Caring For My Grandma with Bay Alarm Medical

This is a sponsored post.

every Friday night, me and the boys…and now little baby Dani too, head over to my grandma’s house for a date night. we love to go get a burger or pizza and come back and watch a movie. she is such a special person in our lives, and we love this time we spend with her. we try and get over to visit her as much as possible, but once a week doesn’t seem like enough. ever since my grandpa passed away 5 years ago, she has been living on her own. when we are away from her, we always worry about her safety. that’s why our family has discussed getting her a Bay Alarm Medical alert device.

grandma is very active and on-the-go, but has suffered from many falls. it’s scary. what if she needs help when she is all by herself at home. life’s has many unexpected twists and turns, so everyone in the family has agreed that setting up Bay Alarm Medical for our grandma is the best way to to think ahead. hopefully she’ll never have to use it, but it gives her the piece-of-mind to know that if she needs help, it’s just a click of a button.

so we did it! we got grandma a Bay Alarm Medical alert device.

it arrived and was easy peasy to set up. we just plugged it into the wall and pressed the button. the Bay Alarm Medical team answered and took down grandma’s information. we also filled out a card and mailed it in. that’s all! she is now set up in their system.

now, when a button is pressed, Bay Alarm Medical’s trained 24/7 emergency operators will be there to contact family, friends, neighbors and if necessary, local 911 emergency services. you can choose your emergency call list. in my grandma’s case, her son and daughter will be called.

each Bay Bay Medical alarm system comes with either 1 necklace or 1 wrist button. you can choose which is best for you. Bay Alarm offers a separate a fall detection option for those who might be unable to push their button due to Dementia/Alzheimer’s, strokes, etc.

you also get a wall HELP button. the wall button should be placed near the ground in high-risk fall places such as commonly used rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, or garage.


in the Bay Alarm Medical package, there is a Vial of Life packet. it is where we added grandma’s list of medications, medical information and allergies. this will help emergency personnel in the event that she can’t speak. we placed the Vial of Life on the refrigerator, it needs to be somewhere easy for EMTs to access.


the Bay Alarm Medical devices are not meant to be worn away from the home other than the front or backyard. they are waterproof and can be worn outside. this means that grandma can still do her gardening. Bay Alarm Medical does offer a GPS medical alert device for those that may need that service.

there is also a lock box which can be placed near her home entrance that can help emergency personnel access her home without breaking the door or a window down.

i let grandma get used to her Bay Alarm Medical for a few weeks before i asked how she felt about wearing and having it in her home. i was actually nervous to ask her because i thought i would get an answer like “i don’t know why you guys think i need something like this!” but this was not the case. i wasn’t expecting to hear how much she LOVED it. she realized that having a Bay Alarm Medical device in her home has not only given her family piece-of-mind, but her as well. it has calmed her nerves a bit…because she has had some falls and small emergencies in the past. just what if those small emergencies were just a little bit more serious.

this made my heart happy.

i would never forgive myself if something happened to my grandma and she didn’t have the access to call medical personnel. i can tell that this Bay Alarm Medical alert device. is going to be just what grandma needs to stay independent for as long as possible. help is just a click away. i couldn’t recommend it more to anyone who has aging family members or friends…piece-of-mind is a priceless thing.

we love our grandma…she deserves the best!

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. No kidding…we were already going to purchase a Bay Alarm for my grandma. I am so glad we did.}
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Remembering the Baby Milestones

This post is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Orange County.

i know it seems like after 4 kids i should be an expert on how they develop and grow, but you’d be surprised how many things as a parent you forget with each kid. having Dani almost seven years after Vann is almost like being a first time mom again. at least in the sense that i am forgetting the baby stuff…like at what age she should hit certain milestones. on top of that, so many things have changed since i had my fourteen year old…even since my seven year old. so i was happy to be able to have a one-on-one chat with Kaiser Permanente Orange County pediatrician Julia Castillo, M.D.

Dr. Julia Castillo was able to go over baby’s first year of milestones with me to refresh my memory. she updated me on things that have changed and also what to look for as Dani grows and develops. it was very nice to have this refresher course, and Dr. Castillo was very helpful and knowledgable. she answered even the simplest questions informatively and put my mind at ease with any concerns i had with Dani. she had all the qualities i would look for in a pediatrician.

i’m sure a lot of moms would also like a little refresher course on baby milestones, so i thought i would jot them down here. these are just the major ones, and if you have any specific questions, be sure to ask your own pediatrician. it’s a good idea to write down all questions on your phone and present them at your baby’s well visits. it’s very easy to forget things you want to ask when you are in the moment, so Dr. Castillo reminded me to keep a running list between each visit of any questions you may have.

