5 Ways to Stay on a Schedule During the Summer

1) Plan a schedule BEFORE school gets out.

This first one is super important! Before school ever gets out make a schedule. For my oldest daughter it looks a little something like this: -bedtime is 8:00 PM, -get up every morning at 6:45 or later, -make your bed, -eat breakfast, -brush your teeth, -brush your hair, -read a book for 20 minutes, -help someone for 30 minutes, -play for 30 minutes, -free time

You can change it to tailor what your family needs or wants. This is especially important for little ones. Our youngest, who’s 1 year old, would definitely not have the same schedule as our almost 7 years old daughter.

2) Stick to the schedule as consistently as you can.

I’m sure some of you are reading this thinking “You are off your rocker Medical Mama! There’s no way we can stay on a schedule because I work and we are so busy all summer long.” Okay, so I agree with you 50%. What I’m saying is make a schedule, and follow it as closely as you can. If you are on vacation obviously toss this out the window for the duration of the vacation. I understand parents work,  but that is not really an excuse. It’s YOUR excuse. We are always so busy all summer long too. I still manage to keep both my daughters on a consistent schedule. I work in the morning, and throughout most of the afternoon. My husband doesn’t get home until well after dinner time. Our kids stay on schedule. As a parent it is your responsibility to execute this. Not your kids’, and certainly not your basket of excuses.

3) Remind your children that there will be a schedule and it is to help them.

Explain to your children that the schedule is to help them not feel grouchy so you guys can have more fun all summer long.

I keep my kids on a schedule because otherwise nap times get messed up, and kids are super tired and/or cranky. It’s no fun for anyone. This is especially true for our 1 year old daughter. Our oldest is super grouchy the next morning if she had to stay up the night before. It just works well if they stick to a schedule. It also helps to plan my day accordingly and I get to plan things in advance when I know for sure when everyone needs a nap, or when we need to get the kids to bed.

4) Have some leeway and fun!

Like I stated earlier if you are off on a vacation make that a priority. Have fun, and try to make sure your kids are having fun. If there’s something local that will for sure interfere with a nap time, but you know your kids will enjoy it then do it. It’s a “once in a while thing” and not a “I’m a lazy parent and not keeping to a schedule” kind of thing.

5) Don’t overthink it.

Don’t overthink this. It’s common sense. It’s the right thing to do for your children. Remember, you can still have fun and be on a regular schedule.

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The Time I Waste Going Unnoticed

Where are all my SAHM at??? I spend so much of the day doing what seems like nothing, but it takes forever. I feel like I am constantly cleaning bathrooms, picking up laundry, doing the laundry. Yes, I am that weirdo that does the laundry, folds the laundry, and puts it away all in one day. Hahaha. But seriously, I do more than just that. I cook, I read to our toddler, I keep her on schedule. I even keep our 6 (almost 7) year old on schedule in the mornings and evenings as well. I teach online in the morning. I wipe down tables, chairs, do dishes (a couple loads), and we always try to make it outside to do something fun. I vacuum and sweep every day. Somehow, I still find time to workout and keep myself fit so my husband still finds me attractive at the end of the day.

That seems like so much work I do in ONE SINGLE DAY! At the end of each day I pick up everything that my husband and 2 children have left lying around the house when they get home from work or school. I look around the house and feel like I got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done. Who else feels this way?

240_F_186471930_xJSZgdG9aND154bwxnnMagj2NGIojCHWThe work of a stay-at-home-mom is so much, yet goes so unnoticed. My house looks so lived in, not so much the typical “clean” that everyone thinks of in the movies. You can see where my youngest daughter ate her Cheerios. You can see where my oldest daughter sat at the table when she got home from school and did her homework. You can see where everyone threw their shoes off in the afternoon when everyone got home. You can see where we ate dinner. You can see where that pasta splashed all over the stove because I had to run away from the kitchen quickly to check on the kids. You can see where my husband came in and threw down his coat because he had to quickly go back outside to work on things clients brought in to his shop to be worked on.

modern-living-room-grey-couch-260nw-530248621Now, I’m not complaining. I feel so incredibly blessed that I can stay at home with our children. However, I personally feel like I get nothing done. I feel like what I do do gets unnoticed by everyone in my house. I feel like people think “Well you are an at home mom! What are you doing everyday that your house isn’t sparkling?” To the people who judge my house because we live in it you should worry about your own house. The working moms out there do NOT have sparkling homes, and no one bats an eye. No one says anything about it. The stay-at-home-mom gets so much crap thrown at us because we don’t look or live perfectly to other people’s unrealistic standards.

