Kidecals – My Review of their labels!

Let me start off by saying that I was given a free sheet of Kidecals labels to try in return for my review. All opinions are completely my own and I am not being compensated in any other way.Kidecals

Having four kids you can imagine that keeping each of their items straight (because heaven forbid they have to share their favorite cup) can be difficult. Add in that they all are going to school, then the reality sets in that we loose their things, often. I’ve always tried to stick to assigning a color to each kid but what happens with the four pack of tooth brushes comes with 1 blue, 1 green, and 2 pinks…well the youngest ends up with a pink but more importantly he spends every morning and evening fighting with this sister about which tooth brush is his. So when I was approached to try the Kidecals labels I was more than eager for all of these reasons!

I decided to have a sheet of labels made with my youngest son’s name. He just started preschool so he has to take an extra set of clothes, sippy cup, shoes, lunch and backpack every day. Since we were supposed to label all of those items I quickly found many items to use the labels on. Like his tooth brush…that matches his sisters.

Sippy cup

I used the labels on every single thing of his for school. I must say I am very happy with the labels!! His sippy cup has been through at least three dishwashing cycles and the Kidecals label is still holding on strong. Last week he had a potty accident at school so they put him in his extra set of clothes. I washed those clothes at the end of the day completely forgetting I had Kidecals labels on them. They went through the washer and the dryer and came out completely attached to the clothing and looking just as new as the day I put them on the clothes. (Side note: He can’t read yet but he recognizes his label which is helping him identify his name!)

Shoes   Lunch box    Ready for school

Their website was easy to navigate. I was able to choose the label I wanted, customize it, and put in my order all in less than 10 minutes (would have been quicker if I wouldn’t have had such a hard time deciding which design to choose)! Actually I am so pleased with these labels I am going to put in an order for each of my kids a sheet of their own labels!! The OCD side of me is in heaven! ;-)

Kidecals has so many great labels to choose from. You can check out their Instagram  and Twitter OR search the hashtags #kidecals and #labelitdontloseit to see lots of different ways to use their lables. They offer free shipping! My order was processed and shipped very quickly! I highly suggest checking them out if you haven’t already!
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Stolen Identity

No this isn’t a post about how some hacker on the internet stole my identity. Instead it is about how my children stole it….or maybe I just gave it to them. See for 10 years, since I was pregnant with my oldest son, I have been a stay at home mom. My days, hours, minutes are spent centered around my children. Most of the friends I’ve made these last 10 years have been through my children. 

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Before I had kids I would have described myself as an outgoing person, an extrovert if you will. In school I always had a few close friends and LOTS of friends outside of my immediate circle. I loved the spotlight. I wanted to be a singer and an actress. Dating a senior boy on our football team that also stared in our highschool musical was a BIG deal for me (he became my husband a few years later)! Now I would describe myself as somewhat shy, more of an introvert. I tend to shy away from large groups of people, close myself off a bit from the world to focus all my energy on my children. Standing in front of a crowd, while not the worst thing in the world, is just not my idea of a fun time anymore. However, when my kids are with me I have a voice! I’ll speak to new people. Push myself to meet the other parents at sports and school.

When I first became a mom I was still ‘Lori’, doing things I loved like scrap booking while the baby napped. But slowly over the years things started to shift. I started to hide behind my kids. They became my identity. Everything I did, I did for them. I found different outlets that slowly pushed me back into being myself, like volunteering for a moms group for 7 years. Which had me putting on conferences and workshops. Or getting a job as a bookkeeper/personal assistant (with my kids in tow). HOWEVER the day to day reality was that I had given my heart AND identity to my kids.

All of this brings me to today, the day I have NO CHILDREN at home with me. My three older kids are in elementary school and my youngest started a Mother’s Day Out gymnastics school twice a week. For the first time in 10 years I am ALONE! I can spend my day doing whatever my heart desires. I should be jumping for joy and running into the hills singing, but instead I sit awkwardly not knowing what to do with myself. 

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Here I sit, trying to push myself to take back some of my own identity. To find what in life makes me happy. Today I get to be LORI, but it will take me a while to learn who I am outside of being ‘MOM’.

MeCan any other parents relate to this? How did you go about getting your own identity back?

 
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New Business Adventure

Jamberry Independent Consultant

Well it has been a long summer with very little posts from me, sorry. It’s just been one of those summers where my children require 100% of my attention and to be honest I welcomed that because before you know it they’ll be grown and gone. Anyhow over the last couple weeks I’ve taken on a new business adventure. I decided to become a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant. 

Now some of you may remember back around this time last year when I reviewed Jamberry Nails and hosted a giveaway. Well this year I decided to take things one step further by sharing my LOVE of Jamberry nails so I bought the consultant kit and started this new adventure!

Jamberry Nails

I couldn’t be happier with my decision!! I get compliments all the time on my nails when I am out and about but not many people have heard of Jamberry. I love to share Jamberry with them so this is the perfect business venture for me. I’d love to share Jamberry with you so I invite you to check out my website and my Facebook page. I also love posting pictures of my nails on instagram so if you aren’t already following me there, I’d love to have you!

Now this doesn’t change anything about my blog. I have three out of four of my children starting full day school this year plus my youngest in a two day a week gymnastics school. So I plan to hit the ground running with my blog and new Jamberry business starting the first week of September. 

Question for you
My question to my readers is what do you like to see from me? Do you like recipes? Travel tips? Organizational ideas? Tips and tricks? What is it that you like to read? Please comment below so I can try to include your favorite in my upcoming posts! 

Thanks for sharing, supporting, reading and commenting! I couldn’t do with out all of you!


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Lost Child Prevention & Plan

Lost Child Prevention PlanAs I prepared for our trip to Disney World I was telling some friends about the measures I put in place in the instance one of my children should get separated from us. One friend said “Have you lost one of your children somewhere before?”… No, no I haven’t but I like to prepare for anything. They were impressed with the plan I have in place with my kids.

If you’re like me you start to panic a little the moment you look around and can’t count enough little heads to add up to number of children you brought. It only takes a second for a child to get lost, but it feels like an eternity before you locate them, whether for a minute or an hour. Keeping my kids by my side is ideal, however at a busy zoo or amusement park that doesn’t always happen. My kids know exactly what to do if they can’t find us.

Here is our family plan of action:

  • Take a picture of them in the morning with your cell phone. This gives you a quick reference for an accurate description of their clothing. It also gives park workers an updated photo to share and use to locate your child.
  • Try to dress your children and/or entire family in a similar color. I like to put them in bright colors and have them all matching so I can easily spot them. 
  • Give your children a plan of action as soon as you enter the park. Every single time we enter an amusement park, museum, zoo, etc we point out several workers. We then remind them that if they get separated from us to find a worker right away. If they can’t find a worker they should find a mom with kids to ask for help finding a worker. (Some parents have a meeting spot or show their children the ‘lost parents’ area but we choose not to because our kids are young enough I don’t want them wondering the park trying to find this spot.)
Park Safety Tips

Here I dressed three of us in bright green and the other two in bright blue.

What my kids know!

  • Never ever leave the park without us, not even with a worker. This is important because I had a friend’s child go to their car to wait for them when she got separated from her parents. They looked for her for 3 hours before parking security spotted her and notified the park workers!
  • Know their parents phone number and names! My older children have our phone numbers memorized and all of our children know our names. If they are too young to memorize this then have temporary tattoos with your number made to wear! (Search Etsy to find lots of options.)
  • Don’t try searching for us alone. Kids will often try to find their parents on their own which will just make things worse. Our children know they should not try to find us or wonder around the park. Staying in one area will help us find them quicker.
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    My children each wore one of these every day at Disney World. It has my cell phone number that I carry in the parks with us.

    I know how stressful it can be at a busy place with little ones so hopefully you can use some of these tips on your next adventure!

Have a great summer!!
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6 Tips for making the most out of a Disney World Trip!

Disney World TipsThere are so many useful tips and tricks I read before we took our first Disney World vacation. I could go on and on about each one and how helpful they were to us but instead I thought I would just share my top 5 tips to making the most out of a Disney World trip!

6 Tips to Making the Most out of a Disney World Trip:

  1. Rider Swap Tip/Info: If your using rider swap you only need a FastPass+ for the first parent (and older children) to ride the ride the first time. Both parents and all children walk up to the first Cast Member at the ride entrance, tell them you need a parent swap they’ll give the second parent (waiting with younger children) a FP card while the first parent scans their magic band or park pass with their FP. Then when the first parent gets off the ride the second parent (and up to two kids) go in the FP line with just the parent swap FP, not scanning anything. The second FP C.M. will take the card from you inside the ride. So no you don’t need a FP for both parents if your using rider swap because one parent will not scan their magic band/park pass. My recommendation at Epcot is get you a FP for Soarin’ and hubby a FP for Test Track. Then you can both ride both rides with either the regular FP or the rider swap FP. So I suggest splitting up the adult FP for rides the kids aren’t tall enough for so you can ride more of the “tier 1″ rides at Epcot and HS. Does that make sense?!
  2. Character Meals are a must if your kids will want autographs and pictures. With so many characters you could plan a week long trip to WDW just to meet characters! My children had little patience to stand in line to meet a character and would much rather spend their time waiting for a ride. Most character dining meals are buffet or family style giving you plenty of time to eat between meeting characters and dancing around with them.

    Lunch at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom with Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy!

    Lunch at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom with Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy!

  3. Crowd Calendars: Many Disney themed blogs have a crowd calendar. These calendars predict the times of the year the park will be the busiest and least busy based upon previous years attendance and special events Disney has planned for that time. They also have crowd calendars for specific days at each park. So if you know you are going the first week of June you can look at a crowd calendar to decide which park will be the least busy for each day of the week. Then make your dining reservations and fastpasses based upon which park is the least busy. (Just google “Disney World crowd calendars” to find them.)
  4. Rope Drop & Naps! Okay this is two tips but I feel it falls into the same category. By attending rope drop or park opening each day you will find the park to be pretty empty for the first hour or two (depending on the time of year you go). Along with rope drop/park opening you should either head to A) the most popular big rides first OR B) the back of the park. Most people start at the front of the park so make your way to the back quickly and you’ll find no ride wait times! Then plan for Naps!! If you leave the park around 2pm for naps, returning around 5pm, you’ll find many people to be leaving the park for their dinner reservations or to get out of the heat/off their feet. Your family will be well rested and ready to enjoy the night time celebrations! 

    Rope drop at the Magic Kingdom with a welcome show!

    Rope drop at the Magic Kingdom with a welcome show!Naps in our Cars suite at Art of Animation!Naps in our Cars suite at Art of Animation!

  5. Have a plan but be ready to go with the flow! We had dining reservations, fastpasses, and a plan A & B for each day of our trip. For the most part things went as planned. However there were things completely out of our control that happened…for instance; we had two rides we had fastpasses to break down on the same day during our ride times, a car accident at our resort meant longer bus ride times putting us in a rush to get to dining reservations, and my kids spent almost every minute of every day wanting to go back to the resort to swim all day. We quickly learned to move our plans aside and go with the flow when things like this happened. Leaving one park after only half the day to let the kids spend the whole evening and night swimming. 

    Night swim at the Nemo Pool!

    Night swim at the Nemo Pool!

  6. Lastly bring Blister Block, Mole Skin and Pair of Scissors! Blister block and moleskin are your best friend at Disney World!! Buy them and use them daily! Coat everyone’s feet in blister block before socks every morning and again after naps/before going back to the park. Mole skin can be cut (that’s why you need scissors) to cover areas of your feet that are sensitive or prone to getting blisters. I put a strip on the pad of my feet near my toes.

Like I said there are many more helpful tips I got and read but these were the most useful to getting the most out of our stay at Disney World. We had an amazing week at Disney and can’t wait to go back. For more info on my trip read The 10 Things I learned on my Disney World Trip! Also we drove 16+ hours to and from Disney World so read some of the ways I make traveling easier for my family with my top traveling tips here, packing efficiently here, saving money on food here, and money saving ideas here!


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10 Things I learned on my first trip to Disney World!

10 Things I learned at Disney

As we headed home I was reflecting on our week in Disney World. I thought I’d share some of what I learned on our very first trip to Disney World!

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1) For every rude guest there are two or three nice ones. Standing in endless lines always goes quicker when you have friendly people to talk to. We met people from New Jersey to Arkansas to California and everywhere in between. All nice, helpful, good people. Thank you awesome people! Also plan to spread the ‘magic’…we helped people this week numerous times in many ways (i.e. folding pesky strollers is no match for this mom of four…you’ve got a stroller I can figure out how to fold it in under one minute! Need 50 napkins to clean up a spill…I’ve got those in my purse.)
2) The dining plan was well worth it for our family of 6! (We had the 1 snack, 1 quick service and 1 sit down meal per person per night at our resort.) I kept track all week of what we would have paid at meals and compared it to the amount we paid for the dining plan, we saved almost $500!! Yes we would have eaten that much food without the dining plan. No food was wasted with my growing bunch. Yes we used every last dining credit up until we left this evening.

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Dining in ‘China’ at Epcot! We had reservations for a sit down meal every day!

3) All those tips/tricks you read on blogs (or from friends on FB) are worth your time to read before you go because they’ll save you precious time at the parks. We never stood in an attraction line more than 20 minutes, we knew several short cuts around the parks, and we didn’t zig zag through the park wasting our energy because I had a plan thanks to all those tips.
4) Being at rope drop/park opening every day then leaving for naps and pool time around 2pm then back to the park around 5-6pm was the best advice I received! Kids lasted until 10pm each night with very minimal meltdowns. And only two of our children fell asleep on a bus ride to our resort.

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Here they are on the last day waiting for rope drop. The park was very calm and quiet on this morning!

5) Rider swap fastpass for parents is great! However it doesn’t dry the tears of your 2 year old who is sure he is 6ft tall and can ride anything he wants.

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Yep you guessed it…the 2 year old is mad because the older kids just got to ride space mountain while he had to wait for them outside!

6) Despite some negative feedback the new Fastpass system is awesome and I highly suggest using it. We rode most of our rides all week long with fastpasses…little waiting for antsy kids is perfect!!

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We fastpassed this Buzz Lightyear ride 2 times over the three days we visited the Magic Kingdom!

7) You can never have too many bottles of water. Yes you can get a cup of water for free at quick service restaurants but dragging a family of six to get cups of water just doesn’t happen. Bring lots of water!
8) If you live more than a days drive away and can afford to fly, do it! You’ll feel like you ran two full marathons after a week at WDW and won’t want to drive 17 hours home! (I recently read that the average person walks 10 miles a day in Disney World parks….we were there for 6 days, that’s 60 miles in a week!)

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This is day 5 of visiting the parks (day 7 of our trip). Someone of us are getting grumpy and tired.

9) Most people have no idea that many bike trailers double as a stroller. You will be the only one with one at WDW. People will think you invented a new stroller. More people should consider using theirs at WDW so their kids and ride comfortably with lots of cargo room!

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Funny thing is Hubby forgot to check the stroller before we left so we left the front wheel at home and the tires were flat. The resort aired up the tires and the stroller worked just find without a front tire!

10) My older two boys (ages 8 & 7) are capable of walking many many many miles a day with no complaints. I will be using this fact in my favor this summer!! They got many pats on their back for not complaining about the long walks, running to catch our bus so we didn’t miss it, and keeping up with my very fast walking pace.

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The last day…the older two boys have walked around 50 miles so far!

 I share my top 6 tips for making the most out of your Disney World Trip here! Also other related posts I’ve done are Traveling Tips, Saving Money on Food while traveling, and Packing efficiently here!

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Sharing My Secrets

I read something today on The Moments We Stand that shot straight to my core, “The darkness of the world has left many of us stuck. We have buried its secrets within us, and we are afraid to let them free.” For three years I carried deep dark secrets. Secrets that ate at me every day. Secrets that made me question every single part of my being. Then one day like a miracle my mom asked me one question that made all of those feelings and secrets rush out of me like a volcano. She asked “Lori, has your dad touched you inappropriately?”.

I remember that day like it was yesterday only it was 15 years ago. We were driving alone in the car. As soon as those words left her mouth I felt the volcano build from my core and head straight up to my mouth. I no longer had to carry those terrible secrets. I started to hesitate in my answer with tears welling up in my eyes, so at the red light she turned to me and said “You can tell me anything. Your not in trouble!”. I couldn’t hold back any more. I told her everything I could remember of the past 3 years of pain that man had put me through. When I was done I asked her how she knew. She said she had overheard me the night before yell “NO! GET OUT OF MY ROOM! LEAVE ME ALONE!” as soon as he returned to his room (they were separated and sleeping in two different rooms until he found a place live) she asked him why I was yelling and he told her some of what he had been doing.

