Friday, October 28, 2016

Onion Slicer {Friday Finds}

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Kitchen space is limited. I get it. There is a do-dad and special kitchen gadget for just about every fruit, vegetable, and cracker out there. When I walk around a kitchen specialty store, I have to stifle my laughs while simultaneously wondering if much of it ever gets purchased by real people.

With that said, some of those weird specialty products prove themselves to be well worth the space they take up in your kitchen. And I have a fantastic one today.

I first saw this Orblue Onion Slicer on a sponsored ad on Facebook. I have already expressed how I feel about having a special kitchen gadget for everything, so I watched the video more with the intention to laugh at it and shake my head at people. I have a knife. I have a cutting board. I have hands. That has always been enough to cut onions.

But it looked pretty awesome. 

It stayed on my mind for a couple of days, so I finally looked it up on Amazon. At $12 dollars, I decided I could risk it to see if it was worth it. Plus I can often talk myself into trying certain things out in order to be able to report awesome things to you all.

It looked awesome.

It turned out it was and is awesome.

And it is worth $12 FOR SURE. 

If you find yourself often chopping onions, this is a gadget you will love. If you don't chop onions, I wouldn't really go for it. Maybe for a tomato (though I honestly have never used it for a tomato). I tried it once on a cucumber and decided it just slowed me down.

For the onion, however, it is worth it. It makes the process faster for me. Above all, the size of the onion pieces once chopped are very uniform. This is especially handy any time I am using the onions raw (like in a pico de gallo or in a summer salad). 


This would make a great stocking stuffer for you. Just sayin'. 

My favorite finds

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Favorite Fall Recipes

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I love fall! I love the colors of Fall, the sights of Fall, the smells of Fall, and I super love Fall food. Here are my favorite, must-have recipes each Fall.

Pumpkin Recipes 
I obviously love Fall enough that I have already talked to you about great pumpkin recipes. We are talking cookies, latte, ice cream sandwiches (YUM!), shakes, and Alfredo.

Pumpkin Recipes

Last year was our first time making Butterbeer, and it was so fantastic! It is a new tradition for us to have this around Halloween. We have this one from Princess Pinky Girl. There are warm versions on Pinterest if you want to search it out and find one you love.

Butterbeer recipe
Apple Dip
Apples are in season this time of year, which means you can buy a lot for a little, which means having apple dip just makes sense. See? Logic. If you have read many of my recipe posts, you know I love Our Best Bites. In their first recipe book (affiliate link), you will find their Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip. They also have it on their website, lucky you. 

fruit dip recipe

In their seasons cookbook (affiliate link), they have a Homemade Dulce de Leche, which is fantastic with apples.  They also have this on their website! Also in that book is my favorite pasta for Fall, Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce. Seriously amazing. That is not on their website, so if you want it, you will have to get their cookbook. Which is fantastic. 

Another thing I love about Fall is that I can add soup to our weekly menu. I do a different kind of soup each week. To be honest, my kids HATE soup. Really. This is despite the fact that we have it every week all Fall and all Winter. That is 6 months of the year. A soup is a success if they say, "Hmm..this actually isn't terrible." We actually have a couple of soups they do like, and I will share one below. 

Despite them hating it, I make it every week. I always include a bread of some type because they all like breads. I don't mind them having to eat something they don't love. I think it builds character--haha! We will see what they decide to do with that experience when they are parents. Soup is usually pretty fast and easy and can often be done in a slow-cooker if needed, plus Nate and I love it. Our Best Bites has a great variety of soups on their blog and in their books. I have shared a couple of soup recipes on this blog in the past. Click on the picture to go to the post. 

Autumn soup recipe

Beef Stew

Potato Cheese Soup
This recipe has a special place in my heart. My Grandmother made this for us every time we visited her. I liked it as a kid and it is one soup my kids like. You will see why. It is simple :)

  • Potatoes (number depends on how much soup you want. My recipe calls for 4 large potatoes. I use about 10 medium potatoes for my family). Peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Water (enough to cover potatoes)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (or more--it depends on how cheesy you like it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley to taste
  1. Put diced potatoes and onions in your stock pot. Cover with water. Simmer until tender.
  2. Once potatoes are tender, melt butter in skillet. Add flour and heat slowly until it bubbles. Stir in milk and continue stirring and cooking until thickened. This is a roux.
  3. Add roux into potato mixture. Stir in. Bring to a a boil.
  4. Add cheese. Simmer until thickened.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Add parsley if desired. 
  7. Eat! 

