Family

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

In my family, baby wipes are the Holy Grail. We use them for everything from cleaning up spills in the car to wiping down the stove and cleaning the screens of our devices. Of course, we also have a baby in the house, and we use them pretty regularly for her too. As such, I’m not a fan of most wipes, because we’re never really sure what’s in them. So when I got an opportunity to try WaterWipes, I was more than a little intrigued.

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As the name implies, WaterWipes contain mostly water. In fact, they are made using just two, chemical-free ingredients: 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. That’s it. Really.

I can get behind a product that contains just two ingredients, one of which is water — particularly if I’m going to be using it for my baby. The truth is that I’m always wary of using wipes to clean my daughter’s face, because her skin is super sensitive and we’ve had to deal with breakouts before. In this case, I felt confident that I could use them to wipe the yogurt and crumbs and milk and other random stuff that ends up all over her face without causing any irritation.

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Because in addition to being pure and chemical-free, they are also super, super soft. Like baby’s bottom soft. Which is helpful, since they’re intended to be used on my baby’s bottom.

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Let me share a quick fact about myself: I tend to be extremely brand loyal. Once I find something that I like, I buy it over and over and over again. My shopping lists tend to look the same every time. So it is no small matter to say that I am now a WaterWipes convert. I love the fact that they contain two simple ingredients, and we’ll be using them from now on.

This photo of Juliza pretty much sums up how we feel about them.

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You can find WaterWipes at your local Walgreens or at Walgreens.com. At our store, we found them in the baby aisle, and we got the last two packs on the shelf. We’ll definitely have to stock up next time we’re there.

WaterWipes Walgreens Giveaway

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners).

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There’s not much I miss about apartment living, but there is one very important thing that my family misses tremendously when Georgia spring turns into oppressive Georgia summer: The swimming pool. We used the pool in our apartment complex regularly, because all of us love the water. These days, when we want to go swimming, we have to trek to the city pool and pay to get in. That’s just not something we’re going to do very often.

So when Walmart challenged me to share how my family and I spend time together in the summer, I knew I wanted to share our inexpensive pool solution for days when we really just want to cool off and play in the water. Walmart has all manner of pools that are easy to set up at home. Inflatable ones. Ones with hard sides. Ones with soft sides. Quickset pools.

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We thought about getting a large one that my hubby and I would be able to enjoy with the kids, and maybe actually swim instead of just taking a dip or wading, but as it turns out, we can’t do that. Our backyard doesn’t have a fence, and it wouldn’t be safe to have a permanent (or even semi-permanent) pool without a hard cover, lest any neighborhood kids or pets find their way to it when we aren’t watching.

Instead, we chose a smaller scale pool that we can set up when we want to use it, and put away when we’re done.

Small as the box looks, this is a pretty big pool. 8 feet in diameter and 18″ deep, to be precise. So big, in fact, that it took a full hour to fill it up with a garden hose.

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Of course, after using all that water, we had to leave it up for the whole weekend. This required scooping out some bugs in the morning, but it was totally worth it to watch our kids have hours of fun while the hubby manned the grill and I played DJ.

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And later, the hubby and I got to take a dip alone when the kids took naps after spending the whole day in the sun. It’s also great for getting them good and tired.

All of that said, we probably won’t be setting it up every weekend, because it does require a lot of water, but it’s a nice way to have some fun in the water without having to pay an entry fee or share it with dozens of strangers.

What about you? How do you cool off when it’s ridiculously hot outside?

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.

Disclosure: In partnership with Drive Shop Atlanta, I received a car to review for a week. All opinions contained below are my own and 100% honest.

For years, my family has lived with one car. Save for a short time when my husband and I both had vehicles, we lived with just one, and we were able to make it work. This was largely because I have worked from home for so long, and I don’t need to hit the road very often. But in the past year or two, it has become more obvious that we might need to add a second vehicle to our household. Now that we have two kids and one of them is a competitive gymnast who needs to go back and forth to practice and competitions, and we’re looking to get the other involved in modeling, it’s become an uncomfortable juggle every time we have a variety of household obligations around the same time.

So I am so excited to be working with Drive Shop Atlanta to review a variety of cars, in an effort to figure out what would work best for my family.

First up is the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD.

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My family and I spent a week going to the park, the grocery store, the mall and just driving for fun to fully test how well it fit our needs.

