Feb 25, 2019

I usually avoid talking about religion, but the phrase "Children are a gift from God" has been eating away at me for a while now and I felt the urge to share my thoughts.

My Religious Background

First, a little background about me, I was raised Catholic, was even confirmed and had a Catholic wedding. It wasn't until we were struggling with fertility that I began looking for a new church as the Catholic church didn't fit my beliefs. I mostly went with it because that's what I thought my parent's wanted and I didn't want to upset them.

However, I realized that I was an adult now and no longer in their control, so I started looking for religions that fit my beliefs, and that's how I became Lutheran. My daughter was even baptized Lutheran.

There are, of course, still things I don't agree with, but it's a much better fit and I love the community of the church I attend. I don't think there is a religion out there that will ever fit my beliefs 100%, so I feel this is as close as I am going to get.

My Main Problem With God

A lot of religions and religious people believe that God interferes with our lives and gives us things (children) or cures us (disease, cancer). 

This never sat well with me because it seems very sadistic for God to deem one baby with whooping cough worth saving while letting another die because "God needed another angel," or to cure one woman with breast cancer, while another one dies because "it was her time."

So I believe God actually doesn't interfere with our world. 

Children Are Not A Gift From God

What does this have to do with children? Well, if children were really a gift from God, then God wouldn't give abusive people children. If children were a gift from God, why does the perfectly happy, in love, smart, and kind couple, who has been trying for 10 years not have a child, but the one night stand couple who wasn't even trying has a perfectly healthy baby?

The common answer "It's God's will," or "It's all part of God's plan."

To me, this is a very sadistic God and I would prefer to believe in a kinder, loving, more accepting God. Not one who is cruel and plays these kinds of pick and choose games. I don't want a God who thinks a child deserves an abusive home because it's part of some "bigger plan." I don't want a God who thinks a perfectly loving couple doesn't deserve children, while the reckless teenager was "blessed" with twins because "he wills it." I don't want a God who picks and chooses who lives or dies. I don't want that sadistic God.

Now, to be honest, I used to think children were a gift from God. I thought my daughter was a gift because I had PCOS and was told it may not happen naturally or at all for us. I turned to prayer and I prayed for a baby girl, and in the end, we got our daughter, naturally. She was a beautiful, healthy, baby girl. It was easy at that moment to believe she was "Heaven sent." 

But I don't see it that way anymore, especially after hearing from other couples who had to try for years, who have done multiple IVFs, and these are couples who would be amazing parents! Yet, I have seen plenty of terrible parents have children. You see them all the time on the news, the ones that kill their children, rape them, beat them, etc. So no, I can't see children as a gift from God, because I don't believe God would ever give an abusive person a child if he had a choice. 

So now I see it as luck. We got lucky. We are so incredibly lucky to have our daughter. God had no part. The odds were just in our favor. I ovulated at just the right time, the sperm was just fast enough, etc. It was pure coincidence that it happened when I decided to start going to church again and started praying again.

I am very pro-science, so it was easy for me to remove God and see things from a statistical or chance point of view. However, I'm not comfortable with believing we live only to die and become dirt. I still like to believe there is life after death. I just believe that it's a separate world or realm. I believe that God plays no part in this world. He may watch us, but I don't believe he has any control over how we live our lives. After all, he gave us "free will."  

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Feb 13, 2019

Disclosure: Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.

A lot of these items are great to have even if you aren't a parent, but you will appreciate them more after you have kids as they make meal prep so much easier and quicker.

1. Blender or Food Processor

We have both, but we used our blender a lot more when it came to making our own baby food as we started with purees. You can find tips and recipes for making your own baby food in this post I wrote a while back.

Even if you plan on baby led weaning, I still recommend having one of these around, maybe the processor more so than the blender as it would be great for chopping up veggies, nuts, and other hard foods.

2. Apple Slicer

Our toddler loves apples and having an apple slicer is so much easier and quicker than trying to cut an apple with a knife.

3. Vegetable Peeler

This should probably just be in everyone's kitchen, but if you don't have one, now is a great time to get one! We use our peeler mostly for carrots and potatoes.

