Archive for the 'kiddos' Category

27
Apr
13

Stomach Bug Survival Kit

Whether you need to run to the store for your family or you want to bless someone else’s family whose  has been hit by the stomach bug, here is a list of survival items we’ve found essential to weathering the storm.

  • Saltines: Mild carb, easy to digest.
  • Sprite: Sugar helps balance electrolytes and fights dehydration.
  • Chicken noodle soup: Salt also helps balance electrolytes. I’ve found chicken and rice soups to be more unpleasant to throw up. The rice gets stuck in the throat. The noodles slide back up easily.
  • Jello: Sugar and Salt for electrolytes and smoothly travels up and down.
  • Pedialyte: For electrolytes and fights dehydration, use sparingly since it is pretty strong and overuse can actually induce diarrhea.
  • Wet wipes: Because you can’t give them a bath every time they vomit on themselves.
  • Lysol III: It’s the only cleaner (aside from bleach) that I’m aware of that kills stomach bug viruses.
  • Rubbing alcohol: For cleaning cloth furniture that has been vomited on. It disinfects and evaporates quickly.
  • Paper towels: For vomit clean up.

Luxury Items:

  • Spearmint essential oil diluted in water (brown bottle): I spray this inside their cleaned vomit bowls to keep the vomit smell at bay (which can make them feel more nauseous).
  • Nice smelling all-purpose cleaner: To use as needed.
  • Laundry detergent: Because we do a lot of extra laundry during these times!
  • Diapers (if sickies are at that age): We go through double (triple?) the amount of diapers we go through normally.
  • Entertainment: Thankfully we have Netflix, but  if that isn’t available, bring some movies or stories on tape to help keep the kids entertained while they are laying down.
  • Food for mom: Often mom will end up neglecting to eat because she is so busy with the kids. Bring her something easy to eat (a sandwich, a ready made salad, protein smoothie?) and maybe some coffee to keep her going strong.
  • Garbage bags: For mess control!
  • Straws: Because it is better sip then gulp when you are throwing up a lot.

Image

23
Jan
13

Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes

I am working on my cake decorating skills. This is what I did for my daughters 7th birthday, as you can see, it’s a work in progress. She asked for chocolate (boxed, thank you very much), with blue and white frosting. At the last minute she decided it needed to be more girly…enter sprinkles. I think I might of messed up the frosting because I had to unclog the decorating nib several times. But she loved them, so mission accomplished.

18
Jan
13

Chore Charts

#3, #1, and #2 camping in the living room

I grew up in a home where there were 6 of us kids. I was the 3rd. Both my parents worked and we were homeschooled, so you can imagine what my chore list was like. My parents did a good job of teaching us to be hard workers.  I’ve been scrubbing baseboards and toilets, doing my own laundry, hand washing dishes (we didn’t have a dishwasher back then), and taking out the garbage for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember enjoying all of my chores, but I certainly didn’t hate most of them. With my own kids,  I have tried in the past to set up chore charts for their edification (they end up being more work for me to enforce then to simply do it on my own), but nothing has stuck this far. The older ones do help me around the house with whatever the current need is, but whenever I tried to have a more structured system it only ever lasted a couple months before dissolving. It could, admittedly, have something to do with my frequent HG pregnancies. It is hard to stay on top of chore charts when you are in and out of the hospital, and barely able to get out of bed. We can make plans, but ultimately, God decides the course of our lives (Proverbs 16:9).  The relative chaos in the housework department doesn’t bother me much anymore. My chaos meter has changed a lot since spending collective years listening to my family live while I helplessly listened from my bed. I can get involved again and bring some order to our little world. Plus, I have long since gotten over any aversions I had to chores. I enjoy cleaning. It occurred to me the other day that since we are done home growing our family, that the odds of sticking to a basic program have greatly increased.   I’ve also noticed a good deal of boredom going around our house. During the day when my oldest is at school, my second plays with our third, but then #3 takes a nap and #2 becomes my shadow, her questions cycle around on a loop, “What day is it? When will sister be home? When will brother get up? What are we doing tonight? Can I play games on the ipad or watch tv?” When I have my wits about me I take the opportunity to give her something constructive to do. Preschool workpages, wiping down surfaces, helping me fold the laundry or tear up lettuce for supper. If I am really on top of my game, I’ll drop everything and build a fort with her or host a tea party for just the two of us (and sometimes baby #4). However, more often then not, my wits get lost somewhere between my morning coffee and the Magic Laundry (you know, it pulls dirty clothes out of thin air and strews them about the house). Add into this the constant direction I give throughout the day and it’s no wonder I am ready to crash the second I load the last dirty dinner dish into the dishwasher (Praise God for technology!). The time has come for change. Today I sat down, searched through all those chore lists I’ve pinned on Pinterest, and came up with what I think is a decent working list for us. I’ll share it here, but I would like to hear what your thoughts are. What chores have you found work well for different age groups? What are your thoughts on incentives? Sticker charts or check lists? Have you found any certain flaws in the system that I should be aware of?

 Chores for a 7 Year old Girl 

  • BEFORE SCHOOL
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
  • AFTER SCHOOL
*** *** *** *** ***
Change clothes.
Put dirty school clothes in laundry hamper.
Wipe down bathroom sink.
Clean your room (make your bed, put clothes away, put toys away, sweep).
Unload dishwasher.
Homework.
Help fold laundry.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Set table with plates or bowls, napkins and silverware.
Wash your hands.
  • AFTER DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Clear your plate.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to braid your hair for bed.