As first impressions go, this one was pretty amazing. I can’t lie, I like things that look good. And as much as it has served my family well, the 2008 Honda Odyssey we own right now isn’t going to win any beauty contests. And the CX-5? Well. It’s just pretty. I reviewed the Deep Crystal Blue Mica color, and that alone made my heart go pitter patter. But beyond that, it’s sporty and sleek with great-looking wheels, and as a crossover, it’s just the right size.

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Plus, it has pretty good gas mileage for a crossover. As much as I want to go out and buy an electric car, I know that Georgia just doesn’t have the infrastructure or the demand to support it right now. So it’s important to me that our second car has good fuel efficiency. The CX-5 gets 33 miles per gallon on the highway and 25 mpg in the city.

I could attempt to talk more about the technical aspects of the car, but to be honest, that not what really matters to me. What matters is the way we will use it, as a family. And to that, I can say that it would be a great fit for our needs.

As a driver, I’m pretty low maintenance. I really just need the ability to climb in my car, start it up and go, with reliable cruise control for long drives. But it is amazing to be able to step up to additional features I never even knew I’d want.

For example, keyless entry and start. The Mazda CX-5 comes with a proximity key fob, which means that as long as it is in my pocket, my purse, or otherwise on my person, I can enter the car without using a key, and simply push a button to start the car. After years of key usage, I admit it took a while to get used to the idea that I didn’t need it. But after a few days, I fell in love with this feature. I just had to remind myself that if I put the key fob in the center console, I needed to take it with me when leaving the car.

Another feature I loved was the ability to connect my phone to the car via Bluetooth. This made it easier to answer, and make, phone calls without taking my eyes off the road, and even play my favorite Spotify playlists via the car’s speakers. But even without connecting my phone, the musical options on the CX-5 are robust. I was able to listen to local radio stations, along with a variety of satellite radio stations.

The CX-5 also came with a navigation system. Given that I’ve been using my iPhone for navigation for years, it was nice to be able to use the car’s system instead. When entering addresses, the interface will suggest street and city names to help you move faster, and you can type on the touch screen or use a knob on the center console to cycle through the options. There was one location that I was unable to find on the car’s GPS, so I had to switch back to my phone to find it, but that was the only time it happened.

The entire touch-screen interface inside the car was awesome to have. It was intutive to use, and the 7-inch screen made everything easy to see and understand. Another favorite feature was the backup camera. Our minivan has one, but this is like a backup camera on steroids. In addition to the fact that it displays on sizeable screen, rather than a couple of inches in my rear-view mirror, there’s also a grid that shows up when you put the car in reverse.

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The grid gives you a much better idea of distance from everything around you than the camera view alone. Because of this grid, we parked the car in almost the exact same spot on the driveway for the whole week, and I was able to get around our recycling bin without having to get out of the car to move it, even though it was directly in my path. It was also helpful for backing out of our driveway, because it gave me a wider range of view than just looking in my mirrors, or out the back window. It acted as an amazing safety and awareness feature.

Speaking of safety features, the CX-5 also comes with blind spot and lane awareness indicators. One of my worst mistakes as a driver, years ago, was changing lanes while someone was in my blind spot because I relied only on my mirrors. I almost ran us both off the road, and we were both left terrified. Since then, I never, ever change lanes without turning my head to look out the window to make sure noone is in my blind spot. So the blind spot monitor gave me so much more peace of mind that I expected. A light flashed yellow in the side mirrors anytime there was a car in our blind spot, and if I put on my indicator to change lanes, there was an audible beep to alert me.

The lane awareness feature is essentially a system that tells you how bad of a driver you are. I’m only sort of joking. The system makes a dull, annoying noise every time to start to veer out of your lane. It is automatically disabled when you turn on your indicators, as that implies you’re leaving your lane on purpose. But it snaps you to attention really quickly while you’re driving, especially when you have a toddler in the back seat who will add to the pressure by screaming “What’s that sound, Mommy?” The lane awareness feature can be disabled with the push of a button from inside the car, but I actually liked having it as a constant reminder to pay attention on the road.

The last feature I’ll go into detail about is the cruise control. Most of the cruise controls I’ve used are really simple. You can lock in a specific speed, then accelerate, decelerate, or turn it off entirely. That’s it. Well, the cruise control in the CX-5 is a bit more advanced. I can actually turn it on, then using a diagram that shows up in the dash display showing the car in front of me, I can actually tell the car how closely I want to follow said car. Then the car will speed up or slow down as necessary to keep that pace. That was the feature that really showed me how far car design has come and gave me a real-world look at how cars that drive themselves are possible.

If I had any complaints, it would be about the amount of interior space. I suspect that’s just because I’ve become so accustomed to our roomy minivan, but I do wish there was more back seat space. With Juliza’s convertible car seat in the back seat, the passenger front seat has to be moved pretty far forward to give her leg room. This made for some cramped seating quarter for my 6-foot-tall husband, which meant that if we all went out together, it was more comfortable for him to drive. Also, if we were still installing Juliza’s car seat in a rear-facing position, which is highly recommended for at least 2 years, it might make the passenger seat unusable. So that’s definitely something to consider if you have kids still in car seats.

The trunk space was great for a car this size, though, and there’s a built-in privacy screen to protect anything you put in the trunk from outside view. Plus, it comes with a full-size spare, which is a rarity these days.

Overall, on my own rating system, I give the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD 4.5 stars.

We honestly loved our time with it, and it has made me take a serious look at crossover vehicles, which I hadn’t even really considered when we first decided to start looking for a second car. That’s a definite win, and it’s going on our short list.

Baby Juliza is 2 and a half years old now. Old enough that I may have to stop referring to her as “baby” Juliza soon. You would think that sometime during that period, she would have learned how to sleep. As in all the way through the night. Not halfway. Not a quarter. But all the way. Don’t get me wrong. It happens sometimes. But not often enough that I can plan on it. So when Walmart asked me to share our morning routine, I was really, really hoping that I’d be starting the morning off in her room, after both of us had a happy, restful night’s sleep in our own beds.

Alas, we started the morning like this:

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Thanks to a 3am wake-up that would not be ignored, we woke up this morning with her slung across my chest. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy the cuddles while they last.

Juliza and I are still nursing, so each morning’s wake-up is usually accompanied by a quick (or sometimes not so quick) nursing session. We’re approaching the 3-year mark in our breastfeeding journey, and I admit that I’m hoping she’s over it by her birthday. But for now, I’m happy I can still provide an easy breakfast and comfort for her when she needs me.

After we nurse, our next stop is usually the bathroom, particularly if her overnight Pull-Up is still dry. We’re working on potty training, slowly (mostly because of my lack of consistency), so I do my best to get her to go in the standalone potty we got at Walmart. I found it to be more effective than a seat that goes on top of the toilet.

Next stop: A new Pull-Up, typically accompanied by Burt’s Bees ointment, Aveeno lotion and a change of clothes.

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Since we’re potty training, I’ve had to stay away from onesies that snap between the legs. They’re too hard to take off when I’m in a hurry to get her clothes off. I’ve had to switch instead to casual dresses or tops and shorts. We grabbed some new Garanimals separates from Walmart that are cute and comfortable enough to be worn all day, and inexpensive enough to take the beating I know Juliza will put on them.

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Case in point, it took her all of 30 minutes to spill something on her shirt.

Anyway, after we get dressed for the day, we head to the bathroom to brush our teeth together. We’re still using Orajel training toothpaste, which we find at Walmart, because Juliza still has a habit of sucking on her toothbrush before she starts brushing.

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And of course, she has to put it on the toothbrush herself. Because two-year-old.

Finally, we head downstairs to eat breakfast and start our day. Aside from not knowing whether Juliza will wake up in her own bed or in ours, our morning routine is relatively predictable every day. What happens after we head downstairs, though, is significantly less so. Because toddler.

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals via Mode Media. The following story is entirely my own and reflective of my actual experience.

As a parent, there is little that feels worse than being completely helpless when your child is hurting. And yet that is precisely the place my husband and I found ourselves in back in 2010 when our daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.

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The process began innocently enough. She had a cold that took a little too long to clear, and swollen lymph nodes that just wouldn’t go away. Her pediatrician told us to keep an eye on her, and bring her back if things didn’t look better in a week. In that week, she tripped over a baby gate, sprained her ankle and developed a swollen lymph node on — of all places — her head. A lymph node that an ER doctor told us was just a cosmetic problem we shouldn’t worry about.

