Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Baby Gift Basket Ideas

This is the time of life where women everywhere are having babies, and I have to say I love it.
There are meals to bring and diapers to offer and sweet celebrations everywhere.

For a few friends I was too slow to get on the make a meal list, so I decided that I would do something a little different. Think of it as a "You Don't Have To Go To The Store Cause I Did" basket.

If you want it to be REALLY GOOD, do some research prior to delivery asking about favorites in a nonchalant way. It can still be successful if you remember to do the research or not. There are a few different kind of baskets as well. Feel free to comment with more ideas.

First Baby Basket Ideas
Homemade Cookies, Milk, Eggs, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Granola or Protein Bars, Fresh Fruit, About Your Baby Book, Magazine, Burp Cloths, Socks, Chocolate, Wine, Foot Scrub, Foot and or Leg lotion, Big Cup With Straw for Ice Water (preferably no spill), Box of Tissues, Journal, Pen, Hair Ties

First Baby Basket And Newly Married or Easily Embarrassed by Bodily Functions Basket Ideas (this should be presented as early as possible)
Ibuprophin, Cold Face/Eye Pack, Socks, Maxi Pads (the Xtra Large ones), Preparation H Pads and/or Cream, Nursing Pads, Lansolin Nipple Cream, Aveeno Bath Soak for special sids baths, Chocolate, Big Cup With Straw for Ice Water (preferably no spill), Box of Tissues, Hair Ties, Journal, Pen

You Have Other Kids to Think About Basket Ideas
Anything that is an easy meal grab for breakfast or lunch for the other kiddos.
Homemade Cookies, Milk, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Granola or Protein Bars, Frozen Pancakes, Syrup, Fruit, Not Too Messy Cookies, Rice Krispy Treats, Yogurt or Gogurt, Freeze Pops, Cheese and Crackers, Specially Wrapped Chocolate just for MOM (this can be done by hiding it in a Frozen vegetable box that has been emptied of veggies and resealed after chocolate filler), Coffee, Wine, Big Cup With Straw for Ice Water (preferably no spill)

As you might be aware, feel free to mix and match and make the basket as little or big as you like. You know your friends well enough to make any gift basket great.

Extra tips...
  • Start stocking up on things that have coupons or go on sale prior to the baby coming.
  • Basket Wrapping Option 1 - Find a basket that is perfect size to hold diapers and wipes in a downstairs or nearby location
  • Basket Wrapping Option 2 - Find a basket that has a handle so mom can keep her "just had a baby" stuff with her at all times.
  • A basket that can be stored in the car for the "oh boy" moments had by all new and experienced Mamas.
Happy Shopping!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Magazine Fun for Kids and Little Kids

This is for new and existing buyers. Use coupon code NATGEOLK3 at checkout.

View this deal
Here is a great deal on National Geographic Kids Magazine. One day left to benefit with the $8.00 annual subscription. Gift option available as well.
Enter the $4 off code when you check out: NATGEOK4
This is for kids ages 6-14. If you have younger kids, wait until the little kids magazine is on sale Aug 18th. I will post more then. It is geared toward 3-6 year olds. (Not sure of the price just yet) You cannotbe a current subscriber.

National Geographic Kids for $8.00 annual subscription

Quick ideas for using them.

Claim Naptime Back
Let the kids have 1/2 hour in their rooms where the rules are they can think, read, or pray. Set an alarm clock that they know the time is never ending. The first few times, I have had to sit with them reading so they were not mistaken on expectations. If they don't obey the rules, we add five minutes to the alarm clock each time. In a week or less they got it and I got my 1/2 hour of quiet which is apparently all I need!

Daddy Time
When Daddy first comes home and you need some time to finish dinner prep.
Motivation for Daddy to put your sweethearts to bed.
Discussion pieces for dinner time.

Car Rides
These are small enough to keep in the pocket of the seat backs - great motivators for zoo trips.

Getting Mail
My little darlings always want to know if they got mail and my sweet husband would give them junk mail stating it would have their names on it. Now that they are getting older, this trick isn't working as well and they just LOVE getting mail. Just like I did when I was little and my mother signed us up to be part of the "Alabama" fan club. What a sweet woman.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Potty Training Again - Moving Along

Potty Training - now 18 months, Day 10 - Moving Along
Today was our first day without an accident. Tomorrow we are sure to have one and that is what I have prepared myself for. However, I will hold on to the success of the day. Consistency and consideration seem to be the key. The schedule has really helped and she knows what to expect just as I do even the other kids know. Though it is our first day without an accident, I can't help to be excited about the imminent conquer!

