Making play dough with my mom is one of my favorite memories. There are so many cool recipes now that don’t involve cooking and stirring over a hot pot….here is one of them!
Archive of ‘Kids’ category
As you can imagine, we do a lot of traveling. We’ve been on some pretty long plane rides, up to 12 hours. I’ve learned some do’s & don’ts over the last couple of years of traveling with an infant and now toddler, and I’m willing to share all the info. Traveling with a small child is basically a few hours of distraction on your part. You have to have a bag full of tricks at your disposal, and pray to all that is holy that your kid takes a nap at some point (pearl usually falls asleep during the landing.) Here are some hacks to help you get through these possibly tough times.
1. Don’t worry about over-sized liquids for baby including milk, water & baby food. TSA will test the vapors & let you through security with them. The 3 ounce rule does not apply.
I learned this because Pearl’s formula was home made and liquid only. I didn’t have powdered formula, so I was quite worried. Called TSA & they explained that any liquid baby products or food were allowed through, they just test the vapors on top of the liquid, or make you take a sip of it to prove its authenticity.
2. Pack 3x as much baby food or formula than you think you need.
You’ll want to give the baby your breast, pacifier, or a bottle during take off and landing, even if they don’t drink the whole thing. Sucking on something during these times greatly reduces ear pressure. The other bottle is for when the baby is actually hungry. If your flight is long, you may want to pack 4 or 5 servings of milk & food. Food can become a great tool to cure boredom & restlessness.
3. Pack LOTS of diapers & a change of clothes incase baby has a diaper blowout
For some reason, my child always finds a way to have a massive blow out every time I’m caught without a change of clothes. She’s famous in our family for it. Bring more diapers than you think you need, obviously, but don’t forget that extra pair of pants!
4. Pack a changing pad for the bathroom
I normally didn’t carry these with me everywhere, but airplane bathrooms are small & the pull down changer is hard and likely very dirty. Pearl would freak out when I’d try to put her on the hard surface. I started traveling with one of those soft roll-up pads. I love the memory foam roll-up ones by “Ah Goo Baby”.
5. Pack a buffet of snacks, including emergency candy
If your kid is old enough to eat snacks, pack a lot of them. On our most recent trip I brought 7 different types of snacks. My husband thought I was insane, but she (and he) ate nearly all of them. She would get bored & I would introduce a new snack. She would pick at it, and it would buy me some time to think of a new activity for her. I also keep an emergency piece of candy in the bag incase of a total meltdown. In those cases, it’s not for her, it’s for the poor people around us who have to hear her have a tantrum. Nothing stops an unprovoked meltdown like a piece of chocolate.
6. Charge your iPad and fully download every show, movie, and toddler app you want BEFORE getting to the airport
Airplanes, even if they have wi-fi, are famous for having super slow speed when it comes to the internet. You can’t stream anything up there, and there’s nothing worse than your kid having a meltdown because Peppa Pig is skipping & only downloaded half way.
7. Enable Guided Access as a CHILD LOCK on the iPhone and iPad to prevent kids from pressing home button & volume control
This changed my life. Go into your settings—>general—>accessibility—>and scroll down to “guided access” and turn it “on”. Now your ready to set up the lock. By clicking the “home” button 3 times in a row, a passcode entry should show up. Set your pass code & then hit “start” guided access. Now try and press the home key or any other button. It doesn’t work To unlock, triple click the home button again and enter the passcode to turn it off. You’re welcome!
8. Download kids’ books on a smart device rather than bringing heavy children’s books
If your kid likes books like mine does, you could easily get stuck bringing 10 heavy books in your diaper bag. When we’re home, Pearl reads her physical books, but when we travel, she reads them on the iPad. You can download most of the ones you have on iBooks.
9. If you’re bringing your carseat on the plane, get one of these:
One of our favorite purchases as parents so far. Strap the carseat to the cart & it turns into a stroller. Pearl always has her own seat now that she’s two, and this really makes car-seat traveling a heck of a lot easier.
10. Check your stroller at the gate instead of with the bags
If you’re not bringing a car seat on the plane, and you don’t want to carry your child through the airport in an Ergo baby or Bjorn, take your stroller with you to the gate. As you get on the plane, they will take it from you and put it in the plane last minute. When you leave the aircraft, they will take it out for you & this only takes a couple of minutes. When we don’t fly with the car seat, we usually do this & it saves us from having to carry a wiggly two year old around the airport.
11. Use a baby carrier to get small infants through security & also go through metal detector
You’ll need 2 hands to get all of your explosive, I mean, non-explosive laptops and cameras out of your bag and into the trays. Keep the Bjorn or Ergo strapped to you and just put the baby in it. You can even walk through the metal detector with the baby strapped to you. They’ll just swab your hands real quick to check for explosive residue and what not, no need to be alarmed.
12. Make a copy of child’s birth certificate and keep it in your bag
Most airlines are not too suspicious of children under two, but incase you have to PROVE your kid is under two, and that they are traveling for free because of this, you’ll at least have some proof in paper form.
13. Ignore the haters who are un-sympathetic towards children
There will be people giving you dirty looks when your kid cries, but as my husband likes to say, “We were all babies who screamed and annoyed people at some point.” Don’t let anyone’s grandiose attitude affect you or your family. Babies cry, and people will get over it!
A hot topic in the parenting world right now is the question, “Should I let my kids do sleepovers or not?” I’m going to try to keep my views on this short, factual, based on my own personal experiences & the experiences of those close to me.
My husband and I have talked about this often, as of recent. Even though our daughter is only two, we know there will soon come a day where she wants to do sleepovers. I believe that the days of letting your kids go and sleep at so and so’s house are long gone. In my opinion they have been unsafe even when I was in elementary school (I’m 27 now, so do the math). There were a number of questionable things that I witnessed and experienced first hand during sleepovers. Being a parent has caused me to look at my own past and uncover lots of things that happened to me growing up that I never really payed attention to before having a child of my own…things that I used to think were no big deal have now become things that I know for sure I don’t want my daughter to experience.
Let’s start with some facts. Most sexual abuse occurs in kids between the ages of 7-15, with the majority of those kids being girls. One in five girls are sexually abused in their life. One in twenty boys are as well. Kids are usually abused by people the parents trust, NOT strangers. We all know “stranger-danger”, but three out of four kids abused are violated by someone they know very well. This may be hard to understand for some of you, but most children are not forced into the sexual abuse. It occurs after the grooming period of attention, gifts, and trusting happens. This is why statistically, most children do not immediately go to their parents after the abuse initially occurs, even if their parents have well taught them about sexual abuse. They easily become confused and feel shameful by what’s going on & they are not always likely to run and tell mom.
It’s not just the parents you have to worry about at the sleepover. Let’s consider that a vast majority of the abuse occurs from a relative of the friend, an older sibling (or the sibling’s friend), or the actual friend themselves. What if your daughter is 13 & she feels validated or special that the friend’s older brother is giving her inappropriate sexual attention? She certainly isn’t going to come running to you & tattle. This is where parents have to understand that there are many different types of abuse. There is also a thing called “non-contact” child abuse, which includes a child’s exposure to pornography, voyeurism, or other inappropriate content. With pornography being easy as ever to access through the computer and television, parents have to wake up and protect their kids by taking action to block these avenues. It is impossible to go to other peoples’ houses and “kid-proof” all of their devices, which is why lots of parents today are just saying “NO” all-together to sleep overs. These parents feel the amount of unsafe things that could happen to their child while they are outside of their care overnight far outweighs any good that could come from a sleepover, and I agree in a lot of aspects.
Yes, these stats are dark, but they are accurate….which begs the question, “Do we let these fears of our children being abused control our lives and suck the fun & adventure out of their adolescent years?” “Sleeping over is a right of passage, and it’s normal”, is what I heard one guy say. I beg to differ. We usually hear men say these things because most men were not afflicted by sexual abuse. I’ll bet every woman reading this right now can recall being sexually violated, taken advantage of, or feeling uncomfortable due to someone else’s sexual advances at some point in her life. Men can’t say the same, so naturally, they often don’t share the same views as women in regards to sleepovers.
I’m open to investigating further before deciding on a yes or no answer. I think this situation should be taken case by case. Use your intuition. If you get ANY weird feelings about anyone, your gut is usually right. Don’t like a friend’s older brother? You’re probably right somewhere in that feeling. I don’t put myself in situations with anyone I feel uncomfortable with, and I definitely don’t do it with my kid. I urge you to use this assessment tactic with everyone: your kids dentists, doctors, coaches, pool guy, etc. If you get a weird feeling about anyone, immediately detach from them. There is no way of knowing if someone is a predator. Predators are more than often charismatic, trusting, charming, & appear to be innocent. It’s always better safe than sorry….and you should never be sorry for trying to protect your kids.
I urge you to open up this conversation with your spouse, and try to decide what fits your family best. A negotiation with the child is a great compromise. Maybe your child can have friends sleep over, that way you can protect them without robbing them of the excitement of a sleepover. I see this becoming common-place among kids, now. I already know 3 parents who don’t do sleepovers, whereas I didn’t know any growing up. Let’s open up the lines of communication! Sexual abuse thrives in secrecy, so let’s expose it out in the light & take all of the shame & fear away from kids. Let’s empower our children to make good choices and to feel comfortable talking to us.
Here are some recent links of others discussing this same topic that you might find helpful:
Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments, and let’s all be respectful of one another’s opinions
Being a mom means lots of things, including having savvy knowledge about certain things that your friends who aren’t moms probably don’t have. Here are some cool mommy hacks that you can use anytime.
1. Cinnamon In The Sandbox Keeps The Bugs Away!
Yep. Sprinkle some cinnamon in that sandbox to keep buggy pests from crawling all over your kid. Sprinkle and mix a whole bottle of cinnamon in with the sand. Works like a charm. Bugs hate cinnamon, they love pepper. Everybody knows that. UGH.
2. Use Dental Floss to Cut A Cake
This works great if you want perfectly clean slices, especially with softer cakes like cheesecake or mousse cakes. Perfect for bringing to the park and disposing after use, instead of having to carry a dirty knife back with you. Works great for soft cheeses, too!
3. Use Bottle Nipple As Medicine Dispenser
My mom showed me this when Pearl was a baby, and my mind was blown. I would put the gripe water or colic calm in the nipple and let my child suck the liquid out. Genius! Apparently people have been doing this for quite some time, but since I didn’t know this as a new mom, there may be some of you out there that will find this one helpful!
4. Cupcake Liner as Popsicle Drip Catcher
I can’t tell you the amount of stains I’ve had to have removed from my rugs due to Pearl’s popsicle drippings. She now has to eat them naked, outside. If I would have known this sooner, It would have saved me a lot of trouble!
5. Hanging Shoe Rack as Cleaning Supply Organizer
This is a great way to get the cleaning supplies all organized and out from under the sink. How great is this?!? Could also be used to store crafting supplies.
6. Section off Ground Meat Before Freezing For Perfect Portions
I actually have been doing this for a long time…it is really helpful! Cuts down on waste & every portion is perfect! Break off what you need and keep the rest frozen.
7. Wrap the Ends of Bananas with Plastic Wrap to Keep Twice as Long
Not exactly sure about the science behind this, but it works! Wrap the ends of the banana bunch in plastic wrap & it will keep the bananas from over ripening quickly.
8. Keep Onions in The Refigerator to Prevent Crying While Cutting
Cold onions make you produce a lot less tears when you cut them! My brother in law taught me this, and I’ve been keeping my onions in the refrigerator ever since.
9. Pour Pancake Batter From A Squeeze Bottle For Fun Shapes
I love this! You can buy a condiment squeeze bottle practically anywhere for really cheap, or use an empty ketchup bottle. Pour the pancake batter in it and use it to make precision shaped flapjacks! Mickey mouse, hearts, letters…the possibilities are endless! 10. Clean Toys In the Dishwasher
This is perfect for all of the infant toys that don’t contain electronics. Put them all in the dishwasher & set on a gentle sanitizing setting, no detergent needed. Voila! Clean & sterile toys.
11. Wear a Bathrobe Over Work Clothes Until Kids Leave for School
How many times has your blouse been stained before you even get out of the door? Try putting on a thin bathrobe over your clothes & removing it right before you walk out of the door to prevent anything from getting on your clothes during the morning routine with the kids!
12. Make An Instant Art Bib With Glad Press n’ Seal
No washing of clothing involved! Just press and seal the plastic directly onto front of the shirt for an instant art smock.
13. Use a Pool Noodle as a Bed Bumper for Bed Transitioning Tots
Place a pool noodle under the fitted sheet of a toddler bed or any bed for a perfect bumper to keep your child safe in the bed. I think these make the bed look like a giant changing table, but I must say, it is a very cheap alternative to the expensive guard rails that can cost over $50.
14. Wet Paper Towel Around Bottle & Freeze for 15 Minute Cold Beverage
Enjoy an ice cold glass of beer or wine in 15 minutes by simply wrapping a wet paper towel around the bottle & putting it in the freezer. Don’t leave it in too long! 15 minutes should be enough to get it ice cold.
15. Cut A Sticker In Half to Show Toddler Which Foot Goes Where
A great visual for a toddler! It’s like a puzzle piece. Cut the sticker in half and place one side in each shoe. That way your kid will know which one goes on the left, and which one goes on the right.
What are some of your favorite mom hacks? Share in the comments below!
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