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The Stress of the Birthday Party No More!

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to kids’ birthday parties, I start to get a little stressed out. I try not to compare myself to other mom’s out there KILLING IT with the AH-MAZ-ING birthday party themes, the party decorated immaculately, etc. I had a good friend once tell me, don’t raise the bar too high or you will have to match it or better every year. Good advice…Thanks Amanda!

I do try to make it “seem” like the extravagant party though and many of my ideas come from good ole Pinterest. We just recently celebrated my oldest daughter’s 5th birthday and I thought I would share the planning process and implementation with you.

#1: I made her a part of the planning process. I asked her what she wanted at her birthday party. What I found is that she didn’t come up with a theme or even elaborate decorations, she listed people…people she wanted there and the type of cake she wanted. So…that was my main focus. I didn’t go with a theme or go crazy with decor…that was ExCiTiNg!

#2: I didn’t do games. The party was just 2 hours long and didn’t require a lot of “extras” once you figured in the time to mingle for a bit, eat, do cake and ice cream, and then end with presents…2 hours FLIES by!

#3: I let her pick her cake out. In the past I have made her cakes. This year I could feel the stress of the party coming on so I took a step back and let her choose it. We went to Meijer (an awesome place to go to buy a cake…soooo many styles to choose from) and I let her pick from their selection. Since the cake was high on her list of what she wanted for her birthday, I didn’t concern myself with cost.

#4: Taco Bar!!! This is an easy and cost effective way to feed everyone on a dime. We did turkey and beef taco meat, refried beans, cheese, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, onion, and soft/hard taco shells. We had a fruit salad and homemade salsa and chips. BAM…DONE!

#5: We combined the family and friend party into one large party to cut down costs.

#6: We had it at a free location.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves…especially the birthday girl…so it was a success!


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Teaching From Anywhere…

Let me preface with this is NOT a homeschooling post. This is a “If you have kids, read this” post.

When I decided to homeschool our oldest, it wasn’t an easy decision whatsoever. I had a battle going on inside me that brought many questions to the table.

Will she be well-rounded if I homeschool?

How will she be socially?

Am I equipped to get the job done right?

Will this be a frustrating experience or a pleasant one?

These questions flooded me on a daily basis until one day I just had to make the decision. Homeschooling it was! Being a former teacher, I used to roll my eyes at homeschooling moms who weren’t trained to be teachers. They didn’t the progression of how we educate kids so how could they be great at schooling their own kids?!?

Boy was I wrong! What I have found is a community of men and women passionate about their child’s education and making sure they get the best, most well-rounded education and life experiences available. They are very aware of where their child is academically and where they want them to be by the end of the “school year.” I speak on behalf of the parents I have encountered only. I am aware that there are homeschooling parents out there that should probably not be homeschooling if you are thinking about the child’s best schooling experiences. It isn’t for everyone and that is ok.

People ask me all the time how much time I spend on schooling my oldest. Honestly, I never stop “schooling” her. I feel that there are teachable moments everywhere we are and throughout the day she is getting lessons. She helps make her bed in the morning, helps her sister when she is having a meltdown, helps clean up her toys, gets the mail, etc. These are all life skills she is starting to have. As far as academics go, we read signs along the road, sing songs with an educational theme, play outside and get dirty, talk about kinetic and potential energy while we are chewing our food, read books at nighttime and I ask her about the configuration of the word and how we can possibly sound the word out. At dinnertime we sit together at the kitchen table and just talk…about the day, about God, about what we plan to do tomorrow, about our dreams and wishes. When we are cooking dinner, we talk about the food choices we are making and why we are choosing to eat healthy vs. throwing a frozen pizza in the oven…I could go on and on.

Yes I have “school time” where we sit and talk about academics but honestly academics are all around us…we have to be open and willing to “See” the opportunity and seize it! Our little ones are sponges. They soak up everything their environment is throwing at them and then some. By enriching their environment and making experiences intentional, we are setting them up to be lifelong learners…and that is a beautiful gift!

