Friday, July 30, 2010

ErinShannon Designs

I am not sure if I ever posted here about this or not, but I started a fan page for my invitations/announcements/cards/scrapbooking! Feel free to come on over and check it out and "fan" me - reasonable prices - one of a kind designs - you print or I can have them printed and shipped to you! Christmas isn't that far away - time to start thinking about your Christmas cards now!!!

ErinShannon Designs on Facebook



Photobucket

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tommee Tippee Sippy Cups Review & Giveaway!

We go through sippy cups like some people go through paper towel. It seems like I am constantly buying new ones - always on the look out for that elusive "perfect" sippy cup. I admit, I am one of those moms who requires my children to use a sippy cup well into their preschool years. Actually Trevor is 6.5 yrs old and still will ask on occasion to use a sippy cup.

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I was given the opportunity to review the "Tommee Tippee Explora Sippy Cups". "Tommee Tippee" happens to be the #1 feeding brand in Great Britain. I am excited to see that they are now available to those of us here in the USA.


Tommee Tippee, from the UK-based Mayborn Group Limited, the #1 brand of infant and toddler feeding products in Great Britain, is loved by parents and children alike and is one of the top brands of infant products and accessories in the global market. Tommee Tippee has received numerous brand accolades in Great Britain, including top ranks in the prestigious Mother and Baby Gold Awards – a head-to-head assessment of competitive products voted on by moms themselves. The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature line of baby bottles has been chosen as Great Britain’s best baby bottle by The Mother and Baby Gold Awards: winning the category in 2006/7, 2008/9 and again in 2009/10. In 2009, Tommee Tippee was the first and only children’s feeding brand to be selected as a UK Superbrand in a nationwide poll of consumers, putting it on par with brands such as Microsoft®, Coca-Cola®, Nike®, Lego® and Google®.

As I said, we were sent the "Tommee Tippee Explora Sippy Cups" and they are quite fabulous! I finally found a cup I love!


  • 2 x 11floz/ 325ml cups
  • Stage 2 cup
  • Advance-flo™ technology for easy drinking
  • Unique soft-flex spout protects gums
  • Easy to hold handles
  • Hygiene Cap
  • Truly non spill & leak proof
  • BPA Free

The Clever Bit

Unlike other valve systems our active sensor valve is designed by a physicist to be both so sensitive that liquid flows on demand, yet truly spill and leak proof.

These cups are both microwave AND dishwasher safe! That right there is a huge bonus! Sometimes the kids will ask me to make hot chocolate and of course, with small children, you don't want something piping hot but being able to warm it a bit right in the cup in the microwave is a major plus. 

I'd really highly recommend these sippy cups. We've had them since last week and we've had not one spill...and trust me Victoria is infamous for leaving a sippy cup here or there and half the time on it's side. Another thing that I really like about these cups is that little protective cover piece - Vicky closes it after each time she drinks, which is peace of mind for me that her cup is still clean! The valve inside the lid is is super easy to clean, which for this busy mom is another huge plus. And on a purely cosmetic note, I adore the simple design and pretty colors. 

You can find these cups at Babies R Us and Toys R Us in a 2pk for $7.99.
And you can also get them in blue/green in addition to the pink/purple!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tommee Tippee has been so generous to let me giveaway a set of the 
Explora cups to one of my readers!!! Woot!!!

So let's get down to the nitty gritty aka "the RULES":

1. Go to the Tommee Tippee website, take a look around, and then come back here and leave me a comment letting me know which product you like best. This is your main entry!!! Be sure to leave your name and email address where you can be reached!

For BONUS entries:
2. Become a fan of Tommee Tippee on Facebook here and then come back and leave me a comment and let me know that you are a fan - 1 Bonus Entry
3. "Follow" my blog and leave me a comment that you follow it - 1 Bonus Entry
4. Facebook about this giveaway and come back and leave a link to that post - 1 Bonus Entry

You can have a total of 4 entries into the contest. But you must do #1 in order to do the others!
Contest ends at midnight on August 6th. Winner will be announced on August 7th on my blog. Winner must email me (erinc@ainop.com) within 48 hours otherwise another winner will be selected!!!
Good luck!!!



Photobucket

Nothing ever prepares you for being a statistic!

I sat down today to watch a video that my niece sent me via Facebook ....the first thing that really caught my eye was the statistic regarding Autism and how 1 in 150 are diagnosed now. This is a vast difference from the 1 in 10,000 that were diagnosed back in 1980. As I read those words over and over, it struck me that nothing ever prepares you for being a statistic. If you had asked me 10 years ago what Autism was, I don't think I could have given you even an educated guess. I didn't personally know anyone with Autism. After Trevor was born, I started hearing more about Autism but still didn't know much at all. In the past 2 yrs since Trevor was diagnosed, I can't turn around without hearing about someone who is Autistic...be it on the news, in a magazine, in a book, in a movie, etc. Autism is everywhere. And despite it being everywhere now, as I said, nothing ever prepares you for being that 1 in 150 statistic.






Photobucket

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am flawed!

I have come to realize that I am flawed!

I am constantly running into parents who have the ability and patience to embrace the messes of childhood. They take each mess in stride, turn it into something fun, laugh it off and move on. And some even encourage that mess.

I think I am missing the gene that allows one to not get irritated by the messes of childhood! I am flawed!!!

I've tried...honestly I have....I have tried so hard to just laugh it off, to shake my head with a smile, to make it a game and not be bothered by the mess. But dammit, it's just not in me. Instead I get upset and annoyed and frankly pissy.

Yesterday I got both kids brand new boxes of 24 crayons - they were only .30 cents each, but it's still money spent. And despite repeatedly telling them to be careful, Vicky purposely broken each crayon in her box and threw them all over the place. I tried to laugh....I tried not to let it bother me....I tried to look at the big picture and just be happy that she was so "creative" but I couldn't. I was mad. Mad that once again I had tried to do something nice and spent money on them, only for it to be wasted.

This morning Trevor made a mess with the kids shampoo - two new bottles purchased last Friday - he emptied them in the shower and refilled them with water. And again, I tried really to see the humor in it and be happy about his creative genius but that didn't happen. Instead I was pissed off that once again more money was wasted and annoyed that now I have no soap for the kids till I go shopping tomorrow.

I was upset last week when Karl discovered Trevor in the bathroom with my nail polish painting his car....I didn't see the creativity behind it. What I saw was a child who had disobeyed the rules.

When the kids take all the pillows off the couch and stand on them and throws them around, I don't see the fun in that. What I see is a mess.

Don't get me wrong, I love these kids to the moon and back, I just lack that ability to take the messes with stride...I am not laid back enough to let it not bother me. I like things in order. I like cleanliness. I like routine. I love creativity ...I just don't think it needs to happen at the expense of other things being ruined or dirty, etc.

Sigh.....



Photobucket

Friday, July 16, 2010

Autism "Experts"!

Autism "experts"!

For those of us with a child on the spectrum, we all know at least one "expert". The "expert" is that person that has a friend with a child on the spectrum, or their uncles girlfriends cousins grandson has Autism, or the person who watched a movie about Autism and now they feel they have graduated to the title of "expert" in the field of Autism. Blah!

Everywhere I turn I find one of these "experts". Two days ago a new neighbor told me that when she worked in a preschool (as an aide no less - not even a special needs professional, but an aide) that she took a parent aside to let them know that they needed to have their child tested because she was sure the child was Autistic, based of course on her experience with an Autistic cousin. I can only hope she was talking out her ass and not really playing armchair doctor and telling parents that their child has Autism.

As a parent of a child on the spectrum it gets so tiring to all the "advice" from "experts". My son is 6.5 yrs old - we've know since he was 14 months old that something was "wrong" for lack of a better term. We've been dealing with this for all these years and yet, I would never presume I knew enough to diagnosis a child with Autism.

And the crazy thing is, the spectrum of Autism is so broad - no two children on the spectrum are the same - what idiosyncrasies one child has, will not be the same with the next child. What therapies work for one child, will not necessarily work for the next child. What medication will work to help with the comorbidities for one child, will not always help the next child.

In the end, what those of us with a loved on on the spectrum really need is less of the "experts", no matter how well meaning, no matter how many Autism movies you've watched, no matter that your best friend has 2 or 3 kids on the spectrum, no matter that you once saw an Autistic child in the local Walmart, it does not, I repeat, does not make *you* an expert.

What we do need is support, love and patience. Sometimes we are going through hard times, sometimes things will be smooth sailing. We need that support and love not only during the good times, but most especially when things are rocky. When we think we can't possibly go on any more...when we can't possibly handle one more meltdown....one more doctors appointment....one more call from school ...or whatever the case may be....that is when we need all the love and support we can get. Telling us we need to learn how to "cope" isn't helpful at all. Sorry, it just isn't. Come walk a day in our shoes and see how well you cope. Telling us to read more books isn't helpful at all. Again, sorry, for must of us we've been reading every book we can get our hands on. Our shelves are full of books about Autism. Telling us we aren't a good friend simply because we are dealing with major issues with our Autistic loved one isn't helpful. There is a whole world out there that you just possibly can't even begin to imagine if you aren't living it, so yes, a little support goes a long way.

If you are one of those "experts", I implore you to take a step back and think before you speak....is what you are about to say going to benefit in any way, shape or form? If you can't answer that question honestly, then you need to keep quiet and just be supportive!

Family Movie Time At Home

Guest post written by Taylor Jorne

This last year my family was visiting. It is always fun to see them because they have younger children. We had plans to watch a movie. I had seen great reviews for the family movie "Everyone's Hero". It is an animated movie about a young boy, named Yankee Irving, who loves baseball. I knew this would be perfect for all of us, and we would be able to watch the movie on directv So while my dad was outdoors grilling, we set up our places in the theatre room, where eating and watching movies at the same time are a blast! The movie's scene is set in the Great Depression, along with the times that Babe Ruth was a player. Irving is a 10 year-old boy, and loves baseball, but baseball does not seem to encompass him readilly--his talent is sadly lacking. One day Irving finds a baseball that can talk. The ball's name is Screwie. The name fits because the baseball is a grumpy character. Irving finds himself going to see his father at the Yankee Stadium, where his father works as a janitor. Yankee Irving has always wanted to see the locker room of all of his heroes. He is let in. Trouble arises when a signed baseball goes missing that night...It is a movie worth watching for all ages--young and older.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monday Night Family Night

Big shout out to Cam Williamson for the guest post!!

When my family moved from Boston to Los Angeles for my husband’s job, we all ended up having more time together as a family. We occasionally watched television before but it wasn’t until we were settled into our new home that we had the time to enjoy family nights together. On Monday nights, our family night consists of baking goodies and watching our favorite direct tv family channels in California.

The original programming is enjoyed by my two teenage daughters and even my husband! There are several shows that we all enjoy and ABC Family has a good schedule so when one show ends for the season, it’s not too long before another takes its place. I think we all agree that Lincoln Height's is our favorite show since my husband and I instill the same values in our family that the TV family does in theirs. We also enjoy Greek, Make It or Break It, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Though there is adult content in nearly every show, we don’t shield our fourteen and fifteen year old daughters from it because it is part of their reality as well. We do talk about some of the situations afterward, and while some might think that’s an awkward thing to do, we actually like to know what our girls are thinking and how they feel about situations that they might be encountering themselves. It has brought us closer as a family, and I wouldn’t trade our Monday nights for anything in the world!