McKinney Mommas: January 2015 Google+

Friday, January 30, 2015

Do I Have The Right Health Insurance For My Family?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, however my opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by the company.

Health Care is a topic most of us just don't want to think about, right?

Deductibles, Affordable Care Act (ACA), premiums, co-pay, insurance adjusted rates, all send me to my "anxious place."

But, it's so important, to try and get past the anxiety and secure the right insurance for your family. Especially, if you want to be sure your children and self stay healthy and avoid going into debt if (knock on wood) anyone has any major illness.

Don't you think this sweet little face deserves affordable health insurance? - my third little girl "The Bookend"

Figuring out how to find the most affordable health insurance that works for your family is worth a little time and effort, don't you think? 

After all, over 80% of health insurance exchange applicants last year saved $250 or more per month on their health insurance! 

"Do I Have The Right Health Insurance For My Family"?

Step 1. Educate yourself about the recent changes in Health Care Reform so you can make a smart decision about your coverage

Did you know?
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has raised the income limits for Medicaid in some states, so where you may not have been eligible previously, you may be eligible now. 

Step 2. See what open enrollment is all about and why it matters to you.

Did you know?
- You can visit UnitedHealthcare to find an affordable plan during open enrollment (Nov 15 - Feb 15)

Watch this video to find out tips on comparing health plans during open enrollment!

Step 3.  Figure out what type of coverage is right for your family, and shop for the best health care for your family's needs.

Did you know?
- Typically, you can only change insurance if there is a "major life event" or it's open enrollment (which it currently is).

Watch these helpful (and funny) short videos for more information on: 

Now, don't you feel a little more informed and armed with the right strategy on choosing the right health plan for your family? I do.

Don't worry, you aren't the only one who still might be lost on some of the confusing insurance terms.  Just watch these people on the street try to explain some common insurance terms - you just might learn something new!

Now that you've gotten your TV quota in for the day, I think I can dub you an official INSURANCE EXPERT. Well, maybe at least a more educated consumer anyway, right?!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment and the ins and outs of health insurance, brought to you by UnitedHealthcare and McKinney Mommas! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On The Go in 2015 - #Giveaway by Green Scene Mom

Mom?  Grandma? Dad?  Uncle? If you are any of these, this giveaway is for you. A whole lot of awesome baby and kid stuff that is perfect for traveling! 

All moms understand that it's really hard to travel with kids, even if only going to the park or the store. Here are some great products to make getting out of the house a little easier, whether it's just for an afternoon or for a whole weekend. We are excited to bring you this awesome giveaway in collaboration with Green Scene Mom!
Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway

Make taking kids on the go a little easier, and definitely more fun!

Wally Inflatable Bed Rail, from The Shrunks giveaway
The Shrunks Wally Inflatable Bed Rail - $25
At The Shrunks, we believe that kids are cool. Creating stuff that makes bedtime fun and safe for them, wherever they are, is what we love to do. Keep your child safe from rolling off the bed with The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail! Its slim design allows the bed rail to slip conveniently under any fitted standard sized twin, queen or king size bed sheet. Each package comes with a bed rail, foot pump, and a carrying bag for easy transport to all of your destinations. Recommended for kids 2 years and up. Shop @
Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch giveaway
Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch - $20
Popdots Go Pouch is the perfect carryall for everyday or for travel. Plus, it's insulated so it makes a great snack bag too. Use it as a toiletry bag, storage bag or quick change diaper bag. With one large elastic pocket and three smaller elastic pockets, your items will stay in place and organized. It's the versatile pouch for children, teens and women to take on the go for school, work or travel with plenty of room for school supplies, arts and crafts, toys, cosmetics, medicine, toiletries, first aid, baby essentials, snacks, drinks and much more! Shop @
Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch giveaway
Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch - $35
This eco-friendly and portable organic diaper bag pouch is perfect for those times when a diaper bag is too big. Made in the USA with 100% Cotton Muslin Imported. Use it for a quick trip to the supermarket, the park or an airport bathroom. It's been carefully sized to hold just the necessities. Also works great as an insert in a purse or diaper bag. Shop @
Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate giveaway
Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate
Poppy Drops was created due to a dilemma lots of us face — when to pierce a little girl's ears? Poppy Drops earrings really are the perfect solution that is practical for parents and super fun for kids! From our signature earrings came other solutions for modern kids! We now offer Tattoo Nail Art, Mix & Match Tattoo Jewelry, Perfume Sticks & Lip Luster — all of which are designed for little ones but are great for EVERYONE! All of our products are made with natural ingredients — 100% safe for any age. We make staying young even more fun than growing up! Shop @
yummi pouch reusable food pouch giveaway
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches set of 6 - $15
Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Yummi Pouches are easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and are great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @
Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas
Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas - $27.99
Zippyz are baby footed pajamas with a patented design to make diaper changes quick and easy. Zippyz have a zipper from foot to belly so parents can change diapers quick and easy while keeping their baby covered and warm. Shop @
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set giveaway
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set of 2 - $12.50
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers are the Cute, High Quality Solution to Accidental Paci-Swapping! Baby's name, monogram or cute saying is engraved on pacifiers and will not rub off or fade. "A little paci love made with a lot of His love". Shop @

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States and Canada.
Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

McKinney Mommas Has Arrived in YOLO County!