So whether you are a homeschooling momma or your child attends private, public, etc. school, you too have several opportunities a day to enrich their environment with experiences and knowledge. You first need to be open to the opportunities that arise and then use them for the greater lesson.

Here are some examples of how I incorporate “school” into our everyday life:

  • Talk about the importance of brushing your teeth while brushing our teeth
  • Right when we wake up, we try to make our bed and talk about the days events (working on planning your day out and not just flying by the seat of our pants)
  • While eating breakfast, talk about foods that wouldn’t be healthy vs. healthy breakfast foods
  • Cleaning up the breakfast when we are done (working on family chores and expectations)
  • While getting dressed, we talk about what we are wearing and why we would choose pants over shorts on a cold day. We look outside and determine what kind of shoes we will need (flip flops, rain boots, snow boots, dress shoes, etc.)
  • We have a painting on our kitchen wall and we often talk about the way the artist mixed colors and what colors came about from him mixing them the way he did (color wheel)
  • Helping cook or bake and reading the measurements out loud to me and then executing it.
  • Reading her sister a book (or several) while I get lunch ready.
  • They see me exercising every morning and we talk about the importance of keeping your body fit and healthy and ways to do that.
  • While driving in the car, we sing educational songs, look for sight words, read the letters off of license plates, look for shapes in the clouds, etc.
  • We journal together…seeing the importance of journaling, writing practice, etc.
  • Playing games at home together (teaches taking turns, encouraging those who aren’t winning, healthy competition, and any skills the game works on, i.e. math, reading)
  • Playing with playing cards and making number lines, putting cards in order from highest to lowest, playing War, etc.

I could go on and on. Teachable moments are EVERYWHERE and as long as you are aware of the day and what your little one is and could be soaking in, the possibilities are endless! Happy Teaching!


Tips on How to Get Moving and Stay Active with Your Kids

When it comes to heart health or health in general, it’s important that we think not only of our own cardiovascular health but also that of our kids. A study last year found that obese children and teens have as much plaque in their arteries as a 45-year-old adult, setting them up for heart disease and other serious health conditions much earlier than their parents. This breaks my heart!

If you’ve got kids, of course you want to make sure they grow up fit and healthy. But you also know it’s hard to juggle work, family, and physical activity. Still, setting a healthy example is a good start. research shows that parents who are physically active increase the likelihood that their kids will be active as well. So if you’re looking for ways to get your kids involved, check out how I have incorporated an active lifestyle in our household.

Plan outdoor activities

Set aside at least one day (a weekend) to do something active as a family: swimming in the summer, sledding or hiking in the winter, or biking in the spring and fall. Take along a picnic lunch that contains healthy snacks after a good workout/ playful activity. Skip the juice and mindless carbs and pack the fruit infused water and apples with a bit of peanut butter.

Take classes together

Check out your community’s website or ask around at fitness clubs, community centers or friends with kids your age about yoga or aerobics classes offered to parents and kids together. I took a ballet class at the YMCA with Annora when she was 2.5 years old and it was GREAT bonding time. If your little one is too young to participate, look for classes that help you burn calories with your baby by incorporating them into your yoga moves or pushing them along during stroller workouts. Just heading to the metroparks and seeing what activities they have available can be beneficial to getting out of the house and moving together.

Redo your family room

Too often, family rooms are the center of laziness in a home: a comfy couch, a video-game console, a shelf full of DVDs, and nothing to encourage fitness or physical activity. There are ways to add in subtle reminders, however, without overhauling your entire room or dragging in a giant piece of workout equipment (which isn’t a bad idea either). Set a time limit on weekly television viewing and incorporate games, dance parties, dramatic play (sorry we are mommy and daddy to little ones) to keep your whole family moving.

