Winter is busy enough as it is but you’ve got to learn ways to help you combat sickness so you won’t add more stress to the holiday season. Here are some tips & tricks to help you stay healthy in the winter months and how to get your Vick’s Holiday Fix.
This conversation is sponsored by Vick’s available at Walmart. All opinions are my own and this post does contain affiliate links.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, you’ll know that my son Malakai was born 16 weeks early. That’s right on the cusp of survival. In fact, he only had a 10% chance of surviving. He was born at the end of September and so going into the winter months we had to be conscious of us staying healthy so he wouldn’t get sick.
Washing your hands in the NICU was just like a doctor scrubbing in for surgery. You’re given their anti-bacterial soap and a one-time use scrub brush. Wearing jewelry was not recommended and fake nails were also a no-no. Things like those can harbor germs and just add to an already complicated journey.
I decided then, and we still implement them today, that we needed to take precautionary steps to avoid illness and the spreading of germs in the winter months.
For two years he got a Synagis shot which geared up his immune system to fight off RSV. It worked but still when he would get a cold, it just takes him longer to fight it off. A cold for me lasts 7-10 days, he takes over two weeks to get over it.
Depending on what surface you’re going to put your first aid SVG file you’re going to want HTV for fabric and be sure to mirror the image before you cut, or you’ll want standard vinyl if you’re putting your first aid image on plastic or wood and you do not need to mirror your image.
Be sure to follow manufacturers instructions before you apply your vinyl to make sure you’re using it correctly.
Gather your Vicks Nyquil with VapoCOOL and your Vicks VaporRub and place it inside your DIY First-Aid Kit. Don’t forget your band-aids, gauze, and some Bacitracin so that you’re covered for any cuts.
Tips & Tricks for Staying Healthy in the Winter
Stay inside as much as possible –
I know this is hard with little ones but the more you stay inside, the less you are susceptible to catching germs. You can easily do this more nowadays with Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service.
Shopping online and choosing online grocery pick-up is so convenient. I just add items to my cart from grocery.walmart.com and choose when I can pick it up. Walmart will have everything ready to go for me and load it up in my car right in the parking lot.I haven’t been the same since I was introduced to Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service. Find ways to save on Vicks products at Walmart below.
Keep your medications organized –
When you are sick, the last thing you want to be doing is looking for the medication that you need. Organize your medications using some bins in a closet or under your sink in the bathroom. Use a label maker and mark each bin with what they contain. Be prepared before you get hit with the cold bug.
Use Vicks’ new VapoCOOL formula –
Grab some of your go-to Vicks products with the new VapoCOOL, available at Walmart, to get the relief of your illness with the rush of Vick’s vapors. Keep your symptoms at bay so that you can get all you need to get done this holiday season. My go-to is Vicks NyQuil with VapoCOOL so that I can get a good nights rest before the festivities start gearing up.
Wash Your Hands –
This one is a no-brainer but we still need reminding when it comes to keeping our hands clean. Keep some mini hand sanitizer bottles in your purse or your desk so that you can kill germs at all times. This small bottle of sanitizer cost me less than $1 at my local Walmart. I grabbed a few to keep in the car and my bedside table.
Stay Warm –
I see a reflection of my mother in myself when I’m constantly telling the kids that they shouldn’t wear shorts when its 30ºF outside. Grab some cozy socks that are just for slipping on when getting into bed at night or a comfy pair of thermal pajamas. Winter gloves are also a must-have and also be sure to keep spare pairs in your car or your purse so you’re never without them.
The air is so dry in the winter and since I live in Utah, it’s dry all year-round. I like to use a humidifier in all of our rooms to keep from having our throats dry up and our grossness wet so that we can cough it up. I prefer the cool-mist humidifiers and we have them on almost all winter long.
I use the Vicks VapoRub in addition to the humidifier so that we can have some relief on our chests and I am able to get some good deep breaths in.
Ways to save on Vicks at Walmart:
$1 off any Vicks product at Walmart (except drops, Sinex, and ZzQuil) – BrandSAVER coupon from the 11/25 newspaper
$1 off Vicks Nyquil at Walmart – iBotta offer
$0.75 off Vicks VapoDrops at Walmart – iBotta Offer
Bonus $1.25 rebate when you use both iBotta offers
I love using the Ibotta app to get rebates on my shopping. Just scan in your receipt and see the savings start rolling in.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TrustinGentle #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias
Create the perfect care package for NICU parents and their little tiny miracle. Learn all what you need to know about skin care for premature babies and important advice for NICU parents.