5. Ice Cube Trays

Ice cube trays are great for freezing pureed baby food so you can make big batches. Later, you can use them to make mini popsicles. If you don't have an ice maker, these are great for ice cubes, which will come in handy for teething or any bumps and bruises.

We prefer silicone ones as they are easier to pop out than plastic.

6. Paring Knife

A toddler's food needs to be cut into small bite size pieces to help prevent choking, so having a few paring knives around definitely comes in handy.

7. Steamer

We have a rice cooker that has a built-in steamer. It's great for steaming vegetables, like carrots and broccoli, so they are softer and easier for your toddler to eat. You can also puree the soft veggies for your baby.

Instant pots also have a built-in steam function, but if you don't have either of these appliances, you can buy a steamer for less than $30 on Amazon.

You can find most of these items in my Amazon Shop!

Feb 4, 2019

Disclosure: This giveaway is Sponsored by Motif Medical and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook, Participating bloggers, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any social media outlet including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook.com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

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The Motif Twist Breast Pump is a lightweight and simple to use – supporting busy moms who need to pump on the go.The Motif Twist Breast Pump is a lightweight and simple to use – supporting busy moms who need to pump on the go.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received the products from LotFancy for free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.

Sand Toys as Snow Toys

We live in Minnesota, so we tend to get a lot of snow in the winter. Our 2-year-old daughter, Little Moon, is a huge fan of playing outside, despite the cold, and sand or beach toys are perfect for playing with snow!

Little Moon is a huge fan of the LotFancy sand toys, especially the trucks. The trucks are made from 100% recycled plastic TPE, which is super soft and bendy, and BPA free! They are also dishwasher safe, how cool is that?

The plastic bucket set is made of a harder plastic, but is BPA free, so safe to play with! Our daughter loved filling it with snow and she uses it to carry around her smaller toys as well.

Besides being great for playing in the sand and snow, you could also bring them into the bathtub or just play with them indoors. Our daughter likes to fill the bucket and dump truck with her legos and letter magnets and dump them out. She also just likes to push the trucks around going "vroom vroom." They are a great stem toy for a toddler!

The beach toys seem pretty sturdy and have already survived a few weeks with no damage, so I think they will hold up for a long time. You can find LotFancy toys on Amazon.

Other LotFancy Products

LotFancy also sent us a couple more toys and a hairbrush set to try and review. We loved them as well!

1) LotFancy's Jumbo Nuts and Bolts

The toy is rated for ages 3 and up, but our 2-year-old still loves to play with them. She hasn't quite figured out how to screw the nuts onto the bolts on her own, but she loves to twist them! It's a great toy for practicing fine motor skills. I highly recommend it. You can find the LotFancy Jumbo Nuts and Bolts set on Amazon.

2) LotFancy Musical Entertainment Toy

Our daughter absolutely loved this toy! I was impressed with how many songs the LotFancy Musical Toy played. I was expecting it to only have animal sounds, put when you push the person, it plays a song. There are multiple songs it cycles through as well. It plays a total of 12 melodies!

The music toy also has a carry handle, which is awesome as our daughter likes to carry it around with her. It also came with batteries, so I didn't have to do anything, but remove it from the box and turn it on. 

The only tiny annoying thing is that the toy doesn't automatically shut off on its own after a certain amount of time. There is an on/off switch and if you leave it on, it will play a little sound every minute or so reminding you that the toy is still on until you shut it off. But it has an off switch, so I still recommend this one over other sound toys. Plus our daughter seems to love this music toy the most out of all the other ones she has!

3) LotFancy 3 Piece Hair Brush Set

I just love this brush set. The handles of hairbrush are made of 100% natural beech wood, which doesn't only look beautiful but is also eco-friendly. The wood is also water resistant, so it's totally safe to wash these brushes!

The bristles of the goat hair brush (middle brush in the photo above) are made of 100% natural goat hair, which is super soft!

These are definitely high-quality brushes and I totally recommend them. I'm thinking this will be my go-to gift now for baby showers. You can find this stunning set on Amazon.


You can find more LotFancy Products on Amazon.

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