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Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Baby-Led Weaning + 6 Month Update

Baby-Led Weaning + 6 Month Update


This post has been a very long time coming for both topics, haha. I have been promising a Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) update since we started the method with Sophia two years ago and baby Anthony is about to be eight months. EIGHT. I figure I need to start this with a disclaimer as all parenting decisions seem to be controversial. This is our personal experience doing BLW with our children and we love it and plan to do it with all our children however this is in no way of judgment for parents who decide to go the puree route or use a combination of both. Take my experience and knowledge along with your own personal research to find what method is best for YOU and YOUR family, this method just happens to be best for OURS.

Every time we mention how we skipped over purees with Sophia and now baby Anthony, people seem to be in awe and have so many questions but two of the most frequently asked questions are what is BLW and won't they choke? I'll address the second question first and then go into more detail about BLW with the first question next.

Won't they choke?
As long as you follow certain measures, your baby isn't anymore likely to choke then when being spoon fed purees therefore always ensure your child is sitting upright in a highchair and never put food in your child's mouth for them when following the BLW method and avoid foods that are an obvious choking hazard.
What is Baby Led Weaning?
For the first year of their life, babies get ALL their nutrition from either breastmilk or formula therefore food before one is just for fun (remember this cute saying no matter what route you take). There is no pressure to make sure the baby eats food in a certain order and a certain amount of times per a day. BLW is allowing your baby to explore food on their terms and decide how to manipulate it.

When following BLW, our children are offered whatever we are eating therefore there is no additional prep which was a major incentive for me. The only difference is the food is properly cut up for them to handle safely (typically this is the width and length of your pinky finger). Having it cut into finger foods allows our children to be able to have a "handle" to hold on to and still plenty of the food item sticking out to gnaw on. In the beginning, it isn't likely they will actually eat anything as they are just learning how to hold it and bring it to their mouth (hand-eye coordination) and working on the chewing motion (helps develop facial muscles that will be needed as they learn to talk). Eventually the baby learns the ability to swallow and then they even begin to realize, food helps them feel full. However breastmilk or formula is still where babies get all their nutrition from for the first year of their life so always be sure your baby has had a full milk feeding before each "mealtime" with the family. 

One of the biggest reasons we loved doing BLW was because momma got to eat while the food was still warm (although there is some sitting on the edge of your seat in the beginning of the BLW as parents are learning the difference between gagging and choking which gagging is okay, it is teaching your child how to chew food into smaller pieces to allow for easier swallowing and again as long as your child is sitting upright in a highchair and they alone are in control of the food going into their mouth, choking isn't anymore likely to happen then when they are being fed purees).

There are numerous benefits and I won't get into every one but I will highlight the ones that were important for us:

  • everyone is able to enjoy family mealtimes together, sitting together at the table for dinner is an important part of our family that we started when we first got married so being able to all sit together and eat at the same time with babies at the table is just beautiful.
  • no mealtime battles, our babies eat or refuse whatever is offered to them. We still offer the same food they may have refused at one mealtime at another mealtime in the future as refusing is not always an indicator that they don't like something. We typically find our children just aren't in the mood for it at that time therefore we do not force them to eat it once refused at that sitting as this develops a trust for food.
  • a positive attitude toward food, as mentioned above we allow our children to accept or reject food and because they are in control, food phobias and food refusals are less likely (Sophia will at least take a bite of something majority of the time we ask her to before refusing and that is all we ask for her is to at least try something before saying no).
  • appetite control, since babies are in control of the food that enters their mouth they develop the ability to stop eating when they are satisfied and are less likely to overeat.

Overall, I highly recommend BLW to all families and suggest you read the Baby-Led Weaning book before starting your journey to ensure this method is right for you and your family.


Six Month Update

Shortly after turning five months, our big guy finally decided to test the waters and army crawl. He even started to roll over and scooch out of his DockATot in the middle of naptime, so we started naptime in his pack n play so we didn't have to worry about him falling off the bed. Disclaimer: it is recommended to NOT put the DockATot in an enclosed environment such as a crib, bassinet, pack n play, etc. He also kept rolling onto his belly during naps and that made this momma panic so I was hovering like crazy the first week or so but luckily the DockATot is created out of breathable material (read more about our DockATot experiences here, here and here). Baby Anthony also discovered his toes and sat in a grocery cart for the first time (but we decided to wait a little longer before trying again because homeboy was just gangster leaning the whole time). And if he didn't learn enough this month, he also started to lunge forward by lifting up and trying to get on his knees and would throw himself. He even decided to treat himself to a curly fry that was left in a bag on the floor so I guess he was too impatient to wait three more days to get this BLW thing going right on his six month mark (Sophia's first solid was also a fry if I remember correctly). Baby Anthony is growing way to fast and constantly has me on my toes but I wouldn't change it.

Six Month Stats
Weight: 21 pounds
Height: 27.5 inches long
Head Circumference: 44.5 inches diameter

Firsts
army crawl
cloth diaper
found his toes
nap in pack n play

Loves
army crawling
following sister

Hates
being on his back
being left out

What I Want to Remember
his huge grin from ear to ear
the way he throws himself forward when he is overly excited to get to something
his sweet giggles

Have you done (or considering) Baby-Led Weaning for any of your children? Or do you prefer starting with purees?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, May 7, 2018

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in Twos (AI2)

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in Twos (AI2)


This post was created in partnership with Lil Helper but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

We have been cloth diapering for a full month now and I have learned so much so I decided to start a new mini series on my blog, Cloth Diapering 101 (see my New Moms Survival series here and my Nursing Bras series here). Every few weeks or so, I will go into detail about the different types of cloth diapering systems that there are available because cloth diapers have come a long way from flats, safety pins and covers (although that is still an option!).
As I have mentioned on my Instastories (if you are not following me on Instagram yet, you should as I always update there first) we were fortunate to get a cloth diaper loan from a foundation while we build up our own personal stash of cloth diapers. I was researching different brands and came across Lil Helper and the first thing that stood out to me was their Trial Diaper Deal and the more I looked around their website I found their Baby Do Good program. For every three diapers they sell, Lil Helper donates a NEW cloth diaper to a family in need. Being on the receiving end of having diapers donated to me during this unemployed (and now underemployed) season has been an incredible blessing for our family so naturally this sealed the deal for me. 
In case you are curious like I was, I asked how does Lil Helper determine eligibility for families in need and was told they work with disaster relief organizations as well as local programs to donate their diapers to families. The organizations then vet the families for eligibility. A friend even told me that Lil Helper donated a ton of diapers for victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston and surrounding area which touched my heart even more that this company has helped many people in my city and beyond (they also provided cloth diapers to Hurricane Katrina victims). Another program that touched my heart and had me in tears was their God Forbid Guarantee. If something unexpected happens during your pregnancy or birth, Lil Helper will refund your entire purchase. I have never personally experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss but people that are near and dear to me have and knowing the love and understanding that a company puts into their policies is beyond amazing. There really are no words to describe how much care Lil Helper has for their customers.
Now that you know about this amazing company,  I will finally get into the details about the type of cloth diapering system they sell. Lil Helper offers All in Two diapering system options. An All in Two diaper comes in two pieces, the cover and the insert(s). Lil Helper's All in Two systems snap in but other brands could either snap in, lay in or have disposable inserts. The covers can be reused throughout the day while the inserts you change out as they are soiled on (if poop overflows off the inserts and onto the cover then you will need to change the cover as well). Lil Helper offers two inserts with every cover, a large insert and a small insert. You can buy additional inserts as Lil Helper sells Charcoal inserts (these are the ones we have), Bamboo inserts and Overnight inserts.
Lil Helper also offers a range of accessories such as bibs, wet bags, burp cloths, liners, changing mats and cloth wipes. We were able to test out their cloth wipes and I got to say they are extremely soft! We use them as wash cloths but I can imagine how great they would be on your baby's bum. I have researched a bit about cloth wipes and it seems terry cloth is used a lot of the time but terry cloth can be a bit rough in my opinion so I would highly recommend these cloth wipes from Lil Helper to be used as either cloth wipes, bath wash cloths or even baby doll cloth diapers. 

AI2 Pros

  • If the inserts are snapped in ahead of time, they are as easy to use as All in Ones (AIOs).
  • Covers come in many cute prints and colors (we have Lil Helper's Aurora and Lil Helper's Retro Bikes).
  • Often pretty quick to dry.
  • Since the covers can be reused, they can be a cheaper system (but you can honestly make anything as cheap or as expensive as you want in the cloth diapering world).

