Catching up after a stomach bug

Baby J and I are finally home. We were house sitting/baby sitting several days for friends that had a family emergency out of town. All of us ended up coming down with a bug. Based on the symptoms, I’m assuming it was a strain of norovirus. I had another couple helping me on and off, until they became ill as well. It was a rough, messy couple of days but over quickly, fortunately.

Now it’s time to catch up… on everything! Laundry, cleaning, blogging, etc. I have cookies in the oven right now, and I think the rest of today is just going to be a chill day for Baby J and I, but I’ll still try to get a little done too. Oh, and I have a respiratory thing going on now too. It’s just that time of year, right?

How has your weekend gone?

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Review: Gummy Cuties Echinacea + Vitamin C and Zinc

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I’m a strong believer in the abilities of Echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc to boost your immune system before and during a cold. For years now, I’ve reached for the three when I’ve felt a cold coming on. Except for the very occasional strong bug, I rarely get sick, and if I do, I usually recover very quickly.

There are other factors, of course, but I do believe taking vitamins helps. Some people may disagree with me, but there is plenty of research showing that zinc does shorten the duration of a cold and reduce symptoms (if taken immediately). If taken in safe dosages, it’s certainly not going to be harmful, so why not?

When given the chance to review a bottle of Natural Dynamix’ Gummy Cuties vitamins, I immediately chose the Echinacea + Vitamin C and Zinc blend. They also have a multi-vitamin, an Omega-3 DHA/EPA, and a Calcium + Vitamin D blend.

 photo GummyCuties_zps6bb9e3c2.jpgI was tempted by the DHA vitamins, but figured that this time of year, the vitamins with zinc would be most beneficial for Baby J. When the bottle arrived it said these vitamins are for ages 4 and up, so I was a little disappointed. Most of the kids vitamins I’ve seen (all, until now, actually) are for ages 2 and up. I thought about giving these vitamins to Baby J anyway, because I think he could chew them fine, but then I realized the dosage might be designed for older children. So I’ve been eating them!

Here’s the nutritional info and the ingredients:

% Daily Value
Calories 15
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1%
Sugars 3 g **
Vitamin A 3334 IU 67%
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) 80 mg 133%
Vitamin E (as Vitamin E Acetate) 20 IU 17%
Zinc (as Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate) 2.5 mg **
Echinacea (Echinacea Purpea) serial parts 1-4 extract 12.5 mg **

*Percent Daily Values are based upon a 2,000 calorie diet
**Daily Value Not Established 
Ingredients: Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Gelatin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Colors Added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Tumeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors, Fractioned Coconut Oil, beeswax

I was curious about the use of glucose syrup, so I did some research. In order to have the “gummy” texture, only certain types of sweeteners or sugars can be used. Natural Dynamix maintains they only use “real” sugar and no artificial sweeteners in their products. They do not use high fructose corn syrup. You can read more about their decision to use glucose syrup HERE. I know people fuss over sugar used in vitamins, but my toddler isn’t going to eat vitamins that aren’t sweetened. Vitamins don’t exactly taste good on their own. I’ve never been a fan of swallowing pills (terrible gag reflex), so I’d rather eat gummies. Also, our diets are already very low in sugar and processed foods, so I don’t have any problems with 3 grams of sugar in a daily serving.

By the way, these vitamins are Made in the USA and (according to the manufacturer) free of yeast, wheat, milk or dairy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, shell-fish, gluten, artificial colors and flavors, salicylates, and preservatives.

I was happy to see that Natural Dynamix uses naturally derived things like carrot juice, tumeric, and annatto instead of artificial food coloring. A bottle retails for $14.99 and contains 30 servings (60 gummies).

So how do they taste? They definitely still have a “vitamin” taste to them, but the sugar makes them not too bad…I’d say more than bearable. I wouldn’t snack on them like candy, but they’re quite tasty for vitamins with a sweet and sour flavor.

Visit the Natural Dynamix website to see their Gummy Cuties, as well as adult vitamins and sports nutrition.

Note: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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A Family Outing: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World

Have you noticed the stores are already rolling out the Halloween supplies? It’s not even October yet! I’m wondering if poor Thanksgiving is even going to have a chance this year, or if they’ll start putting Christmas stuff out next month.

I’ve been to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party several times with friends, but this was my first opportunity to take Baby J. We had so much fun! The only thing that would’ve made this experience better was if Hubby could’ve been there. That’s the life of a military family, though. =D My mother-in-law was with Baby J and me, so it was still a family outing.

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The “party” is held on select nights at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida. The park closes for regular guests at 7pm, and partygoers with special tickets are allowed in from 7pm until midnight. You can actually arrive a little earlier. We parked at around 6:15, took the tram and then the monorail. I think we got on our first ride (The Pirates of the Caribbean) at 6:50.

There are a few reasons why I like going to the party: it’s cooler in the evening, the lines aren’t as long, and tickets are cheaper. I think the longest we waited for any ride was 15 minutes. Of course, it’s only September. As it gets closer to Halloween, the parties will get busier. Regular tickets to Magic Kingdom are $95 right now but only $59 for the party. As far as I could tell, all the rides are still open, but some of the restaurants are closed.

It’s neat to see families dress-up in costumes together. That’s something I have yet to do. I would recommend that you be practical with your costume choice. Even though it’s evening and a little cooler than daytime, it was still in the upper 80s. I saw people walking around with thick stockings, long sleeves, and boots as part of their costumes. I also noticed quite a few sky-high heels. Personally, I think an uncomfortable costume choice would put a damper on my experience.

I flip flopped for a while on whether or not to bring the stroller. I was considering just using our mei tai. I ended up bringing the stroller and our SUPPORi sling for standing in lines. The sling worked perfectly! I think the mei tai would’ve taken too long to get Baby J in and out for each ride. The lines were moving quite quickly.

As far as strollers, there are some important things to note. You have to leave your stroller outside of the rides. There are designated areas for strollers. If you leave yours outside of a designated area, more than likely a staff member will move it (I witnessed this). Even in the designated area, your stroller may get moved by staff organizing the area. Just be prepared for that, and don’t freak out if your stroller isn’t where you left it. If you have a common stroller, I’d put something on it like a bandana, so it’s easier to recognize.

Here are some photos from our night:
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