Category: Parenting

Link Round-up: DIY Solid Perfume, New Year’s Eve, and More

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has DIY solid perfume, a New Year’s Eve treat, and more.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make cute Grinch grape snack bags.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make your own solid perfume.

Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make raspberry walnut baked brie.

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Kenarry shared a recipe for Oreo cookie balls that will be perfect for New Year’s Eve.

The Thrifty Couple showed us how to create a wrapping station from a kitchen stool.

Tastes Better from Scratch taught us how to make rocky road fudge.

Sunny Simple Life shared a quick tip on how to make the faucet sparkle.

Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and Kenarry

Age Appropriate Bedtimes

Posted on Dec 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

It can be difficult to choose a fair bedtime for kids, especially as they get older.

I love being around my kids but I am usually ready to have some adult time in the evenings.

When my older two were small my (now ex) husband couldn’t handle coming home to kid chaos and so I got in the habit of feeding them and putting them to bed by six-thirty or seven. They absolutely hated it and, looking back, I wish I had put him to bed and kept them up for company.

Live and learn.

My other kids generally have an eight-thirty bedtime until they are fifteen. Then I just let them decide what works for them. I don’t know why I decided that fifteen was the magic age but I did.

I will say that I tend to look the other way if they are reading in bed after bedtime and I have one child that is a Jack-in-the-Box for about an  hour.

Web MD makes the following suggestions:

  • Up until about age three they need about fourteen hours of sleep per day.
  • From four to six they need about twelve hours of sleep a day.
  • From seven to twelve they need about eleven hours per day.
  • From thirteen to eighteen they need about nine hours of sleep per day.

My schedule works for us and I think that the kids do get close to the recommended amount of sleep each day. I can tell when they don’t just as much as I can tell when I don’t get enough sleep.

How do you handle bedtimes at your house?

photo credit: Robert D.M. via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Holiday Food Ideas, Ornaments, and More

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up features holiday food ideas, ornaments, and more.

Muslin and Merlot taught us how to make clothespin snowflake ornaments.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a dollhouse pillow.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared a cute snowman mashed potatoes idea.

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Kenarry shared a fun holiday recipe featuring peanut butter and graham crackers.

Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to create vintage stripe aged galvanized buckets.

Musings of a SAHM showed us how to make peppermint pots de crème.

Stockpiling Moms showed us how to make buckeye dip.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Kenarry

Kids with One Parent Are Not Missing Out

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 by No Comments

Single moms and dads take note — pack up that excessive guilt and send it away. Researchers from UK’s NatCen Social Research recorded information from 13,000 children and then analyzed the data. Guess what?

Children’s happiness has no correlation to the type of family they lived in. When the team questioned seven year olds about their happiness 36 percent said they were happy all of the time and 64 percent said they were happy sometimes or never, regardless of whether they were raised by two biological parents or one.

The percentages were the same even when they divided the children up according to social classes. The results were similar in the 11 to 15 year old age group.

So, what does affect a child’s happiness?

The researchers say that a child’s relationships with his family members and friendships at school were the main predictors of his happiness level. Factors such as negative peer pressure, bullying, and fights had a much larger impact on a child’s happiness than how many parents he lived with.

Single parents, and parents contemplating divorce, have been smacked around by much of society questioning the happiness and emotional health of their children. This study would seem to be a win on the side of the single parent.

Divorce is tough on kids and I am willing to bet few parents contemplates divorce without counting the cost to their children. I know that when I was moving toward divorce, concern for my children was uppermost in my mind.

My thought then, and this research kind of backs me up, is that children in homes where the parents are fighting and unhappy are more likely to have emotional trauma than a child in a home with a single parent who is content.

I grew up as the only child in a two parent family where there was constant bickering and fighting. It did not get physical but the stress level was high. I was (and still am) very sensitive. I’ve always felt, and been affected by, the atmosphere of a place.

When my parents fought I holed up in my room but being alone didn’t muffle the sounds of their fighting, nor did it help to calm the anxiety attacks that usually hit me in waves. When I was older I just left the house so it didn’t bother me quite as much but even so, the animosity level was thick around our house nearly every day.

I was not a happy child. I’d say that I was among the 64 percent who weren’t happy very often. My happiest moments where when I was with just one of my parents at a time. They were each more relaxed away from each other and peace prevailed.

I think that it’s important to keep the big picture in mind when making decisions and, while it’s good to get advice from people you trust, take what other people say about your situation with a grain of salt. They don’t know the specifics and they aren’t the ones living your life.

It’s true that if you’re happy then it’s likely that your kids will be, too.

So, single moms and dads? You can be confident that your kids are going to be just fine. You might want to keep an eye on peer relationships at school, though.

photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc

Should Hop on Pop Be Banned?

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 by No Comments

Should the Dr. Seuss book, Hop on Pop be banned? One dad thinks so.

Hop on Pop is one of the first books my kids learned to read. I say this so that you understand that I probably will be writing this with a bias no matter how hard I try to be fair.

I bet you’re wondering why this man would want to ban the book and have it removed from his library? Simply put, he feels that it promotes violence against fathers. That’s not all. This dad also requested that libraries issue a formal apology to fathers and pay for damages that resulted from the book.

Seriously?

First of all, I am a firm believer that books are a right and therefore should not be banned. I am personally quite offended by Anton LeVay’s Satanic Bible but I would never ask that it be banned. That’s just opening yourself up for people to randomly ban books that they find offensive.

I know that several high schools in my state talked about pulling Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer from their library shelves and curriculum because of the use of racial slurs that were common in the South in the 1800s and early 1900s. The problem is that without books like that you don’t get a good understanding of the culture in that time period.

Anyway, I am not sure that it’s a great idea to start banning books because someone feels they promote violence. It’s more important, in my opinion, to teach kids a respect for the feelings and rights of others. If they have that ethic then a book is not going to make a difference.

And anti-Seuss Dad? Man up.

photo credit: various brennemans via photopin cc

Carrie Underwood Serenades Her Unborn Baby

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 by No Comments

I’ve been a fan of Carrie Underwood since her American Idol days. It’s like she’s grown up in the public eye since then, but happily she’s retained her sweetness. I

n 2009 she was engaged to hockey player Mike Fisher, and they were married in 2010. Now at 31, I’m happy to see that she’s expecting her first baby…a boy.

The couple broke the news in September, shortly following their fourth wedding anniversary. A week later, her baby bump made its debut at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois.

This week, she appeared on the Tonight Show recently with Jimmy Fallon and talked about her pregnancy. During the exchange, she mentioned that she performs for her unborn son and feels pressure to make it “good.”

It amazes me that she feels that way. Not just pressure to be good, but that she still doesn’t realize how good she really is. That’s one of the things I appreciate about her.

She went on to admit that she feels like she has to sing good all the time, like even if she’s just driving in the car, because the baby is listening. When I heard that, all I could think was “as if she could sing bad.”

Fallon himself is a new dad, and he asked about how her family took the news. She said her parents have a lot of grandkids. “I have lots of nieces and nephews so my parents were obviously very happy, but they’ve heard it all before. They have great grandchildren. I’m slow.”

But on Mike’s side of the family, she said, “Mike’s mom shed a few tears…. She was that kind of happy.”

Carrie is looking great. She’s taking steps to stay healthy on the inside and out with exercise and diet and has been working with Erin Oprea as her personal trainer. It shows!

Photo credits: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon Shows Off Pics of His Newborn Daughter

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 by 1 Comment

Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show, took three days off from the show last week. When he returned on Monday, he updated his audience about why he was gone and shared pictures of his new baby, Frances Cole Fallon. She was born on Dec. 3, and weighed 5 lbs. 11 ounces.

Fallon went on to say, “I just want to say it’s just a big deal for us and I just want to thank everyone, the nurses and the doctors and our surrogate, who had our baby. There are angels in Dallas, Texas.”

This is the couple’s second child. Little Franny Fallon joins her big sister, Winnie Rose, who is now 16 months old and was also born via surrogate.

Jimmy and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, hadn’t announced the good news right away, but decided to enjoy their new daughter privately until Franny made her official debut.

The Tonight Show Tweeted, “Due to unexpected but delightful circumstances, there will not be new episodes tonight or Thursday evening.” Then on Wednesday, Jimmy sent out his own Tweet, “Franny sends her thanks,” he wrote.

Once the big news was announced, his team posted baby pics on the Fallon Tonight Twitter account, too.

Jimmy Fallon makes no secret of how much he loves having kids. In an interview with People in June, he admitted, “This has been the craziest year of my life. But being a father is the most exciting, amazing thing that ever happened to me. And everything is going well on the show. My life has never been so cool.”

And the coolness goes on. This year, he also wrote his first baby book, You Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, and has a second child to celebrate.

One of the things I like about Fallon is how real he is. He shares his life along with his talent. Now with two children, I expect twice the fun when they dress those little darlings in some of those ridiculous but cute outfits they put on Winnie.

Photo credits: Twitter

Link Round-up: Organizing Leftovers, Sweets, a Gift Guide, and More

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has chalkboard Pyrex dishes, sweets, a gift guide, and more.

Crafts by Amanda showed us a good idea for keeping the leftovers organized in the fridge.

A Beautiful Mess showed us five DIY holiday garlands.

Rad Mom Cool Kid shared a holiday gift guide for babies and toddlers.

This Silly Girl’s Life shared a recipe for cherry cheesecake snowman cookies.

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Kenarry shared a recipe for cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.

Wheel n Deal Mama showed us how to make chocolate covered spoons for a hot chocolate bar.

Save More Spend Less with Heidi taught us how to make a cinnamon votive candle holder.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Kenarry

Dear Divorced Dads: Child Support Is Not about Your Ex-Wife

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 by 2 Comments

If you are in a loving, first marriage feel free to skip this post and find something that you can identify with, but if you are a mom who is supposed to be getting child support, or more importantly, if you are a dad who resents paying child support please read on.

I am in my second marriage. My husband also has an ex-wife and child from his marriage. I watched him pay child support without one complaint until the child was of age. At that point I watched him continue to care for his child on an as needed basis.

I say this to let the world know that there are men out there who do actually understand the concept of child support. On the other hand, I also know, and have experienced, men who resent the child support they pay and complain about their ex-wife and the money they pay to her.

Here’s a concept. Child support goes to benefit the child. More than likely your ex-wife is not getting $500.00 spa days with the money you send for the kids.

I know that I work hard to provide for my kids and, while I can make it without child support, the money that I get from the ex allows me to work a little less so that I can actually spend time being a mom.

The custodial parent doesn’t just support the kids financially, she is there for them in every way she always has been. You can’t put a price on that kind of care and kids need it.

So, divorced dad, the next time you get angry and resent paying that child support bill? You aren’t resenting your ex-wife you are resenting that you have to take care of your kids. Your ex-wife just manages their money for their benefit.

Puts an entirely different spin on it, doesn’t it?

photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc