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The Essentials to Beating that Cold! {Guest Post By: Kaitlin from MommyAloneTime}

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It’s that time of year again…colds, flu, nasty germs everywhere! Gross. Especially when your precious little one is around other precious little ones who have those nasty germs, right?

Now, I deal with colds and allergy induced sicknesses on a year-round basis because we live where it is always muggy and humid and the pollen count is always high. That is a nasty combination. So my household always has some sort of runny, stopped up nose and a pretty constant cough. When my little one was born, it made me nervous that she was always stopped up and coughing, so we went and saw her PCP and he determined that it was just part of the environment and it was going to happen! Ugh. I hated seeing her like that, especially when I was having the same thing going on with me.

Most of you know, by reading some of my other posts, that I am an avid believer in the Essential Oils. I have used them for many things and have always had pretty great results. So I started doing some research on some oils that might help beat the symptoms of our household colds!

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With further research, I found a couple of oils that are used for treating symptoms. So of course, I ordered them and began using them almost immediately! I’m going to be the first to tell you guys, since starting the use of the these oils, we have stayed out of my daughter’s pediatrician’s office for almost 6 months now! The only time that we go is for her well check-up visits. It has been amazing.

Let’s just get right into me telling you what oils I use and how I use them:

Here is what you needoils2

R.C. Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Clove Essential Oil

A Carrier Oil (such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil)

Cotton Balls

 

 

Now, all of these are Young Living Essential Oils. I add 5 drops of each oil to a small bowl and for every drop of oil you use, add 2 drops of the carrier oil, just to help dilute the oils and make them less harsh in case your child has sensitive skin! Dip the cotton ball into the concoction and apply to your child’s chest, back and a little behind their ears! (If you want to knock it out a little faster, get your hands on some Thieves Essential oil and add that to your child’s feet! Be sure to put socks on so the oil doesn’t get on the floor and rub off!)

That’s it. This has been a lifesaver in my household. I even use it when I feel something coming on! Plus, it’s a great way to save money on medications!

 


 

About the blogger:

 

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I’m Kaitlin. I am a full time student and a full time mom! I love giving tips and helpful hints to make parenting a little bit easier! I am obsessed with essential oils and finding other ways to make money, for all the SAHM’s! I love blogging and blogging about what I love!

You can find Kaitlin at:

Blog            Twitter

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I Am A Professional MOM! {Guest Post By: SimplyIvoryB}

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Hi Mamas! I am so excited to be doing my SECOND guest blog post! I am pretty new at this blogging thing, but I really LOVE it! For those of you who may not know, my name is IvoryB and I am a 23 year old Stay-at-home-Mom (SAHM). I am engaged to the love of my life, who I always refer to as my Fubby (future hubby) and we currently reside in Maryland with our beautiful six month old son Kaleb. Fubby and I met in college and were only dating for a year when we found out that we were going to have a baby! We are young parents and new to this life of parenthood, but we thoroughly enjoy it!

I myself am pretty new to being a SAHM. During my pregnancy, Fubby and I discussed our family plan and what we would want it to look like. I have always held a job outside of the home and never knew any other option. I wanted to continue to work (I worked up until the week that I had Kaleb) and did not see myself being a SAHM. I always liked the idea of being a SAHM and thought it would be cool if I could do it, but I just couldn’t picture myself actually going through with it. I mean after all being a SAHM isn’t a REAL job right?!

WRONG!!

Growing up, I was never exposed to any women that were SAHM’s. All the women around me worked at least three jobs outside of the home and were proud of it! Any time I discussed the possibility of being a SAHM or if SAHM’s were brought up in general, the discussion was always accompanied by many laughs and statements like “only RICH people do that”. At the time I didn’t realize that not only were those statements false, but they were also spreading misinformation to an entire generation of women that could possibly be SAHM’s. Now that I myself am a Mother, I have of course become more interested in the constant discussion that continues to brew around the topic of being a SAHM. Even though I haven’t been a SAHM for long, I have a completely different perspective on what it means to be one.

First things first, being a SAHM is a REAL JOB. When I worked outside of the home, every day on the job I was working to serve my employer. I would be doing a service and getting compensated for it. That is what most people would define as a job right? Doing a service and getting paid for it. Being a SAHM allows you to do the EXACT same thing. Every morning that I wake up, I do a service for my family, my home, and get compensated for it. The service, the “employer”, and the compensation may be different, but I am still working and I am still doing a job. Not only that, the work that a SAHM does is IMPORTANT. From caring for the house, caring for children, running errands, and even running her own business, these “services” are just as important as the services that someone would complete at any other job. I honestly feel like there should be no comparison. The constant comparison produces judgment and sometimes division among women. We are all hard workers who are trying to provide for our families and whichever way you decide to do that is your CHOICE. My advice: do whatever works and is best for YOUR family and NEVER apologize for it!

Now I will be honest. My “choice” to be a SAHM wasn’t really a choice. I was laid off from my job and needed to complete one more course before I could finish my degree. I could have settled for any job after I got laid off, but I wanted to have the job that I felt God wanted me to have. I didn’t want to just settle for anything. Fubby and I talked about it and decided that it would be best for our family if I stayed home, finished my coursework, and we would figure out the rest as time went along. I will admit, the transition for me was tough. I was used to leaving the house every day for work, being around other adults for eight hours a day, and having a steady income. For the first two weeks I was stressed out, overwhelmed, sad, and even embarrassed. Of course I LOVE my family and LOVE spending time with my son, but was I going to be able to do this every day? All day? What was my family going to think? How are we going to pay the bills?! These were all real thoughts and questions that I didn’t know how to answer. One day, God reassured me that my worth as a Mother, a Wife, and a Woman did not come from my occupation or the amount of money I made. He assured me that it didn’t matter what I did as long as I did it lovingly, joyfully, and with a servant’s heart. That day honestly changed my life forever. I was more dedicated to my family, my blog (which I started due to being a SAHM), and the work that God currently had for me. It is truly an honor to be able to help my family in a way that only I can help them. No one else could come into our home and step into my shoes. Being a SAHM is a one of a kind job J

As far as “rich” women being the only women who are SAHM’s…FALSE! I am not even close to being “rich” or “being the Jones’”. Fubby and I have money issues just like anyone else, but we have learned to budget and keep our priorities straight. Being a SAHM does not mean you are “rich” or that you are better off than anyone else. It just means that you have made a CHOICE to serve your family in a different way. Now some families may have different income levels than others, but SAHM’s come in all shapes, sizes, colors, socioeconomic statues, etc. I think that as women we need to encourage one another in our decisions instead of judging. There doesn’t need to be an “us” or “them” type of classification system. At the end of the day, we are all women and should support one another. I really think we need to learn more about each other’s perspective instead of assuming. I have seen this type of division in so many different aspects over this past year. I try to make it my goal to unify women, no matter the background, so that we can be strong TOGETHER.

I have learned in this small time of being a SAHM that it can be easily OVERWHELMING. So I just wanted to give you ladies a few tips and tricks that help me when I get consumed with SAHM life!

  1. Get up early and GET DRESSED. Now I understand that every morning is NOT going to be like this, but try to do this when you can. Every morning I try and get up before Fubby and the little one so that I can have time to get dressed and prepared for the day. I usually shower, change, eat breakfast, drink tea, and spend time with God. This gives me a great start to my day and allows me to have some “mommy time” before I have to deal with the madness that is my family LOL! Or if you are a night owl like me, sometimes staying up after everyone hits the sack can work as well!
  2. Leave some for TOMORROW. It is OKAY if you don’t get everything done on your to-do list. Things have a way of going the complete opposite of what we plan. Just take one moment at a time and whatever you don’t finish today, leave for tomorrow.
  3. EAT. I know, I know. This one sounds so easy, but my SAHM’s know how easy it is to skip this one! We get so caught up in all the dishes, clothes, pick up and drop offs, that we forget to nourish ourselves. Or if you are like me, you think Starbucks is a main food group LOL. Just remember that you have to properly take care of YOU in order to take care of everyone else!
  4. Get a HOBBY. Even though I know that once you are a mama your life gets taken over by everyone else’s hobbies, likes, and dislikes, but I think it is important to hold on to what YOU like. You could be a yogi, or you may like to cook, or read, or blog, or online shop ;). But no matter what you do, just make sure it is something you LIKE and it doesn’t take many brain cells to indulge in. My blog is my hobby (which I hope to turn into a business one day) and I LOVE IT! I love to write and create and I LOVE being able to connect with other people. Remember, in order to take care of everyone else, you have to take care of YOU.

Well peeps, I hope this post was helpful. I know I’m new at this whole thing, but I have learned A LOT in these few months. Please feel free to comment below with any question or your own SAHM stories/advice. If you have any specific questions for me you can always reach me through email at simplyivoryb@gmail.com! Once you finish reading this post of course, head over to my site at simplyivoryb.com and go crazy! As always, remember to flourish!

XOXO, IvoryB.


 

About the blogger:

 

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IvoryB is a 23-year-old stay at home mom who loves her family. She currently resides on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her Fiancé (Kwasi) and their six-month old son (Kaleb). Ivory loves being a new mom, writing, football, and everything Pumpkin Spice!

 

You can find SimplyIvoryB at:

Blog             Facebook        Twitter       Instagram

 

 

What Not to Say to Someone with Anxiety {Guest Post By: Rhianna Elizabeth}

 

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I would be lying if I said this was not a very personal post for me. I have seen and heard a large number of things surrounding the stigma of anxiety and a variety of mental health issues…and it hurts. It really bloody hurts.

I am one of thousands of people fighting the stigma that shadows the topic of mental health. However, I am not just doing it from the perspective of a mental health activist. I am also doing it from the perspective of a sufferer myself. I have to deal with generalized anxiety disorder, as well as bouts of depression, on a daily basis. There will definitely be future posts on my blog about mental health and various aspects of it, but today, I shall be raising awareness of anxiety disorders and helping people that do not have the disorder understand what to not say to someone with anxiety. ❤

 

  1. ” You’re overreacting”

People who are suffering from an anxiety disorder are aware that they are being irrational, but that does not stop the panic or anxiety that they are experiencing, especially if they are suffering from it on a daily basis. If anything, telling them that they are overreacting will make things even worse because the person will start to panic that they are being irritating or are being a burden. (Guilt is a big part of an anxiety disorder.)

 

  1. ” There are people suffering from larger issues”

Yes, there are people suffering from larger issues, but people forget that having an anxiety disorder, or any mental health disorder for that matter can cause absolute havoc for a person and actually can be really dangerous/ terrifying.

 

  1. “It is just in your head.”.

It may be a mental health disorder, but there are physical symptoms too. I personally suffer from pretty bad physical symptoms, as do a few of my friends who suffer from anxiety. Stomach aches, feeling or being sick, feeling faint and even suffering from IBS are only some of the many physical symptoms that a person with anxiety may have to cope with. It varies with the individual though.

 

  1. “Everyone gets anxiety.”

It is normal for everyone to get anxiety once in a while, but when you are suffering from constant anxiety and fear over the smallest of things, that is when it becomes an issue and can become extremely severe. In a variety of cases, it can lead to other mental health issues.

 

  1. “Just meditate.”

This one especially upsets me. Now, as much as I agree that meditation can be a great way to control anxiety and can work for some people, other people are unable to control their anxiety through just meditation and need more help and support, in order to be able to cope, WHICH IS OKAY!! Anxiety affects individuals in different ways. Some people can keep keep their anxiety under key through self help and care, whilst others have to look to therapy and possibility medication if self care is no longer working.

 

  1. “It will go away.”

That’s the thing. Anxiety and other mental health issues are not the same as physical health issues. With a physical issue, you can usually get rid of it, eventually, as long as it is not too severe. With a mental health issue, it is more complex than just taking a pill or wearing a sling for a couple of weeks. Any underlining mental health issues that you may suffer from will always be there. They may not always be in your face, because you may be controlling it well through self care, therapy and/or medication. However, they will never disappear and can reappear at any point in your life because of the smallest of thing. It is about keeping an eye on your mental health and having the tools to fight through when things are becoming bad. You never stop running a race.

 

  1. “Just get on with it.”

It is never a good idea to say this because not only will this make the person with the anxiety feel even more anxious, it may also lead to a panic attack occurring. Forcing them to do something is going to create more of a negative impact, not a positive one.

 

If you think you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder or you are someone who wants to know what would be appropriate to say to someone with anxiety, I have attached links below:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anxiety/pages/introduction.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/panic-disorder/pages/introduction.aspx

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/what-to-say-anxiety_n_5978918.html

http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/tips-for-friends-family

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Obsessive-compulsive-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

 

I know this would have been quite an intense blog post, but I hope it was of help to both anxiety sufferers and non- anxiety sufferers.

 

Rhi. X


 

About the blogger:

 

rhianna

 

Hello! My name is Rhianna…(Also known as Rhi.) I am currently a 18 year old Sixth Form student with a love of English Literature and an interest in everything life has to give. I created this blog to not only connect with other people about a range of subjects that can bring people together, but to also raise awareness about mental health and share my advice and experiences, which could be of use to other people! I have found that writing, reading and blogging helps to keep my mind in focus and allows me to help keep my mental health on track…. My blog is home to a range of topics and ideas from all aspects of life, which also means that my blog caters for a variety of people.

 

You Can Find Rhianna at:

 

Blog         Instagram        Twitter        Facebook

Our Journey to a Diagnosis: Signs and Symptoms

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My son Christian, was born on August 25, 2011 weighing 8.5 lbs. and was 21 1/2″ long. The first time I saw him after my C-section, I felt that indescribable love that a mother has for their child.

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As I mentioned in one of my past posts, we were told by his doctor that he was a very special child. He would sit in his bouncer and just analyze the world around him. As months went by, there weren’t much changes except the typical milestones that he was meeting. He was smiling, sitting up and grabbing everything in sight.

 

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Christian at 4 months old with his Uncle Justin

 

Fast forward a couple years to age 2. My husband and I didn’t think much of his tantrums because we had never had a child before, so we didn’t know what to expect with the terrible two’s. His tantrums began to get worse over the months. He began throwing things and shutting the door to his room so he could be alone. I had also noticed while we were shopping one day, how much he talked. There were children next to him who were speaking very fluently and he was still working on saying “Mom”. This is the point in time that I knew he may need help. I began reaching out to his doctor, who began talking about how it could vey well just be that he had a slight delay, but that it was too early to look at Autism and such.

At age 4 he began a Pre- K program called Headstart. At this time they began seeing the difficulties he had in speech. This is when everything began to change for us. He began an IEP for Speech Therapy. Teachers were telling me that he was a very silent and shy child. He only liked to hang around the teachers or sit in the corner with his blocks.

Now at 5 years old, behaviors have most definitely gotten worse. To help other mothers going through the same thing, here is a list of his many behaviors that he is now demonstrating or had and they have gradually gotten worse..

  • Speech– He is verbal which is wonderful but many people don’t know what he is saying. Since I am his mother and have been with him through his entire life, I know how to translate. (Something I definitely need to stop doing.) He only speaks about 3-4 words in a sentence. It is quite rare to hear anything larger than that. Also, many times that you talk to him, he will stare at you, like he is processing what you just said. For him, it takes some time to understand certain things. He also is unable to do anything that requires more than one command, unless you take it step by step slowly. There are many times when speaking with him that you  feel like he is deaf. I end up having to have him look at me and I have to speak slowly to him and have him repeat it back.
  • Tantrums– This is a daily thing for us. They involve him crying, screaming, whimpering, covering his ears, stomping and..
  • Self Harm– When he is in the process of his tantrums, he will harm himself. This is something that is hard to watch and to talk about, but it is something that really does happen and needs to be talked about. I’ve had him pinch himself, punch himself in the face, smack himself and lastly.. I had once caught him applying pressure to his neck to “choke” himself. (Thankfully the choking happened only once and was over a year ago.
  • Senses are highly sensitive– He can not stand loud noises. He will cover his ears and cry or scream. This can be a difficult one because he has a 2 year old brother who is very loud.. He doesn’t like textures of food anymore. He is extremely picky with his food now. He also doesn’t like to be touched which saddens me greatly because it is very rare for him to allow me to hug or kiss him.
  • Has accidents– He has been wetting the bed for a couple years now and it has now turned into a nightly thing. Even during the day, I have to remind him to use the bathroom because it doesn’t seem to process that he has to go.
  • Watches TV VERY closely– No, there is nothing wrong with his eyes. He just loves standing in front of the TV within arms reach. I began noticing that he was looking at the different colors on the screen.
  • Swaying– When he began watching TV really closely is when I noticed him swaying back and forth for a long period of time.
  • Random bursts of energy– He began doing this this year where he will be content, watching something and BOOM. He begins running back and forth in the house repeatedly. (No sugar or soda allowed for him.) He will also begin trying to say things really fast and this usually ends in him having a tantrum.
  • Socializing– He has a couple friends at school that he follows around but nothing more than that. Still very quiet and shy.
  • Routine– this one is MAJOR. We have a routine everyday and I try very hard to maintain it. For example… In the morning before school, I will first brush his teeth and then do his hair. One day, I turned it around….. Let’s just say he was VERY late for school.
  • OCD– He began being OCD a couple years ago. I would notice him organizing and would do things repeatedly. He still does this to this day. He actually sleeps with boxes of toys that have been separated by character. For example: He has a small shoe box sized plastic box that holds just his Pikachu toys. He also has a large Minecraft box in the corner of the room that no one is allowed to touch.
  • Gross motor skills– He still is unable to ride a bike. He doesn’t quite understand how to get the pedals to move yet.
  • Fine motor skills– Has a very tough time doing homework, writing his name and drawing. He is a master at building with blocks and doing puzzles but still has a tough time holding a pencil.

 

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As of today, we are waiting for our appointment for a Psych Evaluation on Nov. 17. This will give us information on what is going on with him and if he is indeed Autistic. For me, as his mom, it breaks my heart everyday seeing him struggle. I do what ever it takes to make sure he gets the help he needs in school and at home. He is beginning PCIT therapy next week and am hoping this helps some. Once we receive a diagnosis, doors will begin to open for him. He will receive more therapy and help in school.

