One of the things I miss most about pre-kid, single life is the ability to spend a few hours window shopping at the mall and choosing just the right outfits that fit my personality and lifestyle.
I used to love wandering through and noticing all the seasonal themes and decorations, grabbing a snack at a kiosk and trying on fun new clothes.
The reality is to make time for this now means giving up precious morning alone time while all three kids are in school or calling in a favor to my husband and have him watch all three kids while I spend our money. Ha!
When the kids were really small, I decided to try a subscription box where they pick items out for me and send them to me based on a style profile questionnaire I fill out. While this doesn’t give me the satisfaction of physically going to the mall, spending time catching up on fashion in magazines or online and trying on outfits, it saves me a good three to four hours of time at least!
Don't you love setting goals? I'm inspired all the time by leaders who explain how wonderful it is to have goals and how much more successful people are when they make them. Did you know not many of us actually take the time to write them down?
Shortly after the birth of our second child, my husband and I went out on a date night and he started asking me all sorts of questions, like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" and "What's next for you?" I remember being so frustrated he would ask me questions like that when I was in survival mode with the kids. Of course, he didn't understand, but for a few years, I didn't have time to think about anything other than the kids or food or how to care for them. I was either with them or trying to stay awake. Sleep was so precious and I wasn't getting enough.
After that brief time, I got back to goal-setting and it's always served me well. Lots of my friends would tell me they created vision boars. I remember thinking they were kind...
A couple of years ago, my husband traveled a ton and I was in charge of bringing all three kids out in 100-degree weather for soccer games on Saturday mornings. That first year, it was all about the snacks. I think I ended up feeding all the younger siblings at the same time as my own kids, so I brought lots of snacks, chairs, the soccer stuff and all three kids in the wagon after parking a third of a mile away.
As the kids have gotten older and I’ve gotten more practice, we have streamlined these outings to make them much easier and more fun!
Dad is in charge of taking all three of our kids to soccer practice on his own this weekend, so I’m supplying him with everything he needs for a successful outing.
Keeping little ones busy in the hot sun all morning isn’t easy! Here’s what to stock up on to make sure you are set up for success.
First off, of course, each child should be dressed in their soccer uniform, socks, shinguards,...
Watch the video HERE.
You made it through the early years of either sleep training or lying in your child’s room until they fell asleep, right? So why is your big kid constantly coming down or lying in bed awake until all hours of the night?
When our oldest started preschool, it was like as soon as he got into bed his brain became alive. He built his best creations our of Duplo Lego or Zoobs when he was supposed to be sleeping, asked many intriguing questions and would even cry because he couldn’t get tired enough to fall asleep. The fact was, he was overtired and we tried everything to correct it - switching up the bedtime, creating a more soothing routine, we even got our the essential oils and massagers.
When he was in 1st grade, I found this great book and we read it together. It has helped him understand it is his job to help his body relax and there are many ways to do it. There’s also a game in the book that really helped our 3-year-old...
Flu season has been really tough this year, especially in our neighborhood. All three of the kids have been sick on and off for the past six weeks. My husband has been traveling and has stayed healthy using a few of the tricks I’m about to share with you. I stayed well for the past year, but it finally got me this season! Isn’t it hard not to get sick when the kids are cuddling up next to you and at the same time sniffling, sneezing and coughing all over us?!
When I feel a little less than 100% I go into attack mode to prevent the spread of germs.
First, I clean and sanitize the main community areas of the house.
I change out all the towels and give all family members their own hand towel in each bathroom. I wash our throw blankets in our living room. I’ll wash bedding if I have time, but definitely all pillowcases. I wipe down light switches, door knobs, faucet handles and remotes.
This sounds so gross, but in reality, it’s not that...
Have you ever felt like you just want to lie down on the sofa when your kids want to run around and play with you? Do you make it through the morning but then as soon as early afternoon hits you want to curl up and relax?
I didn’t get enough sleep for over seven years when my kids were young. I wasn’t blessed with good sleepers or I didn’t train them well enough! I suffered through many, many long days of being overly tired.
Most moms use coffee or sugar to make it through and so did I. But! I started learning more and more about energy and nutrition when I started researching how successful people handle things.
I had no idea there are other ways to get energy!
There are five ways to get more energy. Sleep, water, food, movement and self care.
1. SLEEP. I'm guessing if you have young children, you are not getting a good night's rest. Interrupted sleep is one of the worst kinds. If you can get to bed early, do that - or take a 20 minute nap if at all...
“Mom, my tummy doesn’t feel right!”
“I don’t want to go to school! I’m scared!”
Yesterday, the kids went back to school after having two weeks off for winter break. Our first and second graders were filled with feelings of apprehension, uncertainty and nervousness.
I knew this would be a transition day, so I planned to have a slower morning and made sure to cuddle and talk with the kids about their feelings. We talked about what to do when we feel this way. My daughter likes to gently rub the fingers of her one hand against the palm of her other hand when she’s feeling nervous. We talked about how it will help when she gets to see her best friend in class and reminded our son how much fun he has running around at recess. We also use the technique from the popular book, The Kissing Hand, at drop off.
Days like these are perfect days to make sure to spend some one-on-one time with the kids when they get home from school. Since we are a...
I didn’t sleep through the night for 7 years.
That isn’t something you expect when you decide to try for a family!
I don’t want to sugar coat it, parents, sleep is something you take for granted until it’s gone. You are super fortunate if you get a baby that sleeps and you are a good sleep trainer. Unfortunately, whether it’s me or my three babies, they wake me at night often. Even now. I used to get woken up by the kids multiple times a night every night.
I would never suggest taking advice from me on how to get your baby or child to sleep through the night, but I have learned a lot about how to function on interrupted, not great sleep.
Here are my seven best strategies:
1. Work with your sleep cycles as best you can. Our brains’ sleep cycle works in 90 minutes, and the goal is to get 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep each night. The next best thing isn’t 7 hours, or 6.5, it’s actually 6 of sleep. Not lying in bed, but sleep. So...
When the kids were two years old, three years old and just a few weeks old, we moved into a brand new house. I was stressed and overwhelmed because getting the house together fell on my shoulders since my husband was traveling a ton. There was so much to do: unpacking, organizing, designing, hanging pictures and shelves, meeting with vendors, choosing window coverings, appliances, garage storage, landscaping and overseeing all the deliveries and installations.
The kid's toy boxes were all in our loft playroom upstairs but where I needed to be was downstairs near the front door and near the kitchen. I was often answering the door, making food or doing dishes.
We had an old table my husband had used as a desk and my in-laws were so kind, they sawed off the legs and turned it into a play table just the right size for the toddlers. I set it up in the kitchen as an art area.
As soon as I put some paper and crayons out - boom - they were there for hours! It was amazing! It was an...
Does your child like art? Do you even know for sure? Every kid needs an art space set up in their home. One that is permanently there and not just set up when the mood strikes for an art project. An art space doesn’t have to mean it’s only for art. It can be for any messy project or play, for creating, tinkering, inventing, constructing and even cooking!
Having a dedicated space for creative projects is really important. My kids spend more time in our “Creation Station” than anywhere else in the house. They have learned that is the place to go when they want to create something to add to their play or get messy and it’s a constant visual reminder of the possibilities.
If you don’t have a dedicated craft room, don’t worry! It’s actually better to have this space near the kitchen or the room in your home you spend the most time in. If you want your kids to play independently there for awhile, most young kids want to be able...