Monthly Archives: August 2019

My Dog Ate Raisins (Toxic) – Positive Thoughts Needed

Raisins are known to be “highly poisonous” to dogs and cause renal (kidney) failure (Animal Poison Control Center).  In dogs, raisins are believed to cause kidney failure, and even if treated immediately, the toxic effects of raisins on a dogs renal system can lead to death.  Anywhere from 1 to 500 raisins can be deadly for a dog.

Bammer – My Puggle

One of my worst nightmares as a “dog mom” occurred Monday evening.  

I returned home after a lovely, fun and wine-filled Monday night with three of my girlfriends (we had been watching the Season Finale of “The Bachelor” at my friend’s house), and when I walked in the door, I expected the usual tail-wagging greeting that I always receive from my rolly polly little mutt.  But I didn’t get that greeting, and when I walked in the door of my house and into my living room, my stomach dropped:

There, on my living room floor was the bag of raisin bread that I had purchased earlier that week, but the bag was chewed up, empty, and licked clean.   While I was out, my dog, Bammer, who is a “puggle” (a pug-beagle mix), had managed to get a hold of the loaf of raisin bread and eat almost the entire loaf after I had left for the night.  

I love Bammer so much that I sometimes even consider her to be my actual “first-born” child.  

I frantically tried to recall exactly how much of that loaf of bread had been left, all I could recall was that there had been almost an entire loaf.  This was confirmed the moment I looked over at my chubby little puggle, who was laying happily in front of my couch, because she looked as if she had eaten an over-sized football.
I got Bammer when I was in undergraduate school and lived in a single-bedroom apartment by myself, and she has been my best and most loyal friend ever since.  Before I had my actual human daughter (Tessa), it was Bammer’s chubby face that filled up the camera roll on my iPhone; it was Bammer that sat in the passenger seat of my car as I ran errands on Saturday and gave a big doggy smile as the drive-thru ladies at Walgreens and the bank sent over a biscuit to give to my little mutt.  I used to snuggle with Bammer in my bed and promise her that I would always keep her safe and then hug her head until she grunted and snorted in the ridiculously adorable way that pugs do; I used to attend “Puggle Meet-Up Groups” just so I could watch her play and snort with her other puggle friends (pug and beagle mix).  

I’ve been so preoccupied with everything from surviving the newborn stage, to finding time to shower, to balancing my career, that I have somehow managed to effectively fail in my role as a responsible dog owner.   I would have bet you a million dollars that I had left the loaf of raisin bread in a safe place (I could have sworn I left the loaf of bread on the kitchen table and I’ve never seen Bammer climb on the table).  But none of that matters because, at the end of the day, I let my dog become exposed to a poisonous substance, and I should have known better.  This falls only on my shoulders. 

To make matters worse, we had to explore the possibility that our other dog, Chipper, possibly managed to get a hold of the raisin bread too.  Chipper is a much better behaved dog, and thankfully, we later learned that she hadn’t eaten any of the raisin bread.   I spent the next 20-minutes frantically calling every Emergency Vet service on my speed-dial for first, second, third, and fourth opinions. 

Once I was finally able to reach the “on-call” veterinarian from Bammer’s vet clinic, he instructed me to give Bammer and Chipper each a dose of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.  The hope was that the raisins hadn’t yet been digested.  Thankfully, Chipper’s vomit didn’t indicate any signs of having eaten the Raisin Bread, but unfortunately  Bammer’s vomit was a raisin-filled swirl of bread dough and cinnamon. 

From 11:00 PM that night until 6:30 AM the following morning, I was on and off the phone with the on-call veteranian as he instructed us to continue administering hydrogen peroxide to Bammer until her vomit no longer showed any signs of raisins.  I was cleaning up dog cinnamon-scented dog vomit and rubbing the head of poor Bammer – neither of us got even a wink of sleep (dogs will eat their vomit if you don’t clean it up right away and the entire purpose of inducing vomiting is to get rid of the toxic substances….so you have to literally sit right there with your dog the entire time).