Make chores fun

Turn chores into a game you can all do together. Race to see how fast you can get the house cleaned, and then try to beat your old time the next week. Play music while you’re doing laundry, and enlist the kids to sing and dance while helping to fold and put clothes away (this helps because laundry is my kryptonite and the kids love helping when I make it fun). Take the dog for walks together, and squeeze in some running, roller-skating, or jump rope while you’re at it.

Make over your meal plan

Families that eat TOGETHER and healthier also tend to have other healthy habits, such as regular physical activity. If you want to slim down or just want to eat better overall, get your entire family involved and you’re more likely to succeed. Take kids to the farmer’s market, let them pick their own fruits and vegetables, and involve them in the food preparation. They’re much more likely to enjoy their meals and try new things when they have helped prepare the meal in some fashion.



10 BEST Kids Educational Apps and Games

Being a homeschooling momma to a preschooler I have to be very strategic in what I allow my daughter to “watch” or “do” when we have finished with the days work and there is time to “kill.” I use parentheses because honestly it can be easy to get in a rut of allowing her to watch the television while her sister takes her afternoon nap. I am an entrepreneur and it would be easy for me to set her in front of the “babysitter” and get some work done.

I did a little research on how she can get in her “electronics/technology” time yet continue to learn in a fun way.

  1. Miss Humblebee’s Academy:Miss Humblebee’s Academy language and literature helps children develop skills required by the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and the Common Core State Standards. Preschool through kindergarten-aged children learn basic concepts and build a strong foundation in letter knowledge and sound. The curriculum gradually becomes more challenging as the child advances.Children will learn:
    • Alphabet knowledge, sounds each letter represents and writing practice sheets
    • Upper and lowercase letter recognition
    • Follow multi-step auditory directions
    • Rhyming
    • Blends (br, tr) and digraphs (ch, sh)
    • Segmenting and putting sounds together to create words
    • Parts of a book
    • Comprehension
    • Categorizing like words
    • Sight words
    • Auditory discrimination; example: distinguishing the difference between bin and pin

    In addition, your child and you will enjoy hours of educational and entertaining reading that spans many literature styles. You’ll find traditional stories such as The Crow and the Pitcher and The Lion and the Mouse, as well as new stories and poems written exclusively for Miss Humblebee’s Academy, all richly illustrated.


2. PBS Kids:  An educational “game-based” site for kids to go and explore and feel like they are getting “free time” when they are learning skills and facts.


3. ABC Mouse:  The Step-by-Step Learning Path presents the full ABCmouse.com curriculum in a carefully designed program of more than 800 lessons in ten levels. As your child completes each lesson, he or she is guided to the next one and is motivated to continue learning by ABCmouse.com’s Tickets and Rewards System.


4. Curious World:  From literacy and creative expression to science and math, Curious World’s award-winning app offers games, books, and videos that encourage early learning. Each game, book, and video is associated with our 8 key learning areas so you can be sure your child is enjoying a balanced diet of educational experiences, as you track their favorites.


5. National Geographic Kids: Nat Geo Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events, and a website, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core. They strive to teach kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and to make it a better place.


6. FunBrain: Kids in preschool through Grade 8 will love Funbrain, a site that makes developing math, reading and literacy skills fun. Check out games like Math Baseball and Grammar Gorillas. Kids can even read books on the go.


7. Babytv.com: This site offers 24-hour television programming for little ones—because who hasn’t been up at 3 a.m. with a child? In addition to always accessible educational shows, kids can play games, listen to songs and more. There’s a monthly subscription fee that depends upon which platform your child will be viewing on—Kindle, iPad, etc.—and what features you plan to use.


8. Agnitus.com: Agnitus is all about the tangible learning experience. In a world where kids are told not to touch things, the Agnitus app says, “Yes! Please touch!” Kids can trace numbers, learn about size relationships, colors, consonants, read books and more, all on a tablet. A free trial is available online.


9. BrainPOP: BrainPOP’s animation brings learning concepts to life for individuals or entire classrooms. Kids learn about historical events, science and even the stock market, all with the help of a plucky robot and his friends.


