Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Going on a Trip & an FYI

I used to play this game as a kid and totally forgot about it. 
Thanks Melissa for the idea!!!

We go wood cutting every saturday for anywhere from 5-7 hours. Well, while my husband is cutting the wood we try to stay entertained away from the danger. So I have had to get creative. This last week we played "I'm going on a trip and I am taking..." You start with A and go all the way to Z. Each person adds one item to the list, and says all the ones that have gone before. We got pretty creative. It was the perfect boredom buster! And it is SOOO Good for your Memory!

The FYI:
For those of you who are following (and have emailed me to see if I'm okay) ....I haven't posted for a while because life has changed a bit.  I use to get several posts ready each morning before my son woke up.  However, I am now sleeping until he wakes up because I'm pregnant and exhausted.  Yes, pregnant....those of you who are jumping up and down out of shock and excitement and know what a miracle this is for us...thank you!  We're very excited!!!  I'm feeling wonderfully sick and everything seems to be going fabulously well.  Our little one is due May 22nd.  Our four year old is ecstatic to have a baby in the house and every night hugs my tummy and says "Goodnight Baby".  It's adorable.  So, with that in mind, I'll still post, but it won't be quite as regular for now.  Your suggestions, questions, and ideas are always welcome so keep them coming!!!  I love hearing from you!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday's Favorite: FREE- National Geographic Kids

My brother gave my son the coolest Christmas gift a few years ago (and keeps giving it each year)....National Geographic Kids Magazine.  He gets several issues a year full of amazing information about animals, kids in other parts of the world, and it always has an idea for a mini-experiment.  I'm glad my brother always gifts it to my son, because I'm a penny pincher and don't know if I'd buy it myself.  However, there is also a fabulous website full of all kinds of interesting things to learn, activities to do, and all kinds of wonderful things you're sure to love.  There's cool stuff on this site that will interest toddlers up to older kids (and even us kids in older bodies).  If you're not up for buying the subscription, or even if you are, the website is a great FREE way to learn more about the world around us. 

Hope you like it!
Here's the link:  National Geographic Kids

fyi: I've added the link to my sidebar under Fun and Helpful Places to Go

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Paper Plate Tambourine

can you tell it's well loved?
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 paper plates for each tambourine
- Stapler and Staples
- Dry rice, beans, or macaroni, etc.
- Things to decorate (crayons, stickers, or any other fun crafty things you have around the house)

HOW TO MAKE IT:
1.  Lay one plate on the table, put in about 1/8 cup of dry rice, beans, or whatever else you think would sound awesome when shaking it.
2.  Lay other paper plate on top (so the middle area is hollow) and staple around the edges to hold it all together.
3.  Let kids decorate as they please. (if using glue, make sure it's dry before playing with it.)
4.  Play music, make up songs, turn on the radio and dance and play the tambourines...just have fun and be creative!!!

***Note: I use paper plates instead of plastic, because the plastic ones sometimes have sharp edges and could cut little hands.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wednesday's Word:

"I suggest that you … humbly ask the Lord what he would have you do and why you are uniquely suited to serve. Ask yourself questions like these: ‘What can I contribute?’ ‘Why was I chosen to be the mother of these children?’ ‘What can I do to strengthen the sisters in my ward?’ and so forth. We each have purpose and reason for being. Every sister has a thread to weave in the tapestry of time. Discover your thread and begin to weave”
~Mary Ellen W. Smoot

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbit: Wooden Blocks

The BEST developmentally diverse toy for children is a classic:
WOODEN ALPHABET BLOCKS

Seriously!  They don't need batteries, or have plastic parts that break, and kids will be entertained for an eternity.  As you're getting ready for Christmas, I'd HIGHLY suggest putting this $15.99 (give or take a few dollars depending on the store) toy on your list.

You may think they're boring compared to a Leap Frog computer, or Buzz Lightyear talking action figure...but kids won't. 

So, what can you do with alphabet blocks?  Here area few ideas:
- Teach a child how to spell their name, recognize letters and numbers, do addition, or simple subtraction
- Identify the pictures of items on the blocks
- Build castles, homes, cars, anything and everything
- Learn colors
- An individual block can end up being Buzz Lightyear, Cinderella, the grandma next door, a dog, a flower, dinner food to use with the little kitchen they have...anything! 

What kinds of development are these good for?
- Pediatricians will ask you if your child can stack items, and how many high.  That's because it's a key milestone in fine motor skill development.  Wooden blocks are ideal for learning this skill.  At first stacking one on top of the other is good.  By the time your child is in pre-school...watch out for tall towers around your home!
- Imaginative play
- Spacial and Dimentional development...being able to recognize dimentions from different angles.  These are important skills for many jobs such as architecture, software design, and even in art classes.
The list is nearly countless as you play with your child in recognizing letters, numbers, etc.

As you're shopping for toys this Christmas pay attention to Classic Toys.  Not just the ones that are back for a 20 year anniversary edition, but the ones that never left.  They never left because they are the toys kids love, and the interest in them doesn't wear out after Christmas Day.  And interestingly, they are almost always great for development as well. 

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday's MOMents

* (They announced that our plane was being flown by Pilot "someone")
Camille: "Our plane is being flown by a pirate?" (with a look of utter shock and fear)

* Maddie: "No one knows everything except for me and Jesus."
~ Janelle, mother of three

(Thanks Janelle for so many funny and sweet sayings you're letting me use.  Reading your blog always brightens my day!!!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Food: Mini Pizza's

This was my FAVORITE as a kid!!!

