again. We even went to the company Web site and followed all the rules should the humidifier act up in any way. Nothing worked. We changed the water in the Frog daily and took very good care of it. Since we did not have the receipt or the original packaging I didn’t think to call the company at first for a replacement thinking that this might just be the life span for this product. I need to look into this further now. We filled out the warranty paper work and need to call the company to find out if we can get this humidifier replaced. Really hoping we can.

In the meantime, since we actually had another Crane humidifier in our home, since Sarah has allergies, and this one has not been used nearly as much, this one now lives in her room. I suspect this one will stop working soon too as it started acting up last week. I am not looking forward to this day as we have been very pleased with these humidifiers. They are relatively easy to clean, easy to add water to and take out, quiet, and they come in so many adorable characters.

Now I am on the quest to be prepared to find a new humidifier should the back-up Crane humidifier crap out on us too and we cannot replace. I have to research other new choices so that should we need to replace it we will be ready for our next solution.

I just find it strange that this humidifier did not last. I know we had it for a couple of years, but thought it would have lasted a very long time if it was cleaned and taken care of regularly.

Despite Sarah’s attachment to the Frog-specific humidifier, it didn’t make sense to pay more money for another Frog when we had a different character at home as well in another room. She hasn’t established as much of an attachment or appreciation for this particular character and I am bummed even more.

Any suggestions on quality humidifiers that are reasonable in price, easy to use and clean, quiet, child-friendly, please share your recommendations. My research has just begun.

This blog is a plea to Crane, if you are reading this, please let me know, what is the life of your humidifiers, is this normal and what to expect, and is it possible that the one we have is just defective and we can replace it?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Comfy Furniture for Children a Must

Children, just like adults, need furniture to sit on and relax in as they grow. While kids spend much of their time on the floor playing they often need places to sit and lounge as well to get comfortable and rest.
Now, if your children are anything like my daughter, the monkey, the couch is certainly a top contender for play, rest, naps, standing, etc. So, buying her kid-sized comfy furniture was a must, and it was really cute and hard to resist. I must emphasize that this smaller furniture hasn't exactly stopped Sarah from climbing on the couch but it has provided her much-needed and enjoyable places to chill out comfortably and play with friends.

Living in an apartment I can completely understand that space can be limited when our homes are already filled with many toys, books, stuffed animals. Try to get what you feel is important and necessary, like upright chairs and a small table not too high off the ground. And, the beauty of much of this stuff is that it can last a number of years and get quite a bit of use.

Furniture doesn't have to be expensive or brand new. If yoAdd Imageu need to save pennies and don't want to break the bank check out less costly options like Craig's List, Ebay, consignment stores, yard and garage sales, to find good finds that can easily be washed and cleaned.

Chairs, tables and mini-couches are great choices to consider and call also be found at large conglomerate toy stores and other affordable retailers such as Target and Walmart.
All of the furniture in the picture above are consignment store or yard sale finds. The rocking chair, in fact, which was formerly multi-colored, I recently painted pink, white and blue.

While I have not usually been very good at seeing the forest through the trees, if you are someone who is crafty or knows someone who is that can help, consider finds that may need a little sprucing up. You may be very surprised by the treasures you can find that can be transformed into special keepsakes.

Graco Stroller Recall

Having just experienced a recall on my Maclaren, but pleased with the quick turnaround and easy repair kit, I was disappointed to hear that my other stroller, Graco, was likely impacted by another recall of nearly 1.5 million strollers made between October 2004 and February 2008 just announced this week.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Graco Children’s Products Inc, parents are being advised to stop using their Graco strollers until they confirm whether their stroller is impacted by the recall and, if so, to then order the free repair kit by mail. Check out the following Web site link, which includes the model numbers and photos to help better determine whether your stroller is impacted.

In a statement issued by CPSC, "The hinges on the stroller’s canopy pose a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to the child when the consumer is opening or closing the canopy." Further, "it appears that the company received seven reports of children placing their fingers in the stroller’s canopy hinge mechanism while the canopy was being opened or closed, resulting in five fingertip amputations and two fingertip lacerations."

Graco manufactured two different styles of hinge mechanisms for the stroller models recalled. Please know that "only strollers or travel systems with a plastic, jointed hinge mechanism that has [an] indented canopy positioning notches are included in this recall." Check out the photos in the Web site link mentioned above to see if your stroller is affected.

Feel free to contact Graco directly at 800-345-4109 between 8:00am and 5:00pm ET Monday through Friday.

Safe travels for our little ones.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Good Night's Sleep for Parent and Child

We have a pretty good routine at home when it comes to getting Sarah ready go to sleep at night. And, routines are definitely a must for kids, especially little ones as it helps them to better understand when we ask them to do something and are prepared for what sometimes they don't often like to do.