Today the BFBN is posting on meal ideas. Here are all of the posts for you to check out and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Establish Safe Media Standards For Your Family

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As I sat listening to the older, seasoned women in the room talk, I came to the horrifying realization that we were alone. My generation of parents were the pioneers in learning how to parent children in the digital-crazed, media-filled modern day. On most parenting topics, we can turn to people who have been there, done that. Even if the world is a bit different, we can glean wisdom because the basic problems faced are the same.

But the digital world has changed that.

We don't have previous wisdom to tell us what age is wise to allow a child to get a cell phone. We don't have data to show the impact of too much social media, or even too little media. I mean, we are living in a digital world; will children be able to grow to be adults who can function in society if they are simply banned from digital media throughout their childhood?

That horrifying realization was about ten years ago. We knew very little then. We could postulate and hypothesize. We did not know for sure, though.

Ten years is a long time, and we now have some evidence of what media is doing to our world. We are starting to have young adults come into society having a hard time interacting face to face; they are used to interacting over things text and SnapChat. Granted not all early 20-somethings are that way, but it is prevalent in society.

The concern goes beyond concern for social skills, however. It goes deeper than that. It goes to concern for moral skills. 

When children and teenagers (and even adults!) have the Internet at their fingertips 24 hours a day, they do more than surf and chat with friends. Many times, they chat with strangers and end up in morally compromising situations. Many times, they find themselves caught up in pornography

So how do we protect our children from this pitfall?

Remember when I said even if the world is different, we can glean wisdom from those who have gone before us? Even in facing the digital unknown, we can apply that principle.

What are some core values we can look to? What can we do with our children even from a young age to help protect them against media pitfalls down the road? How can we possibly manage this without years of wisdom to guide us? Here are some ideas.

1-You are the parent, and therefore in charge
Always keep this in mind. You are the parent, so you are the one in charge. That means you get to set the rules. That means you get to set the limits. That means you get to set the limitations. Keep this in mind from the time your child is young and on up. Your child has one set of parents, but many friends. Do not neglect the parenting role in order to try to fill the friend role. Have the Courage to Be a Parent.  See also:
2-Start as you mean to go on
Start as you mean to go on. We talk about this with sleeping and with simple discipline rules. Do the same thing with your media and technology rules. Do not start something with a toddler or preschooler that you don't want happening with a teenager. Always keep prevention in mind. It is easier to prevent problems than to fix problems. Now, this doesn't mean you can't ever change a rule or update a rule. Just be aware of habits you are allowing to form and precedents you are setting and be sure they are habits you are okay with. 

3-Limit the amount of time your child is using technology
Keep your child plugged into the world around her. Do not let her only interact with the online world. Have her interact with the people around her, also. It is okay for you to have a time limit on how much technology can be consumed in a day. It is okay to just not allow any technology on certain days. I have a friend who doesn't allow any television or video games at all except on Saturdays. We do a three hour video game limit per week at our house. There are a lot of ways you can go, and there isn't one right way for every family or for every season. If the precedent is that there are limitations, then even when the limitations change, your child will understand that limitations exist in your home. For more on this topic, see Balancing Technology and also Digital Overload and What to Do About It.

With that said, technology is part of life. Do not try to just banish it from your family's life. You want to teach your children to learn to manage it. Help them learn to use technology for their own good and for helping others. What you want to avoid is your child letting technology use them. 

4-Keep technology off at certain times
Today we have smartphones and tablets. When I was a kid, it was the television. While we have 24 hour finger access to technology, the idea of technology infiltrating the home is not new. Having the phone ring on the wall isn't that different from your phone beeping to alert you of a text. What is the wisdom from those who came before us?

Have times when technology is not turned to. Have family dinner without interruptions from the television, Facebook, or texting. Choose other times to just have the phones and devices put away. Make a policy. Make it a tradition. Make it what you do. Do it now so it is just the way it is when your children are teenagers. 

5-Do not allow electronics to be taken into the bedroom
When my children are second graders and really grow into being avid readers, I get them a Kindle Fire  (affiliate link) for Christmas. The perk of the Fire is that you can watch movies on it and play games on it, which is great if you are going on a long car ride and don't have a TV in your car. 