Because I’ve had two preemies before Malakai I kind of knew what to expect when it came to his care. However, because his skin was so much thinner and more delicate than the others, we had to really consider what exactly was going on his skin and what the ingredients were. JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo was really the best thing we were able to find that didn’t have any contraindications.I chose JOHNSON’S® because of the formulation of their products. They are 100% gentle, and free of parabens, and phthalates. They’re also dye free, sulfate free, worry free. They have a new formulation for all of their products and have released a new JOHNSON’S® COTTONTOUCH™ Newborn Wash & Shampoo that is perfect for Malakai now and I’m sure perfect when he was just a preemie because,“The Brand You Trust, Now More Gentle Than Ever” and it is the #1 choice of hospitals.
What is a swaddle bath?
Our NICU used it on all the babies and we were able to do swaddle baths with Malakai which were great because he is so small. A swaddle bath is when you fill your tub of warm water, then you put some fleece fabric or blanket, then the baby and then you wrap the baby up in the swaddle so that they retain their heat. We continued to do these for Malakai until he was 6-7 months and when he stayed warm, he enjoyed his bath times more. This is my daughter Leila when we would do swaddle baths for her in 2010.
Is skin-to-skin for preemies worth it?
To this question, it’s always yes. It’s important to do it when the baby is born but when you have a premature baby, sometimes you can only do it a bit at a time. When we had Leila in 2010, the most they’d let us do is an hour at a time until she was stronger.
For Malakai, it was a different story. I didn’t get to hold him for 10 days. We’d watch his monitor and his ventilator settings to make sure he wasn’t getting too stimulated. We were able to hold him as long as he’d tolerate it. Some days it’d be the full 3 hours before his next cares, some days it was 20 minutes. That’s why I feel a swaddle bath is always best for premature or even term newborns so that they get the sensation of warmth and comfort that we provide to them during skin-to-skin.
How do I take care of myself while my child is in the NICU?
First, your child is in the best place possible. Sometimes that is hard to realize because we are their parents and we know what to do. However, these nurses are dedicated to their work and also can be traumatized from having to deal with other premature infants.
I suffer from PTSD even three years later and a lot of therapy. There are times when I often have to close my eyes and take deep breaths and continue to remind myself that part of his life is over. The hospital still gives me anxiety with all the monitors and bells, I get very agitated and again have to do breathing exercises. I’m not sure when it will go away but I know a way I can help myself is to be sure to take care of myself and do other things besides sit in the hospital all day.
Movies, pampering, sleep, shopping, and other extra-curricular activities were so important to me as a mother because if I was taken care of, my child was properly taken care of. I wasn’t as overwhelmed by his cares and all the extras I needed to know because my mind was cleared and I was more attentive.
What should I include in a care package for NICU parents?
Be sure to include items for the parents and items that they’ll need for when the baby comes home. Remembering the parents and the baby are what is most important but also practicality has to come into play as well. Some of my best ideas are:
Head to your local Walgreens and grab those for your friends or family whose child is in the NICU. I love going to Walgreens because I know it’s always open. There were many times where we would have to run grab something for Malakai and it was never a question of where we’d go. I know that their pharmacy is reliable in providing me the medications that he needed for so long after his birth. I remember us having to go to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night and the doctor sent us home a prescription. I knew that they were the only ones able to fill it for us.
We’ve come a long way in our progress for all three of my premature children but especially Malakai. I wouldn’t have been able to give him the love and attention he needed if it weren’t for the generosity of others.
So tell me, what do you think would be a great addition to a care package for NICU parents? Head to your local Walgreens and create your own care package for NICU parents. #TrustInGentle
Do you love alphabet magnets but hate the look of them? Create these easy DIY alphabet magnets and be stylish as your child is learning how to spell. This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support.
DIY alphabet magnets are easier to make than you think. I’ve included a free printable for you or if you have a Cricut or Silhouette, I’ve got the .png images of the individual letters. Use your Xyron Creative Station with the Laminate Magnet cartridge and create these in a matter of minutes.
