Pausing Before the Holidays

Pausing Before the Holidays

It’s that time of year when…

The holidays are creeping up on us!!

I love these last three months of the year. You can feel the hustle and bustle of October festivities, Thanksgiving traditions, and Christmas bells ringing. The most wonderful time of year is approaching! The days seem to go by so quickly - and another year ending just means our kids are growing up way too fast. So before we get into the business of October, November, and December, I want to press pause. Pause on my to-do list. Pause on rushing to all the holiday parties at school. Pause on that load of laundry (although, let’s be honest. It’s going to be awhile before I get to that anyway.)

Today I’m going to:

Be present in each moment with my children - watch their eyes light up with wonder and excitement.

Put my phone down and look family in the eyes - tomorrow is not promised, and I want to cherish every second.

Pick my phone up - but only to take a picture!

Give thanks - God gave me another day of life. I want to make the most of it.

Love my neighbor - The upcoming holidays may be hard for them. I want to treat them with kindness.

So, I encourage you! Find moments in the next few weeks to pause. On your own, or as a family. Cherish your time together and make sure the days don’t pass so quickly.

Fall Family Fun

Fall Family Fun

I don’t know about you, but I can almost feel Fall in the air! The mornings feel crisp, pumpkin spice lattes are back, and pumpkins are everywhere! I can’t wait to get my family outside and make some cozy memories this season! Looking ahead, there are so many fun events happening!

Here is a family friendly event roundup beginning on the follow dates:

Open Now - Take a drive up to Apple Hill Farms near Placerville. Kid friendly games and events, food, animals, and more!

September 21 - Cool Patch Pumpkins & World Record Corn Maze in Dixon. Always a good time!

September 25 - Suisun Valley Corn Maze. They’ve teamed up with Jelly Belly for the design!

October 5 - Floating Pumpkin Patch at the Walter Graham Aquatic Center in Vacaville. Admission required.

October 10 - Pumpkin Patch Festival at the Western Railway Museum. Ride the express, enjoy tractor rides, food, music, and games. Admission required.

October 19 - Kid Fest in Andrews Park. Admission is free and food available for purchase.

October 20 - Halloween Fun @ Jelly Belly Factory. They have various events going on through October 31st, so be sure to check their site!

Larry’s Produce, Erickson Ranch, and Ellison Family Farms will also be open throughout October.

What did we miss? Be sure to let us know in the comments for all our friends to see!

Bedtime Prayers

Bedtime Prayers

As a little girl, I distinctly remember saying my bedtime prayers. Every night without fail, I said these prayers with my parents or older sisters. It was a simple prayer that sounded like this:

“Lord, we love You.

We thank You for this day.

We thank You for Your goodness and Your grace.

We pray that you would help us to sleep good tonight.

Help us to have no bad dreams, only good ones.

In Jesus name,


They would call it, and I would respond. Even as a child, I remember feeling comforted in the fact that I had a Heavenly Father watching over me as I slept. If I was scared or anxious, we would pray. If I wanted to pray for others, we would call out their names. It was a good practice. Fast forward to present day - I’m thankful I can continue bedtime prayers with my own child. From the day we’ve brought him home, we’ve prayed over him at night. Now at one year old, he has no idea what we’re doing and giggles the entire time! But as he grows older, I hope that he too will be comforted by prayer. I hope he knows that his Father is always listening and loves us so much. Do you say bedtime prayers with your kids? If you don’t, any time is a good time to start! They can be simple, like the prayer above, or as detailed as you want! We hope you can implement this at home with your family. Let us know how it goes!

10 Questions to Get Your Child Talking

10 Questions to Get Your Child Talking

Sometimes asking your child, “How was your day?” doesn’t get us much of a response. As parents, we would love to know all about their day at school, but how can we really find out? We ask more interesting questions that will get their little wheels turning.

We’ve got ten questions (with some silly thrown in) that will get your kids telling you all about their day!

  • What made you happy today?

  • Did anything make you sad?

  • Did you see me fly by in my Superman costume when you were having lunch? I saw you!

  • Can you teach me something you learned in class?

  • When did you feel most proud of yourself today?

  • Did you help someone today?

  • Did elephants come and sit with you in class? What?! They didn't?!

  • What was your favorite part of the day?

  • If you could eat ONE thing at school every day, what would you eat?

  • What was the hardest rule to follow today?

So, turn the tables! You ask all the questions for a change and get to know what makes your child light up. It’s sure to be an interesting conversation!

Back to School: 5 Ideas to Get You Started

Back to School: 5 Ideas to Get You Started

We hate to say it, but summer is winding down! Whether you’re squeezing in those last vacation days or you’re home for the rest of summer, we hope you are enjoying this time with your family and friends. As fall approaches, we know that transitioning back into the school year (or attending for the first time!) can be hard on our little ones. We want to make the build up to their first day as smooth as possible - and why not have a little fun with it?

We’ve created a list of F I V E ideas that you + your child can team up on in getting ready for the new school year:

  1. Have them pick out their backpack + school supplies. Shopping for these items can be so much fun and always make great memories!

  2. Get your nighttime routine down before school starts. Is your child’s 8:00 PM bedtime back in place now that summer is almost over? Start a week before and get their little bodies used to the routine.

  3. Go grocery shopping for snacks they want to take to school. A lunchtime treat is always the best! Let them pick out one snack they can look forward to.

  4. Buy or make a small present for their teacher. Make a card, buy a candle, or a small potted plant. Let your child use their creativity in their gift-giving!

  5. On the first day of school, have fun + take a picture. Woohoo! The first day of school is here! Boost their confidence. Have a good breakfast, have a dance party, and don’t forget to take a picture! These are the good ol’ days that you’ll never want to forget.

We know that this new school year is going to be awesome!

15 Positive Affirmations to Say With Your Child

15 Positive Affirmations to Say With Your Child

We all know that getting up and out the door with kids can be stressful. We rush to get everyone out bed, dressed, fed, and in the car on time. Does it always happen? Nope! Ha! When it does though, ah, what a great morning. Summer is here, and that means our routines can change or relax some. But that doesn’t mean that beginning your day on the right foot has to end! Speaking positive affirmations can work wonders for self esteem, in both our children and ourselves. All it takes is a few minutes! Here are fifteen positive affirmations you can say with your child:

  1. I am smart

  2. I am strong

  3. I will respect my teachers

  4. I am loved

  5. I am a child of God

  6. I am kind

  7. I am honest

  8. I will play well with others

  9. I am brave

  10. I am creative

  11. I love learning

  12. I can do anything

  13. I believe in myself

  14. I work hard

  15. Today is going to be awesome

Do you speak positive affirmations with your child? If not, hopefully this list inspires you to start! You can always personalize and create some that fit you and your family. Let us know how it goes! 

3 Tips To Raising A Happy Confident Girl

3 Tips To Raising A Happy Confident Girl

Ladies, if you’re anything like me, you have the mind of an elephant and can remember everything about being a little girl.

Take a second and think back to a moment in your childhood, any moment, what stands out to you about how you felt? Now take those feelings and compare them to how you would feel now should those emotions or set of circumstances come back to you today, how would you handle it? You can argue that “Well, I’m an adult now, so yes, I, of course, would respond differently than the 5-year-old me would” and there is truth to that, we do learn and grow as time passes. But what if I said, a bit of your inner 5-year-old is still there in every answer, emotion or mood, and that you are a complete product of the primary adult role model you had in your life growing up.

We all have a different story. Some better or harder than others but we all have one thing in common today and that is being the best example we can be for our daughters. That's it. Nothing complicated.

Lucky for you, Mama Bear, this won't require a last-minute trip to Target to gather supplies, you have everything you need right inside of you because some of the best tools are invisible.

1. Know Your Impact

Do you ever say something and instantly think, "Wow, I'm turning into my mom"? That's no coincidence. From the second we were born our subconscious and self-worth were being formed. Our mothers had (and still do) a huge impact on who we are today.

Whether it's in a big situation or something as little as trying on a dress, always remember that two little eyes and ears are watching and listening, storing and learning by example. Let your impact be beautiful and empowering.

2. Praise The Imperfections

We don't live in a perfect world and although media and life, in general, push this culture of striving for perfection, we should always take time to appreciate the flaws.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with setting high goals and reaching them but what happens when you inevitably don't reach a goal or you fall short somehow, how do you handle it? Life is a series of victories and stumbles, there is a beauty in the imperfections and hiccups of life. Instilling this type of mindset or approach into your daughters at a young age can help alleviate anxiety and build a happy and resilient spirit.

3. Social confidence

Teach them that their voice matters. The old saying "Kids are better left unheard" rings true when you're trying to enjoy dinner at a restaurant and the family next door sounds like a circus but what about when your daughter is faced with a challenge or a situation where not only her ability to "speak up" comes up but also the self-worth feelings I talked about above are thrown into the mix, she needs to know her feelings and words matter.

Happiness is learned at the home, with every hug, smile, or joke that is used to offset a negative situation, perspective is everything and you are the example.

3 Simple Truths Every Parent Needs to Hear

3 Simple Truths Every Parent Needs to Hear

Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional and forgiving.

–Dr T.P.Chia

Do you ever lye in bed some mornings staring at the ceiling and think to yourself, “I need to do this all over again?” If you answered, Yes, congratulations! You are now a part of the unofficial Realistic Parenting Club. We all know parenting isn’t easy, it can be thankless, messy, and leave us with a feeling that we aren’t doing enough. With social media, reality TV shows, and so much exposure to what we think looks like perfect parenting, we’re automatically thrown into this mindset that we need to reflect what we see in order to be a good parent but I’m here to bring the good news – THOSE ARE LIES.

Perfect parenting is an unattainable dream that will only leave us drained and feeling less then <— and that goes against what God wants for us. His plans are for us, not against us. You were blessed with this wonderful little human being(s) who I’m sure think the world of you. Below are some things to remind yourself of the next time you feel the negativity creeping in to your day. It won’t happen overnight but with daily prayer and positive thinking, you can bring some peace back into your busy mind.

1. Our failures, weaknesses, and sins are not who we are.

OK, so you sometimes hide in the bathroom for a little quiet time or you lost your temper in the drive-thru window…IT’S OK. You’re not alone and no one is perfect. Remember, even the perfect Youtube mom your kids watch online has her days too.

2. It is the sum of days not just today that shape your kids.

Everybody has an off day now and then but it is the whole sum of a childhood that makes a kid who they are – not one bad day. Dust yourself off!

3. Those visions in your head of everyone else’s house being cleaner than yours

Homes come in all shapes, sizes, and yes, smells. What makes a home is the family living inside. Maybe you don’t dust as much as your friend in church group or you may ask yourself how the dad of three at soccer seems to always be smiling and not frazzled, truth is that everyone parents differently. Comparing yourself to someone else will never get you to the place you want to be. Except your style and your crazy because God made you exactly the way he envisioned you. We can all use improvement in different areas, keep praying and keep striving.

The way you care about your children is the way God cares about you. He doesn’t want you to be stressed out, feeling like a failure, or constantly chasing something that you will never be able to reach (perfection). God wants us to be happy with where we are and with what we have. The beauty is in the journey.

Shoe Tying Hack 101

Shoe Tying Hack 101

Teaching our child how to tie their shoes can be an exciting yet daunting task, this is usually when the lovely convenience of velcro comes into play but it can’t last forever.

Millions of parents and children worldwide tackle this milestone together, whether it’s watching Youtube videos, endless practices sessions in the morning (when we all normally just give in and end up doing it for them). If your child is 4- to 6-years-old and is able to button up their own shirt or draw with a pencil, they may be ready to learn how to tie their shoes.

There are many ways to tie your shoes, and some may be easier than others. Whether you are a trying to teach a child how to tie their shoes, or you're looking for a new technique, all you’ll need is a pair of patient hands and your favorite pair of shoes.

Remember to remain understanding and keep a sense of fun in the air – We were all kids once. Here are a few beginner tips on how to make this a smooth and hopeful process.

  1. Place the shoe on a flat surface: In the beginning its always helpful to start out by placing their shoe on their lap and pointing the toe outwards, to set the stage for a realistic shoe tie experience.

  2. The Tree Method: To make it easier for children, color the bottom of one shoelace brown, the middle part of the lace green, and the top part of the lace brown. This way, when you instruct them to make a loop with the lace, it can look like trying to form a “tree” by always making sure the green part of the lace is at the top of the loop, like the leaves at the top of a tree.

  3. Egg Carton: Yup, you read right, use an egg carton. Lace up the carton like it was a shoe, this is an easy cleaner method if you’re child is practicing on a daily basis around the home.

  4. The Bunny Ears: This hack should be thrown into the Smithsonian for all of the years and successful shoe tying to back it up. This age old trick is simple, straight forward and allows for your child to take simple steps that work perfectly with their small hands to achieve shoe tying success!

    1. Fold each end of the lace into a single "bunny ear." You can hold the "ears" in place between your thumb and pointer finger on each hand.

    2. Cross the bunny ears so that they form an "X" in the air.

    3. Loop the bottom bunny ear over and through the top bunny ear. This will create a second knot.

    4. Pull the bunny ears out to the side away from the shoe. This will create a square knot that will not easily come undone and will hold the shoe in place.

It won’t be easy and we can’t promise your child won’t come home with a million knots on their shoes but it’s one more way to empower and boost your child self esteem and motor skills. Now go out and parent and be AWESOME! :)

4 Ways To Teach Children Impulse Control

4 Ways To Teach Children Impulse Control

Does your child have the self-discipline to control his or her impulses?

How many times have we been at a store and our child goes bonkers over having another sample of the apple juice the sweet old lady is handing out? And instead of explaining to our child why they cannot have another sample, we instead give in to their pint sized demand. I think we can all agree this is the easier way out, who wants to force innocent shoppers to another World War meltdown in isle 3? Not me. Food aside, impulses can show up anywhere and for many reasons. Let’s face it, we have little humans that need us to guide them through and teach them how to move through this crazy thing called life.

Teaching your child techniques on how to control their impulses doesn’t have to be hard, you can implement these simple recommendations on a weekly basis. If we can take the time to adjust our child’s thinking and impulses, we actually save ourselves a lot of time later down the road. Here are some tips on how to improve your child’s impulse control and alleviate future parental stress.

  1. Teach your child about their feelings: Often times, kids who don't understand their emotions are more likely to be impulsive. A child who can't say, "I'm angry" may hit to show she's upset. By teaching your child to recognize and verbalize his/her feelings, allows them to understand and cope with the current situation in a way that both child and parent can come to a solution.

  2. Teach them to repeat directions: How many times have we set our child aside before a task and clearly explained directions and once you let them loose all directions fly out the window? A great way to avoid this is to have your child repeat the directions back to you.

  3. Teach problem solving skills: There isn’t one way to solve a problem in adult life and this isn’t any different for children. Teach your child patience by explaining and walking them through situations that have more than one solution.

  4. Teach anger management skills: Low frustration skills can result in a child scream fest. There are ways to avoid this by having them practice certain strategies: taking a deep breath, thinking rather than yelling, etc.

Parenting isn’t easy or else everyone would do it. It’s definitely a journey but we’ll be with you every step the way.

3 Ways For A Smooth Move

3 Ways For A Smooth Move

Home is where the dinosaur is, or is it?

Have either of you ever experienced a big move, either as a child or adult? The transition can be sometimes big, scary, quick, and downright awful. Good news, it doesn’t always have to be that way and if it is, it won’t last forever.

I’ve made a lot of moves in my life, different cities, states, etc. Some would say the transition would differ from adult to child but I have to say No to that one. Whether you’re 5 or 25, the change can still bring up the same core feelings.

Below are some tips on how to transition and make the change easier for you and your family in a harmonious way that will hopefully allow for everyone to settle in at their own time.

Get Them and Yourself Ready
For toddlers and preschoolers, begin by calmly breaking the news about a month in advance -- that gives enough time to process the information but not so much that your kid has the opportunity to ruminate on the changes ahead. 

Allow Angst
New is never easy. With change comes discomfort and this could surface in many different ways. Allow for the moods, tempers, crying, it won’t last forever.

Walk the Walk
Kids often look to their parents for an example on how to process and except what is happening. As it may be just as hard for you, you are their role model. Pull through with strength and positivity because you are their best example on how to cope with change.

We hope these tips will help you in your next chapter. Life is short, make it easy.

Road trip 101: How To Stay Safe When Traveling With Your Family

Road trip 101: How To Stay Safe When Traveling With Your Family

Who remember's the long car rides to your great aunts house or to some vacation spot that your parent(s) carefully picked out?

Car travel with family can be a great chance to bond and spend a lot of quality time together, and let's face it, with jobs, school, sports, and other commitments, we are often left with a couple hours left in the average day to eat, say Hi, and go to sleep. Which is why it so important to take some time to just "be" with your family. Even if it's a short weekend car trip.

Preparing for a trip isn't easy...packing the suitcases, laundry, trying to keep the peace in the back seat while the kids ignore your every word. Aside from the normal road trip hardships, let's talk safety. I think we can all agree that we get so wrapped up in the destination that we might not always put much thought toward safety precautions just in case the "what if" happens. Whether you're traveling during the summer or the cold winter, preparing for the conditions can save your life and the life of your family. Here are some tips on how to travel safe and enjoy the ride. 

