Little People, BIG Emotions-7 tips

1. The Art of Distraction

If ever there is a time to be grateful for short attention spans of a child it is during a fit. Something as simple as making an interesting noise, silly face, or singing a song can stop the loud teary tantrum in its tracks. Once the child is calm then “talking it out” will be more effective.

2. Restore Peace

It’s hard to restore peace if you allow the chaotic energy to strike a nerve. I really try my best not to yell because it’s not good for any of us, but let’s face it sometimes screaming children cannot hear you. Taking a couple of calming breaths before speaking can help. I actually started using that exact phrase in our home when the kids start bickering… “restore peace.” They get the general idea of peace from our Bible studies. Another little thing that may be working is the present I received for Mother’s Day, a Peace Lily Plant. Every week we had one or two leaves yellow and wilt. Remembering what I heard about some essential oil crops that workers are instructed not to curse or speak negatively around the flowers. I told the children they may be harming the plant with their arguing. Now when a fight breaks out I just say, “Shh, the plant may turn yellow again.” Hey, the leaves have been greener so who’s to say?

3. Calm Conversation

Once peace is restored open up a calm conversation. Reminding your child not of their actions, but of the situation. Then give positive examples of how they can react the next time that happens.

i.e. Throws fit about spilling their bowl of food.

Accidents happen so if you ever spill your food again just say, “help please.” And I will help clean it and get you more, ok?

4. Intentional T.V.

Children are sensitive beings. They imitate what the see and play off of the vibe in the room. So make sure you are aware of any shows or games they watch or play. As a matter of fact, a couple months ago, I downloaded a super cute pet game for our newly 6-year-old. It had an ad in it about a killer clown! Shame on my ignorance I guess, but I thought kid’s games=kid’s ads. (Nope😟) So a lot of prayers and an intentional Christian DVD called “Don’t Be Afraid” later, she finally stopped thinking about it. Poor Sweetpea. So good clean music, movies, games=better vibes & happier lives.

5. Pray Together

Growing up my mom taught us to recite a few prayers at night, but that is really as far as prayer and faith went. I am grateful that my husband carried saying “grace” at mealtimes into our family from his. And when the kiddos are afraid of bad weather (or clowns eeks) we pray that God takes away our fears and makes us brave. Then we ask for protection and thank Him for our shelter. It not only helps for the moment but in the long run when life throws curve balls they will know what to do.

6. Kid Devotionals

We just started doing these in class opposed to just the simple verse of the month. It provides more of a thought-provoking conversation. Another new routine has been reading children’s devotionals on the YouVersion Bible App at night. It is family time spent we look forward to now.

7. Worship

Yesss🙌Praise JESUS! There are a few of our favorite songs that we randomly sing throughout the day. Training the mind and spirit to focus on what we do have is a blessing. Living with a grateful heart is a gift to be joyfully lived and shared. Let’s remember to let His light shine in our home which He has given. Amen! Rejoice!

Welcome to Parenthood

The place where your choices affect everyone and everyone feels the need to voice their opinion about it. Sorry, were you expecting something more positive? I’ll get there in a minute.

I just want you to be prepared as new parents. There’s the one who will tell you not to complain about your swollen ankles because you chose to get pregnant or some women wish they could be pregnant. There’s the “don’t eat too much of that, you are gonna get fat” person.

Then here comes baby yay! But there’s the “I know all things baby and you should do what I say” person. There’s also the “Oh you’re that mom” eye rolling person. There is the get in their face and touch them stranger. There’s the come over with a cold saying it’s good for their immunity (even though that’s what vaccines are for and they won’t be there to care for your sick child or pay the medical bills) person.

Then when your baby isn’t new anymore there will be no-one.

So here is the good part…you can’t control others, but you can control yourself. Maybe by the hardest because well, hormones. You would think Vet moms would take that into consideration, but they don’t. I am only now starting to realize how they can forget so much. It is because everything is passing by at such a fast pace that it is hard to store every memory and emotion.

My regret is letting others take away the joy of motherhood. Because it affected me, it affected my family. That is why I am sharing this. So you know that it is not you and you know people will have an opinion no matter what. So make the decisions that are best for you and your family with confidence. Do your very best to ignore the rest. Because there will be enough difficult parenting moments and the years really do start to fly by.

Open those tired eyes a little wider and focus on all of the sweet amazing moments. There may be times of loneliness where you feel underappreciated, but there really isn’t a person on Earth (besides maybe your mom) that will love you more than your baby. So guard your heart and be the strong, happy mommy he/she deserves.

Also, you and dad need each other and more importantly baby needs both of you! When you get snappy because of sleep deprivation and hunger forgive each other quickly. Forgive yourself as well. Communicate your needs. Give each other support, encouragement, and rest. And remember a family that works together, plays together, and prays together is way more likely to stay together.