Ingredients:
- Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits (in the tube that *pops* and scares you when you open it)
- 8 oz. can tomato sauce (or ready pizza sauce or plain spaghetti sauce)
- Dried spices (oregano, garlic powder, basil, or italian seasoning mix)
- Grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, etc.)
- Toppings of your choice
(ex: pepperoni, sliced black olives, pineapple chunks, lunch meat ham cut in small squares, green pepper strips, etc.)

Directions:
1.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.   
2.  Have children help roll out individual biscuits, with their hands, rolling pin, or a plastic cup, then place individual pizzas on the cookie sheet
3.  Spoon tomato sauce (or other sauce) on each circle of biscuit dough
4.  If using plain tomato sauce, sprinkle spices on top.  (With young children, you'll want to do this part)
5.  Let kids top their own  pizza.  They can make faces, designs, flowers, etc. with their toppings if they want to.
6.  Bake in oven according to regular biscuit directions on package

This isn't a world famous tasty pizza recipe, but because kids can make it themselves and it's tiny just like them, they'll think it is amazing and will beg for more.

***Variations: use homemade biscuit dough, and divide into small balls for them to work with, or use english muffins. 

***Tip: line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then lightly grease it.  Makes for a super easy clean up after it bakes, especially if kids get messy with their ingredients.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: What's Different?

This is a great game that doesn't take too much energy for mom, but is super fun for kids. It is also an INDOOR game, which is handy since it's wet and cold in many places right now.

WHAT'S DIFFERENT?
How you play:
1.  Stand in front of your child or children dressed in something extra (a hat, necklace, or holding something random) Give your child a moment to study you.
2.  Leave the room and change something about your appearance.
3.  Come back in the room and have them figure out what is different.
4.  Take turns. 
* If you have more than one child, it could be played that the quickest to guess gets to be "it" next, or you could just take turns so everyone has the same number of turns.
* This game works great for nearly every age.  With young children, keep it more obvious, with older children, it can be something specific, a sleeve that's rolled up, or a shoe lace that is tied strange, etc.

Developmentally, this game helps children increase their attention span, pay attention to detail, and when they have a turn, gives them a chance to "be in charge" and lead the play time which is important in their development of self confidence and being able to take initiative.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Word:

The past is behind: Learn from it.
The future is ahead: Prepare for it.
The present is here: Live in it!
~Thomas S. Monson

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday's Mail: CRIBS & MATTRESSES

A mother sent me an email asking about cribs and mattresses and would like your feedback.  Here are her questions:

"I need to buy a crib & mattress for my baby that's coming soon.  Seems simple enough, right?  Well, I once heard something to do about mattresses and risk of SIDS, so I'm just wondering if anyone knows of any type of mattress that may pose a problem or one that is especially good (but reasonably priced).  Or, can I just dismiss the concern altogether and buy the least expensive mattress out there?  Just wondering what you other moms have heard/may know.
Also, does anyone have a crib that you just love and would recommend?  The one I used with my first had a way you could adjust the height of the mattress, so when he was a newborn and there was no risk of him climbing or rolling out, I could leave it high so I didn't have to bend so far over the railing to lay him down.  Then we just lowered it as he got older.  I really liked that feature, but have not really noticed it on newer models."

*As you answer her questions, please leave a comment or email me so I can post your answers.
*Do you have any questions of your own that you'd like to have other mom's answer?  If so, let me know and I'll include it soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Food: Zucchini Oven Chips

I didn't take this beautiful picture...it's from myrecipes.com
Ingredients
  • 1/4  cup  dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4  teaspoon  seasoned salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  fat-free milk
  • 2 1/2  cups  (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
  • Cooking spray
Preparation
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.
~Recipe from www.myrecipes.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursdays Thing to Do: Fingerprint Art

WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Paper
Ink pad
Markers, Pencils, Crayons, etc.

HERE'S HOW
1.  Roll your finger or thumb over the ink pad.
2.  Make a print by firmly pressing the inked finger or thumb against the paper. Use different fingers to make prints of various sizes.
3.  Wash your hands and allow the prints to dry for a few minutes. Then draw faces and other details on the prints.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday's Wonder: The Miracle of Adoption

I am a huge advocate for adoption...and have a lot to say about it!!!!  My father and his brother were adopted when they were  two and three years old, I have a great friend who was adopted as a teenager after being in foster care for most of her life.  I have a dear friend who's adopted two of her children as infants, my cousin is adopting two children from Haiti, my husband also has many family experiences with adoption, I could go on and on... and it's simply beautiful.  We have friends that are currently hoping to adopt (notice their button on the blog and check it out!  They are incredible people and will be fabulous parents!!!!  Pass on their info.) and we are also in the process of approval for being adoptive parents.  I also have a dear friend who chose to place her baby for adoption...and it's been incredible to see the journey from her side of the story as well. 

Every child is a treasure, every adoption situation is unique, every birthmother has her own story and reasons, every adoptive parent has their own journey in the process of becoming parents...and every story is a miracle!!!

With that in mind, I'd like to share a couple of great places to learn more.  Both of these sites are helpful for birthmothers, birthfathers, and potential adoptive parents as well as family members of all involved.  I hope these resources will be helpful if you or someone you know is considering adoption.