If you believe that your child may be having difficulties, please talk to their doctor. Help at an early age is extremely beneficial. Please know that you are never alone on this…

 

*Please note that if your child has some of the same characteristics listed, this doesn’t mean an automatic Autism diagnosis. They are simply characteristics that my son experiences and are for informational purposes only.*

 

Interview with Grace Cross, Owner/ Editor of Thebabyspot.ca

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Before I begin with the interview, I would just like to say, how much this woman inspires me. I have the pleasure of working with this lovely lady as an expert contributor to her site. Since I could see how successful she was in almost everything she does, I thought it would be a great idea to ask her questions on what success is to her. Along with this, I want everyone to get the chance to know who Grace is and what she does. If you have any questions she is always around to answer them! You can email her at: editor@thebabyspot.ca. Make sure to also check out her online magazine at: Thebabyspot.ca, she is always looking for guest posts!!


 

  1. How would you define success?

GC: To me, success is not necessarily based on monetary gain. If you have found balance in your life, if you have found happiness, if who you are or what you’re doing or what you’re producing is helping this world and its people, then to me, one is truly successful.

 

  1. Can you tell me what made you want to start your websites? (you have 2, correct?)

GC: The Baby Spot came to me over time. I’ve noticed that many magazines appealed only to a very specific niche and I’ve noticed that most people in my social circles did not fit into that niche.

I was also surprised that in the world of parenting, a lot of the information was being repeated over and over. Where was the support for the Mom who had a miscarriage or the father who watched his wife go through it? It was difficult to find great small businesses that produced a great product or service. They folded quickly because they just could not reach national or international level and no one would give them the attention that they deserved.

I decided to make a national magazine based in Canada. However, during the first month, most of our readers were from the United States. It came to me, why not be the first global parenting magazine? We could unite parents by celebrating the similarities but embracing the differences of parenting practices worldwide. I would talk about the 99% of people, brands and businesses that did not fit into that tiny niche.

Artist’s Opus is a twitter handle where we promote artist’s work from around the world. Well-known artists and amateur artists alike are featured with us. We have big plans for this handle in the future!

 

  1. If there was a time that you ever felt like giving up, what made you keep going? 

GC: I care about The Baby Spot and Artist’s Opus so much. Like every job, there are so many challenges with running a global parenting magazine. You have to think about little things like ensuring that a blog post transitions from country to country, from culture to culture. From another perspective, you have to stay on top of trends in fashion, blogging, business, politics, celebrity news, etc. I have definitely felt overwhelmed.

When I have felt like giving up, the thing that kept me going is that I love it. I am passionate about this. I love to write. I love telling other people’s stories for a living. I love seeing a small blog become a huge one. I love watching someone’s business or writing dreams come true.

In the darkest times of owning a business, it’s all about taking a step back, reminding yourself why you are logically doing this and stay focused. Confidence, Consistency and finding Cures for your problems.

 

  1. Do you have any tips for bloggers? 

     

GC: The Baby Spot will be setting up free blogging classes for bloggers in 2017 and we will be setting up big and small bloggers a like with brands, businesses, celebrities and experts so they can not worry about their reach and focus on content and quality.

As editor, I have noticed a lot of things that work and do not work. I am currently writing a book about it! I would love to tell a blogger to post consistently and timely. If you have one post a week, make sure it comes out once a week at the same time. Your readers are everything to your blog. It’s like going to read a newspaper. You go to buy your newspaper on Monday and you read the news. You like what you’re reading. You go on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and there is no newspaper. It publishes inconsistently. You probably stop reading that newspaper and you start reading their competitor. That’s what happens to a lot of blogs. They have great posts, but people like patterns and consistency.

Secondly, this is a tough business. Most blogs cease to exist in the first six months. If you blog for fun, then enjoy it! If you want this as a career, treated as such. Run your blog like a business.

 

  1. What is next for your websites, in this upcoming year?

GC: We will continue to promote our Artist’s Opus artists with my co-owner and ensuring that our audience sees the talent that exists around the world.

 We have some exciting things happening with The Baby Spot! We are creating a community of bloggers who want to be connected with businesses, brands, celebrities and experts. We will be giving tips on blogging and how to grow your audience. The Baby Spot community is supportive and helpful and we want to see blogs grow!

We will also be translating our website into French in 2017 and in Spanish in 2018.

We will be having more giveaways, twitter chats and more. We want to connect our readers and writers.

If I could describe 2017 to our readers and bloggers, I would sum it up as the year of opportunity for them. Whether you are winning a contest or creating a successful blog full of encouraging readers, this is your year.

 

  1. Can you give me a little bio on you? (How long you have been doing this..etc)

I am a gal with a global parenting magazine. I have had The Baby Spot for three and a half years. I am an author of a sci-fi novel, SINC. My second book comes out next year. I’m passionate about the parenting magazine, writing and watching people set and surpass their goals.

 

  1. What is your favorite part of what you do? 

GC: Connecting with amazing people. I love when people are successful. I enjoy the interaction with PR companies, bloggers, readers, celebrities, authors and experts. I love finding creative ways to tell a person’s story.

 

  1. Tips for someone that wants to get into your line of business. 

GC: This is HARD. You have to love this.

Don’t get competitive or think you have nothing to say. The parenting community is so big there is room for all of us. Enjoy your counterparts.

 

  1. What inspires you?

GC: That email. An email from a writer who tells me that they have had it rough lately, but having a platform to their truth as a parent is getting them through the week. That email when a small business tells me that a huge store just picked up their product. When I see my writers and readers support each other. That email where a reader says that one of my writers changed their life. That an article made them laugh, cry or think. It shows my website, in a sea of websites, has a heartbeat.

 

  1. What are your goals? (business or personal)

GC: My goals are to continue to write. I want to get my parenting books published and there is a lot of interests. I want to continue to write my sci fi books.

I want The Baby Spot to continue to touch our audience. I want the website translated so more people can write for us and read us. I want to continue to connect with readers, brands, businesses, and bloggers/vloggers/podcasters and make a global community.

I want people to walk away from my site and say they’ve learned something today.


 

grace

 

Grace Cross

Editor/ Owner of Thebabyspot.ca

6 Ways to Spend Quality Family Time {Guest Post By: Emma Lawson}

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Essential everyday duties, like work, meals and house chores do take a lot of time and energy. However, spending quality time with your loved ones doesn’t necessarily have to be limited only to weekends, days off and family vacations. There’s a possible, healthy and positive approach to this issue that will help you feel more relaxed and in control. Building stronger family bonds happens on a daily basis. For some, it’s during a morning drive to school and work, ordering pizza for dinner or enjoying a sport together. For others, it includes in-depth conversations while going for a walk. No matter what kind of lifestyle you have, the following tips can come in handy when you’re out of fresh ideas.

Take Advantage of an Everyday Routine

Use all the resources you have and don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can ask your babysitter to prepare dinner while you go out for a walk with your kids. In such a way, you’ll spend more time playing and talking to them. Organize Saturday family trips to the market and let your kids draw or write the shopping list together with you. You can learn a lot about each other and have some real fun. Remember that spending more time preparing that list together is sometimes more important than doing all your chores on time.

Let Your Kids Participate

Letting your kiddos help you around the house will help them learn about responsibility and gain important life skills. You should teach your child how to be independent, and the best way to do it is to give them age appropriate tasks. Toddlers can put away toys in a basket; 5-year-olds can help you clean; older children can clean and tidy their rooms and help you in the kitchen. The only catch is to make these chores interesting and fun. Organize a competition between adults and kids to see who can get more things done for a shorter time. You won’t believe what kids are capable of once you set the rules and start the timer. Invent role-plays, make up songs and create a theater in the living-room. Your home will not only be perfectly clean, but also an adventurous island you created together.

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Be Present

Multitasking is an extremely proficient way of organizing all your duties, but sometimes it takes more than it gives. If you’re spending an afternoon with your family, don’t check your emails all the time. Take a break for an hour and watch a cartoon with your daughter. At those moments, the kids feel that you’ve become a part of their little world and that is an extremely important feeling.

Talk to Your Teen

Talk to your teens and discover what they are passionate about. Don’t be judgmental when it comes to their interests as they change so fast during this period and will probably experiment with various activities. The best advice for any parent is to be a good role-model. Listen to your teens and see why they are so attracted to chosen activities. Suggest doing something together as a family once a week that will include the activity they like, as well. By letting them participate in making decisions for themselves, you show that you respect them.

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Organize a Reading Club

If you’re passionate about books, your kid will most probably be, too. A reading club can take place in an improvised tent in the bedroom once a week and involve all the family members. Everybody should bring a story they like and say why they like it so much. Choosing and discussing books is a way to share ideas and values with your children, and to help them develop their imagination. It’s time for a reading club! Let’s jump in and get cozy! Such an event can be remembered for years to come.

Think of the Things to Do and Places to Visit Every Month

Visiting places together helps you escape your daily routine and experience some new things together. Organizing trips is not that complicated. You can visit a new theme park, go to a nearby village, or go camping during the weekend. Try not to be a parent who breaks promises. If you’re not sure you’ll have the time and money at the end of every month, think of some interesting alternative. Building a dollhouse in the living room? A great idea! Camping in the backyard? Why not? You just need to be equipped with proper multipurpose accessories. If you’re a real fan of travel, cozy Cloud9 Lounges for adventurous minds might be great for you and your family. You can use them in the backyard, as well as on the beach.

As long as you’re prepared to lead and set a good example to your kids, there’s no mountain top high enough you cannot reach together.


 

About the blogger:

 

emma

 

Emma Lawson is a busy mom to two wonderful boys. She is passionate about writing and her boys are her inspiration. She loves to explore, learn and share about parenting techniques.

You can follow Emma at: Twitter

The Beauty Behind Handmade Soap {Guest Post By: Giveaway Guy}

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A couple years ago my wife got a couple bars of handmade soap from a farmer’s market, and she has raved about them ever since. Part of the reason is that farmer’s markets are fun and generally the people there are very friendly, and the other part is that handmade soaps are actually luxurious and good for your skin.

So now we’re jumping back on the natural soap train and the past few weeks I’ve featured many cool Etsy soap makers (or “soapers” as they call themselves) on my blog.

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If you take the time to read some of my reviews, you’ll learn that handmade soap is often entirely composed of natural, organic ingredients. Soap makers like to avoid using artificial additives, synthetic substances, perfumes, parabens, chemicals, and harmful preservatives. It’s safe to say the soaps I’ve featured are pretty safe for most types of skin, so consider giving a bar a shot.

I also have a spot for honeybees and raw honey. You might guess where I’m going with this, and to enhance the skin healing properties of soap, raw honey can be added in the making process. I love raw honey products, and it’s a natural humectant. What’s a humectant, you ask? It absorbs moisture from the air, helping retain moisture in your skin.

Something my wife swears by is lavender. Did you know lavender has health benefits? It has the ability to eliminate nervous tension, nurture the skin, and treat respiratory problems. Soaps made with lavender essential oil are bound to calm and soothe your senses. Try washing with lavender after a stressful day.

You can get the most out of your soap bar by treating it with care. Don’t leave it sitting in water, and instead place it in a dish or on a ledge. In my bathroom, I have a soap dish that sits on the sink counter. The one I’ve got is designed to look somewhat like an industrial pallet, which I like.

 

 


 

About the blogger:

seth-giveaway-guy

 

Seth enjoys writing reviews and entering giveaways, and that’s why he created the Giveaway Guy Blog – to help others find useful information and have the chance to win stuff too! Seth works for a marketing agency as a search engine optimization (SEO) analyst and welcomes your questions if you have a blog or website.

You can find Giveaway Guy at:

 

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What NOT to Say to Mom’s with Lots of Kids {Guest Post By: BigFitFam}

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“WOW! You have your hands full!” – Thank you,I didn’t realize this before you pointed it out. Yes, my hands are full, full of love and lunacy and everything in between. I hear this every time I go out and I simply don’t want to hear it ever again.

“Are you done having children?” – I don’t freaking know, LOL. Obviously we have been crazy enough to keep on going long after most of society stops procreating so, who knows? It could happen, it could not. This question just forces me to feel like I have to come up with an answer now. Trust me, when I know, you’ll know.

“So, which one of you is getting ‘fixed’?”- Um, none of your business? Taking away your ability to have more children is a BIG decision depending on many, many factors. It is also a very personal decision. When someone decides to pose this question, it suggests not only that they believe you should not have more children, but that such a decision as a vasectomy or having your tubes tied, is an easy and obvious solution to a problem you may not believe you have. I have had people go so far as to threaten to kidnap my husband and take him to get snipped….not funny. So mind your own beeswax and let people make this decision on their own, privately.

“Wait ’til they are teenagers and eat you out of house and home!” – While this is not a malicious statement, it is one every parent dreads. As mothers, we are constantly attending to our children’s needs and hoping that we meet them appropriately. Being able to meet the dietary needs of teenagers, much less MANY teenagers if you have a big family, is terrifying. As parents, we are already scared and don’t need to be reminded of the fear. However, as parents, we will figure it out. We don’t have a set plan or savings account for teenage food, but we will find a way and that is that.

“I don’t know how you do it” – We just do. Humans are great at adapting, you adapt to one baby, you can adapt to two, or four or six….You simply find a new groove. However, to be honest, I don’t know how parents of single children do it. We are all living our own idea of “happy” and we don’t have to understand each other.

“How are you going to pay for college?” – Again, none of your business. Whether they have college funds or have to work through school, money matters are private and you should have been taught that by your mother!

“What is your profession that you can pay for so many kids!” – No matter what our line of work, we will take care of kids.  That fact that you think a high paying job is required to make a big family work is a little insulting to those of us who just make a normal, honest living. We simply make it work. We budget, we coupon, we do whatever we have to.  We are fine, thank you very much.

“Do all your kids have the same dad?” – Believe it or not I have actually heard this question more than once. This question makes moms feel like they have to go on the defensive. Are you calling me loose when you ask that? With this question you are basically assuming that to have so many children there must be multiple dads, which is somewhat insulting to both my husband and I. Whether our family is made of all the same DNA. combined from previous marriages, or there many different baby daddies, you should probably make this an “inside” question; as in, it doesn’t go “outside” your mouth.

YES, some people have big families. NO, you don’t have to comment on every aspect of big family life. We really are not so different from you.

 


 

About the blogger:

bigfit

Brandi is a mother of 5 and workout enthusiast. She spends her time cooking and attempting to keep up with housework, but generally failing. She also works part time as a bartender and blogger. You can check out her blog at bigfitfam.com or follower her on twitter (https://twitter.com/BigFitFamily), facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BigFitFam/) or instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bigfitfam5/).

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The Bully Magnet {Guest Post By: Edifymeblog}

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I remember the first time it happened. Claire was 15 months old. I was excited to be out at our first mommy-n-me class. As we entered through the doorway, a child that was a wee bit smaller than Claire walked right up to her and pushed her down.

And so it began. 

For the next several years kids like this would find their way into her space and cause problems for her.

The toddler incident above was not something I ever thought about again until later years when these types of things happened repeatedly. Years later I would reflect on this incident as foreshadowing the years to come.

I will warn you though that this is not a story of tolerance and “turn the other cheek” which is what I was taught growing up. This is a story of teaching my child how to protect herself. Yes, I taught her the “socially acceptable” way of using her words to express her dislike for certain behaviors, walk away, tell an adult, yada yada. When that wasn’t effective I advised her to use any means necessary to drive the message home to those folks that weren’t very bright. Unfortunately some people just don’t get it until you give it back to them (times ten), and sometimes they will never get it. Life lesson #71.

When she couldn’t protect herself, I stepped in.

Through this experience, I have found that at the core of a bully is someone who is deeply disturbed and needs to establish control, capture attention, and/or earn recognition at the price of those around them. Children aren’t born bullies, they learn this behavior out of desperation to be loved, valued, and accepted. Sadly, they were either cheated during those fundamental stages of life or they just haven’t been taught how to achieve these basic human needs without hurting someone in the process.

Preschool Bully

I heard about a boy named Christian on a daily basis. Christian had obvious behavioral problems because Claire told me about several instances when the teacher had to discipline him for various conflicts with other classmates. I felt bad for him, that is, until he began focusing on Claire.

Christian took a liking to Claire and was forcing her to only play with him each day. He ended each class with “Claire promise me you will only play with me tomorrow.” This did concern me, so I asked her how she felt about it. She said she didn’t mind because she liked him and enjoyed playing with him. I decided to let her figure it out.

Unfortunately, Christian’s behavior started to get more aggressive and each day she would tell me a different story of how Christian was becoming more controlling. I taught Claire, through role-playing, to hold her hand up and say “Stop” to Christian, and go tell the teacher, if his behavior was bothering her.

Understandably this was difficult for Claire because she was only 4 years old at the time and frankly, she shouldn’t have to defend herself against another 4 year old at preschool. It was becoming a daily stressor and because Claire was disturbed by his behavior, she was pulling away from him. He didn’t respond well to this change.

I felt compelled to step in when Christian grabbed Claire’s arm and pulled her away from another classmate. I contacted the teacher and brought it to her attention. The teacher was aware and tried to discipline Christian but obviously she has 10 other children she needed to be concerned with as well. I was confident she was doing everything she could to protect Claire.

For a week, Christian’s behavior escalated almost every day and I became increasingly concerned. The final straw was when Christian flew a toy plane into Claire’s temple, leaving a red gash near her eye. I requested a meeting with Christian and his parents Robert and Thomas.

I learned that Christian had a rough start in life and Robert and Thomas adopted him a year prior. They were aware of his behavior and were doing their best to combat it with counseling and medication. Robert told me they were extremely sorry for Christian’s behavior towards Claire but they were at a loss for what to do. I tried to be sympathetic, but Claire’s safety was my first (and only) concern.

I asked to speak to Christian alone. In a closed room I told Christian that if he ever touched, talked to, or even looked at Claire ever again, I knew where he lived and I would come into his room late at night when he was sleeping and pour ice water on his head.

I’m kidding.

I asked him a few questions and quickly realized that Christian needed special attention and probably would be more successful being schooled by professionals in the field of behavioral disorders.

I expressed my concerns to Robert and Thomas and they agreed.

New to parenting, Robert (a stay-at-home-dad) asked if we could arrange play dates for Christian and Claire so we could help Christian learn how to behave properly in a social environment.  I was happy to help so I agreed because my heart went out to Christian knowing all he had been through in his young life.

Playdates never actually materialized because shortly after our “talk” Thomas’ job relocated him out of state.

