Archives

Moving

Moving can be an exciting and stressful time.  As we pick a new place to buy or rent, do improvement, pack boxes we can forget the huge change that is coming for our kids.  They have questions like, “Will I get to take all my toys”, “Does our food go with us”, “What about our animals”, Can we take the microwave”?  All legitimate questions for a kid.  Make sure the kids are involved from the beginning. people-as-boxes Kids do better when they know what is going on.  I know it’s work to take them in and out of the car to look for house; I understand the extra time it takes packing boxes when they want to play with the stuff.  Let them pack a few of their own boxes and have them label it.  Moving can be very scary and traumatic for kids.  One thing I like to do is pick up a little gift, stuffed animal (Because we need more-Right?) for siblings walkie talkies; than the day we move into the new place I give the kids the gift.  My adult daughters still remember the walkie talkie phone I got them when they were 8 & 10 and they said that was so cool even though the move was an exciting one, it helped with the transition.  Good luck with all your adventures and may you be blessed by the roads you travel.

Family Traditions

Traditions

As Christmas vacation approached I started to think about our traditions.  In our family we like to decorate early for Christmas; we start during Thanksgiving vacation.  Then out comes the hot chocolate, sprinkles, whip cream and of course the candy canes.  Usually every Tuesday in December we have hot chocolate and do homework in the family room.  Of course this isn’t limited to Tuesday, if other days we feel like doing it and the schedule works out, we enjoy our afternoon treat.  Anyways, it is important to have your own family traditions, whether it’s around holidays, summer time or just because.  Kids look forward to traditions.  They can be anything you want that works for your family.  Some other things we enjoy doing are: Jamba juice and french fries or frozen yogurt for dinner. This usually takes place in the summertime.  Another family favorite is the sleep over in the family room; yes, even daddy and mama join in the adventure. When this happens in the wintertime my hubby always has a fire in the fireplace and keeps it going all night long.  We love to play games, Pictionary, card games, I spy, spoons, and any other games we choose.  This is year round for us but especially when everybody is out of school.  We live about a mile from a donut and coffee shop; we love to take family walks and get donuts and coffee. Walking and talking is the highlight of the trip!  So go make some new traditions and create many lasting memories with those precious babies of yours.  May God bless every adventure you have together!

Spend time and invest in your family!

Potty Training

So what is
the right age and when is the right time to potty train?

So here are
some things I have been told:

“Children
should be potty trained by 2”; “what are you doing, that child should be using
the toilet by now”; “Oh I would never have 2 kids in diapers at once”

So the correct answer is your child will tell
you.  I know that sounds silly.  Let’s start with the basics.  First off your child needs to be able to
communicate with you that he needs to go to the bathroom.  So if your child is not a great talker,
wait!  Secondly your child should have a
desire to go use the potty or not want his diaper changed.    I
remember we started to train our first son and he had 3 accidents in about 2
hours, needless to say we waited a few more months for him to be a bit more
aware of his body.  I think too many
times we are told there is a specific age that a child needs to be potty
trained; you know just like when they should quit breast feeding or be off the
bottle.  Every child is different my
first potty trained before she was 2 while #4 was 4 years old when he was
finally ready.  You must go with your gut
and your knowledge of your child; not what people tell you needs to be done.  Ok, so for the fun part how to do it.  If you go out a potty chair in the car is
great so it is conveniently located. 
Pull ups;  I used these over the choners
when we went places so messes were minimal when they did happen, but also my
child could still feel the wetness from not using the toilet.  I trained my kiddos on mini chocolates or
M&M’s; 1 for each pee 2 for poop.  I
always packed some chocolates in the diaper bag for when we weren’t at home.  Remember to not get mad when there is an
accident they are learning When an accident occurs, take the child and have
them sit on the potty because they may have to go some more.  Then help wipe up or bathe your child and get
fresh clothes on and reassure them they can do it.  I suggest packing a bag for when you are not
at home.  3sets which include: choners,
pants, socks, shoes if you have an extra pair. 
If you are going to teach you boy he can stand up while peeing; cheerios
are a great tool for aiming.  We have our
boys sit down when we are at home, friends or relatives house.  They can stand up when they use public
restrooms.  Good luck and enjoy the
adventure, some of the best stories come from potty training days! 

Showing affection in front of our kids

So as I stood in my kitchen getting and giving hugs and kisses to my hubby; I glanced over to see the kids look up and then look away with no reaction.  That got me thinking of how normal this behavior is with us.  We are always showing affection to each other especially in front of our kids.  We hug, kiss, and even dance in the kitchen.  As parents we are great at physical touch with our kids, but I think we sometimes forget to give our spouse the same touch in front of our kids.  When kids grow up seeing this; it will be easy and natural for them with their future spouses. If you are not use to this; I challenge you to start today by greeting your hubby at the door and giving him a huge hug and long kiss before the kids get to him!