Take care 💕

D.I.Y. Peanuts Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I chose the theme for our daughter’s first birthday I asked my husband to choose for our son’s.  Surprise!!  He picked Peanuts as he was a big fan growing up.  I was rooting for Boss Baby since our son is a squishy blonde babe, but I have to say the Charlie Brown theme was a piece of cake, right down to the cake.

All it took was two round 8×8 pans, chocolate cake mix, vanilla frosting, yellow food dye, and black decorative icing.  Can’t forget the candle of course.  If you chose to use the figurines, place a dab of icing to make them stay put.

Our location was at a new playground/splash pad because both of our kids have birthdays during the warm season. Luckily, pizza and salad delivery were available so that was one less thing we had to carry across the park. I’m so happy with how the themed snack tray turned out. Just use goody bags, peanuts, peanut m&ms, and peppermint patties.

Another theme that would be super cute to do d-do for a summertime birthday party is baby shark!  If you agree, check out these decorations on Amazon.

Our daughter’s 1st birthday was underwater themed, but baby shark was not as popular 5 years ago.  I think her party still came out pretty cute.  I’ll have to dust off some old photos to share with you.

I do state this in the disclaimer in the menu bar, but want to repeat.  I receive a very small percentage if a purchase is made from some of the ads ran on my blog…at no extra charge to you of course.  Any payout will be used to keep this site running.  I only recommend products or services that I personally use or want to use after reading excellent reviews.

Like⭐ for more on my kid’s birthday parties as I usually do a couple pinteresty things without going overboard.  PLEASE let me know which content you enjoy most or want to know more about!  I have not received much feedback so constructive criticism on this site’s content, appearance, and functionality will be greatly appreciated.  Just email me: http://www.mom1st4most@gmail.com

Take care

7 Tips for Little Picky Eaters

Ugh…meal times, right?

My kids were not picky when starting solids, but I have found their taste buds had to be redeveloped after two.  They loved a variety of foods as infants, but once they were introduced to sugary salty snacks they no longer wanted anything healthy.

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If you can relate to this and want some tips, here is what has helped us…

1-be the example…if you are an adventurous eater, chances are they will be too

2-keep them busier with only small healthier snacks between meals so they are good and hungry when meals are served

3-sit down with a healthy snack and sure enough, their hands will be in the bowl even though they said no to that snack earlier (like 10 times)

4-allow them to take small tastes of things without feeling pressure to swallow or eat more

5-even if they did not like it last time, ask again their taste buds may have changed

6-have them pretend to be giraffes, rabbits, or puppies while you feed them spinach, carrots, etc.

7-deconstruct meals/use cute shapes-for example instead of a rolled taco place meat in one section, cheese in another, and tortilla stars in another

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The kids snatched this salad mix off of the counter while I was preparing dinner.  Their bodies know what they need so even if chocolate is requested at every meal they actually want the healthy stuff as well.  Sometimes it just takes more effort.

So these tips are exactly how I developed my little one’s palettes and got them back on track with better nutrition.  Best of luck to you! I know it is a constant battle.  Just keep trying and know that one tiny bite of carrot puts like .04% more vitamin A into their system (#winning)!

Disclaimer: the above percentage is probably wrong, but you get the point😉

Also if you are really concerned with your child’s nutrition please consult a pediatric nutritionist.

Take care mama❤

3 Tips to Up Your Easter Bunny Game

In the hustle and bustle, you may just be tempted to pick up a pre-made basket from the grocery store. Which is totally fine. If your kids are like mine though they have plenty of balls and coloring books already. Oh, and do I have to mention a closet full of baskets? Here are a few tips to make this Easter extra special.

1. Think outside the basket

Try looking for a storage box or bin that can be used after the fact for storage. Another idea you may have seen on Pinterest is to use a new upside-down umbrella to hold a new pair of rain boots filled with treats.  A toddler pool or ring float can be perfect for holding the upcoming summer essentials such as swimsuits, floaties, pool toys, beach towels, sunglasses, and flip flops.

2. Not sweet on too many treats

Spring for the organic ones with less sugar and dyes. For example, Little Annie’s makes yummy cheddar bunnies, graham cookies, and gummies. You can also skip filling the eggs with treats. Here in Louisiana, chocolate melts before the kids can even find the eggs anyway. Try breaking open a new puzzle and place a piece in each egg. Another great idea is to fill eggs with a ticket to cash in for one app or movie purchase.

3. Quality over quantity

Don’t waste money filling the basket with junk toys that will not hold their interest and will probably break. Instead, spend a little extra on one or two quality toys. Examples are books, foam blocks, magnaformers, wooden puzzles, match up eggs, or a family game like cornhole.