Plan your driving route
Before you take off into the sunset, plan your route, alternate routes, and for any road construction that may be happening. It also helps to make sure that there are places to make pit stops just in case of an emergency or just to stretch your legs.

Sometimes we cannot always depend on our GPS, so be sure to pack a map and send your itinerary/road map to a friend or family member. Having another person looking out for you while you’re on the road with your family is the responsible thing to do. If something were to happen to you, they’d be able to alert the proper authorities.

Make sure your vehicle is in working order
Try taking your car in to have everything checked out. Have your mechanic top off your fluids, check your tires, and head/tail lights. 

For an extra layer of security, pack an emergency kit that includes a spare tire, tire iron, and battery jumpers in the event of a breakdown or accident. You may also want to invest in a portable phone charger. 

*If traveling in a snow storm and your car happens to get stuck in the snow, DO NOT run your heater. Carbon monoxide can trap itself in the car and lead to death. If you DO in fact need to run the heater, make sure that a window is open in the direction the wind is blowing. 

Take breaks along the way
Despite the schedule you may have, the destination is never worth endangering your life and the life of your family. If you feel as though you're getting sleepy, either pull over or bite the bullet and get a room for the night.  

If there are two adults in the car, take turns driving. This will help split the load and offer the other person some well needed rest. 

Pack food and water
This is a given but try packing a little more than usual. There have been cases where motorists have survived solely on the food and water they packed. Non perishable foods are best. If you notice your supplies are getting low, replenish them along the way. The road is a long one and it's important to prepare for the worst. 


4 Lunch Hacks

4 Lunch Hacks

Mornings can be hectic enough with the chaos of getting your children ready for school, all while finding time to take a few manic sips of your much needed coffee. 

The new school year is coming up fast and along with the other million responsibilities parents have to ensure that their child transitions smoothly into their new class,  we have found some timesaving and creative hacks to help make lunch prepping not only easier but will help reduce waste.

Hack 1
Make it visual – this is food presentation 101. Sometimes it's easier to dump a PB&J into a plastic bag and call it a day. But even though kids are kids, they are also humans, so the psychology behind visual representation works on them too. 

Try purchasing containers that allow for multiple things to be stored inside. This will visually represent a "full meal" to your child which will more than likely result in them eating a bit of everything. The pro is that it will save you money in plastic ziplocks/waste and it's also an opportunity to include your child to choose containers that appeal to them and their personality. 

Hack 2
Create a snack station, one in the fridge and one in the pantry. This allows your child to learn the art of decision making, how to maintain a balance in diet, and allows them to feel more more involved. 

Hack 3
Is your child going on a field trip that requires packing a lunch? Freeze their juice boxes and place it in their lunch box. By the time lunch rolls around, their food will have remained at a healthy temperature and the juice box will have thawed out by this time. 

Hack 4
Are you a parent on the go and have no time or extra cash for fancy containers, make a weeks worth of PB&J and freeze them. 

And there you have it folks! Some fun and easy ways to make lunches a tad bit easier. 

5 Ways to Declutter Your Home

5 Ways to Declutter Your Home

Any parent knows that kids create clutter like nobody’s business.

Believe it or not, it is possible to have a simple, uncluttered home as well as peace of mind. If you're anything like me, clutter drives me bonkers, I feel like I can't concentrate, and it sometimes puts me in an unwelcome mood. Through out the years, I have found that the best way to remain zen is to maintain order and simplicity in my home. You must be thinking, "Zen and simplicity with kids running around? Yeah, right!" and trust me, I had the same reaction. 

I am going to share some awesome tips that will help you on the journey of finding your way into removing clutter and keeping it that way. Remember, don't be hard on yourself if it isn't perfect the first try, each home is it's own beautiful messy world – but it's doable! Take it hour by hour and day by day. 

Tip 1. What's important?
Are your child's close from 3 years ago still in the closet? It may be time to either donate them or box them up and put them somewhere that is easily accessible, just in case the time comes that you need them. The same goes for any other area of the home, dig through those cupboards and drawers and make decisions. If you can't decide within 5 sec, you don't need it.

Tip 2. Leave Space
Don't be afraid to leave space in drawers or anywhere around your home – not every square inch needs something. It helps reduce clutter and alleviates stress (and it looks nice)!

Tip 3. Designated Spaces/Cubbies
As hard as this may sound, keep all of the kids toys in their room. Leave the kitchen, dining room, and living room for living items only. You can also try having a play mat somewhere in your communal space for the kiddos to play.  

Each child should have their own cubby for their own toys. This helps keep everything contained and in one place. It also helps reduce the chance of a war over who the toy belongs to. 

Tip 4. One place for school papers
You can either have separate racks/folders or set up a filing system where all of their school papers can be found. It'll make it easier in the long run for both child and parent to locate their work without hassle. 

Tip 5. Teach them to clean
Cleaning is one of the first ways to teach your child about responsibility. Make it fun by singing a song or competing to see who can clean their toys up first. You'll be surprised by how fast their toys will be back in order.


3 Fun Ways To Prepare Your Child for Swim Lessons

3 Fun Ways To Prepare Your Child for Swim Lessons

Some say we're all born with our own set of interests and comfort zones and I tend to believe that. However, there are some skills that can be fundamental to survival, emergency situations, or just leisure – SWIMMING. 

Unless you're a fish trapped in a humans body or just naturally in tune with anything aquatic, water (especially as a young child) can be intimidating and even scary. 

When I was younger, I was never taught how to swim and was actually told to stay on the shallow end. I am now almost 30 and am barely letting go of my water phobia and just going for it! Luckily, I now know that by taking proper steps to ensure safety and encourage fun, swimming can be a liberating activity. I've always believed water is something to be respected and enjoyed. 

Planning on scheduling that first swim lesson for your kiddo? Below are some tips on how to get your child to warm up to the water and decrease the first day jitters.

Breath Control
This is the first step in teaching your child to swim independently. Accidentally swallowing water can be a frightening setback, so make sure you encourage him to submerge his face and blow bubbles to increase his comfort level in the water.

Front Float
Securely hold your child under his arms, facing you. Start walking backward through the water. As you pick up a little speed, the water will gently push him into a front float position. 

Life Jackets
There is nothing more secure and relieving to know that even though you may make a wrong move, you'll still float :) I would suggest using life vests or any other floating devices will getting you child to warm up to the water. 

5 Steps to Keep Summertime Stress Free and Fun

5 Steps to Keep Summertime Stress Free and Fun

The sun is shining and summertime is rolling around any day now.

I often think that kids enjoy it a little more than parents do. What's not to enjoy? No school, great weather, and sleeping in every single morning. For us parents, it means scheduling child care, meal plans, etc. Although, we're all happy to welcome the much needed change, around the third week both child and parent often times fall into a rut. The allure of summertime fun is now replaced with boredom and little stimulation for the child, all while we as parents struggle to keep the stress levels down. 

It’s time to regroup and figure out a way to reconcile your child’s expectations with your own in a way that makes life a little easier for everyone. Not only can your kids have an amazing summer, so can you. Below are five tips on how to get the most out of your summer.

1. Don't ditch the morning routine
Sure, let the kiddos sleep in the first couple of mornings but after that it's back to the routine. Try establishing early morning chores before breakfast and for the working moms and dads, this is a great time to stay connected with your kids first thing in the morning. 

2. Educational camps/classes
Instead of dropping the kids off with a sitter or simply just staying home, try keeping your child mentally stimulated with educational camps or something similar. This is a great and safe way to keep them inspired even when you aren't there.

3. Let them play
This is probably the easiest and yet hardest thing to do. Why? Because it usually includes getting dirty, creating a mess, or something else that requires immediate attention as a parent :) We're all human, I get it. Challenge yourself and let them play in the dirty or water. It beats sitting in front of a TV all day. This will tire them out and help them feel satisfied at the end of the day.

4. Keep a bedtime
Who else has struggled getting your kiddos back on track when it comes time to go back to school? It's never easy turning off the summertime buzz but keeping a steady bedtime throughout the summer will soften the transition for both child and parent. 

5. Plan a family activity
Activities don't necessarily have to cost a ton of money. It could be something as simple as loading up the bikes and hitting a trail and having lunch afterwards. The power of bonding is something special and very much needed. Not everything requires a ton of money. The great stuff in life is free. 


4 Things To Keep In Mind If You’re A New Parent With A Disability

4 Things To Keep In Mind If You’re A New Parent With A Disability

Approximately 53 million U.S. adults have some type of disability — 4.1 million of whom are parents. If you are one of the 53 million and you’re on the brink of bringing home a child of your own for the first time, there are some preparations to consider so that this exciting new phase of your life is safe for both you and baby.

