Friday, July 31, 2009

Nature’s Baby Organics: Now at Target!

I always love to spread the word about family-owned businesses like Nature’s Baby Organics. This particular company is run by moms, so they’re in touch with what mothers want for their families. In this case, it’s healthy products for babies’ little bodies. Their products are made with 70-95% certified organic ingredients and free of phthalates, parabens and 1,4 Dioxane. They have wonderful products like shampoo/body wash, diaper cream, baby oil, calming spray and more.

Now, Nature’s Baby Organics are easier to find than ever because they’re being offered in 300 Target stores around the United States. Nature’s Baby Organics has asked me to help spread the word because Target is starting out with a limited line, but will most likely add more Nature’s Baby Organics products if these sell successfully! Following are the products that are currently offered at Target:

8oz Shampoo/Body Wash in Vanilla Tangerine
8oz Shampoo/Body Wash in Lavender Chamomile
8oz Fragrance-Free Face & Body Moisturizer
12oz Bubble Bath in Tangy Tangerine

Nature’s Baby Organics was kind enough to send me a bottle of their bubble bath, and my kids loved it. The Tangy Tangerine scent is wonderful! (I like it much better than the typical bubble gum scent that many children’s bubble baths come in.) And it made plenty of bubbles, which delighted my boys (and will get your baby squeaky clean).

Go to to find a Target near you that carries Nature’s Baby Organics products. You can also visit their home page at and click on Products to see their full line, available on the website. Please help support this terrific family-owned business.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Make History Come Alive with Famous Figures of Ancient Times

Boy, “paper dolls” have sure come a long way since I was a kid! I was recently sent a copy of the book, Famous Figures of Ancient Times, by Cathy Diez-Luckie for review. If you and your kids like history, this book is wonderful! The subtitle is “movable paper figures to cut, color, and assemble,” and that’s exactly what it is. Each page in the book features a historical figure, such as Khufu (Egyptian pharaoh), Hammurabi (king of Babylon), Cyrus the Great (founder of the Persian Empire), Aristotle (Greek philosopher), Qin Shi Huangdi (Chinese emperor), and Biblical figures, such as Jesus, Moses and King David.

There are 20 famous figures in this book, but there are two versions of each: one in full color and the other as a line drawing that kids can color. Each figure is printed on sturdy paper and is assembled using a 1/8” hole punch and mini brads, fasteners or eyelets. (Note that the 1/8” size is not the standard hole punch size. You’ll most likely need to go to a craft store to find these materials. I got mine at Michael’s.)

My boys and I are having a lot of fun putting our figures together and reading about each of the characters. Brief information is included for each, and parents or educators can use the figures in conjunction with a larger lesson on each person and time period. The illustrations in the book are true to period costume and, when applicable, based on authentic mosaics, paintings and statues. Famous Figures of Ancient Times would be a valuable addition to a homeschooling curriculum.

I’m also happy to find that my boys are still playing with their figures. Of course, being five years old, they both selected figures with swords so they can battle! But it’s great that they’ve taken an interest in history and love for me to tell them the name of each figure. For instance, they now know that a “hoplite” is a citizen-warrior of ancient Greece. (I didn’t know that!) Of course, there are hundreds, even thousands, of other figures that could have been included in this book (including some women), but this is a great start for getting kids interested in history with a project that is hands-on and creative.

Other great books in the Figures in Motion series are being developed, such as Famous Figures of the United States, Famous Figures of the Renaissance, and Famous Figures of the Bible, as well as books with dinosaurs and animals. Go to to sign up for their free monthly newsletter, which provides:

Fascinating Facts about the great men and women of history and the time in which they lived

Details about events and life in distant civilizations that make them come to life today

Links to explore famous people, archaeology, art, architecture, maps, geography, and more

Lesson plans to make history fun and memorable

Contests you can enter to win free prizes and the latest news on upcoming titles

Famous Figures of Ancient Times is an award-winning book that will provide hours of fun and learning for your children. It’s also a creative addition to any history curriculum. I highly recommend this book!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Unique New Product from CoverGirl: Outlast Lipstain

I received my second assignment as a BzzAgent, and the product they sent me is so unique! It’s made by CoverGirl, and it’s called Outlast Lipstain. When I heard that it’s not a lipstick or a lipgloss, it definitely piqued my curiosity. What else could it be? Well, the only way I can describe it is that it’s a marker for your lips! It has a tip on it just like your kids’ markers, and you just draw on the color! You can outline your lips and color in the lines for a perfect finish. Even the texture is like a marker. It’s very light, nothing at all like regular lipstick. Another thing I love about this product is that it’s water-based, so it won’t dry out your lips like alcohol-based products can.

