Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's nothing CUTER than kids in COSTUMES

Today's the big day, kids and parents alike enjoying the candy, costumes and chaos of Halloween! Whether you'll spend the night snapping pics, trick or treating or passing out candy, we hope you spend it having a BLAST. 

HerMamas.com loves showing off cute babies and kids. And you'll find a medley of just that below, I mean there's everything from spiderman scaling a wall, to baby aliens & vampires - there's even an Elvis sighting. 

Check out these adorable kids...

We're wishing these kiddos and YOURS a very fun and safe halloween.
Continue to share your holiday pics with HerMamas.com
Email: Irene@hermamas.com


And just in case you missed it, click here for tips on having a fun-filled and SAFE halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So your friend's a 1st time mom? Don't fret! There's still a place for you in her life!


Oh those wonderful carefree days when life was just about you and your girlfriends! If your posse of single gal-pals was anything like mine, you probably spent plenty of days shopping, holidays vacationing and weekends partying! Life didn't revolve around a spouse let alone a child! But then there's that very likely
shift! At some point, some of your girlfriends become 1st time moms! Things will clearly change in your friendship, but they should change for the better!

Your girlfriend, now new mom, is bound to change. Her life's focus has radically shifted and as much as she'd like to continue to be wild, crazy, and free - she's become a mommy! Most of her late-night "action" will come from round-the-clock feedings, crap-infested diaper changes, sleepless nights, tender baby kisses and a whole lot more!

We asked a trusted gal pal to share her tips with us and this is what Ami, a successful, gorgeous, city dwelling single friend had to say about adjusting to the inevitable changes that result when a non-mom friend becomes a mommy!

Ami has 3 great pieces of advice...
  1. Adjust your expectations!: When before you could call your friend at 2 am and they would be there for you within the hour, that's just not realistic anymore. You just can't expect them to be "on call" for you. This does not mean that they don't care or want to hang out anymore. They still want you in their life but you have to adjust and be realistic in your expectations on their time. 
  2. Be Supportive: Your friend's issues and problems are not going to be the same. When before they may have called crying over a man, now they may call crying over breastfeeding issues. You may not completely understand what they are going through, but just be there to listen. It can also be great lessons for your future. 
  3. Time Management: Your friends still want to hang out but for them carving time out is tough. Trips to the mall on a whim are probably not going to happen anymore, but you can schedule a coffee date. Just because it seems like they don't have time, doesn't mean they won't move things around to find an hour or so to hang out with you. So don't forget to ask them to schedule something with you!
Thanks for these great tips Ami! And thank you to the BFFs out there continuing to support each other through any endeavor in life! As women, we're all carving out a piece of the world just for us! That can be as a full-time stay-at-home mom, a driven single and strong career women, or a traveling carefree spirit! Wherever life takes you it sure is sweeter to journey there with friends! So stay connected however possible even through the crazy adjustments of life, the miles between you and the diaper changes that might seem to divide you! 

We'd love to hear from you!

Comment below & tell us how you adjusted to friendships after single friends became 1st time moms!



Monday, October 29, 2012

A Safe Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner. We get pretty excited about it at our house. I mean walking around in costume and getting free candy! Who wouldn't be excited!

As always, Safety First! Here are a few tips to make sure that you have a fun and SAFE Halloween.


  • Plan your route before you leave. Try to stay in neighborhoods you are familiar with and are well lit. 
  • Meet up with friends and go in a big group. Remember there is safety in numbers. 
  • Only trick or treat at homes that are lit up. 
  • You can avoid walking sidewalks by going to a community trunk or treat. Many police departments and churches have really fun festivals with games and lots of cars decorated and passing out candy! 
  • If your kids costume requires props make sure they are light weight and flexible. Avoid costumes that drag on the ground to avoid falls. Of course comfortable shoes are a must!
  • Take some water for you and your little ones. Keep hydrated and make sure costumes are easy to go to the bathroom in!
  • Give each child glow sticks or a small flash light. You want to make them as visible as possible.
  • Give your child a small easy to carry bag for candy. Take a bigger reusable grocery bag for the parent to carry and once in awhile dump your kids small bag into the big bag. 
  • Check all your kids candy before they eat any of it! Throw away anything that is not wrapped properly. Also toss any homemade items from people you do not know! 