After a long day from work followed by playtime with Sarah and then chores including getting her ready for bed and her things ready for the next day, I find it funny that on the nights when I read to Sarah and put her to bed every time we read a part of a book and a character says they are sleepy or has to yawn, I automatically start to yawn. Right then and there I just want to go to sleep.

I love to read. It's a great passion of mine. Sometimes I don't always get to do it because I get tired so quickly. But, I really can see how at night a good book is a great way to wind down from the day before going to sleep. Too bad none of the characters I am reading about are sleeping. Sometimes a book is so good I can't put it down.

Parent lesson: even adults need to get more sleep and stop staying up too late to be our best not just for us and our health but to also be alert and ready for our incredibly active kids.

Here's to a good night sleep. Good night!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kid Proofing Away From Home

It's often very hard to take Sarah to other people's homes, who don't have children, because we often feel bad when we have to move a vase, or a glass dish, or wine bottles, and much, much more to avoid her from moving something that may get lost or possibly broken, completely by accident.

There have been many instances where we have made plans to spend time with family and friends where we were fortunate for them to baby proof in advance of our arrival and remove any belongings, and especially sentimental and special pieces, out of Sarah's reach so as to avoid the possibility of breakage or lost items later to be found.

I know that it must be tough, even if it's someone you care about, to come to your home and have to move things around.

Parents can try as hard as they can to avoid children from moving something (e.g., candles -- just glad it was found Shari and Sam) even if you watch them like a hawk. But, if your child or children are anything like my little one, they are fast, very fast, and get things much more quickly than we can sometimes get at to avoid potential accidents or missed objects.

So, this blog is dedicated to all the wonderful family and friends who have, and continue to be supportive when we come for visits who either help to baby proof, or completely understand that we may need to move a few things around (which we always do put back in their place as best as possible). Thank you so very much.

Being a parent is hard work. Sometimes we try our hardest to keep an eye on our little ones, and even when they are right under our noses they can fall down, hurt themselves, or move something around with us not knowing where it went.

Thanks to all who are patient and understanding. I will always continue to offer playdates and get togethers at my home, so as not to worry about missed belongings or broken objects or efforts to baby proof. But, should you risk inviting us over, know that besides having a fun time with us, we may need to move a few things around, with love. Thanks for helping to ease this stress in parenting and that we will continue to try and develop quicker reflexes to stop our little one when necessary. And, we will continue to bring many toys and other things to keep Sarah occupied so that your objects become less of an interest to her, we hope. Just stop having cool things that are interesting and we should be in good shape. :)

Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Toddler Talk

I would bet that a number of you with children or nieces, nephews or other little ones in your life, that you have experienced something to what I am about to share.

There have been a number of instances when Sarah, as she began talking well over a year ago, to say something and repeat it over and over and over again. If we were able to understand her then the conversation would proceed. In other instances, she would say a word, that to her sounded completely right but to an adult ear may be hard to comprehend or decipher, at least at first. For example, one of Sarah's first words was "balloon." She would say "boon." Certainly her vocabulary has since evolved with much communication and talking that we do with her that she now says "balloon" very clearly.

I have also come to realize that with Sarah that if I don't understand what it is she is saying she doesn't just say yes and we move on with it. This, of course, is the thought process going through her mind trying best to communicate and for us to comprehend. I am so impressed watching her vocabulary develop and helping her to foster it over time and that if we don't understand what she is saying she lets us know.

On a separate note, there have been a number of instances, considering that Sarah is about 33 inches tall, where we don't always see what it is that she is pointing to and where she is repeating a word or more incessantly. The first time this experience happened Sarah kept saying the word "ball." Daddy and I just didn't see a ball when she was saying this. We were convinced she was just babbling and trying out familiar words. After a while, low and behold, there it was, a ball wedged behind a chair that she was telling us about. It has happened much over the past couple of years and certainly again recently when we put a card on her door from Grammie and Papa that had a cupcake on it. One morning Sarah kept saying the word "cupcake" over and over again. Me not remembering about the card on her door it wasn't until I opened it from Sarah's point of view realizing she was telling me what she was seeing.

Before I became a parent, outside of time with nieces, nephews and friend's children, I sometimes thought that for language to develop children sometimes just talked to talk just to hear themselves and try new words they heard. As adults, how many of us, including myself, have talked to ourselves not expecting others to be part of our own conversation? That's what I thought Sarah was doing some of the time. She is constantly communicating trying to have conversations with us even if sometimes they are one or two word sentences.

Sarah is becoming a more vocal and able talker. I trust that she is indeed trying to tell me, and Daddy, something and not just saying words out loud to say them at this stage of toddler hood. When there are moments Sarah continues to say something repetitively I spend time trying to find the object it is that she is focusing on. When we find the object together communication is established and Sarah is extremely happy. I so love our two-way conversations and that Sarah's mind is indeed evolving and she's not just responding to respond or saying yes to say yes. She strums to her own tune and I admire her for that.