10. Spatulatta:

Learning takes place in the kitchen, too, according to Spatulatta. Kids can learn cooking basics and try out new recipes built around the type of meal and favorite ingredients. What better way is there to transform your picky eater into a budding chef?


Share your favorite best educational websites for kids in the comments below.

Potty Training with Sensory Processing Disorder

My first born child couldn’t have been easier to potty train. It went smoothly and frustration levels never hit the roof. In fact, I was amazed at how easy it was. So, naturally I thought it would be that easy with my second child. She was showing all signs of being ready: She wanted to sit on the potty, refused to wear a pull-up and only wanted underwear, wanted to be like her big sister, etc., etc. As we started this potty training journey, I soon realized that it was going to cause headaches, frustration and doubt that it was ever going to happen. I obviously know she will get there eventually, but the reality set in when after 4 weeks of trying and trying some more, sitting on the potty for several minutes at a time, and cleaning up more messes I care to count, there was something going on more than just potty training.

I put a message on my Facebook wall to ask for help from some seasoned momma’s and that is when several people reached out to me about Delise’s Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Duh! Why hadn’t it occurred to me that this could be related to SPD? So, like I do in true Mary fashion, I started researching it and looking into books about it (thanks Julie). I was AMAZED at what I started reading and how SPD and potty training go hand in hand! Here is what I found:

Did you know? Fun Kid Facts You May Not Have Known…

I am a nerd when it comes to fun facts that I didn’t know. It doesn’t mean that I always remember them (I’m HORRIBLE at trivia games), but nonetheless I enjoy some good ole fun facts! I am banking on the fact that someone else out there is also a “Fun Fact Nerd” with me. So, here ya go! 19 Fun Facts about children you may not have known!

Fact 1:

The average age children begin to use a microwave is seven.

Fact 2:
A 3-year old Boy’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

Fact 3:
Fathers tend to determine the height of their child, mothers their weight.

Fact 4:
On average, a 4-year-old child asks 437 questions a day.

Fact 5:
Watching television can act as a natural painkiller for children.

Fact 6:
In ancient Greece, children of wealthy families were dipped in olive oil at birth to keep them hairless throughout their lives.

Fact 7:
The great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

Fact 8:
Childrens kneecaps only start to turn bony at 3 years of age, until that they are made of cartilage.

Fact 9:
Both boys and girls in 1600s England and New England wore dresses until they were about seven years old.

Fact 10:
Children under the age of six are at the greatest risk for crushing or burning injuries of the hand.

Fact 11:
If babies’ bodies grew at the same rapid pace as their brains, they would weigh 170 pounds by one month of age.
Fact 12:
60% of all the energy a baby expends is concentrated in the brain.
Fact 13:
The birth-to-three period is the fastest rate of brain development across the entire human life span.
Fact 14:
Babies whose parents frequently talk to them know 300 more words by age 2 than babies whose parents rarely speak to them.
Fact 15:
By age 1, a child typically understands about 70 words, but can only speak only a handful of them. At about 18 months, your toddler’s spoken vocabulary starts to explode, adding new words at the astonishing rate of one every two waking hours.
Fact 16:
When your toddler announces, “Mine!” while clinging to his truck in a playgroup, it’s not so much a selfish refusal to share as it is a cognitive achievement. The declaration of “mine” is his way of saying he understands that you — and the other children — are separate from him.
Fact 17:
Music boosts learning. Singing, listening to, and playing music improves spatial orientation and mathematical thinking.
Fact 18:
A baby has 300 separate bones at birth but by adulthood only 206. Why?

Because some bones, like the skull, fuse together later.

Fact 19:
Until the age of six or seven months, a child can breathe and swallow at the same time. –
75% of adults reading this will try to do it!


