Thursday, March 29, 2012

Need Some Motivation?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Simple Sunday! Easter Egg Hunt With a Twist

Easter egg hunts are always a hit with kids this time of year! Try this great game to weigh in on the fun and also encourage kindness among siblings.

1. Buy plastic Easter eggs (or reuse old ones!)

2. Have your children write compliments about their siblings on paper, fold them up, and put them in separate plastic eggs.

3. Hide the Easter Eggs and start the hunt! When the children open the eggs, they will enjoy reading the compliments. Also, if you have more than one kid playing the game it will be fun for the kids to figure out who the compliment is for!

Monday, March 19, 2012

9 Great Facts About Potty Training

Sienna getting used to the potty....

Reading a potty book...

Are you embarking on the potty training phase or in the midst of it? Me too! Well, if you are like me you would like to do this at the right time (and be done with diapers!) but you are slightly overwhelmed. Maybe you aren't sure if your child is ready or wondering when is the right time to bite the bullet and "get er done"! Maybe you are hearing hearing different kinds of advice from your mother in law, friends, and the 50 million online resources and books that are out there!  Maybe you don't have a choice because daycare says they need to be potty trained.  WHATEVER the case, knowing the facts will help guide us in the right direction! Here are a few facts that most experts and doctors will agree and also some of the most respected books on the subject.

1. Potty training is not easy for a child. First of all, they need lots of practice and determination to develop the fine motor skills. In addition, they need to change their mindset to be able to recognize their bodily needs and learn what they need to do and how quickly. Although some children seem to catch onto using the potty overnight, most kids take an average of 7 months to be completely trained.

2. The average age for a child to be completely done with diapers in the United States is 39 months for boys and 35 months for girls (that's almost 3 years if you are counting on your fingers!!)

3. Bed wetting is common, even in older children. 10% of kids are still wetting the bed at night by age 7. Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child's physiology supports this--you can't rush it.  Tackle daytime potty training before nighttime and naps.

4. Children need to show emotional/developmental signs of readiness before being successful with potty training. This includes being able to pull their pants up and down and showing some interest in using the potty (or wearing big kid pants). Also, if their diaper is often dry after a nap then their starting to show developmental signs of readiness.

5. Power struggles with your toddler will make potty training impossible! Punishments and consequences will make potty training a negative experience instead of a positive one. Set yourself up for success by having support and preparing for accidents.

6. Potty training takes an average of eight months but will vary from child to child. One child can take one month; another might take up to a year or more

7. Children respond to positive motivation during this process. Using motivational tools such as clapping/cheers, stickers or special underwear can be a great motivation for toddlers. Also, special books can make the process fun!

8. Make the potty accessible and easy. Many experts will say children should be naked during the first 3 days or week of potty training and all experts agree that pulling pants/underwear on or off can be a difficult challenge for a toddler in the beginning. Plan to stay home for the first few days. SUMMERTIME is the perfect time to tackle this venture.  If your bathroom is close to where you and your toddler spend most of your time, think about buying a portable potty. The portable potty can also be helpful when traveling.

9. Potty Training does not have to be difficult. Just like teaching a child to walk, getting rid of the bottle, or learning to talk...potty training can be easy with a little patience and some preparation!

Well, I've spent over 10 hours gathering information about potty training. From what I have gathered, potty training is not as complex or difficult as we make it out to be! In fact, I don't think that buying a "how to" book for potty training is necessary! Authors and doctors all seem to agree that it is a natural process that parents have done for years and years and something that we will look back and laugh about when our child is older.

Buckle up, have a sense of humor, and enjoy the ride!

Chances are, your child will not look like this at 35..

Teaching our teens to drive...well, that will be another story! So for now...relax and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

St. Patty's Day!

If you want to have some St. Patty's Day fun with your toddler, throw a party and with any luck, they will be having a blast! Here's how...

1. Find an age appropriate craft such as this one..
Here is one of my favorites!
The leprechaun trap
To Catch a Leprechaun Hat Don't be intimidated if this craft seems too complex! All you need is a box and some green paper or a green marker and you can create your own!! I did it last year with the kids that I nannied for and they could not go too sleep because they were so excited to catch the leprechaun! P.S. Don't forget to leave some leprechaun evidence (candy, footprints, or a toy!)

Here's another great craft for the little ones...

St. Patty's Day Greeting Card

If you aren't feeling as creative or don't have the materials needed to make these crafts, you can always print fun St. Patty's Day themed coloring paper here..

2. Make an Irish themed snack or meal!
Use your creativity and add some green food coloring to pasta, pudding, or eat mint chocolate chip ice cream! If you have a shamrock cookie cutter you can make shamrock cookies or even shamrock pancakes for breakfast!!

3. Build excitement!
Presenting the party in a fun way is very important! Have older kids make signs for the party and/or play some music for the little ones! You can always find some Irish music on You tube!

4. Prepare a fun game!
Treasure Hunts are always fun! Hide some treasure around your house and then give your child clues to find the treasure! Have fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If I Die Tomorrow...

Dear Sienna and Jacklyn,
If I die tomorrow,  I don't want you to feel sad.  I want you to know that I lived a great life full of happiness, hard work, love, and many blessings.  I truly believe that I lived my life to the fullest and I feel so lucky to have been blessed with a wonderful family and two beautiful little girls.  I am so blessed to have known you and to be chosen to bring you into this world.
If you ever feel lonely, I want you to think of me as the moon.  Just like the moon, even though you you can't always see me, I am still here in spirit.  I am watching you from heaven-watching you make mistakes, watching you fall in love, watching you succeed, and most of all watching you enjoy your life.  You are very young but I already know that God has given you many talents.  IF you choose to use those tools, you will go far.  You will be successful but it's up to you to define success.

Don't feel sad that I'm gone, feel happy that we got the opportunity to share so many special memories together. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

8 Great Ways to Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday!

Tomorrow is national reading day and Dr. Seuess' birthday!  What a fun opportunity to encourage reading!!  Here are some ideas to help you celebrate this special holiday!

1.  Ask your child what his/her favorite book is and why? Talk about what they like (the pictures, the poems, or the characters)

2.  Make it a movie day!  Go see the Lorax in theatres tomorrow (Friday)

3.  Make a Dr Seuss craft like this one...

4.  RHYME!  The great thing about Dr. Seuss is that all his rhymes are simple! SO you can do it too! Make a rhyme about your little ones and they will love it!

5.  Download a Dr. Seuss app..

6.  Make breakfast fun with green eggs and ham while singing this fun song!
7.  Check out these printables...
8.  Last but not least...don't miss this AWESOME Dr. Seuss website!