ASK A BIRTHMOM:
http://www.therhouse.blogspot.com/search/label/ask%20a%20birth%20mom

LDS FAMILY SERVICES ADOPTION WEBSITE:
https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/ct/eng/site/adopting-families/

Adoption isn't something that will be a part of every family, but it is a part of most families in some way, and learning more about it helps everyone understand THE MIRACLE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesdays Tip & Tidbit: Reading...for YOU

Lately, I've been thinking about my own marvelous mother and what she did while I was growing up.  I remember her doing laundry, dishes, driving us all over, having us clean doorknobs and mow the lawn, crying with me when I messed up at a tryout that I'd work so hard to be ready for....but I also remember her always READING!!!  She took us to the library regulary (I even remember a time when we were at the libray, and I thought I was old enough to go in the elevator on my own, and I got stuck and cried for about a half hour...but that's another story for another day...)  I remember her love of books and though I never have enjoyed the same type of books that she enjoys, I use to read a lot!  However, since becoming a mom, I don't have time!  I never read!...I take that back...I've read five books since becoming a mother. (Not including scripture reading.)  The first was a manuscript a friend of mine wrote, so I began to read it as a favor...however, once I began, I devoured it and couldn't put it down.  Every time my son napped, I read.  Then I read two other non-novel type books that were easy to put down and pick up again months later because I wasn't having to remember a plot.  I also read two other books that a single friend of mine highly suggested, encouraged and prodded me to read.  I gave in but felt guilty starting to read a book.  I mean, I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO THAT NEVER GETS DONE ANYWAY!  How could I take time to sit and read?!!!  The interesting thing is that while I read each book, I felt more calm in general.  I was more patient with my son, sometimes he'd sit by me and "read" his own book or play with his cars, I was happy, somehow got the dishes washed faster so I could get back to reading, and when all the laundry wasn't done, our home didn't fall apart.  (Let's be honest, even when I'm not reading a book, it still didn't get done...so what's the difference anyway.)  

Now I know that everyone has different family dynamics, and maybe reading is something you've never enjoyed anyway.  But I'm still going to push reading as personal time for several reasons.  First, as you read, the world opens to you and you're not feeling like life is stagnant.  It can be a great way to relax, and rejuvenate.  Second, as your children see you read, their love and desire to read will grow (this is true...I really learned it in school and there are about two zillion studies done on it.  Your example of reading will help them in school!) 

So here are a few ideas of how to find that impossible reading time:
* If you have a baby, don't be afraid to take one nap time to read until you also fall asleep, or until the baby wakes up. 
* If you have older children, find a book that you might enjoy reading outloud to them as they listen.  (Did you have any favorites from when you were their age that you'd like to read again?) 
* You can have reading time while everyone else quietly reads or colors their own book. 
* If your children have movie time, why not take part of it for reading time for yourself. 
* Maybe after getting the kids to bed, read for a few minutes to settle down instead of rushing around cleaning up Cheerios and cracker crumbs. 
* I even recently heard of a mother who would tell her husband it was time to do laundry...and they both knew it meant she was going in the laundry room to calm down and spend some reading time. She had a chair and book in there ready for those needed times.
* Choose one book to read a month, or before a certain holiday...set a goal
* Have a book in the car that's ready for reading when you're waiting at the bus stop to pick your kids up...after all, half the time the bus is late anyway

Each family has it's own needs and is different.  Years will pass, kids will grow, and things will change.  There will be a time when you'll have hours of time to read...so don't wish away these busy times.  At the same time, remember balance....reading books constantly and neglecting your children isn't good.  But, it's also not good to never read.  Don't feel guilty to take a little time to read.  It's good for you.  And it's good for your children's development to see you reading.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mondays MOMents

For those of you who follow every day...sorry for the gap in time.  I went on vacation and after I was gone realized I hadn't posted enough days to make it through our whole trip.  Oh well.  I figure there are worse things and I'll be forgiven. I hope you all had a great weekend too!

This MOMent is especially wonderful for those of us who speak Spanish.  If you don't, I hope you still enjoy it just as much as I did.

My husband and Emma were praying the other day. Emma repeats words that we say right now. They're just simple words right now. Oh, and she prays in spanish. So this is what happened:
Dad: Papi
Emma: Papi
Dad: Gracias
Emma: Gracias
Dad: Mami
Emma: Mami
Dad: Papi
Emma: Papi
Dad: Salud
Emma: (she thinks for a moment...) Acho!
We sure love our little bundle of joy. She really does listen :)
~Annie, mother of one

*Note: Salud means Health.  In Spanish, when someone sneezes, you say "Salud" instead of "Bless You".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Home-Made Silly Putty

Mix together:
1 C. Cornstarch
1 C. Salt
1 C. Flour

Add 1/2 C. water, then mix until right consistency.  (It may take more than 1/2 cup).  It's easiest and messiest to mix with little hands!  This can be stored in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator

Honestly, I haven't done this one, but came across it in my Kid Recipes and will also be trying it this week.  No matter what the final outcome is, the kids will love messy hands and feeling new textures. 

Have fun!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday's Word

"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."
~Garrison Keillor

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Prints

Doctors, parents, teachers, & grandparents all like to do different projects...whether for practical safety purposes or for fun craft projects... that involve hand, finger, or foot prints.  Before the ink, remember lotion.  Even the most washable baby ink pads will usually leave some ink on the skin. 
If lotion was applied to the skin and rubbed in first, it helps the ink wash off MUCH EASIER!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday's Mailbox: The Survey Results

Life As Mom Survey--Here's what you said:

1. How many children do you have at home?
   1- 30.4%
   2- 39.1%
   3- 17.4%
   4- 8.7%
   5+ 4.3%

2.  What do you enjoy most about this blog? 
(I know the percentages here don't add up to 100.  You could answer more than one.)
   Monday MOMents- 33.3%
   Tuesdays Tips & Tidbits- 28.6%
   Wednesday's Words & Wonders- 19%
   Thursday Things to Do- 76%
   Friday Favorites-  23.8%

3.  How often do you check this blog?
   1/week- 30.4%
   2/week- 17.4%
   3/week- 8.7%
   4-7/week- 26.1%
   All the time...- 17.4%
   Uh...what blog? 0%  (phew, I'd be worried if anyone selected this one!)