 

For more of my favorite Easter basket ideas, crafts, and treats visit: https://www.pinterest.com/Mom1st4most/celebrations/easter/

 

 

 

What I should have put on my baby registry…

-Nanny

-Housekeeper

-Massage Therapist

Ummm what else?

-A shoulder to cry on

😂 Kidding!  You will be fine.  I’m sure a box of kleenex will be good. Haha.

-DUSTBUSTER!!!! (Also, a good handsfree foot pedal trashcan to empty it in because germs and doing ambidextrous things with one hand while holding baby will be hard enough.)

Sorry for all caps, but it is that important.  I have been through two dustbusters so far.  Kids constantly produce crumbs and crumbs are like jackrabbits…they multiply.

For real though, I made a registry using “babylist” to give some examples of my favorite baby products and gear.  I tried to put similar items at different price points.  Leaving out diapers because you may want to go disposable or cloth.  Pumps, formula, and bottles were left out as well because that is another decision based on preference.  Besides, both my babies were exclusively breastfed so I would not be much help with those items.  Although I did try a couple of lower-end pumps.  Even with good reviews, I felt they did not work the best thus the exclusive breastfeeding.  So I would suggest springing for the mac daddy Medela pump from the start.

Before I share the registry link these are a few things that I learned along the way, but wish I would have known beforehand.

Baby Wearing

Babywearing was a foreign concept to me.  Everyone, I know just lugged around the infant carrier car seat. A little tidbit about carriers they aren’t meant to ride on top of shopping carts. We see it all the time right? I did it once or twice not realizing the cart seat actually cautions against that. And hey, these are our precious babies so why chance a bump to a display that will send your little one sliding off.

Buying a stroller may just be a waste of money. Most times my kids screamed to get in it. They felt safer closer to me.  I was happy to sell our stroller and use a baby carrier instead. Needless to say, it freed up space in the cargo and I no longer had to take the heavy contraption in and out while toting a baby.  Talk about a backbreaker.  They aren’t always store aisle friendly either.

If you decide to carry I advise to skip the baby sling.  There are plenty of articles of the dangers of suffocation due to the c-shape baby sleeps in.  Also, pay attention to the babies leg positioning.  Legs together can run the risk of hip dysplasia.

Nurseries

I wouldn’t feel too much pressure over having the perfect nursery set up in the beginning.  You and your newborn will probably spend a great deal of time feeding and rocking anyway.  Another hot topic you may want to be informed about is SIDS.  I still see cutesy crib bumpers on the market and those are not considered 100% safe.  There are plenty of new mesh products out there now worth looking into.  We used a Safe Beginnings Crib Mattress and a mesh crib bumper, but now there is also a baby hammock that may be worth looking into.  Of course, in my opinion, will be short-lived because the baby would grow out of it fast.  Also, the baby’s position would be similar to that of a baby sling so I would caution that product.

Carseats

Very important things to consider…

1. Car seats have expiration dates on them.

2. Careful when receiving used car seats, if one was in a small fender binder it should no longer be used.

3. Follow car seat safety pages on social media.

4. Installation seems simple but can be tricky. (You will need to follow car seat installation instructions in your VEHICLE MANUAL.)

5. Our state troopers hold FREE car seat installations once or twice a week so check with yours. You can try asking for a certified car seat safety specialist’s phone number to schedule a visit to your home. We had ours come out to the house twice so far and are so thankful to know that the kid’s seats are 100% safely in place.

6. Convertible car seats may seem pricey, but are a really good investment because they last through the rear and forward facing phases. Some even go as far as a booster seat.

Click the link to see my example registry.

https://www.babylist.com/mom-1st4most

(I do not get paid for the app or merchandise suggestions)

Please like to let me know if you found this post helpful.  Use the contact menu if you have any questions and let me know what topics you are interested in learning more about.

Take care mamas!

Sometimes It Is More About Spending Less Than Making More

Does it seem like no matter how much you work, there is never enough money? We live in a world that tends to value others by what they own. The stores and internet sell endless amounts of things. Seriously, put two random words into google and I bet someone is selling it. My words were “bell rabbit” and guess what they are adorable little dust catchers. The amounts of products available today can be overwhelming. The list below includes ways my family cuts down on spending.

Nix Subscriptions

That $10 a month subscription for candles, magazines, beef jerky, etc. seems innocent enough. However, $120 a year for one subscription.  Plus those are probably things you really don’t even need monthly.

I was tired of calling for new promotions on overpriced cable.  Plus, the packages offered only gave us a few channels that we actually watched.  So we cut the chord and bought a Fire T.V. Stick.  This is a decision without regret.  We can stream our favorite shows, rent, and purchase movies using this device.  It is affordable and easy to set up.

