5 Budget Conscious Child Safety Tips (+ giveaway!)

Oh, hi! It’s Jenny! We can’t stop giving stuff away these days! I guess you could say we are really in the holiday spirit!



Today we are bringing you a guest post from Kimberlee Mitchell, a child safety expert we’ve worked with through the American Cleaning Institute for a few months. Kimberlee is so sweet, and such a pro, that when she offered to guest post and provide a giveaway, we said yes because she’s a great resource. This post is in no way sponsored, we just really like Kimberlee – and, she has a lot of great things to say! Enjoy, and make sure and check out the sweet giveaway at the end!

5 Budget Conscious Child Safety Tips:

By Kimberlee Mitchell

Child Safety Expert & Founder of Boo Boo Busters

Most families are looking for areas where they can cut back and stretch their dollar these days.  I get it; my family is doing the same thing.  Childproofing is not an area that should be omitted because unintentional injury continues to be the #1 cause of death for children between the ages of one and four, according to Safe Kids USA.  Here are five money saving tips for budget conscious parents in need of home childproofing:


1)    Establish Off-Limits Rooms

Locking off certain portions of the house is the most cost effective way to childproof the home.  Just be sure to be militant about not allowing a baby/child into those rooms.  Use a doorknob cover or a top door lock to make the room inaccessible to little ones.  For extra dangerous rooms, such as gym, laundry room, garage and loft, and homes that lack a priority for using safety devices use two barriers of prevention, such as both a door knob cover and top door lock.

2)      Create a Safe Play Zone

Choose an area in your home where your child can be free to roam and then childproof it like Fort Knox.  A common choice for this space is the family “great room” where your whole clan spends the most time together. Gate off this area to limit a child’s access out of the room (i.e., block off hallway, stairs, kitchen, etc.) and address all child safety hazards in the room like outlets, coffee table edges and corners, fireplace, entertainment center, flat screen TV, to name a few.

3)      DIY Childproofing

Just like on HGTV, doing it yourself can save you some cash but it does require a bit of skill.  For many folks the task of childproofing can be daunting and frustrating (due to the numerous variables every home presents), so hiring a professional childproofer to do the initial consultation will give you peace-of-mind that all the hazards have been addressed as well as provide a clear blueprint for what needs to be done. Save money by tackling some of the simple tasks on your own (outlet covers, padding, cord cleats/shorteners, wire cover, etc.) to save cash and then leave the “heavy lifting” (i.e., complicated custom gate mounts, Plexiglas installation, window guards, magnetic latches, etc.) to the trained pros!

4)    Start Early & Get Ahead of the Curve

Once baby arrives life seems to go into warp speed, so get an early jump on childproofing and start during pregnancy.  Begin your ongoing education in child safety by reading about it on the web.  Then make an appointment for your in-home consultation with a professional childproofer near you and begin tackling the installation a little bit at a time.  This works like a built in payment plan making it affordable yet still resulting in safety for your baby and peace of mind for mom and dad.

5)    Supervise Baby … at ALL Times

 Childproofing is defined as the use or implementation of child safety devices designed to help parents ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of their baby. A baby monitor is a childproofing device! And it’s truly one of my favorite new parent “must haves” because supervision is the best friend of childproofing. Up until recently, hi-tech monitors were too expensive. Yes, audio-only monitors are less pricy but they don’t allow you to actually see your baby. The good news is technology has come a long way and so have the prices! VTech’s new Safe&Sound® VM333 Baby Monitor offers a pan and tilt camera, full-color video, talk back intercom, LEDs for night vision, expandable up to four cameras for one video parent unit. The wall mounts make it easy to set up the monitors, which make it easier for DIY installation. All this plus lullabies for under $180!  A good video monitor like this one will bring you peace-of-mind like no other child safety device or mommy must have.

Thanks Kimberlee!