4.  This best describes how I feel about being a mom:
   I LOVE it EVERY day!- 13.0%
   I love it most of the time-  65.2%
   I am okay with being a mom- 4.3%
   I feel inadequate being a mom- 8.7%
   I am unhappy most of the time with myself or my kids- 8.7%
   Not applicable...I'm not a mother-  0%

5.  I usually get _____ hours of sleep a night
   less than 3- 0%
   4-5 hours- 26.1%
   6-8 hours- 73.9%
   9+ hours- 0%

6.  How many people are in your support system?  (this means, the people you feel comfortable to call to COME help you if you're having a hard day, are sick yourself, or didn't sleep because you were up all night with a crying baby, etc.)
   None- 13.0%
   1 or 2-  34.8%
   3 or 4- 39.1%
   5-10- 8.7%
   10+- 4.3%

7.  What limits your ability to do the things you want to do with your child/children?  (generally, not just today)
   money- 39.1%
   distance- 4.3%
   transportation- 4.3%
   health- 4.3%
   lack of help/support- 8.7%
   I don't feel like I'm limited in what I can do with my kids- 17.4%
   other- 21.7%  (I'm curious about the "other" reasons...that's a big percentage)

The other questions were:
1.  This is my favorite thing about being a mom......
2.  This is the hardest thing for me about being a mom....
3.  I'd like more posts about......

These questions that were open ended will all be talked about sooner than later in this blog.  A lot of moms said that the simple things about motherhood are their favorite things.  That's good.  Simple things happen most often!  There was a lot of frustration or distress about discipline issues and keeping our tempers under control, as well as questions about babies to teenagers.  And many of you asked for more food and activity ideas.  (that's why Friday's now include Foods, and I'm trying to give ideas of things to do with kids in more posts than just Thursday's Things to Do.) 

Every answer to these questions gave me a million ideas of things to address...and each one will be.  Though some I'll have to do more research for so it'll take a little longer.  Please keep giving me suggestions, or asking questions.... Just shoot me an email or post a comment. 

Thanks for all your help with doing this survey!  You've given me great insight in how to fit this blog to YOU!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday's Food: Octopus Lunch

What you'll need:
1 hotdog per child
ketchup
mustard
butter knife
boiling water

For each hotdog, hold it in your hand vertically so you can only see the end circle.  Be very careful and slice the circle like a pie, into eight sections, leave about two inches of the hotdog uncut.  This forms the long octopus legs.  Put the hotdog into boiling water.  As it cooks, the legs will curl out.  Serve with ketchup, and mustard. 


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursday's Thing To Do: Movie Characters

Do your kids LOVE to watch movies?
Is there ONE movie that they have memorized (which means you do too)?

Pull out a few things, paper, crayons, scissors, etc. and make the movie characters.  Depending on the age of your child, they may need a little help, but be sure to NOT tell them HOW to make it.  Let them go for it.  It's important for children to have a chance to experiment with creativity.  Often times a child wants a "model" project to copy.  Resist the tempation to tell or show them exactly what to make.  (If you draw a flower with five petals, watch, your child will draw a flower exactly the same way as you.)  As they create on their own, and then you praise them for it, their self confidence and creative abilities will grow.  If your child is an age where you can't leave the whole thing up to them, make sure to be careful to back off whenever possible, and encourage them trying new things. 

This can also be a great time to introduce things they haven't used before: glue sticks, goopy Elmer's Glue, your scrapbooking sticky squares, glitter, stickers, pompoms, pipe cleaners, paint, brads....the possibilities are endless.

The funnest part is seeing them play with those toys over and over again.  So what if you can't afford a $29.99 Woody at WalMart, have your child make one.... He or She will love it probably more than the real doll.

Over several weeks time, my son has now made the ENTIRE cast of Finding Nemo and Wall-E.  (Yes, including Nemo's Mom and the Anemone.) He loves to reinact scenes with his handmade toys, and it also means he's happy with a little less movie time. 

Here are a few of our Nemo cast members: 
Bruce: I drew part of the tail and fin for him, then he practiced cutting along the lines the best he knew how.
Nemo: He used a gluestick all on his own for the first time to put on the white stripes that I'd pre-cut for him.  We also introduced brads for the fins.  That was a cool novelty for a little boy, now the fins can move.
Dory: Awesome fins...Joshua just went for it and got some scissor practice

So, be brave, pull out some creativity to match your child's movie obsession.  The most simple homemade toy can bring more joy than you imagined!  When it's the child who makes that toy, the self fulfillment and joy is multiplied a bazillion times. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbit: Wanting to KICK Depression

Depression is a HUGE topic...I won't even pretend to be a know-all and solve the issue. 
    But, according to statistics, about 1/3 of you who read this will be tackling this issue at some point in your lives. 
    Some of you are dealing with it now. 
    Some of you are wondering if that's what's been wrong lately. 
    Some of you have dealt with it in the past...and that means an increased likelihood of it showing up again later (unfortunately). 
Hopefully that hasn't scared anyone, but it is a REAL issue and can suck all the joy out of motherhood.  And we all want to be happy as mothers.  The hardest part, is that if you're already dealing with depression, these things will seem out of reach and impossible.  Don't give up on yourself, and don't be afraid to talk with your husband, a trusted friend or family member, a doctor, or someone else you can trust.  They can help you.  You're not in it alone.  I PROMISE!!!
Here's a little info and a few natural remedies that may help:
- Did you know that serotonin is an essential brain chemical and needs to be replenished.  Having low levels of serotonin is very closely linked to depression.
- For most people, you need at least 6 hours of consecutive sleep to replenish your serotonin levels.  (no wonder so many new moms experience postpartum depression)
- Being out in the sun each day for 20-30 minutes can help raise serotonin levels
- Meditating, Praying, and simply relaxing has been shown to help raise serotonin levels.
- Flax seed.  It's great mixed into a smoothie and you'll think it's just the raspberry or strawberry seeds.  Can't even taste it.  Try it on a salad or in homemade bread.  It's kind of pricey, but goes a LONG way.
- Bananas
- Dark Chocolate (yes...a great excuse for buying it on a regular basis)
- Listening to soothing music

Like I said, this is only a dabble in a small amount of information.  These suggestions and ideas are not meant to override a doctor's prescription, or other methods for dealing with or avoiding depression.  Just a few helps from one mom who dealt with postpartum depression (yes, me) to my friends out there. 

Monday, October 04, 2010

Monday's MOMent

When my son was 3 and our daughter was about 2 months old, I had a busy morning and had not had a chance to shower. So I put Elizabeth in her carrier and placed her on the bathroom floor and I got toys for Josh to play with and told him to stay in the bathroom so I would know where he was. I got into the shower and as I was showering I could see and hear him playing. But soon I realized he was not in the bathroom. I got out of the shower and quickly dried off and put a robe on. I could hear voices out in the living room. One was Josh and one was an adult male. I was very worried and hurried out into the living room to find my son talking to the UPS man. Josh turned to me and there he stood with 2 tampons, one in each hand and was happily talking to the UPS man. I never could look the UPS man in the face when he came to deliver boxes to our home.
~Valarie, mother of three, grandmother of one

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday's Food: Peanut Butter Quesadillas

Because of the survey....I've learned that several of you would like kid friendly food ideas.  I'm glad you thought of it!  What a great idea!  So, Friday's will now include Food, not only Favorites.  Our first recipe is very simple...but if you haven't tried this simple twist on two classics, you really should!

Peanut Butter Quesadillas (kind of...there's no queso)
1 tsp. butter
1 flour tortilla
2 Tbl. Peanut Butter
2 Tbl. Grape Jelly

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Spread one side of the tortilla with peanut butter.  Fold tortilla in half so that the peanut butter is on the inside.  Place folded tortilla in skillet, and heat until lightly browned on each side.  Slice into wedges, and dip in jelly to serve.
You can also serve this unfried, and spread the pb&j inside....a great alternative to bread. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Bird Feeder

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Toilet Paper Roll (just the inside cardboard part)
Peanut Butter
Bird Seed
Yarn

HOW TO MAKE IT:
1.  Spread some peanut butter on all sides of the cardboard roll
2.  Have an area where there's a pile of loose birdseed and roll the peanut buttered roll in the birdseed
3.  Cut a piece of yarn about 18 inches long
4.  String the yarn through the center of the roll and tie the ends together in a knot
5.  Hang it on a tree, or other outside object

P.S.  Any of  you who know me and live close to me, I have A LOT of birdseed that you're welcome to come get from me instead of buying your own. 
Just drop by!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday's Word

"In your pursuit of happiness,
just stop and take a moment to be happy."  
~Anonymous

....Thanks M for sharing this quote with me! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip & Tidbit: Vocabulary

Here's the "Tidbit" part:
The average 1 year old has a vocabulary of around 100-200 words.  (Though it may be in their own language that only Mom and Dad understand....you still know that "bebe" means bread.)  Also, they understand about five times as many words as they can express themselves.

Here's the "Tip" part:
When you're speaking with your child, integrate new words.  This will help their vocabulary grow.  The more they hear, the quicker their vocabulary (their ability to both understand and say new words) will grow. 
For example: 
If you're at the zoo and your child sees a tiger and says, "Look, kitty."
Your response could be: 'That's a big cat, it's a tiger.  It is orange and has black stripes."

This works with any age group of kids...gradually expanding their vocabulary by using words in a way they can relate to, but that they aren't always familiar with.  If your child seems confused with the words you used, you can always restate the phrase in simpler words.  You'd be surprised how much they truly understand though! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's MOMents

As we were driving the other day, Katey said to us, "I want to be a vegetarian and a cow girl when I grow up." I said "do you mean a veterinarian?" She said "Yes, I want to be a vegetarian and a cowgirl." We were cracking up.
~ Becky, mother of three

Corbyn:  "Mommy, I am sorry you married a monkey instead of a daddy."
~Heather, mother of three

I have a three month old son, almost 4 months that made my day today by just smiling at me and cooing while I was feeding him a bottle.  Lately he has been trying to hold the bottle and often times gets me frustrated as he bats it away resists putting it in his mouth.  But today I just took the moment in stride and smiled back at him.  I love my little boy and these are definitely moments to just sit back and smile. 
 ~Meccenzie, mother of one

Friday, September 24, 2010

Help Wanted....

I've loved reading the answers to the survey that have been submitted. 
However, I'd still like more! 
The survey link isn't fancy and cute, but it's at the top of the right side bar.
There are only 10 questions, and it'll only take about 3 minutes to do.   
Remember, your answers are anonymous. 
I have no way of knowing who's taken the survey, so don't be shy
& Have a GREAT weekend!!!!

remember...this survey is to help me know better what you want and need....so this blog is useful & not just fluffy stuff.

Friday's Favorite: A Children's Book

Rumble in the Jungle
By Giles Andreae, Illustrated by David Wojtowycz

If you haven't read this children's book, I highly recommend it.  Really young children (I even mean 6 month old babies) will love the natural rhythm as you're reading.   Older children can clap or tap to the rhythm, or do animal sounds and actions after you read each page.  It's also a great book for teaching kids about new animals and colors.  When my son was a year old, we read this book multiple times EVERY day.  We still read it often, but he's okay with variety now.  :)

*We actually got this book as a baby gift from a friend of mine.  BOOKS, what a great idea for a baby gift! 
*I'm doing this post a few days before you'll see it, but today, I noticed you could buy a used copy of this book for only $2.00 at Barnes and Noble Marketplace.  The shipping would be more, but if you're already buying something, it may fit into your budget.  If not, the library is always a favorite stop for kids.

Reading lasts a lifetime!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Electricity

We all love discovering new things.  Here's a simple one you and your kids will love.
All you need is a bandaid wrapper(You should have plenty of those will all the skinned knees around your home.)
  1. Put the bandaid wrapper back together after you've taken out the bandaid.  (most bandaid wrappers are two pieces that pull apart and have a sticky film on the sides that face each other.  you need this kind of bandaid wrapper.)
  2. Go into a completely dark closet or room. 
  3. Pull the wrapper apart really fast. 
  4. You'll see a small bright line of blue light.
Kids will do this for a very long time. 
Yet another reason for kids to LOVE bandaids!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Word:

"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the sound of lullabies?  The great armistices made my military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and neighborhoods?  Will what happened in the cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congress?
"When the surf of centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution."
~Neal A. Maxwell
as found in Glimpses Into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley, pg. 242

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Infant Fingernails

Infant's fingernails are so fine and sharp we want to make sure to keep them 'clipped' so they don't scratch themselves too badly.  But it can be scary for some moms.  Here are a few tips to help:
  • It can be hard to see where the end of the fingernail is past the skin.  Instead of using fingernail clippers for the first while, use a very fine fingernail file and gently file it down.  It's less scary. 
  • After you can see where to clip, use baby nail clippers and not the same ones you use.  Yours are dull and worn down and won't clip their delicate nails as easily. 
  • Another helpful thing, is if you can find a way to do it while your baby is sleeping.
  • Baby fingernail clippers can also be found with lights (WOW!), and bigger handles that make it easier to have a firm steady hold while 'manicuring' those tiny nails.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday's Mail: A Survey

I want to fit this blog to your needs and wants.  So, I created a survey to better understand YOU.  I won't be able to know who answered what questions with what answer, so please be honest and don't worry about who will find out what you said.  No one will.  However, I will include the information in another post incase you're interested to find out others (anonymous) answers. 

Here's the link:
Life As Mom Survey

Yikes!  I hope this works....I've never created a survey before.

Thanks to a few of you...I found out this link didn't work.   I don't know why.  But, I've added the link to my sidebar at the very top, and it seems to be working from there.    :) 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday's Favorite:

These CD's by the A Capella Group Inside Out are absolutely my favorite: 

Sharing Time:&Primary Colors

If you don't already have them, try to borrow them from a library, friend, or listen to them online. 
You can listen to clips of selected songs from both albums at  their official website.   

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Nature Scavenger Hunt

It's always good to get outside, breath fresh air, and do something different.  If you haven't tried an activity like this before, I'd highly recommend it.  (If you have, why not do it again?)  It's so simple, FREE, and kids absolutely love it!  Plus, it's a great way for them to learn about the world around them.

What you'll need:
   * Something to hold everything in.  (A bag, box, plastic jar, basket....doesn't really matter, but most kids will want their own so it should be something they can handle.)
   *  Some place outside (your yard, a park, the mountains, anywhere really)

What you do:
   *Let the kids find things they can fit in their container.  Leaves, rocks, sticks, a penny on a sidewalk, basically anything that's not a dead bug .....or worse.  (you know what I mean.)
   *  After they've collected their items you can do several things with them to expand this activity,
Such as:
     - Sit down and talk about what they found.  Answer questions they have about their items
     - Take the items home and glue them to paper....you could even make designs, or monsters, or new animals out of what you've collected.
     - Trace the shapes on the sidewalk with chalk, or on paper with crayons
     - Place a piece of paper over leaves and have them rub the side of crayons over it to see the design from the leaf appear.
     -  Have them identify colors in what they've found
     -  Have them touch and feel the different way each item feels.  Some are cold, rough, or smooth, ...

Whatever you do, plan for some good time to just enjoy the SIMPLE things with your children. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday's Word:

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.  And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."
~Doctrine & Covenants 64:33

(What is a greater work than helping a child reach his or her eternal potential?)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbit: Height

Did you know that for about 95% of kids,
their adult height will be double what their height was when they turned 2 years old. 
...If this is true my own son will only be 5'4 when he's an adult.  So, I'm hoping that he'll be the 5%  that doesn't follow this guide.  However, with the genes from me and my husband, it's completely possible. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday's MOMent

My son Grant was 5 weeks old at the time. We decided we would venture out to a restaurant with Grandpa. This was the first attempt at eating out since Grant was born. And when we pulled into the parking lot Grant needed his diaper changed so I figured I would change it really quickly in the car and meet my husband and father-in-law inside as soon as I was finished. This was my first attempt at changing a diaper in the car and we were headed to a wedding reception as soon as dinner was finished. So here I am with Grant on my lap trying to get the wipes and clean diaper ready for a quick change. I was close to successful until I realized I was trying to put the diaper on backward... silly me. So I took the diaper off and right at that moment a stream starts shooting up. So I think to myself... "Quick get the diaper on". With Grant looking at me in surprise with a new wetness on his face he didn't expect and my skirt all wet I suddenly realize I tried to put the diaper on backward... AGAIN. So quickly I turned the diaper around and FINALLY got it right the third time. Now I was just trying to convince myself that no one would notice the very unique dark pattern on my skirt. So instead of worrying what anyone else would think I just decided to rock it the best I could. So funny and definitely a story I will never forget.
~Kristy, Mother of one

I love the MOMents you've sent so far, and would love more.  Remember to email me at mommymailbox@gmail.com or post a comment and I'll save it for a MOMent post in the near future.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Search a Shape bottle

Kids will love helping you make this craft!!!

