We give this book 5 clovers! If you plan on reading it this St. Patrick’s Day consider making this simple craft to use with it. All you need is…
-1 empty water jug
-2 different colored sharpee pens
-7 paper clips
-clip art printout
-cardboard (i.e. recycle a cereal box )
-1 clothes pin
-1 popsicle stick
First, print out the clipart. Next, cut out and glue paper clipart to thin cardboard. I recycled a cereal box for this project. Printing out on cardstock would save that step.
Cut out various lengths of string then tie one end to the paper clip and tape the other end to clipart. Don’t forget to bend paperclip to make a hook.
Draw your “old lady” on the jug. If you are more comfortable printing out and gluing one, try that. Next, cut a hole for her mouth.
Glue your wee little leprechaun to the clothes pin so that he can stand up on his own. Then glue the rainbow to the popsicle stick. Punching holes is optional…I just did it to hang all of the items to replicate the illustration in the book.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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…
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.
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
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😂
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
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…
This week at Candid Learning Academy we made a lacing craft. We do practice with a Melissa and Doug puzzle and cute doll, but the laces are small and difficult for my daughter to handle.
I can tell this version is helpful because she can see the large strings more clearly and is getting a tighter grip on them. I believe she will get better at the smaller lacing tools once her hands are used of tying.
-2 pieces of construction paper
(template/printout tab is currently having technical difficulties loading my file)
First, I stacked my construction paper. I glued the center to avoid separation. Next, I traced the shoe on the paper. I started to cut it out and stopped as you can see because I was unsure of how I wanted to execute the lace flaps. You can completely cut out the base part of the shoe. Next, cut the flaps off of your template. Glue your scrap pieces of construction paper together one sheet on top the other like before. On your template draw over the lace holes with a pencil pressing down to create an indention.
This will give a visual where to punch the holes. So go ahead and punch them. Finally, glue down the outer sides of lace flaps. Your little one is now ready to lace it up!
In the works:
-Post: My Side Gigs
-Final stages of an easy, affordable cookbook and a few children’s books
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I was a little tired of searching for educational videos from our favorite YouTube channels individually, so I decided to put them together in a playlist. By doing this it also stopped random not so approved videos from popping up. Like Johnny Johnny…catchy song, but it goes against our teaching of lying is wrong.
These videos teach the alphabet, phonics, counting, other languages, and more. Parents may even pick up a few new things. I know I did.
(I do not get paid for any of the advertising YouTube has placed in my playlist)
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.
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.
In 4 easy steps, your littles can paint roses for loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Here’s what you’ll need:
-red & green paint
Step 1-Pour red paint in one plate and green paint in the other.
Step 2-Paint the side of your hand red as pictured above and stamp the paper. Make sure you paint the thumb side for best results. My five year old painted the pinky side red and her roses look more like tulips or closed buds. They are still pretty though as you can see below.
Step 3-Paint the side of your pinky green to stamp the stems.
Step 4-Paint your thumb green for leaf stamping.
And there you have it! Wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day! Until next time…
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…
Check out my new book light😍 I cannot say much about this book yet, but I can heavily relate on the first 3 chapters. Have you read it yet?
My 2018 Reads
1. Tightropes and Teeter-totters
This book was a serendipitous find. I was surfing for see saws on Target’s app and Lisa Pennington’s Tightropes and Teeter Totters ended up in the mix. I had a good feeling about it and added it to the cart. If you are a mom struggling to juggle it all this book will make you feel like you have a friend in the same boat. You will chuckle a time or two and you may a few tricks from this moma of nine!
2. Work It
Isn’t it empowering when strong women ban together to share their secrets to success? I must say the cute bitmojis were a nice touch.
Well somebody needed to address this. In this book, Priscilla shares areas of our lives that the “enemy” tries to attack. A must read for tips on how to “fight” back.
4. Family and Other Catastrophes
This was an interesting read for me. I enjoyed getting to know the widely different characters. There were a few new terms pertaining to today’s society that made me have to stop and look it up, which I always appreciate learning something new.
5. The Right Answer
I picked this one up out of curiosity. Only to learn John K. Delaney will be one of the presidential canidates in 2020. Since the last election I have been praying for better canidates and maybe the prayers have worked. I am not saying Mr. Delaney has my vote because there are other canidates to research, but he does bring a feeling of hope for the future with this book.
6. Control Girl
I almost forgot that I sped read this towards the end of 2018. The chapter that resonated most with me told the story of Hagar.
1. The Birth Order Book
This book was suggested to me by a teacher by a teacher friend while I was studying Early Childhood Education. Ever wonder why your siblings act a certain way? Or perhaps wonder about your children’s personality traits? This book has answers.
Evoking the thought, What if? Filled with fun facts, Batterson shares his life experiences in this book.
3. The Shack
Grab the kleenex! The Shack will make you feel things.
4. The Purpose Driven Life
Feel like you were meant to do more with your life? This book may help you figure out your purpose.
5. Good Girl
I love a good mystery! Wonderfully written by Mary Kubica, The Good Girl is a hard to put down read.
6. Safe Haven
Obviously, The Notebook book by Nicholas Sparks is amazing and I plan to read the next act The Wedding this year. His book Safe Haven is about a troubled woman who moves to a new town and is pleasantly surprised to find a safe place to call home.
7. Hunger Games Trilogy
I read this enthralling trilogy while pregnant for my first child and I would love to find another series. Please leave me a comment of your favorite book suggestions☺
The plan was that because my daughter is 5 and wanted to make my cake to use a simple Pinterest recipe. HA! I am so sorry that I denied you a picture of such an epic fail. The idea was to turn the cupcake pan unside down and mold the cookie dough around the bottoms to form a cup to put ice cream in. Imagine the cookies seperating leaving only a small flat cookie on top and the sides all fallen lining the bottom between all of the cups😂 As you can see we did a pretty delicious job improvising.
Aside from great cake, the rain finally stopped here making for a great weekend. We played at the park and went on walks. Pretty boring to some I suppose, but quality time with my little family is all I need.
Please leave me a comment about your last Pinterest fail or your favorite way to spend your birthday. Until next time…
Three hundred sixty-five days of 2019 to be goal getters! Okay, maybe that is a bit much. If we aim high though, we have a pretty good shot of at least reaching half of our goals. Below I will list four areas in my life I want to improve in.
-Read at least 10 books
-More walking, less Walking Dead
So basically me in 2019😂
-More self-control over emotions
3. Financial Growth
-Minimize spending and debt
-Generate a second income
-Find ways to carve out qaulity time with my spouse.
-Work on being the example I want my children to become.
Hopefully I have inspired you more than annoyed you with my New Year goal setting. If it takes a village to raise children then lets create the best village possible because that is what they deserve. So village pact 2019? Get started on your list, dig deep, and don’t sell yourself short! Until next time…
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…