2 months

at 2 months, baby should make eye contact with you and others, be able to smile, and to turn their head toward sounds. at this age, they should also be getting tummy time every day and lifting their head up for 30–60 seconds during this time.

4 Months

at 4 months, baby should be able to coo…making vowel sounds like ooo and ahh. they can now laugh, reach for objects or toys with their hands, track people and objects well, and keep their head steady. they may be able to roll….at least to one side, and look to sounds they hear.

at 4 months, your baby may be ready to introduce to first foods. you will know they are ready if they have moved past the kick out food reflux. the reflux where the tongue automatically pushed food back out of their mouths. if you give baby food and they push it back out, then wait a few weeks and try again.

it is a good reminder that once baby starts to roll, do not leave them alone on the bed, changing table or couch ever. this is when falls start to occur. 

6 Months

at six months, your baby should be vocal, like to play, talking to sounds, transferring objects from hand to hand, roll back forth from each side, babbling, and sitting up. once baby is mobile, make sure to baby proof your home. this is the time you need to lower the crib mattress, block off any stairs and make sure there are no objects around that baby can choke on.

when it comes to feeding, you can start to introduce foods if you haven’t already done so. the  kick out food reflux should be gone by now. at this age and up to 12 months, there should be no juice given to baby. they should have the same milk intake with food being complimentary.

9 Months

at nine months, baby should have reached all of the six month milestones as well as being able to sit well, grabbing table food, standing to feet…especially in the crib and on the furniture around the house.

12 Months

at 12 months, baby should have reached all of the nine month milestones as well as be able to cruise or crawl around the house. baby should be able to say three words such as mama, dada, one other such as bye bye. they may already be walking, but if not yet, no worries.

18 months

at eighteen months, baby should have met the twelve month milestones as well as being able to say 7 words. they do not have to say the words perfectly as long as they are consistent with each word they use to address a person or thing. They should also be able to point to things, hold a  fork, and follow simple directions.

2 Years

at two years, baby should have met their eighteen month milestones as well as being able to say 20-50 words. they should also be able to help around the house doing simple chores such as picking up their toys.

Dr. Castillo reminded me that these are just generic guidelines for when baby should meet these milestones. baby’s that are born premature may reach them later. also, if baby has not met certain milestones that are recommended, it should be brought up to your pediatrician at your baby’s well-visit. make sure to talk to your own pediatrician about any concerns that you have and also make sure to discuss any vaccines that baby is due for. use your mother’s instinct when you sense a problem. you know your child better than anyone. don’t be afraid to ask your pediatrician even the simplest questions. being a parent is not always easy and it is always a good thing to have a little extra advise to help navigate on our journey of raising kids.

it was refreshing to get to talk to Dr. Castillo to remind myself of all the things babies do. even after four kids, i am still looking for advise. i can tell that Kaiser Permanente Orange County has a great team of doctors that have made me feel comfortable as a parent. the great thing about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, is everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. plus, there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. wow…this is the kind of service i look for in my healthcare.

if you have missed the posts i have written about them, here they are:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Our Dad Wants Tile for Father’s Day

This is a sponsored post.

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and of course the boys and i have been trying to figure out the perfect gift for dad. he isn’t the easiest to shop for because he only likes practical gifts….plus it seems like he already has everything. then, we remembered how much he loves Tile!

what is Tile you ask? it’s a simple and sleek location-tracking app that can be used to track any item you don’t want to misplace. just place a Tile on an object you want to keep track of, and if that object gets lost. if you are within bluetooth range, you can ring your item with the app. if you are out of range, you can use the app to see where you last had the item. if the item has been moved from the last know location, you can mark it as lost. that taps the Tile community to help you find it. any time someone running the Tile app goes near your lost item, you’ll be updated with its most recent location.

why does our dad want Tile? it all started last year when we lost all three sets of car keys. it was awful. we spent hours looking for those darn keys and ripped apart the entire house to find just one set. plus, it took over two weeks to finally find all three sets. i was telling my friend about the situation, and she told me about Tile. i then told my husband about Tile…and within a couple of days, a set of four tiles arrived at our door. we added a Tile Mate to all of our key rings and the rest is history. we have now used Tile to find our keys too many times to count. it’s amazing and life changing, not to mention how much more organized we feel.

