Disney Holiday Traditions!

Does your family have certain holiday traditions they follow every year? I’m sure they do, we all do! Besides spending time with family and waiting for Santa’s arrival, our family has a few Disney traditions as well. For one, we love to spend time at Disney World or Disneyland during the holidays. There is something extra magical about Disney at Christmas time…it’s the greatest! (Any time at a Disney park is special, but even more-so during the holidays!) Disney goes all out as far as putting up decorations, there are lights and music everywhere! The park gets all decked out and the kids love it… as do the parents! ;)

Another of our Disney traditions is incorporating Disney decorations into our decorating each year. One of our favorites is our Mickey’s Clock Shop!

 

I got this piece many years ago and it is a family favorite. It plays 21 Christmas carols, and Mickey and his friends all make an appearance! The tree is not fully decorated until Mickey’s Clock Shop is up and running! 

What holiday traditions does your family have? I’d love to hear about them. 

 

 

This is a sponsored post and is part of a collaboration with Mom Select & Disney! All opinions are my own & I will be a Disney fan for the rest of my life! 

Lovable Labels Black Friday – Cyber Monday SALE! {Woo-Hoo!}

I love our Lovable Labels, they help us label all of the kid's clothing and belongings… no more missing jackets! I especially appreciate how durable they are; Lovable Labels withstand the dishwasher, microwave, washer, dryer, and the greatest test of all – my child! Check out this great sale, don't miss out! 

Lovable Labels, Disclaimer, Facebook Page, Twitter, Contact, Label Me Crazy, Pinterest, You Tube

Lovable Labels Disclaimer Facebook Page Twitter Contact Label  Me Crazy Pinterest YouTube

 

 

I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. I was provided with a promotional item. All opinions are my own.

PG&E & Opower Luncheon {Energy Conservation}

Last week I had the chance to attend an energy conservation luncheon at the Presidio Social Club, in San Francisco, CA. I was invited by Mom Central Consulting. The luncheon was put on by PG&E and Opower. PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), provides energy services to over 15 million people in Northern & Central California. They are based in San Francisco. Opower works with PG&E, and more than 70 other utility clients, to help engage customers with their home energy management software platform. 

 I had never been to an energy conservation luncheon before, and I was excited to attend. I went with my food blogging buddy, Kara. It was a somewhat dreary, chilly day in San Francisco, but we didn't let that deter us.

The luncheon consisted of a small group of bloggers. I liked the intimate setting. I also liked my soup! Spiced Butternut Squash…I thought it was fantastic & really hit the spot on a nippy day. Here it is:

  

We listened to presentations by  Darleen DeRosa, of PG&E and Abbie McBride, of Opower. I found it interesting to hear that neighbors try to outdo each other in the energy conservation department. If one neighbor gets solar panels, for instance, other neighbors will usually follow suit. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses! Abbie McBride told us about various different programs that are available to help us track our energy usage. One is the home energy report. This is a report that is mailed to your home and it details all of your energy consumption. Here's an example of one such report:

  

I really like the idea of receiving a report and being able to see what months, days of the week, and times that we use the most energy. Abbie shared with us how one report showed an enormous amount of energy usage that the home owner thought was just not right. Turns out the home owner's pool pump was broken and was constantly running, instead of cycling like it should. Without the energy report, it may have been months before they found out about their broken pool pump. 

Our family tries to conserve energy, but I admit, we could be doing more to save. I'm looking forward to receiving my report and sharing it with the family. Together, we will try to come up with ways to be more energy efficient. 

Abbie also shared a few apps with us. These were super cool for tech nerds… like myself! You can actually get online, join a site and have your friends join too… then you all compete and see who can save the most energy from month to month. How cool is that?! You can also compete with your neighbors, or do a search for homes in your neighborhood and see what others are spending each month on their electric/gas bills. Heres the app, check it out and tell me what you think about it. Here's Abbie explaining the app to us:

PG&E shared quite a few energy saving tips with us. One is the Winter Gas Savings Program. This program provides customers with information & tips to help meet goals, highlights progress between bills and actions taken to reduce energy usage. To help get kids involved, you can go here. It's the page for teachers & kids. Getting the kids involved will help you save more money! Customers can also sign up for energy alerts, which can be received via email, text or phone call. The energy alert lets you know when you’re moving into higher-priced electric tiers.

You can follow PG&E on twitter here: @PGE4M and Opower here: @Opower.

I learned a lot at this luncheon and I am looking forward to putting all my newfound knowledge to good use this winter. I would like to thank Mom Central Consulting, PG&E, and Opower for a very informative meeting. I would also like to wish Abbie good luck on the upcoming birth of her little bundle of joy! I have one more pic to share with you all…

 German Chocolate Cake, it was delicious! 

How are you going to help conserve energy and save your family money this winter? I'd love to hear your ideas.




I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of PG&E and Opower. I attended an informational luncheon and received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

World Prematurity Day {Nov. 17, 2012}

November 17th marks World Prematurity Day, a day dedicated to help raise awareness about prematurity and the potential risks associated with pre-term birth. With underdeveloped organs and immature immune systems, babies born prior to 36 weeks can be especially prone to infections from seemingly harmless viruses like the common cold, the flu or RSV.  Prematurity is the number one cause of neonatal deaths. Most parents are not well-informed when it comes to prematurity, in fact, a recent survey on prematurity awareness found that 3 in 10 mothers of preemies weren’t aware of the possibility of prematurity until they had their first child. Did you know that approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year? Half a million of those babies are born right here in the United States. That is a staggering number. Medical advances have allowed many premature babies to survive, when they once would not have had a chance at survival or living a "normal" life. Even so, prematurity puts babies at an increased risk for a wide range of health and developmental problems. 

Prematurity disrupts a baby’s development in the womb, often stunting the growth of some of the body’s most critical organs. These babies are at an increased risk of serious medical complications and regularly face weeks or even months in the NICU. This often contributes to mothers feeling powerless, anxious and isolated.  On November 17 – World Prematurity Day – we’re hoping to educate all expecting parents about the possibility of, and potential risks associated with, preterm births. 

One of the health risks associated with premature birth is RSV.  Because their immune systems and lungs aren’t fully developed, preemies are more likely to develop infections and are more susceptible to respiratory problems. In fact, 79% of preemie moms have a baby who was hospitalized due to a severe respiratory infection.  Most people have never even heard of RSV. What exactly is it? RSV stands for respiratory syncytial [sin-sish-uhl] virus. RSV is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person's lungs and breathing passages. RSV spreads rapidly among children, many children catch RSV by the time they are 2 years old. Most children will recover in 1 to 2 weeks, but even after recovery, infants and children can continue to spread the virus for 1 to 3 weeks. While most children recover without any difficulty, such is not the case for premature infants. 

For premature infants or those with lung or heart problems, RSV disease can lead to serious lung infections and hospitalization. Babies born early have lungs that are smaller and less developed at birth than those of full-term babies. Premature birth interrupts the final stages of normal lung development. For babies born early, RSV could lead to serious lung infections, like pneumonia and/or bronchiolitis (swelling of the lower airways).

    

RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths each year as the flu. RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined "RSV season" as beginning in November through March for most parts of the U.S. In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.

Prematurity and RSV in the U.S. Hispanic Community -The current rate of preterm births in the U.S. Hispanic community is 11.66 percent. Since 2006, the preterm rate has declined 5 percent for Hispanic infants. Data indicate that infants from U.S. Hispanic communities are at increased risk to develop severe RSV disease; while the exact reason for the increased risk is unknown, the increased prematurity rate is likely a contributing factor.Two-thirds of U.S. Hispanic mothers have never heard of RSV, and one in five U.S. Hispanic moms only becomes aware of RSV once their child has contracted the virus.

What are the symptoms of RSV? -Severe coughing,  wheezing or rapid gasping breaths

·       Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails

·       High fever and extreme fatigue

Prevention is Key-RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Since there’s no treatment for RSV, parents should take the following preventive steps to help protect their child. 

·       Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer

·       Avoid large crowds and people who are or have been sick

·       Never let anyone smoke near your baby

·       Speak with your child’s doctor if he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available.

Prior to having my little one, I worked in a Pediatrician's office. I was in charge of making sure all our preemies received preventive therapy. There is an antibody injection, (Palivizumab), available for preemies that meet specific criteria; it is given on a monthly basis, though out RSV season. If you have a premature infant, ask your pediatrician about preventive care. RSV can lead to other lung conditions, so it is very important to protect your baby from contracting it. 

To learn more about RSV, please visit the RSV Protection Site, there is a lot of valuable information there. If you know someone with a premature infant, please share this post with them and let's help get the word out about prematurity and RSV. Preemies can't speak up for themselves-they need you to be their voice.

 

 


This post is compensated and in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions expressed are my own. 




 

 

 

Hospital for Special Surgery, Providing the Best Care for Your Child

The day our youngest was born, was one of the happiest days of my life! That happiness soon turned to worry. Our little one had a few "technical difficulties" early on. He was referred out to several specialists, a cardiologist for a heart murmur, a neurosurgeon for an abnormally shaped, large head and there was also a referral to the urologist for … well, that's kinda private! 

Taking your baby in for MRI's, CT scans, and EKG's … it can all be a bit overwhelming. You want your child to be receive the best treatment possible, to be seen by the most highly qualified doctors. Nothing else matters but your child and the treatment they receive. 

Hospital for Special Surgery is a world leader in orthopedic, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is located in New York City and recently opened the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center, at the Children's Pavilion. They provide comprehensive, individualized rehabilitation for both inpatients and outpatients from birth to age 21. Their staff includes physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists.

The 7,000-­‐square-­‐foot CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center for Pediatrics, opened just last year, and includes the following:

  • A spacious physical therapy gym for children and adolescents

  • Dedicated therapy rooms for sensory and fine motor skills

  • Private evaluation/treatment room

  • Sensory integration equipment that facilitates movement in space

  • Pediatric elliptical machines and stationary bicycles specially designed for children’s smaller frames

  • Virtual reality software with innovative therapeutic routines for all levels of physical mobility

  • An equipment clinic that specializes in wheelchair and mobility needs 

Please watch this video to learn more about the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center.

 HSS is nationally ranked #1 in orthopedics, #3 in rheumatology, #10 in neurology, and #5 in geriatrics by U.S. News & World Report (2012-2013). In 2011, specialists treated approximately 20,000 pediatric patients and performed over 2,600 pediatric surgeries. HSS is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times and has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. To ensure the safest environment, HSS uses low‐dose x‐ray imaging, an advanced imaging technology that significantly minimizes a child’s exposure to radiation. 

You can follow Hospital for Special Surgery here on FB. 

When our child needed surgery, I was a wreck. The doctors and the nursing staff at the hospital helped put my mind at ease. They reassured me that everything would be ok and that my little guy was in good hands. When your child is in the hospital, about to undergo treatment, it's very important to feel and know in your heart that they are in the best facility they can be in. Hospital for Special Surgery is the hospital you want your child to be in if you are in the New York City area. Please keep them in mind and tell your friends about them- they are doing fantastic work. They are making life easier not only their patients, but for their patient's families as well. 

Our little one was given a clean bill of health after the surgery he underwent when he was just 8 months old. He was a little trooper and never complained. Mommy was right there waiting for him when they wheeled him to the recovery room. I held him in my arms and gently rocked him as woke from the anesthesia. It is a moment I will never forget and one I do not wish to relive. 



I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hospital for Special Surgery. A small donation to a charity of my choice, was made in my name, as a thank you for participating. You should consult with your physician or other health care provider before beginning any rehabilitation/therapy, sports training or exercise program.