 

A New Sibling

It is so exciting preparing for a new baby.  Whether this is number 2 or 5; every baby is such a blessing.  The family dynamics change with each new baby.  Let your child know you are expecting, so as the watch your belly grow they can talk to the baby and be a part of the exciting adventure with you.  Starting at this point you can let them know they are going to be the big brother/sister and this is going to be their baby sister/brother.  I think the most important thing with children is to make sure each child feels special as the new baby arrives.  So I buy gifts for each child for the first 5 days.  These gifts can be paper and crayons, to a journal, small game, or action figures, or candy.  The gifts don’t have to be expensive just something special for the big sister or brother.  Now let me explain how I do the gifts; I secretly buy the gifts about a month before the baby is born and wrap them in bags and label them day #1, day #2 and so on.  I pack the ones for the days I’m in the hospital.  Then after the baby is born while holding the baby I give the kids a gift and tell them it is from the baby; “Little sister wants give this to you”.  I can tell you my 13 year old daughter knew the gift was bought by me but it was still extremely special to her.  

Special Time With Kids

   
      Let me start by saying I don’t go many places without my kids, especially in the evenings.  So when I do go out; the next day my kids are extra clingy.So the nights I am not home to tuck them into bed I remind them tomorrow night is ours.Then the following night I make sure to set aside at least 1 hour for extra cuddle time, book reading or just talking.  I have found this to be helpful for my hubby or older daughters who tuck the little ones in on the night I am away.  It also helps with the frustration my kids have with me that I was not there.

Baby essentials

So you’re expecting!  This is an exciting and nerve racking time.  I like to be prepared for all situations.  Babies are so unpredictable they like to share their leftover “burps” on us, along with the exploding up the back of the diaper.  Shouldn’t every mommy get the opportunity to do a full baby wardrobe change while out in public?  Anyways I have created a list of items I think are essential for a mommy to have. 

BABY NEEDS

HOME

DIAPER BAG

aspirator

1

1

baby q-tips

   

baggies for diaper bag

 

1

bath wash

2

small one

bibs

6-8

1

boppy

   

bottle warmer(car)

   

bottles

6-1O

 

bounce seat

   

breast pads

1 box

 

breast pump

   

brush/comb

1

1

burp clothes

12-14

1

car seat

   

changing table

   

crib

   

crib set

   

diaper bag

   

diaper pail

   

diapers

2 packs

7 each day

exersaucer

   

formula container

 

1

front pack

   

gowns

1O

 

hand sanitizer

1 large

1 small

hats

10-12

1

head supports

   

high chair

   

humidifier

   

lap pads

3-4

1

long sleeve onesies

10

 

lotion

2

small one

milk baggies

breast milk storage

mittens

4

 

monitor

   

nail clippers

1

1

nursing shield

   

ointment

1

1

onesies

10-14

2

outfits

10-14

1-2

pacifier clips

4

1

pacifiers

5

1

pjs

1O

1

port-a-crib

   

powder

1

small one

receiving blankets

7-10

1

sheets

2-4

 

sleepers

7

 

socks

12

2

spoons

   

stroller

   

swing

   

thermometer

1

1

thick blankets

4

 

towel

5-7

 

travel bowls

   

Tylenol

1 (after 1st shots)

1

union suits

O7

 

wash cloths

1O

1

wedge for crib

   

wipes

2 containers

1 travel

Love in discipline

large_familylovetitle

 

Whether it has been a time-out, spanking, or other form of discipline; this is definitely not the best part of parenting.  The key is to follow up with your kiddo after the discipline to let them know you don’t like the choices they have made but you still like them.  I always talk about why they got in trouble and what they can do differently.  Then I tell them I love them and give them a hug.

5 hugs a day

love family

So in our family we believe physical touch is vital to survive.  I challenge my kids to give and get 5 hugs a day; with 5 kids it is pretty easy for them to get their hugs each day.  I personally love hugs so I hugs my kids each morning, when they get home from school and before they go to bed each night, and anytime I need or want a hug.  It is so cool now my oldest son will say “you need a hug”  I think he needs it as bad as I do. When I am helping the kids with their homework I will rub their back, massage their shoulder, rub my boys heads or play with my girls hair.  We as humans thrive when we have physical contact with each other!

Teenagers and preteens

As my teenager stormed off to her bedroom I had a choice to make.  1. I could chalk it up to “normal” teenager behavior, or 2. I could compose myself and follow her.  Well I personally don’t enjoy the “normal” teenager attitude so I followed her to her bedroom, took a seat on her bed and asked her what she was feeling, the reply I got was “I don’t know”.  Well that is not an answer to me so I told her I would sit with her until she could tell me what she was feeling; mad, sad, angry, hurt.  I know this takes work as a parent, the thing is if we as parents can help our children express their feelings; we open up communication in the small things and that makes it easier for them to talk about the big things with us.  I use this system with each one of my kids, letting them know their feelings are real and o.k. to feel and talk about.  I believe if we connect emotionally with our kids we will have stronger relationships with them.