Stop Touching Me

Throughout the next few years Claire told me many stories of kids mistreating her or usually they just couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. She doesn’t like to be touched and that, in itself, made her a magnet for many.

I did see a pattern forming and it was mainly people wanting to control her. People messed with her a lot but since the episode with Christian in preschool, it never escalated to where I had to step in; until 2nd grade.

Second Grade Bully

William was the topic of many conversations during the first half of 2nd grade. As usual Claire and I role-played several times but she still had difficulty standing up to him. He had been held back a year and was a bigger boy so she was probably intimidated.

William was nice to her one minute then would say or do something nasty the next minute. He would grab her pencil right out of her hand and break it in half. He would swipe her paper out from under her, scribble all over it, and throw it in the garbage. He would throw her books on the floor, etc.

It was a constant source of frustration and by the end of December 2007, I was fed up. During Christmas break I was having a conversation with Claire about some random thing that happened at school, and she told me that William, several weeks prior, had actually punched her in the chest.

It took every fiber of my being to remain calm! I asked her to clarify and she told me that William was mad at her because she didn’t play with him during recess so he punched her when they were lining up to go back into school.

Maybe she “forgot” to tell me because she knew I would go ballistic. I was furious at myself for letting William’s behavior escalate for three months before taking necessary action. I tried to let her handle the situation but obviously it wasn’t working and I had to step in.

I sent an email to all of Claire’s teachers and the principal of the school demanding that William be kept far away from Claire at all times. I threatened to come to school every day and walk her to her classes if this situation was not handled IMMEDIATELY! The principal took the matter seriously and assured me it would be handled appropriately.

Things calmed down and Claire gave me regular updates. William was informed he was not allowed to be around Claire anymore. He would ask her why they couldn’t hang out together and Claire replied “Because my mom said I can’t.” One time I brought lunch to Claire at school and William came up to me and asked me why Claire couldn’t hang out with him anymore. I replied “William, you haven’t been very nice to Claire so it’s better for her if you stay away.”

February 2008 I volunteered during the Valentine’s day party at school and William’s great-grandmother, Anna, approached me. I was a bit uncomfortable because I had no idea what was about to happen. Anna had been raising William, on her own, for the past four years. Apparently the school contacted her and showed her my email explaining all the things that William had done to Claire since the beginning of school. She apologized profusely for his behavior. She also thanked me for writing the email because that prompted her to get him some help.

Done With Role-Playing

By 5th grade, I couldn’t believe all of the kids that just couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. It was astonishing to me. Classmates writing on her, touching her hair and face, pushing her, stealing her things, throwing her books, etc. Frankly, at this point, I was fed up. I soon learned that the school’s ANTI-Bullying propaganda was just that…all hype with very little follow through. The teachers weren’t willing to follow through on their “ZERO tolerance” threats so it was time for Claire to protect herself using any means necessary.

A girl that was half Claire’s size found it amusing to try and trip Claire during passing periods. Claire was clumsy enough walking on her own so she certainly didn’t need any help. I was concerned if she took a header on that hard floor, she could really get hurt.

I told Claire the next time – we’ll call her Emily – tried to trip her, she had my permission to body slam her into the lockers. I assured her I would always defend her if her actions resulted in a trip to the principal’s office – but try not to get caught.

Please understand that Claire is a very easy going kid. She is well liked, doesn’t cause any problems and gets along with almost everyone. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. One day she finally decided to take my advice and as Emily was approaching her in the hall, Claire abruptly stopped which caused Emily to ricochet off her and into the lockers. Claire shot her a look with her “bitch face” and continued walking.

“Emily” never bothered her again.

Because I didn’t know how else to help Claire defend herself against these people that continued to mess with her, as she got older I encouraged her to fight back. Obviously I didn’t condone behavior that sent someone to the emergency room but fight back enough to give them pause the next time they thought about messing with her.

I always taught her to protect herself by either standing up for herself verbally or walking away if she didn’t want to confront someone. It probably helped her understand that she had choices which ultimately helped to instill confidence. I think most children at her age would rather die than speak up and I get that. Plus a lot of times it’s a situation where it happens so fast that you’re frozen with shock at the audacity of some people. I completely understand that too.

I’m happy to report that Claire is a very confident teenager and I think that helps her in her daily dealings with other teenagers and adults. Even though she still has to deal with ignorant and sometimes rude people, she understands that their behavior is often due to their own shortcomings. She is able to put it into perspective…for the most part. Granted she is still an adolescent and with that comes insecurities, but she learns better coping skills every day.

I realize this is a mild case of bullying and many people have experienced more severe cases that have led to self-destructive behavior or worse. Teaching our children to be aware of their boundaries and how to protect their boundaries is key to arming them with the self-esteem to overcome bullying at all levels. It’s how we view ourselves that determines the impact of a bully’s behavior.


 

About the blogger:

 

edifymeblog

“Hi! I’m Jackie! Let’s grab a cup of coffee and talk about life! Edify means “to teach in a way that improves the mind and character.” I’ve always  believed in continuous improvement and I’m hoping that by sharing my difficult life experiences and the things I did to overcome these struggles, I can help other people. I’ve done a lot of work and I’ve had a lot of success so I feel like I have a lot of knowledge on how to improve our lives.

 

You can find Jackie at:

 

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Postpartum Depression, How it Affected My Marriage

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Listening to my son cry in the living room with my husband, I hurry and close the bedroom door and lock it. My back turned to the door, I let myself fall to the floor. I don’t want to hear another minute of the crying or whining. I just want to be by myself. I don’t feel like myself. I feel sick.

This is how I felt back in the fall of 2014. I had just had my son 2 months prior. Everything seemed to have been going great. I had shown no signs of Postpartum Depression or anything of the sort. I enjoyed my time as a new mom to our second son. This is when Postpartum Anxiety and Depression decided to come knocking on my door and unfortunately for me, I let them in…

Want to read more of The Geeky Mama’s Guest Post? Click here!

#TOP5CRAFTYMAMAS Picks of the Week! {Week 2}

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Thank you for the #TOP5CRAFTYMAMAS submissions last week!

Make sure to visit these lovely ladies’ blogs, links are provided with their submission… Lets get started!!


Our Apple Picking Adventure Fall Funday!

Yay! Its Fall! Such a pretty time of year and always so many fun things to do with your kids like going to the pumpkin patch, playing in the leaves, getting ready for Halloween, and visiting your local orchard to harvest your own apples! We have never done this before so we didn’t have high hopes about Braydon enjoying it, or whether or not we would even know what we were doing! As mentioned in the about section of this blog; we are from the Willamette Valley in Salem, Oregon. There are tons of farms, orchards, and farmers markets in our area that offer you to go and forage for your own produce. We chose to go to a small family owned farm outside of town called Beilke Family Farm. We found out about it through an online local community group. When we arrived it was so nice outside, so we had definitely picked a good day to go!

As we got out of the car a nice girl offered to take our families picture in front of their sign and then she took her time explaining to us what was in season and how the signs point you down each isle that can be picked along with what apples are growing there. We picked a five gallon bucket which only cost us $11.00 and took our time walking up and down the rows. Braydon had such a blast helping pick the apples and he was good about not putting the nasty ones off the ground into our bucket. As we were heading out of the orchard the people working there had informed us that there is a free fall harvest festival starting on October 15th that will have games, apple tastings, and other fun stuff; so we will definitely be heading back that way this fall! It was such a great experience for us all and We were able to score a ton of apples which means tons of activities and recipes with apples!! If you are looking for a fun fall family activity I highly recommend taking your family to go apple picking at your local family orchard. It is so rewarding and an earthy experience. Don’t forget to check back often and subscribe! I will be having and applesauce and fruit leather recipes posted soon since we have acquired so many apples! lots of fun fall posts ahead!

 

Essential Tips for Boosting Your Mom’s Body Self- Confidence {Guest Post by: Zara Lewis, Contributor to Highstylife}

Essential Tips for Boosting Your Mom’s Body Self-Confidence

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For nine months, you have been creating the miracle of life. All the pregnancy nausea, mood swings, swollen feet, and of course extra pounds – all of that is truly worth it. This sudden epiphany comes to you when you hold your baby for the first time and nothing else matters.

However, there is the other side of the story. Yes, you’ve become a mother, but you still are a woman. As a woman, you might experience shock or even postpartum depression. It all happens so fast: your body goes through various changes, leaving you with significantly changed weight, excessive skin and stretch marks. Many online campaigns emerged out of the need to shut down body-shamers: they support post-birth bodies and celebrate them, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of yours, either! Here’s how you can boost up your body self-confidence and feel attractive again.

Acknowledge that you’ve created a new life

Women give birth every day. Although it is something very common, we all need to take a moment and appreciate just how amazing that is. Even though society forces you to feel bad about your new appearance, you should really step away and think about these absurd beauty standards. Every woman gets stretch marks, cellulite, and a few extra pounds during pregnancy: it is a common and natural thing. Still, it is stigmatized and so many new moms decide to skip the beach and activities that reveal their bodies, although there are plenty of reasons to be careless and simply enjoy.

 

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Step into the fitness arena – but do it for yourself

It is hard to cope with dramatic changes in your physique. If you were leading a fitness-focused life before pregnancy, it can be even harder. The most important thing is not to beat yourself about it, cut out the harmful self-talk, and take small steps to get back in shape. Ask for your partner’s support and talk openly how important it is to do something for yourself. Sign up for a fitness class or follow some of the workout plans. Don’t stress if you don’t see results right away and especially if it is hard to manage your schedule at first. You should be completely unapologetic about it and mute the malicious voices that are making you feel guilty for taking some “you” time. However, getting rid of excessive skin after birth is pretty hard. If it’s making you self-conscious, consider consulting a surgeon about abdominoplasty which is a very common after-pregnancy procedure. In fact, it is so common that it is also known as the “mommy tummy tuck”. It’s advisable to wait at least three months after giving birth and to lose most of the weight before the procedure.

Redefine beauty and indulge in self-care

Taking care of yourself is extremely important for your physical and mental health. Pamper yourself: organize a spa day at home, go get a manicure and pedicure, change your hairstyle, get a facial treatment. Buy scented body lotions and spoil your senses. Nourished and soft skin will make you feel incredible. Buy new clothes and lingerie and work hard towards accepting your body. Beautiful has many different forms: you have simply reached another one. Still, an estimated third of newly moms feel like their confidence has hit rock bottom. Try finding ways that have nothing to do with your appearance to boost up your confidence and it will reflect on how you feel about your body, too. Are you good at public speaking and enjoy being on stage? Sign up as a speaker for a conference or other events where you can shine and get the applause you deserve. Have an eye for photography? Invest in a new hobby and put your photos online, so you get a positive feedback.

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Don’t let others define you: motherhood is exciting and many women reach a whole new level of sexiness in this new phase of life. To all the moms out there: we salute you and your strength!


 

About  the blogger: ‘Highstylife’

 

zara

 

Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, designer and a regular contributor to highstylife.com , devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She seeks for beauty in everything that surrounds her. Will start a blog about it once. Until then writes her diary occasionally. Romantic soul and tech geek in one body. She enjoys hiking, cycling, yoga and cooking.

 

You can find Zara at:

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5 Things I Learned From Blogging

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Back in July, before I started this blog, I was going through a tough time. I had just found out that I was 10 weeks pregnant, but came to find out there was no baby. Not only this but my oldest son, whom I believe has Autism, had been having a rough time.. I began looking for an outlet, something that could help me stop worrying and embrace life. This is when I.. on accident, ran into the idea of blogging. In just these three months I have learned so much. I thought I would take a moment to explain at least five.

  1. Friendship– When my husband and I had our first son… this is when my friends began to disappear. I will be honest.. My friend status was basically non existent. Blogging has shown me that there are women just like me. I am not alone. There are women out there with autistic children. There are women who suffer from PPD and PPA. My eyes have opened to how big this world really is and that there are so many people that care for you. It is hard to believe that you can have the most amazing friendship with someone and never have met them.
  2. My College Major– I am a full time student at a community college here in Arizona. I graduated as a Medical Assistant in February of this year. My heart was set on helping people, so I had went in the direction of becoming a nurse. When I started blogging, I started realizing how fun it was and how I loved researching the newest trends of marketing. I love the challenge of all the social media platforms. Everyday I tend to ask myself what is something I would improve. I enjoy testing different techniques and applying them to my Twitter account and Blog. I find that one of my biggest passions are helping other bloggers. Helping them get started, finding new applications to help create traffic, etc. The excitement of it all has had me switch majors from Health Care to Marketing, specifically in social media!
  3. Connecting With My Kids– I love my kids more than anything in this world. Although I had received the most amazing advice from my Mom, I still didn’t quite know how to raise two boys. It was a first for everything! Seeing posts and advice from other Mom’s has helped me to connect to my children better than I ever have. I have learned solutions to daily issues and ways to dodge even the worst tantrum from my 2 year old! I couldn’t be more grateful!
  4. I Can Be Creative!- Before I had blogging in my life, there weren’t many projects going on in this household. I never had that inspiration.. Seeing all these projects online being shared and posted, has inspired so many neat projects for my kids and I to do! I have never been so crafty before.. until now!
  5. Self-Confidence– This is BIG for me. Growing up, I was picked on a lot. So when I got into High School, it was one of the worst times for me. It took me many, many years to finally have some sort of confidence in myself. Even after I had my first son, I still questioned everything I did and if I was good enough to be a Mom to that handsome little boy. When blogging popped up in my life, I started to see that I wasn’t alone. I began to talk to other women who were going through some of the same issues I was. I have opened up myself in a way I never thought possible. I have been telling my story of Anxiety and Depression after baby… this isn’t something I would have done a couple years ago. You have all helped me find myself and love me for me.

 

I would just like to take a second to thank everyone for your help and your friendship. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of you!

2016 Autumn Wish List {Guest Blog by: The Lifestyle Blogger UK}

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2016 Autumn Wish List

 

Autumn seems to have snuck up on many of us this year, maybe partly because the Summer never really got going properly so we weren’t ready for the change to come so soon. I know some people feel sad to say goodbye to the Summer months but for me, i’m actually really happy that Autumn isn’t far away. The other morning I woke up and really felt the cool-ness in the air, even though the sun was shining brightly, there was a definite crisp in the air. It made me think about changing up the wardrobe from Summer to Winter, planning for the colder months ahead. With that in mind, I began browsing the new Autumn collections and was pleasantly surprised at how much was going into my basket!

So, I thought I would share with you my Autumn wish list, I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Bath & Bodyworks

I don’t think you can honestly go through a Winter without having at least one  Bath & Bodyworks Candle burning somewhere in your house – and now they have launched their Autumn Candle collection, you’d be crazy not to want to have one of these in your house! Yes, annoying they don’t ship to very many places but there are ways around this, you just need to get creative! I can’t wait for our house to smell like Christmas every day!

 

 

The Discount Watch Store

Next on my list this Autumn has to be this gorgeous Seiko Watch from The Discount Watch Store. My current collection is quite large but I noticed they are all predominantly Summer watches, nothing really says Autumn to me so I thought it was about ‘time’ to change this. I don’t really know what makes a watch look ‘summery’ exactly but this one definitely isn’t! I love that it has quite a masculine look to it with the black watch face and solid steel strap. Although I do have tiny wrists myself, I just love the look of oversized, masculine style watches on women. They are also perfect for the colder months when you tend to have thicker layers covering you so going bigger with your accessories make sense. Bigger watches, scarves, chunky boots…etc.

 

 

UGG Australia

UGG boots for me are a staple in my wardrobe, whether it’s Summer or Winter, I always have a pair on the go as they are soo bloomin’ comfortable to wear and the last so damn long! While flicking through their many, many styles, I came across these gorgeous Bonham UGG boots in dark brown. I don’t know what it is about dark brown ankle boots in the colder months but it’s always i seem to gravitate to. I’ve never really been a fan of black boots in any style though so maybe it’s just been a process of elimination over the years?! Just look how pretty they are. Perfect for the colder months but I bet they would look fab with a Summer outfit next year as well, perfect with a pair of skinny jeans!

 

 

Dunelm

Next on my list is something I have been dying to get for months now, ever since I first set eyes on in earlier in the year. I have put it off and put it off but now is the time. I feel now we are in September, anything goes when it comes to buying Autumn/Winter accessories, you gotta stock up! So, what is it i’m talking about…well, it’s the Teddy Bear Throw from Dunelm. Just £19.99 and worth every penny! It will get so much use this year and next year too and the best thing, apart from it being super thick, soft and fluffy is that it’s huge!! Come on cold evenings…I need you!

 

The White Company

You probably know The White Company as being a place to buy amazing candles that smell unreal, however, they also do fab clothing as well, perfect for the colder months to come. Whilst browsing their Women’s Jumper collection, I came across this gorgeous Boucle Jumper that I instantly fell in love with! Imagine snuggling up on a cold Winter’s evening wrapped in this, or going out to watch the Fireworks, being all cozy and warm. I remember last year getting some of their Cashmere socks and falling in love so fingers crossed their clothing will be just as fab!

 

Zara

I think everyone needs a super soft, chunky scarf for the Winter time and the one I came across at Zara fits the bill perfectly. Light-weight yet still thick and chunky, perfect! My scarf collection used to contain over 70 scarves until I had a recent cull, which kinda made me fall in love with scarves again, just in time for Winter! This Basic Scarf from Zara (doesn’t seem to have a name) is pretty plain, but to me, it just means you can wear it with anything and get the most amount of wear out of it making it a total bargain!

 

 

Fat Face

And lastly on my Autumn wish list is this beautiful Gilet from Fat Face. I swear everyone needs one of these in their wardrobes! I guess at £72 it might be soon as pretty expensive for what is really half a jacket but to me, it’s so worth it. They are so useful to have around and each time I buy one, I get more and more use out of it. I chose this one because of it’s stunningly perfect Autumnal colours. I think it’s perfect for the Autumn but it’ll also be great for next year too. I love to feel cozy and warm in Winter but sometimes a full jacket is just too much. Something like this would be perfect! I look forward to wearing you soon mister Gilet!

 

So, that’s my 2016 Autumn wish list! I’m so excited to get shopping for Autumn/Winter

accessories, my favourite time of the year! Happy Autumn everyone and happy shopping!

 

 

Becky

 

The Lifestyle Blogger UK


 

About the blogger: The Lifestyle Blogger UK

 

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#TOP5CRAFTYMAMAS Picks of the Week!

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Since we are just starting out, this time around we only received 4 submissions but of course we are going to share them with you!!! Make sure to visit all of these lovely ladies’ blogs, links are provided with their submission… Lets get started!!



Fall Tot School Activities!

By: Brianna from Bippity Boppity Business of Being Mom

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This month we are focusing on fall and Halloween activities, mainly revolving around apples! Braydon had so much fun with our arts and crafts this week! We made a “5 Little Pumpkins” vine, and an “A” Apple Ornament. This was great for teaching fine motor skills, as well as creativity, counting, and Literacy. Surprisingly Braydon’s favorite part was coloring not painting! I pretty much let him so everything except the cutting. For our pumpkin craft I filled some of the paint in and did the laminating process.

“A” Apple Craft:

For this craft you will need popsicle sticks, glue, yarn or twine, markers or other form of color, and paper.

To make this cute little ornament, I helped Braydon glue some popsicle sticks in the shape of an A and we let it dry. After it was dry Braydon colored the “A” with some red markers. I set several red markers out in front of him because he likes to change utensils and I wanted to keep the color consistent. Once he had the A colored I had him glue on some paper that I cut out to make the shape of leaves. I then tied some green twine between it and bam! A nice little ornament. During this craft I had been repeating the words apple, red, and “A” to him so he could associate the color letter and word.

“5 Little Pumpkins” Vine Craft:

For this craft you will need an Apple cut in half, orange paint, paint sponges, large paper, ribbon, twine or yarn, scissors, hole punch, laminator, and green marker.

To Make this craft, I cut an apple in half and covered the flat end with orange paint, He stamped a large piece of paper with the paint (I went back over them with a sponge since he couldn’t stamp it too hard, he still had fun though!) and then we set it up to dry while Braydon colored. Once dry We colored some green stems on the pumpkins and then I cut them out. I laminated 5 of them, hole punched the tops, then strung some green twine and orange ribbon through. We plan on keeping this craft and using it as a counting visual for the “5 little pumpkins” rhyme. If you don’t have the book you can find and print out the rhyme online or lookup the cute song on YouTube!

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Halloween Wreath DIY

By: naturallycraftydiy.wordpress.com

October is here and it is the season of ghosts and goblins, spook or be spooked and most importantly tricks or treats. And for many it is a month long celebration. In honor of this bewitching season I have created a door wreath to greet trick or treaters. I think it came out pretty well so I would like to share this Halloween door wreath DIY with you.

This is what you’ll need:

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  • Styrofoam ring
  • black spray paint (I used an interior/exterior paint since the wreath will be on my front door)
  • Orange acrylic paint
  • Newspaper
  • a roll of black tulle
  • a roll of orange tulle
  • Assorted rolls (I used 6 for a good variety, you can use more or less if you choose) of orange, white and black ribbon, solids and patterned
  • Wooden letters “B-O-O”

****Not pictured-scissors, ruler and clear coat protective paint (clear coat is optional)****

Step 1-Paint

Paint the styrofoam ring black. You only need to paint the front and the edges, no one is going to see the back of the ring. Spray two coats because the styrofoam is porous and it absorbs the paint.

While the ring dries, paint the wooden letters with the orange acrylic paint. Use two coats on the letters as well. When the letters dry, you can opt to spray clear coat over them to make them shine and protect the wood from the outside elements.

Step 2-Cutting tulle and ribbon

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First cut the tulle into 18 inch long strips. I cut 12 orange and 12 black strips of tulle. I continued on to cut 4 strips of each ribbon color to start. You may find later that you will need to cut a few more strips of ribbon depending on how full you would like the finished project to be.

Step 3-Tying on the ribbon

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It’s getting fun now! This is where you can make your wreath look any way you would like and it’s pretty easy. I simply wrap the ribbon around the styrofoam ring (hopefully it’s dry by now) and tie a knot to secure it. No need for burning your fingers on a hot glue gun on this one…yay!! I kind of tied the tulle on opposite sides of the ring to give some sort of balance to my wreath. But you don’t have to, I’m just slightly OCD. Add more ribbon as needed until your wreath is as full as you like. Once all of the ribbons are tied on, you can trim some of them down with scissors if they seem somewhat longer than the others. Or you can leave them alone if you like.

Step 4-Adding the “BOO”

This is the final big step. Find the part of the wreath that you want to be the top. Use an orange ribbon to wrap around the top part of the “B” and tie a knot. Then tie the ribbon with the letter attached it, to the wreath. Then grab and “O” and tie the top of that to the bottom of the “B” with the orange ribbon. Make sure the knot of the ribbon is in the back of the letters and cut any extra ribbon so that it cannot be seen from the front. Next, grab the last “O” and tie the top to the bottom of the other “O”. Again, make sure the knot from the ribbon is in the back and cut off the extra so it cannot be seen from the front.

Step 5-Hang the wreath

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Pretty self explanatory step right there. I did add a little piece of black ribbon to make a loop to hang the wreath from the hook.

Now step back and take a look at your creation. Pretty festive don’t you think? Enjoy your Halloween everyone!!

 


 

diydollar-store-pumpkin

By: Alexis from The Hit or Miss Homemaker

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I’ve seen a lot of amazing projects using dollar store pumpkins.  I got one last week to see what fast project I could come up with.  My husband I didn’t want to spend too much and this ended up costing only $3.00!

 

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Grabbed one of these pumpkins from dollar tree not knowing what I was going to do with it.

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I also grabbed this witch headband because I’m going to actually use the headband part for my daughters Halloween costume.  For some reason when I got home I just put the headband on the pumpkin and I thought it was so cute!

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After fooling with it for a few minutes I thought it was cute enough and was done.

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I found these rub on transfer letters that I bought from the dollar spot at Target a few weeks ago and thought maybe they’d transfer onto the Styrofoam pumpkin.  I had no idea what else I was going to do with them so I figured I’d just do it and see. dsp5

I cut out the letters I needed.  I decided on “Happy Fall” but kinda wish I would have brainstormed that a bit and come up with something better.

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Placed the first letter with one hand and rubbed with a stick that came with the package I transferred the letter on.

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It worked!

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Kinda wonky but still cute!!

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It’s a cute addition to my little fall display I have on my counter.  This is one of the only places in the house I can put anything because -kids.  I think I’ll make a post about the other things I have on my counter-but that can only happen when I clean the other crap!


Fall Coffee Cozy

by: Jaclyn Bree from Jacylnbree.com

I took up the challenge of coming up with and making a fall-themed craft project in five days.

For anyone who knows me, you probably just sucked in your breath like, “Oh, Jaclyn, honey.  Why?”  Because people who know me know that I have a serious brain flaw: lack of imagination.

But to be honest, I came up with three ideas!  Only one panned out, but I came up with three!

I’m very proud of myself.

My Craft Ideas

My first idea was trying to make a turkey out of a sock or glove.  It probably would have worked but I decided that I didn’t like the way it was going and I put it aside to try my next idea:

A homemade cornucopia.  Daring, right?  I didn’t think so but Hubby kept warning me that it would be hard.  And he was right (don’t tell him I said that).  This idea also probably would have worked but I was down to 3 days by the time I started it and it couldn’t be done (in that amount of time in the manner I chose).  So I took a couple steps back and decided to try my actual first idea (I said the turkey was first, but it was just the first one I tried).

Homemade fall coffee cozy

Ta da!!

It’s a coffee cozy!!  You know, in case you didn’t get that from the title . . .

The Process

Now, I’ve never worked with felt before.  Not like it’s hard.  Just saying.

Coffee cozy supplies

My first problem was that I suddenly didn’t know how to cut out a piece of felt to make the base of the cozy.  I know it looks all straight-forward, but anyone who’s ever made one before (or even seen a pattern before, like I have) knows that its all angles.  None of the edges are horizontal.

Hubby has a cup that has a rubber cozy and a rubber lid.  Ok, ok, silicone.  Whatever.  Picky.  So I took the silicone cozy off and decided that I’m smart enough to figure out for myself how to cut out a cozy to fit around the cup.

I was wrong *hangs head in shame*.

After about 45 frustrating minutes of trying to cut out a piece of felt with the correct curves, Hubby finally demanded that I just cheat and trace the silicone one.  So I threw in the towel and cheated.  I recommend you do it too, if you have a cozy on hand already.  If you don’t then I suggest you hunt down a pattern because even if you have to drive down to Staples to print the thing, it’ll still be faster and better than trying to figure it out yourself.  Or I like to tell myself that because it hurts my feelings to think that somebody else can figure it out easily.

So I folded the silicone cozy in half (not that easy to do, wish it had been made of cloth) and traced three sides of it.  Then I just folded my paper over where the two lines ended and cut it out, giving me one full, flat, cozy pattern.

Coffee cozy pattern

Then I used that paper to cut out two cozies from some black felt.  At the time, my plan was to make two cozies but I ended up using both pieces to make the  one.

Then I cut out some little leaves (and even a pumpkin!) from the yellow, orange, and red felt.  Freehand, baby!  No drawing first or anything.  I laid them on the black cozy in an arrangement I liked but then was too lazy to pin them down so they all fell off when I started sewing the first one.

Coffee cozy de oration, pre-sewn

I used two strands of thread and  sewed the leaves down while adding detail.  I did the same with the pumpkin.  I had planned on using some green embroidery thread to make a leaf or stem on the pumpkin but Doll was sleeping in the room where I keep my box of embroidery thread so . . . no stem.  Or leaf.  Sorry.

Leaves sewn onto coffee cozy

Pumpkin sewed onto coffee cozy

I should also mention I had a really bad headache at the time and I wasn’t about to go out of my way to do anything extra (hence the no-pinning-down of the little pieces).

But considering that, I think I did pretty good.  It was a pretty bad headache.  Can you believe that two glasses of chocolate milk didn’t fix it??  I know, I still can’t believe it.  And while I’m at it, if you noticed that some of the pictures are rather low quality?  Sorry, that was the headache too.
Flat coffee cozy with decoration

 

Where was I?

Oh right, so I sewed down the leaves and boring pumpkin then I noticed that since I did that, the backside of the cozy was pretty dang ugly.  I don’t do much hand sewing or embroidery or whatever.  I avoid it like the plague.  I’m like the knot-queen.  So just take my word for it when I say the back of the cozy was looking kind of . . . what’s a good word . . . furry?  Yeah, that’ll work.

I had already planned on doing a blanket stitch around the edges of the cozy and to sew together the two ends because  A) I’ve actually done that stitch once before and it’s pretty easy and looks “fancy” and B) I needed to add more colour (yes! There is a “u” in colour in my country!).

Blanket stitch on coffee cozy

Ahem.  Excuse me for my outburst.  Hubby likes to tell me I’m spelling things wrong all the time.  It’s not funny anymore after nine years so I tend to be a little defensive.

Right, so ugly backside (the cozy’s, not mine.  I mean, I think mine is ok.  Maybe like a 7/10?) and I planned to stitch around the edges anyway.  Enter cozy number two!

So I just put the second cozy on the back of the first one and used the blanket stitch to sew the two pieces together and then sew the two cozy ends together.  The joining ends came out a little yuck.  I’ll be honest and blame it on my own laziness (aka headache) because I didn’t properly research how to join the ends.  I just winged (wung?) it.  And I also got a knot about halfway down and in trying to free it ended up pulling all the stitches behind it pretty tight.

Coffee cozy stitched together

All in all, I’m happy with my craft!

Homemade coffee cozy

Coffee cozy

Four Lessons My Son Learned From Hockey {Guest Post By: Busy Mom Diary}

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It was roughly 6 years ago, that a boy at the age of 4.5 woke up one Sunday morning and asked the all very important, all-Canadian question, “When do I play hockey?”. A question that surprised us as our son never showed interest in playing this sport and he had never even laced up a pair of skates. But, we are encouraging parents and had him enrolled for that season. It was a tough experience, but he held his own and learned how to skate on his own with the help of various coaches.

Year 2 – was better.  Year 3 – was awesome, his team won the Championship. By years 4 and 5 – that boy was our favorite player. We are now heading into our 6th season of Hockey – this one is a little different as we prepare for a new adventure with a new team, new coaches and new team mates. Ethan is doing great – I couldn’t be more proud of him for all his hard work and effort.

A few days ago, I overheard some parents in the arena talking and questioning if all the time and money that was spent in hockey (and other sports) was worth it knowing that the likelihood of our kid making it to NHL was next to impossible. This had me wondering the same thing, I mean hockey is an expensive sport, it takes up the majority of our weekends, squeeze in time for practices and it’s almost like a second career for many parents.

While my son’s goal and dream is to make it big and have his name called on NHL Draft Day – he knows that this goal is rare and challenging. The reasons my husband and I agreed to register our child for hockey was not to make the NHL. Yes, we support his rare dream and encourage him along the way. But, our encouragement is for the following things that we believe team sports will and have taught him about life.

We pay so that when he is tired and frustrated he has the determination and the focus to keep moving forward, never-giving up on his teammates and continues playing his best until the very last buzzer sounds off.

We pay so that he learns that respect is earned, not only for himself, but for his coaches, referees and officials, teammates and other opponents. All of these people work hard to make the game something we all love to watch and be a part of.

We pay to teach him how to problem-solve and think critically. As in life, on the ice sometimes things will not always go as planned or as you expect and you will need to think fast on your next move to make it to that goal.

We pay to teach him to be proud of his accomplishments, to learn from defeat and to practice keeping a positive attitude when the outcome is not what he had hoped for and encourage positive thinking.

Hockey is our team sport of choice and preference, but the endless teaching opportunities that can be life-changing for many children can be learned and taught from any team sport.

 


 

 

About the Blogger: Busy Mom Diary

 

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Hi, I am Crystal, a full-time working, potty-mouthed and tempered, home-cooking, thrift-finding thirty-something mom on a budget. I blog to share our adventures in cooking, love, challenges, parenting and life.

You can find more of ‘Busy Mom Diary’ at:

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20 Facts You Didn’t Know About Babies..

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I am a Full-Time student at a Community College here in Arizona. I am one of those book nerds that love homework and doing essays. Right now I am taking Child Development along with three other classes. In my Child Development classes we were told to do some research about babies. Upon doing some research, I was stunned about how much I didn’t know! So just for you all, I made up a list of 20 facts you didn’t know about babies!


 

1. When a baby is born it immediately looks for a human face and within 20 minutes, he/she will be mimicking the expressions they see.

2. A baby can be briefly submerged underwater with their mouth open and because of their high voice box, any water intake through their mouth goes directly into their stomach and not their lungs. Their reflex also stops them from breathing through their nose when put under water.

3. A mother’s heart beat beats at 90 decibels in the womb. Making the womb as loud as it would be if you were standing by a roaring sports car!

4. Brain waves have shown that the connections between a babies brain cells are not at all organized at a young age. This can cause a young baby to taste in color and smell in sound!

5. Studies show that a child can survive and function with only half of a brain, if there is a good side of the brain that can do the majority of the work.

6. At 6 months old, babies can hear the difference between 150 sounds that make up every language in the world. This prepares them to learn any language.

7. A baby can understand 3 times the amount of words thank they can say.

8. Babies can only see about 20cm in front of their face. That is about the distance the baby is from the mother when they are feeding.

9. Babies sleep so much during the first couple months because each experience is new and their brain is developing and trying to make connections based on the experiences.

10. By 6 months of age, babies need 1/3 the calories as an adult and that is when solid foods are introduced to their diet. Babies have a preference for sweet food because these foods give them energy and they have an aversion to bitter tasting food.

11. A newly mobile baby will crawl just about anywhere and is not impeded by caution. After a few weeks however, the baby will naturally become cautious of situations that seem or feel right to them and will avoid crawling in those areas.

12. Babies can hear very well when they are born, but their brains have a hard time processing the sounds together so the baby tends to hear echoes. Adults seem to know this instinctively and will speak slowly to babies and repeat things for the baby.

13. Babies communicate by crying and that each cry is unique to what the baby needs.

14. Babies enjoy toys with bold colors because their eyes respond well to high contrast.

15. With the first breath, a newborn’s bloodstream will reroute from the placenta to their lungs, closing a hole in their heart. This would require open heart surgery in an adult.

16. What does a baby make of the world? Scientists are discovering that babies might have double vision. Newborns cant put the world together through each eye until their eyes are stronger.

17. Babies grow really fast and reach half their body height by the age of 2.

18. They can scream and holler for what they want or need, but newborns can’t technically cry. Tears can’t actually be created or released until about three weeks in. However, in some cases, it isn’t unusual for babies to shed their first tears until four or five months.

19. If your newborn has a birthmark or other abnormality, this is actually normal. Around 80% of all babies are born with some form. The most common include stork bites and port wine stains.

20. Pound for pound, your baby is stronger than many animals. An oxen is the best example of compatible strength. Their strongest muscles? The legs.

 


 

Were you surprised by any of these facts?  If so, which ones were most interesting to you?

6 Things You Should Always Do in the Fall..

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Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Even though I live in Arizona and don’t go through the changing  of the beautiful Oak trees, I still appreciate the beautiful weather and the many traditions that go along with this wonderful time of year. You don’t know where to start? Don’t worry..I put together a simple list of 6 things you should always do in the fall..

 

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Go to a Farm

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 I am a sucker for traditions! When my oldest son was born, I promised myself that I would create special memories for him. Something that he would get excited about and look forward to, every single year. One tradition that we started was to go to one of our local farms. About 10 minutes away from us is an adorable little family owned farm. They have hayrides, corn mazes and a petting zoo. They also have a pumpkin patch, where the children get to pick out one pumpkin each and decorate it with stickers. It may not be the biggest farm, but it is the perfect size for my kids and they love it!

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Let the Kids Find the Perfect Pumpkin

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Nothing says fall to me like a day at the pumpkin patch! This may go along with the going to the farm, but sometimes they are overpriced. No matter where you decide to pick out your pumpkin, whether it be at the pumpkin patch or at the grocery store, you don’t want to miss out on the memories. Plus you get a 2 in 1! Memories, plus a little goodie! When carving your pumpkin, don’t throw away the seeds! If you would like a recipe on how to roast pumpkin seeds, click here for a yummy recipe! (*Just a side note.. the pumpkin in the picture above isn’t for sale! 🙂 )

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Make Caramel Dipped Apples

Even if your on a diet, how can you say no to this delicious sticky goodness? Make some memories with your family in the kitchen. Don’t worry about making mess. Just focus on the smiles and make sure to record the fun! If you would like a yummy recipe, click here!

