My sister just had her first baby and that makes me an AUNTIE. I wear my title with so much pride and this precious little girl is my niece, Lily.

Lily 2Do you remember how frightening it is to be sent home from the hospital with a brand new baby though? Exciting, but very scary at the same time.

If you have kids, you know just how stressful being a new parent can be. All of it is unknown. Even if you’ve been around babies or worked in a daycare, there is so much more to parenting. There is also so much that you feel that should just come natural, but oh, so much, does not. Like, when you have changed them, they have eaten and you just have no idea why they won’t stop crying? And you have no idea how to get them to stop?!

Once again, the amazing experts over at Children’s Hospital Colorado are back on December 16th with a fabulous Just Ask Children’s BABIES 101 Q&A from 9 am – 4 pm MST. They will answer all of your questions live right here. Topics will cover a wide range of Babies 101 and the following:

Infant Sleep Safety

Babies should sleep alone in a bed made for babies, not with another child or an adult. Babies should always sleep on their back. Propping babies on pillows is high risk; lay them flat on the back.

How to Calm a Crying Baby

Comforting a crying baby at night by patting, rocking, and quietly reassuring them to let them know that you are there are helpful strategies for getting babies to go back to sleep on their own. Never shake a crying baby. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a leading cause of trauma death for children under the age of two in Colorado.

Sleep Issues

Children using or watching electronics should turn them off at least one hour before bedtime. Put your baby to bed when drowsy but still awake to help him or her learn to fall asleep on her own. Wait a few minutes before responding to your baby’s fussing to see if he/she can fall back to sleep on his/her own.


Guidelines for safe storage including the following tips and much more: Freshly expressed milk can remain at room temperature for up to 4 hours and refrigerated milk must be used within 24 hours. Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30% reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants.


The vaccination schedule is evaluated each year based on the most recent scientific data available and is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Not immunizing children puts them at risk to catch a disease that is dangerous or deadly. They will discuss whooping cough, hepatitis B, the flu shot among other immunizations.

Be sure to check out their live Online Q&A, December 16th, from 9 am – 4 pm MST, where their experts will be answering your and other parents’ questions about your baby.

Follow Children’s Hospital Colorado and learn more about Just Ask Children’s:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Children’s Hospital Colorado. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Keeping Duke happy

by Jill Bender on December 12, 2014

I literally need to buy stock in bully sticks.

Yeah, so, having a puppy around the house is A LOT more work than I anticipated. Having an 80 lb 8 month old puppy is even more work. icon smile Duke is messy. Like, messier than a toddler, messy. He is happy. He is FULL of energy and I can barely keep up with him.

I can walk him, I can run him four miles and when we get home he runs in circles around the yard. He is tireless. And he exhausts me. When I have a deadline, or a homework assignment and he is raring to play he’ll sit at my feet and stare at me. And give me those eyes……… Ugh.

Duke puppy faceThe only thing that saves MY sanity is a bully stick.  A bully stick calms him and keeps him busy for about an hour. But I can’t stand the smell of bully stick breath so I searched and found*!

They have bully sticks that are odor free and with no chemicals. They’re also made in the USA.

What I love most is that also has different sizes and shapes. So, we obviously have to get the big ones for our “puppy”, but if you have a smaller dog then you’d want the smaller ones.

They also carry elk antlers. I am telling you, when we are out of bully sticks (and we go through them so fast) that I’ll hand Duke his elk antler and he’ll chew on that for a while. Pretty sure that thing is going to last a year. Yay!! also has a Holiday Box. *The perfect Christmas gift* for Duke. OR me. Maybe it’s for me and my own sanity. Anyway, check them out they just might be what you need. And they have autoship which is exactly what I need because we run out waaaaay to often.

Great selection of Natural Dog Treats and Chews at affordable prices –!

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*If you click on any of the links in this post I will receive a small commission that helps with the costs of running this site. Clicking on these links does not increase the price for you. You pay the same whether you use my link or go direct, but I sure do appreciate the help.

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Sometimes the simple things are worth more than even the most expensive of gifts.

December 11, 2014

I originally posted this January 7, 2014 and considering where we’re at with Christmas, I think it is a good time to repost and it is a very good reminder of what really matters. Sometimes my boys just rip my heart wide open with pride and my 17 year old did it today. He just […]

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Newest grocery coupons

December 11, 2014

COUPONS.COM $0.40 off 2 Pillsbury™ or Grands!™ Crescent Rolls $0.75 off any three boxes Helper™ Skillet Dishes $7.00 off TWO (2) Zantac 75 30 ct. or Zantac $6.00 off ONE (1) Zantac 65 count or larger $2.00 off ONE Vidal Sassoon Hair Color $2.00 off (1) RING RELIEF ear drops SAVING STAR Replace a lost […]

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How to Make Melted Peppermint Ornaments

December 10, 2014

Have you seen those cute melted peppermint ornaments on pinterest? I thought they were super easy and put together the directions on my NEW blog House of Jill.

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Holiday Chex Mix Recipes

December 9, 2014

You LOVE Chex mix, right? So do we. Easy. Quick. Crowd Pleasing. Chex Party Mix. Here are my two very favorite Chex mix recipes. Click on the photo to take you to the recipe.  

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Cool Christmas gifts for boys (or girls) PLUS $2,000 in gift cards for Bass Pro Shops!!

December 8, 2014

  #CollectiveBias, #ItsADaisy Family bonding time during the holidays is especially important because everyone is going ten different directions trying to make sure that all items on the three separate to-do lists are getting handled. As a single parent, this task multiplies. But this year, while brainstorming for cool Christmas gifts for my 11 year […]

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Why we will use CarMax to find our next Nissan

December 4, 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CarMax. All opinions are 100% mine. CarMax will be our go-to car dealer for our next used car. I don’t know about you, but the process of car buying is one of my least favorite things. Ever. Unfortunately, my middle son is going to […]

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Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Swag Giveaway!

December 4, 2014

When I was asked if I wanted to see an early premiere of Mockingjay Part 1, I said “YES”. And when I was asked if I would like to then host a giveaway for Mockingjay Part 1 swag, I said “yes, of course!”. Have you seen the movie yet? We thought it was AWESOME. We […]

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A Clean House + Clean House Giveaway (Denver metro)!!

December 1, 2014

Update: This giveaway is closed. Winner is comment #6, Lori Lavendar Luz. Thank you to all who entered. Is there anything better than a clean house? I am hard pressed to find something that is. Well, CottageCare wants to take care of that for you. They contacted me and offered to clean my house AND […]

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