1. Prepare A Safe And Clean Home
Regardless of disability, the requirements for childproofing your home are the same:

● Secure large bookcases, television stands, and any other tip-worthy furniture to the wall.
● Install childproof locks on drawers with sharp objects, firearms, chemicals, and medication.
● Make sure all handrails are secure.
● Cover sharp corners of furniture with protective guards.
● Place a gate across stairways to prevent an accidental tumble.
● Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
● Get a fire extinguisher for every level of your home.
● Ensure the safety of the crib — whether it’s a hand-me-down or newly assembled; remove copious pillows, blankets, and toys to prevent suffocation.
● Remove clutter. Consider hiring a cleaning service to give your home a thorough clean to ensure you’re bringing your baby into a germ-free environment.

2. Consider Purchasing Some Adaptive Parenting Products Once you’ve got the basics organized, consider adding some adaptive products to make it easier for you to take care of your baby with your disability. Some examples of items include:

● A stroller attachment for your wheelchair
● Side opening crib
● Two-sided nursing pillow
● Swivel base baby car seat
● Bibs with velcro closures
● A walking harness (when it comes time to aid your baby with first steps)
● Bath and changing stations that are at a height conducive to someone in a wheelchair

3. Make Sure You’re Taking Care Of Yourself
Raising a child certainly comes with its share of stress, but if you aren’t managing it efficiently, it can create an inflammatory response in the body that can prompt a difficult pregnancy and overall health complications. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by eating well (incorporate stress-busting foods like whole-grain carbohydrates, avocados, and fatty fish), exercise as regularly, and meditate or practice yoga. Consider talking to a counselor if you are having difficulties managing your emotions or your new schedule.

Research shows you don’t have to spend a substantial amount of time to recharge your batteries. Some simple self-care strategies include:

● Turning on uplifting music
● Scheduling one uninterrupted hour with your spouse, friend, or family member
● Spend 20 minutes writing positive comments on social media
● Journal for 15 minutes
● Write down things that are causing you stress with an action item for each
● Post a goal or intention for the week on the refrigerator
● Choose one activity each day that you can truly savor and enjoy
● Download a gratitude app
● Take time for a catnap

4. Have A List Of Available Support Resources On-Hand
Raising children is challenging regardless of your health situation, but as a parent with a disability, make sure you’re getting the proper support you need. It can be difficult to acknowledge you need help, so that’s why it’s important to know your limitations and create a network of family, friends, social and disability services, and support groups to assist you on a physical and emotional level. There are several resources available online that can help you find support in your area.

Parenting is an exhilarating journey. Just as you’ve managed to master your disability, you will also be able to master the role of being a fantastic parent. Planning is key, so as soon as you find out you’re going to be a parent, start implementing the necessary changes to prepare your home —  as well as your mind.

3 Parental Life Hacks

3 Parental Life Hacks

90% of parenting is thinking about when you can lie down again.

As a parent, it's easy to get down on yourself. The laundry is full, dinner isn't made, the "kids look tired and it's all my fault!" Whenever you think you're the only one looking to pull your hair out, you're not. 

I remember as a kid, my mom who was a single parent lived on structure, without it, she would have gone mad. Not to say she didn't stumble every now and again, we're only human. Even before "life hacks" was a thing, she was doing little things to make her life a little easier, for example: weekly meal calendars and prepping outfits the night before. We all have our own little tricks but I think we can all agree we could always use a little more :)

Below are some hacks that are sure to make you think "why didn't I think of that!" Enjoy my fellow parents! And remember, Jesus blessed you with these little babies, just breathe and pray. Sooner rather than later, you will wish they were little again. 

Screen time
Who's experienced your kiddo lose it when you attempt to take the device away or turn the tv off early? Limit TV/Device time by starting shows in the middle. Most kids aren't really concerned about the story line. 

Potty Training
This can be one of the most challenging experiences out there. Even as an adult toilet paper rolls can be challenging (sadly) i.e. the roll rolls a little too much, finding the tear on a new roll, etc. Imagine being a kid and taking that challenge on?! Make it easy by placing a tissue box next to their shrine, this will make it easier for them to grab portioned perfectly pieces of tissue.

How many of us sprint past the toy isle at our local store, raise your hand (hand raised). To avoid tears and heartache, have your kiddo snap a photo of each of the their dream toys and "send them to Santa." This way you have a phone full of Christmas gift ideas and the kids are left feeling hopeful and happy.




3 Kid Friendly Activities To Celebrate St. Patty's Day

3 Kid Friendly Activities To Celebrate St. Patty's Day

Are you looking for a St Patty's Day project guaranteed to keep your kiddos busy for a while? Look no further, we have some great activities that are guaranteed to keep you and the little ones entertained. 

When I was a kid I remember loving St. Patricks Day and the inevitable friendly "pinch" from a classmate (even if you were wearing green, lol)! As we get older, we tend to think St. Patricks Day isn't necessarily a holiday circled around children, but I beg to differ. It's a great opportunity for quality time and to teach our children that the green holiday doesn't necessarily have to be an unhealthy way to spend a fun day. Unfortunately our culture tends to push a different lifestyle on us as we get older.

What may be surprising, kids can find the fun in almost anything, depending on your level of involvement and enthusiasm. Be your child's supporter and fun giver! Since we're lucky enough to have St. Patricks Day fall on a Saturday this year, this gives you more time to stew over how you're going to make this not an ordinary day. Be adventurous. Maybe a party with a few families could be an idea, this would allow the adults to hang out and the kids to play. The perfect recipe for a fun day. 

Scrap Rainbow
Who remembers loving the game "Color By Numbers"? We have a cheap and easy way to make a colorful rainbow that would make great memorable wall art. 

Cut out multiple colors of cardboard paper. Draw a rough rainbow on an 8.5x11 or 11x17 of white paper. Create a row of linear squares in each color arch. Number each square. Last step, would be to place the correct numbers on the back of each square. Break out the Elmers Glue and have fun!

Leprechaun Gold
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is one reason to get up and get moving. Leprechauns Gold is a great way to get the kids involved and active. 

First step would be to take everyone on a hunt for rocks. Once all of the rocks are collected, bring them back to your yard or garage (be sure to put large pieces of cardboard down). Align all of the rocks in a line and have the kids spray them with gold spray paint. Once this is done, go ahead and have lunch and let them dry. 

Last step is for you parents, take all of the rocks and hide them around your yard, park, etc. Once they are all hidden, watch and enjoy the look of success twinkling in your child's eyes :) 

Shamrock Pops
This is a tasty twist to St. Patty's and they're sure to make the kids yell "Thank you!" Shamrock pops are a quick and easy way to make an ordinary afternoon a little bit more special. 

Purchase a pack of toothpicks, a bag of plain editable marshmallows, and green sprinkles. Quickly submerge the marshmallows into water, roll them into the sprinkles, and enjoy! Simple and Sweet.


Pass The Vitamin D

Pass The Vitamin D

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day...

The benefits of rain are fantastic for the environment around us. Especially living in states that tend to be a lot dryer than most. With the recent drought in California, our lakes, rivers, etc were slowly fading, cost of water was rising, and even in some areas, a water limit was in place. 

We're not quite out of the weeds of winter yet, and  we still have those gloomy and rainy days on the horizon but let's talk sunshine and it's unbelievable benefits is has for our health, mind, and spirit.

Do you ever subconsciously feel happier, stronger, or more energetic when it's sunny out? That's the suns number one job. Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing that can have negative effects on our mind and body that can sometimes be quite easy to ignore.

Back in 2013, I made my first big move to the snowy state of Nebraska, smack dab in the middle of winter. The excitement of snow was enough for me to set aside any differences I may have felt psychically or mentally. However, a month in, I began to notice some difference in my mood and energy levels. I chalked it up to the big move and relocating out of state, but then I started to notice that the symptoms were getting worse, not better. I was shocked when my doctor revealed that I was severely Vitamin D deficient. She quickly put me on a high dose of Vitamin D...and IT WORKED. My mood got better, muscle aches disappeared, and my energy levels were once again balanced. During this entire ordeal, it never occurred to me how important Vitamin D is when it comes to our overall health. 

The two ways you are able to get the right amount of Vitamin D on a daily basis is by exposing your skin to sunlight (while wearing sunscreen) or taking daily supplements. Contrary to what some may believe, you aren't able to get the right amount of Vitamin D through food.

Who wants to feel lousy? Not me. Below are some ways to catch Vitamin D deficiency and stop it in it's track. Along with some Vitamin D food options!


Getting sick or infected often
Fatigue and tiredness
Bone and back pain (body aches)
Depression/changes in mood
Muscle pain

Foods high in Vitamin D

Egg yolks
Canned tuna
Fortified foods – Milk, soy milk, and certain cereals