AI2 Cons

  • Snap-in systems make it difficult to customize absorbency (especially if you have a heavy wetter however we have only had one leak using Lil Helper Diapers and it was a user error as I lost track of time and didn't change baby Anthony soon enough).
  • The inserts may not be good at containing infant poop (although toddler poop it is and we actually designated our Lil Helper diaper as Sophia's poop diaper since she poops at the same time everyday, easiest cleanup for her type of poop).
Edited to add:  Concerning infant poop, I didn't mean the possibility of having poop explosions outside of the diaper, I meant that the inserts wouldn't be enough to contain infant poop on the inserts alone like it can sometimes do with toddler poop meaning you will still need to change the insert as well as the cover if poop gets on both and you honestly have to do that with every diaper system anyways. Also note baby Anthony is pass the constant poop stage so this is merely my speculation however I have been informed that there has been no complaints of Lil Helper diapers not being able to keep infant poop inside the diaper unless there is a fit issue which they will gladly work one on one with you to solve a fit issue (and they did assist me with a fit issue and it worked!).

Do you cloth diaper your children? Have you tried an All in Two system? Which cloth diapering system is your favorite?

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to share and pin!!

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Stormie Ramirez
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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dinner with HelloFresh

Dinner with HelloFresh


This post is sponsored by HelloFresh but all thoughts, opinions, and adorable baby are of my own.

Imagine me loading up a 91 year old woman and a 9 month old baby to take a trip to the grocery store because that is what literally happens every other week. Sometimes I make a list, sometimes I don't, it is what it is. One of two things happen, I either forget an ingredient and I absolutely will not reload everyone back up for just one or two items, or I overbuy because why don't they sell fresh cilantro in sticks?? Like I do not need the whole thing, I need maybe a handful of leaves but that is it and I am done. I have even tried growing my own cilantro (remember my garden box? Yeah nothing survived).

That is where HelloFresh comes in, they provide you with all fresh ingredients AND they plan the recipes. That Pinterest board that you and I have overflowing of recipes we have never tried, yeah well now you can try new recipes without worrying about finding one and than having to shop for the ingredients.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bedtime Routine with DockATot

Bedtime Routine with DockATot


This post was created in partnership with DockATot but all thoughts, opinions and night sleeping are of my own.

Once upon a time, there was a baby who did not like her mother to sleep. She needed to be near her mother and felt the need to wake up every one to two hours to ensure her mother was near. This little baby was my daughter, Sophia.

There was a time when she did sleep and only woke up twice to nurse in the middle of the night but after our vacation, time change, sickness and a new tooth, Sophia decided to act like a newborn again. When she was a new born I coveted the DockATot but I honestly didn't feel comfortable spending the money not knowing if it really worked or not.

However, this momma was desperate for sleep when Sophia's sleep regression stepped in. DockATot did provide me with my DockATot Grand but I am really kicking myself for not using all those Visa gift cards in the beginning to start off with the DockATot Deluxe. I think it would have saved me many nights of sleep lost.


For the past month, we have been doing the same nighttime routine almost every night and Sophia sleeps approximately five hours before waking for her first nighttime feeding.

Side Note: I have always purposely not followed our routine at least once a week because I do not want Sophia to become too dependent on routine to the point that she cannot fall asleep otherwise so we shake up the routine at least once a week.


After dinner, Anthony usually has one on one playtime with Sophia in her room and once we notice she is getting sleepy (rubbing eyes, overly whining, etc), we know it is time to start our bedtime routine. We do not have specific times or an amount of time we do any one thing, we follow Sophia's cues to know when to start or stop something within our routine. This is something we have found that works best for us and our daughter.

Bathtime 

Anthony and I take turns on who will bathe her. Whoever is not doing bathtime, is preparing the rooms for bedtime such as turning lights off, turning on lullaby music, setting up humidifier, undoing bed, getting out pjs, etc.

The one who is bathing her allows her to play in the tub after washing (we only wash her hair once a week due to cradle cap and this has helped tremendously).

We try to always take her out on a good note as we had a bathtime regression for a few weeks where she hated baths and mommy had to bathe with her so now we sing and play and watch her carefully to be sure to take her out before she is fussy.

Pajamas

The same person who bathes her also dries her off, puts on a fresh diaper and her pajamas. If the house still isn't ready, she is distracted for a bit.

Devotional

Anthony and I take turns reading a daily devotional to her from my childhood devotional book. Sometimes I nurse Sophia during our devotional and sometimes I do not, it just depends on how tired or fussy she is. For the most part, we can do this without nursing.

Nursing and Lullabies

Anthony turns off the light in the nursery while I rock Sophia in our rocking chair and I nurse her to sleep. FYI, I know there is controversy over nursing to sleep but this is what works for my family at the moment and we are perfectly okay with that.

I use to check my social media, catch up on blog stuff, etc. while I nursed her but I noticed the light would distract her from falling asleep no matter how dim I have it so now I put my headphones on and tune in to a podcast (I am currently listening to Read-Aloud Revival and A Delectable Education).