My sister, who is a freakin’ saint and my best friend and the most generous person that I have ever known, got out of her bed and drove over to my house and spent the entire night with me – helping me clean up dog vomit and come up with clever ways to get hydrogen peroxide down my dogs’ throats. (Tip: Ask your vet if you can add a little bit of milk to the hydrogen peroxide if you ever are in a similar position where you need a dog to drink hydrogen peroxide so help your dog’s willingness to drink it). Our downstairs bathroom still reeks of the cinnamon-flavored dog-vomit, and I will not be eating raisin bread of anything with cinnamon for as long as I can see.

I haven’t been that tired since I had a newborn, and I’ve never been that worried or scared for my dog’s life.  

By 9:00 am the next morning, we were able to get Bammer to the vet.  I called Sun-Maid, the maker of the brand of raisin bread that Bammer had eaten, to determine how many raisins were in each loaf of their bread and I was told that there are 150-200 raisins per loaf.  We had counted over 150+ raisins in her vomit the night before; so this was promising news because this meant that we may have gotten most of the raisins out of Bammer’s system before her body was able to digest it.  If her body did digest the raisins, there is a high chance that Bammer’s kidneys will fail.

Right now, Bammer is in the hospital.  It has been 48 hours.  Her blood work after 24-hours, and then after 48-hours (today and yesterday) indicates that the key kidney proteins and enzymes called “creatinine” and “blood urea nitrogen (BUN)” are in the “Low to Normal” range, so this is a good sign (high levels of creatinine and BUN are signs of kidney failure).  Bammer is also producing urine, so this is a positive sign as well.

The vet called and informed me that Bammer was not able to hold down her food today, so the vet is concerned with her pancreas, so they are keeping Bammer for another night.  The blood results for her key pancreatic levels will be back tomorrow morning.  

Please pray for little Bammer.


Many people do not know about all of the foods that are toxic to dogs (chocolate, caffeine, coffee, avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, etc.) In dogs, raisins are believed to cause kidney failure, and if not treated immediately, the toxic effects of raisins on a dogs renal system can lead to death.  (See People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets for more foods that are known to be toxic and deadly to dogs).

How My Toddler Dictates My Bathroom Schedule

The newborn phase was undoubtedly the most difficult, for me.  But, at the very least, after my baby’s one-month mark, I had the option of using the bathroom in my home while feeling confident that my infant would remain in place on his baby gym and not get into trouble.  These days are over!  This confidence has gradually diminished as my child has gained mobility; leaving the door open as a security measure while I pee in my home no longer provides this type of, or any, confidence/security in her safety.  Admittedly, she has kept me company many of times in the bathroom while I go about my business.  But my pre-parenthood-self swore she would never do that!

Sometimes I am afraid to grab a Kleenex or snack from the kitchen while my daughter (1-year-old) plays in the living room.  To you “Open-Themed” home-owners – you have a significant parenting advantage here: I cannot see my living room from my kitchen in my home! The kitchen is a short distance away, but my toddler is attracted to everything dangerous.  That girl can crawl at the speed of light!  My darling little daughter is not quite as interested as I had hoped in the numerous toys I have so carefully selected for her.  Nope. She wants to eat paper (tissue, receipts, magazines…any kind of paper, really), chew on my laptop computer electrical cord, pick the “childproof” outlet plugs out of the outlet (ah!), among many other dangerous things. 

Not only is she crawling, but she is nearly walking! 

Her attempt to walk and stand independently is often met with a huge potential to bump her head.  And dislodging our DVD player from our TV stand seems to be her life-long goal.

What the he*% are the “Terrible Twos” going to bring?

There are days that I don’t brush my teeth in the morning because of my fear of running upstairs to grab my toothbrush…she could dismantle my living room in 30-seconds! And even worse, she could seriously injure herself! Sure, I’ve left a toothbrush in the kitchen for the sake of my dental hygiene  but that soon gets put away or dirty as soon as company comes over and I scramble to clean and tidy up.  I’ve “baby-proofed,” but that means nothing for this child!  They don’t make the type of equipment that she needs, at least not for a price that I can afford!  