Forgot to mention... or wanted to forget... :) Day 8 was a day where I needed some extra motivation to stay on track so I showed a couple of friends how cute her little bottom was in her tight pants (without a diaper to fluff it up). Her sweet daddy went to her when she woke in the morning, and a couple moments after I heard... "Mama, oh Mama..." I am sure he was thanking God I was home. She had her first poop without a diaper in her bed... which really wasn't that bad. I figure it could've been much worse and it made me feel important to ease her and him- or that is the road I was graced to take :). We simply cleaned it up and explained to her what she can do when she has to poop. (say "Mama, Potty" or sign "potty" for me - the sign is to wave your fist in the air with your thumb between your fore finger and middle finger) She showed me that she knew. We'll see if it sticks.
Potty Training - 17months, Day 7 - Evolving Schedule
This past week has gone well. Much of me learning what motivates her and what my tolerance is. She has only had pee pee accidents. Seems she just understands the impending poop feeling.

We have switched around Day 3 or 4 asking her to go every 1/2 hour. She would start to get irritated and began to fight it a bit, so I put more effort into thinking about how much liquid she consumed and set up a mental schedule.
If she goes at 6:00 when she wakes, the next time she has to go is usually around 8:30 or 9 if she has some milk in the morning. This is usually just before we leave for the day's activity, working well for our schedule. Then just before lunch or nap (11-12). Depending on lunch fluid intake and how much she went before nap, we go for just after nap about 2 or 3. Before dinner and before bed are next.

At this stage, we have been taking the potty with us in the car. Shouldn't be long until we switch her to the big potty, but for now it is less stress on me and her.

Today's Bonus - I found telling the other kids the show (kid TV show) will start as soon as the little one went potty. Next thing I knew she was sat down on her potty by the kids who started singing the wheels on the bus go round and round. Everyone earned a show and MnM's.

Today's Loop - Watermelon! Ha. Who knew mothers had to be such detectives! I forgot how much you have to go until I was up in the night thinking about when I drank so much water?....
August 9th - Potty Training - 17month old, Day 2 - Today Crazy Mom

I am so pleased that I didn't write yesterday. The day was so wonderful (only one pee pee accident) that if I would've stopped there anyone reading would surely think my kids and I were born with a "silver potty".

Today, reality hit. We are potty training. That is a main focus for the day at least until she completely understands the goal enough to follow through. With 5 pee pee accidents, one might think I would cave but that is not what this process is about. Once it is time (where I am sure she can understand expectations) we will continue to move forward. The accidents were my fault. I assumed she understood the process better. Although she is capable, she needs more guidance. She now gets one MnM for sitting on the potty and another one for peeing. I will also be more conscious of when she has a full bladder, and be more diligent about sitting her on to go, not letting other things hold my attention. Every 1/2 hour.

Here is where I got my "Go get em" energy today after our 5 accidents. God Blessed me with the wonderful naptime stalling tactic taken on by my daughter. Just before putting her in her crib, she threw her potty sign up and I let her sit on the potty, letting her also know that as soon as she got off the potty we would head straight for nap. She was content to stay on until dinner if I let her. Here is where the great blessing comes in. She pooped and peed! That means, we are good on poop until tomorrow at least. (based on my observations. :))

Still accepting prayers for "nice mom" as I didn't fully realize the 5 accidents were due to my own poor assumptions until pondering the process after the fact.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Potty Training, again - Crazy Mom or Motivated Mom?

So, we like potty training around here. Ok, so maybe I do. It is a great time for me to get to know my child's temperament and how to work best with it. It is also a great opportunity to teach my children how to work together as a family to help each other overcome personal challenges.

At 17 months it sounds a bit early to some and surely late to others but with a post, I am accountable.

Current Status
This past week we have been letting her run around without a diaper and putting a potty movie on as often as we can remember. Whenever she has to poop or pee I have been extra diligent on getting her to put it in the potty. Upon waking and prior to going to sleep or nap we always do a potty check. I keep treats (pez) on hand to motivate. Two things that help are her brother and sister who gets treats when she does for "good aim" as long as they praise her efforts. We talk often about putting our pee pee and poo poo in the ... (and she finishes the sentence). I also took everyone shopping where she picked out her own underwear in front of everyone to really get her and everyone else excited.

We start homeschool on Monday for Kindergarden, a touch of preschool, and it is Potty Day. My youngest will get to open her underwear that is wrapped up and we will all blow out candles on a cake. A potty day/first day of school cake. Woah you might say, however my thoughts are the schedule of the school day might just keep us in line to take 1/2 hour breaks for the potty and we are homebound for the most part.