Get ready to gasp…not only did we cut the cord on cable, but we canceled subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu.  It was a hard decision because the two offer such incredible viewing content.  However, it was causing us to watch way too much television.  That is another $130+ we can put into savings each year.

Tip: List all of your monthly subscriptions and contemplate which ones are actually necessary.

Minimalism

Let that whole want/need trickle into the rest of your life. Back when we had Netflix, I watched a documentary on Minimalism that raised some great points. Many Americans live in excess.

I’m no Marie Kondo, but go through your home often deciphering what is not useful. If you haven’t used that thing in 10 years, my guess is that you never will. Sell it or donate it to someone who may need it today. Maybe you don’t believe in God and that is your right. I’m not here to force my beliefs on others. So please, understand like events that made you a nonbeliever, certain events have made me a believer. Anyway, I believe if for some reason you need that thing again, God will provide.

By practicing intentional buying and decluttering, you will benefit greatly. Finances will free up, your home will be easier to clean, and that will reduce stress.

Money Saving Apps

Ibotta is the one I use the most. It can be a little tedious to keep up with so I don’t always when life gets busy. I love when I have enough to get a gift card. Usually, I select $25 to Target. It is my mommy guilt free card to spend on whatever I want. Not that I have any reason to feel guilty normally, but you know how it goes.

Whether I buy a shirt, new undies, makeup, or a variety of face masks, it is a nice reward for pinching pennies. The free cards can be used for birthday or Christmas gifts if you wish. Below is a link to get you started with cash waiting for you.

https://ibotta.com/r/tsoufas

Product Discount Codes

Most companies pay for referrals. Usually in the form of discounts on their products. So share your favorite products with your friends and let them know if they want to try them you have a discount code. It’s an I scratch your back, you scratch mine type of thing. Except really, it is just the company scratching both backs👍

The only product referral code I have right now is for Thinx period undies. My take on them…

-seem pricey, just buy 1 or 2 at a time

-saving on tampons and pads, still using a small amount on heavy days

-on the border of a size? because of period bloating go a size up.

-go with all black, my gray pair stained a tiny bit on the sides

-love having the safety net of wearing if I am not sure I will start in the middle of an event

If you have been curious about them using the link below for a discount👌

http://ref.thinxify.me/k-F-k

Cut Down On Waste

This goes a bit with 1 & 2. Growing up, um financially challenged, I have always felt the need to take good care of my things so that they last. I try so hard to instill this in my kids who can sometimes be destructive.

I tell them to take care of their toys because we may not be able to buy more. Besides, broken toys go in the trash creating more waste in already full landfills. If we take care of them, when we are done we can share them with other children that may not have many toys.

My husband also didn’t get why I was a stickler for things that cause damage to our yard, cars, and house. I call it protecting our investments. People won’t pay as much for used things that are damaged on a resell. Plus, don’t we want to show gratitude for what we have?

Also, find ways to cut down waste in the kitchen🍴(see what I did there). Seriously, though a good bit of my recipes have come from trying to reinvent leftovers. That spinach salad that goes out of date today that you don’t plan on eating, freeze it! It is delicious smothered or in a homemade soup. Just enough chicken for one person? Cut it up and mix it with some pasta and veggies. Either buy a sauce or make a simple garlic butter sauce. This stretches meals and your money.

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful. If so make sure to like this post. Follow/subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. Thanks for dropping by!

P.S.

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P.S.S.

Take care❤

Caring for Sick Little Ones

My oldest is now recovering from the stomach flu. Over the last 5 1/2 years, we have experienced allergies, colds, hand foot and mouth, RSV, and a case of food poisoning. By now we have adapted to caring for sick little ones so I just want to share a few tips and tricks for any newbies because it can be a little scary and messy.

1. Cover Furniture

We have learned to cover beds or rockers with something washable like a large towel, doubled sheet, or blanket. This will help save furniture from any possible damage. We once threw out a comforter because even after washing it there was still a smell and a stain. Now we switch out the comforter with a much easier to wash throw blanket if one of the kids are sick.

2. Tupperware

I don’t care much for a dirty trash can near the bed. That is why we have a designated container specifically to put on the nightstand when someone is nauseated.

3. Make a Station

It’s best to set up a station nearby. This will probably remind you of the newborn feeding stage while you were recovering from delivery. Things you may want to keep nearby:

-water

-wet towel

-wipes

-container

-phone

-thermometer

This is ours as we speak. My phone is in my hand and I decided to move the thermometer out of my toddler’s reach since there isn’t a screw holding the battery pack in place.

I dug out an old plastic tray once used for a birthday party and to make switching rooms with the essentials less time-consuming.

If you have a second child that is not sick it can be helpful to place a bucket of snacks out in case you are stuck under your sleeping sick one. My two year old got to the blueberry bar before I could even take a picture😊

Might I add, he is enjoying free range to all of the toys haha. The house is so peaceful because there is no fighting over toys. But there is also no giggling as they play together and I miss that, as I’m sure they feel the same.