37 Wishes I have for my Girls…

I often think about what my girls will be like when they are grown. Will they love the Lord? Will they be close sisters? Will they want to spend time with me? Who will they date? Will that person treat them with love and respect? What will their personalities be like? What job will they take on? etc., etc., etc. So…I came up with 37 wishes for these sweet girls. From a momma to her daughters, here goes:

I wish …

  1. That God is the center of who you become and who you choose to marry loves the Lord as well.
  2. That your beauty will be fully evident to yourself forever and always.
  3. That your heart remain open and ready to love yet strong enough to walk away when someone’s unworthy.
  4. For you to keep saying no to what doesn’t feel right
  5. For you to continue to stand up for yourself and remain feisty.
  6. For you to understand that boys — or girls —  will never make you happier than you can make yourself.
  7. For you to understand that money is just something that fits in a purse. Your true worth is within.
  8. For you to feel free from societies’ pressures and rise above to be your own person.
  9. That you grow up and choose to love someone who loves you to the moon and back.
  10. That your idea of a good time always be a good book, a good movie and a bowl of popcorn — and climbing trees.
  11. That you set no limitations on who you are, what you can be and where you can go.
  12. That you will never, ever listen to me when I tell you not to leave me — no matter how hard I cry.
  13. For you and your sister to be best friends forever and ever, long after I’m gone.
  14. For you to see the world not through pictures but through your own eyes.
  15. For you to know that your job is how you make money but how — and whom — you choose to live is your life.
  16. For you to understand that sometimes we don’t get what we want.
  17. For you to understand that if we try hard enough we always get what we want.
  18. That you always own your feelings. Your sad ones. Your angry ones. Your frustrated ones. Your jealous ones.
  19. For you to know that I will always honor who you are, no matter who you turn out to be.
  20. That you remember how hard I tried to be a good mom.
  21. For you to forget all the times I yelled.
  22. For you to always remember our family traditions and, yes, how corny they were
  23. That you go out of your way to be a good friend to those who need it. And everyone needs it.
  24. That your bedside table will always be covered in books and pens to dream and capture dreams.
  25. That you will forever be a Daddy’s girl.
  26. For you to relish how your feet feel in the grass. And how the sun warms the top of your head.
  27. That you will always be true to who you are and how you feel and never worry about what others think.
  28. That you will love yourself first and foremost. Always.
  29. For you to always believe in yourself.
  30. For you to say yes way more than you ever say no to what you want in life.
  31. That you will always feel confident in your body.
  32. That you will love food for how it nourishes you but you will never let it own you or bring you down.
  33. For you to understand what makes you happy and always, always do more of that.
  34. That you will always love walking barefoot in the creek, skipping rocks and collecting stones.
  35. For you to question everything. Wonder about everything. And be infinitely curious
  36. That you have a zero-tolerance policy for people who disrespect you.
  37. For you to understand that love is something we carry inside of us, no matter where we are. And no matter where you go, I will be in your heart forever.

Sensory Issues? What are Those?

Tantrums, meltdowns, screaming, crying, biting, pulling, scratching, hitting, yelling, etc. were all a part of our day to day life starting about 6 months ago. We watched our sweet little Delise turn into someone we didn’t know how to handle…she became nearly impossible.

Delise had always been a difficult child. She cried a lot as an infant, baby and toddler so we were used to hearing the sound of constant tears in our house. What we weren’t in store for were the extreme meltdowns that were to come. Thank goodness she was already enrolled in Help Me Grow for Hypotonia (low muscle tone) so we could easily transition her into a behavior piece I never thought would happen in our family.

After careful examinations from a developmental pediatrician, my husband and I were told that Delise had Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) with severe anxiety. Sensory processing disorder? Anxiety? How could this happen? Was it something we did? The “label” to what was going on with her was both reassuring and debilitating. One one end, I was relieved to have a concrete answer as to what was going on with our little one. On the other hand, this diagnosis opened a can of worms that now needed to be addressed…and I wasn’t sure I was strong enough or capable enough to give her all she needed to be successful. I did what I always do and dove right into research. I read articles, blogs, etc. on it, took notes, talked with Help Me Grow about a good plan for Delise and how to best help her, and decided to document our journey here in hopes that other families going through similar issues may find peace and help as well.