I need other items that are in my upstairs bedroom/bathroom throughout the day while my toddler and me frolic in the living room. 
I’ve given up on quite a few of these items – are they worth carrying my 22-pound(+) toddler up my stairs, bending over to grab my chapstick from the floor while balancing her squirmy little body, as my back slowly gives out, and she fusses for her freedom?  Nope!  I will try the lotion from my kitchen sink to cure my chapped lips until naptape comes. My back hurts!

Piggy is gone. Letter to Mr. Mia

BACKGROUND:  Mr. Mia had proudly purchased a set of Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets for our toddler.  Mr. Mia has basically taught our 18-month-old the name of every single animal that exists, and both Mr. Mia and “Baby Mia” (our daughter) have been extremely proud of themselves since the beginning of this endeavor.

Baby Mia’s favorite animal magnet was “piggy” (which she pronounced as “Piggayyyyy!”).

Mr. Mia’s favorite animal magnet was, also, Pigggaayyyy.

Unfortunately, one of our dogs (probably our Puggle, Bammer) also had a favorite animal magnet – it turns out that Bammer loved Piggy too….

Dear Mr. Mia,

I need to tell you something.

Mr. Mia, I need to tell you something:  Bammer ate Piggy.   This is my confession: Bammer ate the Piggy magnet.

She probably thought that it was bacon. 

Bammer, our overweight Puggle (the dog that, according to our veterinarian, is at a serious risk for Type 2 Diabetes), probably thought that Piggy was bacon.  I suspect that the Piggy magnet was sitting on our living room floor (after our toddler had probably grabbed it from the fridge and left it there); so, naturally, our dog, Bammer, probably just thought that Piggy was bacon.  And what dog can seriosuly resist bacon?

Therefore, it’s really not Bammer’s fault.  If anything, Bammer is extremely intelligent for associating a piggy magnet with bacon (after all, she’s only a dog), and dogs love bacon.  

So, if you think about it, we should be grateful for having such a brilliant dog in our lives; we could make millions.

So, back to my confession to Mr. Mia.  This is how it happened:

9-days ago, I walked into our living room – only to see the remains of Piggggayyy (piggy magnet), ripped apart on our floor.  You couldn’t even make-out piggy’s head – it was a gruesome scene – but I recognized Pigggayyy from the remains of his curly tail and his blue magnet background.  I swore to myself that I wouldn’t tell a soul what I had just witnessed.


Then, 5-days-ago, Mr. Mia walked into our living room and asked me where Piggy-Magnet was – I didn’t respond; then, he said, “I guess Piggy-Magnet is gone…”…(followed by the saddest face that I’ve ever seen)….then he walked away with his head down.  It was so sad.

This has been eating me up inside for the last 9-days.

It is killing me.

Mr. Mia:  Bammer ate Piggy.  I helped dispose of the body.

I’m so sorry.  Please forgive me.

Love, always,


Daily Mom Humor – Dinner Every Single Night!

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    5 Stages of Baby Bottle Grief – Goodbye Bottles, Hello Toddlerhood

    5 Stages of Grief - Goodbye Baby Bottles

    I miss bottles.  

    I miss the bottle-only newborn days.  It was so simple to just prepare a couple of days worth of bottles.  Why didn’t I appreciate it more?  I have a near-toddler now that turns one-year old this coming Sunday.  Her feeding-requirements are changing dramatically and quickly!  How could I have been so deliriously exhausted that I overlooked the simplicity of the newborn/infant phase?   I have unknowingly been grieving the bottle-feeding process of the newborn/infant phase of my daughter.   First-world problems at their finest.

    1. Denial

    The Simple Days…Bottle

    I drug-out the bottle as long as I could. I’m going to be honest here:  I selfishly wish that my daughter could have her nutrition needs satisfied by a bottle all the way until she is 18-years-old. I didn’t (don’t) want to acknowledge the fact that my baby girl is entering the next phase of her life.  I didn’t want to change the process that I had worked so hard to perfect.  

    2.  Bargaining

    I even began to think “What if…”.  “If only…”….I so badly wish that her health needs could be satisfied by the same process that we’ve been using since I stopped breastfeeding – the bottle.  But that’s not an option. I have no choice now. 

    3.  Acceptance

    With her 12-month birthday just days away, it is official now that solid foods are a necessary part of her diet (according to her Pediatrician and my other mommy friends).  She is going to be 12-months-old this Sunday, and her baby formula clearly states “0-12 months” on its packaging.  It’s official now:  my simple, bottle days with my first-born baby are coming to an end. 

    4.  Depression

    I’m sad.

    Playtex Drop-Ins – I Will Miss You

    It almost makes me want another baby.  I’m going to miss her adorable “gulp, gulp, gulp” noise that she makes when she sips from her bottle, and the way she lays on me while she gulps her bottle down.  

    I think about another baby, but then I remember Pregnancy.  This was not a pleasant experience for me.  Uncontrollable vomiting during the first trimester.  The second trimester was actually great.  But the third trimester was met with a baby that had managed to crawl her way into my rib-cage and continuously kick my ribs…and my bladder.   I firmly believe that short people (such as myself) have a serious disadvantage in the child-bearing process in life – there is only so many places a baby can go while growing inside of you, and short people have less options than tall people!   

    Back to my bottle-crisis:   I had finally just perfected my bottle-making system.  I have invested in so many Playtex Drop-In bottles over the past year….I can make almost 2 weeks worth of infant bottles.  My system was perfect….I could pre-make these bottles, and my baby and I could go anywhere! (Walmart, Target, her aunties’ house, Ruby Tuesday’s….).  It was so easy.  Why does it have to be over?

    5.  Anger

    It took me until my daughter was 9-months old to perfect this bottle system.   And now, three-months later, I have to change the entire baby-feeding process.  I know there is “Toddler Formula”…but it’s not the same!  My little baby/toddler wants big-kid food now – she wants blueberries, pancakes, shredded chicken….

    I now bear the burden on providing a balanced meal for my child – this is a major responsibility, and I am afraid of failing.

    I need a new system.  I need to figure this out! I need to find a way to streamline my Toddler food process, like I did with the bottles.  My first idea was to pre-make meals for a week ahead of time, but I have no room in my freezer!  Time to buy a new freezer?  Sheesh!

    I have enough trouble going the bathroom with a toddler running/crawling around (and getting into EVERYTHING).  How the hell am I going to cook now?


    Terrified of Toddler-Food (aka, Mommy Mia)


      You May Also Like:

      Top 25 Must-Have Toys for a Newborn, Baby and Toddler

      Top 25 Toys

      Each of these toys, in different ways, saved my sanity during the first year(s) with my child. From baby to toddler, here is an evolving list of the Top 25 toys that I have found to be most useful and practical for my baby and toddler (toys that my baby actually used and loved) – starting at newborn, to baby and to young toddler (Ages 0-24 months).  These toys bought me extra time to, say, make myself a sandwich.  

      Top 25 Must-Have Baby and Toddler Toys 

      1.   Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
      Link:  Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

      Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

      Our babysitter has the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes, and my daughter gets very, very upset when I have to give the toy back to our babysitter when I pick my daughter up after work.  It plays music and i think baby’s and toddler’s love it because it’s also easy to hold and carry around.

      Age When Baby Will Start to Love It: 6-months 

      2.   Laugh and Learn Remote
      Link:   Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote

      Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote

      The  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Click ‘n Learn Remote is the best $10 I have spent in  a while.  Babies, for whatever reason, are obsessed with your TV remote controls (the real kind that you use to watch TV with), which is all great until they end up reprogramming your home television in Spanish and you don’t know how to switch it back (true story).  This toy satisfies this obsession, and may save you from calling your TV company’s tech support.  You can find it at Target or on  

      Great for:  Remote control obsessed children.

      3.   Sensory Development Chime Ball 

      Link:   Mary Meyer Taggies Plush Toss the Taggies Chime Ball

      Sensory Development Chime Ball 

      Babies love to pull on the tabs on these Mary Meyer Taggies Plush Toss the Taggies Chime Ball, and they are so soft and fun to play with.  We received one as a gift and when my daughter was a baby, she would love to sit and play with the tabs, and now that she is a little toddler, she loves to hug it. It makes a great pillow for mommy if you want to lay on the floor with your baby too.  

