Friday, April 22, 2016

Transitioning Siblings to Sharing a Room + Naturepedic Love

Thank you to Naturepedic of sponsoring today's blog post 
and providing an organic crib mattress for Ruby to transition to her "big girl bed" in! 
Check out our experience below and see why Naturepedic is our #1 choice. 

Just about 2 years ago I shared my story of how we transitioned our daughter from co-sleeping to independently sleeping in her own room, in a toddler bed. Today I'm excited to share the follow up story of the transition of having the sisters share a room!

Safe bed sharing just makes life easy for us; from the first night of welcoming both of our daughters to the world we have slept with our baby in our bed. It encourages on demand night nursing and it is simply how I am the most comfortable sleeping with my children. But all great things must come to an end and shortly before Ruby's 2nd birthday we decided that it was time to transition her to a toddler bed in the same room as her 4 year old sister, Penny.

This was nerve wracking - why make changes to a well working machine? Everyone was getting *almost* a full night's rest and undoubtedly a change as dramatic no longer sleeping with mom and dad every night would turn everything on its head. What if Ruby doesn't take to sleeping in her own bed, what if she cries a lot and that also wakes up Penny? How do I coordinate putting the kids down at the same time? What if Penny isn't quiet enough for Ruby to fall asleep? All of these questions, and more, weakened my resolve. But we finally did it and let me share a few of my tips below.

Tips to make the transition smoother for moving a cosleeping toddler into sharing a room with her preschool aged sibling:
  • Have a solid night time routine that includes some wind down time in the bedroom, such as getting dressed in pajamas, snuggling and reading to your children. The more time you spend with you children in their bedroom they will realize that this is comfortable and safe space. Allow the younger child to play in the room during the day and practice getting in and out of their new bed.  At night time we dim the lights in the room for about 5-10 minutes before lights out time, this also allows them to have a visual queue that it's time for bed. 
  • Carrying over a few creature habits: Ruby always fell asleep to the sound of our Sleep Sheep, and recently I had introduced a classical music CD to Penny when she was having trouble falling asleep. We combined those two white noise factors for both of the girls' combined bed times so that both of them still were listening to their familiar night time noises. I also slept with her new sheets on our family bed for a few nights to help transfer the familiar scent.
  • Night weaning: Ruby was night weaned for about 3 weeks. We still nursed during the day, but my gentle weaning process with both girls starts with night weaning at about 18 months and took about 2 months to have both of us fully committed to milk free nights. We helped this transition by nursing more frequently during the day and longer before bed and nap time. I chose to continue to nurse her through this transition because it's another source of comfort that helped her recognize this as a safe sleep space.
  • We payed very special attention to the lighting in the bedroom; from the main bedroom light and lamp down to what electronic devices emit a small light on their power button or display. Take a piece of blue painter's tape to cover button lights if they seem to be a distraction to your child. 
  • As with any childrens room, ensure that you have child safe window treatments.
  • Finally - the most important thing - the bed! Am I right?

Because children can spend upwards of 16 hours a day in their bed, it's really important to be aware of what kind of mattress they are sleeping on. We have specifically chosen Naturepedic mattresses for our children because of their high level of commitment to quality and intentional sourcing of products that are the best for our bodies while adhering to safety standards. 

Why would you need or want an organic mattress? Recent studies have shown that the flame retardants in both mattresses and sleepware ending up in our bodies, and it's not good. I am already mindful of the foods and products that we use in order to lessen the impact of unnatural chemicals, so including the one product that my child will spend the most time using (her mattress) made sense to me to make sure that it didn't have those harmful chemicals in them. But there are still federal requirements for fire safety in mattresses so Naturepedic took a close look at how to still have their mattresses be fire safe but not use the harmful fire retardant chemicals that other mattress companies rely on. Organic cotton is less flammable than the traditional polyurithane foam found in most mattresses. Polyurithane foam, though inexpensive, is highly flammable and therefore needs to be treated with flame retardants. Through innovative design, Naturepedic has created mattresses that are natural and safe for our bodies and meet Federal and State flammability requirements. Naturepedic mattresses are also made in the USA!

We received Naturepedic's Ultra Breathable 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress for Ruby.  Penny has been sleeping on the Naturepedic Organic Cotton Deluxe Crib Mattress for 2 years and I was excited to see what the difference was between the two models. Ruby has been successfully transitioned for about 2 months and we have been really happy with the quality of the mattress. Unlike most other children's waterproof mattresses, Naturepedic childrens mattresses aren't NOISY! No scritchy-scratchy noises as your baby moves around at night or when you stealthily ninja out of the room. The mattress is a two-stage mattress so one side if firm enough for safe sleep for an infant and when baby gets older you can flip it to the softer toddler side. Both sides, however, are very comfortable. This is coming from the mom who has slept on the mattress with her transitioning two year old on more than one occasion! This model of mattress also includes a breathable, washable cover and is unbelievably lightweight. 

Because we get the rare opportunity to compare two Naturepedic mattresses side by side, I wanted to include some of the differences that you'll find between the brand new Ultra Breathable 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress versus the Organic Cotton Deluxe Crib Mattress that we've had for 2 years. 

Both are two stage mattresses with a firm "infant" side and a softer "toddler" size. They are made from the same quality organic materials and do not use harmful flame retardant chemicals.  

  • The Deluxe Crib Mattress has inner springs, the Ultra Breathable uses wavesupport™ technology. I personally do not see a difference in comfort between the two though. 
  • The Ultra Breathable mattress comes with a removable washable cover and weighs less (thanks to the wavesupport™ technology).

All in all, we love Naturepedic mattresses not only for their quality and commitment to healthy ingredients for the whole family, but also because they are truly comfortable mattresses that my children love to sleep on!

Disclosure: I received product, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was provided. However, I would not be giving this product 5 stars 
if I didn't absolutely love them too!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mega Mothers Day Giveaway!!

Mega Mothers Day Giveaway

Mega Mothers Day Give

This Mother's Day MamatheFox and Momjunky want to spoil a mom somewhere in the US. They have teamed up with some gracious sponsors and fabulous blogs to put on the biggest giveaway you can imagine. You can win over $1200 in prizes! All to one winner!

One person will win over $1200 in prizes

Here are all the fabulous prizes

Mega Mothers Day Prize 1

MMG image 2

revised MMG image
Disclosure: MamatheFox, Monjunky and all participating blogs 
are not held responsible fore sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Win a Bamboo Moby Baby Wrap!

Bamboo Moby Baby Wrap Giveaway


Moby is a leader in the baby wearing community. With their soft and easy to use wraps they are many parents first experience with baby wearing. While the length of the wrap can be intimidating when first looked at, its really not that complicated. Check out the very easy tutorials on YouTube and you will be confident in a flash. Babywearing does take a bit to get accustomed to and good at, but practice makes perfect, and even will come in great handy when your child is sick.

If you have not tried to baby wear yet and are intimated by trying alone MamatheFox would suggest reaching out to your local BWI (Baby Wearing International) group. Most major (and some smaller) cities have a group of baby wearing pros who meet up on a weekly or monthly basis. You can go and talk to real baby wearing parents and they can teach you in person how to properly wear your child. You can typically borrow carriers too before you buy, making the process fun and easy.

Click here to read more about the new Bamboo Moby Wrap

Newborn Hug Hold in a Bamboo Moby Wrap

Enter below for your chance at winning a Bamboo Moby Baby Carrier

Bamboo Moby Wrap

MamatheFox and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Friday, April 8, 2016

JBF Marysville Mount Vernon

Did you know that The Pierogie Mama is moving to Skagit County? It's true! I am so excited to be moving back to the part of the state where my husband and I first met and fell in love. We have been working to get back up north for almost 9 years and the time has finally come!

And I know if you ask Sheila, the owner of Just Between Friends Marysville-Mount Vernon, she may have a different answer, but I'm kind of feeling like the upcoming Spring 2016 sale is kind of a "Welcome Home" party for me. Am I right? Ok, maybe I'm just dreaming ;)

If you've been following along with The Pierogie Mama over the years, you'll know how much I really really love the Just Between Friends Sales. It hits all of my major categories - saving money, saving the environment, supporting local families. Let me tell you how:

By shopping at Just Between Friends Sales you are saving upwards of 50% off gently used children's and maternity clothes, toys and gear. For the last 4 years I have adapted my shopping style to saving the bulk of my kids clothing purchases to happen at JBF sales, which usually occur in Spring, Summer, Fall and Christmas. Just Between Friends of Marysville - Mount Vernon is the newest JBF franchise and already ramping up for their second event, from April 29-May 1, and it's already a really exciting event! Consignors from Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties are all bringing in their gently used items to sell at this crossroads event and you will not believe what amazing deals you'll find.

Purchasing pre-loved clothes and gear not only saves you moolah, it also saves the environment. When you reuse clothes and gear, you are lessening the impact on the environment. Those clothes are being saved from the landfill and you're also lessening the demand for new textiles to be created.  This creates a smaller carbon footprint for your whole family!

You support local families when you shop at a Just Between Friends Sale. Sheila and her family are based in the area and she loves connecting with families! Each of the consignors, like I mentioned before, are coming from about a 50 mile range area to bring these clothes to the event. When you buy a toy, pack of books, Ergo carrier or a super cute outfit at JBF event, you are putting money right back into our community!

The JBF Marysville - Mount Vernon 

April 29 - May 1, 2016 

Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon, WA

Also! Did you know that you can Meet and Greet with Batman and Queen Elsa 
(from Enchanting Events; whom I really love!)

I'm also really excited to give away --4-- Presale Passes and JBF bucks to 4 lucky winners! Will it be you?


Disclosure:  Thank you, JBF Marysville - Mount Vernon for sponsoring this post.  All opinions expressed are my own. The Pierogie Mama is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Confirmed prizes will be saved at  the"will call" table at the JBF  Marysville - Mount Vernon Spring 2016 event. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Thrifty Project Challenge: Mirror Frame Upcycle

About 2-3 times per month I find myself at the local thrift store, perusing the aisles for a thrifty project. A while back I found this old mirror frame - snagged it for a whopping $3.50.
The old mirror frame was MDF and the black backing was the standard backing board that helps keep the mirror in place. It was really big - 4 feet tall by 2 1/2 feet wide.

I had a few ideas that I bounced around with on Pinterest - would it be a command center, a calendar, a menu board, an epic picture frame? I finally decided on a menu board. I cook all of our meals at home but almost daily I find myself at a loss for what to cook tonight. Planning ahead for the week keeps me on task and I've been able to reduce our grocery store visits to about once a week; sometimes only once every two weeks!

I hadn't played around with chalk paint before so after giving this dusty old frame a good wipe down I gave it a layer of Walmart brand Chalk paint in Parisian Gray. I know, Annie Sloan is the typical favorite when it comes to chalk paint but I decided that I was up for the challenge of keeping this a low budget project and seeing how the less expensive stuff turns out.

My local Wal-Mart carries an inexpensive chalk paint so I picked up a bottle of Parisian Gray and clear wax to seal it. I gave the frame a couple lights coats of the gray, allowed it to dry (chalk paint dries very quickly) and I decided on a whim to give it a quick brushing of standard black latex paint that I had laying around from a previous project. I focused on antiquing the edges and design on the top and I quickly wiped most of the excess black paint off. This gave the frame a really aged stonelike look. Because of the incredibly low investment that I had in the mirror frame I decided to use what I had on hand, albeit unconventional for chalk paint projects. I was actually really pleased with the outcome!

To create the chalk board I used Valspar chalk board paint, which I purchased at Lowe's. They have it available in spray paint or liquid paint form and I chose the liquid paint because I can think of a few more projects that I could use it for. This took about 6 layers to create a thick, smooth layer that is perfect for writing with chalk.

For a super thrifty find and about $20 in paint supplies - I don't think it turned out half bad!


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