I have found that this particular blog from a psychologist that has a child with SPD and anxiety very helpful and I wanted to put the link here in case it could help anyone else. http://www.anxioustoddlers.com/sensory-processing-disorder-and-anxiety/

For now, we seek the help and support from Help Me Grow (link on site), our developmental pediatrician, a child psychologist and of course family and friends. I have found that when you share your story, so many people come out of the woodwork and relate to or share theirs. So my advice to those going through the same thing as we are, don’t be quiet about it, seek help, and surround yourself with support!

Infant CPR…Do you know what to do?

I know as a mommy of two little ones, I have had my heart stop a few times over my child choking on a piece of food. It is scary and it causes me to go into panic mode, slapping my child silly on the back until they are okay. It dawned on me that maybe I should learn the proper technique to dislodge a food particle or even if one of my kids stops breathing for whatever reason. What a thought right!?!

So I did some research and found some excellent information that would be good to print off and have somewhere handy in the house. This is directly from the website but sometimes it is good to have a go-to location where information is stored. More information on CPR in different age groups can be found at the following link: http://www.babycenter.com/0_infant-first-aid-for-choking-and-cpr-an-illustrated-guide_9298.bc

The following instructions are for babies younger than 12 months old.



Step 1: Assess the situation quickly.

If a baby is suddenly unable to cry or cough, something is probably blocking her airway, and you’ll need to help her get it out. She may make odd noises or no sound at all while opening her mouth. Her skin may turn bright red or blue.

If she’s coughing or gagging, it means her airway is only partially blocked. If that’s the case, let her continue to cough. Coughing is the most effective way to dislodge a blockage.

If the baby isn’t able to cough up the object, ask someone to call 911 or the local emergency number while you begin back blows and chest thrusts.

If you’re alone with the baby, give two minutes of care, then call 911.

On the other hand, if you suspect that the baby’s airway is closed because her throat has swollen shut, call 911 immediately. She may be having an allergic reaction – to food or to an insect bite, for example – or she may have an illness, such as croup.

Also call 911 right away if the baby is at high risk for heart problems.

Step 2: Try to dislodge the object with back blows and chest thrusts.

First do back blows

If a baby is conscious but can’t cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in his airway, carefully position him faceup on one forearm, cradling the back of his head with that hand.

Place the other hand and forearm on his front. He is now sandwiched between your forearms.

Use your thumb and fingers to hold his jaw and turn him over so that he’s facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than his chest.

Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of his head and neck by firmly holding his jaw between your thumb and forefinger.

Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby’s head with your arm along his spine. Carefully turn him over while keeping your other hand and forearm on his front.

Then do chest thrusts

Use your thumb and fingers to hold his jaw while sandwiching him between your forearms to support his head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting his back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby’s head lower than the rest of his body.

Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby’s chest, just below an imaginary line running between his nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.

Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby’s breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky.

Repeat back blows and chest thrusts

Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on his own. If he’s coughing, let him try to cough up the object.

If the baby becomes unconscious

If a baby who is choking on something becomes unconscious, you’ll need to do what’s called modified CPR. Here’s how to do modified CPR on a baby:

Open his mouth and look for an object. If you can see an object, remove it with your little finger.

Give him two rescue breaths. If the air doesn’t go in (you don’t see his chest rise), tilt his head and try two rescue breaths again.

If his chest still doesn’t rise, do 30 chest compressions.

Look in his mouth and remove the object if you see it. Give him two more rescue breaths.

Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.


How to perform CPR

What is CPR?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This is the lifesaving measure you can take to save a baby who shows no signs of life (consciousness or effective breathing).

CPR uses chest compressions and “rescue” breaths to make oxygen-rich blood circulate through the brain and other vital organs until emergency medical personnel arrive. Keeping oxygenated blood circulating helps prevent brain damage – which can occur within a few minutes – and death.

