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Making Each Moment Count…When Time Seems to be Flying

I blinked…yep…my baby is now 3 months old and I can’t even believe it. This is our last child so, as you can imagine, we are savoring each and every minute, every coo, every milestone…as it is our last to experience until our grand-babies are born. I know, a little too sentimental, right?!? Not when you know it is your last time to experience these things.

I can’t help but to grieve a bit when it comes to our last child. It can be hard as a parent to watch the days tick by quickly and feel out of control as they are growing more quickly than you are comfortable with. We have made it a point to make each moment count, not just with our last child but all three girls. The first two go-arounds we didn’t savor time, I got caught in the craziness of constant play dates and activities, and we certainly stayed BUSY! This go-around has been a different story. My calendar is more clear, I don’t mind staying home and just being mommy for a while, I watch my kids nap (I truly love just watching them sleep), and I am more focused on the relationship I am creating with my kids.

I know many people work and don’t have an opportunity to watch their kids nap or stay home and keep the schedule clear so I have created a list of things you can do as a family, as parents, etc. to make every moment count with your kids…because before you know it, they will be off making their own memories with their own kids and you will have wished time had slowed down.

  1. Put the electronics away and PLAY together…play games, tea party, Barbies, Power Rangers, Batman, etc. Or…Have a mock wedding with the man you intend to marry someday…DADDY! Seriously melts my heart!!!
  2. READ, read, ReAd, rEaD to your children
  3. EAT as a family at the kitchen table
  4. Put your kids to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal with the intention of laying with them and chatting about life, their dreams, goals, school, etc.
  5. SING together and be silly…don’t take life too seriously…it goes too quickly, why not have FUN!
  6. PRAY together as a family…pray for yourselves, pray for others, pray with pure intentions
  7. Do service projects together (rake the neighbors lawn, bless a family in need, work a soup kitchen together, etc.) making sure to BLESS OTHERS.
  8. Say,”I Love You” DAILY! If you aren’t sure if you said it, say it again! We all want to feel loved but our kids want to know and be reassured that we love them unconditionally.
  9. BE PRESENT (put the phone away, turn the TV off, come home from work an hour early sometimes…later in life you won’t wish you had worked more…TRUST ME)
  10.  TAKE VACATIONS (even if the budget doesn’t quite match the vacation you want to take…GO! Vacations don’t have to be expensive and break the bank. Some “cheap” mini-vacations can be: Go camping, spend the night at a hotel with a pool and game room, pitch a tent in the backyard and vacation there, visit family and stay with them, etc.
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STEM Activities That Will Get Your Kids Thinking

Lately all I have been hearing about is this “new” concept of STEM that involves kids’ and their  learning.

So  what is STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math and is hands-on learning that applies to the world around us. STEM builds and teaches creativity, problem solving, life skills, ingenuity, resourcefulness, patience and curiosity. STEM is what shapes the future as our world grows and changes. STEM is everywhere and in everything we do and how we live. From the natural world around us to the tablets in our hands that show us the world far, far away. STEM builds inventors!

Wow…so that is A LOT of good piled into one little acronym right?!?

If you are anything like myself, you want to expose your children to as much educational output as possible. My oldest daughter loves the arts and struggles with math. Her interest in it is strong because she is still very young so I am taking full advantage of it and exposing her to as many areas of math and science that I can. Getting it into your head that your child struggles with a certain subject matter (ie math, science, reading, etc.) can either help you help them or allow you to place them into a box of “they aren’t good at that subject.” Let’s focus on helping them.

They may never end up mastering the area they struggle in, but being proactive and exposing them to their weaknesses to make them less intimidating is key to helping them become lifelong learners.

I have done the hard part for you and found many different resources and sites that give amazing ideas and lessons in STEM. No use in reinventing the wheel when the wheel is perfect the way it is. Enjoy and HAPPY LEARNING!

  1. https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/30-preschool-science-experiments-for-the-young-scientist/
  2. https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/outdoor-stem-activities-science-kids/
  3. https://thestemlaboratory.com/preschool-stem-activities/
  4. https://playtolearnpreschool.us/stem-challenges-for-preschoolers/
  5. https://igamemom.com/stem-activities-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers/
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The Art of Saying “NO!”

The title of this blog is The Art of Saying “NO!” It makes me laugh because saying NO to your kids can be just that…an art!

  • Will they throw a temper tantrum in public if I don’t buy them this…?
  • What will the family think of my “oh so sweet child” if I allow the tantrum to escalate?

It can get pretty hairy with kids when they are learning what they can and cannot get away with. I would love to say that it only lasts toddler-hood but that would be a complete lie as I am still practicing this art with my 6 year old and I am guessing it will continue until they are ready to sail on their own and leave the home for their own adventure.

If you change your mindset a bit and look at it at an individual level, it gets to be a bit more FUN (yes, I said FUN). For example, our oldest daughter was the easy going baby that, when told NO, would quiver her lip and start to cry. We had to be gentle with her on the NO and redirect her instead and it worked like a charm. So, for her, she didn’t NEED to hear the word NO. Don’t get me wrong, we still told her NO but it had a PROFOUND effect on her.

Now with our second daughter, she was a pistol from the start and when she heard the word NO, it was like a switch in her and that her bad behavior became her ultimate goal…to do whatever it was she was NOT to do. Whether it was hitting her sister, pulling hair, sticking her finger in a socket, playing with the blinds, etc. If she heard the word NO, it was a guarantee that her next move would be that exact thing. So, for her we did redirecting and avoided the word No as well…but for different reasons. It reminds me of when I was younger. Friends of mine and I would tell each other…”Don’t yawn!” And by golly, what do you think we did EVERY.SINGLE.TIME??? We yawned….Why did we do this? Because we were restricted from doing so and it was on our mind.

Same goes for kids. Tell them NO and that becomes their barrier that they want to break down.

So how do you then utilize the word NO and have it be effective??? I mean, come one, everyone needs to hear the word NO and not have an adverse reaction to it at some point in their life (we don’t want a bunch of spoiled adults running around right???). My advice is to use the word in moderation, use it effectively (such as if a child is in danger), read your child’s cues with the word (how do they react to the word and what is the outcome?), and stick to your guns if you say it (don’t back down because of a little temper tantrum).

You have got this momma or pops and your child will thank you someday for raising them with such thought and determination. Remember, we are raising future men and women…who do you want that little person to become?

 

Cold Weather Kid Activities When You’re Stuck Inside

Winter Time Blues….

Yep…they are running rampant in our household and if you are anywhere near the snow this winter, my guess is they are running rampant in yours as well.

Here is a list of 5 fun STEM activities to do with your child(ren) when the weather seems to keep you from playing outside.

  1. Make Instant Ice: https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/instant-ice-science/

2. Pendulum Painting: https://www.marthastewart.com/894554/pendulum-painting#

3. Measuring Snow Experiment: https://thehomeschoolscientist.com/measuring-snow-experiment/

4. Orange Wrecking Ball Experiment: https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/orange-wrecking-ball-engineering-challenge/

5. Melting Ice with Salt: http://www.kissner.com/why-does-salt-melt-ice/

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One Week Healthy Meal Plan the Kids Will LOVE!

The good ole plug your nose and take the bite move.

If your household is anything like mine, there are some picky eaters that you are always trying to please at mealtime. One kid doesn’t like broccoli, the other doesn’t like tomatoes, etc. It can make meal planning a frustrating task to complete EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. LOL

What we have found to work in our family is that momma makes ONE meal for everyone. No substitutions here or there and compromising with the kids or HEAVEN FORBID make a separate meal for the picky child so they will eat. As I have implemented this into our household, I have noticed my picky eater starting to be “less picky.” She now has to try the thing she doesn’t care for but doesn’t have ton eat a plate full of it…if you catch my drift. The kids have started complaining less and the plates are looking more and more empty at the end of the meal.

Baked Turkey Meatballs and Gluten Free Pasta with Homemade Pasta Sauce

I plan out meals with likes and dislikes in mind but they don’t determine everything. I have found that if I get my picky eater involved in helping me prepare the meal, she typically is excited to eat it.

Here is a blogger that I respect and follow. She provides an AWESOME one week meal plan that I have found is VERY kid-friendly. Enjoy and I hope it brings less stress into meal planning for you.

https://www.theleangreenbean.com/a-week-of-kid-friendly-meals/