Just like that all those secrets and the burden I was caring were gone. My mom didn’t stop at our planned destinations that day, instead she drove straight to the county court house to file claims against him for what he was doing to me. She also filed for a divorce.

My mom never once questioned the things I said. She held my hand each time I had to recount what happened to the police, district attorneys, and child welfare people. She walked the long journey ahead by my side.

He never told me to keep it a secret. Somehow there was this unsaid threat that I felt. I truly lived each day waiting for someone to approach me, to ask me what he was doing to me. I prayed each day that the moment would come that I could share my secrets. I wore a happy mask over all of the uneasy, scared, helpless feelings I had. I never knew when he would try to attack me but I thought he would leave my younger siblings alone if I didn’t say anything to my mom. I thought I would “cause” my parents to divorce and split up our family if I said something. I was alone with my secret and feelings.

That sunny morning 15 years ago I finally shared all of the secrets that had been eating at me for three whole years. The secret that my biological father had been molesting me. (This abuse happened from when I was 10 to 13.)

This wasn’t the only time I would be granted a miracle in sharing a big secret. About a year after my parents divorced my mom began dating a man. He seemed friendly, charismatic, and was nice to us kids. We would soon realize that he was just a wolf in sheep’s clothing looking for his next prey. He raped me countless times over 4 months (later I found out he raped my mom and countless other girls and their moms in our area, along with many other crimes including theft).

I had became very ill and my mom was tired of me staying home sick numerous days each week. She finally had enough so she loaded me up to take me to the ER, he insisted on coming with us. As normal procedure they needed a urine sample. When the nurse led me to the restroom to get a sample she came into the restroom behind me and said “Sweety is there any chance you could be pregnant?”. I froze, could this lady know my secret just from looking at me? I stared into the mirror at myself only all I saw was a ghost staring back and small voice in my head screaming “this is your chance Lori, take it!”. I took a deep breath and replied “Yes”. Not because I thought I was pregnant but because somehow I knew this was a way for me to share my secret and hopefully stop the abuse.

We left that night with no answers as to why I was so sick. The next day my mom got a call at work from the hospital. They told her that when they ran my urine sample they noticed my white blood count was really high, they believed I was sexually active and possibly pregnant. However the urine test was inconclusive so I needed to have a blood test done. My mom hung up, immediately called me at home and said “The hospital just told me your sexually active…did he do something to you?”. And just like that I was taken back to that moment, volcano building, tears flowing. I cried and told her yes he had been hurting me. She asked if he was there at the house with me, when I explained that he had left for the day she told me to pack us all an overnight bag and she was coming to get my and my siblings right then. She drove us all to my grandma’s house where we met the police so I could tell them everything that had happened.

I was 14 and under normal hospital procedure they wouldn’t have told my mom that they thought I was pregnant but I truly believe I had an angel that day. That nurse was my angel. She didn’t know the secrets I carried but she was sent there that day to ask me that question and to violate procedure by calling my mom. That nurse will never know the extend of what she did for me that day. She will never know that she saved me from more torture. She will never know she gave me back my life in that one question and phone call. She will never know that she gave me the release to share my dark secrets. The secrets that I was raped.

Over the years I’ve gone through times when I’ve felt comfortable and safe to share my life’s secrets with others. I know that in sharing my story it is healing for me, plus it may help others. But there have been times when I can’t talk about any of it, the pain is just too much, and I hate that I have to live each day knowing those things happened to me. What always brings me through is knowing I am a survivor. I am free; free to live, free of abuse, free to be me, free to be happy.

If you are carrying secrets, I hope that you find a way to share them with someone. To lean on someone you trust to share those feelings you have about those secrets. You don’t have to carry any secrets alone! You can be freed of the secrets.

 

 

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I am trying to spread awareness and get people talking about this topic. We can all make a difference by educating ourselves! Find more information and helpful links my post HERE from last week! 
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Childhood Sexual Abuse Awareness Month & Somethings Parents Need to Know!

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As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I wanted to shed some light on a topic that I think we as parents tend to shy away from, CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE. I am going to try to have several posts this month on my blog talking about sexual abuse. I will try to share some of my story to hopefully shed some light on things for parents, as well as anyone who have/are being sexually abused. This is not an easy topic for me to discuss but I know how important it is that we all start talking about it.

Recently I’ve read a few articles giving parents ‘tips to avoid sexual predators’. Although I am glad people are speaking out and sharing ideas/info I was angry because my mom had followed every single one of the tips and yet I was still preyed on, not by just one man but two! That being said the biggest thing I was upset about was the false sense of safety the parents commenting had. They say things like “Oh I already do all of these so no one will get near by children.” or “I’m mama bear and everyone who meets us knows this so they know not to mess with my kids.” The comments go on and on like this. And as much as I applaud these parents for getting informed sadly their comments and mind set are all wrong!

It has been 15 and 13 years since the sexual abuse I survived. Yet I still lay awake at night wondering why I was preyed on. My mom and I had a close relationship. I was a strong girl that knew what I wanted in life. I wasn’t sad, depressed, or any of the other ‘typical’ things some of the statistics say children are when they are sought out by a predator. I’m sure my mom has spent just as much time as I have wondering these same things. Or what she could have done to prevent it. The bottom line is there is no ‘full proof’ way to make sure your children wont be preyed on. It can happen to ANYONE.

I wanted to share a good source of helpful material for parents to read from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (nsvrc.org). Don’t wait to start reading all of the resources they provide!! Start educating yourself now!!

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This month I am supporting the #SAAM campaign to help spread the word about sexual abuse! You can help speak up too!

  • On Instagram you can spread the word with the #30DayOfSAAM and tag @NSVRC in your posts. 
  • On Twitter you can do the #TweetAboutIt Tuesdays! It’s an hour-long town hall discussion every Tuesday in April on Twitter. 
  • Follow NSVRC on Facebook and share the resources they post!

It’s time to take action! Start speaking! Start listening! Start getting information! Start now!!
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Helping to Center our Active Children

**Guest Post**

Park Playing

When you have a child with a lot of energy it can be hard to know what to do with them. They always seem to be moving and going, bouncing off the walls. The ability to control that energy for useful tasks or even structured play is important for active children to learn at a young age.

Active children need much more scheduled activity than do other children. Often you will see an active child with too much free time getting out of hand or noticeably stressed. Because of their energy and constant activity at times they need to be reeled in and there needs to be definite boundaries in place for these children.

As parents or caregivers we need to pay close attention to the specific dispositions of each child. All children need some structure in their lives because it gives them security; active children need structure all the more because they have difficulty keeping themselves from spiraling out of control.

There need to be carefully adhered to bed times and nap times, regular times for meals, and scheduled play with other children and close supervision. Another very important activity to schedule is quiet time for reading or playing alone or one on one with a parent or other adult. They need to experience being able to do things quietly and calmly and get practice in doing this daily. It will serve them well as they become adults and it will help them realize that not everything they do that gives them pleasure requires strenuous activity.

On observing adult behavior in office situations or structured work environments you can often spot out an adult that has difficulty keeping focused on the task at hand. This is more than likely due to the fact that they were not trained as a child to be able to have quiet downtime that did not involve sleeping. We are doing a disservice to our children if we do not give them the tools to function in any environment.

When an active child is channeled properly and their energy used for specific scheduled and goal oriented events they can achieve great things. But when this energy is allowed to flow willy-nilly throughout their lives, driving them here and there with no purpose they become self involved and have great difficulty staying on task.

My own son was an active child and is not an active young adult. We were very careful to keep him in predominantly structured activities. And I do not mean structured as putting him in classes or other events outside the home. But at home he had very definite times for naps, eating, and quiet activities. Everyday as a family we would have a bike ride to the park or take a walk to the bayou to check out the tadpoles. He spent time outside with free play but we always made sure he had something constructive to do. He loved to build things and to use a hammer and nails and someone was always there with him supervising when he was young. We encouraged him to play ball with the neighbor children or to climb safe trees with his siblings.