Keep on talking, and listening, and helping your children develop their language skills. Research shows that it's very important for parents to talk much with their children to encourage verbal language development.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Parent Alert: Sick Kids Please Stay Home

I can't even begin to count how many times Sarah has gotten since in the past year, likely because she is in daycare. And, if I hear one more time that she will have a stronger immune system for it I am going to scream.

Many times I think what are we doing wrong that Sarah is sick so much. But, I really can't think of anything. She even loves to wash her hands. Such a great habit for children to have and one I don't have to fight with her on.

The reality is that being a toddler she still puts her fingers in her mouth and many times her tongue on toys and other objects. We have tried much to stop this habit and continue to try to do so. Bugs still continue to invade Sarah's body especially because at daycare viruses spread like wildfire.

Now I am going to rant for a moment.

To parents who send their children to daycare when they are sick, DON'T. Please be considerate of your child, their classmates and the other parents. Bringing your sick child to daycare or school puts everyone around them at risk for picking up illnesses and potential missed days from work. And, please don't pump them up with Motrin or Tylenol when they have a fever to mask their illness by the time they arrive at school as they will likely infect others.

As a full time working mother, I fully understand that flexibility is hard especially in this economy. I admit that I am fortunate to have a great company to work for who is family-friendly and who enables me to work from home on days when Sarah is unfortunately ill. With the help of my husband who works from home, he steps in to care for her on these days.

I know this situation is not the same for many parents where both work outside the home and some cannot afford or have the flexibility to be out of work. But please, please, please, I beg you. Think about it. If you send your sick child to school, there is a likelihood that you are going to get a call anyway that they need to be taken home and then you indeed will be out of work during their illness, possibly for more than a day, as they really should have been home resting at the start of their condition.

So, please be considerate and, for the sake of your child and others around them, please think twice and three times before you send your sick kids to school where viruses roam rapidly. Your sick child could get even sicker and others around then can fall ill too.

Awake and Alert at 3am

At 3:00am this morning fully asleep I heard Sarah through the monitor at the side of my bed. I rustled around in bed for a short while hoping she would fall back to sleep as she most often does. Oh how I hoped she would. Instead, she continued to fuss some more and; therefore, I dragged my extremely tired body out of bed, to likely tuck her back in and check her body temperature.

The previous day Sarah picked up what appears to be yet another garden variety bug from the kids in daycare, and came home after having thrown up. The good news is that it may be a 24 hour bug as she has not once thrown up since the school incident. So, waking up during this early hour of the day I kind of expected there was a chance she had a higher fever.

Still so very, very tired, I dragged myself into her room with her insisting I lay on the couch aside her bed. That lasted all of two seconds. As tired as I was, as soon as I touched her forehead and back, I was awake. Alert and awake. A fever is exactly why Sarah was awake and upset.

It's amazing how quickly a parent moves despite little sleep and fatigue to care for their sick child. I was no different. I immediately went to the kitchen to get some water to help her cool off, and the Motrin too, as I suspected her fever would be up there well enough to likely need it.

Then, she willingly came out of her bed and to the changing table for a diaper change and temperature check. Wishing otherwise, but no surprise, she had over 103.6. In went the Motrin.

The good news, if there even can be when fevers come about in our little ones, is that Sarah was then able to sleep through until breakfast and her fever has somewhat waned for the day. And, if you saw Sarah today you wouldn't think for a second she was sick except for what the thermometer says on occasion and possibly her less than robust appetite.

So, despite having to wake extremely early this morning and be alert well before my brain was up, as a parent I did what needed to be done. And, I am sure any of you who are parents reading this, would have done the same.

Therefore, today was the perfect excuse for all day play in pajamas for Mommy, Daddy and Sarah.

Here's hoping to a good night sleep for my little one, and a step in the right direction toward recovery.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year to my readers.

I hope you have all been able to get this year off to a great start.

You can be sure we definitely did. It wouldn't be Sarah or this household if we didn't end up at the pediatrician's office on the very first day of 2010. Yep. We did.

While brushing teeth and washing hands at the sink in the bathroom, Sarah managed to spin herself around on the chair, which has since been replaced with a step stool, and fell down and bit down on her tooth.

With a trip to the pediatrician we confirmed that Sarah was indeed okay but with a small puncture wound on her mouth. With some hydrogen peroxide she's good as new.

The even better news was that we were still able to make it to the City for a New Year's Day party and spend time with dear friends. I so love it when New Year's falls on a weekend night so we can show up at parties later in the day and not miss out.

Just know that I promise to continue to provide, fun, funny, informational and anecdotal stories in 2010 especially as Sarah approaches the age of two, as there likely will be much to talk and vent about and educate on.

Keep on reading and sharing your comments.

Here's to a great 2010. Happy New Year!

Halloween Candy for the Troops

While we all recover from over indulging in too much candy during Halloween, still the candy is in our homes staring at us willing us to...