240_F_219733298_XZpD3fDdSQjZbZWz8k9kx1sL9Boi65kTMy point in all of this is please stop judging other moms. We are not perfect. If there is a mom out there that is portraying herself as “perfect” then she is more miserable than the rest of us. It is all a BIG FAT LIE. Don’t let her be your standard. Let the other working mom struggling with balance in her home and work be your standard. Let the other stay-at-home-mom who’s house is a wreck every evening because of her children be your standard.

Again, thank you for all the love and support!

 

Let’s Talk About Gripe Water and Other Over the Counter Tummy Remedies

When my daughter was little she had colic really bad. Her tummy bothered her constantly. I thought I would try gripe water because a friend had suggested it to me. I gave it to her religiously thinking “This time it’s going to help”. In all honesty, it never helped.

I know moms who swear by it. I know other moms who get frustrated because it does not work and they use it over and over.

Today let’s talk about if there’s actually any scientific proof if it actually is meant to help and why.

I did some research and there are a couple different brands of gripe water you can buy. There’s Mommy’s Bliss, and Colic Calm. I’m sure there’s more on the market, but I wanted to focus on two and compare and contrast them for research purposes.

Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water

When I got on the mommy’s bliss website it had a lot of information as to why I should be a consumer for their brand. They never really focused on the science of ingredients or how it physiologically worked with baby’s tummy to relieve these symptoms.

ginger rootIt does say it contains ginger, fennel, and sodium bicarbonate (Mommy’s Bliss., Unknown). These are age old remedies for helping tummy aches. According to  The Editors Of Publications International, LTD “Ginger’s root contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. When using ginger to treat upset stomach, these chemicals relax the intestinal tract, preventing motion sickness and relieving the nausea, vomiting, colicky stomach cramps, and diarrhea that often accompany stomach flu (The Editors of Publications International LTD., (Unknown).

Colic Calm Gripe Water

The Colic Calm gripe water has different ingredients than that of the Mommy’s Bliss gripe water. Colic Calm contains peppermint, fennel, lemon balm, chamomile, caraway, vegetable carbon, and ginger. Again, ginger. These other ingredients are also known to act the same way in the body physiologically.

Does Gripe Water Really Work?

research

So bottom line: Does gripe water really work? To be quite honest there is absolutely NO research confirming nor denying that gripe water actually works. I did not have any luck with my first baby. Thankfully, we have not “needed” gripe water with our second. Do I think it works? No. I don’t. Do I think it could help calm an upset tummy? Yes. I do not believe it helps with passing gas, bowel movements, or anything to induce bowel changes.

Do you have a story about gripe water? I would love to hear your experience with it!

 

Resources:

Mommy’s Bliss. (Unknown). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://mommysbliss.com/frequently-asked-questions/

The Editors of Publications Internal LTD. (Unknown). Using Ginger to Treat Upset Stomach. Retrieved from https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/using-ginger-to-treat-upset-stomach.htm

 

That Time I Was Mom Shamed for Being an at Home Mom

A while back there were some not nice comments being left on my blogs about at home parents and working moms. First, I love the working mom and what she stands for. I also love the at home mom and what she stands for. Whatever you decide is your business, and is the right decision for you and your family. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently!

Anyway, I have told by some of my readers that I was setting a bad example to my children by not working. I was showing them working is not important. I have been told I was showing my daughters how stereotypical it was for moms to be at home and that they would never amount to anything so long as I was not working. I have been told that I am hating on the working moms by asking parents to spend time off with their children. I have been told that I am a bad mother for being at home so I can be there for my children 100% of the time. I should be teaching my children “disappointment”.

Anyone else angered by this? Anyone else see how ridiculous and hateful these comments are?

I have to say I have been fuming over this for several months. You can read more about this in my article “Mom Shaming/Bashing: Why Are We Doing This?” I am writing about it today to help myself build a thicker skin from this. I also want to clarify to my readers that they will NOT break me down. I will not apologize for my family’s and I’s decision for me to be there for my children 100% of the time. I want my children to know they can always rely on me no matter what!

The Power of the Steam Shower

Photo Illustrated by Getty

I want to start this article off with letting all the parents out there know YOU ARE doing a great job. Don’t get discouraged with anything you read. Don’t hesitate to get help when needed. You are fantastic, beautiful and doing great!

Cold and Flu Season is Among Us.

It is cold and flu season, so I wanted to talk about the power of the steam shower. There are so many benefits to a steamy shower for your child. These benefits include loosening congestion, opens your lungs, and helps soothe a cough. Some other benefits, other than it’s great for your pores, include relief of asthma symptoms, and croup. According to an article in Steam Showers Inc., which you can read about here, cold weather can lower your immune system. Your immune system allows you to fight off infections and viruses associated with the common cold and influenza. This is why I am so passionate about showing parents the power of the steam shower. It will work miracles for you and help your little ones not only feel better, but get better as well.