HerMamas wishes you all a fun and safe Halloween! 

*We want to show off all your cute little ghosts and goblins! Email pictures of your kids in costume to irene@hermamas.com. Your photo(s) will be featured in our Halloween post! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Support for Nursing Moms (because we know it's not always easy)

A mom mentioned to me the other day that she's been exclusively breastfeeding her child for 5 months now. Immediately I thought, that mother deserves a medal! I was on the other side of the spectrum and could never exclusively breastfeed. In fact, my kids were off the good stuff by about three months.

I work with a gal who pumps in the office! Another mommy medal is in order. When she's done hiding out with her pump, I often make my way over and praise her for the commitment.To be your child's only source of nourishment while lovely and bonding isn't like it appears in movies. I mean you're leaking all the time, pumping (or feeding) outside of the comfort of your home, and though the baby is finally outside of your body, you still feel your body is being held hostage! I once took too long to pump between feedings and developed a wretched breast tissue infection. I had my children without an epidural, but could not take a breast infection without angrily demanding every medication that would relieve the ENORMOUS pain caused by a tini-tiny clogged breast duct.

Breast milk as we all know is the best nourishment there is, so to those moms out there feeding exclusively, part-time, or maybe only for only a few weeks: way to go! Keep going and remember some of the reasons why you do it: 
  • Breast milk provides lifelong protection against illness and disease because it contains antibodies, antivirals, antiallergens, and other living factors. 
  • Breastfed babies have a lower chance of SIDS and suffer less from diarrhea, constipation, and ear infections.
  • Your breast milk changes to address the nutritional needs of your baby. 
  • Breast milk is easier for your baby to digest
And to those of us who didn't quite make it this far, leave guilt at the door. We're all in this together giving our child the best we can and that too can come from Enfamil or Similac, so cheers to every baby chugging away from the best source possible who is surely growing up with an endless supply of LOVE, a superpower all moms have in COMMON.

Links to find helpful breastfeeding tips and support:
La Leche League - http://forums.llli.org/
La Leche League HOTLINE info: http://breastfeedinghelpline.com/
Breastfeeding.com: http://www.breastfeeding.com/
Breastfeeding Tips, Support and Advice: http://www.babycenter.com/breastfeeding-basics

Finally, another great source for moms to find support is each other. Make sure to visit HerMamas.com and hit the forums, add comments or visit our fan page to post your breastfeeding questions & tips or simply to find encouragement from other breastfeeding moms in your community whether local or virtual!  




Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Dad's Perspective: Leadership Lessons Taught To Me By My Children (#1) - Guest Post by Diego Quevedo

When our son Isaiah was about 3 years old, we took him to Disney’s California Adventure. As the day got started and we began walking around the theme park, we stopped at a little play area. The play area had swings, slides, bridges and rope walls and all sorts of activity areas just perfect for our little toddler. As I’m climbing the walls and crossing the bridges with Isaiah, we come upon a tube slide. Now, Isaiah had slid down many slides before, but this one was just a little bigger than what he was used to. We get in line and patiently wait while other kids go down the slide. Now it’s Isaiah’s turn. And he freezes. He’s scared. I explain that he’s gone done plenty of slides before and that this is just as fun and safe.

He stalls some more. Kids are now lining up behind us.

I explain to him that it’s safe and that his mom is at the bottom of the slide awaiting his arrival. He begins to cry.

The line behind us is getting longer and now other parents are becoming audibly impatient. I jump into a full out explanation about how Disneyland is a very safe place, about how tons of other kids have done this before and how tons will do it after. I tell him, “Look! Little Tommy over there isn’t crying!”

The line continues to grow. A Disney employee is now at the bottom staring up at us.

Fine, I’ll force him to slide. I grit my teeth and whisper to him, “Isaiah, you go down this slide right now or we’re leaving Disneyland !” He calls my bluff and defiantly stares right back at me.

After what felt like an eternity, I summoned the magic words: look at how I do it. I let go of him, sit down and take the 3 second ride down the slide. Once at the bottom, I turn around and look up at him. “See how Daddy did it? Now it’s your tu…” Before I finish my sentence, my little three-year old is already smiling, laughing and sliding his little butt down the slide.

 
Lesson learned? Leaders do it first. Whether you’re leading a child, a family, a church, a team, a business or any other group or individual, the ability and willingness to set the example is of primary importance.