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Jump in a Pile of Leaves

Do we really need to act like adults 24/7? Take 30 minutes out of your day, have the kids help you create the perfect pile of leaves. Now  1…2….3… JUMP! And… Repeat! Now if this is not something that you are into and you would rather stay inside.. There is another fun little option. Grab some paper and some crayons and a couple different sized leaves from outside. Have the kids rub the paper with the crayon with the leaf underneath the paper. Create designs and pictures to hang up on the wall.

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Make Pumpkin Pie

Forget the diet. Pumpkin pie is completely fat free right? Shhh! I won’t tell if you don’t! This is one goody that I know will be made in my home every year. Even if you don’t bake it yourself, be sure to enjoy a piece with a nice dollop of whipped cream. If your not a fan of baking or the taste, but love the smell, make sure to pick up a scented candle! It is an easy way to make your house smell fantastic, without all the baking and the cleaning up.

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Take a walk

This is certainly one of my favorites. Simply find a nice area for you and your family to enjoy the cool breeze and the beautiful colors of Autumn. Spice up the walk by bringing homemade lunches. Nothing is better than sitting down on a blanket and having a picnic in the great outdoors. Make sure to bring your camera!

 

No matter what you do, make sure to enjoy your time with your family. Record your time together with your camera or even with some fun projects. Even if you don’t have any traditions, its never to late to start!

Do you have any traditions at home? What is your favorite?

D.I.Y Vanity Organizer

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Let me start off by saying that I am a sucker for deals. Who isn’t these days? A couple months ago, my hubby purchased me a brand new vanity. I was so excited to get it all stocked up and organized but still needed to buy the organizers to get started. I looked online and in stores and couldn’t believe the prices that were listed on them. I have always loved being crafty, so I decided to look on Youtube for any helpful advice. That is when I stumbled on an adorable vanity organizer. This tray is probably one of the most inexpensive projects I have ever had! Here is a picture of what the project looked like, after it was complete..

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Lets get started! These are the materials you will need to purchase:

 

I highly recommend using E6000! This glue is extremely strong and perfect if you want to put something a little heavier on the trays. I purchased this at Walmart for under $5. Want to guess where I got the other 3 items? Dollar Tree!

You will need 2 silver nickel plated serving trays (the large circular trays). Now if you look at my finished piece, you will notice that there is a small square mirrored plate at the very top.. You have the option to make this a 1 or a 2 tier piece. If you choose to do a 2 tier (meaning two candle holders high) then you would attach a mirror to the top. Again, it is all up to you. For my project I got a small square mirror, 2 glass candle holders, and 2 silver plates.

To get started you will take your candle holder and figure out exactly where the center of the large serving tray is. Once found, take the E6000 and apply glue to the top (not the bottom) of the candle holder. (Please note that the glue is hard to get off the tray, so figure that once it is on there, its on there for good.) Stick the side you applied the glue to the center of the large silver tray (Candle holder should be upside down). Set this aside for about 20-30 minutes to settle for just a bit.

Next, you will do the exact same thing with the other candle holder to the 2nd silver tray. After repeating the same steps, you will want to attach the two together. For this you will have to glue the unglued side of the candle holder onto the bottom of the other silver tray. (Find the middle!) When you are done with this you should have, one last unglued part of a candleholder. This is where you would either attach another tray or in my case, a small glass mirror. Just glue the unglued portion of the candleholder, find the center of the small glass mirror and glue on the candle holder to the bottom of the mirror. Your finished project should look very similar to mine. Make sure to let this all sit untouched, if you can overnight.. Do not put anything on the trays until dried completely!

I wish I had taken step by step photos for everyone to see, but at that time, I didn’t even have my blog! If this becomes confusing to you, please email me at: Thegeekymama451@gmail.com and I will walk you through it, step by step.

I honestly love this tray and use it to store some nail polish, some everyday jewelry, headbands and bows. What will you use yours for?

Enjoy!!!

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10 Indoor Activities for Rainy Days {Guest Post: The Hit or Miss Homemaker}

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First off, we are a TV watching family. It’s not something I’m very proud of but I’ve more or less made my peace with it. I grew up on a lot of TV and I try to do my best to not sit my kids in front of it but sometimes things just have to get done around here and that’s really one of the only ways it can happen. I know a lot of judgy moms will get worked up reading that but I don’t care (you know life being short and all)! I make sure my kids don’t watch “inappropriate” things and try my best to (sometimes) make it educational. Also I try to engage with them about what they’re watching whenever possible so it’s not just this static, brainless thing they are doing (even though I love me some brainless entertainment!). Rainy days when we’re stuck in the house are the extra hard days to keep the kids busy. Usually on rainy days I pretty much forgo any chores that we can go without for the day so that I can whip out the more messy activities and focus on just being with the kids. Being that I was a preschool teacher in another life I usually have a good handful of ideas at the ready. Here are just 10 to get you going!

 

 

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Repurposing Puff Containers for Bowling 

 I keep almost everything -it’s actually a bit of a problem, but anyways…starting back when my 4 yr. old was younger and obsessed with puffs, I would save the containers and turn them into games for her. You just have to line them up and grab a nice soft ball to use as the bowling bowl and knock them down! You can keep them empty for the younger kids and for the older ones you can put some sand or rice in them so they are a little harder to knock down. Also, you can cut pictures from magazines or draw your own and tape them on to the containers to tie into a theme or even for a party you can put in small prizes and reward them for whichever they knock down. There are endless possibilities with these.

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Crepe Paper Maze

     Especially good if you have a hallway or some narrow space. You just get some crepe paper streamers from the dollar store and just tape them in a hallway at various heights and have your kids try to crawl through/over the streamers without breaking or ripping through.

 

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Silly Putty 

Good for fine motor skills (strengthening hands) and fun by rolling up the putty and using as a rubber ball or great when making newspaper prints.

 

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Ooblek 

All you need for this “goop” is cornstarch and water. You can start with some water in whichever container or bowl you have and add the cornstarch until you get a gooey consistency. It should feel like a solid when trying to pick it up and a liquid when it is in your hands-very cool and you can add food coloring and add some color mixing fun to it. Also, science! And if it takes you long to clean up (like me) or the ooblek ends up getting on the floor, couch, and carpet then just wait till it dries and just vacuum or sweep it up!

 

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Playdough

Adding household items to this can make this activity feel special-using real spoons, bowls cookie cutters for example.

 

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Paper Plate Skating 

All you need are a few paper plates and the kids just have to step on them and push their feet and “skate” around.

 

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Playing with Packing Peanuts 

Make snow angels or have a snow fight and when you’re done you can “melt” them in water-mega points for being eco-friendly!

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Make your own books 

     Using a piece of construction paper for the cover and pieces of loose-leaf or white construction paper for the inside where they will draw/write-can staple or tape together-your kids will treasure these homemade books!

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Card Games 

     Also found at the dollar store, you can find character cards and just play a good old fashion matching game or Go Fish.

 

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Board Games

     Depending on the age of your kids will determine what kind of games you may play. Two of our favorites are Candyland and Trouble- really any that can help teach taking turns and good sportsmanship are awesome.

 

I hope some of these can help you when you’re panicked and trapped in the house all day! Even with all these suggestions it’s still pretty rough going at my house so good luck!


About the Blogger: The Hit or Miss Homemaker

 

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“Hello!  I’m a 30 something stay at home wife and mother of two amazing (most of the time) kids!  We recently made the move to North Carolina and are slowly exploring what this state has to offer.  I’m an aspiring DIYer, organic/green enthusiast, and lover of all things mason jars.”

You can find more of ‘The Hit or Miss Homemaker’ at:

Blog       Facebook      Instagram      Twitter     Pinterest

New Mommy Blogger Tips: Collaborating

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A big part of blogging that I had trouble with for a long time was Collaboration. I would research for hours on how to get through to businesses and other bloggers so that I could start my site. I honestly didn’t have much luck on getting the information that I needed, but after months of trying, I think I may have it down pretty well! Listed below, are tips on how to collaborate with other bloggers and businesses..

 

Bloggers

When your looking to collaborate with other bloggers, your typically looking to either guest post on their site or they guest post on your site. I find that advertising this as much as possible is the best!

  • I chose my strongest social media platform, which is Twitter.
  • I found a site that allows me to create free marketing photos. Almost like the one above! (If you are looking to find out about this website, I will be creating a tutorial for the site that I use!)
  • Go to your social media and post the photo you created with a description about what you are looking for. With Twitter you are able to send out tweets to different pages that actually Retweet your tweet! This lets your post be seen by so many more people! Here is an example of what I post on Twitter with my photo:

 

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  • Something that is extremely helpful is Crowdfire. Make sure to check out my tutorial! With Crowdfire, you are able to schedule future posts on Twitter. What I typically do is schedule my posts to come out 2 times a day. That way I am able to be seen by bloggers in the U.S early in the day, and to the U.K. in the evening.
  • Once you do this, you should start receiving messages or emails very quickly!
  • Make sure to answer your e-mails in a timely manner. (This is very important!) These are usually bloggers looking to publish their writing on your blog. Be courteous and even if you don’t think they are a good fit, let them know. They may benefit from any tips or suggestions you give them!

Businesses

Now this was the hardest for me, but I definitely learned from a lot of trial and error and even researching on other bloggers sites!

  • Here is one mistake that I made.. I made a huge list of the BIG businesses that I wanted to work with. With this list I started sending out e-mails to every single one listed in my little notebook. There really wasn’t much of a response. The ones that did respond, told me to email them when I had a certain amount of subscribers. What I ended up doing was going on other bloggers sites and looked at who they had reviewed for. I made a list of those businesses and reached out to them. For being a beginner, I received at least 50% of those emails saying yes!
  • Businesses really look at your reviews before they say yes or even try contacting you. Make sure you have at least 2-3 reviews on your page, so they can see how you write. They usually check for: photos, descriptions, how-to’s, and also for the posts to be written in a positive tone.
  • Here is a HUGE tip: If you don’t have 2-3 reviews done and don’t know where to start..it’s easy.. look around your house! I chose my Scentsy warmer and my juicer!
  • When you are emailing potential businesses to work with, make sure your email is short, sweet, and to the point. Make sure to be professional but also give it your own special touch. Here is an example of an email that I sent out:

 

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  • Be sure to check out forums on blogger networks! There are sites that have “Bloggers Wanted” ads. I use these as well and I was able to work with some great businesses!
  • Don’t be discouraged if someone says no or you don’t receive a message back. Sometimes you need to follow up with them and sometimes its just best to leave it alone.
  • Once you have a larger site, with many followers, you will be able to start charging for the posts you do or even advertising on your site!
  • Make sure to always be polite with the businesses you work with. Thank them for their time, even if they said no to you.
  • Make sure to do your reviews in a timely manner. Many of these businesses grow because of you. If they are giving you free product or even a discount, make sure to keep your word on writing up a complete review.

 

I hope these tips come in handy when you decide you want to start collaborating! Let me know if you have any questions! You can always email me at: thegeekymama451@gmail.com

5 Reasons Why I Love Having Two Boys {The Geeky Mama’s Guest Post for Busy Mom Diary}

 

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As I write this, my two sweet little guys lay in their beds, dreaming about toy cars and Legos… I sit here observing the house…or what’s left of it anyway. Couch cushions on the floor from a torn down fort. Blocks scattered around the floor, because Godzilla attacked their mini city. I should be sitting here sighing because I have to clean it all up… but I don’t. This mess just reminds me of how much I love having two boys…

Want to read more? Visit BusyMomDiary for more of this guest post from The Geeky Mama!

 

 

10 Things I Do Everyday {Guest Post by: This Beautiful Life of Ours}

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To be here every day is to be filled with a certain kind of attitude that screams from the rooftops, “I’m grateful for another day to be awesome”…right? Not really actually, for many of us, waking up is another laborious chore, another day to simply “do yesterday all over again” but could it mean we are simply doing something wrong? Could it be that we are not channeling our energies in the right direction and ultimately maximizing our full potentials when given that new day, that clean slate?

While I, just like everyone have good and bad days; I will share 5 things I do every day that add just a little pep to my step so to speak.

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1) I pray; to me there is no moment more tranquil or peaceful than during prayer. However if you are reading this and do not believe in the sanctity of prayer, then perhaps you could try the art of meditation.

2)Say please and thank you; we live in a world where we are so consumed with ourselves that we forget other people exist and that they too have real feelings. When we offer kindness and appreciation, we feel good, not just because we are giving away simple courtesies that could make someone else feel better but because kindness is often reciprocated and there’s nothing a little kindness cannot fix.

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3) Eat healthy; there is a direct correlation between the things we put in our bodies and our overall state of well-being. It can metaphorically be explained as, “garbage in, garbage out” If we feed our bodies garbage; everything exerted as a result will also be garbage.

4) Workout. Some days this is a 15 minute run but it makes me feel great because not only am I carving time out solely for myself but the chemicals and hormones released as a result of working out increase productivity and creates a happier feeling.

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5) Have some alone time. This is crucial especially if you are a stay at home mom. This would mean that you never have the opportunity to think before someone interrupts your thought process. Let thoughts flow; give yourself the chance to unwind and relax and hear yourself think and it will make all the difference.

 

..And now 5 things I do on a more specific, personal level every day:

1) I make my bed before I do anything else

2) I shower at least once every single day

3) Even when I don’t have anywhere to go, I put on proper clothes everyday

4) I call/text at least one friend and one family member everyday- being able to stay connected gives me that notion of socialization that can sometimes be lost when dealing with littles, all day every day.

5) I eat fruits and vegetables every day.

 

 


 

About the Blogger: This Beautiful Life Ours

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Naimah has a Masters in Information Technology and after contemplating a career, she decided to stay at home to raise and abundantly enjoy her children. She currently homeschools 2 of her 4 children, writes passionately about the beautiful journey of life, dabbles in crafts with her daughter, builds forts with her sons and races more cars on the kitchen floor than you would imagine.

You can find more of ‘This Beautiful Life of Ours’ at:

Blog           Facebook      Twitter

New Mommy Blogger Tips: Tutorial- CrowdFire

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One of the most common questions that I am asked from new bloggers is how I grew my Twitter audience so quickly. First of all, please note that this doesn’t just happen overnight. Patience is definitely a virtue! One of my favorite apps that I use on my cell phone and tablet is called, CrowdFire. This app allows me to keep my Twitter organized and helps me to grow my audience. This tutorial is to help all new bloggers increase their followers easily and effectively!

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To begin, you will need to download the app and log in. You do not need to make an account, as this just logs in with your Twitter account. At times, you may be logged out and it will have you log back in, and this is done with your Twitter information. You do not need to purchase anything unless you want to upgrade. This tutorial is for the free version.

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When you first log in, your page will not look like the above picture, but it will be bare because you just logged in for the first time. To get started, click on the three dots in the bottom right corner of your screen. This will bring up the menu and should look like this:

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Let’s go ahead and start off with Non-Followers. These are followers whom you follow but they do not follow you back. You can click on this and a screen will show a list of non-followers..

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*For privacy reasons, I blacked out the names, photos, and descriptions. Your screen will show all that information about them.* As you can see on the right side of each of these non-followers, there is a red circle with the white dash. Clicking on these red buttons allows you to immediately unfollow the account. When finished, click the close button at the top. You will then click back on the menu again. This time, select Fans.

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Fans are considered to be accounts that follow you, but you do not follow them.. Most of the time, I personally will have a large list in here only because there is a limit to how many people you can follow a day. These are usually the accounts that I need to follow the next day. The green button on the right of the account with the white plus sign, allows you to quickly add the person with one touch!

The next selection on the main menu is Recent Unfollowers. Recent Unfollowers are accounts that have recently unfollowed your account. This section of the app is definitely not my favorite, BUT I have noticed while scanning through my unfollowers, that most of them were fake accounts or spam, who more than likely got deactivated. If you see any of the delete buttons (the red circles with the white dash) next to the account, this tells you that you are following them but they are no longer following you. I recommend unfollowing those accounts.

 Recent Followers on the main menu is pretty self explanatory. These are accounts who have recently followed you. On this list if you see the green circles with the white plus sign, clicking on this will allow you to quickly follow them back! 

Inactive Followers are accounts that haven’t had much activity. If you are trying to grow your followers, it is always best to unfollow these accounts. This allows you to stay organized and allow new followers to come in and interact with you and the rest of Twitter. Clicking the red circles will allow you to quickly unfollow these followers.

All Following on the main menu literally means what it says… this is a list of all your followers! Pretty self explanatory.

Copy Followers… Now this is one feature I was very confused about in the very beginning. Honestly, it has become my favorite and used the most! This feature lets you to pick a follower, see their list of followers and allows you to add their followers. This helps so much! For example, I follow another mommy blogger. I input their Twitter handle and a list of their followers pop up. These followers would most likely be an advantage to me because they may be other mommy bloggers, potential businesses to collaborate with, etc.

To start copying followers, click on copy followers on the main menu. The picture above on the left side in green that says copy followers shows that you have no one listed. To add, click on the button that says Add Competitors. The next screen should look like the one on the right side in red. Click on ‘Add an account of Interest +’. This should bring you to the screen shown below..

 

On the left, this screen has an area where you can put in another accounts handle. Type in the handle you would like to look at and hit next. The next screen will be like the one shown above on the right. I have chosen my friend Naimah for this from thisbeautifullifeofours.com. (Follow her if you have the chance!) Now once the account pops up, you can now hit the close button at the top. This will bring you back to the previous screen and will list all of that accounts followers. Hitting the green circular button on the side allows you to quickly add the followers! How easy is that!?

 Keyword Followers basically allows you to search followers by entering any word that you want an account to be associated with. For example.. I want to look up other mommy bloggers to follow. I enter the keywords ‘mommy blogger’. Accounts will pop up that have the keywords in their description or handle. To add accounts, simply click on the circular green button to the right of the account.

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Have you ever followed an account, and instantly received an automated greeting? Direct Messages are one of the greatest tools I have seen so far. Now keep in mind that not everyone likes automated messages. When you are deciding what to write, I recommend typing up something that sounds like you and not a robot. This makes it seem personalized. I added all the links to my social media and my blog in my message. This has helped me grow in all platforms!