Cautionary…

I am not a doctor. If you are worried about your child’s change in behavior call your pediatrician! Be up to date on warning signs to be on the lookout for such as dehydration.

Read, read, read! Google it all and cross-reference what you read. This is advice most go against, but knowing what sites to trust and not to worry if you stumble upon a worst-case scenario can be helpful.

Once a nurse practitioner diagnosed my daughter with scabies. Of course, I started researching it as soon as we got in the car. Only one of my daughter’s symptoms matched. I called back and made another appointment with our usual pediatrician. The man not only has been in practice for a very long time, but he also has nine children. NINE! Needless to say, I trust him. Turns out she had hand foot mouth. What a difference. And that mamas and papas is a perfect example of following your parental instincts. Never be afraid to get a second opinion.

I also found understanding fever so much less scary the more I read about it. I try so hard to be this calm rock for my kids, but inside I’m a nervous mess. Being informed is what helps me personally. Sites I use are:

http://www.healthychildren.org

http://www.mayoclinic.org

http://www.webmd.com

http://www.livestrong.com

Public forums and social media groups may be helpful as far as support goes, but I would stick to the above sites and your pediatrician for factual advice.

Be careful with old wives tales. NEVER take any non-medical advice without researching it first and consulting with your pediatrician. I wish someone would have told me this. I’ll share a couple of stories to spare you the same mistakes.

Do not give your child Tylenol before their vaccination appointment! Surely my mother-in-law who has two healthy adult children knows what she is talking about, right? I arrived at the appointment and was lectured about how that was defeating the purpose of the vaccination.

In addition, do not use essential oils to lower a fever caused by a vaccination. If you do plan on using essential oils with your children I highly recommend finding a holistic doctor and reading books like Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern.

Another tale to caution is a coughing hack people swear by that can actually be quite dangerous…Vick’s Vapor Rub on the bottoms of feet. Do not chance it! We tried this as a couple of our friends suggested. So we applied the Baby Vick’s on the bottom of our toddler’s feet covered by socks as instructed. Moments later, she had a coughing fit and suddenly could not breathe! Worst minute of my life. In the time it took to grab my phone and dial 9-1 she gasped catching her breath. I hung up and we bathed her. She seemed okay to wait until the peds office opened. Sure enough, I looked up Vick’s on the feet breathing problems and saw a few articles of how their baby or child went into respiratory distress. Again, research everything thoroughly! I cannot stress that enough. Your child’s life may depend on it.

I’ve since taken a more laid back approach aiding illness with plenty of rest, water, and TLC or 3H (home, hydrated, hugs). By letting the sickness run its course more naturally instead of trying to stop all of the symptoms that are part of our body’s natural defense system. Again, this post is about non-complicated viral colds and allergies. Bacterial infections or inflamed rashes may require an antibiotic so consult your pediatrician.

Here’s to healthier days in our home and yours! Until next time…

Take care❤

5 side gigs that I’ve had as a SAHM-Pros and Cons

Below I will share some of the side gigs I have used to supplement income over the years. Sure, I could research and compile an article like 200 ways to make money from home, but I feel more comfortable sharing my actual experiences so I hope you appreciate that.

 

Arts & Crafts

This one was very enjoyable for me.  Even though I’m not always great at it, I’ve always admired art in all of its forms.  Out of all of the arts and crafts, the best selling for me were the flags, diffuser jewelry, and handmade hair bows.  I sold at 6 (9hr) shows, that I had to pay to be in.  Being a member of a local art guild meant my price was discounted.  So paying $45 for those shows was not bad.  The first show I barely broke even, but as I learned the market I made a little more each show.  The last few I made my money back with enough extra to treat my family to dinner at a restaurant😂

If you are super talented and motivated then you will most likely do a better job than I did.  So go for it!

Pro:  Enjoyable for artsy-craftsy types

Con;  A little costly and time consuming with young children. You have to make everything then either go out and sell it or create an Etsy or Zazzle shop.

Distributor

New moms you will make new old friends again if they want you to join their team.

Not saying that is a bad thing, but for me, it was not entirely the best. A few months after my daughter was born an old friend reached out. I noticed her essential oil posts and was intrigued. Before I knew it she was what they called my upline.

I was so excited about buying and selling such life-changing products! We taught a few classes and I was making enough money to cover my new found obsession.  After a few months, I realized there were all these oils being pushed when actually many of them could help the same ailments.  Also, my upline and her upline’s houses smelled moldy. Could it be that diffusers being shipped out of Utah shouldn’t be constantly diffused in Louisiana?  Speaking of constantly diffusing, people in my downline ran diffusers for hours even though in class I cautioned doing so.