  Chores for a 4 Year Old Girl

  • MORNING
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Do school.
Help fold laundry.
  • AFTERNOON
*** *** *** *** ***
Dust coffee tables.
Disinfect doorknobs.
Clean your room (make your bed, put your clothes away, pick up toys, pick up garbage and throw it away).
Unload dishwasher.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Wipe off kitchen table.
Set table with plates or bowls, napkins and silverware.
  • AFTER DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Clear your plate.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Wash your face.
Brush your hair.

Chores for a 2 Year Old Boy

  • MORNING
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
  • AFTER NAP
*** *** *** *** ***
Make your bed.
Wipe down front of dishwasher.
Wipe down front of oven.
Wipe down front of fridge.
Wipe down bathroom cabinet.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Wash your hands.
Wash your face.
  • AFTER DINNER
Put your toys away.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Wash your face.
15
Aug
12

Kid Friendly Dinners Part Two

Night Two

  • Hot dogs with buns, ketchup, and pickles.
  • Side of baked beans
  • Apple Slices
  • and ice cream for dessert.
  • Cinderella.

Night Three

  • Meaty spaghetti with lots of veggies in the sauce
  • Corn
  • and ice cream for dessert.
  • Cars.

Night Four

  • Macaroni and cheese.
  • Sliced strawberries.
  • Fresh cucumber and carrots in Italian dressing
  • Ice cream for dessert.
  • Sleeping Beauty.

Night Five

  • Repeat Night Two
  • Jungle Book.

Night Six

  • Buttered spaghetti noodles with sauteed onions, kielbasa and zucchini. Seasoned with garlic, salt and Parmesan cheese.
  • Carrot sticks.
  • Cheese sticks.
  • Ice cream for dessert.
  • Lady & the Tramp.
08
Aug
12

Kid Friendly Dinners Part One

When Ben starts school in two weeks, he will only be working 2 days a week, but this week and next, he is working  swing shifts most days. We’ve never really had to do dinner without Daddy around for consistent time periods so I am bound and determined to make the next two weeks of evenings fun for the kids (and easy for me).

Night One

  • Kraft macaroni and cheese (Spongebob edition) with sliced kielbasa.
  • Baked beans.
  • Raw broccoli florets, baby carrots and sliced strawberries.
  • Milk.
  • Toy Story 1.
10
Nov
11

Parenting Advice

Any mom can tell you that parenting advice is everywhere. Strangers on the street will walk up to comment and criticize your choices. When I was a new mom, I found it all very frustrating and discouraging. After all, my husband and I put a lot of thought into how we raise our children. How and where we decided to birth, how and what to feed them, when, where and how they should sleep…the list goes on and on. There were no snap decisions on the big stuff. Our decisions were made after extensive research, thought and prayer.   As parents, we all want what is best for our children but the truth is, what is best will frequently be different for every family (and sometimes every child.) So, what should our response be when someone tells us we are wrong?

  • First, ask yourself what this person’s credentials are. Are they someone you trust? Are they someone you respect?  This criteria alone will weed out the majority of strangers on the street or internet. If you don’t know them, there is no reason to believe them. I found it most effective for my own sanity sake to not heed advice from people I don’t really know. I try to just let it roll off. There is no logical reason for me to care what a stranger thinks. But if their words haunt me, I bring it up to Ben  later and we hash it out together.
  • Second, if you trust the person, parallel their advice with their circumstances. How many, what ages and what genders are their children? What is their living situation? How involved is dad with the children? What are the different unique needs in each of your families? There are many variables that will change what works for each individual.  Perhaps, extended kangaroo care may be the best thing for one mother and her child, however another mother has chronic back pain so that method is simply impractical for her. Even when there is nothing morally wrong with extended kangaroo care. It’s just a different situation. No moral or legal reason to decide either way. And then sometimes there is no back pain and the second mother simply doesn’t believe extended kangaroo care is what is best for her baby. This is just a difference in opinion. Nothing worth arguing about. We are all moms. Being a mom is hard work. If you can’t offer support in someones method decision, offer love. I’m guessing it’s good practice for when our children grow up and choose different things then we did. The classic rule in Bambi that Thumper’s mother taught him comes to mind, “If you can’t say something nice….”.
  • Third, if their opposing opinion is actually worth examining, ask questions. Explore it, check sources and facts, then re-evaluate your thoughts on it. There is always room to grow as a parent.

If the opposing opinions are being offered aggressively, and you start to feel attacked, remember that you are your children’s mother. You and your spouse are the ones  responsible before God for your children. And remember that God is good.

As a general rule, I tend to think offering unsolicited advice is a bad idea. We aren’t talking about sin or illegal concepts here (and even then, it might be wise to tread lightly, especially if you aren’t a bff). We are talking about different ideas and methods on child training. We all have reasons for choosing what we choose and that is good. We should know why we do what we do. Yet, I find it helpful to remember that what is best for my family is not necessarily best for everyone in these situations.  If someone asks, by all means, explain. But take care not to do so in that crazy judgy-judgy way we women are so talented at. Who listens to a raving lunatic, anyways? Aggression goes a long way when you are attacking mold in the bathroom, but can be very harmful to people.

(NOTE: My kids are still young and so am I. These are just my thoughts this far. Feel free to share yours.)

16
Feb
11

hat & scarf

E needed some cold weather gear that wasn’t all stretched out and pilly from her big sister using it, so I made her a hat and scarf with some leftover yarn I had in my basket.

This was my first attempt at cabling on a hat (and my second attempt at cabling ever), so I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The shape is a little wonky and has to be pulled down on her head every so often, but it works. Next time I think I’ll make the cables bigger or the stripes in between a little smaller.




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