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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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    March 25, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Adorable Kitchen Playset

    Photo and instructions from Ikea Hackers

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    March 24, 2015
    Celebrate World Water Day With Your Kids!

    When I’m with my nephew, I’m always on the lookout for educational opportunities (even if he’s only one. You can never start too young!) That’s why I love holidays. Look it up- there’s a different holiday every day. From national ice cream day, to the recently passed “world puppy day,” every day has something to celebrate. The 22nd of March was World Water Day. Check out this post by Jana at the BellyItch blog for facts to share with your kids about water, and how much we really consume:

    -1 in 9 people in the world do not have access to water

    -The US uses more water in a day than oil in a year

    -Babies are 80% water, adults are 70% water

    -The sun evaporates a trillion tons of water a day

    -A leaky tap can waste 455 liters of water a year

    Photo Credit: Janet Ramsden 

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    March 23, 2015
    Dealing With Unwanted Parenting Advice

    No one gets more unsolicited advice than new parents. For some reason, people think it’s totally acceptable to put their noses in other peoples’ business when dealing with kids. Maybe it’s because they feel like they’ve been there before, and most of the time it is pretty well meaning. Sometimes it’s even STRANGERS that feel like they know better for your kid than you do. But for the parents, well, usually nothing is more annoying and unwanted. Read this article by Katie Joiner at Happily Ever Mom for the most common pieces of “advice” you will get as a new parent:

    -People think you just have no clue. Be prepared for, “you don’t know what you’re in for.”

    -People will stop and swoon- which is especially awkward for shy parents.

    -People will stop and stare rudely-  Just let it go.  You’re allowed to live your life as usual…even with a baby

    -Most advice from strangers has nothing to do with you and your baby. Instead, it comes from their experience with their babies.

    Photo Credit: Derek Swanson

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    March 20, 2015
    Friday Fun Videos: Aren’t Babies Great?

    Having a baby is like taking care of a severely drunk person when you are sober….24 hours a day….every day. And that is why it is so exhausting. But it’s worth it :)

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    March 19, 2015
    Spring Solstice Fun

    Tomorrow, March 20th, is the Spring Solstice! It marks the first day of Spring (in the Northern hemisphere) and is a great excuse to get outside with your kids and learn about nature and even astronomy. Because, this year we will be having a solar eclipse AND a super new moon tomorrow. Pretty exciting stuff! The Spring solstice celebrates the vernal equinox (when the length of the day and the length of the night are equal), which also occurs tomorrow. Talk about a lot! Check out this post by Nell at Rhythms of Play for ideas for solstice activities:

    -Get outside and connect- take a hike, observe new life beginning around you- find flowers, birds, and other critters .

    -Plant new life- put a tree in your yard, or plant some flowers!

    -Decorate eggs- get them ready for Easter, or paint a wooden egg for a craft

    -Prepare a feast for family and friends.

    Photo Credit: martinak15 

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    March 17, 2015
    Silly Games To Play With Your Kids

    Who doesn’t have great memories of playing games with their parents and siblings? Hide and seek, 20 questions, and road trip games (like Yellow Car, Punch Bug, License Plates, etc.) were favorites of my family. Right now, I watch my 1 year old nephew almost every day and make sure to play games with him. They’re not very complex- his favorite is “I’m gonna get you!” where we take turns chasing each other up and down the hallway. If I catch him, he gets tickled. If he catches me, I get tackled, climbed on, and drooled all over. It’s pretty great. If you’re looking for fun, immature games to play with your kids that will leave them with plenty of joyful memories, look no further than this post by Brian at Bonbon Break:

    -Make sculptures out of mashed potatoes

    -Funny face H-O-R-S-E: In this game, the first person is going to make a funny face. The next person tries to make the same funny face. The referee decides if the second person matched the face or not. If not… then “H”.

    Now it is the second person’s turn to make a funny face and the first has to try to match it. Continue until someone is “H-O-R-S-E”.

    -Slap cakes- To play, hold your hands out with palms down. Your child places their hands under yours with their palms up. The purpose of the game is to slap the top of the other person’s hands before they move them

    Photo Credit: Tony Alter 

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    March 16, 2015
    Keeping Your Shak Safe While You’re On Break

    Spring Break is coming up for the kiddos! For some of you, it may be extremely close. How fun! Lots of families go on vacation for Spring Break, and you might be one of them. But, before you pack up to go camping, to a theme park, or road trip, make sure to lock up! Almost all burglaries happen when the house is empty, so it’s important to create the illusion that it is occupied. Check out this post by Protect Your Home for tips on keeping your house safe while you’re out:

    -Get a house or pet sitter

    -Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail

    -Program the lights

    -Lock all windows and doors, remove hidden/emergency key

    -Keep specifics off social media- wait until you return to post pictures

    -Install a home security system

    Photo Credit: Matthias Ripp 

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    March 13, 2015
    Friday Fun Videos: Crazy Optical Illusions

    I’m a total sucker for things like this. I love watching shows like Brain Games, and the controversy over the color of “The Dress” sparked debate in my home for DAYS (it’s blue and black, I was right). If you or your kids are anything like me, you’ll love this video!

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    March 12, 2015
    Pacifier Weaning 101

    Pacifiers are both a blessing and a curse. They help upset babies calm down, and hyper babies get to sleep. My mom calls pacifiers “the baby mute button,” and they are wonderful. But, everything must come to an end. You can’t send a child to kindergarten if she is still using a pacifier- you’re going to have to wean them eventually. And that is not fun. But, with these tips by JJ at the Bellyitch Blog, weaning can be a little easier:

    -Cut the rubber tip from the pacifier- it won’t be as soothing, and will lose its appeal on its own.

    -Bring in substitutes- have your child bring blankets, stuffed toys, etc. to bed instead. Alternate them so the dependency isn’t simply transferred to another object.

    -Set up a soothing routine before bed

    -Take it one day at a time- be patient

    -Use verbal rewards and praise.

    Photo Credit: eperales 

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    March 11, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Fashionable Toddler Diva

    Photo from Clipzine

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