What Isaiah taught me was that there is no amount of words, no lengthy explanation or any measure of reason that is as powerful as simply setting the example. As we raise our kids, I have to constantly remind myself of this powerful lesson. I often catch myself wanting to “teach” them through my words. I’ll try to reason and explain and often feel as if they are just not listening. Through Isaiah’s lesson, I've come to understand that although they might not always listen, they are always watching.

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS STORY AND OTHER LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH PARENTING IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!


Diego Quevedo is a father of three & a loving husband. Professionally, he manages a team of medical experts. Personally, he's a self-professed geek who loves to read and exercise! He's excited to contribute a dad's perspective to HerMamas.com! We're looking forward to reading more on the leadership lessons fatherhood has taught him!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween and Thanksgiving Jars- Craft Post by Veronica Carter

Halloween and Thanksgiving Jars

Made these cute jars with my boys and we had so much fun making them that they asked me to find more jars! Thankfully I had a stash of baby food jars.

And you're probably wondering where am I going to find vinyl cutouts? At the end I'll provide you with image options and charge only the cost of material and postage.

Materials
  • Glass jar- size of your choice
  • Acrylic paint- colors of your choice (inexpensive brand from any craft store)
  • Bottle of white school glue
  • Vinyl cutouts in your favorite images
  • Battery operated or candle tealights

Tools
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper or old tablecloth
  • Foam or paint brush
  • Plastic cup for paint
  • Popsicle stick or plastic spoon

Instructions

Measure your jar and decide what image you would like to use. Figure 1
    Figure

    Select your vinyl cutout and gently peel the transfer tape (material with red lines) from the backing making sure the vinyl image peels off from the backing. Figure 2
Figure 2

Using the transfer tape with the vinyl image attached to it, line your image onto your jar. Gently stick the vinyl image onto your jar and rub the transfer tape to allow the vinyl to stick on the jar. Figure 3
Figure 3

Carefully peel off the transfer tape making sure the vinyl is sticking to the jar. Smooth out any air bubbles with your hand. Figure 4.
Figure 4


Layout newspaper or an old tablecloth to protect your table because the kids WILL make a mess.

Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of glue with 1/4 teaspoon of paint. A little paint goes a long way! Using a Popsicle stick or plastic spoon to mix. Figure 5.
Figure 5

Paint the inside of your jars using a paint or foam brush. Allow to dry a few hours. Figure 6.
Figure 6

Now you're ready to enjoy your cute jars by adding your battery operated or candle tealights!

* You can also paint the jars first before applying the vinyl cutouts.

* Halloween images will be cut out of black vinyl. Thanksgiving images will only be a single brown color, unlike the image you see below. Based on the jar size provided the images will be cut to fit your jar.

* Each vinyl cutout is $1.00, includes postage and transfer paper used for placing image onto jar. 

* If you are interested in ordering vinyl cutouts, please contact me with the following information:
  • Name, address and email where I can send you a PayPal invoice or you can send a check.
  • Select an image and let me know what size of jar for which you'll be using the image (measure jar from top to bottom).  
* As soon as I get your information I will mail them out next business day.

* Contact email: veronicacarter102@yahoo.com


-Veronica Carter has a real gift and passion for crafting. This is evident in all the amazing things she creates. Veronica is a UCLA alumni, wife and mother to 2 amazing boys. She currently lives with her family in Arizona and is a proud Starbucks gold card member . 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Banning BFF's

A school in South West London has implemented a policy banning their students from having best friends. Instead teachers encourage students to all play together in a big group. The reason is that the school wanted to save the students from the pain of splitting up with their best friend.

This idea really made me so sad.

 On my first day of kindergarten while I was sobbing uncontrollably because my Mom left, a little girl came up to me and said if I stopped crying she would be my best friend. Over 30 years later she is still my best friend. I could not imagine what my childhood would not have been like without my best friend.

We were together everyday from kindergarten through eighth grade. We sat next to each other, passed notes back and forth and talked on the phone constantly. We shared all our secrets, a love for New Kids on the Block and we pushed each other to do and be our best. Through this friendship I learned how to be loyal and what it meant to have someone love me, and stick up for me. This one close friendship was the way I learned to be a friend.