What you'll need:
* 1 clear plastic bottle with a screw on lid (a water bottle or similar size)
* Glitter (I used green, that's why it looks so murky)
* Corn Syrup
* Water
* Stuff to put in the bottle.  (Ex: beads, buttons, penny, basically any item that won't fall apart when it's in the water.  Some good places to look are your own craft supplies, old game pieces, and dollar stores.)
* Super Glue or similar permanent glue

How to make it:
1. Clean the bottle out
2. Fill the bottle with several items you've collected (don't fill it too much though, or the items will be too crowded.)
3.  Add some glitter, about 2-3 Tbl., depending on the size of the bottle
4.  Fill remaining space with Water and Corn Syrup (1/3 Corn Syrup-2/3 Water).  Be careful to not have it overflow, don't fill it to the rim.
5.  Glue the lid on and let it dry
6.  Shake it up and ENJOY!   

-A baby will enjoy watching the sparkle and color. 
-With a young child you could begin having them search for colors and shapes as you point them out. 
-For an older child, they can search and find on their own.
*Thanks for this idea Becky!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday's Wonder:

There's nothing in this world as sweet
As tiny little wrinkled feet



Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: Remembering

Our kids do a lot of things that we don't want to forget.  How often during the day do you think, "I need to write that down!" or, "I can't wait to tell my husband, or mom, or sister about that one!"?  Then the end of the day comes and in our exhaustion we forget completely.  Sometimes we'll remember just enough to think that there was something we wanted to remember...but we still can't figure out what it was. 

Here are a couple ideas to help with REMEMBERING.....
  • A couple of years ago a friend of mine gave me a suggestion:  Tape a blank piece of paper inside one of your kitchen cupboards.  Find a pen, tie a string around it, tape the other end of the string next to the paper inside the cupboard.  When your kid says or does something, you can write it down right there.  It may not be pretty, but it's hidden from visitors.  And honestly, a lot of time is spent in the kitchen...so you won't have to go far.  Plus, you don't have to find a pen...which sometimes takes a detective to locate when you're needing one.
  • A calendar.   There are a billion ways to do this.  Anything from a Baby's 1st Year calendar with matching cute stickers for different firsts, to a homemade black&white print out from your computer.  It doesn't matter the kind of calendar....just remember to have it OUT in a regular place, like on the wall in your child's bedroom, in a playroom, or on your nightstand  and NOT HIDING...you don't have time to find it when those important and silly things happen.  Also, have a pen attached to where ever you have the calendar and keep the pen in this regular place.
Do any of you have other ideas of things you do?  I'd love to share them in another post!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday's MOMents: The 1st Batch

To get started, I'll add one from myself so you know I'm really a mother too....

         I told my son he was handsome. He said, "No...... I'm cute. I'm handsome on Sunday." I always attempt to comb his hair on Sunday....I can't say much about the other six days of the week. I guess cute means  his hair isn't combed, handsome is when it is combed.  How funny!
~Amy, mother of one

********************
I took the kids to Costco the other day because the kids were driving me nuts. I had a coupon for diapers so that was my excuse for going. As we were leaving I told them we needed to go get diapers and because they were driving me nuts. Once at the store my 4 year old said, "Now mommy we need diapers and what else?" I said, "That is all." She then said, "But you said there was another reason for coming." I said, "Because you kids were driving me nuts?" 4 Year old, "Oh, that's right." ...Ah, MoMents!!!
~Karen, mother of three

********************
From my 5 year old:
                       "I can't talk nicely, my voice won't let me."
                                                   ~Janelle, mother of three

********************
Thank you for sharing a few MOMents over the past few days.  I'd love to hear more about your funny and wonderful times as a mother.  If you'd like to share, please comment here or email me at mommymailbox@gmail.com.  Please include your first name, if you are a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc. and # of children.

I hope these brightened your day!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday's Favorite: This Book

A few years ago I borrowed this book from a friend.  In the last decade of my life I've only read a handful of books all the way through.  This isn't because I don't enjoy reading.  I love to read.  However, I literally can't put a book down once I've started to read it.  It's like stopping a movie in the middle and not finding out the ending for another week.  Unspeakable.  However, this book is quite small and practical for a busy mother to read.  I felt wonderful as I read it (and re-read many parts of it to my husband so he could laugh and enjoy with me...I think he even liked it.)  It's not a novel, so it is easier to put down for a few hours during the day, and it's uplifting and inspiring. 

Without giving too much away, the premise is this: The author, Dean Hughes, tells us about his real life experience as a mother...for a summer.  He was home for the summer while his wife went back to school.  He planned to read and relax the whole summer while his three young children happily played....mother's know this isn't quite how it goes, and he tells us about what he learned, experienced, and how wonderful mothers are. 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Thursday's Thing to Do: Children's Play Dough

Play Dough of any kind is a wonderful thing. 
Not only is it fun, it's great for development.  Play Dough is also a great activity to involve children of different ages.  Children from toddler's up to about age 10, and sometimes older, love to manipulate the dough and create anything from snakes to intricate castles.  By playing with play dough, they learn about textile manipulation and creativity.  Young children can also learn about shapes as they use shape cookie cutters or you help them mold the dough into various shapes.  With older children they can take turns being the artist and have guessing games to see what others are making. 

You can use Playdoh, real dough (but be careful your kids don't eat it, they'll have tummy aches), or if you'd like to make your own fun play dough, there are many recipes out there that are great. Here's one to try:

Peanut Butter Play Dough
4 lbs. Peanut Butter
3 lbs. Powdered Sugar
3 1/2 C. Karo Syrup
2 Tbl. Vanilla Extract


Combine all ingredients in no particular order in a large bowl.  Stir until completely mixed.  (This will take some muscle work--hang in there!)  This play dough should be stored in the refrigerator, and should not be used after about three days. 
*(and, yes, it's edible)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wednesday's Words

"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her."
~ George Washington (1732-1799)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: Picky Eaters

courtesy of
teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.com
As a mom it's frustrating when a child won't eat the food you've prepared for them.  Sometimes it can even become worrisome if they aren't eating enough, or aren't eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients they need.  The number of possible solutions are endless....and there will be more posts on this topic.  But here are a few to try if you're at the point of throwing your hands up in the air at every meal time. 

*Think of your child's personality.  The same things don't work with every child.
*Also remember to be positive.  If you're nagging, getting mad, punishing, etc. it actually backfires worse than you have any idea.  It becomes a power struggle and that doesn't work.  The child will push back harder and harder
*Sprinkles.  Many kids will eat anything with sprinkles on it.  Broccoli, green beans, peaches, pasta, chicken.....  It sounds gross, but is true.  Just remember, you don't have to have it on your own food. 
*Shapes.  Do you have cookie cutters in the shape of hearts, stars, etc.  Use them on sandwiches and other food.  You can also use a butter knife to cut a shape.  Just be careful and don't make it too elaborate.  You'd regret your child requesting a detailed ferris wheel ham sandwich every day.
*Dipping.  Some kids believe Ranch dressing or Ketchup make everything wonderful.  And I do mean EVERYTHING.  While you don't want your child to be drinking ketchup and ranch because they're not very healthy, there are a lot of foods that if dipping will help them want to eat it, the nutrients in the food will outweigh the unhealthiness of the dips.  You could also try yogurt, hummus, or other things your child may like.
*Other kids.  My son will always eat what he sees other children eat.  He seems to trust their tastebuds more than mine or my husband's.  Have a lunch group, or occasional meal with cousins or neighbors and let your child sit with the other kids.  Then dish up the same food the others are eating.  Not just what you know they already like. 
*Making food.  If a child helps make a food it can be more exciting to them.  They feel like they have ownership of the food and will often times love it.
*Counting.  "At least one bite" is a good standard rule.  If you are consistent with this, they'll know they can stop after one bite and you won't bother them anymore.  So, they'll do it without a tantrum. 
Best case scenario: they love it and will eat more. 
Worst case scenario: they tried something new and got a few nutrients. 
You could try another way of counting besides "at least one bite".  You may tell them ten bites of food on their plate...but they can choose which foods, or can even ask them how many bites they will take and then hold them to it (in positive encouraging ways...not punishments).  There are many ways to implement counting into eating.  And children who are learning to count seem to repond well. 
If your child doesn't want to eat everything, it's okay.  Forcing them to eat everything can add to multiple problems like not recognizing when they're full and can 'turn off' their ability to recognize when they're full...which leads to overeating in the future.  It can also become a power struggle-which three year olds are especially excellent at.

If none of these things help, don't give up hope.  If you are seriously concerned, talk with your pediatrician.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Explaining MOMents & Mail

Each Monday will be our day of MOMents and the Mommy Mailbox

So, what is a MOMent?  A MOMent is one of those special 'mom moments' in life that you hope to never forget (...or are embarrassing and wish you could forget).  You know, the ones that make you laugh until you cry, appreciate the simple joys of a child, and feel grateful that you are a mother.  MOMents spice up the mundane parts of motherhood.

The Mailbox will be for submitting your own MOMents so I can include and post them to lighten everyone's day and help us all remember how wonderful it is to be a mother.  We will also have fun surveys, Q&A's, and occasional opportunities for prizes. 

To help out with the MOMents and Mailbox:
*Please post a comment or email me at mommymailbox@gmail.com 
*Include your first name, if you are a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc. & # of children




I look forward to hearing from you!!! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Friday Favorite: Family Fun Magazine

If you haven't checked out the Family Fun Magazine website, you're missing out!!!!  So, I thought I'd help you find it and LOVE it.  Why is it so great?  Here are a few of the many wonderful things you can find there:
*Homemade Games out of recyclable things
*Healthy recipes that your kids will want to help make AND they'll want to eat
*How-to's on making Fabulous Birthday Cakes
*Creative Crafts that kids and Moms love
*And A LOT more
Check it out, and let me know what your favorite is......
(***if you'd like the paper copy in your home, there's a subscription deal on their homepage: 10 issues for $10.00 a sweet deal!)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday's Things to Do: Shadows

Find a night this week, after it's dark, & go with your child into a dark room with a flashlight or nightlight.  Turn off the main light and show them the shadows you can both make with your hands.  Can you make a bunny rabbit?  An eagle?  What other animals can you make?  Take turns guessing each others shadow puppets.  Don't rush, just enjoy some simple time together imagining, playing, laughing, and not being distracted by the dirty dishes that are piling up in the kitchen.  Just Enjoy some SIMPLE FUN together. 
***(Bonus: maybe this will help turn your child's "fear-of-the-dark" into "fun-in-the-dark")

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday's Words

"Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."

~M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Liahona, May 2008, 108–10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbit: Handclapping

Did you know that handclapping games....(yes, those same ones we did with our friends on the playground in elementary school)...are SMART.  They actually help children develop and improve important skills.  The combination of rhythm, music, and specialized movements helps improve children's coordination, verbal memory, and handwriting skills.  If you'd like some great tutorials in remembering these songs with actions, or if you would like to learn some new ones, here's a great site filled with handclapping songs that you'll love. 
~Idea from Disney's Family Fun, Sept. 2010, 71