Just print off the free printable and cut out the letters individually or you can do it by line. You’ll see that cutting out individual letters first isn’t really necessary because it all gets covered by the laminate protector and backed with the magnet sheet.
After you’ve run your letters through the Xyron Magnet Laminate, cut them out individually. The magnet sheet is thin enough that regular scissors do the trick.
What is the Xyron Magnet Laminate Cartridge?
The cartridge has two sides that runs through the Creative Station. It has the top side as a laminate and the bottom section is a thin magnet sheet. The Xyron Laminate Magnet cartridge comes in a 5″ size. You can use it on your 9″ Creative Station or a 5″ Creative Station. It is a refill cartridge that comes in a sturdy box so when you have it in storage, you won’t damage your cartridge.
Thank you Goliath Games for sponsoring this post. Pick up your favorite game today to enjoy the holiday season and beyond!We love a good game night in our family. I’m here to show you how to memorable game night for kids in any age group.When game night comes in our family, we get really excited. When we get to spend quality time together laughing and making memories it makes us remember the more important things in life, like each other.When I have a stressful day with the kids, I have to find a way for them and myself to unwind. Goliath Games and Pressman Toy are just the items we need. They’re easy to play, easy to clean and a lot of fun for everyone.When having a game night, the most important thing to remember is to have fun! My personality isn’t always suited for fun but these games bring out the best in me.
Here are some of the games we play and why my kids love game night:
Shark Bite is made by Pressman Toy and was so easy to set up and play. The kids had a REEL-ly fun time trying to pick up different fishes with the rod and always wondering when the shark would bite. To set it up, just snap the mouth open and place the colorful sea creatures in each space until it snaps. Roll the dice and use the fishing rods to pull each creature out but watch out – you never know when Shark Bite will snap! No batteries required.
Giggle Wiggle is made by Goliath Games and this one was Malakai’s favorite. Easy assembly and a blast to play. Just have the start at the bottom and race to the top to get him to hold the marbles. He moves like crazy so you’ll definitely have marbles that will fall off. Just pick them up and keep at it. I love this one because it’s a challenge to the kids and they laugh the whole time.
Pop the Pig
Pop the Pig is another Goliath Games top pick. You feed him cheeseburgers and press his head until he pops! This one is a suspense the whole game – you never know when he’s going to pop. All the cheeseburgers store in a compartment so you don’t have to worry about losing pieces. This game teaches numbers, colors and counting and is the #2 best selling game among kids the last 6 years.
Catch the Fox
Catch the Fox is made by Goliath Games and was France’s #1 toy in 2016. This one I loved cause his pants just disappear and you’re scrambling to pick up all the loose chickens. His pants are baggy enough that he’s trying to steal all the chickens in the coop. But then his pants just disappear and he’s left out in his underwear. The kids loved scrambling around trying to fill their coop with the loose chickens trying to win the game.
Doggie Doo is another Goliath Games classic but now it’s been redesigned. You feed the pup and spin the wheel to determine how many times you pump his leash. Kids love the inappropriate noises the Doggie Doo makes. This game has 120 million views on YouTube already. Once the doggie goes plop, just scoop it up and start again.
These games are great starters for kids of any age trying to learn strategy and competition.Goliath Games is the fourth-largest children’s game manufacturer in North America. Adi Golad started Goliath in the Netherlands in 1980 fueled by his passion to bring new toys to the market and today Goliath sells products in more than 75 countries with direct distribution in Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Australia, Canada and the USA. On July 4, 2008, Goliath opened its US subsidiary, headed by board game guru David Norman, and has been entertaining children and adults ever since. Examples include Rummikub®, Rubik’s Cube®, Tri-ominos®, Wordsearch, Pop the Pig®, Doggie Doo, Gooey Looey, and Catch the Fox.
Pressman Toy Corporation, the third largest game manufacturer in the United States, was founded in 1922. The company has released many strong brands that consumers have enjoyed for generations, such as Rummikub, MASTERMIND and Tri-Ominos. One of the first companies in the industry to begin licensing popular characters and content for toys and games, Pressman Toy has created games and puzzles based on, Elf on the Shelf, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter as well as popular games shows Deal or No Deal, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. The company’s iconic red boxes have introduced millions of Americans to the joys of Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Cribbage, Bingo, Dominoes, Mancala, and a host of other classic games. Pressman’s current offerings include these time-tested favorites along with a mix of exciting new games and puzzles designed to spark young imaginations and bring families together.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias
Learning how your child reacts to the sun is always a fun experiment! Even though they share the same genetics, siblings often times react differently to the sun. My older three brown right up and then you have my baby who burns just like his mama. I’m going to give you some of my best sun care tips for toddlers so buckle up!