      4.   Activity Cube
      Link:  EverEarth Garden Activity Cube

      Activity Cube

      My mom purchased a similar activity table to the EverEarth Garden Activity Cube from Pottery Barn Kids, and my little one goes nuts with happiness every time she gets to play with this at Grandma’s house.  It’s great for when your little one is able to sit up on his own.

      5.   Kick and Play Piano Baby Gym

      Link:  Fisher-Price Piano Gym, Kick and Play

      Kick and Play Baby Gym, by Fisher-Price

      The Fisher-Price Piano Gym, Kick and Play is amazing is our favorite baby gym because of it’s dangling mirror (babies love mirrors because they love looking at themselves), but it’s main asset is its kickable piano that babies LOVE – it plays music and lights up….very entertaining. Another great thing about this baby gym is that you can level up the piano as baby grows and starts sitting. The only downfall to this baby gym is that it is hard for the baby to roll over all the way without getting caught in the arch. I mention this play gym in my Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items article, but I felt compelled to mention it again here for a couple of reasons: (1) it is not only for newborns, and (2) because it’s awesome. 

      6.   Oball

      Link:  Oball


      The Oball is great for those tiny little fingers because it’s an item that they are actually able to grasp with those tiny little fingers.  The was the first item that our daughter was actually ever able to hold.  She loves it.  It’s costs about $4.99 and is a toy that is worth every penny. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  The Manhattan Toy Winkel is also great for your little one to wrap their hands around, and it rattles slightly too.  Overall, my little one seemed more impressed with the Oball.

      7. Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book

      Link:   Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book

      Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book

      The Little Giraffe Finger Puppet Book Little Giraffe: Finger Puppet Book is great if you want to see your baby or toddler fascinated by a book, then you need to pull out this finger puppet book. My little one gets so excited each time we pull this book out. She kisses the giraffe every time. The author makes other finger-puppet books as well. You may also enjoy Top 10 Baby Books if you want to see more of the best baby books.

      8.   Soothe and Glow Seahorse Baby Soother

      Link:   Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse

      Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse

      The Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse is the technical name for this toy, but I call it “Magic Seahorse” because it’s works like magic at calming your baby to sleep.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling soothed as well!  I also talk about his seahorse in the article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.  

      9.    Happy Giddy Tunnel
      Link:   Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel 

         Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel 

      Once your baby learns to crawl, she will love to crawl through a tunnel! They sell these in just about every store that also sells kids’ toys.  Here is a link to one on, made by Melissa and Doug if you are interested:  Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel.

      10. Jumperoo
      Link:   Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo

      Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo

      Some of my favorite memories around from watching my little one bounce around in her Jumperoo.  A popular choice is the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo.  We bought the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo are were frankly not that impressed. There are a variety to choose from on (I like to read all the reviews before purchasing); here is a link: Baby Jumpers. 

      11.   Alphabet Bath Toys 
      Link:   Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers

      Alphabet and Number Foam Bath Toys

      My toddler is absolutely obsessed with the her foam alphabet and number bath toys (Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers).  She carries them with her everywhere around the house, and this really helped her learn the alphabet and numbers quickly.  It was amazing.  I bought mine at Target, and you can find them at Walmart in their bath toy aisle, or order them from

      12.   Laugh and Learn Music Activity Table

      Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table

      Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun Activity Table

      The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table is the best activity table out there that I have found. Unlike other activity tables, the Laugh and Learn Fun table has multiple settings (Play, Music, Spanish, Learning Time), so it keeps your baby occupied for longer. You can remove the legs for baby to use it during the Sitting phase as well. The is one of those “Keep Baby Busy, Keep Mommy Happy” Toys. I also talk about this toy in my article Top 25 Must-Have Newborn Baby Items.

      13.   Toy Links
      Link:   Sassy Ring O’ Links

      Toy Links

      The Sassy Ring O’ Links are great for attaching toys to strollers and many other things too.  Baby’s love to play with these things.  Toy links are small enough to keep in your purse and pull out for brief entertainment for your baby while you are grocery shopping.  

