Category: Parenting

Link Round-up: Sweets, Fashion Talk, Things to Do with Toddlers, and More

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie, fashion talk, things to do with toddlers before they turn two, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make mini cinnamon rolls.

Mommypotamus taught us how to make maca energy bars.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared what makes a basic wardrobe item an essential.

link ru pumpkin pie
I Heart Nap Time shared a pumpkin pie recipe.

Rookie Moms shared a list of things to do with toddlers before they turn two.

Babble took a humorous look at a kid-free employee’s complaint that parents “get” to take extra time off when their kids need something.

Mom-Blog offered tips for going dairy-free without losing your mind.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and I Heart Nap Time

Halloween Version of Elf on the Shelf

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 by No Comments

My kids were grown before the Elf on a Shelf craze started, but when my niece visited with her three children on the way to Disney last year, I was introduced to the rules of having one of these elves.

The children weren’t allowed to touch it or it would lose its magic, and while the elf wasn’t allowed to move or speak while people were around, it moved to a different location each night. Just what a mom of three (5 and under) needed to deal with on vacation, but I kept my lips zipped on that.

The Elf on the Shelf started as a storybook, and now it seems a new Halloween tradition has come on the scene in the same way with a book titled Switchcrafted.

Switchcrafted is a 20 page hardcover book with beautiful illustrations, an 8.5-inch witch doll, and a trick or treat bag.

The story introduces Switch Witches Ruby, Wanda, and Piper along with their helpers Sugar and Chewy and a new Halloween tradition of getting rid of all the sugary Halloween treats your children collect.

It encourages them to exchange their sweets for a healthier options – thus the title “Switchcraft.” I just learned about this, but I guess it goes on all October with the witch doll moving around to different places watching pre-Halloween activities much like the elf does before Christmas.

The Switchcrafted website offers ideas for ways to donate candy and provides ideas for healthy snack alternatives, along with games, activities and more. The idea behind the book is to help equip parents with a way to deal with the massive amounts of candy brought into the house following trick or treating.

While the idea might be fun, the practical side of me kicks in. As a parent we spend money on costumes and candy, let the kids go out and trick-or-treat, and then want them to give up their candy to the witches who need it for fuel. I’m not sure how that’s going to work.

Maybe if we want to limit their candy take, we could limit how many houses they visit on Halloween. I’d love to hear from parents out there to hear how this goes over with the kids. The giving up of their candy stash that is.

Photo credits: Amazon

Link Round-up: Fun Ideas for Halloween, a Superfood Smoothie, and More

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has more fun ideas for Halloween, treats, a superfood smoothie, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make Butterfinger brownies.

A Beautiful Mess shared 13 fun ideas for Halloween.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make Halloween mini donuts.

link ru dry erase marker
Kenarry taught us how to remove dry erase marker from the wall.

I Heart Nap Time showed us how to make banana cream pie.

Crafts ‘n Coffee shared how to make a Halloween eyeball wreath that glows in the dark.

Mommypotamus gave us a chocolate peppermint superfood smoothie recipe.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry

Superstitions About Babies

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 by 2 Comments

Back when my daughter was three months old, my husband and I made a visit to my great-grandparent’s farm to join in a brief vacation with extended family. Everyone was overjoyed to see my firstborn. It was an ideal way to show her off and catch up with everyone.

But there were little things I didn’t expect as a new mom, like superstitions my great-grandma believed.

For instance, according to her thinking, you didn’t cut your baby’s fingernails until after they were a year old. If I clipped them, my daughter would become a thief to Grandma’s way of thinking. Instead, I was supposed to bite her nails.

I admit I was a bit astounded that anyone could still think like that. She had others, like not showing your baby their reflection in the mirror or they’d grow up vain.

Believe it or not, people from different cultures still believe these kinds of things today. While my great-grandma had Irish roots, some cultures believe they need to protect babies from the evil eye.

This can be done by wearing a red or pink bracelet that can be worn around the wrist or neck, but you have to be careful that it isn’t a choking hazard. A red thread can work.

Another superstition I recently learned about has to do with someone complimenting your baby. The belief is that when someone says nice things about your child that they are actually jealous and sending bad thoughts your way. To thwart this just stick your thumb between your middle and fourth fingers and the power will be nullified.

Another way to chase away these bad vibes is to lick your baby’s face three times and then spit on the floor. Can you imagine doing that when someone tells you how cute your baby is? It sounds like something you might see on Saturday Night Live.

The evil eye superstition is also related to the belief that babies should not be taken out for the first 40 days.

There are many more superstitions regarding keeping babies safe and more, like washing their hair with wine if you want them to have curly hair. I’d love to hear what your family believed or believes.

Photo credits: Jess

Advertising to Children Is a Big Business

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 by 1 Comment

Did you know that the average American child watches 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year? This means that by the time the typical American graduates from high school, he or she has spent twice as many hours in front of a television than in a classroom.

Companies market to children because history has shown that is it effective. In the United States, $15 to $17 billion is spent each year on advertising targeted towards children — with $4 billion coming from the fast food industry alone.

The advertiser’s return on this investment is huge, however. Teens are estimated to spend $160 billion per year, while younger children spend about $18 billion per year.

One might think that children are only a factor in the purchase of toys and candy. However, even purchases that are not exclusively for children, such as the family car, are heavily influenced by their opinions.

James McNeal, a market researcher specializing in the children’s market, reports that SUVs rose in popularity once advertising helped children decided that it was no longer “cool” for Mom and Dad to drive them to school in a minivan.

Before I became a parent, I firmly believed that it was a matter of personal responsibility to limit your child’s exposure to advertising. However, I’m starting to realize that this is extremely difficult to do unless you live in an Amish community with no exposure to the outside world.

We don’t have cable TV at home, but my son still sees commercials while watching shows at Grandma’s house or when we visit a business that has a TV playing in the background. His favorite websites are filled with ads for toys and candy. There are even ads in each issue of the National Geographic Kids magazine his great grandparents got him for his birthday last year.

Are you bothered by how many ads your child sees in a typical day? Why or why not?

Photo credit: Stock.xchng

Do Smart Toys Make Our Kids Smart?

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 by No Comments

Technology is providing us with more and more Smart gadgets. Our smart phones know who we called, how long we talked, keeps track of all the phone numbers we need to know, and let us stay connected to social media and the web.

But if you lose your phone, how smart are you then?

I ask this because as Smart technology enters the world of play for our kids, I wonder if the toy’s abilities curb the use of the child’s imagination.

For instance, the Smart Wheels Train Station Playset from VTech is a motorized train set that runs along tracks and plays what they call “imaginative phrases” or music at each of ten Smart Locations.

It is designed to teach time concepts, colors, and phrases in English and foreign languages. It does other things, too, but for a toy designed for 1-5 year olds I wonder about developing the use of imagination!

Imagination
The first three to five years are critical developmentally, and currently there are no studies to show that SmartToys (as well as other educational toys) give kids an intellectual edge.

However, researchers have discovered that babies who are deprived of certain stimuli during the early years of life never totally recover from that lack of stimulation. It leads me to wonder if we are creating a generation of passive observers who like to be entertained, rather that kids who figure out how things work and use their imagination to come up with new ideas.

A growing body of evidence shows several connections between cognitive competence and high-quality pretend play. According to one study, it may “facilitate a higher-level of cognition,” and that there are “clear links between pretend play and social and linguistic competence.”

I say let the toys leave the smarts to the kids. Let them play pretend and grow to be our next generation equipped to think for themselves and dream rather than passive observers waiting to be entertained or told what to do.

Photo credits: AmazonRenee

Link Round-up: Avoiding Toxins, Healthy Meals, Fingerpainting with Starburst, and More

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for avoiding toxins while pregnant, treats, healthy meals, a new fingerpaint idea, and more.

A Beautiful Mess shared a giant skillet brownie recipe.

Mind Body Green shared 14 tips for minimizing toxins while pregnant.

Bitz n Giggles showed us how to make a Snicker caramel apple dip.

link ru monogrammed pumpkin
Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make monogrammed pumpkins.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make Starburst fingerpaint (that’s one idea for getting rid of the Halloween candy!).

Luv a Bargain shared a cilantro lime chicken with zucchini and spinach recipe.

Play Dates on Fridays took a look at some of the insecurities we have as parents and how they sometimes show up in daily conversations.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Uncommon Designs Online

Parenting Consultants Have Answers for All Your Parenting Angst

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 by 2 Comments

If you can’t get your baby to latch on, well then you can call a lactation consultant.

If you can’t get your baby to sleep then you want a sleep consultant.

Need help figuring out how to baby proof you house?

Well, there’s a consultant for that, too.

While I am all in favor of help when you need it, I have to say that the rising number of young parents hiring consultants scares me.

Back in the day you went to your family doctor for almost everything. He saw you when you were a baby, handled your elementary school stitches, and might have even delivered your first baby. He knew you, your family, and it was awesome.

Then came specialization. The family doctor became your primary care physician, doing little more than pointing you in the direction of the right specialist. No one knew you — now you’re just an insurance number and a last name.

What’s that have to do with babies? I’m getting there.

No one knows your baby like you do. It’s normal for parents to feel intimidated and scared when they bring that first baby home from the hospital, but you get through those first days and weeks just fine.

As you do you build confidence and become a parent. If you turn to a consultant for everything your baby needs I really think you lose more than you gain.

The consultant doesn’t know you or your baby. She can only tell you what has worked for other people or what she’s learned from textbooks. Maybe it’s time to try a radical parenting technique. Let’s call it figure it out parenting.

Seriously, Google parenting coach or parenting consultant and you will see pages and pages of links. Do you agree that this whole consultant/coaching thing has gotten out of hand?

photo credit: swambo via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Homemade Candy, Tuna Roll-ups, Fall Home Maintenance, and More

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has homemade candy, mushroom risotto, tuna roll-ups, a fall home maintenance checklist, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make homemade salted butter caramels.

Mind Body Green asked, “Are you taking care of everyone but yourself?”

Luv a Bargain showed us how to make mushroom risotto.

link ru fall maintenance checklist
Kenarry shared a fall home maintenance checklist with a free printable.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make tuna roll-ups.

Play Dates on Fridays shared five of the worst times to be a mom of multiples.

I Dig Pinterest showed us how to make Halloween Oreo popcorn.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Kenarry