When my BFF and I went to different high school I was devastated. I felt lost without my BFF and those first few months of high school were hard and some of the scariest times of my life. Yet that time taught me resilience, and showed just how strong I really was. I eventually made a lot of really amazing friends who I still lean on today.

What do you think about a school banning best friends? Do you think it's a good or bad idea? Leave us a comment!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Get In Front of the Camera

A few weeks ago, a fellow HerMama brought this article to our attention (Thanks Araceli!)


A great article about moms taking a stand and getting in front of the camera. This topic hit home for me. See I take A LOT of pictures of my kids. Like a ridiculous amount.  Back in 2008, after looking through holiday photos I realized that I was never in the picture. 

There were a lot of reasons why I stayed behind the camera.
  1. If I didn't take the pictures no one would
  2. I know how to work the camera
  3. I hate myself in pictures
  4. I needed to lose some weight.
I imagined my daughter as an adult looking through her childhood photos (on a computer because lets be real, I will never print them) and thinking...

"Where was my Mom? Was she even there? I wonder what she looked like when I was little?"

So I threw all the excuses out the window and decided that on January 1st I would start a photo project. The 365 photo project is pretty common with photographers. Usually they take a photo of themselves, once a day for a year. I put a twist. I decided to take a picture of my daughter and I, everyday, for one whole year. It became routine and a lot of fun. After a month I would put together all the pictures in a slide show. These little videos became love letters to my daughter. 


Here is the first one I did...


This project is still going on today. 4 years later we are still taking our "picture of the day". Thanks to cell phones and photo sharing sites like Flickr it is easier than ever to do. 

Look through your photos, are you always the picture taker and never in the photos? Make an effort to get in front of the camera more often. You will be glad you did! 


Friday, October 19, 2012

So they grow up fast, so what?

"... as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be!"
As a momma there's something I hear a lot, "ENJOY IT, they grow up too fast!" That's probably one of the most overused statements among parents. I usually sighed at the thought of it. I've sat there worried about the moving clock and how quickly every second of my children's lives escape me! Instead of being present, somehow I'm already sad that the moment is gone. So my 6 year old can tie his shoelaces WITHOUT me, my two year old screams at the top of her lungs so I DON'T buckle her car seat because "she can" and my baby boy is days away from walking, but why should those moments of their independence sadden me?

Love you forever  - Book by Robert Munsch
There's such joy in their little victories and the speed of their developments. Just last night my son was explaining to me what it means to have a girlfriend. It was innocent and he didn't really get it, but in that second, suddenly I caught a glimpse of my sweet 6 year old being 16 and telling me all about his girlfriend and how cute she is. I suddenly got a glimpse of how cool his teenage years will be, how awesome it'll feel to drop him off at his college dorm or have him sit us down to tell us he wants to get married or is about to become a father! 

Those special moments are out there just waiting to happen and no matter how fast the clock moves, as they grow up, I don't completely lose. There is still so much to ENJOY! The enjoyment doesn't end because that "fun" child stage does. I intend to enjoy every single stage of my children's lives and I'm sure those will be fun too. I look forward to developing three adult friendships! I can't wait for the interesting conversations about life, its journey and even the heartbreaks along the way. Well, surely I can wait! But I no longer let "enjoy it, they grow up fast" sadden me! So, they'll no longer be babies, but they'll always be my children! And as much as I adore loving all over my chubby-cheeked, bright-eyed tribe, I am also looking forward to leading them into adulthood! I am looking forward to those moments when they get to teach me about the world and share it all with their dear old mom who is also growing up too fast.


This is one mom's point of view, share yours by commenting below or feel free to submit articles about your families rituals, philosophies or experiences!

Articles/Essays/Stories may be emailed to irene@HerMamas.com
*Submitted stories may be used in upcoming blog posts


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

As the weather and the leaves are turning, it's time for family fun at the pumpkin patch. Corn mazes, hay rides and of course pumpkin picking! It is one of my favorite annual trips. After you have picked the perfect pumpkin and get it home - it is time to decorate it!

Here are some alternatives to the usual pumpkin carving....

1. Cookie Cutter. After hallowing out your pumpkin use cookie cutters and a mallet to punch out shapes. Cookie cutters come in all kinds of different shapes so the possibilities are endless! 