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Publish is also a very useful tool as well! Let’s say your going to be busy with errands tomorrow. So you will be missing a day of advertising your site. This feature allows you to create scheduled tweets! All you do is hit the red button at the bottom and the rest is pretty self explanatory. You pick a time for the tweet to post, what you want it to say, and what day you want it to be posted.

Overall, I love this app and it has helped so much with growing my audience! It may take you a couple times to feel comfortable with the app, but I hope this has helped with any questions you might have. If you are confused with a feature, please don’t hesitate to email me at: thegeekymama451@gmail.com. I can walk you through everything you need help with.

 

 

 

Co-Sleeping / Bed Sharing {Guest Post by: State of Mommy}

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When I was pregnant, I always said that I would never co-sleep or bed-share. I was a very heavy sleeper and always moved around in my sleep. It scared me to even think about allowing my daughter, Sophia to sleep right next to me. What if I were to roll over on her? I took a developmental psychology course while studying psychology and the professor gave us statistics on SIDS/accidental suffocation. One of the main reasons for it was due to co-sleeping, bed-sharing in particular. She talked about how unsafe it was and the risks involved. I wasn’t even pregnant then, but I decided that I would never co-sleep with my future children. While I was pregnant, I planned to use a basinet and then transition Sophia into her beautiful crib.

Sophia slept in the basinet at the hospital when she was born. Once we brought her home, she slept in a travel basinet. That only lasted for the first week. I had a C-section, so it made it really difficult to constantly get up. I found myself exhausted and sore one day. I was nursing my week old daughter and fell asleep with her on my chest. When I woke up, I panicked!

Sophia was still sound asleep on my chest. I didn’t even remember falling asleep! I enjoyed being so close to my daughter after I calmed down. It was that moment when I decided that I wanted to bed-share. I was a lot more careful when it came to bed-sharing, though.

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I did my own research and found that bed sharing isn’t as dangerous as some may believe. It’s true that there is a lot of research that suggest the risk of SIDS increases. There are many factors that need to be considered when interpreting that data, though. Many studies showed that suffocation was the main cause of death. That can be due to blankets, parents rolling over in their sleep, baby not positioned properly, over-heating, etc… However, there is a lot of data that shows SIDS is much lower in countries where co-sleeping is the norm than in the U.S.

I made sure that blankets and pillows were out of the way. As I mentioned, I was a very heavy sleeper and moved around a lot in my sleep. It’s hard to describe, but with Sophia in the bed I am much more aware of my surroundings while asleep. I have no problem not moving around all over the bed like a crazy person! I am also not a heavy sleeper anymore since becoming a mother. When Sophia was younger, I made sure she slept on her back. We place her in between us so that there is no chance that she will fall out of bed in the middle of the night. She has plenty of space and is never crowded.

Co-sleeping is not for everyone. I couldn’t imagine allowing my daughter in our bed if I had the same sleep habits that I had before having her. It is definitely an issue that needs careful considerations. My almost 9 month old and I are still bed-sharing and it works for our family. I plan to transition her from our bed to her crib in a couple of months, but we are cherishing these nights for now.

 

 About the Blogger: State of Mommy

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Kristina Perrin is a young wife, mother, and undergrad student from rural Oklahoma. Life gets hectic sometimes between homework and diapers! Her motto is to cherish everything because nothing is promised. She enjoys writing about her parenting adventures, marriage, and finances.

You can find more ‘State of Mommy’ at:

Blog      Facebook      Twitter

You can even find Kristina contributing posts to: Stateofliberation.com

 

 

Night Terror or Nightmare.. {Guest Post by: Inspired by A3}

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As a parent having to comfort your child after a nightmare is a given. But what do you do when your child is inconsolable? What happens when they become more frequent? Those were the question I had the first night my son had a night terror episode. What is a night terror might you ask? That was the question I asked the E.R. doctor after my son had a fever of 102 and began to hallucinate. The situation was much scarier for me than it was for my son.

A night terror is a disruption during sleep, similar to a nightmare but much more dramatic. They occur about 90 minutes after the child has fallen asleep. Night Terrors are similar to sleepwalking but they are much more intense. Night terror are frequent episodes that may include crying, fear, screaming and kicking while sleep. Most children don’t recall the episode after it has happened. 1-6% of children experience night terrors, between the ages of 3 and 12 years old.

What Causes Night Terrors?

As your child’s imagination develops it may carry over into their sleep. Night terrors are said to be hereditary, but in most situations there is no specific cause. Night terrors may come from a high fever, as it did with my son, medication, or sleep deprivation.

How do you know if your child has night terror?

It is very common to mistake night terrors for nightmares. Most children cry, scream and kick and some may hallucinate. My son often kick and screams saying there is something crawling on him. They may seem awake but they are confused. They will not respond to the comforting for their parents. The common episode lasts about 2 minutes, but some may last up to 30 minutes.

What should you do during an episode?

If your child has an episode, never panic. It may be difficult to experience an episode without doing anything, but there is not much that can be done to console the child. Stay with them to ensure the child does not get hurt. The episode will end on its own. When the episode is over, lay the child back down.

How to prevent night terrors

There is no treatment but there are some things you can do to help prevent an episode from occurring.   Most Night terrors come from sleep deprivation. Keeping a regular schedule of sleep is important. My child’s doctor suggested for us to keep a log and write down what time my son has an episode. She also suggested waking him up 15 minutes before he would normally have an episode, give him water and put him back in bed.

When should you consult your doctor?

My son’s episode were becoming more frequent, so I contacted his doctor. You should inform you doctor if you think your child has night terrors. They may want to evaluate them to rule out any other disorders that may be causing the night terrors.

Hopefully this information helped to reduce your worry about night terrors. The more you know the better you can sleep.

*All information is for educational purposes only and are from my personal experiences. This information is not intended for medical use. Consult your doctor for medical advice.

 

 About the Blogger: Inspired by A3

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Tinese Harris is a Certified Commercial Graphic Artist, Dancer and Jesus Lover from Memphis, Tennessee. She is a wife to her best friend and a mother to two bold little boys Ajay and Acee. She enjoys sharing her journeys of motherhood and being a wife with her blog audience in hopes that they will be blessed by it.

You can find more of ‘Inspired by A3’ at:

Blog       Facebook     Instagram      Twitter 

When the Last Curl Falls..

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Sitting in the chair, holding my son, trying to keep him calm for what is to come. Hearing the sounds of the electric hair buzzer puts me back to reality. All I can do is sit there and watch in the mirror as my youngest son, slowly becomes a ‘big boy’.

Adam, my youngest son, who is only 2, is my last child and I am praying not my last. Both my children had incredible curls while growing up, which made it hard to ever make the decision to cut it. In my mind, cutting my sons hair, meant that he was no longer my little baby. The little 8 lb. baby that I brought home from the hospital. The little boy who would hold his hands up and say “Mama”, so I would pick him up. At some point I knew that it wasn’t just the curls that I was sad to lose.. It was my son growing up.

Even though my son will always be my little baby, he will slowly grow up just like every child does. He will begin talking, wanting more independence, go to school, play sports, get a job, have his first girlfriend, get married and have his own children. Although some of these milestones may seem to be lifetimes away, I know that time can runaway from you and the next thing you know, they are all grown up.

Talking about a simple haircut may be silly to some, but when you are a mother, you know that when milestones hit, you can become a complete mess. The fact that he is my last child, as of now, makes this harder to handle, more than my first born. Will I ever get to hold another newborn again that is my own? Will I ever get to hear those coo’s and being able to rock back in forth in the middle of night in that old wooden rocking chair?

As I sit with my son, I finally hear the words, “Okay, last piece!” I look up at the mirror of a little boy who is the spitting image of my oldest son. He sits and stares at himself in the mirror with a look of satisfaction. I watch as the hair stylist cuts the last piece. I look down and watch the last curl fall to the floor. That is when I knew that my little baby, was forever my ‘big boy’.

 

5 Tips for New Mommy Bloggers

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I decided to become a blogger a couple months ago, while searching for jobs that I could do online while I was home with my kids. Everything kept pointing to becoming a blogger. After many days of researching other blogs, I had finally decided to have a go at it! I can’t say that my blog is perfect, because it’s not. Everyday always seems to be a work in progress. You can only learn through trial and error!

I decided to give 5 tips for all you wonderful, new Mommy Bloggers out there.

  1. Brainstorm– In the beginning, I had the worst time being organized and figuring out what exactly I wanted to do. What niche what I write for? Will I want to review products? How would I design my website? What platform do I use to create a site? This is where brainstorming comes to play. Take an hour or more, grab your notebook, and start jotting down whatever comes to mind. A great thing to do is a little research as well. Get on Google and look up other Mommy Bloggers. Look at their layout, the way they write and get some ideas on topics to write about in case you get writers block.
  2. Be easy on the eyes– No one likes to be overwhelmed by a busy website. Keep it organized and simple. I have seen many bloggers have simple white layouts with beautiful font, and to me it looked great. I personally love to use neutral colors and sometimes I’ll add a little extra splash of color in there to make it pop!
  3. Be yourself– While researching many blogs, I got to see just how special and unique every single person was. Everyone had a special way of writing, whether it be an article of information or a personal story, you could see just how comfortable the writer was while creating that piece. There are also writers out there that are more informative and some that just love to vent it out with humor. My advice to you is: Be yourself. Don’t try to be like anyone else and don’t try to impress. Let your writing flow and show your personality through your words. This is what your readers will want to see.
  4. Be patient!- Like the old saying goes.. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” So you have your ideas written on paper, logo is finished, you came up with the name for your site, and you just wrote your first post…Now what? Don’t expect to see much at first! I personally had a rough time in the beginning. I would get so discouraged on some days because no one had visited my page. So every day I would try to figure out what I could do to build my audience… and that is what leads me to number 5.
  5. Network, Network, Network!- You can’t receive followers if you don’t put your name out there. Spend a day joining different social media platforms. There are many to choose from such as: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and so much more. I recommend searching with keywords for people to start following, 9 out of 10 times they will follow you back. This is something that I did, and as soon as those followers saw my posts for my site, they would share my info… and voila! I started getting followers! My favorite social media site to use is Twitter. I am getting pretty close to 2,000 followers in less than 2 months of me starting my blog.

One thing I can say to you is this.. We all started out just like you. If you need help and have questions or even just want some feedback, ask! Simply visit a blog for their contact information. Email the writer. It’s as simple as that! I love helping in any way that I can, so if you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me!

If you would like me to create tutorials or create a post about starting up your social media, let me know and I will write something up!

Kids TV Shows- The Secrets Behind..(Max and Ruby)

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Is it just me, or do you just want to call Child Protective Services on the main characters of “Max and Ruby”? One day while watching the show with my 2 boys, I decided to do a Google search on the show. It seemed to be unanimous that the top question everyone had on their minds were, “where are their parents”? Did they pass away? Did they up and leave to never come back? That is when I decided to do a little digging.

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If you watch a lot of the show like I do (because of my boys), you will notice that when anyone goes into the living room, you will see a family photo. Who is in it you might ask? Max, Ruby, Grandma and Grandpa (which I still have yet to see!).

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I don’t think I have ever heard anyone ever talk about the parents on any episode either. Ruby is supposedly 7 years old and Max is only 3. Why in the world would anyone allow a 7 year old to watch such a young child? Let alone go on the bus together to town to go pick up a present for grandma, who seems to be about 150 years old by now. It seems like every episode that I watch, they are getting ready for her birthday party.

Another question that I keep is asking myself is, how are they getting the money to pay the bills? There is electricity, phone, groceries, rent/ mortgage..etc. Where is the income coming from?

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After streaming through the countless number of blogs with theories and conspiracies, I stumbled on an article from Wikipedia about a quote from the writer of Max and Ruby, Rosemary Wells. “Max & Ruby celebrates the relationship between Ruby and her younger brother, Max, and the universal nature of sibling relationships.” Rosemary Wells, the author of the children’s books the show is based on, says: “We don’t see Max and Ruby’s parents because I believe that kids resolve their issues and conflicts differently when they’re on their own. The television series gives kids a sense about how these two siblings resolve their conflicts in a humorous and entertaining way.”

Do I find this humorous and entertaining? Entertaining maybe, but I am not amused with the fact that there are no parents. My oldest son actually thought Ruby was Max’s mother! This show may show kids that they need to be independent and not rely on their parents, but why does it have to be everything? Show Ruby helping Max get ready for bed, or Ruby fixing up a simple snack. Not go to town on a bus alone, cook, clean and become the permanent guardian to her 3 year old brother. I still want my kids to rely on me for things.

Is that so wrong?

 

*If you enjoyed this post, please let me know and I will do a weekly post on a children’s TV show! *

Surviving the Terrible Two’s.. While Living with Anxiety

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“Please, please, please, go to sleep”, I cried. I laid with my youngest son, Adam, who obviously had everything else but sleep on his mind. I laid in his bed with him, while he cried and squirmed, trying to get out of my grasp. I could feel my heart race, my body shaking and my eyes tearing up. I knew I was going to have an anxiety attack.

This was just an example of a night that I had last month. Having anxiety and having a child that is going through their terrible two’s are two things that should never be mixed. Being a mom, you really have no choice but to try to stick out the best way you can until it passes. I have come up with 5 survival tips to help you through this tough time, while suffering with anxiety.

  1. Deep Breathing– When you have an anxiety attack, your breathing becomes more shallow and monitored and this can cause you to hyperventilate. If your child is having an episode, make sure they are in a safe spot, and walk away. Go into your room, sit on the bed and close your eyes. Try to cancel out all the noise. Take 1 deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds and let it out slowly through your mouth. Do this 10 times. Doing this technique will actually help lower your blood pressure, calm your breathing, and slow your heart rate down! (* I am in no way a doctor, but these are exercises that I do and it helps me!)
  2. Alone Time- This can be really hard to do! I usually have the worst time getting any type of alone time at home. There are days that I let my kids know I am going to the bathroom and end up locking myself in there and sitting on the ground. This allows me to just take a breather and tell myself everything will be okay. In all reality, yes, everything will be okay, its just a small bump in the road that you can get over. It really doesn’t matter where you spend your alone time, whether it be the bathroom (like me) the closet, your room, or even the backyard. Take a moment to recollect.
  3. Meditation- I just recently started using this technique. I actually really enjoy it. When you can get a moment to yourself, there are free meditation videos on Youtube specifically for anxiety. The narrator will explain everything that you will need to do, and I promise you that by the end of the video, you will be so relaxed, you will want to take a nap!
  4. Distraction- Go outside! Make some memories with your children. Go swimming, play a game in the backyard, or even have them make some crafts out on the patio! The best way I can get my son to stop screaming most of the time, is by distracting him with another project or activity. Having them go outside, allows everyone to get fresh air and sunlight! Vitamin D from the sun, is actually known to help with anxiety!
  5. Get help- If you can get someone to come over and help you with the kids, do it! Whether it be your mother, best friend, or even your husband, most of the time, if you let them know what is going on, they will want to help you. Communicate with everyone about how you are feeling. If my husband comes home from work and I am stressed out, I let him know. That way he has me go into our room to take a nap or just lay there and calmly watch one of my favorite shows.

Don’t ever think you are alone on this, because your not. Even your mother had to go through this! Always make sure to let people know how you feel! Communication is probably the most important technique of them all. Without it, there is no help.

 

You Don’t Own Me..

You Don't Own Me..

 

“Come back to bed”, my husband said to me. I had gotten up to check on my one month old who was wrapped up like a neatly packed burrito. I had heard of baby blues and feeling a little anxious after having a baby, so I thought this was normal. I had been up 6 times that night, only to make sure he was still breathing. Something about putting my hand on his chest and seeing the rise and fall, just made me feel so much more relaxed. Friends and family explained to me that every pregnancy was different. Some women feel perfectly normal after childbirth, while others became their own personal nightmare.

“Can I hold him?”, said one of my co-workers. I had brought the baby in to pick up some supplies for his bedroom and I figured I might as well take advantage of my employee discount. I stared at her and told her I’d rather not have anyone disturb him while he naps. That was a lie. I didn’t want anyone to touch him. I was scared someone would get him sick, or even worse, physically harm him. In my mind I knew that if he just stuck with me, than everything would be okay.

I look in my diaper bag for the hand sanitizer. Sanitizer was my best friend after my son was born. The bag was packed to the point of the zipper not wanting to close. I had purchased the largest diaper bag I could find. I kept diapers, swaddlers, bottles, cleaner, wipes, toys, extra clothes, lotion and diaper rash cream. You name it, I am sure I had it. If there was any time that I was outside the house, I made sure to get ready an hour early. This was not so I could put on makeup or do my hair, but instead, to make sure that I had a solution and the item needed to fix any problem that should arise throughout the day.

“Everything will be okay, I promise.”, I whispered to my son, while cradling him close to my chest. I started to worry myself. I had started picturing worst case scenarios to everything. I could see it in my mind playing out and always having a horrific ending. What was supposed to be me giving my son a fast bath, became a nightmare. “What if’s” kept circling in my head. I was starting to think that something wasn’t quite right with how I was feeling.

“Honey, I think I have really bad anxiety. I need help.” I had sat my husband down and let my worries flow like a fast current. I explained how I couldn’t stop worrying about the baby. I almost felt obsessive. I knew that there was no way that I could keep my child in a bubble and not let him into the world. I needed professional help. I immediately called a therapist from a list that I had stored away. Thankfully the hospital supplied me with one, in case depression decided to show up and try to take over my life.

When seeing the therapist, I was told I was not alone. There were many women out there that were experiencing the same issues I was having. Anxiety tried to ruin me at that point and I decided to not to let it happen. After many sessions of just talking out my worries, I finally started to see a difference. I was not scared anymore and I no longer saw worst case scenarios playing through my head like a horror movie.

Today, my anxiety still stands. I have moments where I worry about the kids going to school, playing outside or even allowing others to watch them. After being diagnosed with PPD, I had noticed my  anxiety had developed into a bad case of PPA. I have family and friends who are here for me. My best advice for a woman suffering through the same mental illness is, speak up. Make sure you tell someone how you feel. To mom’s everywhere: you are not alone. Don’t ever let Anxiety get the best of you. The next time you are in front of a mirror, look up, speak up and say “Anxiety..You don’t own me..”

