R – First Blogiversary! $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

 baby blogiversary gift card giveaway

In honor of “My Baby Experience” website’s first anniversary (blogiversary), I am giving away a $100 online gift card to Amazon.com to one of my lucky readers. I am so happy to have made this baby blog a success and to have been able to help so many people throughout this first year. I cannot wait to see what this next year will bring for My Baby Experience.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me and all of the wonderful companies who have worked with my baby blog this past year. I have found so many wonderful products for moms, dads, and babies through my product reviews and I have many more exciting new products lined up to tell you about too. (If you want to share any information with me or wish to do a product review, please see my contact page.)

I am happy to have the support of Amazon.com on my baby blog and I always enjoy buying from them, so I decided to give them a little support by giving one of you a $100 online gift card. By the way, if you have not signed up for Amazon Mom yet then you might want to do that. It offers special discounts (especially for diapers and wipes) and free shipping on certain items.

Please read the instructions carefully because I have many ways to enter. Don’t forget to provide a valid email address- I promise not to use your email except to send you the $100 gift card if you are the winner. Good luck and happy shopping!

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Now My Baby Loves to Shop

No matter what store we go to, my baby loves to shop! Anneliese loves shopping, shoes, clothes, jewelry and dolls- she is definitely a girly-girl. We have so much fun shopping together, although she tends to get impatient while grocery shopping.

 baby shopping trip
Anneliese driving the cart at Lowe's

Everywhere we go, she gets excited and even talks to random strangers we meet in stores. A few days ago we were shopping at Lowe’s and Anneliese was having tons of fun “driving” the cart. Today when we were shopping at Family Dollar, she was talking to everyone we passed by and chatting with the cashier while we were checking out. Of course the only understandable thing she said was “hi” and “bye” but it was adorable.

One of her favorite places to go are the outdoor flea markets because she loves seeing all of the people while shopping and being outdoors. We recently took a trip to the nearby flea market and Anneliese had a blast singing and chatting the entire time we were out. Plus, my husband and I found some great deals on things that we were needing to buy anyway.

It hasn’t always been fun to shop with my baby though. I remember when she was a newborn, I dreaded the idea of going anywhere for a long period of time because I did not want her to start screaming in the stores. The first time I went grocery shopping alone with her was a nightmare and I refused to do it for the longest time after that experience.

screaming baby
My baby could really scream when she was unhappy.

Anneliese was only around 6 weeks old and my husband was working a lot of overtime, so I decided to go grocery shopping with the baby. At that time, my baby was nursing every two hours still and I was getting very little sleep. Although I nursed her in the car right before going into the store, she started screaming about 15 minutes into our shopping trip and I had lost her pacifier.

I tried to hurry through the rest of my shopping but every person I passed wanted to give me advice concerning my screaming baby, like “Poor baby! Mama needs to give you a paci.” Another person said, “She sure has a great set of lungs! I think she needs her pacifier.” And a few people told me, “I think your baby might be hungry.” Of course, there was a grandma telling me to enjoy these moments because they grow up so fast, etc.

By the time I finally finished at the checkout, my nerves were so frazzled that I thought I would have a nervous breakdown in the parking lot. Maybe it would not have been so bad if grocery stores would provide a nursing room for moms. But, I survived and now my baby loves to go shopping with me. Happy shopping to all you new moms and don’t worry, it will get better or the screaming will no longer bother you.

Does your baby like to shop or do you have a crazy shopping story you would like to share?

Caring for a Sick Baby with the Flu

 sick baby with fluFor the past two weeks, the influenza virus has run rampant in our house. My husband came down with the flu on New Year’s Day, but we didn’t know that until it was too late. I caught it almost a week later and so did our poor baby girl. Although my husband wasn’t completely well, he was able to take care of us while his energy returned. Thanks Honey!
Unfortunately all housework was put aside as we dealt with our illness and now I have a disaster on my hands. sick with fluIt would not be so bad if my little sickling didn’t go through the house destroying everything she could get her hands on. Even though my baby was sick with the flu, she had plenty of energy to wreak havoc on the house but I didn’t have the strength to crawl out of bed and stop her.

Although she was making a mess, I am glad she was dealing with the flu so well. My poor sick baby seemed to be feeling okay most of the time, but she was sleeping a lot to cope with the illness. For children under two, there are not many options for flu medications and I wanted her to be able to sleep well throughout the night.

sick baby
She was doing pretty well until she developed a cough, but I found some great natural cough syrup for babies 12 months and older. If your baby has a bad cough during the night, then I would highly recommend using Zarbees All-Natural Childrens Cough Syrup (as long as it is okay-ed by your pediatrician). It’s a healthy, honey-based cough syrup specially formulated for babies over 12 months of age and it worked very well for my baby.

sick baby
Around the third day of my baby’s illness, she had so much mucus that it was even coming out of her eyes. She looked absolutely pitiful! I was constantly using Boogie Wipes to clean the mucus from her nose and eyes. I am so glad I had those or her face probably would have become raw from being wiped so much.

