Our friends at Melissa & Doug are hosting a fabulous 20 Days of Terrific Twenty giveaway promotion on their Facebook page. Each day they will be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list which compiles the best of the best holiday gift ideas of the 2012 holiday season, to at least one lucky Facebook fan who could be YOU!

As a Mom and Special Needs Mom Blogger I love the toys from Melissa and Doug. They are the number one manufacturer of quality Kids Wood Puzzles, Floor Puzzles, Toy Food, and Educational Toys in the country, and are trusted by all moms, therapists and kids.

Their products last and allow our children to use imaginary play to create, learn and play together.

I also like that some of their toys get evaluated by National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world accessible to children of all abilities.

I have to share just a snapshot of our stash of Melissa and Doug Toys, take a peek.  Believe me we have more we just love Melissa and Doug.

 

Entering is easy!

Simply visit the Melissa & Doug Facebook page enter to win a gift every day from the Terrific Twenty list.

Buy It
To purchase any of the 2012 Terrific Twenty holiday toys, as well as any of the many other amazing products available, visit the Melissa & Doug website directly.

Win It
In celebration of this terrific promotion, Melissa & Doug have generously offered 1 lucky SpecialMoms reader a cuddly Beeposh Elvis Lion Stuffed Animal, which is one of gifts featured on the 2012 Terrific Twenty list!

Do you have a child that would like to give this cuddly Elvis Tiger a new home?

If so, enter on the Rafflecopter below and you could be my lucky winner. For even more chances at winning gifts from the Terrific Twenty list, enter at http://www.facebook.com/MelissaAndDoug — they are giving away a gift every day!

Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Melissa & Doug are providing the prize for this giveaway and will also be providing me with a 2012 Terrific Twenty Holiday Toy.

 

 

Featuring SpecialMoms – Want To Share Your Story?

special needs mom

Want To Be Our Featured SpecialMom?

Are you a mother of a special needs child, who wants to share an inspiring story? Whether it be about your child, your experience of being a mother of a special needs child or maybe you are an entrepreneur and you want to share how you juggle being a mother and business owner. Let’s share!

Sharing your story may inspire or motivate others. It may help them to reach for their dreams of running a business from home, or it may help to build awareness or an understanding of how difficult yet rewarding it can be for a family that has a child with a disability. This may promote compassion and maybe even some tolerance for people with disabilities.

Support * Inspire * Share that’s what SpecialMoms Entrepreneur Club is all about.

Whatever your story is, you never know how your story can touch or help someone else.

If you want to be one of our “Featured SpecialMoms, please fill out this form Featured SpecialMoms Form and email it back with a picture (if you want) to specialmompreneurs@gmail.com. We will post your story on our website and share it on our Facebook page, Pinterest and Twitter.

This is your moment to SHINE!

Sleeping Techniques for You and Your Baby
Guest Post: Wendy Marie Desdeliah is a yoga-loving, dedicated mother. She is also a contributing author at Home Equity Loan.

Getting a baby to go to sleep can sometimes be very difficult, because it is up to the parents to get the baby to go to sleep. But there are many different ways to make the process easier.

Introducing Your Child to Their School With a Student Snapshot

Beginning a new school year can be overwhelming to any child and their parents, but if your child has special needs it’s even more nerve wracking.

As the expert on your child, you as the parent or caregiver have valuable information that needs to be shared with the school community.  Who is the school community; these are people that interact with your child during the school day, besides their IEP team, it may include office workers, nurse, playground assistants, aides, teachers, bus drivers, or cafeteria aides you want them to know more about your child in order to assist them during their school day.

This is where a “Student Snapshot” can come in handy.  If the only information people have about your child is a special education label, they may make their own assumptions about your child that may be inaccurate.  Let’s say your child is on the playground and the aide, keeps calling your child to come in but your child doesn’t respond.  The aide may get frustrated with your child, not realizing your child has a hearing impairment.

This is where the “Student Snapshot” is perfect; it’s a simple, quick, concise way for you to share information quickly and accurately without long emails, missed phone calls or relying on others to relay the information.  This one page snapshot is more likely to be read and remembered.  Click for  Student Snapshot

Tips:

  • Keep it simple, like 5 bullets
  • Keep it short (one side)
  • Bulleted lists are easier to read
  • Avoid medical terminology since some people may not understand that important detail (layman’s terms)
  • Prioritize – just a few of the most important considerations that all staff should be aware of don’t duplicate the IEP.
  • Personalize it – put a photo on it so people can recognize your child
  • Decide who will need a copy of the “Snapshot”
  • Distribute it at a back to school night event, IEP annual conference and make sure to give a copy if any of these personnel change

 

How did you introduce your child to their school, teachers, students, etc?

mommy bloggers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This will be my first time attending the Bloggy Mom Conference in September and I can’t wait. Whether you are a first time blogger or a seasoned blogger I hear this is the place to be.

Bloggy Conference, presented by Bloggy Moms, is an event suited for those in social media who want to connect with their peers in a community setting while further developing their presence and brand. Designed for the beginning blogger as well as the seasoned blogger at Bloggy Conference you can network with others in your niche while honing your skill and authentic self.

Bloggy Conference was created to enable the members of the blogosphere to attend a conference where family can come along and enjoy the trip as much as conference attendees. Attendees will walk away from Bloggy Conference with a better sense of authentic self, community, education and direction.

There is such a wonderful lineup of speakers, you can click here to see who will be there.

What a great place to network with other moms and find women in your niche that you can network with, create relationship with and enjoy each others company.

