Friday, August 29, 2014

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

I am so blessed to know these kids, let alone count them as family.
Life is good, y'all!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comments.

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Friday, August 15, 2014

{my moment}

 A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't NEED roads." - Doc Brown

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment.

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tips for Taking Your Kids Anywhere

I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to continue to live my life of adventure the way I did before motherhood, that I was going to have to figure out a way to incorporate my kids into the things I love. To quote a post from 2011, "Swim Lessons: Adventures in Art and Motherhood," "I started becoming a better mom when I stopped trying to be one and decided to be myself. The thought occurred to me that I didn't have to miss out on exciting things I wanted to do, I just needed to have the guts to bring my kids along with me. This began an incredible adventure of self discovery and inspiration. It has been so exciting to see what has rubbed off on my boys, and how they in turn have inspired me in new ways. Most of the time, I endure what I like to call controlled chaos, although I'm not sure it's even all that controlled. I never really expect anything to go smoothly..."

Well, since that time, I've maintained my attitude of not fearing adventure with children in tow, but I think I've learned a few things about controlling that chaos a little more smoothly! Watch as I share my tips for taking your kids anywhere!

  1. Lay Ground Rules - Your kids have to know what you expect of them if you're going to expect them to behave well, or appropriately for the setting to which you're taking them. I mentioned the book Parenting with Love and Logic, which I've reviewed in my post "I Just Want to Be a Good Mom."It's an excellent book with the message that you can prepare your kids to be self-sufficient, independent thinkers and problem solvers by setting and enforcing boundaries in an empowering way. I feel like it's such a positive and well-rounded parenting solution. It discourages helicopter parenting, and also overly permissive parenting as well as emphasizing consequences over punishment. Basically, if you expect your kids to listen to you in public, you have to be practicing good parenting skills at home so you have skills to call on when you're in public and need to reign them in. Also, share your expectations, or ground rules WITH your kids ahead of time so they know what behavior you expect of them when you reach your destination. And if they don't behave as expected, you must follow through with the consequences!
  2. Be Prepared - Always keep a small bag in your car or diaper bag or purse with small, handheld activities to keep your kids occupied. Encourage individual play, so you can enjoy yourself with your spouse or other adults (or yourself!), and try to choose toys that are inexpensive (in case they're left behind or broken) and don't require charging or batteries. Kids SHOULD be able to be still, patient and quiet for age appropriate amounts of time, but when that calmness has run out, have something for them to do so you can keep the peace if the wait time for a table is long, or the restaurant kitchen is taking FOREVER to bring the food out!
  3. DIY Game Cards - Our family loves games like "I Spy," "My Grandmother Has a Restaurant," and "The Alphabet Game." These games are great because they require imagination and NO supplies. They're the games you play on road trips or any other time you're stuck somewhere and can't move but need to tackle boredom. I just got some index cards and wrote the name of the game on one side and the rules on the other. At a restaurant or anywhere else where you need the kids to be occupied and not bother you, you can hand the cards to the kids and have them play the game without your help. It's a way of encouraging interaction between the kids in a way that doesn't elicit [much] jumping, shouting, running, fighting, etc.

What are YOUR tips for keeping the peace in public? I'd love to know! Share your ideas in the comments!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tips for a Good Sleep Start - {Guest Post}

Today's guest post is from my newest Honeybee Mama Sponsor, Tara Hess, owner of Tulsa Pediatric Sleep Consulting. I'll allow Tara to introduce herself: 

Hi! My name is Tara Hess and I am a Gentle Sleep Coach trained and certified by Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. The Sleep Lady. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma and then taught everything from second to fifth grade before "retiring" to be a stay-at-home mom. My first colicky baby hardly slept and therefore, neither did my husband or I. After successfully sleep training her I learned the skills and confidence to use on my second and third children, who were putting themselves to sleep and sleeping through the night from very early on. I was once the tired parent I enjoy helping today!

As a parent I have learned so much about the importance of sleep, both for myself and my children, and am so thankful that I learned early on how important it is for the health and well-being of my kids that they get appropriate amounts of sleep. This helped me to make the sometimes difficult choices of routines and techniques to ensure my kids got the sleep they needed. Once I learned some key tricks of the trade, my life became so much easier!