I stopped distributing because I did not want to feel responsible for anyone getting hurt. Remember, while wonderful, natural does not equal safe.  Do your research…on the product…on the company…on employee’s past experience with the company.

Pro: Learned how beneficial nature’s remedies can be.

Con: Pyramid schemes=pressure sales

Babysitting

Spread the word to family, friends, and neighbors that you are willing to babysit as a side job.  Many parents need a trusted babysitter for an occasional date night or holiday shopping.  In my case, my neighbor needed someone to watch her young kids in the morning for about 20 minutes.  She had to leave for work earlier and could not see them onto the bus.  I told her no payment was necessary, but she insisted.

Pro: Zero commute, playmates

Con: More noise😂

Commissioner

Woot for civic duty!  This job may not be available for much longer because of technological advances, but it’s been a sweet gig of mine for years (even back in my college days).  I plan to move up to commissioner in charge this year.

Serving as a commissioner on election day seems easy…posting up a few signs, opening voting machines, checking IDs, writing names, pressing a button, etc.  Pretty simple, but extremely important.  Like, go to jail if you don’t properly check an ID important.  The day is long starting as early 5:30 a.m. and ending as late as 9:30 p.m., of course, that is for bigger elections.  I usually work 3-4 days a year.  I’m sure state pay varies, but obviously, the money is worth it for me to continue.  Call your Clerk of Court to find out more.

Pros: Personally, I love meeting all of the people in my precinct.

Cons: Long hours

Writing

So way back in high school…almost 20 years ago.  Wooow, ow lol. Surprised I can remember anything that long ago. Just making fun!  Anyway, I was co-editor of the school newspaper and may have won a couple of literary fair awards.  The point is I have enjoyed writing for a long time now, but it was put on the back burner.  Why? Because parents like to tell their kids what to be when they grow up.  And I guess that is fine, but usually, it is a safe stereotypical job or a big money job.  The parenting advice I am giving myself is to pray about it and pay attention because my children already have a God-given purpose.  I surely do not want to accidentally misdirect them.

Gosh, is that twice I digress in the same paragraph?! Seriously though, if you are interested in writing there are options. I have worked as a freelance writer making powerpoint presentations and contract write-ups for a company in Florida. I used Elance, but the website has since changed to Upwork. Which was a bummer to me because my completed work and review was not transferred. You can find all types of writing jobs there.

You can also create a blog like this one.  Which I am not making a penny off of yet, but it is still rewarding.  Perhaps writing and publishing a book is more up your alley.  If so, go for it!  I have some little children’s books, cookbooks, novels, and many more posts for this blog all lined up.  The best piece of writing advice I have received was read often and write more than you read.

Pros: Flexible hours

Cons: Irregular income

This video also had some great suggestions…

SOMETIMES IT IS MORE ABOUT SPENDING LESS THAN MAKING MORE…(to be continued)

I pray for every person, Christian or not, reading this knows their true calling.  I know you will fulfill their needs Lord. It is written!  In Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen🙌

Please like and follow/subscribe to get updates of new posts!  Until next time…

Take care

16 Ideas When Stuck Inside

Have cabin fever? Pass some time with a few of these activities.

1. Baby Wipes!

Keep wipes around when they come near you pretend to wipe their face and they run away. You can use this as a chance to sit for a minute or actually chase them and get some exercise.

2. Hospital

This was a life saver when I had terrible morning sickness with baby #2! I mean, that Doc McStuffins is an absolute blessing. I got to lay down while all vitals were checked and bandages were applied. Create illnesses for their toys as well. Start from the 911 call. Then rescue the toy and deliver to triage. Place the toy in a container (I mean hospital bed) and nurse back to health.

3. Buried in Stuffed Animals

For once I was happy my daughter had an abundance of stuffed animals. Yes, bury me as I rest my eyes then I will bury you and witness you breaking your record for sitting still.

4. Pretend to be Stuffed Animals

My daughter’s favorite is to be a stuffed giraffe. I have to talk to her and dress her up with a princess crown and play tea party all while get this, she is immobile and silent. Don’t get me wrong my daughter’s voice is one of my favorite sounds on Earth, but sometimes mama needs a break😂.

5. Stuffed Animal Hide-N-Seek

Anyone else too big for hiding?✋ My solution is picking one stuffed animal and take turns hiding that.

6. Bear Hunt

My kids love the Going on a Bear Hunt book. So what’s better than reading it? Going through it! Place Teddy in one room and start in another room. Pretending to cross a grassy field, splash through a river, trudge through mud, stumble through a forest, whirl through a snowstorm, and finally tiptoe into the bear’s cave. Oh no! A bear! Now back track finally arriving home and in bed.

7. Macaroni Mania

This is one activity we drag out. Like if we are going to make a mess let’s get the most bang for our buck.

-dye pasta different colors and let dry

-dump into trays and make paths with toy trucks

-practice pouring from cup to cup

-sort the different colors

-make rainbow art

-string macaroni jewelry

-water bottle music shakers

That is a good place to end. Now they are contained and ready to put away until the next rainy or snowy day.

8. I Spy Scene

Collect random toys and household objects to make your own I Spy scene either on a table or in a bottle.

9. Painter’s Tape

-zig zag walking lines to balance on

-roads for toy cars

-x marks the spot treasure hunt

-tic-tac-toe board, use coins or Legos as x’s and o’s

10. Build a Fort or Tunnels

Obviously, right? Not always my favorite, but if stuck inside for days it provides entertainment. Sometimes we create kid only tunnels around the bed because the blankets are already there, just needing chairs for the other side of tunnel.

11. Ultimate Toy Land

So we get a little carried away. Well, really carried away. We weave V Tech tracks and wooden tracks to create a double world of transportation. This is a great activity to practice problem solving because sometimes the tracks do not align correctly and the design will need to be reconsidered. Occasionally, we incorporate Lego housing. Seems overkill, but the mess is confined and we sit and have the best conversations.

12. Vacuum Monster

Get the kids to help pick up so you can chase them around with the vacuum. They get to run around and you get a clean house, win win!

13. Sunshine Party

Bring the sunshine inside by throwing a party. Create a couple of pretend invitations, craft a few decorations, play some music, and put out some snacks.

14. Experiment

Head over to Pinterest and find an age appropriate experiment for your little ones. I have a few pinned on my smarty pants board here… https://www.pinterest.com/Mom1st4most/

15. Homemade Labyrinth

We made ours using these trays, play doh, and a paper towel roll. Then, used a straw and pom pom to navigate the course. Tilting the tray to get a marble through the maze would also work.

16. Water Fun

Really you can use anything with water and kids will have a blast. Here we used colorful ice cubes to weigh, scoop out using different utensils, count and sort.

Hopefully, I have given you at least a couple of new ideas for the next time you are stuck indoors. Until next time…

Take care

A Tale of 2 Toddlers

Looking back, I wonder how many moms can relate to this story. Maybe you are not quite a mom yet and I hope you find this tale useful in the future.

It was a hot summer day in the South.  My husband and I decided to take our active 16-month old for a swim.  So we changed and chased her around the apartment to swipe as much sunscreen as we could get on her.  Then we loaded up the bags and headed downstairs to the pool.

We did the whole awkward song and dance…scanning the other swimmers then scouting out a table.  Once we decided on one, we dropped our things.  Next was the anxious strip down to the swimsuit and try not to jiggle or trip or look more awkward walk.  In my case, it felt like a scurry to the water.

We said hello to another couple with a toddler in the shallow corner of the pool, but continued wading to the middle.  Our daughter was like a fish with floaties!  We had to keep telling her to close her mouth because she had the biggest smile that water kept getting in. Haha😂

Then from the corner, we heard counting from a tiny voice.  The dad then asked how old our daughter was so my husband replied. “15!” the girl exclaimed with a proud look as her mother cheered in approval. “Ours is just 14 months,” the dad said gleaming.  “Oh that’s impressive,” I said through a smile as my insides turned.

What was coming over me?  Worry? Anxiety?  Our daughter could only count to three.  Sometimes five if she skipped four.  The next moment stopped my fear in its tracks.  The dad started urging his daughter to swim away from the edge.  She hugged the mom tighter and tighter while crying no.  When I looked back at my daughter I saw so much joy and freedom as she fearlessly leaped off the ledge into the water. That moment for me was in slow motion.  I have carried it like a gift in my heart all these years.

See at that moment I realized we were raising two different children who would grow up to be two different adults having two completely different lives and jobs. Both successful and happy, I’m sure.  My point is just like adults, children have strengths and weaknesses.  We are not raising soldiers or robots.  So from that moment I tried not to worry so much about comparing and celebrate my child for the carefree spirit, she was made to be.  And you will never guess what.  She eventually learned how to count to 15 and now at five much higher. Below is a picture of our daughter last summer.

My hope for all moms is that when rattled by some comparison we can shake it off and revel in what is wonderful with each of our children. Well, until next time…

Take care

40+ Books Your Littles Will Love

28 Bookshelf Favorites

Some of these are ours, but a few are from the library and I kind of don’t want to bring them back because they are pretty awesome.

1. That’s Not My Dinosaur

From bumpy to fluffy, this is an adorable touch and feel book.

2. Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings

Touch and feel plus shapes and colors equal fun learning👍

3. Goodnight Moon

This book is a cute and calming bedtime classic.

4. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Take your kids on an adventure to remember with this wonderful book.