DockATot

Sophia is typically asleep by time I finish a podcast episode so I will text Anthony to come help me move from the nursery to our room. I take the headphones off and leave my phone on the end table in the nursery and Anthony grabs the iPad that is playing the lullaby music and follows behind me to our room.

The DockATot is in the middle of our bed and I lay Sophia down in it as Anthony puts the iPad on our nightstand. Every once in awhile, she will wake up during the transition so one of us will try to get her back to sleep.



We started this whole routine in November (and we actually use to follow this routine before our vacation expect Sophia would put herself to sleep) and received our DockATot in December. It wasn't until we started using the DockATot that we saw real progress for how she use to sleep before the regression. The first night in it, Sophia slept six, S-I-X, hours and the next day she napped for a whole hour and a half in it (nap regression is a whole other story).


Now I seriously cannot imagine life without our DockATot and I am really wishing we would have gotten it sooner. Thank you DockATot for giving this momma and daddy more sleep!


Have you tried the DockATot? What does your bedtime routine look like?


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Stormie Ramirez
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Review | Bradley Method Birth Classes

Review | Bradley Method Birth Classes


Back in January when we started our Bradley Method Birth Class I talked about doing a review once we finished our class but than decided to hold it off until after birth to give you a full review and if I thought it actually helped.


Bradley Header

If you are familiar with our birth story than you know it didn't go as I envisioned or planned but than again I think it rarely does. However I feel like my birth experience was a little extra traumatic (okay that word is a little over the top and dramatic but whatever). I felt like Sophia was literally forced out (dramatic again, I know) of me due to my doctor's decision of inducing me. And the way my body reacted to the inducing medicine made it harder on me than your typical birthing contractions. Typically you contract about every 3-5 minutes and they get closer together as you progress. This was NOT the case for me. I contracted about every 45 seconds for about 18 hours straight and I owe it to the Bradley Method for getting me that far without an epidural. In helping me learn to not fight my contractions and work with them however after 18 hours of labor and contracting without any down time I think it's safe to say that's asking a lot from anyone to just breath. 

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Review | The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

Book Review | The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth


Hey guys! How was your Memorial Day weekend? I hope yall didn't miss me too much (or maybe I do) with my odd blog post schedule last week and taking the three day weekend off to enjoy with my little family. We were a little busy enjoying dinner Friday night with our besties, clothing/gaming thrifting on Saturday (but had no luck), surprise visit to the in-laws on Sunday since they couldn't make it to us due to back road flooding (they're country folk and don't do freeways) and lastly taking Little Love to the Downtown Houston Aquarium on Memorial Day. Although it was mostly for our enjoyment, there were a few moments where she just stared and followed the little fishies swim around in their tanks. And lets not talk about how the white tiger jumped on the glass wall and growled right in front of someone's face.

Now about today's post, after doing a book review last week on The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, I decided to do a more thorough book review on The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. If you been around you will remember me briefly discussing this book as one of my pregnancy must haves.
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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review | The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Book Review | The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding


Hey everybody! How was ya'lls weekend? Anything new or exciting? We decided to surprise Anthony's parents with a visit and I finally finished up one of the books I have been reading which brings us to today's post, a book to review. 

Now I don't know when I made the decision to breastfeed but whenever I did, I knew I wanted to give it all I had to be successful. I heard from multiple people about how hard and challenging and uncomfortable (even painful) it could be so I began researching and researching once I found out we were pregnant. I was so terrified of not being able to produce enough milk (which is a common misconception of breastfeeding as only 2% of women in the ENTIRE WORLD actually cannot produce enough milk, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, it is highly suggested you seek help from a LICENSED lactation consultant as they can troubleshoot what is really going on) or being uncomfortable. Honestly, it wasn't that hard or as bad as everyone kept making it seem. Yes, the first few days were a struggle waiting for my milk to come in and having to supplement because Little Love had low blood sugar those first few days but more so emotionally because of that fear of not being able to produce enough for her BUT once my milk came in, everything else just came naturally. 

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Stormie Ramirez
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Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Movie in Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

A Movie in Review: Oz the Great and Powerful






A small-time magician arrives 
in an enchanted land 
and is forced to decide 
if he will be a good man 
or a great one.


I LOVE The Wizard of Oz so naturally when I heard about this movie I knew I had to see it. However, I thought the movie would be shown from the perspective from Oz, I had no idea it was a prequel! Which is perfectly fine to me, I enjoyed this movie very much. There were no sex or nudity scenes although there were some cleavage shown and two kissing scenes. The only profanity I heard was the "d" word used once. I would have caution taking young children to see this movie as it can be frightening with the wicked witches and flying creatures with the noises they make.