But I knew my daughter, and I knew she didn’t seem like herself. She’d been sick for weeks, and I wanted to know what was wrong. So I took her back to her pediatrician, who asked to do some blood tests. Within minutes, she came back with words that scared me probably more than anything else ever has in my life — she thought my daughter might have leukemia. She didn’t even let us go home. She immediately called our nearest Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and had them send an ambulance to come get us.

When we arrived at the hospital— as ridiculous as this might sound — I immediately knew we were in the right place. The staff welcomed us and did their best to explain everything in terms we could understand with a care that made it clear they had done the same before with the families of countless other children. They had a team whose job was specifically to focus on the kids. Not their physical health, but their mental well-being. They came in to distract our daughter with games and movies and funny stories and puppets and toys. She was four, so she didn’t really understand what was going on, but the combination of the doctors and nurses hovering around her and what had to be frightened looks on her parents’ faces couldn’t have been easy to handle.

Once the doctors confirmed her diagnosis and admitted her, we were left to figure out life now that cancer had come calling. I can honestly say that if it were not for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, we would’ve had a much, much harder time with that.

Their entire mission is working with children and their families who are going through the worst times of their lives, and they are absolutely amazing at it.

My daughter was admitted to the oncology unit. The doctors took the time to explain everything to my husband and I in detail, but in words we could understand, and they answered every question we could come up with, no matter how many times we had to ask. They allowed us to control what information we exposed to our daughter so that she never heard or knew more than we wanted her to know.

They kept her mind occupied with movies, video games, toys and a playroom next door. They indulged when she wanted to ask her own questions and wanted to watch intently whenever they had to take her blood pressure or more blood or any of a variety of tests. They brought in retired greyhounds just to put a smile on the kids’ faces. Never mind the fact that my daughter isn’t smiling in the photo above. She was ecstatic!

More important than all those details, though, is the fact that they just made us feel like we could — like we WOULD — get through it and find our “new normal.”

And we did. Within a week of starting treatment, she went into remission, and six years later, she still has not relapsed. My family owes a debt of gratitude to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals that we will never be able to pay. My daughter is now a 10-year-old healthy competitive gymnast who spends every day making me thankful that I get the chance to be her mother.

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The very least I can do is to use my platform to tell the world how amazing they were for us and spread the word about what they need.

CMNHospitalslogo_color (1)Quite simply, what they need is us and our charity. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals works to raise funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. All told, they provide more than $3.5 billion in charitable care each year, including the purchase of life-saving equipment, research and all the intangibles that make children’s hospitals the type of places that offer magical care.

All of this means their need for donations is great. So please, put your money where the miracles are. Support your Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

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Breastfeeding is magical. OK. Maybe not magical. But there are quite a few perks, one of which is not having to make bottles of formula, and another of which is never having to take said bottles of formula with me when leaving the house. As a result, baby Juliza’s baby bag has always been free most feeding supplies. Of course, she’s a toddler now, and things have changed a bit. I wish I were at the stage when I didn’t have to carry a bag for her at all, but alas, toddler. So when Walmart asked me what’s in my bag, I thought I’d share all the things that help me keep my toddler happy.

The overview

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Our supply list honestly isn’t very long, but the things I do carry, we absolutely, positively need.

1. Diapers and wipes.

Juliza is a tough cookie. This seems to be especially true when it comes to potty training. I’m a toddler mom, so of course, I never get to go to the bathroom alone any more. So it’s not like she doesn’t have a good example of what to do, and when. She even has the words for it. But the child flat-out refuses to sit on toilet, or potty, or miniature toilet seat. She won’t do it. It turns into a battle of wits and full-on meltdown. So…I’m still carrying diapers around in my/her bag. Sigh. This phase will be over eventually. Huggies Little Movers is my favorite brand, and in my experience, I find the best price at Walmart.

Wipes are a toddler necessity whether they’re in diapers or not. Dirty faces, hands and well — elsewhere — will always need cleaning. I love the little wipes clutch from Huggies that’s shown in the photo. It’s cute, and it holds enough to last us a couple of outtings.