Outlast Lipstain comes in 10 gorgeous colors. I tried the Teasing Blush, which is a very pretty rose color – dark enough to give me some color, but light enough so I didn’t look “made up.” And you can also control the intensity of the color by the number of coats you apply. If one coat is too light for you, apply a second one once the first coat dries. And if you prefer a glossy finish, you can always apply a clear lipgloss on top of Outlast Lipstain, and it won’t take off the color.

This would also be a great product for pre-teen and teenage girls who are just getting into makeup because it enables them to apply the color very precisely and can be as subtle as you’d like.

Outlast Lipstain is designed to last for several hours, although I did have to reapply it after my morning coffee. I wasn’t surprised, though; my coffee can eat through anything! Otherwise, I was very pleased with the coverage, color and feel of this product. Visit for more information about Outlast Lipstain and CoverGirl’s other products. They even have a fun “Makeup Advisor” on the site to help you find the best shades of CoverGirl products for you!

BzzAgent Badge

Learning About Learning Disabilities: The Coping Series by Jeanne Gehret, M.A. (Book Review)

My twins will be starting kindergarten in the fall, and I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about it! Even though they’ve been going to preschool for three years, this is now the “real thing.” They’ll actually be learning how to read, do math, explore science concepts, be responsible for projects, and much more! I can’t help wondering how my boys will do. Will they enjoy school? Will they catch on quickly? Will they have a teacher who is a good “fit” for them? Are they ready for this big step in their lives? I’m sure these are concerns that many parents have at the start of the school year.

School can be especially anxiety-ridden when a child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, such as ADHD or dyslexia. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, nearly 2.9 million school-aged children in the United States have learning disabilities. For these children, not only are there issues related to finding the best educational and instructional tools to meet their needs, but there are also social issues to deal with. No child wants to be labeled as “different” or “difficult.” Author Jeanne Gehret, M.A., has been talking to children about these types of issues for almost twenty-years. And she has written several children’s books in The Coping Series through which children can read about other kids who have the same challenges as they do. These books also help children without learning disabilities better understand children who do. The books in this series include:

Houdini’s Gift

Houdini’s Gift presents animal-loving Ben with the challenge of having another pet after losing his pet hamster. Knowing that Ben is not ready to care for a new pet, his parents help him develop responsibility and readiness by using a reward chart. Young readers will enjoy sharing the secret that Mom keeps from Ben through the whole process of selecting and preparing for the new pet. The advice within the story shows how families living with ADHD or learning disabilities will gain strength by fine-tuning desired behaviors through setting and pursuing goals.

Eagle Eyes

Klutzy Ben wishes he could stop driving away the animals he loves—not to mention his sister Emily! He discovers that his eagle eyes that see everything are typical of a child with attention deficit disorder and begins learning ways to control his attention. The hallmarks of ADD—impulsivity, distractibility, and hyperactivity, as well as difficulty sleeping—are clearly shown in this story. New coping skills include a song to jog his memory, help with falling asleep, and medication. It all pays off one day in the park when his ability to notice everything is the very quality needed to deal with a family emergency.

The Don’t-Give-Up Kid

For Alex, the only thing better than eating his mom’s cookies is being able to read. Hearing how Thomas Edison worked at inventions despite repeated failures gives Alex the courage and determination to persevere at school. His clever and humorous approach to snatching cookies conveys the truth that children with learning disabilities have strengths to admire and celebrate.