I'm both sad and excited to announce that McKinney Mommas has moved.


I'm no longer a Texan, but have returned to my roots in California.

This gal, born and raised in Southern Cal, with a detour in Connecticut for 6 years and Texas for 5 years has now settled in Northern California, probably for good.

I started this blog, when my first born was only a few months old, after I decided to quit my job and stay at home full time.  I felt a need to maintain my ties with the professional world, and found that writing about my adventures at home and out and about with a newborn at McKinney Mommas just felt like a perfect balance.

With the birth of my third and final "bookend" baby earlier this year, I've taken a back seat in some ways to the steering of this blog, but now that I'm in a new state and town, I have a whole new set of places to find and things to do.

I'm up for the challenge of forging a new path for myself and my three little peanuts - now almost 4, 2.5 and 10 months here in the Sacramento / YOLO County / Woodland / Davis area!

IF you see us hanging out at your favorite local park or farmer's market, please say "HELLO" - I promise I'll say hi back!  


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Age Appropriate Toys & Milestones Resource by VTech

Ever wonder if your kids are playing with toys that are at the appropriate level, to help them meet important developmental milestones?

If you're unsure which toys to choose this season as gifts (and throughout the year), VTech has compiled a panel of experts, including Dr. Lise Eliot, an Early Childhood Mental Development Expert, to create a Milestones resource that I found helpful.

Baby O, playing with her new VTech Roll & Surprise Animal Train

VTech also happens to be the company that created one of my home's favorite toys - the VTech Learn & Dance Interactive Zoo. All three of my girls have gotten use out of this toy, and finally after 4 years of hard play, it's on it's last legs. But, now I can use this Milestones resource to figure out which toys should come next for my three bambinos.

My youngest baby, at almost 9 months has hit a few milestones recently. The biggest one being WALKING! She started taking her first few steps before her 8 month birthday, but now at almost 9 months, she's almost running (seriously). 

Here is an introduction to tracking your child's developmental milestones by one of the experts that has collaborated with VTech to create awesome educational (and fun) toys. 

Now, if you are a visual learner, here is the link to the Milestones resource that will help guide your choices for the best toys for your kiddos.

The guide is broken down by ages from newborn to 9 years old, and each age range will include three categories of learning which you can use to search for the appropriate milestones in:
  • Language & Cognitive
  • Social & Emotional Development
  • Physical & Motor

I used the resource to find out that my 2 year old should be, 
  • Singing the ABC song - CHECK!
  • Walking up and down steps independently - CHECK!
  • Progresses toward potty training towards end of year - ACCOMPLISHED already!
  • Behaves stubbornly and asserts her opinion by saying "no" - umm, CHECK! 
of course there is lots more on the list, but these were a few I thought I'd share with you.

You know, I'm a firm believer in "no question is a dumb question" so, here's a few Q&A's from mothers that might ring true for you too, answered by professionals on the VTech Milestone's Panel:

Q. As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I'm responsible for most of my toddler's learning the first couple of years. How can I ensure that I'm teaching him all he needs to know? What are the best games or play to help him learn basics things like numbers, colors, words, etc.?

A. Children learn through play, so almost any activity is a learning opportunity for your child.   Show your child how to count banana slices at lunch time, or toothbrush strokes at bedtime.  Read ABC books to him to teach letter sounds and recognition.  But don't worry too much about academic skills in younger children.  Most important at this age is for children to learn the joy of discovery.  Try to avoid drilling exercises (like flashcards) and instead focus on learning about the real world around him--animals, people, vehicles, music, art--whatever you encounter through books or the world outside that excites your child.  When kids find a passion and get absorbed in it, early literacy and number skills follow easily.

Q. What if it seems like your child isn't reaching a particular milestone, what can you do to facilitate the learning of it?  While every child is different, are there any Milestones (when not achieved on schedule) a parent should be concerned about?

A. It's important for parents to know what milestones to expect, because failure to reach them can be a warning sign of a developmental delay.  For social skills, we like to see babies making eye contact early on, and worry if it doesn't happen by 3 months or age, or if s/he is not sharing facial expressions or some other kind of back-and-forth communication by 9 months. For language skills, we worry when children are saying no words by 16 months, or only a few words at 2 years, and when there is any loss of communication ability at any age.  For motor skills, it is concerning if a baby cannot bring an object to his or her mouth by 7 months, sit independently by 10 months, or walk by 18 months. If your child isn’t reaching these milestones, talk to your pediatrician, who may propose additional testing and exercises you can do with your child at home to promote his or her development.

I hope this has encouraged you as a parent to take some time to find developmentally appropriate toys and remember that PLAY at an early age is a key component to your little one's educational future

Join me in following VTech on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, January 5, 2015

Semi-Annual Clearance at Crazy 8 - up to 70% off!

Disclosure: I could receive compensation when purchases are made through the link in this post. This helps me be able to continue to write fun and interesting articles here at McKinney Mommas. So, thanks! :-)

Just wanted to be sure you had the info on this great sale, in case your kiddos didn't get everything they need for the winter to keep them warm and stylish!

Click on the banner below to shop the Semi-Annual Clearance at Crazy 8: