Thursday, September 29, 2011

Managing Your Pictures

If your like me, you have trouble managing your pictures!  I manage to get them onto Facebook but then they sit on my computer and never make it into my albums or given to family members (that have been begging you for copies!)  Here are a few tricks that I've found from organizing gurus and a special coupon code for you!
1.  Make a commitment to order pictures or print them once a season (or year) depending on how many pictures you take!
2.  Quit procrastinating! Either order one of those great photo books (I like Snapfish but there's plenty of other sites that are great!)  or order the pictures and IMMEDIATELY put them into a scrapbook.
3.  Make it fun!  Have some friends over, do it with your kids, or take a night to yourself with a glass of wine and go to town! Instead of thinking of this project as a chore, enjoy the trip down memory lane and have fun!
4.  Save money! What better way to enjoy scrapbooking than to save money?  Here's an awesome deal:

Get 100 4x6 prints for $1, 200 for $2, or 300 for $3

Use coupon ALLPRINTS100, ALLPRINTS200, or ALLPRINTS300 to until October 5
on your Snapfish order!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do I Need to Be Less of a Good Mom?

There are days when I am so hard on myself as a mom.  I can be my worst critic...I swear!  Sometimes, I am so consumed by trying to be perfect that I think I'm actually doing my child a disservice!  I will give you an example of a few things that have happened lately.  My daughter Sienna is a high energy creature often needing direction.  I recently realized that I was giving her too much direction and not allowing her to have quiet time and figure out how to play on her own.  I was constantly redirecting her, entertaining her (in between stirring the spaghetti) and making everything into a song.  I was getting so exhausted trying to multi task at every moment and I was noticing that Sienna had no clue how to play on her own. So, I began scheduling my time with her a little bit more so that I knew that I was giving her undivided, quality attention but then allowed her time to play on her own.  Setting this boundary really seemed to be helpful in creating an environment where she would be forced to learn to play independently.
Another example, no one in my family had been happy for about a week because Sienna was getting up at 430 in the morning and screaming.  We would come into her room to try to "be a good parent" and put her back to bed.  We even tried telling her that we were locking the door and putting a blanket by the door so that she could sleep there or in her bed.  This worked for a few night but then at 4am she would begin screaming again.  I think that strategy would work for most kids but not my stubborn little cutie!  We quickly realized that maybe being a good parent meant that we needed to lay down some rules, gain some control of our house at 4am, lock the door and let her cry it out.  Yes, I felt like a REALLY bad parent!! Sienna cried for 2 LONG hours until she finally fell asleep but I realize now that it's what she needed to realize that there are rules and she must stay in her bed at night. 
So, it makes me think? Do I need to be less of a good mom to be a good mom???

Friday, September 9, 2011

3 Steps To Keeping a Positive Attitude During Troubling Times

Why do we create our own stress so often?  As if trying to be healthy, pay the bills, and discipline your kids isn't hard enough...why do we watch news media that can make us feel down.  Where I live in the northeast we have seen so many crazy things going on; earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and remembering 9/11 and the news is covering all the horrific stories.
The human psyche is pretty amazing when you think about it.  For some reason we find "entertainment" in hearing about tragedy and turmoil (usually because we like to hear about the an outcome that is triumphant or that there are lessons learned). But what we sometimes forget is that we are dragging ourselves through negativity which can be harmful to our health and well being.  The same thing can be said for 'that friend' who gossips a lot (and can be very interesting at times) but listening to the gossip makes you feel sorry for the people she's talking about.  So, what can we do to avoid these kind of situations and keep ourselves from bad mood or even worse depression, anxiety, or sleepless nights?

1.  RECOGNITION- The first step is recognizing that certain situations are making you feel uncomfortable or you may leave the situation in a bad mood. 
2.  BOUNDARIES- Setting boundaries is very important.  You are in complete control of your life.  If a situation is making you feel uncomfortable than it may be necessary to address it in an assertive but direct manner.  Although it is sometimes very difficult, there are always time when we need to have difficult conversations with people in our lives (particularly ones we care most about)
3.  REPLACEMENT BEHAVIORS- Instead of vowing not to ever hang out with someone you find negative, start to find people that you find to be more positive and make more time for them.  Also, instead of watching the news, take a walk or read a magazine.

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 Easy Ways to Ensure a Successful School Year

1. Setting a routine. Have your child get use to bedtimes when school starts by having them start going to bed early now. Getting them back in the routine will help their bodies adjust to the change and will avoid having them be extremely tired during those first days back.

2. Get your child excited about school. Talk to you child about their new classroom, teacher, and/or friends. Ask them what they are excited about most or what they are most nervous about. It's often helpful focus on making the new school year itself exciting by asking about books or classes (instead of things like clothes or material objects).

3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Read through any information that you receive right away and do your shopping promptly so that things aren't crazy the day before school starts. Go through school supplies and/or clothes and purge old things to keep it simple. Help your child find a special space for them to do their homework. They can make this space their own with a cork board, bulletin board, and supplies.

4. Provide your child with expectations. Think ahead about what you want your child's school year to be like. What do you need to do to make sure that happens? Setting clear expectations ahead of time will provide your children with ample time to prepare. Of course, consistency is key! So, start thinking now about what you want the school week to look like and what you need to make sure it happens. What are the usual problem areas? If mornings are normally crazy, waking up earlier might be the answer. Perhaps your child is old enough now to start taking out their own breakfast or utensils. Are there any modifications you can make to help them help themselves (such as moving the plates to a lower cabinet)?

Enjoy these special days. Although the first days back to school are filled with mixed emotions, they won't last forever and one day we will miss these special times! Take pictures and tell your child how you feel! Don't forget, enjoy the moments!!