Each book includes a series of questions called “Discussion Starters” that help parents and educators talk to kids about the issues in the book. Visit for more information on the terrific Coping Series of books.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to School with LittleMissMatched

I’ve written before about LittleMissMatched and their fabulous and funky products because I love them so much. I have LittleMissMatched socks, shirts and slippers, and I wear them all the time! Now, just in time for school, they’ve come out with a brand-new line of girls’ clothing. This colorful and fun collection includes high-quality reversible skirts, colorful hoodies, graphic t-shirts, dresses, pants, shirts, and much more!

Even better, their prices are set to help you keep your back-to-school costs low, with tops starting as low as $10 and bottoms as low as $19. And, if you’re like me and don’t have an adorable little girl to shop for, they also have other great back-to-school offers, such as:

Notebooks starting at $3
All bags $20
All flip flops $10
Free shipping on orders $75 and up

So, click on the button below to go back-to-school shopping at LittleMissMatched!

I Love the Dale Tiffany Lamps and Much More at CSN Lighting!

I’ve always had a weakness for Dale Tiffany lamps. The unique designs and often vibrant colors really light up a room and yet make it feel warm and cozy. When CSN Lighting asked if I’d try one of their products – and I noticed they carried Dale Tiffany lights – I was ecstatic! I already have a beautiful Tiffany lamp in my living room, and gorgeous Tiffany hanging lights over my dining room table, but I wanted to jazz up another part of the house – my home office! And what better way to make me feel happy while working than to write in the light of a Dale Tiffany desk lamp! Look at this stunning lamp:

This is not your ordinary desk lamp! I love the elegant green color, the yellow shade and the whimsical dragonfly. It makes me smile whenever I see it! Here’s what CSN Lighting would like you to know about Dale Tiffany lamps and my Dragonfly Banker’s Lamp:

Dale Tiffany Favrile Accents Dragonfly Banker’s Lamp in Verde Green

Since 1979, Dale Tiffany has continued the legacy left by the original Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose timeless designs largely defined classical style d├ęcor in America. During his life, Louis Comfort Tiffany used revolutionary methods and techniques through wonderfully ornate, hand crafted designs that transcended time. Nearly 40 years after Louis Comfort Tiffany passed away, a company with a similar vision and passion for design, picked up right where Louis left off. Today, Dale Tiffany Inc. manufactures high quality, hand carved lamps, borrowing ideas from the past, while looking towards the future. Each lamp that is produced is a treasured keepsake, whether it is a budget style lamp or a Louis Comfort Tiffany replica. Dale Tiffany lamps are produced with the highest level of craftsmanship in mind, and are intended to be uniquely aesthetic accents to work in any interior. From ceiling lights to floor and table lamps, Dale Tiffany remains a leader in the home lighting industry, mainly because of their overall commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. The Dragonfly Banker’s lamp is no exception to Dale Tiffany’s design philosophy. With its beautiful verde green finish and delicately featured design, this is a banker’s lamp that is beautiful, durable and an eye pleasing addition to any home or office.

CSN Lighting carries more than 400 Dale Tiffany lamps, plus many other items by Dale Tiffany. But you don’t have to be a Dale Tiffany fan to shop at CSN Lighting. In fact, their Tiffany products are just a small part of their huge selection of ceiling lights, wall lights, ceiling fans, outdoor lighting, lamps, under-cabinet lighting, and recessed lighting. And, here’s the best part: I found their prices to be extremely reasonable. In fact, I was amazed at how low a lot of them were! Many items (like my Dale Tiffany Dragonfly Banker’s Lamp) even ship for free! And, if you’re in Canada, they’ll ship to you, too.

If you’re in the market for any kind of lighting for your home or workplace, please visit CSN Lighting first. (You’ll also be saving on gas by not going to the store!) I am so tickled about my new desk lamp, and I’ll definitely be going back to CSN Lighting when I need more lights or fans for my house. In fact, my mind is already working on what I can replace next!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Family Time with Ziggy Marley: Music to Make You Smile!

