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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.
  • read all shaktoids!
    March 2, 2015
    Frugal “Field Trips” For Toddlers

    I live with an almost-toddler, and watch him for about 8 hours a day while his mom is at work. There’s only so many times you can play with the same toys, watch the same cartoons, and read the same books over and over. But it’s winter (COLD) and we haven’t had much of any other choice. I think I’m getting cabin fever, and I’m sure my nephew is too. That’s why I love this list by Beth at More Fun Mom; it’s full of great ideas for “day trips” you can take with your toddlers:

    -Go to a petting zoo

    -Attend a Mommy and Me yoga class

    -Go to a children’s museum

    -Hit the local library to pick out books

    -Explore the post office

    -Go through a car wash

    -Hike on a trail

    -Go to the park!

    Photo Credit: Just Jennifer 

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    February 27, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Donating Hair

    I donated my hair twice in my life and it was a really freeing experience! If you or your kids are thinking of a major haircut, consider donating your hair to Locks of Love or Wigs for Kids.

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    February 26, 2015
    Helping Your Daughter With Bullying

    The writer of this article at Courtney Defeo calls it “girl drama,” but the feminist in me cringes a bit when I read that. Whichever way you look at it, it’s not “girl drama,”- it’s bullying. “Drama” just seems like a way to dismiss it as not being as serious. And girl on girl bullying can be brutal. Even if it’s not necessarily physical abuse, the snide comments, exclusions, hurtful words, and rumors can be just as painful. And it starts even younger than you think. Check out some of the tips from the Courtney Defeo post on talking to your daughter about “girl drama” and how to handle it:

    -Carve out a time and place every day for talking

    -Make sure she knows she can tell you anything

    -Help her understand that her peers can’t tell her what to do- only parents, teachers, etc.

    -Introduce empathy- teach her to put herself in others’ shoes so SHE doesn’t become the bully.

    -Allow her to make the decision on what to do about the problem. Don’t immediately contact the teacher unless she says she wants you to. She may have another way of handling it.

    Photo Credit: Eliza C3 

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    February 25, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Harry Potter Key Mobile

    Photo from Etsy

    I need this. I mean….my future children need this.



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    February 24, 2015
    Taking A Break From The Little Ones

    Parenting is a tough, time-consuming job. It is 24/7, 365. If you have another job for 8 hours a day, too bad. You get no rest unless the kids are asleep. It can be totally grueling at times, but we all do it because we love our kids and want the absolute best for them. But dangit, sometimes you need a break. And there’s no shame in taking one. Recharging will help you be a better, more focused parent and will also allow your kids some new experiences. Check out this post by Sarah Mueller at Early Bird Mom for more:

     As mothers, we are so used to putting others’ needs first, that we can ignore our own needs, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

    Simply put, we need to take care of ourselves. Taking a break and getting some downtime is an important part of that process. You can only forge ahead on full speed for a limited time before you crash and burn. Stop and take a break before you get to that point!

    How to take a break:

    -Schedule quiet time every day

    -Hire a babysitter for the night

    -Schedule a vacation in advance.

    Photo Credit: davejdoe 

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    February 23, 2015
    Bath Time Fun

    My nephew loves bath time. He loves playing in the water and splashing around, and is amazed when bubbles come out of the baby shampoo. Bath time is a real chance to bond with your baby. Babies love the sensory stimulation they get- the slippery feeling of water, the warm softness of the towel, the smell of the shampoo- and they make positive connections between bath time and mommy/daddy. For more on how bath time helps parents and babies bond, check out this post by Vicky at Mess for Less:

    -Develop a bath time routine and stick to it

    -Add bubbles for baby to play with

    -Give babies a massage with baby lotion after bath

    -Play special music during bath time

    -Talk with your baby during the bath- more words heard as a baby = better academic performance in the future

    Photo Credit: JustJennifer 

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    February 20, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: How To Make A Butterfly Braid

    This is for all you parents that are good at doing hair! I am absolutely miserable at stuff like this, but I really wish I was good at it. This hairstyle is so cute!

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    February 19, 2015
    How To Make Snow Candy

    I was so excited when I learned about this recipe/activity, but apparently it’s been around for hundreds of years! I have never heard of making “snow candy” before, but I was really intrigued when I saw this post by Beth Gorden at 123Homeschool4me on Pinterest. Basically, you drop some kind of syrup/candy mixture on the snow, wait a bit for it to freeze and harden, then eat it right off the snow! How fun! It was even mentioned in Laura Ingles Wilder’s Little House In The Big Woods, so if you homeschool, you could also incorporate it as a fun, interactive lesson. Here’s one of the recipes:

    Maple Snow Candy

    1 cup real maple syrup
    1/4 cup butter instead
    Add all ingredients to a stock pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until you have a soft ball stage (240 F) for chewy candy or hard ball stage (310 F) for hard candy ideal for sucking on or crunching.

    Drop the mixture in the snow! It will sink down a bit. Then pick up and eat!

    Photo Credit: Jaime W. 

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    February 18, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Awesome Sports-Themed Kids Room

    Photo from Decorate Home Now

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    February 17, 2015
    Helping Left Handed Kiddos

    I live in a house with two lefties, and it can sometimes make things difficult. My dad always has to sit on the left-most seat at every table, has a left hand stringed guitar, and gets ink smudged all over his hand if he writes anything. My nephew is also left-handed (we think)- he holds all his forks with his left hand, and colors with a crayon in his left hand. Life can be a little challenging for lefties, but it helps if you catch it as early as possible and make accommodations. For helping left handed little ones with writing, check out this post at Anything Left-Handed. It has links to tons of useful videos! Including,

    Writing Challenges

    Writing Problems

    Writing Solutions

    Writing Equipment

    Photo Credit: Indi Samarajiva

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