Monthly Archives: April 2011
It’s never too early to teach your child how to take care of the earth’s resources and Earth Day is the perfect time to start! There are so many easy ways that kids can contribute to taking care of our earth.
Simple tips for kids saving energy:
- Turn off lights – Make sure they turn off lights when leaving a room. If they are too small to reach the switch, have them ask a taller sibling or you to help them.
- Close doors - Be sure they know to always close doors to your home when the AC or heat is on and make sure they close the refrigerator door.
- Water – Be sure they don’t keep water running unnecessarily especially if it’s hot water!
We love the Kids Saving Energy site. It has games, tips and facts for kids who want to save energy. (We love the TV features of Tinker Bell showing kids how to save energy.)
What ways do you teach your children to save energy?
As a parent you are the one who is supposed to watch your kids grow and start families of their own. But what happens when you only have your child for a little bit of time? What then? Megan from In This Wonderful Life takes all of us by the hand and shows us that motherhood with all its twists and turns is indeed wonderful.
Megan, you are pregnant again – CONGRATS! Before we jump into your current pregnancy we wanted to talk about your first pregnancy with little Cohen. That was quite a journey from the excitement of your fist pregnancy to finding out that Baby Cohen was only going to live a short while. How would you describe your short time with Cohen?
Thank you! Our time with Cohen was very emotional. It was amazing to be pregnant with him and even more amazing to spend the time with him that we did. Of course, that time could never be put into any amount of words. It was one of the happiest, but hardest times in our lives. We were so blessed to have had him, but it was so hard to say goodbye. It is unforgettable, thankfully. He will always be apart of our lives.
What has little Cohen taught you about motherhood?
He definitely taught me the bond between a mother and child. From pregnancy up until we had to say goodbye, it was just something that seemed so unreal. It taught me no matter what, you never give up hope….especially on your child. You can never be prepared to have your child and you can never be prepared to lose your child. You realize nothing around you but your prayers and your child/family really matter. Brent and I were willing to (and did) sacrifice every worldly possession for Cohen. As a mother, you have to be willing to provide every inch of support and strength you can for your child.
You are pregnant with twins! How exciting – you will have 2x time the love & excitement. What are you looking forward to the most post-delivery?
Many things! Bringing them home is probably the biggest! I can’t wait to hold them all the time…at the same time. I can’t wait to see their daddy with them.
Have you received any practical tips on how to keep up with twins? I have received a few! So far, it seems the most stressed advice I have received is regarding schedules. It seems crazy that if one wakes up, you should wake the other, but it definitely makes sense.
If you could receive “expert advice” on one aspect of parenting, what would it be? Oh goodness, I would probably just want advice on how to guarantee my kids would be honest, kind, sweet & polite. I know, there are no guarantees. Realistically-probably advice on behavior skills and structure. I think these two things can be essential.
We have to ask – how do you manage to look so beautiful & model-like even while pregnant? What’s your secret?
HAHA! This definitely makes me laugh. If you are referring to my ‘prego mego’ pics, I will tell you, I prepare for most of those. I usually take them in the morning after I have just gotten dressed. It so happens that Thursday nights are one of the two nights I wash my very thick hair! I think it tends to look best the morning after a wash. So, I’m guessing that’s part of it! I have TONS of freckles (that I got tired of very early in life) so I definitely don’t go far without some powder.
Now for a quick glance into Megan’s life.
What is one thing always in your fridge? Right now, fruit! I’ve been on a berry kick since I got pregnant and there really isn’t one I don’t like.
What is your one guilty pregnancy pleasure? I think strawberry milkshakes! I love them. Sometimes I can go weeks without thinking about them, but when it crosses my mind, I must have one! I’ve had several since I’ve been pregnant, and though they might not be the healthiest thing, they help me get the calories I need right now.
One thing that helped you through morning sickness? Luckily, I never had much during the morning. It was actually more so at night. However, if I started to feel sick, as long as I would eat some crackers or something right away, it would usually help!
If you had a free day to yourself, how would you spend it? I would probably get as comfortable as possible and cuddle with Brent and our pup, Elton. There really isn’t much I’d rather do right now than be with them and be comfy.
If someone were going to write a book on your life, what would they title it? In This Wonderful Life
Whether the weather is cooperating or not, Spring has sprung. We love this fun flower craft for you and your child to celebrate Spring.
What you need:
- Scissors (adult use only)
- Construction paper (green and another color)
- Tissue paper squares (optional)
- Non-toxic glue
- Photo of your child
What to do:
- Trace your child’s hands on the green construction paper and cut them out. Let them do it if they are old enough to trace.
- Cut a stem with the remaining green paper
- Cut a circle with any color paper of your choice
- With older children you can use tissue paper squares and glue them down using a pencil eraser to “fill out” the flower petals.
- With younger children you can have them color the circle instead of glue the tissue paper squares to make the flower petals.
- Glue a picture of your child in the middle to personalize it.
We know one of the most important times of your day is your child’s sleep time. Your child needs her sleep so she can grow and develop, but sometimes bedtime and naptime can be a battle to get your baby to actually sleep.
Kolcraft and Mommy Wants Freebies is going to celebrate your child’s sleep with a Twitter Party! On Wednesday, April 20th, from 11:30 to 12:30 CST we will be talking about ways to help your child fall asleep, safe sleeping practices, bedtime routines and we will be giving away wonderful sleep products by Kolcraft and Sealy!
We will be giving away:
You do not have to RSVP, just follow Kolcraft on Twitter as well as follow Carol from Mommy Wants Freebies on Twitter and use the hashtag #sealybaby to follow the conversation, win prizes and have fun!
See you there!
Extreme Couponing has debuted on TLC. You may have seen episodes where people bring coupons to a new level. Through very calculated clipping and strategy, they are able to bring a $400.00 grocery bill down to $60.00 or less and sometimes end up paying nothing. The way they coupon is obviously extreme and not for everyone (the space alone that they need for their “stash” of supplies is definitely beyond the scope of city living in small spaces!).
We have 5 sites that may not fit extreme couponing, but they certainly help you find the best deals at the click of a mouse.
- CouponMom.com – This is almost a one-stop shop with online coupon codes, printout coupons and free samples.
- Coupons.com – This site has coupon gold with deals that you would normally find in the Sunday paper.
- Coupon Cabin.com – Deals are updated daily so you get the latest and greatest coupons and discounts.
- RetailMeNot.com - This user generated community keeps you up to date on what discount codes work and what are bad deals.
- Smartsource.com - Get the best local deals and printout coupons to maximize savings on this site.
Have you seen the show Extreme Couponing? What did you think? What practical tips do you have to finding the best deals?
The Journal Of Developmental Psychology published a study that showed that kids who spent more time doing household chores reported greater levels of happiness than kids who spent less time doing chores. They believe that kids who participate in family life through assigned tasks feel more valued and connected to other family members. Chores help define children’s identity and add an early sense of meaning to life.
A few tips to helping your child approach chores:
- Start young – If a child can carry, they can help out. Maybe it’s as simple as getting a paper towel roll when the other is empty or putting away toys after playtime.
- Match their skill level – You don’t want to frustrate them with a task that is too difficult. Be sure that they can comfortably perform what is being asked.
- Value their effort – They might not clean an area as perfectly as an adult would, so be encouraging rather than expecting perfection.
- Give choices - You can rotate jobs, allow them to pick chores or draw chores out of a hat.
- Don’t pay money – Mom and dad don’t get paid to fold laundry, do dishes, walk the dog or mow the lawn. It is what is expected in family life. Keep allowance separate from everyday task completion.
- Choose words wisely – Chores may have a negative connotation for some children. You can call these tasks jobs. This gives the child a sense of accomplishment because they are doing a job that helps the whole family.
What tips do you have for children helping around the house?
We recently met Carrie through Twitter. We started reading her blog & got sucked into it for hours! She has such a great approach to parenting and to life in general. We also love all her fun reviews. We hope you enjoy Carrie as much as we do!
You started blogging to share news about your second baby, Molly. Can you tell us more about that? With no prior knowledge, our daughter Molly was diagnosed with Down syndrome not long after birth. We were scared, sad and unsure of what the future meant for our precious Molly. I turned to blogging to share Molly’s story with friends and family…and in return I found an online community filled with supportive parents and virtual cheerleaders for my daughter and our family.
We love your approach to life – you are honest, real and enjoying the daily moments of motherhood. What has been your biggest surprise on your motherhood journey? It sounds so cliché, but I had no idea that I could love someone so much as I do Maggie and Molly. At the end of each day, all I want is to see that my girls are happy. As soon as I became a mother, my priorities in life changed…and I couldn’t be happier about it!
What has been your biggest parenting challenge? I’m constantly reminding myself to schedule “me time” and to not feel guilty about it. Everyone deserves a break – especially parents! As much as moms need a break from their children, I think kids need time away from their parents just as much!
You left the PR world to be a stay at home mom. Do you miss your career in PR? In the beginning, it was very difficult for me to adjust to the transition of being a stay at home mom. As a PR person, I was accustomed to interacting with people for a living every day. As a stay at home mom, it’s tough to have a conversation with babies that don’t talk back to you! I think blogging has been a great way for me to keep my feet wet in the PR world. There are many similarities in the blogging world with public relations – I’ve renewed my love for writing and I love the sense of an online community.
While Down Syndrome is not the focus of your blog, you have educated many people on what it is. We loved your birth announcement about Molly that focused on the positive and the joy of having a baby. What is the one thing you have discovered as a parent to a special needs child that you hope to communicate with others? With Molly’s birth announcement, I wanted people to know that we don’t feel sorry for ourselves as a family. I want others to see my daughter as an individual. She smiles, laughs, eats and sleeps just like everyone else. I think it’s important for people to know this.
What is your secret to keeping perspective? Plain and simple – There are much greater tragedies in the world than my child having an extra chromosome. After Molly’s birth, I could either focus on the negatives or focus on the positives – I chose the positives.
Carrie at a glance:
What is something that is always in your fridge? Mountain Dew! I can’t start my day without it!
What’s your guilty pleasure? Ice cream! It’s my one weakness when it comes to food!
Any books currently at your bedside? Not too many books, but tons of magazines! Southern Living, Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine and Better Homes & Garden to name a few!
What is your best “sanity” break to recharge your parenting battery? Every Sunday, I take an afternoon time-out and go to Starbucks. Just me and my laptop for a few hours – it’s relaxing and a great spot for people watching!
If someone was going to make a movie of your family’s life, what would the title of the movie be? Never A Dull Moment
We love crafts that recycle and are fun. This easy-to-do craft from Baby Center of turning juice boxes into airplanes and cars is perfect for a rainy day (like the MANY we have had in Chicago). You can have juice boxes with your lunch and then do this easy craft!
What you need:
- Empty washed out juice box and straws
- Non-toxic glue
The instructions for the activity can be found here.
Happy Fun Friday!
You find out you are pregnant – oh the joy, the shock and the worry that ensues. How would you like to have someone to help you out so you could have the best possible stress-free pregnancy and start to mommyhood? Sound like a fairy tale? Not any more!
Bravo TV has kicked off season one of Pregnant in Heels where maternity concierge, fashion designer, and pregnancy guru Rosie Pope guides expecting mothers through the joys and perils of preparing to have a baby – at a bit of a steep price.
As a full time working pregnant mom, there are many days I would love for someone to help me prepare for baby (especially the nursery). A maternity concierge is a long off fairy tale for me, but on the flip side I get to go through all the uncertainty and unexpected joy of my pregnancy and motherhood with a virtual mommy community and that is priceless. Nonetheless, I’ll be tuning in as will our other Kolcraft digital staff – Emilie & Colleen – to watch the Pregnant in Heels drama unfold.
Will you be watching Pregnant in Heels? What is the one thing you would have loved a maternity or mommy concierge for while pregnant and those first years of your baby’s life?