Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month
















April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

I've had the privilege of getting to see and meet lots of precious children when their parents bring them into Cloud 9.  And of course, there's my own Emma (and soon, Baby Sage).  It is unthinkable to me that anyone could harm any of these innocent and defenseless little ones.

And yet, it happens.

According to the National Children's Alliance, more than 676,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect in 2011.  An estimated 1,570 of those children died.  That's more than 4 kids each day who die in the United States as a result of abuse or neglect.

We are fortunate to have a wonderful organization right here in Morgan County that is truly dedicated to education and prevention of child abuse.  I'm referring to PACT: Parents And Children Together.  You can read more about PACT, the programs they offer, and how you can help at http://www.pactfamily.org/.

I hope we would all take time to familiarize ourselves with the signs of child abuse and neglect.  Here are a couple sites which list some common signs of child abuse, as well as lots of other good information:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm

http://www.safehorizon.org/index/what-we-do-2/child-abuse--incest-55/10-signs-of-child-abuse--neglect-305.html

You can never know when you might come in contact with a child who is being abused.  You may be the only advocate that child has.  If you suspect abuse, report it immediately.  It could make all the difference in that child's world.

The ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline number is 1-800-422-4453.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  But child abuse prevention should be every month.  Every day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter with Emma

We traveled to Mississippi this weekend for Easter at Momma G's.  I made sure to alert the Easter Bunny so he'd know where to bring Emma's basket.

Arriving on Friday afternoon, Emma talked me into getting some frozen yogurt.  OK, so I might have been the one who suggested it.  But we both enjoyed it.  And isn't that what counts?

Saturday morning, we dyed Easter eggs.  We decided to do this outside because:  (a) it was such a beautiful day, and (b) due to any mess that Emma might make.

And make a mess she did!  Eventually, we just stripped her down to her diaper so it wouldn't get all over her clothes and let her go at it.  I'm still not sure if there was more dye on the eggs or on Emma.  But she had a blast.  And isn't that what counts?





















After a warm bath and a nap,  Emma spent much of Saturday afternoon playing in a baby pool on the back porch.  Unfortunately, we hadn't packed a bathing suit, so we kind of "rednecked" it a little and let her run around naked.

Sunday morning, Emma woke to find what all the Easter Bunny had brought her.  She got a Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure book, some Babiators, a Pears + Bears tunic cover up, Bella Bliss swimsuits, a Cissy sun hat, Alto and Triplet beach toys, and a lunch box--pretty much everything she'll need for a beach trip!  She was very excited about it all.


Next, we hid eggs in the house and let Emma hunt them.  She was really getting into this!  She cracked a few because she was literally throwing them into the basket.

After that, it was time to get ready for church.

Following church and lunch, we hid eggs again, but this time outside.  When Emma came outside to start hunting them, we discovered that our lab had already found a few eggs and enjoyed them for a snack.  Oops!





















Emma was exhausted after such an action-packed Easter weekend.  As we got in the car to head back to Alabama, I looked in the backseat and her little eyes were closed before we even pulled out of the neighborhood.

It's hard to believe that in just a year she'll be showing Baby Sage how to hunt eggs.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Bunny at Cloud 9


















The Easter Bunny paid a timely visit to Cloud 9 this past Saturday.  And as you might expect, some were excited, a few were scared.  But enough about the dads who showed up.

It was a beautiful spring day outside, and we had lots of fun things going on inside!  There were free cookies from Mel's Sweet Treats, the aforementioned floppy-eared one, and everyone who shopped Saturday got a 15% discount from Cloud 9!

(The Easter Bunny really liked the cookies from Mel's.  I thought he only ate carrots and lettuce, but apparently not!)

Emma seemed to like the Easter Bunny about as much as she liked Santa Claus.  We did finally get a decent pic of her once mommy held her and made the Easter Bunny promise he wouldn't pinch her.

That's OK, though.  The Easter Bunny told me he would be coming to visit Emma anyway.  In fact, he said he had plans to visit all the kids who came to Cloud 9 on Saturday.

And he let me know that many of them would be receiving items from Cloud 9 in their Easter baskets.  Mister Bunny said he doesn't have elves to help him like Santa does, so he thanked me for our Easter Basket Ideas of the Day which he said came in very handy this year!

I tried to take as many pictures as possible, and posted lots on our Facebook page.  Click here to check them out:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.724166230973428.1073741830.108527649203959&type=3  You might see your child, or even yourself!

It was a fun day, and we do hope to have the Easter Bunny back again next year.  A big thanks to everyone who came by on Saturday, and I hope all of you have a Happy Easter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's a girls night out!


















Cloud 9 invites all moms and moms-to-be to our special Cloth Diapering event on Thursday, April 24th, from 5:30-7pm.

If you're considering using cloth diapers or are even the least bit curious, we encourage you to join us for what is sure to be a very informative evening.  We will be partnering with Suds Diaper Service for this event.  And we'll also be providing yummy snacks!  So come enjoy a girls night out and learn more about cloth diapering and what Suds has to offer.

You can get all the details on our Cloth Diapering event on our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1456719421231335/

You might have heard me mention before that we use cloth diapers with Emma.  And it has saved us so much money!  According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, parents can expect to spend $1500 to $2000 or more on disposable diapers by the time the baby is out of them.

But there are many other benefits.  Not the least of which is cloth diapers are better for the environment.  In fact, disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product found in our landfills today.  A diaper disposed of today will not be completely biodegraded until around the year 2500!

Cloth diaper users also tend to have fewer issues with diaper rash.  And you never run out of diapers, because you just keep washing and reusing the ones you have.

Speaking from experience, the cloth diapers of today are not the cloth diapers of 50 years ago.  Many advances have been made.  And, today's cloth diapers are adorable!

Here's a good site with a ton of information about cloth diapers:  http://www.cottonbabies.com/clothdiapers.php

We hope to see you April 24th for our girls night out/Cloth Diapering event (It'll be more fun than it sounds, I promise!).