2. Ribbons. No need to even cut your pumpkin open! Just some ribbon and garland and some hot glue you can decorate in any color scheme to match any decor.



3. Paint your pumpkin! No matter what artistic talent you have anyone can paint a pumpkin. You can get fancy and artistic, or just add a solid color. You can even paint with chalkboard paint and write on your pumpkin!


Photos From Countryliving.com

The pumpkin patch is always a great place with a lot of cute photo opportunities. 
We want to see your pumpkin pictures! 
email us your favorite pumpkin patch or decorated pumpkin pictures to:
elissa@hermamas.com

Happy Pumpkin Patch Season!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Giving birth ON the freeway! Guest Post by Kelly Sanchez


Kelly Sanchez is a successful career woman, wife & mother of 4 boys! She's worked in all areas of human service and has a true gift of gab and leadership! She's excited to share a definitely unique childbirth story with HerMamas.com! To those who read this and later decide to have a child, just think: the experience may be a wild one, but there's always something wilder out there...
I knew I did NOT want to have another child born in the hospital. I had my first in a hospital and just felt that experience was overrated (that's only my opinion, no hate mail please). But boy did I get more than I imagined when planning to have a baby somewhere other than your typical hospital room! 
So late one night... who am I kidding, around 3pm on a Friday afternoon I was walking to pick up my 5 year old from Kindergarten... 9 months pregnant, swollen, and HOT! I came home to do some office work!  As I was working, I had a contraction. It hurt. Then I had another. It hurt a little more. Then I had another and thought "oh hell no!" My sister-in-law came into the living room to ask what she could do. I told her nothing, but thought I should call my hubby! He, by the way, was in the middle of the 1st day of grand opening for a new store! Needless to say, he wasn't coming home anytime soon for a false alarm. 
Then I remember having only ONE whole contraction and knew he had to leave work! I called him and said I don't care if you're FIRED today, but get here! 
I was planning to give birth at a birthing center in Simi Valley, but I lived in Santa Monica (40 minute drive, no traffic). Everyone always thinks I'm crazy for planning child birth so far from home, but I found what felt like the perfect midwife and birthing center where I did and never thought I'd run into issues trying to get there. 
So the hubby gets home, it's 4:45pm, we're in Santa Monica and have to get on both the 405 FWY and 10 FWY on a Friday afternoon to make it to Simi Valley. Basically, it's probably one of LA's WORST freeway routes at the WORST possible time! But there I was, in a white Oldsmobile, trying NOT to push. Yes you read right, trying not to push!!
If you've ever experienced natural childbirth you can relate, for those of you that have not, I'll try and explain: I'm in the back seat, hubby is driving, and his sister who was 19 at the time is in the passenger seat. My 5 year old son is with her boyfriend trailing behind us somewhere because they had to make a pit stop for pizza (long story)!

Okay, back to me in the back seat, we're racing through the emergency lane, debris is everywhere! At one point a car blocks us, which happens to be a white Camry (the same model as my mother in law...connection?) As my husband was trying to navigate through the freeway parking lot, I am ROARING. Yes, roaring like I am in the jungle. Not because of the pain but it was the only thing I could do to not push. I don't know if I can convey in words the sounds that were coming out of my mouth but if you have ever watched a movie with loud wild safari animals, that was me!
Kelly and her son Luis Sanchez (2012)!
At some point, I just knew I was sitting on the baby's head. I asked my sister-in-law to check and well not to get graphic but um yeah, she said the baby's head was not there. I couldn't believe it so I had to feel for myself and low and behold the baby was crowned and felt flushed with my skin! I told her "that's the baby!" she said she didn't know what it was and I exclaimed "What did you think it was?" She followed up with a panicked "I DON'T KNOW!!!" Classic, for a teenager!

I got the approval to push from the hubby who had got us as far as the 118 freeway and was now barreling down it around 95 mph. I pushed once and poof! The head came out. My sis-in-law tells my hubby, "the baby is dead." She said it in Spanish, I guess she didn't think I would know what she was saying. I reassured her that we just had to get the rest of the baby out so the baby could start breathing. When I say reassured her, I mean it like on a zen master level. Believe me, I am far from a zen master but human instinct took over quite perfectly, causing me to be calm for everyone, and laser focused to give one last push and welcome my son into the world!! 8.12 lbs of pure joy birthed into this world at 95 mph. 