Vtech VM333

And now for a giveaway! Kimberlee and VTech are giving away one Vtech Safe&Sound® VM333 Baby Monitor to one lucky Mommin’ It Up reader. This thing is pretty sweet & is perfect for your own family or to give as a gift. Here’s how to enter! You can enter up to 4 times.

1) Leave us a comment with YOUR best childproofing tip!

2) Follow Kimberlee @Childsafetyguru on Twitter and come back here and leave a comment letting us know you did so (with your Twitter username).

3) Follow VTech @VTechPhones on Twitter and come back here and leave a comment letting us know you did so (with your Twitter username).

4) Tweet about the giveaway “I want to win a Safe&Sound video monitor from @childsafetyguru @VTechPhones #VTechBaby http://bit.ly/18QCQBv” then leave a separate comment with your tweet URL.

One winner will be chosen  at random on December 23rd, 2013 at 6pm! Good luck!



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E’s Ovarian Cancer Journey

As you may know, September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Jenny and I have written before about why this is an important cause for our family – we lost my mom to the disease nearly 25 years ago. The cause took on another meaning for us at the beginning of this year, though, when our friend Elizabeth was diagnosed. We’re honored to have Elizabeth as a guest poster today, to share the journey she is on. I find her incredibly inspiring, and I know you will too.
— Emily


When I started blogging four years ago, I never dreamt I’d be a *guest blogger* some day.  We were beginning the process of adopting our son from China and I figured blogging would be a great way to keep family, and a few friends, in the loop.  Mostly because I’m lazy and didn’t feel like giving updates fifteen different times.  So my blog, EEK… I have a blog, was born.  (EEK are my initials.  I thought it was terribly creative at the time.  Now I wish I could have a re-do.)

Steve, Olivia, Quinn, Turner, and Elizabeth

What started as an *adoption blog* became a pretty typical mommy blog.  It morphed into a grief blog as I lost my mom fifteen months ago.  And then in January, it turned into something I NEVER wanted it to be… a coping with Cancer blog.  And here I am today, a *guest blogger* because I am currently surviving Ovarian Cancer.

Last winter I went to visit my family doctor because of some crazy bloating (lovely, I know).  I’m talking; the* I looked pregnant* kind of bloating.  I no sooner had the word *bloated* out of my mouth and my doc had a diagnosis out of his mouth, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  We had a good chuckle over this *old lady diagnosis.*

He asked if I was stressed.  Three kids four and under, the holiday season and the recent death of my mother.  Stress?  Check!  Drink more water, exercise and take fiber pills.  If it didn’t get better, I was to see him again after the New Year.

Over Christmas I gained 10 lbs in two weeks.  I was a faithful attendee of Weight Watcher meetings and knew FOR SURE I wasn’t simply overdoing it on the cookies.  When I went back he gave me a lecture about changing metabolisms; blah blah blah.  I was irritated but thankful when he sent me for a CT scan.  His nurse called me the evening of my scan.  The doc wanted to see me the next morning.  She had no other information.  I was smart enough to know that when a doc wants to see you immediately, it is NOT good news.

The events of the next week are a complete blur and yet deeply etched in my mind’s eye.  “The good news is all of your major organs look good.  Blood work shows healthy function of all of them.  BUT there are some masses on your ovaries that I am very concerned about.  I’m not going to use the *C* word, but I am going to set you up with a really great oncologist.”

That was Tuesday, by Friday morning; I was on the operating table with a full hysterectomy and a diagnosis of Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer.  They would give me a few weeks to recover from surgery, which also included the removal of a small part of my intestines and a fatty flap (which has a fancy name that I can’t remember) in my abdomen, and then I would begin six rounds of intense chemotherapy.

The questions, the fears, the anger, the despair that followed were intense.  What would we do with our three kids during intense chemo?  Would I survive this?  What would I look like bald?  What if I couldn’t tolerate the chemo?  What if it didn’t work?  I had panic attacks.  I couldn’t sleep at night.  I cried a lot.