Although my primary role with parents is in the prenatal period and in coaching them through birth, I am very concerned with their success as parents as well, and often emphasize the importance of getting good information about infant and child sleep needs. So, without further ado, I'll turn this post over to Tara, so she can share her tips on getting off on the right foot with healthy sleep from the very beginning!

Parents often ask me when they should expect their baby to sleep through the night. The truth is, you can't really EXPECT anything in the early months because newborns vary in their sleep needs. I know that's probably not the answer you were hoping for, but the saying "all babies are different" really applies here. There is a wide range of what "normal" newborn sleep looks like. While some babies may sleep through the night very early on, most don't. There is too much variability in feeding patterns. Young babies need to eat around the clock because of their tiny bellies. Also, some newborns have their days and nights reversed and sleep more during the day. So I guess the only thing you can expect in the first several months is that you will be exhausted. Just try to remember that this is the time where you are building life-long bonding and attachment skills in your baby, and that should be your focus. The sleep will come! And if it doesn't, call me ;).
Tara's Top 10 Tips for the Early Months:
  1. Keep visitors to a minimum in the early weeks.
  2. Keep baby's environment as calm as possible so he does not get overstimulated.
  3. Try feeding your baby when he wakes instead of right before he goes to sleep. This will encourage great feeds and prevent the "feed to sleep" association. The Baby Whisperer's EASY routine is great!
  4. Newborns can only stay awake for 45-60 minutes before they need to sleep again.
  5. Establish a consistent bedtime and nap routine (swaddle, white noise, dark room).
  6. Put your baby to sleep on their back but give him or her plenty of tummy time during the day, which reduces your baby's risk for SIDS.
  7. Learn your baby's sleepy cues. Watch for yawning, rubbing eyes, zoning out, etc. and get your baby to sleep. Don't wait until they are overtired or they may have a harder time sleeping.
  8. Daytime sleep is not developed in the brain until between 4-6 months. It is normal for naps to vary in their timing until this time. It's okay to do whatever you have to do (as long as it is safe) to get your baby to nap.
  9. When you have to feed your baby at night, keep lights and stimulation to a minimum.
  10. Putting your baby down awake but drowsy will encourage the development of self-soothing skills. Practice at bedtime when your baby is between 6-8 weeks old. If it doesn't work, soothe your baby to sleep however you usually do and try again in another week or so. Some babies need more soothing than others. 

For more great tips and information, like Tulsa Pediatric Sleep Consulting on Facebook and CLICK HERE to contact Tara!

Friday, August 8, 2014

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

That, my friends, is a hug sandwich!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments.

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What to do when it's just. too. hot.

It's that time again. What time? Summer in Oklahoma time. Now, don't get me wrong, we've actually been incredibly fortunate to have an inordinately LOW number of days in the triple digits, but it's officially August and we know our luck is waning. 

I've spent a good portion of the Summer with a broken car air conditioner so I've been accutely aware of how hot it's gotten already. Thankfully it works now, but let's be honest, moms. Sometimes the pool, splash pads, and lake aren't enough to cool us down and the mere thought of having to go outside is excrutiating!!

I've got some ideas for you to help beat the heat when it's just. too. hot. to go outside. Check out my segment from Tulsa Live:

First up, Tulsa has some amazing indoor amusement options if you can stand the walk to and from the car. One of our favorites: The Tulsa City-County Library

Another one we love is the Philbrook Museum. Every Second Saturday is free for the whole family and the museum is full of art and learning activities. This might be my favorite thing to do in Tulsa!

Or, check out the Tulsa Children's Museum - Discovery Lab. Relatively new to Tulsa, this amazing destination will keep your family occupied for hours, costs only $5 admission, AND has a splash pad out front if you're not completely over splash pads yet.

If you can't bear to even go outside, try some of these indoor activities, like making homemade silly putty,

or homemade paint with pantry items:

Do your kids like to cook? Is your body temperature rising as you even consider having to turn on the oven when it's sweaty hot outside? Try these super easy, yummy, and healthy protein balls. Your kids will have fun making them with you and you don't have to turn up the heat to do it! (I can get you the Arbonne powder if you don't have it, btw.)

What are you doing to beat the heat this Summer? Share your ideas in the comments!

Friday, August 1, 2014

{my moment}

 A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

It just blows my mind that a few weeks ago this was a seed. I'm completely in love with growing things from seeds. I check on my garden morning and night, seeing if new things have sprouted, grown, bloomed. It's such a delight to my heart and I can't wait to harvest!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!