And just in case you're wondering, his birth certificate reads:
Place of birth: CAR  Address: 118 Freeway Intersection Sycamore Exit Time: 5:40pm



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

GIVEAWAY- PEACHES n PICKLES

We are super excited to tell you about a new Etsy shop called Peaches N Pickles by Kimberli Colbert.

Kimberli is a wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls Dylan is 7 years old and Avery is 5. She has been making these adorable home-made hair clips every since her daughters hair was long enough to hold clips. And now these cute hair bows are available to you at Peaches and Pickles. A great shop with a lot of styles to choose from. The cute name comes from Kimberli's daughters nicknames!

Here is what Kimberli has to say about her product line: 

Eclectic, Fun, Head-turning Pieces

As a student of art history, I learned to appreciate the artwork of cultures around the world. I've always been drawn to detail and enjoy mixing mediums into a single piece. I don't conform to boundaries and my pieces reflect that philosophy.

My official start in fashion came as a developer/creator of a line of merchandise for my husband's band. Although their music was good, the vast majority of their merchandise sales I believe came about because of the unique style of each piece. :)

I turned this experience into a career and have been extremely lucky to work as a rock n roll and fashion stylist having worked with a roster of talent that ranged from Dave Navarro to Brooke Burke.

Today, as a mother of 2 daughters, I'm creating a line of accessories that expresses my design aesthetic and unique perspective.


Kimberli has a really amazing sense of style and fashion and can be seen in all her amazing pieces. They are like art pieces for your hair!



Here is the best part. Kimberli has teamed up with HerMamas to give away one of her hair clips!
 Entering is easy...

1. Head over to Peaches N Pickles by CLICKING HERE. Look around and pick your favorite.
2. Come back here and leave a comment with your favorite hair clip and your email address.

That's it! We will be picking one random winner.
You have until October 23rd to enter. Good Luck!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wacky Cravings & Weird Aversions

Oh the wonderful experience of pregnancy with the 1000's of side effects always chalked up to "hormones!" Some women have no side effects at all while others remember having everything: headaches, exhaustion, food cravings, aversions, excess saliva production, swollen ankles, heartburn, a strained groin, and the list goes on! Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely!


Just the other day I thought about about the wacky food aversions and cravings I had while pregnant and couldn't help but laugh! Oh how I desired a greasy filet o fish sandwich while pregnant with my first. I also stocked up on Gatorade and gummy bears! For the next couple of kids the list of odd items continued! I had to have broccoli while carrying my second, but not just any broccoli, it had to be broccoli from those tiny whole in the wall Chinese restaurants. With my last, I wanted chili cheese anything! I swear that last batch of chili cheese fries probably induced labor since it was such a greasy, intense and oddly delicious mess. Simply digesting it MUST have kick started labor because contractions began the very next morning.


We asked moms to share their odd cravings and aversions with HerMamas.com:

Must-haves:

Flaming Hot Cheetos
Bean and Cheese Burritos
Tabasco/Wasabi
Egg McMuffins
Sour patch kids, sour skittles, sour anything!


Aversions: 

Toothpaste (now that's scary)!
Mac N Cheese
The Smell of Coffee
The Scent of your spouse/his car/cologne (lol)

So this is a small snapshot of the 1000's of cravings and aversions, but just a glance is comical! To think of the things us pregnant
gals MUST HAVE or CAN'T STAND!

Please comment below & share your wacky food cravings and aversions with HerMamas.com!  




Friday, October 12, 2012

Teaching Your Kids What To Do in an Emergency

Emergency situations are things we hope never happen, but still something we should be prepared for. This includes your children. It is important that your kids know what to do in an emergency. The goal is to prepare your kids without scaring them or worrying them.

 Here are a few tips...

  • Know how to use your cell phone: All cell phones are a little different. Make sure your child knows how to open, unlock and dial your phone. 
  • Their full name and address: Most parents have a pet name for their children and hardly ever use their full name. In an emergency your child needs to know their full name and home address. 
  • Family full name: Your child most likely calls you Mom, Dad, Grandma, but they should know what your and your family members full names are. If they get lost at a store and they ask your child "What's your Mom's name?" and they say "Mom" it makes finding you more difficult. 
  • How to and when to dial 911.  Make sure your child knows what constitutes an emergency and what doesn't.  
  • When your kids are older they can take a CPR class with the Red Cross. 
Emergency situations can be scary and stressful for everyone. Being prepared can make a big difference. 

Leave a comment and share your tips on how to teach your children about what to do in an emergency. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

KinderAngst- Music Review

One thing I was really afraid of after we had kids was the hours of horrible kids music that I would be forced to listen to. I have been so happy to find out that if you look hard enough, there is some really great kids music that parents won't mind listening to on repeat.

KinderAngst is one of those CD's! The CD cover may look cute and cuddly but don't let it fool you. Two rocker chicks, Palmyra Delran and Rachelle Garniez came together to bring punk rock music to the next generation.

Lots of loud, rambunctious music with lyrics like....

"I don't like you anymore. I am going to take this game and throw it out the door!" 

"I guess I shouldn't have done it. They said it wasn't nice. So now I have to sit here and pay the price"


KinderAngst Official Tracklisting:
1.    Alphabet City
2.    Let’s Play
3.    Big Time Out
4.    Do It Yourself (with Debbie Harry)- YES like Blondie!!!
5.    Jump Jump
6.    Sourpuss
7.    Today
8.    Rat
9.    A.D.D.
10.  Peek-A-Boo
11.  Music In My Pillow
12.  Bubble
13.  In My Room
14.  Be Kind To Your Parents


This CD and its lyrics really hit home with my 7 year old. Punk rock is all about rebellion and angst and this CD allows kids to vent the stresses like time outs and fighting with your BFF.

Head over to Kinderangstmusic.com and take a listen and for link to download your own copy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Benefits of Family Dinner

In a generation where kids have busier calendars than most adults, sit-down family dinners can be a challenge! Yet committing to this nightly routine has its benefits. Family dinner is a special time for families to partake in any of their usual rituals such as cooking together, prayer or a simple Q & A about their day. Also, eating at home is so much cheaper than eating out and less chaotic than most restaurant runs!

WebMD summarized it well:
Benefits of frequent family dinners:
  • Everyone eats healthier meals 
  • Kids are less likely to become overweight or obese.
    • So true since we're not having the common french fries as a side dish or eating such large portions.
  • Kids more likely to stay away from cigarettes, less likely to drink alcohol or try marijuana and less likely to use illicit drugs.
    • Seems like kids just feel free to make better decisions because they're feeling more connected through family time and discussions like those held around the dinner table.
  • School grades will be better, you and your kids will talk more and you're more likely to hear about a serious problem. Kids will feel like you're proud of them. There will be less stress and tension at home.
In the end, the simple ritual of family dinner leads to increased health, communication and connection among families! So pile up the frozen pre-made dinners, stick to your favorite recipes, order take out, eat earlier or later than usual, but make the time for this nightly routine and watch the benefits unfold.

Share your favorite dinner meals and rituals with us by commenting below.

Or share your dinner time photos/recipes on our Facebook fan page!   

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Countdown Calendar- Guest Post by Veronica Carter



Materials                   
·         1 – metal household decorative piece (approx. 10½”x13½”)
·         1 – 12”x12” Halloween scrapbook paper
·         3 – 12”x12” different coordinating colors of scrapbook paper
·         1 – sheet of “number” stickers (make sure you have enough to number 1-30)
·         2 or 3 – sheets of Halloween scrapbooking stickers
      (make sure you have 30 stickers that are large enough to cover your round magnets)
·         30 – round magnets
·         4 – fuzzy/decorative plastic buttons
·         1 – 4 oz. bottle of Beacon 3-in-1 craft glue
·         1 – 2 oz. bottle of acrylic paint, coordinating color of your choice
·         1 – 4 oz. bottle of Mod Podge, matte or shiny finish
·         1 – roll of ¼” sticky strip tape
·         1 – roll of 3/8” black grosgrain ribbon
·         1 – roll of 7/8” black grosgrain ribbon for hanging your calendar (optional)

Tools
·         Paper trimmer
·         1-3/8” square punch (optional)
·         Scissors
·         Ruler
·         Foam or paint brush
·         Plastic cup for paint and Mod Podge
·         Crop-o-dile with two black eyelets (optional)

Instructions
1.      Paint the edges of your metal decorative piece.  Use a foam brush to cover 1½” depth to provide an edge for your 12”x12” Halloween scrapbooking paper.  Several coats will be necessary allowing each coat to dry before you apply the next.  See figure 1.



Figure 1
2.      Trim your 12”x12” Halloween scrapbooking paper to 8½”x12”.  Center and adhere the paper to your painted metal decorative piece using your 3-in-1 glue.  Make sure to use enough glue to provide a good seal.  This glue is forgiving so it allows you some time to work with before adhering it.  See figure 2.

3.      Punch 30 squares from the coordinating colors of scrapbooking paper.  If you don’t have a punch, simply use your paper trimmer to cut the squares sized 1-3/8”x1-3/8”.   I punched 10 of each color – purple, green, black.  See figure 2.


Figure 2


4.      Add the number stickers to your squares.  Be sure to figure out if you want to create a pattern with your squares prior to adding the numbered stickers.   See figure 2.

5.      Line up and adhere the 30 squares with your 3-in-1 glue or any other scrapbooking adhesive.  Make sure to get a good seal around the squares so they don’t lift after the glue dries.  See figure 2.

6.      Re-use your washed and dried foam or paint brush and add a coat of Mod Podge to the entire metal decorative piece and over the Halloween paper and squares.  Brush on a nice even coat.  Try to go over an area just once or immediately while still wet.  If you brush too much it can tend to get gummy.  The Mod Podge will appear like white school glue and once dried will be clear.  This serves as a seal for your paint and paper, and gives it a nice clean look. You will also notice the Halloween paper will tend to bubble but once dried it will flatten back to normal. Allow to dry for at least 30 minutes.  Go over spots if needed.

7.      Cut 4 pieces of the 3/8” black grosgrain ribbon as a trim around your Halloween paper.  Cut and add pieces of the double-sided sticky strip tape to your pieces of ribbon.  Remove the red backing from the sticky strip tape and adhere each ribbon as a trim around the edge of your Halloween paper.  See figure 3.
Figure 3


8.      Add decorative buttons to each corner with your 3-in-1 glue.  You may have to use sharp scissors to cut off the back loop of the buttons that are used for sewing onto clothing.  Gives it a flatter surface to work with.  See figure 4.
Figure 4

                                                                                                           
9.      The metal decorative piece you purchased may have come with sawtooth hangers on the back or hanging wire.  You can get a little creative here with the tools you have available and personal taste.  I love to add ribbon to my hanging pieces.  Use the largest hole in your Crop-o-dile tool to punch two holes on the metal piece and add two black eyelets.  See figure 5.


Figure 5


10.  Cut a 24” piece of your 7/8” black grosgrain ribbon long enough to make a loop for hanging and tying knots at each end.  Feed your ribbon through each eyelet and tie knots at each end.  Trim off excess ribbon.  See figure 6.

Figure 6


11.  The last piece of this project is to create your 30 magnet markers to use on each numbered square.  Select 30 stickers that are large enough to cover the round magnets you chose.  Place the stickers on a coordinating piece of scrapbooking paper.  Cut around each sticker.  Glue each sticker again on another layer of scrapbooking paper using your 3-in-1 glue.  It is recommended to add 3 layers of scrapbooking paper to add thickness to your sticker.

12.  Glue a round magnet to the back of each sticker using your 3-in-1 glue.  Allow to dry at least 6 hours or overnight to ensure that the glue has dried.  And now you’re ready to countdown a fun Halloween with your kids!




*       This project can cost between $18 and 24.  Depends on some of the materials you use or may already have at home.  My favorite stores for craft supplies are Joanns, Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  They always have good sales or email you coupons regularly.  These stores also have apps you can download for coupons.
*       The glues and adhesives I suggest are my favorites for any project and know they are going to make your creation last for years to come.
*       I suggest that if you are not a regular crafter, find a friend who is and offer to share your supplies and work on this project together!
*       The colors and embellishments I used were based on my preference but feel free to modify.  The greatest thing about crafting is that you can make it your own by adding your own little flair.  Happy Crafting!


    -Veronica Carter has a real gift and passion for crafting. This is evident in all the amazing things she creates. Veronica is a UCLA alumni, wife and mother to 2 amazing boys. She currently lives with her family in Arizona.