As my children got older, however, I became increasingly uncomfortable with them taking the Internet to their bedroom each night. They were reading books, but as they got older, the possibility of them using the Internet and having something pop up became more and more of a concern. They say that it is not a matter of IF your child will see something in appropriate on the Internet, but WHEN. I don't want that when to be in their bedroom alone at night. 

Computers are not new to the world, and a long-standing piece of advice for families has been to put the computer in a common area in the home so that people can not use it privately. That is the wisdom I have to look at from those who came before me. Keeping that same idea, it made no sense to send the Internet into my child's bed each night.

With that realization, I literally purchased Kindle Paperwhites (affiliate link) for Brayden and Kaitlyn the next day. I don't love spending money, especially when I basically already have the item. They both had Fires already. They read on their Fires. But the cost was low in my mind. I got them each a Paper White without the special offers. I didn't want them getting advertising. They are not allowed to take the Fire into their bedrooms. They can take their Paperwhite with them to bed to read at night.

I know a lot of families have a common charging station in the kitchen or other public area. Everyone plugs their phones and other devices in at the charging station each night. That way you can be sure
devices are not being taken to the bedroom.

6-Always have a policy that you can check any device, any time
Make a habit to check devices. Monitor what has been going on with the device. What texts have been made, what phone calls have been made, what websites have been visited? Now, sadly the world of technology changes constantly and apps are created to be able to do things untracked. That leads us to...

7-Stay aware of trends
It is wise for you to find someone to follow who is on the up and up with technology. Unless you are an expert, you won't be able to keep up. Find people you can follow who will keep up for you. Two ideas for you are Common Sense Media or The Cyber Safety Lady. Remember, technology changes more often than you changed your clothes when you had a newborn. You have to choose to be aware. What is the latest app being used? Be friends with your child on any social media site she is on. You might even require that you have the password as well. 

8-Be an example
Parental example is always the first place a child looks to learn about life. Be an example of wise media use. Do not let your phone rule your life. Interact with your child and not your phone. Let that text message wait until after dinner. Resist the urge to pull the phone out every time you are bored. For young children, your example is the most profound teacher in life. 

Enough time has now passed that we do have parents to look to with advice for technology and students. We don't have to fly blind. We also can look at basic standards that have stood the test of time and apply them to our families and technology use. We don't have to navigate this blindly, and we don't need to be horrified at the task before us. We can do it if we only try!

See also:

how to teach our children about pornography

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kaitlyn Preteen Summary {9.5 Years Old}

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This is a summary for Kaitlyn from 9.25 to 9.5 years old.

Eating is good. Kaitlyn has always had texture issues and certain aversions to foods that stem back to her reflux days. She is good about trying new foods, and though she isn't always thrilled about it, she eats her fruits and veggies well. 

Sleeping is good. Kaitlyn is such a deep sleeper that she can be hard to wake in the morning. I assumed this day would come. I figured that really good sleeper as a baby would equate to very deep sleeper as a preteen and teenager. I was correct!

She can be very hard to get out of bed in the morning. That becomes an issue when I spend 20 minutes by her bed in the morning trying to gently get her out of bed. My husband just goes in and removes her from bed and puts her on the floor. That wakes her up rather quickly. I don't quite have that strength, and most mornings as of the last month, my husband is long gone for work by the time I am getting my kids up in the morning. 

So I came up with a plan. I told Kaitlyn (and McKenna because she is just as bad) that if she wasn't up and dressed in five minutes (or up and in the shower if it is a shower day), she would owe me three additional chores after school. 

Well that worked! It worked great! And one day, they even owed me chores after school. 

I have expanded it to some days I tell them if they aren't up in 5 minutes, they will need to go run a mile (they can do it; we trained for the last six weeks to run a mile a day five days a week. They are excited to be done with that and don't want to do it anymore). That works even better than the extra chores. 

This time period was basically exactly half summer and half school year. The full thing included soccer. There was summer soccer tournament, where her team took second. There was also the Fall soccer season, where her team took second overall.

Kaitlyn about gave me a heart attack one day when she volunteered to play goalie. But in true Kaitlyn fashion, she took it very seriously. She recruited a friend at school who is a very good soccer player and goalie for his team to coach her at recess. She practiced like crazy. She had killer instincts. She is also very good at reading people--gifted really--and quickly recognized tells among the girls on the other team and knew how to take on each girl. She was only scored on one time all season (she was very, very upset by that one goal, but that is so life as a goalie!). 

image source

Kaitlyn started up piano during this time. That is going well. 

Kaitlyn did her summer camp during this time, which was a theater camp. It was a week long. She did so very well! She is a great little actress. She was assigned a scene from Little Women where she played Beth telling Jo to let her die. She was not thrilled with it because she likes to play the comedian, not make people cry. It was a great challenge for her, though, and she totally rocked it! When they performed their scenes on the last day, she had the audience in tears.

We had swimming in there. We did swimming every week in the summer, then every other once school started until October hit. In October, high school teams start practicing and it gets harder to fit in the pool. Again, she has passed everything off for swimming, so at lessons, she gets worked out as though she was at a swim team practice. We keep this up so that her skills stay up. You never know if she will decide someday she wants to be a swimmer. Plus, I want her to maintain her ability and confidence as a swimmer. 

That is it. For the first time since she was 3, Kaitlyn isn't taking dance. Kaitlyn has no interest in being a dancer, and she wanted to stop taking dance. The only tricky thing is that musical theater involves dancing, so we might throw in some classes here and there in that. 

Each fall, our school does a mile run. Kaitlyn doesn't love to run, but she trained well for the event. In the end, she was the fourth place girl in her grade and finished with a time of 7:18. Pretty amazing!

School has been great so far! Any of our fourth grade teachers would have been amazing, so she couldn't have gone wrong there. In all of her years in school, she has had the same teacher Brayden had. For the first time, she had a different teacher than Brayden this year. It is interesting how it worked out because the fourth grade teacher Brayden had was the perfect one for him and she remains one of his very favorites ever to this day. The one Kaitlyn got is the best one for her. Any one would have been fantastic, but this one is the perfect fit. I always love seeing these little blessings in life. 

Kaitlyn is loving the Percy Jackson series (aff link)  right now. She is also really liking the Warriors (aff link) series. 

I will do the school schedule since we did summer for the last summary:

7:00 AM--Wake up and get ready.
9:00 AM--School
4:00 PM--Home. Homework and chores. Then free play. 
5:00 or 5:30 PM--Dinner. Then family time.
7:30 PM--Get ready for bed.
8:00 PM--In bed.

Related Posts:

Monday, October 24, 2016

10 Reasons Your 5-8 Month Old Has Stopped Sleeping Well

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10 Reasons Your 5-8 Month Old Stopped Sleeping Well

I get asked for help solving sleep problems far more than any other topic. Sleep is a concern for you and sleep problems creep up frequently throughout baby's first year. The 5-8 month old age range can be particularly troublesome. Here are the top ten most common reasons a 5-8 month old has stopped sleeping well. 

1-Your Child is Hungry
The first thing to check when a baby is not sleeping well anymore is the possibility of hunger. Is your child having a growth spurt? Does your baby need to start having solid foods added to the day? Is your milk supply where baby needs it? Do you need to to increase the amount of formula at each feeding? Always consider the hunger possibility first. If baby is hungry and you don't address it, nothing can fix the poor sleep. For more information on growth spurts, see:

2-Your Child is Teething
Once you are sure it isn't teething, the next thing to check is teething. This is especially true in the 5-8 month range. Teething pains can happen long before teeth come in. The most painful part is before the tooth erupts, not after. If it is teething, your child will have swollen gums. If I suspect teething, I do a test. I give my child Ibuprofen before a nap. If the child sleeps well that nap, I have a safe assumption that it was indeed teething pains that were waking the baby. 

Your baby will probably also be irritable during awake time. Your baby will seem clingy and discontented. Here are some posts on teething to help your little one:
3-Your Child is Sick
If it is not a hunger issue and there are no signs of teeth, then the next consideration is sickness, especially an ear infection. Babies can have a hard time sleeping with something as simple as a common cold (and who can blame them!), so it might be a cold. Ear infections commonly cause sleep problems as well, and anytime a great sleeper suddenly starts waking in the night, I wonder about ear infections. For help with sickness, see these posts:

4-Your Child Needs to Drop the Third Nap and Go to Two Naps a Day
The average age for babies go to two naps a day right around 8 months old. That being said, there are babies who go to two naps at 6 months and some at 10 months. If your baby isn't sleeping well anymore, isn't hungry, isn't teething, and isn't sick, consider the possibility that your baby might be ready to go to two naps a day.  For help with this process, see these posts:

5-Your Child is Curious
Babies change the type of sleep we are in approximately every 45 minutes while they are sleeping. At this change, they basically come out of sleep. A 5-8 month old baby is typically a lot more curious than younger babies, or at least more aware of the happenings in the world around them. This means that you shutting a door somewhere in the house at the 45 minute mark can be enough to rouse baby to be fully awake. A barking dog, a sibling laughing, a loud truck driving by, the sun rising...any sort of noise can make baby curious and push to full alertness rather than transitioning back into sleep. This is when white noise becomes SO very valuable. See these posts for more on that:
6-There Have Been Changes or Disruptions to Daily Life
Did you recently move? Has something changed in your day? Did you recently take a vacation? Did the time change happen recently? Did you drop a nap? Move baby's room? Did you lengthen baby's waketime length recently? Or have you simply been taking advantage of your baby's ability to be awake longer and also be more flexible? Disruptions can definitely lead to poor sleep. This doesn't mean you can't ever have disruptions. What it means is to monitor disruptions and how well your individual baby can handle them. 
7-Waketime (Playtime) Length is Not Correct
Is your baby up the correct length of time for your baby's needs? If your baby is up too long, your baby won't sleep well. If your baby isn't up long enough, your baby won't sleep well. If your baby was sleeping well and now isn't, then the chances are that baby needs to be awake longer, not a shorter time. For more on this topic, see:
8-Your Child Needs More Stimulation (or Maybe Less!)
At this age range, stimulation levels often become an issue because stimulation levels need to increase. We spend so much time being careful in those early months to not overstimulate that we sometimes under-stimulate as baby gets older. You might need to add in some more physical activity for your baby. You might need to change up the toy options to more age-appropriate selections. You might need to talk more, sing more, or go on walks. If you have upped stimulation levels, consider that you may have gone too far and need to pull back some. For more on this, see:
9-Your Child is Working on a New Skill
If your baby is learning to roll over, sit up, crawl, or stand up, there is an excellent chance your baby will practice those skills in the bed. This might happen before a nap, leading to baby being overly tired. This might happen mid-nap as baby switches sleep cycles and remembers the fun skill she is working on and pushes herself to full alertness. See:
If we are talking night sleep disruption, then be sure to consider diaper size. I always put my babies in larger diapers at night than she wore during the day. This helped prevent her from waking during the night because she had leaked through. See also:
These are the most common reasons for poor sleep in this age range. If you didn't find the solution here, be sure to read through my many posts helping you with sleep problems. You can find them here. You can also see more 5-8 Month Old Sleep Problem help here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dreamfeed Poll Results

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The dreamfeed is the feeding you do in the 10-11 PM hour. You get baby, feed him/her without waking him up too much, and then put baby back down for the night. The idea is that your baby will then sleep longer through the night. Read Dreamfeed FAQs for more. It works for many babies! But not for all. Here are the latest poll results on the subject of the dreamfeed. You can find answers linked here. People also answered on my Facebook Page

1. Did your baby do well with the dreamfeed right away or did you have to work at it for a time first?
Didn't Work: 2
Worked Right Away!: 7
Took Some Time: 4

2. What time did you do the dreamfeed?
NA: 1
9:30: 1
10:00: 5
10:30: 4
Varied: 2

Leah said: "The time changed depending on her schedule, age, and how well the night was going. It started out at 11:00 so that she'd make it longer into the night, but staying up that late is hard for me, so I started moving it back until it was at 10:00 and it stayed there for a while, and now it's at 9:30."

3. Was your baby sensitive to the exact time the dreamfeed happened? (for example, did great if dreamfeed at 10:35 but not if it was at 10:45)
NA: 1
No: 11
Yes!: 1

4. Did the dreamfeed seem to help baby sleep longer through the night/help baby wake up less during the night?
No: 3
Yes: 10

Jennifer said: "They woke up more, because they still woke up when they wanted. It did not help them sleep longer, just made me have to stay up later!" 

5. What age did you drop the dreamfeed?
8-12 Weeks: 2
3-4 Months: 4
6 Months: 3
7 Months: 1
Still Going: 2
Do Not Remember: 1

6. Why did you drop the dreamfeed?
No Longer Needed (sleeping through the night): 5
To Avoid Disrupting Sleep: 2
Just Decided to Try It: 2
Wasn't Working: 3
NA: 2

Lacey said: "He wasn't waking up at all during the feeding, so I thought I'd try dropping it and it worked. The first couple of nights after dropping it, he did wake up at 5AM / 5:30AM so I went in and fed and also fed again at my preferred wake time of 7AM. After that, he slept until 7AM on his own and eventually until 7:30AM on his own. "

7.Would you try to do dreamfeed with your next baby?
No: 1
Yes!: 10

8. Any words of wisdom for parents out there?
Jennifer said: "Just know it may not work for you and that's ok!"

Leah said: "Besides being cozy, the dreamfeed is also a great time to make sure baby is at a comfortable temperature, and hasn't leaked through her diaper. (I'd much rather do a diaper/pajama/sheets change at 10:00 than at 2:00am.)"

Lacey said: "Stick to a consistent schedule for morning wake up time and last bottle of the night! Let the baby cry it out unless of course you know something isn't right!"

Natalie said: "Not ALL babies take a DF! I had assumed you could force it with any baby...but some it just doesn't help. That being said, as frustrated as I was that my #2 wouldn't take a DF and had a MOTN waking until 4 months, he also STTN 12 hours by 20 weeks. My #1 took much longer to sleep 12 hours since I kept the DF so long. So I think it balanced itself out pretty well."

Brittany said: A dreamfeed should be just that, basically a feeding where they are asleep. Keep the lights off, no talking to them, keep them swaddled, etc. Have the least disturbances as possible so they don't wake up too much and don't want to go back to sleep.

Rochelle said: Just because something works for someone else (or even another baby) don't feel stuck. I was frustrated that they weren't extending their night feedings at all, and it seemed I was doing everything "right." Don't be afraid to try something if what you're doing isn't working.

Ashley said: Track your progress with it. I really wish I would have logged with my first son. It's such a sanity saver! Anyhow, the only way you will know the dreamfeed works for you is if track it. It can be annoying at times to wake your sleeping baby to feed him when you are wanting to go to bed. I rarely napped before the dreamfeed, but suggest it as a good idea in the early newborn weeks Definitely keep it as short and sweet as you can, because baby should not think it is a playtime.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brinley Preschooler Summary: {4 Years 2 Months}

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This is a summary for Brinley in her second month as a four year old.

Sleep was great. During this month, Brinley started preschool. Her preschool starts in morning but ends in afternoon. Because of that, a nap on preschool days can be tricky. I decided to introduce rest time to her on those days. She is a big fan of rest time. On days that aren't preschool days, we do nap still, and she typically does sleep on nap days. 

Eating is good and continuing on as usual.

Swimming lessons was great! We might have a break for a bit; there is a new high school in the valley this year, and long story short, they need to use our pool. That means lessons couldn't start until 7:30, which isn't a great time with bedtime and all. So we will be hit and miss for several months. 

Dance is great! 

Brinley also started playgroup this month. In my neighborhood, we will do a playgroup with the kids the same age. We usually do it as 3 year olds; this is two years before kindergarten starts for them. Those who don't do preschool will often continue on and do it with preschoolers the next year. 

Brinley is the oldest among the children her age in the neighborhood. There is a boy two weeks older and the rest are in the range for the grade younger than Brinley. So for all of them, it is the right age. For Brinley, it is a bit younger. But there are no older kids. 

Brinley is loving playgroup. We each take a turn hosting. This year, we are doing it by month. It is fun for them to learn some preschool things and have some socializing among peers. 

Brinley loves preschool, to put it mildly. Super loves. For the first week, she wouldn't eat lunch because she was sure she would be late for school if she took the time to eat. She is loving every minute.

The first day, she came home and just collapsed in an emotional heap on the floor. This is not uncommon. Talk about a stimulation overload! I just picked her up and hugged her until she was done (remember my post on emotional four year olds last week...). She hasn't done it since, and she was great at school that day. She just had to let all of that emotion out when she got home that first day.

This leaves me with a couple of hours a few times a week. I had a friend ask if I am having trouble filling that time. Not at all! I spent the first week able to play some catch up. After that, I was helping with a fundraiser at school every day during preschool. Today I am back at home during that time. I am yet to get to a point of bored or even past a point of catch up, but it is helping me be able to be ready to bring on the full family return after school. 

Life is always fun with sisters on hand!

Here is what was pretty consistent for non-school days:

8:30 or 9:00--wake up/get ready/eat breakfast
9:30--play with siblings
usually independent play for an hour in between now and lunch
12:00 --lunch. Then play.
4:30 or 5:00--Wake up. Eat dinner. Then family time.
8:00--Get ready for bedtime
8:30 or 9:00--Bedtime

Related Posts:

Monday, October 17, 2016

How To Manage The Time Change Your Way

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Just as there are many different ways to potty train a child, there are many ways to approach the time change. The way I do it works well for me, but it is by no means the only way to do it. In order to give you many ideas to choose from and jump-start your own ideas, I turned to Facebook readers to see how they manage the time change.

Go Cold Turkey
Katie said: Cold turkey. We've tried adjustments in the past but for mine it always ends up getting more messed up. It helps that it's always right after Halloween when they're messed up anyway. It helps even more when they're old enough to tell time. And it helps most when you have kids that always have to be woken at DWT. 

Afton said: Cold turkey. Three kids four and under. Ive tried many different options. But it's been a little easier just to have some grumpy kids for a day or two than to bother with doing the smaller adjustments.

Cole said: We just wing it. It's never really been that big of a deal. It helps that my kids are early risers and are used to waiting in bed for long periods of time before I come get them in the morning. In the fall I just make them wait the extra hour I think. The spring is trickier... I think I usually just do naptime a little earlier that day.

Krysten said: Sundays are always a crazy off-schedule day because of church and family lunch. I typically find that naps and bedtimes already being off help my kids adjust.

Alena said: We just do it all at once the day it happens and we always have. I'm the only one who seems to have a problem adjusting!

Slowly--But All In One Day
Carly said: Omg I HATE the time changes! Daylight savings are literally my Friday the 13th lol. We never did it weeks in advance. We wait til the actual day and we start in the morning and adjust more and more throughout the day, catching up or falling back an hour by the first days end. (Ie allowing a nap to go half hour later, or waking up 15 minutes earlier, a little at a time until redeeming the full hour by the end of the first day) Never needed more than a day, kids always did fine.

Slow and Steady
Gloryanna said: We've started moving his schedule ahead by 15mins every two weeks so by the time change, we'll be comfortably an hour ahead. It's been great! And 15mins is nice and gradual so you're slowly moving everything forward (desired wake time, snack time, lunch, nap, dinner, independent time, etc!) I thought it would be stressful but it hasn't been bad at all!

Nikki said: When she was really little, we slowly shifted her bedtime over the course of a week by 15 minute increments to prep her for the time change. She was 100% adjusted 2 days prior to the time change so we got to sleep in! Now that she is 18 months, she is really tuned in to the sunrise, so she starts to stir when the sun starts to rise, so until the time change, we get to sleep in until 7:30 or 8am! Daylight savings time or not, if she does wake early, she just has crib time and calmly plays with her stuffed animals until we come up to get her.

Jess said:  We do the 15 minutes adjustment but since my son is a little more flexible, we do it every couple of days instead of a week at a time. Also limits the time with a wacky schedule which is better for this Mama!

Katie said: We do the 15 min movements every week leading up to the change, too 👆🏼

Get More Active
Ruth said: We serve Benadryl cocktails at midnight... KIDDING!  We just go with it and let them get up a little early the next morning, then keep them really active all day so that they're worn out by bedtime and have no problem going down a little early. We put them to bed a half hour earlier than their previous time, but the clock says they're staying up a half hour late, which they think is a big treat. Within a few days they've adjusted to the time change and everything is back to normal. The babies never even seem to notice the change - I just get them up and put them down by the clock and have never had a problem.

Natalie said: Move to Arizona! No DST here. 😬 Just kidding!! It does make my life easier though. 

No matter how you choose to do it, just find a way that works for you and for your family. There is no one right way for everyone to approach the time change, but there is a best way for you and your people. 

Time Change Warning

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