My Child and a Steam Shower? How the Heck Does That Work?

My favorite way to do a steam shower with my daughter is to actually make her take a hot steamy shower. I let the “hotter than normal” water run and she can sit/play/relax in the shower as long as she wants. First, I want to clarify when I say “hotter than normal” water I mean I use a safe temp then make it a little warmer. I still feel the water to make sure it is not going to burn her skin or become dangerous in any way. Also, my daughter is 5, so she can tell me if the water is just way too hot for her skin.

Now if you have a baby or a little one my recommendation for incorporating a hot shower includes you (the parent) getting in the shower with the baby. Hold the baby against your chest and help them breathe in the steam. Be sure they don’t ingest the water as to avoid dry drowning later. Some parents prefer to just sit in the bathroom and let the water run. Then the steam from the shower fills the bathroom and they allow their baby/child to breathe it in that way. Personally, I prefer being in the shower with my baby. First, it promotes mother-baby bonding time and skin to skin contact. Second, it gets your baby in the shower with the shower curtain to help keep the steam in the shower.

How do I Know if the Steam Shower is Working?

Your child will start to cough. That is okay. That just means the lungs are opening up to allow air flow now. Coughing up “gunk” is a good thing for your child. I always look at it as I’m coughing up the germs making me sick. After a few steam showers your child will start feeling better. They will have had a chance to give their lungs and sinuses some time to “heal” essentially. You might be asking yourself “How often should I be giving these steam showers?” I am glad you asked. I recommend one in the morning after waking up to help open up the lungs and chest for the day. And another one right before bed to help do the same thing. This will give your child’s lungs a chance to function normal at the beginning of the night, so they are not up the entire night coughing or struggling for air.

What Else Can I do to Alleviate These Symptoms: Humidifier VS Vaporizer.

Everyone loves breathing in steam to help them feel better. I recommend when your child is really sick (but has already seen the Dr, or isn’t sick enough to see the Dr) to leave them in a room with you and the door shut with a humidifier or vaporizer going.

Let’s talk about vaporizers and humidifiers.

A humidifier releases cool mist in to the air. “Humidifiers release cool moisture into the air by breaking up cool water particles using a rapidly turning disk submerged in water, dispersing cool mist into the air” (Air and Water, 2017). They do generally cost more than a vaporizer. Also, they require more maintenance. You are more likely to get mold and mildew in/on your walls and furniture. You might be wondering which humidifier you should choose. I have heard a lot of great things about the Honeywell brand. You can look on their site here for a Honeywell humidifier. They do need to be cleaned often to remove this mold and mildew from the humidifier as well.

Let’s talk about vaporizers. Vaporizers release a warm mist in to the air. They contain a heating element to boil the water. “Inhalants such as plant extracts, herbs, and other medicinal vapors can be used with vaporizers to help with coughs and colds.” (Air and Water, 2017). These do not require as much maintenance, but do require some still. There is a lesser risk of germs and bacteria being released in to the air because the water is being boiled.

I want to put a link here for buying the one that we use, and the one I highly recommend. It is the Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer. I recommend this one because we can actually add the smell of Vicks to the warm mist being released in to the air. It is perfectly safe for children to inhale. You can put little pads in the designated spot, or you can use a liquid that pours in to a little container that is also designated on the vaporizer. This vaporizer is amazing for helping my asthmatic child when it flares up from having a cold or virus. This is why I highly recommend this one, however everyone’s child is different and you should use whichever one is best suited for your child and your home.

Which one do you prefer? Comment below and tell us please.

Other Resources:

Steam Showers Inc. (2014). Treating a Common Cold with a Steam Shower. Retrieved from http://steamshowersinc.com/blog/treating-a-common-cold-with-a-steam-shower/

Mauer, E. (Unknown). Dry Drowning: Know the Signs. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/dry-drowning/

Air and Water. (2017). Humidifiers Vs. Vaporizers: Which One Do You Need and Why? Retrieved from https://www.air-n-water.com/humidifiers-vs-vaporizers.htm

 

Putting Your Will and Other Necessary Documents Together

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LAWYER, NOR A PROFESSIONAL WHEN IT COMES TO THIS SORT OF THING. THESE ARE ALL JUST MEMOIRS OF MY STORY.

I am so ashamed to say that after almost 9 years of marriage, and 2 children later we are JUST NOW working on putting a will together. I want everyone to know that it is CHEAP to put together a will. It is NOT EXPENSIVE. Also, it is RUDE to die without one! GO PUT TOGETHER A WILL IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO.

Anyway, my husband and I have been working on our will. It has been so stressful! We have had to seriously sit and talk about our future. Most people just focus on the “now and when.” We have had to focus on the “future and what if” scenarios. The very first thing you need to consider is:

WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO BOTH YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE?

loving-mother-hugging-cute-little-260nw-1084354886This is a tricky and sensitive subject I’ve noticed. My husband and I both have siblings. However, sometimes siblings are not always a good choice. Some of your siblings might not be mature enough to really fully take care of your children and raise/parent them how they need to be parented and raised.

For us it came down to a couple things. We wanted to make sure whomever we chose was faith centered around Christ and goes to church regularly. We want our children to continue to be raised in a church family. We also wanted to make sure whomever we chose is someone who can financially take care of my child if something major came up and life insurance, assets, etc were not able to cover that cost. We also wanted to make sure whomever was going to raise our children already knew our children. They are people who know our children deeply, and know their personality. They have already bonded with my children.

insurance-451288_960_720Okay, I know a lot of you are saying “Well I have life insurance and that will take care of my children long term.”

Do you though? Do you RIGHT NOW have life insurance? Do you have ENOUGH money in that life insurance to raise your children year to year? Have you done thorough calculating and figured out how much it actually costs to raise ONE child…let alone a couple. What about college? Have you thought about that as well? You life insurance is more than likely NOT going to cover college AND raising them until they are actually grown up. Notice I didn’t say until they are 18 years of age.

240_F_118690170_jSIRLzufkX5PaGaRJq2f9S64jeGA2EncMake sure if you have life insurance you are not under-insured.

If you follow Dave Ramsey and are smart with your money then you know to get TERM LIFE INSURANCE. If you are smart you have done a couple things. You have NO DEBT (0!!! NO CREDIT CARDS, NO LOANS, NO DARN CAR LEASES, ETC). Then and only then are you smart with money.

WHO IS GOING TO BE YOUR TRUSTEE WHEN ALL YOUR ASSETS ARE DUMPED IN TO A TRUST FOR YOUR UNDERAGE CHILDREN?

trust-1418901_960_720This is a legitimate question that you need to ask yourself. Who can you trust to distribute that money accordingly? Who can you trust that will make sure you want done everything that is outlined in those responsibilities?

Now, you need to know there is a difference between trustee and executor of a will. Make sure you know the difference.

This needs to be someone you can trust to distribute the money to your children in a responsible manor. It can be your potential guardians, a grandparent, or a trusted friend. It can also be someone at the bank. Look in to that if that strikes interest for you.

 

Please let me know what you think. Let me know if you have done this, and had family issues with this. I want to hear from everyone of every age!

Baby Wearing: Benefits to Wearing Your Baby

Before I start this article I want to be very clear this is mostly medical based, and with my experience. I promise I will outline which is fact and which is experience.

Okay, let’s get started!

Babies are less likely to cry.

baby-42029_960_720According to askdrsears.com babies who are worn on their parents or caregivers are less likely to cry. “In 1986, a team of pediatricians in Montreal reported on a study of ninety-nine mother-infant pairs. The first group of parents were provided with a baby carrier and assigned to carry their babies for at least three extra hours a day. They were encouraged to carry their infants throughout the day, regardless of the state of the infant, not just in response to crying or fussing. In the control, or noncarried group, parents were not given any specific instructions about carrying. After six weeks, the infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43 percent less than the noncarried group.” (Sears, U., Unknown).

From this we can take away that a less fussy baby means a less stressed mother. A less stressed mother means she can take time with her child(ren) to be a better mother to them.

Baby wearing is a bonding connection between baby and whoever is wearing baby.

baby languageMoms know it’s “baby 101” that baby can pick up your heartbeat and feel comfort in it. It is like an automatic calming tool for them to listen to your heartbeat. With that being said baby being so close to your body while wearing them is soothing for them. It helps them bond with that person as they begin to sense and learn their smell, voice, and heartbeat.

Babies who are worn are given more opportunity to learn and become smarter.

When baby is being worn s/he can take in everything that is going on around them. It stimulates brain functions and neurons. It also helps with speech development. Babies who are taking in everything and right in the middle of the action can see mouths move and see how sounds and letters are formed. They see how people respond to conversations going on around them.

Let’s just say it. Convenience!

Okay, let’s face it. Wearing baby is just plain convenient for everyone. It’s easy to be hands free and get things done whiel you are walking around carrying your baby. Baby is happy and you are free to do whatever you want. You don’t have to haul around a clunky stroller.

What do you think about baby wearing? Do you wear your baby? Let me know!

 

References:

Ask Dr. Sears. (Unknown). Benefits of Babywearing for Your Baby. Retrieved from https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing

The Natural Child Project. (Unknown). Ten Reasons to Wear Your Baby. Retrieved from https://www.naturalchild.org/guest/laura_simeon.html