2. Snacks and drinks

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Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll be Juliza’s main food supply for the rest of her life. When we’re at home for most of the day, she’s all about mommy and her “titi.” But when we’re out and about, she will rarely nurse. But she WILL ask for snacks. And more snacks. And more snacks. So I’m very proactive about making sure we have a variety on hand. Among our favorites are Mott’s Medley fruit snacks and Goldfish crackers, both of which everyone else in the family eats too, so I have to work at keeping them stocked. Thankfully, they’re both really affordable at Walmart.

But in addition to edibles, I also have to carry drinkables, because she will ask for juice or water. On the occasions when I’ve forgotten her favorite spill-proof sippy cup, I’ve regretted it. I usually fill it with water or Motts for Tots juice, which contain less sugar than your average fruit juice, and take a second cup or bottle full as a backup.

Entertainment

I can’t believe I forgot to take a photo of this, but we MUST have some form of entertainment on hand, usually of the electronic variety. Juliza has a Kindle Kids, and we usually have it on hand. I just share my phone’s data with her when we’re on the road. Little Einsteins on Netflix has made many a road trip bearable, because my strong-willing little lady has only just started tolerating the car seat. The alternative is an old smartphone that no longer has service. I just let her play games on it.

There’s also an arsenal of toys in the car, just in case, but I don’t keep vary many in her bag. Just the occasional small stuffeed animal.

Change of clothes

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This is one that I rarely need, but I’ve made the mistake of not having it, only to regret. Definitely a case of “better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” So I’ve learned to keep a seasonally-appropriate change of clothes handy. It can be easy to forget what extra clothes you have in the bag if you rarely use it, but trust me — make sure it’s the right season and appropriate for the current weather.

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Right now, since Mother Nature can’t decide between spring and summer here in Georgia, that means a long-sleeved top and coordinating leggings. But with spring in swing and the weather warming, I’m preparing to switch out the outfit for something that’s warm-weather ready.

This cute Healthex outfit cost just $8.98, and it will be the perfect switch if (when) she ever messes up her clothes. It even comes with coordinating flip-flops, and she’s already obsessed with those.

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The best part about carrying all of this stuff is easy. Because I don’t have to actually carry it. Ja’Naya handed down a backpack that can hold everything, and Juliza is at the “I wanna do it” stage, so she is more than willing carry it herself.

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😉 Score 1 for mom!

So what about you, parents and caregivers. Does your toddler still require a “baby” bag? If so what are your essentials?

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.

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I’m a sucker for good design. What can I say? I love products that are functional, obviously, but if they can also serve up a good dose of form, I’m sold. Many baby products are heavy on function, but leave a lot to be desired in the design department. This is why I love Urbini. We having been using their Omni travel system since Juliza was an infant, and we still use the stroller to corral her on outings that will involve a lot of walking — or a lot of shopping. So when Walmart asked me to review the Urbini Turni travel system, I was excited to give another one of their products a try.

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The Turni system includes a Sonti infant car seat with a base, and a full-size stroller. Juliza is too big to sit comfortably in the car seat these days, but she was happy to pretend for the camera.

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You can see that her head is right at the top of the car seat because she’s so tall. Anyway, there are some features of the car seat that I really like. First, the base is easy to install with a seat belt or the LATCH belt system. It literally took a minute to get it strapped into our van. Compared to the pulling and tugging I had to do to install Juliza’s current convertible car seat, it was a breeze. And the car seat snaps in easily and slides out with the pull of a handle.

The seat itself is well padded and offers adjustable straps that can move as baby grows. It can accommodate baby up to 35 lbs. While Juliza hasn’t reached the weight limit yet, her height means that she’s definitely more comfortable in a bigger seat.

As such, the stroller is what I was really looking forward to trying. Our previous Omni system had a unique setup. The car seat and stroller seat snap into a free-standing frame separately. The Turni has a more traditional configuration, with the car seat, sans base, designed to sit on top of the stroller.

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Speaking of the stroller — I was not anticipating having to put it together. It came out of the box in several pieces, with the wheels and seat bar requiring installation.

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For the front wheels, that was really easy. They just snapped into place. The rear wheels were a bigger challenge, though. One wheel came attached to the axle with a place to attach the second. To do that, I had to first remove a washer and “hairpin” in place on the empty end of the axle, slip the wheel on, then replace the washer and hairpin. Removing the hairpin was a challenge, requiring a bit of elbow grease and coordination, but slipping the wheel and washer onto the axle was easy enough. The biggest problem, though, was replacing the hairpin. I fought with it for 15 minutes easy, and it slipped out of my hands a few times and flew across the room. Which meant I had to spend another 10 minutes on my hands and knees on the carpet trying to find it.