      14.   Poppin’ Play Piano, by LeapFrog
      Link:   LeapFrog Poppin’ Play Piano 

      Poppin’ Play Piano

      The LeapFrog Poppin’ Play Piano toy is great for a baby who loves to play music.  It has multiple settings (which is great) and keeps baby entertained for about 20-minute increments in my experience.

      15. Dino Walker

      Link:   Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Stride-to-Ride Dino

      Dino Walker

      This toy is called the Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Stride-to-Ride Dino.  This friendly little dinosaur helped teach my daughter to walk, and now, she jumps up and down nearly every time she sees the thing (I have to hide it in the closet sometimes if I know I won’t be able to supervise her with it).  I love this thing.  

      16.   White and Black Book
      Link:   White on Black

      White on Black Newborn Book

      The book White on Black will entertain a newborn (as much as a newborn can really be entertained).  You can see pictures of my newborn infatuated with black and white images at Simple Way to Entertain a Newborn;  I just used my iPad and downloaded PDF images black and white from Google, to my iPad, that I thought my little newborn might like.  If you don’t have an iPad, then you could also Google some black and white images, and just print them! It was a hit with our little one!  You may also enjoy Top 10 Baby Books if you want to see more of the best baby books.

      17.   Pour and Float Froggy Bath Toy 
      Link:  FUN Interactive Frog Bath Toy for Toddlers

      Pour and Float Froggy Bath Toy 

      This is the coolest bath toy of all time for your child once your baby or toddler is able to sit up in an adult bath tub.  The FUN Interactive Frog Bath Toy for Toddlers squirts out water and sings, and your child will love it.  We bought it from Barnes’N’Noble, but they also have it on  I’ve also just recently seen this toy at Target and Walmart.

      18. Animal Magnets
      Link:   Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box

       Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box

      If you have a toddler and would like to get work done in the kitchen, then animal magnets are the way to go.  My little toddler is entertained by the Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets in a Box for at least 30 minutes, especially if I play and talk along with her while a cook.  I love these because I can keep an eye on my little one (as opposed to her wandering off in the living room and getting into something).  I also love these magnets because they don’t have tiny little stick-on magnets like others do (so I am not worried about choking).  These are great.

      19.   Stuffed Elmo and Book

      Link:  So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings)

      Elmo and Elmo Book

      If your toddler is as crazy about Elmo as my child, then you can’t go wrong with Elmo. I liked So Big! (Sesame Street) (Sesame Beginnings) a lot when my little one was around  9-months-old, because it helps teach the adorable trick of “How Big is the Baby?”  I highly recommend pairing off any Elmo book with a Stuffed Elmo (see more about the power of Elmo over toddlers at Top 5 Toys for Young Toddlers).I wish that I could understand the magical, mesmerizing powers that an Elmo Stuffed Animal somehow has over children.  My daughter has been in love with by Elmo ever since she was 9-months-old, and Elmo continues to be her favorite toy now that she is 14-months-old.

      20.   Car Seat Arch Toy
      Link:  Car Seat Toys

      Car Seat Arch Toy

      Entertaining your bored, cranky baby in a carseat can be a lifesaver.  Your little one can bat away with her hands and make noises with this toy.  This sure came in handy when my baby was 6-months-old (especially when we were grocery shopping).  A popular choice seems to be the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch; we purchased the Bright Starts Take Along Carrier Toy Bar and were very happy with it (it’s also about $5 less); however, the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch seems to provide a lot more variety.  If I could do it over, I would have purchased the Tiny Love Take-Along Arch version.

      21. Secure-a-Toy

      Link:  Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy


      The Baby Buddy Secure-A-Toy is an amazing invention that prevents your baby from losing toys when riding in the stroller. I love these things.

      22.   Stuffed Animal Net
      Link:   Top Quality Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals by Kidde Time

      Stuffed Animal and Toy Organizer Net

      I am a big fan of the Top Quality Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals by Kidde Time because my child has what seems like a million stuffed animals (between the baby shower and moments of mommy weakness, we a have a lot).  It saves a lot of floor space.