We were in Tonga over the winter (their summer) and we had to leave early because Malakai couldn’t handle the heat. It was so hot, like Arizona heat but with 85% humidity hot. No fun. I’ve never experienced heat like that and hopefully I never will have to again. Malakai was extremely sensitive to the heat there too. I’m not sure if it had to do with his prematurity or if he had somehow contracted a mosquito-borne illness. He’d toss-and-turn all night long, never napped and he was pretty much the grumpiest he’s ever been. I needed to learn quickly how to take care of him in the sun.The only thing he ended up loving was being dipped in the ocean and then laying down in the shade. Obviously that wasn’t always an option so we had to get creative with how we dealt with him overheating. Some of my favorite ideas are:
Sunscreen and a higher SPF than you think you’ll need. Toddlers skin is still so fragile and thin that they need extra sun protection. Don’t be afraid to try the Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen out for yourself. How you take care of your skin when you’re young will determine how it looks when you’re older.
Rompers and lots of them. The fabric in these rompers are fantastic. They’re extremely breathable and come in different sleeve and pant lengths. These were a huge lifesaver in the heat and I ended up buying more of them once we came home.
Hats and large ones too. The wider the rim of the hat, the more area it’ll cover. I do like those hats that look like a towel is hanging down, but fashion over function for me and so I like to stick with bucket hats. Be sure that there is a strap to secure it on your baby’s head. But also make sure that the secure tab can easily come off, like a velcro one.
SPF proof swimwear in addition to your sunscreen. There is never too much sun protection and get all the coverage you can find. I love that swimwear now is available with additional SPF because you can’t always swim in long sleeves and pants.
Water, water, and more water. Toddlers need hydration as much as adults and they’ll feel miserable too if they don’t stay hydrated. There is always that rule of drink before you’re thirsty. Stay on top of it and be sure they’re getting the amount they need.
Washcloths. Dip these in the cool water and place it around your child’s neck. This has an immediate effect on how your body feels and it can help them get the energy they need so that you can get them out of the heat.
Babies and ourselves need a lot of sun coverage for our skin. In the last few years I’ve had moles removed which were on the cusp of being cancerous. I’ve been more diligent to cover myself and my children more because of this. Tonga was by far my worst sunburn and so while we were there I made sure to cover them in Blue Lizard® sunscreen before they even started for the day. I knew they’d run off to the beach and sunscreen would be impossible for them to remember.I love the Blue Lizard® Baby Sunscreen especially for Malakai’s sensitive skin and you can easily find it at your local Walmart. But the most important feature I love is that the Patented Smart Bottle™ technology – bottle changes color when exposed to harmful UV sunlight. This can be used as a great teaching tool for your kids on when to re-apply sunscreen (only the bottle will change colors). Just remember to consult your pediatrician before applying sunscreen to children younger than 6 months.Tell me, what are your favorite sun care tips for toddlers? Also don’t forget to download the Ibotta app where you can get a $4 rebate just for purchasing Blue Lizard® Baby Sunscreen.