It was no fun taking care of a sick baby while being sick with the flu myself. I gained a new perspective for women dealing with debilitating diseases like cancer, while also caring for their children. I am so glad to be feeling well again and I am glad my baby is over the flu without any major problems. Let’s keep those suffering with disease and illness in our thoughts and prayers, because being sick is no fun!

Lessons Learned: Prevent the Flu and Save Some Cash

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

baby with fluNearly two weeks ago, my husband came down with the flu. Then, my baby and I caught it as well, about five days later.  So, we have all been laying around the house miserable, but I am back at the computer now, trying to catch up on everything that I’ve missed. Being sick, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the health concerns and expenses of my family and this has led me to some important information I would like to share with everyone else.

I am an avid Walgreens shopper, and actually visit my local Walgreens more than Wal-Mart. Now, Walgreens has announced a new prescriptions savings club due to a disagreement with the Express Scripts program. Apparently Walgreens and Express Script could not negotiate an acceptable contract together because the Express Scripts company wanted to receive more money and also wanted to decide what drugs can be considered name brand versus generic brand.  This means that if you have Express Scripts on your prescriptions insurance card, then you will have to check to see if Walgreens is still covered.

Although this can be a problem for some people, everyone can enroll in the new Walgreens Prescription Savings Club and receive special discounts for you and everyone in your household, even pets. The family membership fee is only $10 a year and it covers more than 8,000 prescription drugs, flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers, and even diabetic supplies.

Right now, I am wishing my family had received those flu shots so we wouldn’t have been sick for over a week.  But, if I had signed up before getting sick, we probably could have saved money on our flu medication. This savings club sounds like a great way to ease the economic burden of prescription medication and I am glad to share this information with everyone else.

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest discounts and news, you can follow Walgreens on Twitter and you can like Walgreens on Facebook. Sometimes they have great sales and I can find products cheaper at Walgreens than at Wal-Mart. By keeping up with their current discounts you can really save on certain items. 

Good health to everyone! I hope you don’t get hit with the flu bug like my family did. Please spread the word about Express Scripts and Walgreens so everyone knows!

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Keep Parenthood Costs Down with These Tips

{The following is a guest post, kindly provided by Phill, a money saving guru. If you have any tips to add, please feel free to leave a comment.}
save parenthood costs guest

Keep Parenthood Costs Down with These Tips:

save parenthood costsIt can be expensive to be a parent. You become financially responsible for every aspect of your child’s care, from food and shelter, to day-care and school supplies. Many people do not realize just how expensive it can be to raise a child. However, there are things you can do to reduce the cost that comes with being a parent.

Save on Supplies and Clothes

• One of the easiest ways to save is to stay away from name brands. This applies to everything from clothes to diapers to food snacks that you buy. However, you would also be wise to take advantage of free baby stuff that a number of sites and organisations offer.

• You can also save by buying many items second-hand instead of brand new. This may begin with the toys and furniture you purchase for your little one, but can carry over into sports equipment and instruments, as your child gets older. Buying second-hand initially allows your child to test out his new interest without the added pressure of the cost, and you can always resell it if he doesn’t like it. Additionally you can always upgrade to a new instrument or piece of equipment if he or she ends up being a prodigy.

• If you have more than one child, save and reuse everything you can. Purchase clothes that will still be in fashion in a year or two, and reuse the items for your next child. You can supplement with one or two new things, but you will save significantly since you do not need to buy a whole new wardrobe.

save on parenting costs

Save on Activities and Other Costs

• Instead of doing a private league for sports or attending a studio for dance classes, check your local Parks and Recreation department to see if you can save money. Check out nearby cities as well, because with non-resident fees, you may find a better deal.

• Take advantage of any sibling discounts you can for everything from day-care, to private school tuition to gymnastic lessons. You just need to ask to see if you qualify to save money on these activities.

Pay in advance or buy packages to save money. Some programs will offer a huge monthly discount if you sign up for a quarter or a year at a time, and they may still offer a monthly payment plan to make things more manageable.

Although the additional costs of parenthood can be expensive, you can use strategies to save money every day. Be sure to comparison shop everything from the items you buy to the services you use. Sometimes you will want to pay top dollar for the better items, but often you can get by with the cheaper items.