Parenting

Vacation

Category: Parenting

When we go on vacations, I like to bring a bucket of candy, stickers, crayons, etc. that the kids get to pick 1 thing out of every hour or at major milestones ("Hey, we just entered Tennessee!"). Just don't get chocolates and leave them in your hot van (like we did 2 summers ago).

Children and Dishes

Category: Parenting

We taught our children how to do dishes at the age of 5. After I would complete a meal and before I sat down to eat I would run a sink of fresh soapy water. After everyone was finished they would be responsible for the dishes they used to eat with and one dish that I dirty while cooking the meal. My husband would put all the condiments away and clean the table. I would his dishes. This way I would not be stuck cleaning up the kitchen after a meal by myself. When they come home for a meal we still go through the same routine.

Little Helpers

Category: Parenting

When expecting my fourth little one I wanted to make it easier for my other children to help around the house. I relocated the everyday dishes to a lower shelf so that even the six year old could help unload the dishwasher and set the table independently. This helped to teach responsibility and self-sufficiency as well as free up time for a busy mom. Delegate when possible, even to the littlest helpers!

Place for Baby Toys

Category: Parenting

Need some storage space for the baby with all their toys? Take the bassinet net from the pak'n play and attach it to the outside. If attached appropriately, it should fold up like a big pocket and you can put all their toys in it. You have toys conveniently located for safe play and they are picked up and all being kept together attached to the outside!

Homework Together

Category: Parenting

Homework can be something that not only complicates a kid's life, but the whole family if they're stressing out about it.  In order to simplify our family's life and instill good homework ethic, we sit down at the table everyday after school and do homework together as a family. Now our boys are young and it doesn't take long, but if we can use this simple habit for years to come I think I lives will be a little bit less stressful.

Spin Toothbrushes

Category: Parenting

I have 3 boys and am constantly fighting with them about brushing their teeth. If I don't stand and supervise, I'll walk past to see them playing, or just holding the toothbrush in their mouth until the timer runs out. While I've always thought the spin brushes were just a gimmick, I finally broke down and "Santa" put them in their stockings. It's amazing how much that has simplified my life! Now I walk by and they are brushing away! They think it's so cool! And I can get back to making lunches, laying out clothes, and all the other things a busy mom of 3 has to do in the mornings. Ended up being a simple solution to make life a little more simple!

The Night Before School

Category: Parenting

I always try to make sure my daughter has shower, clothes picked out, and lunch made the night before. We are not morning people so this saves a lot of headaches in the morning. (My husband does the same thing for himself)

One "To-Do" A Day

Category: Parenting

I am a stay at home mom with two little boys, 2 &1/2 and 1. I am also a type A, neat freak and I put ridiculous pressure on myself for a clean, well-organized home. Sometimes in my worry for this, time with my children is replaced with cleaning, organizing and "To Do" lists. I discovered over this holiday season a way to simplify all the things I need to get done. After one list of priorities is made I plan on doing one of the things each day. That way I have plenty of time to invest in my children the way God wants me to and I can put my guilt in not being "super mom", behind me!

Commission Chart

Category: Parenting

We use commission charts for our children instead of "chore charts". My husband and I both work full time jobs, mine with an hour daily commute and have 3 children (12, 6, and 1). The commission charts are hung on the refrigerator, when the kids get home from school (12 & 6) they know to do their homework and complete their tasks in order to get paid their weekly commissions. This includes unloading the dishwasher, setting the table & having it ready for dinner, getting clothes ready for the next day. Every 2 weeks, I do a meal plan to get to the grocery store quickly & efficiently, so I can prepare freezer meals in advance so that it is not hectic of an evening - pop a meal in the oven and supper & chores are done!

Babies with Colic

Category: Parenting

For babies with Colic-
Caraway Seed Tea
Boil 2 oz nursery water
Add 2 tsp. Caraway seed
And 1 tsp. sugar
Let set for a minute and add 2 more ounces of nursery water. Drain off the caraway seed an let baby drink as much as they like. Make sure it's not too hot.