More to be posted after Monday. If you you have just a moment, please say a prayer for "nice mom" to be on hand when there are more than say five things going on at once. :)

More to come on Monday....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Positive Motivation Idea For Kids

In an effort to discipline, I had been taking things away from my little ones so often that I felt like I was more of a tyrant than a parent. I mentioned this to a friend who had great feedback.
The idea is to show them what behavior is good and guide them to choose it.

Each time they do something that you would like to reinforce, tell them "Wow, great job Jimmy! You earned a marble!" Then, let them see you put a marble in their special cup. (Each child should have a cup with their name on it)

Go to the dollar store or target dollar spot and let them pick out 5-10 items. These items go directly into a treasure box/bag that is put away. Inform the children that the items in the bag are off limits.

When the child earns 10 marbles, they can cash in the marbles for a treasure from the bag and this part is important. Make it a big deal that they earned TEN MARBLES! WOW! and let them know how proud you are of them.

In order to get them in the groove, give them a marble for almost anything. You will be amazed at the things they will do to earn a marble. Remember they need to earn 10 marbles to get a dollar treat. Don't be too stingy with the marbles, or they will loose motivation. Later, you can say things like "Thank you for brushing your teeth, but that is something you should be doing everyday to ensure your teeth stay in your mouth". There is a balance to find of course, but I am sure you can do it if we could.

My children are going out of their way to help each other out. I only let them cash in marbles when they both have 10 together. My son has been earning a little more than my daughter so he has offered her some of his so they can reach the reward together. At this, he gets a bonus marble and they both reap the reward of a treasure. When my daughter cries or carries on simply because she has to go to bed, I say "It was unfortunate that you chose to carry on because you could've earned a marble for doing what Mama says the first time. Maybe tomorrow you can try again." This concept works wonderfully for teaching them to do things the first time I ask. Always a learning curve, but they are starting to get it.

I was thinking of other ways to use marbles too.
How about around Christmas time or birthdays when we have to give away toys that aren't played with anymore... we can do 1 marble for each toy you give away! We have yet to see how that turns out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Garbage Disposal - Keep this post in the back of your mind

Perhaps your Disposal is running very well these days. Excellent. Be sure to thank God for the smooth sailing....

However, just incase tomorrow or the day after it is not.. read on.

Here is a quick fix for a VERY simple problem that could cost you big in time and money if in haste, you turn to a plumber or even a new disposal. FYI... this post is assuming you are past the I dropped a spoon in there stage. :)

Case 1 - Disposal not grinding but you can hear motor running.
(there is something lodged in the blade. You are going to manually dislodge the food or item from the outside of the disposal) Here are a few pictures to walk you through.
Take the "Disposal Tool" (pictured on Orange towel- if you do not know where the one that came with your disposal is, use a larger sized alan wrench that fits in the hole at the bottom.)

As pictured in the second image (this is the undercarriage of your disposal) take your alan wrench or "Disposal Tool" and put it in the center hole of the dispsal.

Turn the wrench clock wise or counter clock wise to unlock the blade. This should not loosen the blade itself. You should even be able to hear/feel when the item that was lodged gets loose.

Run your water, and try the disposal again from the switch. It should work.

Case 2: You hear nothing. Try hitting the red reset button on the bottom of the disposal. This is pictured in the 2nd image. You may also try unplugging and plugging back in the disposal.

For all other problems, you might google "disposal troubleshooting" or "my garbage disposal doesn't work". These internet searches work for other problems as well. Remember, if someone built it, you can fix it. The only thing that might hold you back is finding out how.

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to save vertical blinds from kids

In finding a quick and easy way to fix those venetion blinds at my back door that seem to fall right off at the mere glance from my sweet children....

What you need? - A toothpick and clear packing tape

What is the fix?

Well the reason your blind fell off is one little piece of plastic holds another and neither of these pieces can hold the weight of a 4 year old monkey as well as a real vine might. Most of the time the plastic on the blind itself breaks right off.

Simply tape the toothpick at the very top of the blind where the old plastic came off to replace the plastic 'hook' that use to be there. Then poke a hole in the tape where the clear opening is. The blind will go in the same way it used to.

Yep, it doesn't have to be pretty to be functional. Remember, it is up high in an area that people don't look to see. If by the off chance they do see your handy work, that is exactly what they will be thinking.... "my what handy work"!