      23. Little Readers Chair
      Link: Fantasy Furniture Roundy Chair Gingham

      Little Reader Chair

      Our 18-month-old daughter loves her little reader chair. We received one from Pottery Barn Kids (as a gift), but has a cheaper alternative (the Fantasy Furniture Roundy Chair Gingham). You will have quite a few options to choose from for a chair for your little one.

      24.   Suction Spin Wheel for Highchair
      Link:    Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy 

      High Chair Toy – Suction Wheel

      The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy will keep your baby occupied at his high chair for a solid 5 minutes while you prepare a meal.  That may not sound like much, but if you have a hungry baby and still need to get his meal ready, then that five extra minutes can mean a more peaceful meal preparation experience for you and for baby while you heat up the veggies and pasta.  The Sassy Developmental Wonder Wheel Suction Toy suctions to  the tray of your plastic high chair (TIp: The high chair tray must be squeaky clean in order for the suction part of the toy wheel to effectively stick to the high chair).  If you pair this suctions pin wheel with the bungee sippy cup cord (see How This Small Idea Solves a Big Sippy Cup Problem), then you’re feeding sessions will go much more smoothly.

      25.   iPad Protective Case
      Link:  Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition

      iPad Protector Case

      If you have an iPad, the this Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition can be a savior for it!  Not only does it protect your iPad from damage, but it also has the option for preventing your little one from pushing the “Home” button – so you don’t have to worry about her changing the keyboard in your iPad to “Mandarin Chinese”!  Downfalls:  It’s a tad bulky and it’s not completely water-proof; however, it makes an excellent first-line of defense.


      26.   First 100 Words – Book

      Link:  First 100 Words


        Daily Mom Humor – Where Mommy’s Friends Live - Daddy, this is where all mommy's friends live.

        I hate when I relate to a funny ecard like this! But I do! My little toddler will soon be saying this…and as soon as she does, I will take her to the park, try to make friends with any other mom that I can find nearby on the swings… Just to prove that I have real, human “friends”! 

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        22 Words of Advice for My Daughter (Volume 2)

        22 Pieces of Advice for my daughter

        To read Volume I of this post, please see Top 35 Life Lessons That I Need to Pass Along to My Daughter

        1.    You wouldn’t care so much what people thought of you if you knew how little they really did.”  – Dr. Phil McGraw

          • When you can’t sleep at night because all you can think about is what other people thought about something you said or maybe something that you did, just remember that other people don’t think about you  as much as you think about you.

        2.    It’s almost never about you.  

          • People have their own demons. Remember this when people are jerks.
        3.  There is often a little truth behind the words, “Just Kidding”….
          • …and a little knowledge behind, “I don’t know”…
          • …a little emotion behind, “I don’t care”….
          • …and a little pain behind every, “It’s OK.”

        4.  If you want a different result, try making different choices.
          • A lot of things in life (but not everything) are reflections of choices you have made. 
          • You’ll never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be and how you are going to get there.

        Check out our first advice rendition: Top 35 Life Lesson for My Daughter.

        5.   When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words (from Thema Davis).

          • When my mom discovered that she had cancer and she had to have surgery to get a tumor in her neck removed, I was at a loss for words and I felt like my presence was worthless because I had no idea what I could say to her that could possibly make her feel better and I was devastated by the news.  That was years ago (and she is healthy now!).  The crazy part:  she talks about how much it meant to her when I stayed with her overnight in the hospital (during my law school final exams) and she talks about it a lot to this day.  

        6.   You are always responsible for how you act – no matter how you feel, so don’t be an ass.
          • You have the right to be angry sometimes, but that doesn’t give you the right to be cruel.  Just because you are free to be angry does not mean that you are not free from the consequences of your choice.  
          • Sometimes silence is the best response when you are angry. 
          • Just as saying, “I don’t know,” when you don’t know, is also a good answer.

        7.   Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones.  
          • I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people – it’s about what they do about it. 
          • Similarly, “you can’t enjoy your ‘now‘ by worrying about tomorrow’ (words spoken by Janice Joplin). 