I recently won the Family Time CD by Ziggy Marley on a blog, and Ziggy now has a new HUGE fan! I just love the music on this CD. Check out the title track in this video:

Didn’t that make you smile? It’s just happy music! The CD jacket is even cool. It has gorgeous drawings inside of a caterpillar turning into a chrysalis and then a butterfly. All of the lyrics are provided. And there’s even a coloring page for children! But this music isn’t just for little kids. “Big kids” like me love it, too. It has that reggae sound that just makes you feel like you’re on an island vacation. No worries!

The 13 tracks on the CD include duets with Willie Nelson, Elizabeth Mitchell, Paul Simon, Laurie Berkner, and even Ziggy’s own children. Jamie Lee Curtis also reads two stories: “My Helping Hands” by Ziggy and her own “Is There Really a Human Race.”

Visit to hear more tracks from the Family Time CD. I know you’re going to love it. And a portion of the proceeds benefit the Chepstowe Basic School in Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Church Summer Cramp (Children’s Book Giveaway!)

I recently posted a review of a fantastic new series of children’s books called Tales from the Back Pew by Mike Thaler. This is a series of four books (and counting), including:

The Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday
Mission Trip Impossible
Easter Egg Haunt
Church Summer Cramp

Well, I just realized that I forgot to include the giveaway! I have two extra copies of Church Summer Cramp. In this book, a church youth group is going on a retreat! It doesn’t sound like much fun to the kid in the book because it’s out in the woods, which is filled with mosquitoes and poison ivy! But he soon finds out that you can also feel closer to God in the midst of nature. And he won’t get lost because they’ve got GPS -- God’s Protecting Son! This is a highly entertaining book that you and your kids will really enjoy.

You can read more about Mike Thaler and his terrific books at

So, better late than never, here’s how to win one of two copies of this awesome book:

REQUIRED ENTRY: Leave a comment on this post briefly describing a memorable vacation, retreat or camping trip you’ve taken. Did your tent get blown over? Did you share your campground with a bees’ nest? Did you get on the wrong flight? Share your experience!

You may earn additional entries if you:

- Put a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog. (The code is in the upper right-hand column of this site.) Post a comment with your blog’s URL.

- Follow me on Twitter (@ParentingAuthor) and tweet this giveaway. Leave a comment with the URL to your tweet.

- Post this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a link to the post.

- Subscribe to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS, as a Follower on Blogger, or on your Kindle (see sign-up options on sidebars). Leave a comment with your subscription method. *BONUS: If you subscribe via Kindle, you’ll get 5 entries!

- Follow this blog on Facebook. Go to and click on Follow. (And please click on “Confirm the Author,” too!)

Two winners will be randomly selected from the qualified entries received by midnight on Friday, August 7, 2009. Be sure to leave an email address if you don’t have it posted on your Blogger page. The winner will be emailed and must respond within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winners: gahome2mom and Sunny View!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Accomplishing Your Dreams Requires Balance

NOTE FROM SUSAN: Achieving balance is so important for women. Even if you seem to “have it all,” you can be miserable. Quite often, it’s because your life is out of balance. Today’s guest post was written by Sheri McConnell, an amazing mom and entrepreneur who has learned a lot about achieving balance in her life. She explains how to live a balanced life and accomplish your dreams.

Accomplishing Your Dreams Requires Balance

By Sheri McConnell

Achieving balance in our lives is accomplished by saying no when we need to and learning to set priorities. And we cannot achieve balance without understanding what our particular needs are. Balance is different for everyone. It means that you have identified your priorities and have not overextended yourself. Balance means you are aware of the dangers of burnout. Balance means that when asked the question, “Are you happy?” you can answer yes.

The following are 4 core values I use to live a balanced life and achieve my dreams easier.

One--No Guilt Allowed

One of the biggest struggles for women today is learning to say no without guilt. One of the core values I teach my coaching clients is to adopt this new rule into their lives called No Guilt Allowed. Guilt can hold you back from many of the goals you want to accomplish if you let it. Guilt doesn’t make you a better mother, or employee, or even more fit. Most of us know this, yet we still allow ourselves to fester in guilt. Guilt actually creates an imbalance in your life because you are left with feelings of inadequacy.