 

 

5 Reasons I Laugh at My Children (and not with them)

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Let me start off by saying my kids are amazing and I love them to death…. That being said, I just have to say how much I love watching them. They entertain me. It’s almost like watching some crazy reality show on TV. The things they say and the things they do from day to day, really has me on the floor laughing! Let me go ahead and give you 5 reasons why I laugh AT my kids (and not with them)!

 

  1. When they get a “boo boo”- Honestly, I think this is the funniest reason of all. Let me go ahead and explain by telling you a little story about what happened a couple weeks ago. My 4 year old had the TINIEST little scratch on one of his toes. My hubby took a look at it and thought that he saw a tiny piece of glass in it. He made the worst mistake by saying it out loud. My son screamed with terror and all of a sudden he decided to become “disabled”. He began limping (the saddest limp you ever saw!) and dragged himself to bed, saying he would never be able to walk again. We got a flashlight and saw it was actually a bit of skin sticking up and not a piece of glass. Instantly a miracle happened right before my eyes. My sons “disability” magically disappeared. (Crazy how that happens!) 🙂
  2. “The Truman Show”- Let me explain. This little incident happened just last night! I was at my computer desk researching for my blog.. All of a sudden, out of nowhere my 2 year old starts screaming. He ran to me and grabbed my leg, motioning me to pick him up while he is drenched in tears and drool. He kept looking over his shoulder at something but I could not for the life of me figure it out! Then I notice on the floor that he had thrown a DVD on the ground. It was “The Truman Show” with Jim Carrey. I picked it up and he screamed in terror…… and that my friends, is a story I will embarrass him with for the rest of his life!
  3. They say the wrong things at the WRONG times-I can’t tell you enough how true this is! I swear my 4 year old loves to humiliate me in public and he doesn’t even know he’s doing it… One of the worst memories I have with this is when we went to Walmart to get him some of his favorite Minecraft toys. I was standing in the aisle while my kids were both in the shopping cart. A large family comes near us to look at the Powers Rangers right next to us. I knelt down to look at a toy on the bottom shelf…. this is when it all happened. (I still cringe and pray he never does this again…) I bumped something on the shelf, and my oldest looks up at me, looks me in the eye and VERY LOUDLY says “Mom! Did you fart?” I don’t think my face could have been any redder. The family just laughed and I couldn’t help but laugh myself…
  4. The confusion of what’s real and fake-Being a Geeky Mama, I can’t help but say that I am addicted to Pokémon GO. This addiction has spread to my oldest son. The only thing is…. He thinks the Pokémon are real. He asked me one night, “Mom? Are Pokémon in my world?” I told him no that it was just a game but I don’t think that ever clicked in his head. (I’m still waiting for this to happen..) Everyday I have to deal with tantrums because he sees the Pokémon on the screen but doesn’t see them in the house… He still thinks he has to physically grab them to catch them. Pokémon GO and I now have a love/hate relationship.
  5. Potty training-My 2 year old is still not potty trained. We all have been trying to teach him but with no luck just yet. Even my oldest brings him in the bathroom to “show” him how its done. My 2 year old definitely tries though. The way he does this? Takes off his diaper, walks over to the toilet, stands on his tip toes (he doesn’t quite reach over the rim just yet) and pinches. My sons technique is one of a kind.(Plus it makes Mommy roll on the floor laughing, while he is as serious as can be.)

I love my boys but sometimes… they do some crazy things that make me laugh so hard I can’t breathe! I hope it never ends because these are the moments we definitely don’t forget.. ever! 🙂

 

 

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Happy Now Blog Link Up

 

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#AnythingGoes

I Am Just One More Statistic

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May 27th of this year, started out just like any other day. Except for the fact that I received a positive pregnancy test. I was ecstatic! I had asked my husband to pick up a test on his way home from work because I suspected something was different with my body. Having had two children already, I already knew how to pinpoint the signs of pregnancy. You can only imagine the excitement I felt, since I had had a chemical pregnancy that past October.

Now that I look back at that day, staring at that test, I had something tell me that there might be something that wasn’t right. I am that woman who takes a test every morning to make sure that the line darkens. Since having a miscarriage before, I wasn’t taking any chances. I noticed that the line did in fact darken, but it didn’t seem like it was dark enough. Of course, excitement got the best of me and I threw it to the back of my mind.

Even though those nasty symptoms started popping up like: fatigue, frequent urination and of course the lovely morning sickness, I embraced every single one because I knew it was worth it. The difference between all three pregnancies: this was the worst. Since I had been diagnosed with PPD & PPA, my hormones were all over the place. I would feel bouts of vertigo, anxiety and blurry vision. Living with these mental illnesses, I have learned to tell myself that “it’s all in my head”, that the symptoms weren’t real, but made up. Everything finally started to subside when I got to 5 1/2 weeks pregnant. I thought I was finally in the clear.

We had just moved into a larger apartment and I made sure to keep it easy while unpacking the boxes. On June 9th, I started to feel a little crampy, which of course worried me, and when I went to use the bathroom, I could then see why. I was spotting. I immediately called for my husband, who helped me to the couch. Since it was after hours, I had to call my Ob/Gyn’s emergency line. After explaining everything to my doctor, she advised me to come in the next day for a HCG blood test. This would allow her to see if this was an abnormal pregnancy or not.

I went in the next day, had my blood drawn and since it was Friday, I had to wait till Monday to get my results. When I finally received the phone call, I was told my HCG numbers were great but my progesterone levels were extremely low. Doctors like to see a level of 15-60 in the first trimester, and mine came up as a 5.1. As soon as I heard this, I knew in the back of my mind it was over.

Weeks went by and still my levels remained low. The doctor pushed for an immediate ultrasound. After only a couple minutes went by during the scan, she already had a diagnosis. I was pregnant with a Blighted Ovum. A Blighted Ovum is when a gestational sac forms, but no embryo ever develops. This is usually due to chromosomal abnormalities and happens in almost 50% of first trimester miscarriages. The doctor gave me two choices, D&C or allow my body to have a natural miscarriage. I ended up choosing to go naturally.

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Image source: naturesmother.wordpress.com

 

Weeks went by, my baby bump was growing, morning sickness was my worst enemy and I was more depressed than ever before. How could I go through another day of feeling these symptoms with no baby? Finally at almost 11 weeks pregnant, I received one last ultrasound. The gestational sac had grown, but there was still no baby. The doctor then advised me I needed to have a D&C to get rid of everything. I was in a dangerous area because the sac was too large to miscarry on my own and I had a higher chance of hemorrhaging. While I was not mentally prepared to have this surgery, I ended up agreeing to have the procedure the next day. After the surgery, I felt so much better. My hormone levels started to fall, which did cause panic attacks, but I knew that I was going to be okay.

For all women who are going through miscarriages. You are not alone. Make sure to talk to someone, whether it be a friend, your mother, or even your husband. Let them know how you are feeling. I really love what my doctor told me, while she sat, trying to console me. She said,

“This is not the end. You GOT pregnant. This means you CAN get pregnant. Don’t let this keep you from living your dreams of having another baby. It WILL happen.”

 

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#AnythingGoes

PPA & PPD: My Nightmare

SWEET TREATS

 

I remember being in the hospital after having my oldest son, like it was yesterday. Before I could leave with my new little bundle of joy, the nurse handed me a paper. It was a questionnaire for Post Partum Depression. It was supposed to tell me if I was at a higher risk or not. I filled it out and the results said that I was at a low risk. I won’t say that I wasn’t sad after I had him. I knew I would get a small dose of the baby blues. This didn’t phase me all that much.

When I had my second son, that is when everything changed.. The birth was non eventful, no complications or anything. I was just so happy to meet my second little man. Once again, before leaving the hospital, the nurses had me fill out the same form as before. Results showed that I was low risk for PPD. After taking him home, I started noticing little signs that showed something was not quite right. I was tired all the time, not as excited as I should have been, having a new baby at home. Sadly, at one point I didn’t even want to spend time with anyone. Thankfully my hubby was staying at home with me at the time, and watched both boys, while I locked myself up in my room and sobbed. Even though Post Partum Depression was so hard on me, I wasn’t even at my worst yet.

I woke up one morning feeling the worst I had ever felt.. My heart was racing, palpitating, I saw blurry vision, sometimes even spots. I was so dizzy and nauseous. I felt a burning sensation run through my body on my left side. I ended up going to the ER a couple of times due to these symptoms. After many tests and exams, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. The only thing that helped me feel better was sleep. Needless to say, I slept almost all day, while my hubby watched the boys. I could feel myself get weaker and weaker. I couldn’t keep anything down. My blood pressure would jump. I ended up being scared to leave the house or even drive. Made me feel crazy that no one knew what was wrong with me.

Until one day, after  receiving an EKG and being told that my heart had perfect rhythm, I explained everything that I was feeling to my Primary Doctor. She immediately told me she was 100% sure that I was having panic attacks. She said I wasn’t having normal attacks either. That my body for some reason was on the flight or fight mode all day, except for when I was sleeping. My body was constantly pumping out adrenaline…I was prescribed Xanax and Zoloft. Until the Zoloft started working, I would have to take the Xanax to calm me down and let my blood pressure lower. I ended up only taking the Xanax for a couple weeks because the Zoloft kicked in right away. Suddenly my symptoms started disappearing. I was happy, playing with my kids, gaining the weight I had lost… and just enjoying life.

Today, I can tell you I feel great. I do have times where my hormones will go a little haywire and I will have small panic attacks, but nothing remotely close to how I felt a couple of years ago.. I have learned techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, etc. Also, to allow myself to have a little mommy time. I also started eating right! I no longer eat or drink anything with caffeine or sugar, as these jump-start a panic attack. I would rather not add fuel to the flame.

One thing I tell new mommies… Make sure you take care of yourself after baby. Watch for signs that something isn’t right. You may get the baby blues, but there is a limit to how much you should feel without getting help. If you feel like hurting yourself or your child, you need to seek help immediately, because sadly, these thoughts may creep up without a warning. The hospitals that I had given birth at never explained anything about PPA (Post Partum Anxiety). I would hope that one day that that changes because so many women wont feel like they are going crazy and that they are all alone.

Please know that you are not alone. You are loved. You can get through this.

 

TUT-new

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#AnythingGoes

Lets Play.. 50 Questions About The Geeky Mama!

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Ok ladies, I thought I would change it up a little bit! Instead of a long blog post, I thought it would be fun to do a questionnaire. Let you guys get to know me a little more! Lets get started!
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? 
Strangely, my mom said I was named after the character from “Gone with the Wind”…. The man…
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
When I had to drop off my 4 year old at school. It was his first day of Kindergarten. He didn’t even flinch when he walked in. Didn’t phase him at all. Needless to say, he loves it!

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Ehhhh, not really. My hubby actually has better handwriting than me! I think so anyways..

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? 
Hmmmm… I love it all. I am not a big roast beef fan anymore though. After I had my second son, I’ve cringed at the sight of it.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 
Yes! 2 boys. Christian, 4 and Adam, 2. Both are my babies and I love them to death.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? 
Is it possible to date myself? lol. I’m kidding. Yes, I would!

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
I didn’t for a long time. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Now that I am older, its basically all that comes out of my mouth nowadays. haha
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? 
Nopers! Got those puppies out when I graduated High School in 2006.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? 
It looks fun, but I get SUPER BAD motion sickness… and I mean from everything! Even from my own driving sometimes. I’d be scared that I would get sick in mid air! EW.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Golden Grahams, Captain Crunch cereal (even though they cut up your mouth like they are made out of razor blades!)

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? 
Nope! To the floor you go!

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? 
At times, I don’t think I am. Then I look at my boys and know that I can conquer anything that is put in front of me. I suffer from PPA and PPD and I am truly a fighter!
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? 
I reallllllly LOVE Dairy Queen Blizzards. One in particular… Brownie Batter. I unfortunately can’t eat these anymore because the sugar causes my anxiety to skyrocket!
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? 
Body language, eyes, smile… I usually can read a person quite fast.
15. RED OR PINK?
PINK!

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? 

My body. 😦 I miss my pre pregnancy body!
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
I miss being with my family all the time. Everyone is sort of spread out.

18. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
None!

19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? 
Yummy Talapia with rice. So yummy!

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? 
Nothing! Except for Peppa Pig playing in the background…. Does that count?

21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? 
Purple. No idea why. I just choose purple! haha
22. FAVORITE SMELLS? 
Coffee, flowers, homemade food, Thanksgiving, Christmas Trees, pumpkins..
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? 
My mommy! We are doing a Gaming Convention in Idaho in October and we were discussing the info on the tote bags I was customizing for her company! (Told you I was a geek!)

24. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE? 
Beach house! Love the beach!
25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? 
Not a big fan.. unless my kids are playing sports, you wont really see my watching anything.
26. HAIR COLOR? 
Naturally I am a dirty blonde. I dye my hair differently all the time. Right now I am a dark burgundy.

27. EYE COLOR?
Hazel!

28. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? 
Never have!

29. FAVORITE FOOD?
Italian Food and Comfort Foods!

30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? 
Eh this is  tough one. I love both!
31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? 
Something on Lifetime Movie Channel. I’m a big sucker for their movies!

32. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Hot pink spaghetti strap!

33. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter please. I hate Arizona summers! 122 is it. I am so over that! YUCK

34. HUGS OR KISSES? 
Do chocolate kisses count? haha I love both. Especially kisses from my babies.

35. FAVORITE DESSERT? 
Cheesecake!

36. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Computer please! I love working on my blog, and I start school next week, I need it!
37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? 
Nothing… I am usually always reading a book. The boys and I need to take a trip to the library again..

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? 
I use a laptop, so need to have one!

39. ANY TATTOOS?
You don’t even want to know.. I have so many of them!

40. FAVORITE SOUND? 

My kids laughing and playing together. (peacefully)

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles!

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? 
Indiana!

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Is being a Super Mom a talent? We can multi task like nobodies business!

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? 
Santa Rosa, California

45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW? 
The devils playground… Arizona. Not even kidding. I burn my hands every time I touch the steering wheel!

46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
Uhhhh.. brown? Everything in AZ is brown and so boring!

47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Maroon! I have another one that is blue.

48. ANY PETS? 
Well, we ended up getting rid of a lot of them, but now we have: A rabbit, parakeet, fish, small aquatic turtle and 2 bearded dragons named Bonnie and Clyde!

49. DO YOU WANT MORE KIDS?

Yes, I do. I would LOVE to have a little girl. BUT I am not sure if my body can handle anymore pregnancies. We will see! 🙂

50. WHY DID YOU BECOME A BLOGGER?

I had just had a D&C because I was diagnosed at 10 weeks pregnant with a Blighted Ovum. It killed me. I was hurting really bad, mentally. I started researching and looking for jobs that I could do from working at home. Everything that popped up, lead me to Blogging. This has been the most amazing outlet for me!

 

Why I am the Worst Neighbor..Ever

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For most of my relationship with my hubby we have lived in apartments. Two to be exact. We lived in our last place for almost 6 years. (about that…) We had planned to save up for a house but of course obstacles always seemed to find us. The apartment was quite small, had all tile except for the bedrooms, but had just enough room for us all to live comfortably. We were on the bottom floor and let me tell you… Those walls were SUPER thin!

I had no beef with the family upstairs, except for one thing that drove me absolutely NUTS! Our neighbor owned an in home daycare.. Kids were being dropped off at the break of dawn, you would hear the children screaming for their parents to come back because of separation anxiety. The loveliest of it all? The lady who owned it, for some weird reason, felt as though she needed to wear high heels, EVERY SINGLE DAY! I am a fan of high heels, but seriously? You run after children in your heels at 5am? It was a blast waking up to the children upstairs running back and forth while bouncing a ball. Honestly, if we hadn’t moved out there, I would have had to have surgery on my jaw from clenching it so hard.

We ended up moving to a larger apartment a couple months ago. Its perfect. Only downfall? We are upstairs. Please keep in mind that I have a 2 and a 4 year old… who are crazy. Although the walls are a lot thicker here and we have carpet in almost every room, I still feel like everyone can hear us. Some of the amazing things my kids do: My youngest thinks its hilarious that I get upset that he jumps up and down repeatedly. They jump on their beds when I am not looking. My youngest screams in excitement to almost anything… They both cry and have tantrums and LOVE running from one room to the next. One thing that my 2 year old LOVES to do is bounce hard up and down when Bubble Guppies turns on and screams! (Apparently for him its comparable to a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert..) To top it off, I am sure all of our neighbors have heard me yelling at them to stop.

So if your looking for a neighbor who can offer you:

  • Guaranteed bed time for their youngest child at 1am….
  • Screaming
  • Yelling
  • Loud banging
  • Doors slamming
  • Crying
  • Thumping sounds from jumping on the bed and on the floor..
  • A screaming Bubble Guppies fanatic..

Then look NO further! 🙂

Just make sure that the next time you move into apartments, that we aren’t the ones living upstairs from you… 😉

Have you ever had to deal with a noisy neighbor?

 

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The Dreaded First Day..

by_ thegeekymama

Pulse is racing, a bead of sweat is seen by the glistening of the sun, tears form, ready to flow.. You would think that I was talking about my 4 year old, who started Kindergarten on Wednesday.. but no, I am talking about me. The first day of school didn’t even seem to phase him. I woke up at 5 am, completely sleep deprived because I had worried all night about his first day.

I woke him up, got him dressed, brushed his teeth and hair while letting him watch his favorite cartoons. Every couple of minutes I would ask him, “Are you nervous?”, when in all reality, I was the one that was. The Kindergarten classes feed the kids breakfast, so after getting him organized and having him eat, I embarrassed him by blowing him over a dozen kisses…. He still showed no sign of being nervous.

As soon as I hit the parking lot, I broke down. I tried so hard to hold back since my 2 year old was in my arms, but it was no use. How could my little baby be a Kindergartner already? Kindergarten is just the beginning. To be honest, I am scared. Scared that time will rush by and the next thing I know, he is in high school.

So, of course I watched the clock all day long. Waiting for 2:30 to hit so I could hurry and get my big boy.. But no.. time decided to drag on and on and on. As soon as that big hand hit the 6 on that clock, my son and I jumped into the car to go grab him. It was a relief to have him in my car again. My first question to him was “How was school?” His response? “Good, can I have your phone?”