        8.   Here is a quote from Asha Dornfest, author of the blog on the blog, from her post: Why disruptive is a good thing)

          • “We can sometimes be our own worst roadblocks in life….frankly, I’ve had to get pushed….I do find that times that I’ve really been pushed to places that I initially didn’t want to go – those are the places where something inside me was enlarged – something about my capabilities changed, and I became more confident.  So I think that our regular detours to places to which we don’t usually go – whether that’s a physical challenge or a mental challenge or even learning new skills or going into a social situation that you’re initially hesitant to do – you’ve got to do those things.” – Asha Dornfest

        9.   Be the type of person that your dog thinks you are…

          • My dog thinks that I’m a rockstar (if only she knew…), but she keeps me held to a certain standard.  
          • Be the type of person you want to meet.  Sometimes life is about finding people who are “your type of crazy.” 
          • Remember that your character is how you treat those people who can do nothing for you. Smile at strangers.  Refrain from judging too quickly.

        10.   No matter how loud the opinions of other people are about you, they do not get to choose who you can be. (Inspired by Dobinsky).  
          • Don’t let yourself become confused between what people say that you are and what you know that you are (this was a challenge for me when I was a teenager).
          • It’s never too late to be who you might have been.

        11.   Exercise in the morning before your brain figures out what it is doing!
          • I don’t do this, but I should.
          • If you succeed in doing this, please tell me how.
        12.  Get a planner.  
          • The biggest lie that I tell myself is, “I don’t need to write that down because I’ll remember it.”  Just write it down (telling this to myself and I write this post).

        13.   Whatever it is that you dislike in another person, you should take care to correct in yourself. (by Thomas Sprat)
          • Just assume that everyone is doing the best that they can.
          • Take into consideration how hard it is to change yourself, and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

        14.   You teach people how to treat you – by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.  
          • Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love (by Brenie Brown).  If you think you’re being mistreated, ask yourself what you would tell someone that you love if they were in your position.
          • It’s hard to determine where to draw the lines between being nice and standing up for yourself and what you believe.  

        15.   You won’t get anywhere if you have a bad attitude. “Bad attitudes are like flat tires on cars – you can’t anywhere until you change it.” (by Anonymous)
          • A negative mind will never give you a positive life.

        16.   You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. (by Wayne Gretsky).  
          • Go for it.
          • The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.  Don’t give up.
          • You can keep going long after you think that you can’t.

        17.   Advice about relating to the people around you…
          • We are all making it up as we go along.  
          • It only takes a half a second to write “please” or “thank you” at the beginning or end of a sentence – it adds up to months of mutual respect.
          • Clearing up an issue” with someone in the presence of a larger group is potentially very damaging. If you have an issue with someone, go one-on-one.
          • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.  (by Dale Carnegie)

        (Source:  Danielle LaPorte:  What I know about working with people (and yes, this also applies to romance — as does most business advice))

        18.   You can learn a lot from your mistakes when you aren’t too busy denying that you made them.
          • Don’t be a “right fighter.”  When you’re wrong, admit it.  Apologize.  Read about The Art of An Apology on  You might also like the this hilarious “Formal Notice of Apology”.  
          • Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated.  Trust is gained.  Loyalty is returned.

        19.   If you keep waiting until you are ready, then you might be waiting for the rest of your life. 
          • Because this post is for my daughter (life lessons I want to pass along to her), then I feel compelled to say that this does not apply to sex or to anything sex-related.  For these these – take your time. 
          • Take chances.  Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.  Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.
        20.  When it comes to love, remember all of these things:
          • Sometimes two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completely different.
          • Anything that you have to manipulate to get is rarely yours to keep.
          • Marry someone who laughs at the same things as you do.
          • Remember that many marriages would be great if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side (by Zig Zaglar).
          • Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. (by Baz Luhrmann)….Thank you, SunScreen Song.
          • If you start a relationship being the “other woman,” you will likely never be the “only woman.”  What goes around might come around, so be careful.

        21.   Remember the Golden Rule 

          • Doing the right thing is not always easy.  Do not sleep with a married man (or a committed man).  That’s just plain mean.
          • Remember the Golden Rule that you will hear 1 million times throughout your life:  “Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.”
          • I don’t know who actually uses the word, “unto,” anymore (or ever did?), but you get the point

        22.   For you dad’s out there:
          • The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is to love his mother.


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