From now on when guilt creeps into your life, take action by noticing that the emotion is present and replace it with positive choices or joy as quickly as you can. As you retrain yourself to purge guilt, you will notice how much easier it is to move forward and accomplish your goals.

Two--Embrace Positive Choices

“The art of positive choices helps you to create the life you want. Positive choices help you to discover what truly makes you happy and realign your priorities. Life is a series of additions and subtractions. You control the calculator.”
~Gail McMeekin~

Another core value that allows you to achieve balance in your life is being able to make positive choices. What are positive choices? These are choices that propel you forward... they benefit your mind, your body, and your soul. These choices allow you to feel productive and focused because they are in alignment with what you really want to do on a daily basis. And remember, how we live our days is indeed how we live our lives.

Three--Cultivating Moments of Pure Joy

“The worst sin -- perhaps the only sin -- passion can commit is to be joyless.”
~Dorothy Sayers~

One of the best things I personally ever did was follow my heart when EVERYONE else thought I was crazy. The first time I did this, I was scared, but at the time I was so miserable, I didn’t really feel like I had a choice. From that experience, I learned to trust my gut. I learned that to follow my dreams meant that I was the architect of my life and that it was actually up to me to cultivate moments of pure joy in my life. For me, that means I spend most of my time either with my kids having fun or I am in the process of creating. Creating, for me, is writing, running my business, or decorating. To follow your dreams, you will have to take giant leaps and be willing to get your hands dirty before you learn how to cultivate a life full of joy.

Four--Practice Conscious Living

Another core value that will help you achieve balance is to practice conscious living. People who achieve their dreams do it with a plan. They may start out simply doing something they are passionate about, but eventually, to achieve substantial results, they had to sit down and map out a plan. They made changes in their lives and began to live in a very conscious way. They began to pay attention to what they said yes and no to. They began to choose how they reacted to negative people and situations. They began to consciously choose to surround themselves with other people who had fun accomplishing their dreams. They decided to be disciplined about their choices, and they also chose to consciously enjoy every moment they could going forward.

From this day forward, begin to practice conscious living. Make sure you aren’t on autopilot. How do you know if you are on autopilot? Sometimes, making excuses or blaming others can be a sign that you are living your life on autopilot. Sometimes, situations in our lives or behaviors we have learned from our childhood can be the reason we don’t know how to live life in a conscious way. One of my favorite phrases ever is “You do better when you know better.” Don’t look back, just look forward. And don’t wait another day to get busy living life in a way that feels joyful to you.

Sheri McConnell is the CEO of Sheri McConnell Companies, Inc., and the president and founder of two national organizations, the National Association of Women Writers (NAWW) and the Global Institute of Associations (GIA). You can visit Sheri, access her free article archive, and find out more about all four of her companies at Sheri lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, their four children, a weenie dog, and two cats.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Secrets of the Sea: A Fun Game for the Whole Family

My kids and I recently became toy testers for, and we just love the first toy they sent us. It’s a board game called Secrets of the Sea! It’s for ages 5 and up, and my five-year-old twins had no problem understanding the game (with my guidance, of course).

The coolest thing about this game is the “Mystery Light” that players use to uncover hidden treasures. When you shine the light on the special tiles that come with the game, it reveals a hidden picture. But when you flip over the tile, there’s another picture beneath! My boys were fascinated by this amazing technology.

They also loved the challenge of finding hidden treasure. Players look for treasure chests, shells, gold bars, vases, barrels, and coins. They also battle sea monsters and contend with yucky seaweed! The unique board allows players to “dive” near the shore or deeper in the sea. This game is unlike any others we have played, and we highly enjoyed it!

Secrets of the Sea is available from ebeanstalk at It’s only $19.95, and they offer free shipping on orders over $65 (code: FREESHIP$65). They have a huge selection of toys that you can shop by age, category and brand. My boys and I will be doing lots of treasure hunting with Secrets of the Sea!

Friday, July 24, 2009

You Know You're a Parent When...

Having kids means that you’re constantly reminded of the fact that, yes, you are a parent. But instead of pretending that your children aren’t the ones running around with no pants, try embracing that special badge of honor that says “What have I gotten myself into?” Relax and enjoy some unconventional parenting insight brought to you by THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW.

You Know You’re a Parent When…

Your email signature reads “Do What I Say. Not What I Do.”

You decide to trade in your convertible for a minivan and cry the whole way to the dealership.

You’ve fixed someone’s hair with spit.

You’ve paid a costumed character to show up at your house.

No one calls you by your first name anymore. Now you’re simply known as someone’s Mom.

There’s an entire box of cereal buried in the cracks between your car seats. And you’ve considered eating it while waiting in the carpool line.

Instead of goodnight kisses, you now get goodnight text messages.

At least once a week you ask yourself, “Whose kids are these?”

You’ve threatened competitors at the school science fair.

You find yourself wearing your pajamas for a coffee run or to drop off the kids. It’s not like you have time to get out of the car anyway.

You’ve been to soccer practice, ballet and story time all before 11 am.

Most of your advice starts with “When I was your age.”

You have to explain how math will be useful some day.

Sleeping late means 8:15 am.

You read more than one parenting blog a day.

You realize your parents only come visit to see the grandkids.

You wipe anyone’s mouth other than yours.

You’ve hosted a graduation party for an 11-year-old.

You talk about bodily functions more than most doctors.

You occasionally forget to bathe.

You want to tell your kids about the birds and the bees, but you can’t remember the last time you did it.

For more hilarious parenting moments, tune in to THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW Saturday nights at 9/8c on TBS!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Improving Babies' Motor Skills

Gross motor skills involve the use of large muscles in the legs and arms to create an action like jumping, clapping and throwing. Fine motor skills involve using small movements, like fingers grasping a piece of food, pushing toes to move toward a toy, rotating wrists and fingers to manipulate an object, and positioning the lips and tongue to babble and blow raspberries. You’ll see a very rapid development of both the gross and fine motor skills during the first year of life. Following are exercises that can improve your baby’s motor skills.

0-3 Months

Baby sit-ups. When your baby is alert and happy, lay him on his back. His hands will grab your finger or thumb reflexively; then pull him up slowly so as not to jerk his head. (You may see your pediatrician do this to check out the strength of your baby’s muscles.)

Set your baby on your lap comfortably. Gently cross his arms over his chest, as though he is hugging himself. With baby balanced on your lap, gently pull his arms back as if opening them up for a huge hug from Daddy or Grandma.

3-6 Months

The “Bicycle.” Spread out a soft, fuzzy blanket and lay your baby down on her back. Hold each of her feet in each of your hands and “bicycle” your baby’s legs and feet. Vary the speed of the imaginary “bicycle ride,” always keeping in mind your baby’s fragility. Now, hold your baby’s hands. Gently move her wrists back and forth.

Play time.
Sit on the floor with your baby on your lap facing you. Support your baby under her arms. Sing a Mother Goose rhyme, favorite song, or even just the ABCs. Gently bounce your baby with the cadence and rhythm of the song. When Humpty Dumpty falls down, pretend to let your baby fall down (gently, of course).

7-8 Months

Toy time. Using a favorite toy or one that makes sound, grab your baby’s attention. Place the toy slightly out of reach. Depending on where you set the toy, your baby may use gross motor skills to turn his body at the trunk, use core muscles to reach up high, and shift his weight in order to grab the toy.

Dance. Hold your baby on your hip and move to some music that is not playing too loudly. Take his little hand and move it to the beat or spin slowly. Face-to-face interaction in this mobile way will surely have both of you laughing and bonding. Don’t forget to tickle his little belly or just under his chin. As your baby is able to stand on his own, hold his hands and try some simple moves back and forth, or just bop baby up and down on your legs. As with all things baby-related, easy does it.

9-12 Months

Cereal fun.
Sit on the floor with your baby and put some low-sugar dry cereal in a paper cup. Pour the cereal from the cup into an empty cup and repeat several times until you think your baby can try it. Of course, she will spill the cereal, eat it, and transfer it imperfectly, but that’s okay. Give it a lot of time and practice.