Dang you, Pokémon GO! 🙂

How was your child’s first day of school? Did you cry on their first day?

 

6 Items Every New Mom Should Never Go Without

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The scariest part of finding out I was pregnant with my first, was knowing what items I needed. You can ask around to friends, coworkers and even your own mother and all will overwhelm you with that massive list of baby must haves! I use to carry a list in my purse, so when anyone suggested something, I’d add it right on. After having him, I started to realize I didn’t use more than half of the items I had purchased! (Pictured below was just half of what I had for him!) So I have come up with a small list of must haves for Moms to Be!

 

1. Swaddlers– These basic cloths that wrap your child up like a burrito, are simply amazing. My son loved feeling all wrapped up, warm and cozy. I know there are tons of swaddlers to choose from but I made it simple and affordable. I went to Walmart and purchased a 4 pack of some stretchy baby blankets and he loved it just the same! Honestly, unless you really want to buy them, I wouldn’t spend the money on the name brand swaddlers. These worked great!

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2. Burp Cloths– These are a must have! It will seem like your little bundle of joy spits up more than they even ate! Your going to ask yourself where in the world they stored all of this in there tiny little belly! When shopping around, you will find a huge range of prices. One tip that I can share with you: skip over all those pricey and thin burp cloths! You don’t need to make spitting up a fashion statement. Invest in Gerber Cloth Diapers. Might sound strange at first, but trust me, I know what I am talking about from experience! My mom introduced them to me and I know so many other Moms out there are doing the same! These cloth diapers are soft to the touch, easy to clean and they dry faster than most of the cloths out there! I purchased them at Walmart as well for $12 for a pack of 10.

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Image source: Walmart.com

 

 

3. Pacifiers– Now even though both of my boys couldn’t stand pacifiers starting around the age of 1 month, they still loved the Soothie pacifiers. These pacifiers are typically given to you at the hospital after you give birth. I ended stocking up on them! I got 3 packs of 2 so I would always have a back up. You will always end up losing one unexpectedly! These are very reasonable in price and the quality of them is excellent!

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Image source: Walmart.com

 

4. Newborn Sleeper Gowns-I love these adorable pieces of itty bitty clothing! My sister took one look at these adorable Pj’s and said, “Why is he wearing a dress?”. Well they are definitely not dresses but they do look just as cute! These pajamas make it easy for the baby to slip their legs in and out for comfort. Not only this, but can I just say how easy it is to change their diapers? You have no snapping or zipping, just slip it right up!

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Image source: babyearth.com

 

 

5. Bouncer– In the picture below you can see that my son would pass out as soon as he would hit that bouncer! He wasn’t much of a swinger, he hated them! So as you can imagine, this was a life saver! You don’t even need to stick with the pricey ones because they all serve the same purpose. The hardest part is picking which color you want!!

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6. Bassinet– The bassinet that I purchased had music and vibration included. This was amazing! The rhythmic vibrations, and the sweet lullaby, along with being swaddled, was the perfect combination! Underneath the bassinet was the perfect amount of storage that I could hold extra pacifiers, breast pump, diapers and wipes. Putting his bed next to mine made a lot of my worries disappear. I could easily sneak a peek at him to make sure he was alright!

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Image source: Babiesrus.com

 

 

The one thing that can be tough is having a picky baby! Some people will suggest buying pacifiers, bottles, booties, hand mittens and so much more. There are children like mine who despised all of that! They would slip off their booties and hand mittens. Just because people suggest something doesn’t always mean your baby will want to use it. The best thing I did was purchase one of each item (when I had my second son) to see if he would even use them.

 

What were some of your favorite baby items when your child was born?

“Your son is ‘Special'”..

_Your son is 'Special'_...

 

Normally I wouldn’t let my kids tell me to be quiet, but my oldest son is different and I feel like it would be wrong of me to yell at him. He is extremely sensitive to noises. When we go about our day, I have to make sure that nothing triggers him or he cries and has a tantrum. Some of his trigger noises include: TV turned up too loud, his little brother making too much noise, vacuuming… and that’s not even half of it..

I began noticing that he was different than other children when he was just a baby. He would lay on the bed with me and stare out the window. Watching the beautiful environment surrounding him. He seemed to focus hard on specific objects though. A tree branch, bird,  and leaves falling to the ground. When I say he was focusing on an object, I mean he was examining it! At one of his checkups I let his doctor know what he was doing and he just told us that we had one smart child on our hands. That he would be “special”.

When he was old enough to start talking… he wasn’t. He missed a few milestones, but nothing very alarming. When I would be in public with him, I would notice how children his age would interact with others. He would say a couple easy words but when he wanted to have a conversation, it was just gibberish, almost like a very long mumble. I had a really hard time communicating with him when I would ask him what he would want to drink or even try to get him to tell me what toy he wanted to play with. He wouldn’t even point to what he wanted.  I really couldn’t get anything out of him except for frustration and tears. He had started Head Start, a program that allows children to get education before they enter Kindergarten. They called me and told me that he was having difficulties with processing information and speech. I ended up having to get him tested to get into their Special Education Program. He had gotten accepted into the program and honestly, it was the best decision we had made for him. He seemed to be talking more, at a slower pace, of course, but he was talking more! One of the big problems was that he didn’t want to socialize with any children.

At one point when he was 3 going on 4, I started questioning everything. Was he Autistic? Asperger’s maybe? His pediatrician sent him to get examined for a possible diagnosis, but to our dismay, the doctor there who examined him, wasted our time. Since then, we haven’t found any doctor who would take him in to observe him because of his age. I have talked to case workers who have said that Arizona is a really tough state when it comes to these type of resources. When children hit age 4-5, most doctors wont see the child. At that time I felt so alone and didn’t know what to do. All I wanted was for my son to get all the help he needed.

Fast forward to today, he is an extremely smart boy, who you may just say was a late bloomer when it came to talking. He still has moments where I still question him having Autism. He stands in front of the TV to watch it, (I have to drag him away from it!) covers his ears to so many different sounds, still has some issues with talking, does repeated motions and is probably the best Lego builder and puzzle maker you ever saw! At the time being, I figure I would just communicate to his teachers to let me know if they feel as though there is something he is having problems with. He starts Kindergarten next week and this Mama is a nervous wreck! Even though my son may need help more than his brother will ever need, he is my baby and I will help him in any way I can…

 

Tips to Help You Survive (another) Tantrum

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Oh those lovely tantrums… Who doesn’t love those? Definitely NOT this mama! Whether your at home, the store or even out to dinner, those pesky tantrums always seem to make an appearance! Laying on the floor, kicking and screaming and well… just looking crazy! I have had to experiment with different techniques and have made a list of tips to help you survive tantrums!

  • “The Stare Method”- Even though I can’t stand looking or even listening to my sons trying to make a loud statement, I have come up with “The Stare Method”. Most of the time this works, but only if the child is not on the floor. For instance, my oldest son has always been a Grammy Award winning Tantrum Ninja. Right before he hits that floor to start screaming and stomping his feet, he will cross his arms, cry, repeat what he wants (over and over and over again..) and stare at me. I finally decided to try a new technique out and just plainly stare back at him, with absolutely no expression on my face. After about 5-10 minutes of awkward stares, my son felt uncomfortable and weirded out by me just looking into his eyes!
  • “I’m not listening!”- Over the years I have learned a very common technique from my husband. Most men are programmed with this and hey, when it comes to dodging tantrums, sometimes it works! I have finally learned to be able to have Selective Hearing. I noticed that when I would talk to my hubby about shopping, makeup, or just fashion in general, he was somehow able to listen, but not listen at the same time. After finally mastering this, I decided to use this on my kids! My youngest son hates to be ignored, who doesn’t? So when he decided to test my patience (lovely terrible 2’s!) I acted like he wasn’t even there. Of course I was there and heard and everything he was saying and doing (I’m sure the neighbors did too!) I wouldn’t give him the time of day! I was doing the dishes and he came stomping over because I told him NO jumping on the couch. He showed his ugly side. I simply just let him do it. I let him think I was ignoring him, so that he didn’t think I was acknowledging his behavior. This is definitely one that I use time and time again!
  • Switching Roles- This works best when you are in public shopping, especially at the grocery store. I usually try to keep my dreaded errands to a minimum because I know what happens if they both get bored or tired. When your child is starting to act up, start looking at your grocery list! Let your child help you pick out what you need. Let them do the shopping, but with you directing them to where you need to go. If you need to get some salad dressing, let them know, tell them what you need and help show them where the item is. This gives them a sense of responsibility. Like they have a reason to be there to help Mom grocery shop! Not just that, but you have your own personal shopper!
  • “Your just hangry, here, eat a snickers!”- Let me begin by saying, Yes, I spelt that right. Haven’t you ever been so hungry that you become the spitting image of The Hulk? Well, that’s what you would call being “Hangry”. A combination of being hungry and angry! Always make sure you are in arms reach of a Ziploc bag full of snacks. Errands can be exhausting for the kids, even though your the one doing all the work! Just grab that bag out of your purse and let them munch away on those Goldifish! You will see that adorable little smile return instantly!
  • When all else fails…RUN AWAY!- You’ve come this far and nothing has worked.. Mission has failed… abort, abort! Run away! ………..Ok, not literally! When my kids are having the Mother of All Tantrums, especially at the stores, I walk away. I turn that corner and don’t look back. (Ok, maybe just a little!) To him it may look like I am deserting him, but in all reality I am turning the corner and sneaking my head out to watch him. (Without him seeing me..) He realizes I am not there to see what he is protesting about, gets back up and comes looking for me. All I ever have to say to him after that is, “Feel better now?”

 

Even if you think you will never get out of the Tantrum stage, your right! I’m kidding, it DOES get better over time. I have a 5 year old who gets angry from time to time and a 2 year old who thinks he is a teenager!

Do you have your own tips for surviving tantrums? Please help Mama’s everywhere and spread that amazing advice with us!

 

 

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5 Things Nobody Tells You About C-Sections

THINGS I WISH THE HOSPITAL WARNED YOU ABOUT AFTER A C-SECTION.. (1)

 

When I found out that I was pregnant with my first son, I was ecstatic! Those 9 months went so smoothly that I thought to myself, “This whole C-section thing will be a breeze to get through!” I had heard horror stories from some friends of mine and just didn’t think any of that would apply to me! My hubby and I even went to the birthing classes to get more information on the procedure. All looked easy enough to get through….. Right?

WRONG! Let me make a list of the 5 things nobody tells you about C-sections..

  1. Anxiety during surgery prep- Of course when I got to the hospital at the crack of dawn, (the sun hadn’t even shown its face yet!) I had those butterflies in my stomach. All I could think about was how the next time I would be coming out of that hospital, would be with my new baby! Everything went well until…. I got into the operating room to get the spinal tap done. I ended up panicking right before the spinal tap was put in. That poke doesn’t feel great, buts its bearable, because right when it hits, your body goes completely numb from the chest down. After this was done, I was able to relax a bit. If you end up having an anxiety or a panic attack right before your C-section, just remember to breathe! Don’t let yourself hyperventilate. Also, it’s best to let the nurses and doctors know. They are there to help you through it all!
  2. Pain,pain,pain!-Now please keep in mind that every woman is different! Some women are up walking around immediately and people like me…were stuck in bed and in horrible pain! Of course laying in that big hospital bed felt good because you are able to sleep, relax and have some one on one time with your new baby. Usually the nurses will have you walking around quite quickly since it helps you recover quicker to be mobile. When I first got out of that hospital bed, I honestly felt like my stitches were going to rip open! I won’t lie and say it didn’t hurt. It was extremely painful to walk, laugh… and just move! I definitely made my presence known with the nurses. I was constantly hitting the call button to have them administer pain meds! (“More Percocet please!”) You’ll need it!
  3. The stylish MONSTER pads- When I went to the bathroom for the first time after surgery, I was able to see what the nurses had dressed me in. It was quite stylish I must say! (Yeah right!!) Picture this… a pair of these net looking underwear.. (and I mean net, like fishnet stockings!) What makes that even better is the fact that you have this giant pad placed in your underwear. It almost looked like someone had folded up a dog training pad and stuck it in there. On the plus side, it was quite comfortable because of all the cushion in it. Who’s going to be look at your sweet new pair of fish net underwear anyways? Might as well enjoy it! 🙂
  4.  Bleeding…when does it end?- The reason for you wearing those giant pads is because you WILL bleed. Many women think that they won’t go through some of the same things as women who give birth naturally. That just isn’t true! I was so happy to not have a period for 9 months! Until I realized that the postpartum bleeding made up for all those months it was gone..
  5. You still have a belly!- Try to refrain from watching TV shows or movies that show those oh-so-dramatic births!!  They will show the mother looking slender and back to having her pre-pregnancy belly…..(lies!!!) In reality, this just doesn’t happen. Actually it can take 6-8 weeks for your uterus to shrink back to size!!! (Go ahead, let that sink in for a minute..) I actually didn’t know about this when I had my first son, so you can just imagine how I felt when I looked down to what looked like a 4-5 month pregnant belly.

So just remember that any way that a mother gives birth, whether it be naturally or by C-section, the experience is something you will never forget! No matter how you gave birth, the end result is always the same. An adorable little addition to your family. ❤

 

 

5 Things I Have Learned From My Kids TV Shows

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I get people all the time schooling me on not letting my children watch too much TV. Well, when you live in Arizona, where it’s too hot to even stick your foot out the door, then there’s no such thing as too much TV. I have caught myself plenty of times watching my kids favorite TV shows with them. (And maybe even without them… shhh! Don’t tell anyone!) So while watching these shows, I came up with a list of what they have taught me:

  1. It is OK to believe that your toys and tools actually talk to you! Yes, I know that children like to make believe and everything but for awhile my oldest son (when he was younger) had butt loads of tantrums because his toys wouldn’t talk back to him… (Thanks “Doc McStuffins”!) I had gotten him a boy version of the “Doc McStuffins” medical kit and well, you can only guess what happened there. His stethoscope was “broken”. There was also a time where he watched a show called “Handy Manny”. (Oh boy) Yep, you guessed it. Tantrums. All because his plastic tool kit didn’t help him build anything with his blocks.
  2. It is OK to sing about EVERYTHING in public. For awhile my oldest thought it was ok to create his life into a musical. Since all his shows sing about everything.. (and I mean everything).. why couldn’t he? Lets just say we had plenty of strangers staring us down in public!
  3. It is OK for a 5 year old to take care of a 2 year old. (“Max and Ruby”) I don’t know how many times my son has asked me where their Mom is! I continuously try to refrain from the question because honestly, I have no idea where the hell those kids parents are! This has made my 4 year old believe that when we need to go to the store, that he is old enough to babysit his 2 year old brother, so that they don’t need to go. (Umm…no. Not happenin’ mister!)
  4. It is OK to smack the TV to answer a question. Let me explain… There are many kids TV shows out there that have your child interact with the program. A couple examples of that would be “Dora the Explorer” and “Team Umizoomi”. My two year old has an arm on him. He is strong, let me tell you. That’s why I call him my future football player. When he is watching the TV and the show asks him to pick out the square out of a group of shapes, he likes to run up to the TV and smack it! He supposedly thinks that this is like clicking a button on the computer with the mouse. What have I learned from this? Don’t put the TV low enough for the kids to touch it!
  5. It is OK to believe that there is a whole community of talking animals and little mermaid children in the ocean. (Yes, I am talking about you “Bubble Guppies”) Now I love this show but for awhile I tried to stay away from it. My oldest would ask me a billion and one questions. (And still does..) “Why is the teacher a fish? Can fish talk? Why is it raining if they are under water?” It never ended. For awhile he honestly thought that animals could talk and just weren’t speaking to him because they didn’t like him..

 

All joking aside, most of these shows are very beneficial. My kids have learned ALOT! Counting, ABC’s, shapes, responsibility, communication and friendship. “Nick Jr.” has done a great job helping me teach them things they will need to be ready for Kindergarten! Now if they can only teach my kids to clean their room…..

 

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You need what???

My oldest son starts Kindergarten in a little over 3 weeks… ugh scary thought. First, it makes me feel old. Secondly, I always tried to keep the thought of him going to school at the back of my mind because I know how I’ll be on his first day. I’m gonna be a wreck!
Yesterday we ended up going to Wal-Mart to get all of his supplies for the new school year. I ended up having to order his backpack online because guess what character he needed to have? Pokémon! Of course! He is a big time Pokémon GO fan. PLUS, we had to get his uniforms and let me tell ya, he looked adorable!
I’m sure all you Mama’s are used to those lovely (ya right) lists. I for sure am not. This is the list..

Kindergarten

  • 4 plastic pocket folders (no center fasteners)(1 each of red, blue, yellow and green)
  • 1 watercolor paint set (8 colors)
  • 2 blue or black dry erase markers (low odor)
  • 1 box Crayola brand crayons (16 basic colors)
  • 1 pkg of Crayola Twistable colored pencils (18 colors)
  • 2 Pentel or Sanford white Magic Rub erasers(Not the cleaning sponge)
  • 4 solid glue sticks
  • 1 pair Fiskars blunt point scissors
  • 1 Empty plastic pencil box (8″ x 4 1/2″)
  • 1 box of wet wipes (large size)
  • 1 large container Lysol or Clorox disinfectant wipes
  • 1 bottle of hand sanitizer (12 oz size)
  • 1 box facial tissue (large)

Now I understand that the parents need to help out the classrooms. I have NO problem with that. I am just speaking my mind and saying I do not remember having to ever bring Lysol, hand sanitizer, dry erase markers or Magic Rub erasers (which I didn’t end up getting because I have NO IDEA what those are!) 🙂 It kind of felt like I was shopping for the teachers rather than for my son. Please don’t get the wrong idea about any of this. I am just not used to having to buy all this crazy stuff! I am very truly excited for him to go to school. We had chosen a Charter school for him instead of public, for our own reasons. I am a big fan of uniforms and have my opinions on why I feel those are so much better.
I am a full-time student myself and start classes at my community college at the end of August. So now guess what?? I need to buy more supplies!! Don’t even get me started with that. I am truly a geek at heart and LOVE purchasing supplies for class. The smell of newly sharpened pencils and paper, gets my inner geek going! 😉

So….
Have you bought your kids their school supplies yet? Is there anything that seems a little strange you have to buy that you may not be used to?