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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
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    August 26, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: DIY Floor Pillows

    Photo and Tutorial from Creative Outpour

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    August 25, 2015
    Icebreaker Ideas

    When I was a kid, I loved doing these goofy activities. I was fairly shy, so when a teacher involved everyone in playing a “getting to know you” game, it really helped me come out of my shell and made it easier to talk to people. When I was an RA in college, I used some of these to help the freshmen get to know the other kids in their dorm. Are they sometimes cheesy? Yes. But they’re fun, and a good way to bond a group of strangers together. So, whether you’re a teacher, running a church group, or a scout leader, this list of icebreaker ideas by Jennifer Gonzalez at Cult of Pedagogy will be extremely helpful!

    -Blobs and Lines- students are prompted to either line up in some particular order (by birthday, for example) or gather in “blobs” based on something they have in common (similar shoes, for example). What’s great about this game is that it helps students quickly discover things they have in common

    -This or That- This icebreaker has students informally debate on light topics such as “Which animal makes a better pet…dog or cat?” Students have to choose a position, then physically move to the side of the room that most closely represents their opinion—and then talk about why they chose that spot.

    Photo Credit: Christopher Michel 

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    August 24, 2015
    Helping Your Kids Get Along

    All siblings fight. It’s just a fact of nature. They’re just not always going to get along, and there will be occasional squabbles. And that’s fine- even healthy. Fighting and arguing at home helps your kids realize that that sort of behavior is unacceptable- it lets you teach them how to better handle their anger. But, if your kids are constantly screaming, yelling, punching, and kicking each other- at least once a day- then you have a problem. Check out this post by Autumn at It’s Always Autumn for tips on stopping the fights:

    -Don’t yell at your kids or your spouse- kids model behavior that they see.

    -Have a no tolerance policy for yelling, hitting, punching, saying mean things, etc. Have a consequence and enforce it every single time.

    -Help kids work out arguments on their own- be physically present and mediate.

    -Praise kids when they are getting along.

    Photo Credit: Sharon Mollerus 

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    August 21, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Do I Have Something On My Face?

    When babies laugh, it always makes me laugh. Enjoy this adorable clip!

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    August 20, 2015
    Potty Training Don’ts

    My nephew is one and a half, and that means it’s time to start thinking about potty training. I’m looking forward to it with mixed emotions. One- no more diapers! But, two- it’s probably going to be quite a battle, with lots of mess (not that changing diapers isn’t its own kind of mess). I’ve been reading up on some potty training tips: let them watch you go to the bathroom, introduce the toilet early on before expecting them to use it, acknowledge when they “go” in their diaper by using a word or phrase, and implement a rewards system. However, you can also make some big mistakes (and this is not a thing you want to make a lot of mistakes on). Check out this post by Alli at Modern Parents Messy Kids for what you should NOT do:

    -Don’t start before they’re ready. Timing is EVERYTHING. Don’t allow others to pressure your child.

    -Be prepared! Get a potty chair, be sure to carry dry clothes and a bag when you’re out.

    -Don’t have sky high expectations- it most likely won’t happen in one day.

    -Don’t make it a chore- make it fun! Give rewards, do a potty dance.

    Photo Credit: Tom Reynolds 

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    August 19, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Cork Boat Craft

    Photo from Kcedventures

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    August 18, 2015
    Homework Help

    School is back in session, and you know what that means: homework. While schools are doing more to give kids time to work on assignments in school, there is still usually some work coming home. Students who succeed in school do so because their parents are involved. This means checking for assignments, helping with homework, and talking with teachers if needed. For tips on how to help your kid conquer the homework, check out this post by Rebecca at Simple As That:

    -Have a snack prepared for when the kids get home to reenergize!

    -Keep homework supplies organized and handy. Consider setting up a homework station

    -Have clear expectations- set up a routine. Make sure your kids know that there is no screen time or playing with friends until homework is done (or whatever works for you). Once they get used to this, there will be less battles.

    Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers 

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    August 17, 2015
    Ways To Surprise Your Spouse

    What kids see is what they think is normal. If you demonstrate healthy, loving relationships- that is what your child will have. It may gross your child out, but never be afraid to kiss your spouse in front of them! It shows kids how to be affectionate, and show love. That’s why it’s important to always find ways to keep the spark in your marriage. Surprise your spouse with a romantic gesture every once in a while- they will love it, and your kids will see it. Check out these ideas by Thrifty Frugal Mom: (Bonus- they’re all free/ super cheap, but your partner will appreciate all of them)

    -Buy their favorite candy, leave it with a love note where they will find it.

    -Do one of their household chores for them.

    -Give a massage/footrub

    -Wake up early, surprise them with coffee and breakfast

    -Leave them love notes or send them cute texts

    -Be affectionate! Hold hands, snuggle, and kiss.

    Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley 

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    August 14, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Future Dentist

    This is cute, but I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be letting my baby so near sharp doggie teeth!

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    August 13, 2015
    Things You Will Need Once The Baby Arrives…But Won’t Put On Your Registry

    Most first time parents will ask for things they need when their baby arrives. The absolute basics will probably be taken care of: onesies, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, toys, blankets, formula– maybe even a car seat or crib. However, once you get home from the hospital with your new bundle of joy, you will find that there are some things you need that you hadn’t even considered. Check out this brilliant list by Valeri Jones at Keep Up With Us Jones:

    -Good toilet paper- to keep everything down there treated gently

    -Gel breast pads- are soothing and cold against sore nipples

    -A Swaddle baby wrap- newborns love being tightly wrapped

    -Frozen meals so you don’t have to cook

    -A TV series to watch while you’re pumping

    Photo Credit: Emillian Robert Vicol 

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