Tile is more than just a gadget – it’s a practical time-saving tool for every day life. my husband wants to take our Tile use to the next level.  we lose a lot more than just our keys in this house, and my husband and i are tired of it. every time we lose something, he always exclaims “we need to put a Tile on that so we can find it!”

here are some of the items we lose on a regular basis – cameras, camera chargers, keys, phones, remotes, wallets, our stroller at amusement parks, sunglasses, luggage, computer case, bike helmets, lunch boxes, homework folders, books, iPads. you name it, we lose it. so why not get dad some more Tile so that he can put them on everything. he would LOVE IT! think of all the extra free time dad will have. no more searching the house for lost items…and more time to spend together as a family.

and the great thing about Tile is that they are affordable and small. they come in two styles – the Tile Mate, which has a hole in it so you can ring your things, and the Tile Slim, which can easily stick, slide or tuck into things. you can also get money clips or adhesive packs for your Tiles. and did you know that there have been over 8 million Tiles sold?!!!  Tile’s helps locate more than two million items every day. WOW!

Tile Scavenger hunt

the boys and i wanted to make our Tile gift giving fun, so we came up with this scavenger hunt idea to give dad his Tiles for Father’s Day. we bought the Tile combo pack which comes with 2 Tile Mates and 2 Tile Slims. we bought dad four gifts and placed a Tile on each of them. we then hid the gifts around the house.

a wallet…some socks…a tie… and dad’s FAVORITE candy! PLUS he gets to keep all the Tiles.

we already have the Tile App on our phones, so we programed the new Tiles into it, naming them Gift 1, Gift 2, Gift 3, and Gift 4. (we can change the Tile names after he finds them). we gave dad the phone, and using the app, he found each one by pressing “FIND” and listening for the music.

it was so much fun searching around the house to find daddy’s presents….the boys loved it. and so did dad!

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

Tile is a gift that any dad would love for Father’s Day, and would have to be my top gift recommendation! if you think a dad in your life would love it too, visit the Tile website to purchase one! all of the products are available at www.thetileapp.com. PLUS, it is also a top seller in retail stores, such as Apple, Best Buy and Target. hurry soon…there are just a few days left till Father’s Day.

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

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S’mores in a Jar with HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

This post is created by me and The Hershey Company

summer is coming, and that means warm nights, campfires with friends and of course S’Mores! there’s nothing better on a warm summer night than ooey gooey, freshly roasted S’Mores made with none other than a HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bar. It’s an iconic taste of summer and the farm fresh milk in HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate makes their chocolate the best for making S’Mores. plus, it’s pretty good anytime you want a treat. farm fresh milk is what helps gives HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate the delicious taste you know and love. the milk comes from farms within 100 miles of the Hershey factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania. did you know that Hershey is one of the few large-scale chocolate manufacturers in the U.S. that uses farm fresh milk? i really believe that is why you can tell the difference from other chocolate bars. the farm fresh milk really helps to give it the delicious taste you know and love. Well, that and the simple ingredients used in HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate like cocoa and sugar, plus no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. check out the graphic below to see how farm fresh milk becomes part of HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate.while me and the boys were waiting for summer to arrive, we decided that we couldn’t wait any longer to make some S’Mores. so, we decided to do a twist on the traditional campfire S’Mores by making S’Mores in a Jar. they can be made right in your oven at home, so you don’t even have to worry about not having a campfire. we made them the other night…which was a miracle because we all wanted to eat the HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bars!   it’s really simple to make S’Mores in a Jar. for each jar you want to make, you will need 1 HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bar, 1/2 a cup of marshmallows, 2 graham crackers, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and a butter pat.  first, in a plastic zipper bag, crush up graham crackers and mix in melted butter. next, place the graham crackers at the bottom of small canning jars. heat the whipping cream in a saucepan on the stove until hot. pour over the HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate. stir until smooth. pour chocolate into jars over the graham cracker crumbs. now, top the chocolate and graham cracker crumbs with mini marshmallows to the top of the jars. put all the jars in a baking dish. place in the oven heated to 450º on the top shelf. bake for about 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasted and browned. watch carefully! they can burn easily. once the jars are cool enough to touch, top with a piece of HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate and enjoy! be sure check out this video from Tastemade, in which Katie Quinn shares an inside look at how HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate is made from farm to factory. and then go and enjoy a bar…or two!

i want to thank The Hershey Company for working with me on this blog!