We also scheduled study time. It helped our son to sit down with his sister and do their homework together. She could do her homework anywhere and if it was a project we of course allowed her to do it on her own. But most nights she would sit with him and encourage him in his studies. I would be on hand in the kitchen to assist and was always involved as well. He had difficulty sitting for long periods of time when he was very young so we made sure that study time did not go on too long and perhaps if there was too much work we would take a break.

Craft time was something he loved and he could stay focused for thirty or more minutes when given a craft he liked. He especially liked working with craft sticks and hot glue guns but was very carefully supervised of course. He also enjoyed making houses out of sugar cubes using cake icing as the glue. We would often color the icing with food coloring to make it even more interesting for him. We had an Easy Bake oven and a Queasy Bake oven and both our children loved to spend time baking up treats or creating yucky bugs and creatures.

We found that having a nightly schedule of taking a nice warm bath and then spending fifteen or twenty minutes reading or telling stories before bed was a wonderful way to get our active child relaxed and ready for bed. He could easily spend an hour in the bath tub if we allowed it. He had a pirate ship and other bath toys that kept him interested and soaking until we told him he was turning into a prune and had to get out. This seemed to relax him so much and then bundling him up and getting him into his pajamas for story time kept that relaxation going. Good sleep habits really help active children a great deal.

We also made a point of keeping him occupied during his free time on more than just video games and television. He could sit for hours at the computer if we allowed it. A little computer is fine and a television show here or there also but we thought it important to not let those things become the predominate forms of entertainment in his life. We played games together as a family, did chores together as a family, and spent time talking about our days especially at dinner time. Staying well connected with what your active child is thinking and feeling as well as making them feel connected to your thoughts and feelings can really help to build strong relationships. Because of their level of activity relational attachments are sometimes hard for them and they need these types of bonds to keep them focused on others.

Keeping your active child on a schedule and keeping them well balanced physically, emotionally, and mentally will give them the tools they need as they grow into adulthood. We need to help them to channel their energy and in so doing show them how they can be very successful using this gift of energy that God has blessed them with.

Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.

You can’t keep a good mom down!

I rolled my ankle during my Zumba class on Saturday morning. I’d previously injured this ankle 18 years ago and it still has a pin in it to hold the bones in place. Between the large amount of swelling and the worry that the pin my have shifted we decided it was best to get x-rays. A few painful hours later we found out that I had only severely sprained it. I am on crutches with an aircast for the next week or two.

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My left injured ankle compare to my right not injured ankle.

It has only been a couple days but I can already see how being on crutches and being a mom just don’t go hand in hand very well. Here are just a few of the reason’s you can’t keep a good mom down…

  • My kids all vowed to be big helpers, until I need help then they all whining, crying, or running in the other direction to get out of helping.
  • I may starve during the day because I have no way to carry food to the table to eat. Standing at the counter is painful so instead I opt to wait until the older kids are home to help bring me food.
  • Laundry will not likely get done in a timely matter this week.
  • Grocery shopping sounded like something I could manage (pushing a cart while hopping or hobbling on one leg) until I realized I would have to carry all of the bags into the house ALONE, then put it all away ALONE. So we may be eating cold cereal for a few days.
  • Stairs are RIDICULOUS! We live in a two story home, our room being on the top floor. Getting up the stairs is iffy but coming down is just an accident waiting to happen so I scoot on my butt while my kids carry my crutches. (Plus side I get a good work out going up and down the stairs this way.)
  • The house will look like a bomb went off which will stress me off but I just can not carry anything while on crutches.
  • Crutches might as well have pins and needles at the top to stab your arm pits while you walk. It’s brutal.
Resting is hard

This is how I spent the weekend.

My type A, multi-tasking, busy body personality doesn’t handle all of this rest and put your foot up directions the doctor ordered. This resting time should feel like a vacation but instead it feels like torture. I must admit that I can’t wait to be back to walking, back to cleaning, back to zumba, and back to my normal life.

When it comes to being a mom we have the need to care of others. It is difficult to have things like injuries, illnesses, etc that slow us down or make us stop all together. I have a new appreciation for moms everywhere that have terminal illnesses or other conditions that slow them down on a daily basis. I am making a promise to myself to take more time to  appreciate what I have and stop complaining about what I *think* I need.

My helpers, sometimes

They worked together to do homework so I could rest with my foot up.

 
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