Here is a trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful:

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Stormie Ramirez
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Movie in Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

A Movie in Review: A Good Day to Die Hard





John McClane travels to Russia 
to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, 
only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working 
to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, 
causing the father and son to team up 
against underworld forces.


My husband and I have seen all the Die Hard movies. We LOVE action movies. So when another Die Hard movie came out we planned to watch it. Compared to the other four "Die Hard" movies, there was not as much cursing in this one however it was still quite a bit for us. The action was okay in this movie and the plot was not as good as the other "Die Hard" movies. I would suggest waiting until this one comes out on Netflix, it's not worth the $20 to watch in a movie theater. The movie is also not suitable for children. Adults should have caution as well with the profanity.

Here is a trailer:

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Stormie Ramirez
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Movie in Review: Snitch

A Movie in Review: Snitch



A father goes undercover for the DEA 
in order to free his son who was imprisoned 
after being set up in drug deal.


I am a huge Rock fan, I always have been since my grandmother first introduced me to the than WWF. When I heard the Rock was in a movie, I immediately told my husband I wanted to watch it. I didn't need to see a trailer. While I enjoyed the story line, there was far too much vulgar language. God's name was taken in vain at least 6 or 7 times. And multitude of profane words were said as well. It was hard not to wince as each curse word came flying. The closet thing to sex or nudity was mild kisses and an implication of rape. The plot of the movie is about the drug cartel, one scene is shown with a man doing cocaine as a means to prove himself. There is also a lot of uses of guns and killing. This movie is in no way appropriate for children, heck I could barely stand it to be appropriate for me on the language alone!

Here is a trailer from the movie:



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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, February 18, 2013

A Movie in Review: Escape from Planet Earth

A Movie in Review: Escape from Planet Earth



Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself
caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS
from a notoriously dangerous alien planet.


When I first heard of this movie, my husband asked me if I wanted to see it. Looking at the poster made it look boring enough (at least to me) without ever seeing a trailer.

While I was babysitting a 6 year old, he asked if we can go see this movie. I didn't really want to but if it kept him content for about an hour in a half than so be it. We watched the movie in 3D, which to be honest was not needed. The movie had a lot of cute jokes however I doubt many kids would understand them. I barely understand what Area 51 is, do kids?
However, I did really enjoy the movie and would recommend it as a family outing.

Here is a trailer:


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Stormie Ramirez
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Date Night: A Movie in Review

Date Night: A Movie in Review




In this spin on the fairy tale,
Hansel & Gretel are now bounty hunters
who track and kill witches all over the world.
As the fabled Blood Moon approaches,
the siblings encounter a new form of evil
that might hold a secret to their past.
Earlier this week, my husband saw a trailer on the television to Hansel & Gretel and told me we should go see it. "Sure," I responded without much thought to what he just said, sadly. Today, I was thinking how long it has been since we have gone on a date. We use to do date night weekly and when money was tight, we watched movies at home or played the Wii as a date night. So date night was pretty frequently, sometimes twice a week with a random dinner date night thrown in the middle of the week. However, I can not remember the last day night we have had. I decided after we had dinner with my grandmother tonight, my husband and I should go on a movie date night. I asked him if he still wanted to see Hansel & Gretel, which he did. I searched a movie time at the closest movie theatre and found one at 9:20pm. Once, we bought the tickets I realized the movie was rated R and asked my husband if he realized that or not (we try to stay away from rated R movies) and he said no, he didn't. The thing that caught his attention of the movie was the action. We talked and decided we would still watch the movie but would be cautious to possible nudity scenes.
The movie was overall a great action movie. Within the first five minutes, the f bomb was already dropped, however. My husband and I looked at each other wondering if we should even stay. We decided we would if the movie did not go over board on using vulgar language. I believe overall, I counted four f bombs and that was it. One scene I found appealing to sexual perversion was when a young man was cleaning Gretel's face of dirt and soon after looked at her breast (they were not exposed fully, only cleavage) and began wiping down her breast from dirt for a few seconds before she woke up to ask what he was doing. There was also one nudity scene that the movie could have done without. While in the healing pond, a woman begins taking off her dress slowly (at least this scene gave notice of what was to happen) and her bottom was exposed and shortly after entering the water she turned and her breast was exposed as well. The scene was short but unnecessary. Other than these few things, the movie is a great movie for adults. If I had children, I would not take them to see this movie even if it's based off a child's tale due to the above comments and for the gruesome fighting scenes as well.
I attached a trailer below for your convenience:

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Stormie Ramirez
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