Leila and Penny are the best of friends and they can laugh for hours on end. I don’t think they’ve ever fought, ever! We had a get together at my mom’s house and the girls had so much fun having family game night, alone, while their brothers played by the fire pit.We started with unwrapping the Hedbanz™ Electronic and I love that it comes in its own case that holds the cards and also has the ability to hold the Hedbanz™ Electronic bands. My previous experience with Hedbanz™ was positive but there was nowhere to store the items neatly. The Hedbanz™ Electronic solved that.Leila and Penny were able to play the three essential ways –
Ask “Yes” or “No” questions
Act it out
They were also able to utilize the five questions that is included with the Hedbanz™ Electronic. The questions were easy enough that they were able to read them on their own and the pictures included in the Hedbanz™ Electronic were so clever.As you can see by their expressions, they had so much fun together. I think that’s so essential for family game night. Include games that all ages can get involved and include all those who want to be included. When kids get older, they seem to not want to do family game night. I always try to find games that include older and younger kids. Hedbanz™ Electronic is the perfect game for all ages and it has you act silly which is a smile maker.We had so much fun having family game night that we left it at our Grandma’s so it can be played every time we’re there. To purchase Hedbanz™ Electronic on Amazon, go here. Now tell me, what is your favorite game for family game night?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Each of my children have their own Amazon Fire Tablet that I was able to score last year on Cyber Monday. It was the perfect gift for each of them because I mainly wanted it to keep them occupied for a fraction of the price. I want to share with you the best FREE learning apps available though Amazon Underground.Many times my children have downloaded apps that have cost me money, a lot of money that I wasn’t happy about. Now I know that with Amazon Underground, they can download apps that are actually free.I’ve compiled a list of FREE apps that each of my kids use to help them with school work and help them with their problem solving. I’ve separated it by years for Elementary aged children that will help you as parents make the right choices on what is the most appropriate free app for them.
Kindergarten – Elmo Loves ABC’s
This app allows the child to trace the upper and lower case ABC’s. You can track your child’s progress and see how long they’ve used the app. It comes with fun coloring pages to learn the colors a little easier and you can watch Sesame Street videos.
First Grade – Endless Reader
I love this game for my first grader. She can touch a work and it makes the noise that the letter sounds like and you find the matching one. It’s a lot of fun and it gives you a silly scenario at the end of what those words and sentences mean.
Second Grade – Math Run
This app features subtraction, addition, multiplication and division and it features them in games. It is a timed game and gives multiple choice answers and if you get it wrong, you stop running.
Third Grade – Third Grade Learning Games
This game actually comes for all grades but this one for third graders is perfect. It has a variety of subjects the kids can choose in math and language arts.
Fourth Grade – Planet Genesis
Any child who loves Star Wars pretty much loves space. This app shows kids the difference in the sizes of the solar system, teaches them the planets and you can do gravity simulation.
Fifth Grade – Geo Expert
Fifth graders are all about learning the states in the USA. This app helps identify states and their capitals to help with all those state reports!
Sixth Grade – Roblox
There are a lot of games available through Roblox and my kids love it. I figure by time they’re in sixth grade they should at least have a little fun sometimes. This gives them the options to choose what game they’re interested in that day and the opportunity to make honest choices if you tell them to choose a good game. 😉Leila also loves to play ABC Mouse which does require a membership but it has been worth every cent. She’s learned new techniques for sounding out letters and it’s helping her form her words better. She’s also a preemie baby born 10 weeks early so she needs a little extra help catching up to her classmates.
All of these apps have helped my children in so many ways. I love that educational apps are a thing and that they’re so advance. Remember though, Amazon Underground is only supported on 5th Generation (2012 – newer) and newer Fire tablets, and Android phones.
Learn more about the Amazon Appstore, the Amazon Underground catalog of 100% free apps & games or to get access on your Android smartphone visit HERE.I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OREOTHINSideStory #CollectiveBiasBless my kids – they try so hard, I try so hard and never live up to any of my expectations and I feel like I never live up to theirs. They’ve endured a lot these last 12 months from a pregnant mom and a sick baby brother, they deserve to have some fun time with me but it’s really just a ploy to get them to help me out. I’ve compiled some summer trends in nail polish because we need to look good when we don’t feel good. I ‘suckered’ Siaki and Leila into polishing my nails while I just sat by and ate OREO Thins and life was good for ten-minutes again.We headed over to our Kroger banner store, Smith’s and grabbed the polish and OREO’s in one visit, that’s why I love shopping at Smith’s. Malakai was in his saucer toy – being content – and although it was just a moment, it was a good moment and I’ll cherish that I got to spend it with my three youngest children.Now on to color trends…pastel everything is in. I love the mix of the muted pinks and purples but my favorite is the mint color of nail polish that’s been popping up everywhere. You also can’t go wrong with metallic but copper and rose gold are the new black and gold. Go out of your comfort zone, get ones that you normally wouldn’t try and give yourself an update. You never know which one of the new ones you’ll love. Add some glitter to your routine and make the sheen different. My favorite combo is matte and the muted lavender color. OREO Thins are available in more flavors than ever so check them out at www.oreo.com/thins and tell me which one is your favorite, I love mint. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below and good luck!