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6 Tips to Manage a Household as a Busy Parent

This is a sponsored post.

now that we are a family of six, i have to admit, life has gotten a whole lot harder. it’s mostly when it comes to juggling everyone’s schedules and keeping up with all their needs. i have been doing my best to organize the house and simplify everything to help make life a little easier for us. i also am learning to let things go…life doesn’t always need to be perfect. i used to think i could do it all, but i’m finally realizing that YES, i do need help. and now that i have realized this, things are going much smoother for my family.

so, how am i managing our busy family now? it may not be perfect, but the house is picked up for the most part, the kids have their needs met, and even get a shower most days. that’s definitely a win. so yeah…things are moving along. and i thought that i would share with you some of the ways i’ve adjusted our lives to make managing life as a busy parent easier.

Simplify

time to get rid of the excess. too many toys. too many clothes. too much junk. there is just TOO MUCH STUFF everywhere. and this equals more messes. i’ve been learning that this kind of chaos really holds you back. especially when you’re constantly trying to clean up and organize around TOO MUCH STUFF. many trash bags of unwanted and necessary things have been leaving my house. what a relief!

Everything Has a Place

Tips to Manage a Household

once i simplified the amount of stuff i have in an area of my home, i make sure everything has a specific spot to live in. i have labeled every storage container and also the shelves in the cupboards so that everyone in the house knows what goes where. this has really cut down on finding things in the wrong places and has also saved a lot of time. we no longer are searching for lost stuff.

Get Outside Help

the fact is, there’s only one of you. sometimes it is physically impossible to get everything finished that you need to get done. this is when you get help from others. family and friends can’t always be there when you need them. i mean…sometime i just can’t keep up. YIKES!

so there are services like Care.com that can help you get the right people to do the jobs you need help with. it’s the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care – and includes services such as sitters, housekeepers, nannies, senior care, dog walkers and more.

did you know they even have a database of tutors? this is what really excited me….i could really use that kind of help.

using Care.com makes life simpler for families because you can go online and find the services you need at the click of a button. whether you need childcare while you’re at work or want to line up the occasional date night sitter, Care.com is there for you.

Shared Family Calendar

using a shared calendar is very helpful when it comes to keeping everyone in the family on the same page. there have been many times when i have just assumed that my husband knew of an event or appointment that was happening and vice versa, when in reality, i never told him. it’s really hard to keep track of everything happening at school, sports, extracurricular activities and in our personal lives. so writing it down is very helpful. a shared Google calendar or a large family calendar posted on a wall in your home is what i recommend. here are some tips to organize your family’s schedule.

Make a Routine but Allow Flexibility

i know this sounds like a contradiction, but really, it can work in your favor. when it comes to mornings or bedtimes, i like to make sure the family sticks to a routine. i need the kids to be ready for school, and in the evenings, i need them to go down for the night so i can unwind and set up the house for the next day.

making lunches the night before, packing bags and cleaning up the house from that day makes the next day run much better. at the same time, it’s good to allow flexibility in our schedules. sometimes there’s going to be a late night, sometimes you have take out instead of making dinner, maybe to kids skip a bath on those not-so-dirty day, sometimes the dishes aren’t going to get done till the next day. it’s okay. life can’t always be perfect.

finally,

Take Time to De-stress

when parents de-stress, we’re more at ease and more focused. a simple date night or some alone time can give you back the energy you need to survive parenthood. This is another way that Care.com can help. You can find a babysitter that fits your family’s needs

How Care.com works

you can quickly and easily sign up on Care.com for FREE as a Basic Member, which allows you to start searching for great local help, see their services and rates. if you choose to upgrade to a Premium Membership, you can reach out to the persons offering the services you need and are able to check their reviews and references. you are also allowed to schedule interviews and even book and pay for care online through the Care.com app. if you are looking for something specific, you can post a job and receive responses from caregivers in your area. You are allowed to view each caregiver’s profile and contact them for interviews or learn more about them. Care.com also provides access to a variety of background check options, so you can make the best hiring decision. wonder how much you should pay your sitter?

remember: it is your responsibility to make sure that the persons you hire on Care.com meet the criteria you are looking for. There are lots of details to remember and things to think about and agree on, so it’s a great idea to create a contract to make sure you both understand what to expect from each other.

Get 20% off – sign up now for Care.com, and you can save 20% off a Premium Membership! from now through September 30th, you can use the Care.com promo code SANDYTOES20 to save 20% off a Premium Membership by visiting this link http://bit.ly/2ta87Oo.

these 6 Tips to Manage a Household as a Busy Parent are simply things that have help our family tremendously when trying to manage our large family busy lives. hopefully some of them can help you as well. it’s piece of mind when you know your kids, parents, pets and home are well cared for. life can be tricky with kids…so we all need all the help we can get. happy parenting!

{Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Care.com and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.}