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    November 19, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Extravagant Two Story Playroom

    Photo from Houzz

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    November 18, 2014
    Activities With No Screens

    These days, it’s extremely easy to just plop your kids down with a TV, iPad, computer, or phone, and just let the screen babysit them. I know, I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Sometimes, you just need a break- and that’s totally fine. But, when your kids are just staring at a screen for hours and hours a day, every single day- that’s not so fine. Kids of all ages (adults too!) need activities that actually help stimulate the brain. For a great list of activities that don’t involve screens, but also keep your kids busy, read this post at Artsy Craftsy Mom:

    -Get crafty- paint, color, glue, relax!

    -Read to kids

    -Let them help cook

    -Play outside

    -Play indoors with a board game, puzzle, card game, or blocks

    Photo Credit: Balu 

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    November 17, 2014
    Getting Your Baby To Sleep

    I’m a huge fan of a certain skit comedy show that pokes fun at the city of Portland and its ultra hip residents. In one of the skits, new parents struggle with a crying baby and are trying different methods of getting it to stop. One of them is seen reading a book called: “Crying it Out, and Other Ways to Ignore Your Child”- which I thought was hilarious. When I babysit my nephew, and he’s being grumpy and fights his sleep- my dad’s advice is to always “put him in his crib and let him cry it out”. I always hate doing that. His crying absolutely breaks my heart, and I usually don’t last more than five minutes without going to get him. That’s why I was super glad when I found this post by Katie at Clarks Condensed, for gentler ways to get your child to sleep- that don’t involve crying it out (ignoring your child):

    -Develop a sleep routine- nightly rituals will always help a child sleep, if you stick to it and help them develop a habit

    -Comfort- I think it’s important to make sure your child is comfortable and knows you haven’t abandoned them. Make sure they are in a clean diaper, are warm and comfy, and give them a stuffed animal.

    -Wear their blanket so it has your scent on it

    -Have “wind down” time- read a book, snuggle together, play some music. Anything that will help them relax before bed.

    Photo Credit: Laobc 

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    November 14, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Easily Amused

    My cat loves chasing a laser pointer. So does this kid. Put the two together and you get…. an adorable video!

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    November 13, 2014
    For Breastfeeding Mamas: Unique Way To Increase Milk Supply

    Disclaimer: This post will discuss, very frankly, the action of breastfeeding. While I won’t include any pictures, if the idea of a mother feeding her baby grosses you out, you probably shouldn’t read any more. Anyway, while browsing Pinterest the other day, I saw a recipe for something called “lactation brownies”. At first, I admit I was grossed out (I thought they were brownies made with breast milk, or baby formula….yuck!), but when I actually read about it, I found that it was something completely different. It’s a treat for breastfeeding mamas that help increase milk supply! How cool is that? Check out this post at Coweta Fayette Families for the recipe (and why it works):

    1 Box of your Favorite Brownie Mix

    1 Egg (2 if you prefer your brownies more cake like)

    4 TBSP Brewer’s Yeast (You can find this on Amazon or at your local vitamin store…I haven’t had good luck finding it at my local grocery)

    2 TBSP Flaxseed meal (I found my bag in the organic aisle at Kroger)

    Water/Oil according to brownie mix directions

    1 extra TBSP water


    Combine dry ingredients and then add the oil, egg, and water. Mix until combined and cook according to box directions. Super simple and perfect for busy, exhausted moms.

    Photo Credit: U.S. Army 

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    November 12, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Adorable Baby With Glasses!

    Photo from XOXO Glamorous Tumblr

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    November 11, 2014
    Deployment Help For Kids

    The men and women in our military are extremely brave, and the people they leave back home need to be brave as well. As a kid, it’s tough if one of your parents is gone for long periods of time, especially if they’re out doing dangerous things. Yes, you feel proud of them, but deployment can also be a sad and scary time. If your spouse is in the military, and you’re at home with the kids, there are ways to help them (and yourself) through it. Check out this post by Carlie at About One:

    Make a Video: Have the deploying parent make a video speaking to each child.

    Get a free quilt or pillow from Operation Kid Comfort.All you have to do is supply some photos of the deployed parent. 

    Make a Deployment Countdown Chain: For us, we always make a paper chain once we are 90-days out from the end of a deployment. 

    Read books about deployment.

    Take a family photo together and give each child one to put near their beds.

    Photo Credit: The US Army 

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    November 10, 2014
    Baby And Daddy Bonding

    As a mother, you carry your child for nine months. For a while, they are a part of you. They know your voice, and respond to your touch. If you breastfeed, you are also their primary (if not only) feeder. With all the connection that babies and their moms have, it can be hard for dads to compete. However, there is a way for dads to get a better bond with their newborns: talk more. Check out this post by JJ at the Belly Itch Blog:

    The report also discovered that mothers responded 88% to 94% of the time to the babies vocalizations, while dads responded only 27% to 33% of the time.

    But you dads can change all that, the study suggest, by simply talking to your babies more and perhaps doing so in a higher pitched sing song-y way that moms do and pairing your talking with eye contacts as moms tend to do.

    Photo Credit: Richard Leeming 

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    November 7, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Cat-Napped

    Don’t mess with mama Kitty! This is adorable.

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    November 6, 2014
    Teething Help

    My nephew is usually the sweetest baby I know. He laughs at everything, loves seeing me (and everyone else), and almost never cries- unless he’s fighting his sleep because he wants to stay up and see everyone more. However, lately, it’s all changed. He cries all the time now because he is teething. I just got my wisdom teeth removed lately (they grew in extremely late), so I feel his pain and it just breaks my heart. We give him baby Tyenol and something to chew on- but I just wish there was something else that we could do. That’s why I was excited when I saw this article by Angela Parker at Grassfed Mama, for natural remedies for teething:

    -Teething tablets and teething gel

    -Real Baltic Amber necklace- the baby chews on it, and the Real Baltic Amber has a natural pain reliever.

    -Cold chewing items- like a  frozen rice washcloth pouch

    Photo Credit: Ashley Webb

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