Finally, I slipped a flathead screwdriver through the middle to open it a bit before putting it on. That helped just enough to let me slide it into place grudgingly. I almost gave up, and my thumb was sore for a full day afterward from trying to install it. Not fun, and I hope that there’s a way to make this easier in the future. Once it was finally in place though, attaching the rear axle to the stroller was simple.

All of that aside, I really like this stroller. My little one can sit forward- or rear-facing, and making that switch is really easy. I just have to push a button at the top of the seat and slide it into the position I want. I LOVE this feature! No. Really. The reversible shade can work either way, and it is huge with a ton of coverage.

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Juliza was only too happy to try the new stroller, but she was a teensy tiny bit (read: very, very) mad that I took her out to try the rear-facing position.

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In spite of her unhappiness at being told what to do — because toddler — I really love the ease of switching seat positions and the fact that I can have her facing me in situations when she gets overwhelmed by the environment.

The only feature I really miss from the Omni stroller is the adjustable handle. My husband is quite a bit taller than I am, and my oldest daughter is shorter. We really miss not being to adjust the stroller handle to a more comfortable position for our varying needs.

Juliza found the height perfect, though, since pushing is her favorite way to use a stroller. SMH.

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Overall, the stroller is really easy to open and collapse, offers a comfortable and smooth ride, and has a cupholder for Juliza AND for me. That last detail matters. Trust me. The rear-facing seat can also lay all the way back and convert to a bassinet for small babies who are sleeping. The bassinet feature of the Omni system came in really handy for us when Juliza would fall asleep while we were out and about, so I can vouch for the usefulness of this faeture.

At $179, its an affordable travel system that offers great design, functionality and comfort. I’m really loving the Urbini aesthetic.

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.

My oldest daughter is a builder. She loves to take things apart and put them back together, or build things with pipe cleaners and tape, including huge elaborate blanket forts with multiple rooms, and doors and windows. I’m not exaggerating.

So when Walmart offered to send me a GoldieBlox play set, I knew she’d be overjoyed to play with a toy designed to encourage the part of her brain that loves to build. Plus, this feminist mama was only too happy to have her play with toys that were invented to empower girls.

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She chose the GoldieBlox Girl Inventor Zipline Action Figure, because zipline.

It took Ja’Naya all of 15 minutes to put the zipline carriage together, and another 5 to memorize the process so she could do it again (and again) without the help of the instructions. That can be explained by the fact that it is designed for kids ages 4 and up, so at 10, she was able to grasp it quickly and retain the information.

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The best part, of course, was letting the Goldie fly. And a week in, baby Juliza’s new favorite phrase is “Want dolly fly!”

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My two girls have been having so much finding different places to anchor the zipline at different levels of slackness and different inclines, and they’ve even tried to make Goldie land in baskets and bags when she reaches the end of the line. The line has suction cups at the ends, and they’ll stick to glass and metal, but it can also be tied off to an anchor point if necessary.

It’s hard to capture a photo of the action, so here’s a very quick video of Goldie doing her thing:

Ja’Naya has grown a little bored with the build process because it is relatively simple, but she has asked for more GoldieBlox toys so she can build her collection of parts, allowing her to use her imagination to create whatever she wants. She tried making other stuff from the parts included in this set, but there aren’t very many, so there wasn’t much she could make.

Thankfully, Walmart does have other GoldieBlox sets, including a Builder’s Survival Kit with a ton of parts that can be mixed and matched. So on Christmas morning, Ja’Naya will find another GoldieBlox set from Santa under the tree, and we’ll add to it throughout the year.

And because I’d be remiss if I didn’t say: The age recommendations on these sets are there for a reason. Many of the parts are really small, and while Juliza didn’t attempt to put any in her mouth, she could’ve easily swallowed some of them if she had tried. She did, however, manage to scatter the parts all over the house, and it took us 30 minutes of hunting to find all the little pieces. The next thing we need to find is a box to contain all the pieces.

But we are now huge fans of GoldieBlox, and any kid who is a maker will love them too.

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.