Yet in the midst of it all, what held me up, what got me through was/is my faith that God is in control.  He provided so many things in that season.  In fact, He used many of YOU to do so.  Mommin’ It Up and several other bloggy friends held a fund raiser so that we could afford to hire a part time nanny to help us out.  Without her help (and those of you who gave) I honestly don’t know what we would have done.

E in May 2011

Chemo was a rough road.  Being bald is no fun.  Not having energy to do the things as a mommy I normally do was humbling.  Asking for help is NOT my strong suit, but I learned how to do so quickly.  My kids are comfortable with the word Cancer.  They are sensitive to people who are different.  Cancer is not a death sentence at our house.  They know how to pray.  They see that God is a healer and a comforter.

Friends, true friends, are those who sit with you during chemo. They pray for you, non-stop.  They make you meals.  They take your kids.  They do fund raisers for you.  They send money when they don’t know you just because they can imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes.

I had a CT scan two weeks ago and have once again been declared Cancer-free.  I am thankful for that.

E at her Cancer-Free party in July 2011

My hair is growing back.  My energy is 100%.  In most ways, life has returned to normal.  I’m still trying to figure out what Cancer has/is teaching me.  What it’s teaching our family.  What it might want to teach you.  Honestly, I don’t know.  I do know that God is going to use it.  I just don’t want to miss it.

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Things I Love Thursday: Baby Stuff (Guest Post)

Today’s post was written by my lovely sister, Anna.

Standing in target with my baby bump barely showing and registry gun in hand, I was overwhelmed with the products made for babies. I was a first time mom with a small house and little storage space. What did we actually need? I had no idea. Luckily, I have a cousin and sister with a super-fantastic blog. Emily and Jenny let me write this guest post asking their readers about the baby products that they couldn’t live without. I wanted to get the products that would be the most helpful for our baby, and not be overwhelmed with things that we would eventually find to be of little use. Keeping the suggestions in mind, we were blessed to be given absolutely everything we needed by our friends and family at one of our four showers. That’s right, four showers. We are so thankful and amazed by the generosity.

Our bundle of joy is now eight months old, and we’ve managed to not break her yet! We consider that nothing short of miracle. In my time as a new mom, here’s what I’ve found that we can’t live without:

The hospital where I gave birth is a certified baby-friendly hospital. And it was fantastic! The nurses were great, the doctors were great, the epidural was dreamy, and it is conveniently located to a Chick-fil-a. Yum! But the best part was how helpful everyone was helping me get the hang of breastfeeding. Their lactation consultants were so very helpful. I’ve happily made it through 8 months of breastfeeding without bleeding nipples! Locations of baby friendly hospitals can be found here.

I love the Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Frame Stroller. On the 359 days of the year that Ohio’s weather is nasty, I don’t have to take our baby out of her car seat to put her in the stroller. I can just pop the car seat right into the stroller. It’s also very lightweight, easy to maneuver, and easy to collapse.

The Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is the cradle of dreams! I love, love, love it. Our baby slept in it while in our room for the first month or two. She would happily sit in it while I was on facebook… I mean, while I did chores. My husband could get her to go to sleep by rocking back and forth. The best thing ever. Sell everything you own and buy this! And, when our baby was going to sleep in the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, she loved, loved, loved, being swaddled in the Miracle Blanket. Let me tell you, this thing is miraculous. I’m incapable of swaddling with a blanket so that she couldn’t break out of the swaddle. With the Miracle Blanket, I could wrap her up in seconds and she would be snug as a bug all night.

Oh Baby Hawk, how I love you. Let me count the ways. Our Baby Hawk was the only thing that would calm our baby down when she was a newborn. The swing didn’t work, neither did the car seat or the stroller. But our Baby Hawk would do the trick without fail. We carry our baby in it when we are cooking (and by we, I mean my husband), at the grocery, on a walk. She loves it. With the Baby Hawk, we can carry her around without aching shoulders or back. The best part is that it allows her to be right up against our chest, which is pretty much her favorite place to be.

My other suggestions for postpartum moms? Spanx and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

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