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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review of My First Crayola - Mess Free Marker and Paper.

I am not one to usually to do reviews but I promise that this is one that you will want to read to the end.

This review is on the Crayola "My First Crayola - Mess Free Marker and Paper."

I bought this particular product as my youngest loves to colour and his favourite canvas is my walls and so I thought that this particular product may be the very thing to teach him that paper is the way to go!

It's a cute marker. Looks like a cow, easy to hold and when paired with the paper it colours a rainbow.

We got to use this product for the first time at my older son's school as there was an important Parent Council Meeting that I did not want to miss and I did not have a sitter. I thought that surely the marker, some of the special "mess free" paper and a couple toys would help to keep them busy - it did - for about 20 mins… which is a great thing… point 1 for the Crayola marker!!

It actually kept my middle son really busy for a little while. He loved to remove the cap and scribble like mad and then give his creations to his friends.

He would giggle like mad as he was drawing and I really enjoyed watching him get som much pleasure from such a cute and easy to use art utensil. Point 2 for Crayola.

After he had been drawing for a couple minutes he came up to me and asked, "Mom, Do you know how this guy makes rainbows?"

I replied, "well, the paper is rainbow and the marker just shows you the rainbow where you draw on it."

He responds, "No. Like how he *makes* rainbows."

I say, "No, honey…why don't you show me."

He then shows me the little cow and says, "Well, mommy…first you have to take his pants off and then colour rainbow with his penis."

I sit trying hard not to burst out laughing (remember that I am in a meeting), although it was really difficult with the other moms around who had overheard as well.

He continues, "Mom! Mom! He PEES out the rainbows!!"

He then sits back on the floor and starts to draw again, giggling to himself and quietly whispering "pisssssssssssss" as he continued to happily draw on the paper.

I let him, point 3 for Crayola… capturing the true essence of what engages a 4 year old boy.

I for one have no idea why he would think it was a penis…. do you?? (lol)

So for my review.
1 star for being cute.
2 star for being easy to use.
3 stars for shooting rainbows out of a cow's penis much to the delight of little boys everywhere!!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Simple Massages for a Fussy Baby

You may notice that your baby’s crying seems to peak in the evening and at meal times. You try all of the tips and tricks that you have learned, gripe water, probiotics, keeping the baby upright, and while wearing baby calms him most of the time, you think that your baby may have colic and want to do something more.

Colic is defined as persistent unexplained crying of an otherwise healthy baby for more than 3 hours a day.  Baby Massage is a great way to help your baby cope with his colic. Not only that but it also allows you to feel that you are playing an active role to make him feel better. There are three basic moves in Shantala Massage that help relive colic and gas.
1.     Colic Coils. This is a move that you can do while feeding your little one. It is basically using reflexology by making clockwise circles on your child’s hands and feet.
2.     I Love You. This is an inverted triangle that starts from the right side of the baby’s groin – moves upward diagonally toward the rib cage – across the body to the left side – and then finish the triangle by tracing your fingers down to the left side of the groin. The last step of this move is to make an upside down “U” around the belly button (clockwise.)
3.     Empting the Stomach. This simple move that means just that. Place your hands on the baby’s stomach and use a hand over hand motion using soft pressure to help relieve the baby’s gas.

Always make sure when you are doing any massage technique with your baby that you use a cold pressed vegetable oil such as grape seed which allow nutrients to be absorbed by the body and not removed like a conventional baby oil.

Also, follow your baby’s cues. Watch for signs to see if the baby is not enjoying the massage such as clenched fists. Sometimes you need to work at massage routine for a couple weeks before you and your baby feel comfortable.

Make sure that you follow up with your health practitioner if your baby’s colic does not seem to improve, or if it seems to get worse. Sometimes babies can have GERD, or there can be underlying food allergies or sensitivities that can be undiagnosed and cause issues for your child’s tummy. Sometimes it can be as simple as eliminating all dairy and soy from your diet if breastfeeding and switching to a hypoallergenic formula if you are using that instead.

Always reach out for support if you are feeling overwhelmed. There are lots of moms that have been in your shoes, you just have to find them.

Alisha Brignall is a Shantala Baby Massage Instructor and Parent Educator in Calgary. 

**Originally Published in M.O.B. Monthly April 2009
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