5. Goodnight Little Love

What a sweet little book to end the night with.

6. Let’s Play

An excellent starter book to get active kids to settle down before reading a more calm selection.

7. I Lost My Tooth

With Acorny Jokes, these squirrels use teamwork to find their friends tooth-th-th. (You will see😉)

8. An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!

Five Mo Willems books in one! Need I say more?

9. Try a Little Kindness

A funny rhyme book to teach ways of showing kindness.

10. Ten Little Pirates

A cute rhyming book to practice numbers 1-10.

11. Ten Little Princesses

Another rhyming book using fairytales to count down from ten.

12. Claire and the Unicorn

What is happily ever after? Join Claire and her unicorn to find the answer.

13. A Gift for Mama

A sweet little boy walks the streets of Vienna to find the perfect birthday gift for his mother.

14. Little Bird Takes a Bath

Try try again, this bird is unwavering.

15. Goodnight Teddy

A cuddly book for babies and toddlers. They will love moving teddy from page to page.

16. I Love You, God

Who doesn’t love a God reminder?

17. I Love You More

A mother and child try measuring their love for one another…aaawww!

18. Noisy Farm

Definitely one for the daytime, but this farm noise making touch and feel the book will be read over and over.

19. Tea Party Rules

Bear has to learn the tea party rules, but the rules change in the end.

20. The Numberlys

Join the humdrum Numberlys as they create a new world with vibrant letters.

21. Gabriel the Great

Gabriel the Great did not start out so great. Sometimes being great takes more work.

22. I Love You Stinky Face

A curious boy has some silly questions and his mother has an answer for them all.

23. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A must-have classic that teaches counting, the days of the week, and metamorphosis.

24. Dear Zoo

Flap books are always fun for little ones.

25. Yawn

Get sleepy with this rhyming bunch as they yawn again and again. My toddler asks to read it “again and again.”

26. Waddle

A new way to bring animal illustrations to life through scanimation.

27. The Everything Book

Teachable pages of colors, shapes, first words, and more.

28. Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Last, but not least…a color learning classic. We love the interactive version shown below!

6 Must Read Collections

1. The Llama Llama collection is just plain cute.

2. All things Mo Willems! His storylines are humorous with teachable moments. Seriously, read them all!

3. Cheri Meiners has a wonderful series of books dedicated to educating young children on topics like listening, safety, sharing, taking turns, kindness, and more.

4. Best Behavior Set by Elizabeth Verdick will help your littles learn the difference between inappropriate and appropriate behavior

5. Another collection to read by Elizabeth Verdick is her Toddler Tools Set about saying goodbye, cleaning up, listening, and more.

6. National Geographic Kids board books make for an interesting learning tool for thirsty young minds.

Top 11 from the Imagination Library

If you have not heard of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library it is a book gifting program that mails books for free to children ages 0-5. Click the link below to see if you are in a participating area.

https://imaginationlibrary.com/

Here’s a list of our favorites if you want to look for them at your local library or preferred bookstore.

1. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

Be proud of who you are and stand tall.

2. Llama Llama Red Pajama

A classic tale of bedtime (Llama) drama

3. Excellent Ed

The family dog, Ed, searches for his value in the excellent Ellis family.

4. Old Bear and His Cub

A cute tale of taking care of one another.

5. Ten Thank You Letters

Join these two friends as they write notes expressing gratitude to special people.

6. Pretend

This kid has a pretty awesome imagination for “pretend and for real.”

7. Maple

This book may leave a smile on your face as Maple has a couple of pleasant surprises.

8. Gruffalo

The mouse in this book has admirable wit as he survives a day in the woods.

9. Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors

A humbling story of a girl who had more with less.

10. The Perfect Present

A pet who feels left out learns that he is not replaceable.

11. Plenty of Love to Go Around

The title says it all, the more the merrier!

So those are the majority of our favorites. Hope you find several new books for your littles to love. Are any of these favorites of yours?

Please follow this blog so you don’t miss any upcoming tips on homeschooling and homemaking.

Until next time…

Take care❤

Welcome to Mom1st4most

Hi👋, I am a wife and mother of two wonderful children ages 6 and 3.  Oh and can’t forget our 3-year-old fur baby.  I am starting this blog to share my journey of this incredibly important role in my family.

I look forward to connecting with other parents on the same path in life and hope to give some new ones the confidence needed to enjoy the ups and survive the downs of marriage/parenthood.  My blog posts will primarily contain tips on parenting, homeschooling, and homemaking.  Some things may seem like common sense, but when you are sleep deprived you would be surprised at just how foggy your thinking can become.  Not everyone has family support to lend a hand or friendly advice…I know I didn’t.  That is one reason why I decided to start this blog, even if one post helps one person it will be worth it.  Until next time…

Take care ❤