CPR isn’t hard to do. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Check the baby’s condition.

Is the baby conscious? Flick her foot or gently tap on her shoulder and call out. If she doesn’t respond, have someone call 911 or the local emergency number. (If you’re alone with the baby, give two minutes of care as described below, then call 911 yourself.)

Swiftly but gently place the baby on her back on a firm, flat surface.

Make sure she isn’t bleeding severely. If she is, take measures to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the area. Don’t administer CPR until the bleeding is under control.

Step 2: Open the baby’s airway.

Tilt the baby’s head back with one hand and lift his chin slightly with the other. (You don’t have to tilt a baby’s head back very far to open the airway.)

Check for signs of breathing for no more than ten seconds.

To check for breathing in a baby, put your head down next to his mouth, looking toward his feet. Look to see whether his chest is rising, and listen for breathing sounds. If he’s breathing, you should be able to feel his breath on your cheek.

Step 3: Give two gentle “rescue” breaths.

If the baby isn’t breathing, give her two little breaths, each lasting just one second. Cover the baby’s nose and mouth with your mouth and gently exhale into her lungs only until you see her chest rise, pausing between rescue breaths to let the air flow back out.

Remember that a baby’s lungs are much smaller than yours, so it takes much less than a full breath to fill them. Breathing too hard or too fast can force air into the baby’s stomach.

If her chest doesn’t rise, her airway is blocked. Give her first aid for choking, described above.

Step 4: Do 30 chest compressions.

With the baby still lying on his back, place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of his chest, just below an imaginary line running between his nipples.

With the pads of your fingers on that spot, compress the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Push straight down. Compressions should be smooth, not jerky.

Do 30 chest compressions at the rate of 100 per minute. Count out loud: “One and two and three and…”, pushing down as you say the number and coming up as you say “and.” (The song Staying Alive is the right rate!)

When you complete 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths (step 3, above). (Each cycle of chest compressions and rescue breaths should take about 24 seconds.)

Step 5: Repeat compressions and breaths.

Repeat the sequence of 30 compressions and two breaths. If you’re alone with the baby, call 911 or the local emergency number after two minutes of care.

Continue the sequence of compressions and breaths until help arrives, you find an obvious sign of life, an AED (automated external defibrillator) is ready to use, the scene becomes unsafe, or you are too exhausted to continue.

Even if the baby seems fine by the time help arrives, a doctor will need to check her to make sure that her airway is completely clear and she hasn’t sustained any internal injuries.

Parent/Teacher-Led Art: What’s Best for Your Child?


“Let them create! Don’t intervene in their imaginative artwork!”

I heard this from many parent friends. The truth is, when homeschooling my daughter, I recognized that she was having a hard time taking the creation in her mind and translating it onto paper. She needed guidance to accomplish the image she so desperately wanted to display for all to see.

So….. I intervened and showed her how to draw. Let me preface with I am NOT an artist but thank goodness for Pinterest! I found Teacher-led art on Pinterest and went to town. I taught her step-by-step how to accomplish the look she was going for. You know what happened? I noticed her confidence go up because she felt like a real artist, she started drawing more, and she wanted her pictures placed on the refrigerator and framed for the wall. We started doing more of them and she started getting better and better.

My point is, each of us know what is truly going to help our child the best. Maybe letting them discover on their own is the best for your child. Maybe guidance and a little nudge is the best? It was for mine. I have attached Annora’s artwork we did this fall/winter. (Keep in mind she is 4 years old…)

Here are the Pinterest pages and YouTube channels I used to get these creative little images:


Teddy Bear drawing was a YouTube video I used:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1HZR2y8cL4

Turkey Drawing:http://proudtobeprimary.com/holidays-around-blog-its-turkey-time/



annora-reindeer-2 annora-reindeer annora-teddy-bear annora-turkey annora-grinch