Come join me at Bloggy Con!  And because I really hope to see you there, you can take advantage of this wonderful offer for SpecialMoms, just type in “marla” (lowercase) as the promo code :

 


Look forward to seeing you in September!


BabbaCo has introduced the BabbaBox! It’s a monthly interactive subscription box that is delivered right to your home with ALL the physical materials plus easy-to-use content to help you create activities to engage with your kids.  The monthly box is based off of a theme.  So each month you will have a new activity to create, story to read and theme to explore that your kids will love! These boxes are targeted for are 3 – 6 year olds!

So what’s Inside? There are 4 major components that are included:

  • Create: 2-3 projects kids can do with their hands
  • Explore: Activities to engage with the world and nature
  • Story Tell: Books and stories for their imagination
  • Connect Digitally: Interactively learn with BabbaCo approved downloads

Here are the details:  You can sign up for 1 single BabbaBox, a 3 month subscription or a FULL year (great idea for Christmas Presents if the grandparents are looking for ideas!)  Then a themed BabbaBox is shipped right to your doorstep for your children to enjoy!  That’s right…to your doorstep!  No more getting a great idea and then having to drag your kids to the store to purchase the items, and to get home and they are no longer interested in doing the activity.

I was very fortunate to have been asked to review this wonderful product.  We received the Sun, Moon & Stars Box:

The box was filled with the necessary supplies and direction for your children to create their very own glowing nightlight moon and constellation frame.

 

MAKE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN TO SEE A SPECIAL OFFER JUST FOR SPECIALMOMS!

 

With the BabbaBox there is a lot of thought that goes into each activity because of the team of individuals that create the box each month.  As you can see these are the skills that your child will utilize when creating each activity:

With the explore activity my son was able to use his very own binoculars to explore the world outside and he especially loved to explore things inside.

I absolutely loved the book that was enclosed about “Twinkle Star Of The Week” by Joan Holub.  It was such a wonderful story about sharing, helping and wishing on a star.  It was perfect timing as I have been getting my little guy in the right mindset to start getting ready for school.  Talking about his teachers and his new friends he’ll meet.

Join Twinkle on her journey to discover her special talent when it’s her turn to be the Star of the Week at school.

There was even a little gift inside for the moms and dads as a way to say thank you for joining and for giving their children a wonderful gift of learning.  Look at this beautiful star wine stopper:

This is such a wonderful product and such a fantastic idea for an educational activity for your children or even for a gift.  The idea of having a new activity delivered right to your door every month will even excite your children.  Here is Jacob receiving his box: So here comes the fun part, I have a been given the opportunity to share this wonderful product with you all, and have a unique offer for the SpecialMoms Entrepreneur Club members

Get the BabbaBox: A new, all-in-one activity box for kids. Save 20% off your first box! Use code:MM20OFF when you checkout!

Please Note: I received a product sample for review purpose. No other compensation was received. Views expressed are always 100% my own.

3 Easy Steps to Managing Your Social Media

social media

social media

Managing your business, your family and your social media can be tricky, but here are 3 easy steps to consider to “be social.”

3 Tweets

Set up 3 tweet updates to go out during high traffic times.  Those times are usually 9am, 12pm, and 5pm when people are usually checking their Twitter account.

You can schedule these tweets using programs like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Twitterfeed.

 

2 Facebook Updates

Post consistently and throughout the day.  You don’t want to over post and become annoying or a spammer, but you want to make sure that your audience sees your posts.  You can manage this with scheduled posts by using Hootsuite or PostPlanner.

Keep your posts interesting with photos, links, a call to action message.  Varying up different multimedia content for your Facebook posts will keep your audience engaged.

 

1 Blog Post

Are you an impulsive blogger or do you plan your blogs posts?  You need to “blog smarter”  by planning your next week’s blogs by Darren Rowse, ProBlogger.

I know that people have a hard time blogging because they can’t always think of things to write about.  But there are different options to find great content:

  • Private Label Rights Articles (PLR) are a fantastic way to add new content to your website or blog and fill up your newsletter or autoresponder.
  • Hire Ghostwriters
  • Request “Guest Blog Posts”

 

To keep these posts organized it’s best you create a blog calendar.  I know a lot of people that use excel spreadsheets or Google Docs to coordinate your blog schedule.
Make sure to always use a “share” button at the end of your blog posts so your content can be shared.  You can see mine a the bottom of this post.
Create an RSS with like Feedburner, so people will be notified when you have uploaded a new blog post.

 

 

Parenting Tips On How To Inspire Greatness in Children

parenting

Guest Post: by Sharon Gress, she is a contributing author at homeinsurance.org.

Part of being a good parent is recognizing challenges and facing them head on.  You don’t have to get bogged down in guilt or self-doubt.  There are many ways to inspire your children towards goodness.

“You must nurture the ability
to care about others in
their early years.”

Self-Compassion  

By admitting to our own weakness and fears, we teach our children not to fear a challenge.   parenting After all, they are little sponges that learn by example.  This does not mean that everything that we do or say will require an excuse.  When we make a mistake, we should be able to admit it openly without any fear of ridicule or finger-pointing.  People are not perfect, and everyone inevitably makes mistakes.  By surrounding ourselves with loving, compassionate and honest people you will teach your children a valuable lesson:  an open heart and a non-judgmental mind leads to a beautiful, compassionate person.

Be A Parent
Children need the benefit of parents who will truly parent them rather than trying to be their best friends.  We all know how difficult that it is to hear a child talk back to their parents, especially during the tween and teen years — parents must command a certain amount of respect, and this is impossible when the child thinks of the parent as his or her friend.  That being said,