Pull-up time. A coffee table or couch is at the right level for baby to put her little hands on and attempt to pull herself to a stand. Sometimes you can help her by boosting her bottom and steadying her legs. The more you encourage and aid in her movement attempts, the happier your baby will be, and the more delighted you will be!

Adapted from
Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power, by Holly Engel-Smothers and Susan M. Heim, ©2008.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toddler Interpreter: Teaching Sign Language to Your Hearing Child (Giveaway)

Before my twins learned to talk, we had a lot of success in teaching them to communicate through basic sign language. It was so cute to see their little hands form the sign for “more” or “cookie.” I was amazed at how quickly they caught on! Of course, I first had to educate myself on learning the signs before I could teach them to my kids. I did find some great resources, but I wish that Toddler Interpreter had been published! This brand-new, full-color book by Ian Creaser and Lisa Baade BSC is an excellent guide for teaching baby sign language to your hearing baby or toddler.

Toddler Interpreter
divides teaching sign language into five stages. Each stage contains 12 new signs. Twenty valuable tips are provided for signing success, such as teaching one sign at a time and making sure to present the signs during relevant situations. For instance, don’t try to teach your child the sign for milk when you’re driving in the car. Do it when he’s in his high chair and you can actually bring a cup of milk in response to the sign! I especially love the colorful photographs that show precisely how to make each sign. There’s also a Quick Reference Dictionary at the end of the book where you can quickly look up a desired sign.

Coauthor Lisa Baade has generously offered two copies of Toddler Interpreter: A Parent’s Guide to Baby Sign Language for Hearing Babies and Toddlers as a giveaway! Here’s how you can win a copy:

YOU MUST: Visit and come back here to leave a comment listing one benefit of teaching sign language to your baby or toddler.

You may earn additional entries if you:

- Put a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog. (The code is in the upper right-hand column of this site.) Post a comment with your blog’s URL.

- Follow me on Twitter (@ParentingAuthor) and tweet this giveaway. Leave a comment with the URL to your tweet.

- Post this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a link to the post.

- Subscribe to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS or as a Follower on Blogger. Leave a comment with your subscription method.

Two winners will be randomly selected from the qualified entries received by midnight on Friday, July 31, 2009. Be sure to leave an email address if you don’t have it posted on your Blogger page. The winner will be emailed and must respond within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to Kim and Gabriel J.!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bond with Your Baby Before Birth (Book Review)

Do you believe that you can communicate with your baby before birth? Even before conception?

Do you believe that your baby chose you to be his or her mother?

Do you believe that your unborn baby can tell you his name, what his fears are, or even what he’ll be when he grows up?

Do you believe that your dreams during pregnancy may hold important messages?

Psychic Kim O’Neill would answer these questions with a resounding “Yes!” And she explains how you can do all this and more through her book, Bond with Your Baby Before Birth: How to Communicate with Your Unborn Child. Before becoming a mother herself in her forties, Kim had been communicating with the souls of unborn babies for her clients for years. In the preface to her book, Kim writes, “Think of me as your very own spiritual coach. As one mother to another, I’ll support you in building the all-important bond between you and your child, and facilitate your understanding of his needs, challenges, likes, and dislikes…and even his special destiny. Accessing this vital information will also help you to discover the specific reasons why your baby deliberately chose you as a mother, which can serve to alleviate fears and concerns you may have about the kind of mother you’ll be.”

Bond with Your Baby Before Birth provides step-by-step instructions to help you open the lines of communication between you and your unborn baby. Kim explains that your baby may communicate with you while you are sleeping (through dreams), as you go about your daily routine, and when you set aside private time to speak with your baby, which the author describes how to do through an eight-step process. Personal stories are scattered throughout the book that demonstrate this amazing mother-baby communication.

By now, some of you reading this are probably saying “This is incredible!” while others are saying “This is utter nonsense!” But before you make up your mind, I suggest you read Bond with Your Baby Before Birth (especially if you are pregnant or hoping to conceive) and apply Kim O’Neill’s suggestions. At the very least, it will make you more conscious of your relationship with your future child and help you enjoy the wonders and mysteries of pregnancy.

Kim O’Neill’s Bond with Your Baby blog: