Father’s Day: Printables

Father’s Day is on Sunday just a few days away. I don’t have our gifts ready yet but wanted to share a few with you that simply require a computer, printer, basic supplies, and some time.

A fun booklet can be found at eighteen25.

A cute single page About Dad can be found at Big D and Me.

Fun coupons can be found at The Frugal Girls.

I hope that these are helpful for any other last minute friends out there. I may share our Father’s Day gifts afterwards since they aren’t quite ready!

~Hope

{Shared Post} The iPad is Stealing my Son’s Childhood

Over the weekend I read this article from I Can Teach My Child discussing how we are allowing the overuse of technology. I talked a few weeks about going low tech in my post Life in the Slow Lane. I think Jenae really gives some wonderful tips for unplugging and regulating time with technology!

Everyone head over to I Can Teach My Child and read The iPad is Stealing my Son’s Childhood!

Life in the slow lane…

This weekend (Monday and part of today), the kids and I enjoyed time at my parents dairy farm while my husband worked a 48 hour shift. The kids watched my Dad pull a calf while we were there (a first for both of them).

At my parents there is little to no cell phone service (but there is wifi) so I can really unplug and not feel bad.

Sometimes I think about how wired we are and I worry for my children. Will they know how to sit in a room full of people and have a conversation? Will they have true friends not just social media buddies?

I think we all need to take a few minutes and shut off our phones, tablets, and computers so that we can just spend a little time together. Focusing on nothing else other than those around us. Building honest relationships, meaningful relationships with those we truly love and cherish.

Unplug for a few minutes each day or a few hours each day and live life! Love those in front of you! Have a non – Facebook friend!

~Hope

I’m being the best ME, I can be!

As a society, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Magazines air brush photos to touch people up so that they look closer to perfection. Plastic surgery is big business with over 600,000 surgeries for breast augmentation and liposuction just among women in 2013. (source)

Not only do we compare ourselves as women but we also compare ourselves as moms. Have you ever looked at another woman and thought “how did she lose all that baby weight so fast?” or “how does she keep her house so clean and manage her kids?” or “how does she get her kids in bed by 8:30 when I barely get mine asleep by 10?”

I know I have thought some of those thoughts. I’ve also silently praised myself at times because I knew I was accomplishing something that other moms might be envious of.

A friend of mine came over with her son the other day and our boys played together. We talked about bedtime struggles along with various other things. She expressed her frustrations that she couldn’t seem to master some “general” parenting things other friends on her Facebook seemed to be pros at. My explanation to her was “they’re liars.” None of us have it all together.

**My middle son, Brother, will turn 3 on Saturday. He’s not potty trained, at all.

**My house is a wreck probably 50% of the time, if not more.

**I am 50 lbs overweight.

**I hate doing laundry and it’s always piled everywhere.

**I yell at my kids sometimes.

**I use PBS as a babysitter some days (I even sit my youngest in front of it every now and again).

I’m not perfect as a person, parent or homemaker. I will never be perfect. And I’m okay with that.

Accept who you are. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Hand – Eye Coordination via Board Games

image

We see kids today operating cell phones, swiping screens, playing games and working those tiny fingers as fast as they can. The problem is that sometimes those same kids have a real issue with hands on work. They don’t have good fine motor skills or their hand and eye coordination is off.

Most think that you need to have fancy equipment to improve hand – eye coordination but you don’t. We have been playing board games to help Brother with fine motor hand – eye coordination. Some great games are the one pictured above (the fish pop up and down and you have to catch them) as well as an elephant game (butterflies blow up the trunk and you catch them with nets). Sister needs help with her gross motor coordination so we throw a baseball around, bats at the ball, and we play volleyball.

Working on coordination can be extremely cheap and easy. You have things in your home, that will assist in the aiding of these skills. So put down the electronics and play a good old fashioned game.

~Hope

Breastfeeding….teeth and all

My sweet Little Man will be 8 months old in one week. It’s so hard to believe! My baby is preparing to crawl soon and has begun to utter those first sweet words.

I am a breastfeeding momma! I love nursing my babies and I encourage others to breastfeed. (Now I don’t plan to throw a bunch of facts and figures at you. If you want to breastfeed, do it. If you want to formula feed, do it. No judgement here!)

We practice child led weaning. Sister weaned at 19 months, Brother weaned at 20 months and of course Little Man is still nursing.

Little Man has two bottom teeth. He’s got more coming in but we are holding at 2 right now. Breastfeeding after teeth is not much different than breastfeeding before teeth. I will share some strategies though to keep biting to a minimum.

Don’t bite me!

1. Don’t nurse baby when they are extremely tired or cranky. I’ve found that tired baby can be looking for a chew toy and cranky baby bites because they are expressing their frustration.

2. Be ready to respond when baby bites. Either remove nipple or flick baby’s check. The key here is to react immediately. That way they know the offending act was the bite.

3. Let baby bite other things. Give them things they can chew so that they are able to bite things other than you.

4. Talk to them! I know this one might seem odd but if you talk to your little one telling them that if they bite they can’t nurse it will make a difference.

I’m sure that there may be other strategies but I have found these successful and I nurse babies longer with teeth than without so I feel like an expert. (I’m not really but don’t burst my bubble!)

Best of luck nursing momma!

prepare…so I can procrastinate

image

I have a screen on my phone listing all of our birthdays (Hubby, Sister, Brother, Little Man and myself) plus our anniversary. It also has a few important to us dates, like the last day of school. Then I have another screen that has dates of upcoming holidays.

You would think with all these little reminders I would be on top of things. I would be absolutely prepared each time a new holiday or event approached….but I’m not. I could sit here and tell you what I’m thinking about giving as gifts for Christmas but I have nothing done for Mother’s Day or my mother-in-law’s birthday next Tuesday.

It seems like 5 or 6 months ahead of time (sometimes even more) I start thinking about upcoming events so I sit down and plan out or write down ideas but then I procrastinate and either run around like a chicken with my head cut off or I don’t get things done at all.

I have not found a good way to remedy my problem yet so I am petitioning you, my friends, to offer some tips to help me. Does anyone else struggle with the same problem?

~Hope