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Brinley Child Summary: {5 Years 8 Months}

Inside: Five year old girl information. Five year old schedule, dealing with emotions, and homework details. 

This a summary for Brinley from 5 years 7 months to 5 years 8 months.

Five year old girl information. Five year old schedule, dealing with emotions, and homework details

Sleep was great this past month. She didn't have any bad dreams at all.

Eating is good and pretty non-eventful. We had a spell while on vacation where she "wasn't hungry" at meal times and then begging for food shortly after the meal was over. We reminded her the time to eat was mealtimes and we didn't allow the "I'm full" at meals for a bit. We typically are fine with the kids deciding when they are full, but she needed to just eat what was available at the meals so she wasn't asking for food at other times. We aren't a "grazing" type anyway, but especially while on vacation and not home with food all around us, it was important for her to eat what she needed at meals. We did of course have snacks while we were out and about, but this was 10-15 minutes later proclaiming she was starving.

Brinley was quite the emotional four year old. This is a common age to be emotional; Kaitlyn was the same way, while Brayden and McKenna weren't extra emotional at that age. Kaitlyn snapped out of it at five. Brinley has eased out of it. She has slowly become less and less emotional over time. I think things have eased up even more in the last month or two. I wonder if she is one with just "big emotions" and might be more emotional than your typical person. Time will tell. Here is a post on helping your child work through emotions.

I had a reader request to know more about when the kids do school work at home in the schedules, so I will address it with each child individually. We have half-day Kindergarten around here, so Brinley is able to easily get her homework done after school. Our routine is to get home, eat lunch, and then do homework right away. I don't like putting homework off until later because I never think of it again. I know some people like to give significant time between getting home and homework time, and I understand their reasoning, but we have always done homework right away for all kids, no matter what grade they are in. 

Of all of my children right now, Brinley has the most homework. I think that is in part due to the fact that we are a state with half-day Kindergarten in a nation of full-day teaching requirements. So some things simply need to be sent home. It is also largely because my older kids get homework done at school during their down time, and Kindergarteners just don't have down time--again, half-day issue (by the way, I LOVE half-day Kindy. I am not upset it is half-day in the least). 

We are able to get homework done well before any other activities need to take place, even on days she has early activities.

This is what Brinley is doing outside of school. She is doing more than she will be able to do when she moves to full day next year, just logistically. It gets hard to fit everyone's things in after school, but right now, I am able to do most of her things while the older kids are at school.
  • Swimming lessons: She had 1-2 this month. She had a little break before that, and her first time going back, she was super nervous. But she did great and was excited after that. We have found Brinley does much better with lessons if no one else is in the building with her. We literally leave her with the teacher. 
  • Gymnastics: She really likes gymnastics and is really loving it! She is progressing. She does little tricks at home. I don't see her ever going anywhere beyond "for fun," but I see so much value in what it is helping her to do at this point.
  • Dance: dance is great! She loves her dance teachers. We have started talking about what she can and can't do next year, and right now she is saying she wants to do gymnastics over dance. So she likes it, but likes other things better. 
  • Piano: Piano is great. She loves the piano, can read notes well for her age, and can play by ear quite well. A funny thing with the kids is they all want to play more advanced songs (of course). They want to play what Brayden plays. So Brinley literally is picking out by ear his recital song. HA! 
  • Musical: The musical ended during this time. She had a lot of fun with it!
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Brinley loves to read and is getting more into chapter books. I feel like since Brayden was 5, more and more beginner chapter books have come out. Her two favorites right now are Mercy Watson and Princess In Black. I love these chapter book series for new readers. They are short enough that you can easily make it through one book in just a few nights (you could even do one if needed), so they don't have to follow the storyline for too many days. I like it being broken up over a few days just to train them to remember a storyline and come back to it day after day. They have fun pictures but are a chapter book. 

7:00-7:30 AM--wake up, get ready, eat, scriptures, practice piano
9:00 AM--school
12:30 PM--home and eat lunch. Homework. Then she can watch two 30-minute shows on PBS  and has independent playtime if desired. Two days a week she has her extra curricular activities. I scheduled her stuff during the other kids' school day so we didn't have our family time so interrupted. 
4:00 PM--Siblings home. Sibling play and family time. 
5:00 PM--Dinner in this hour
7:00 PM--Bedtime process begins.

How To Plan the Perfect Family Vacation

Inside: How to plan the perfect family vacation. Pick the perfect destination, plan everything effectively, and have a fun time making memories. 

I love a family vacation. Traveling has always been one of my favorite things to do. While a lot of people get bored in a car for long hours, I get a thrill seeing the different landscapes as you drive mile after mile. I always said when I was younger that I would love to live in a different area of the world for 4-12 months at a time to get a feel for what it is like there. That sounded fun before I had kids; now I of course prefer stability and sending my kids to school, so we travel. We didn't always travel long distances. When my family as a whole was a younger family, we traveled close to home and for shorter spurts--more "long-weekends" than full vacations. I don't regret that; it was the best for our family of nappers and littles at the time and we still had a lot of fun.

How to plan the perfect family vacation. Pick the perfect destination, plan everything effectively, and have a fun time making memories

Now that my family as a whole is in the middle stage of raising kids life, we are in full-on travel mode. We have a list of destinations we want to hit before Brayden, our oldest, graduates high school (only five years folks!). We are taking full advantage and getting our travel on. 

Prepping for a trip is not easy, and let's be real, for most families, the bulk of the burden lands on mom. Mom plans the trip, mom preps the pets and house to be left, mom packs her stuff, mom packs her own stuff, and mom answers dad's 65 questions while he packs his own stuff. Not to discount the stress or efforts dads put in to a trip, but in most cases, mom puts the most effort into prepping for a trip. 

All of this added burden (for fun, but a burden all the same) to everyday life can lead you to feeling stressed and extra grumpy. My husband and I both really strive to stay as patient as possible as we prep for a trip. We don't want vacations to be dreaded because it means mom and dad go into major grump mode. 

One of the best ways to stay calm and collected is to have a plan for how to prep and plan for the trip. Here is my method for planning the perfect family vacation. 

Decide on a Travel Location and Dates

The first thing you need to do when planning a family vacation is to decide where to go and when to go. I really like having a master list of places we would like to go. We always decide at the end of one trip what our next one will be. Consider things like how far away it is, how expensive-ish it would be and how that would fit in with your budget, and how your kids would handle it at their ages. Not all places are great for kids at all ages. For example, on our someday list is Washington D.C. This is a very far away destination for us, so it is a once in a lifetime type of trip. We plan to wait until Brayden is a senior before we go there. There is a lot of walking involved and we want our kids old enough to be able to physically handle that. We also want them as old as possible to hopefully appreciate what is there. 

Once you know your location, get some date options. Look up online great times to travel to the location. What is a less busy time of year? Those will be less expensive and less crowded. Look at the weather at the different times of year you are considering. Be sure to consider school dates and work needs when considering your travel dates. 

We plan to go to Florida next year. We wanted to go over spring break, but once I started researching, I soon realized Florida has spring break the same time we did...it was literally twice as expensive to book lodging as other times of year we could go. So we are looking at other date options. 

Plan and Book the Details

How will you get there? Drive? Fly? Where will you stay? Rent a home? Hotel? All-inclusive? Where will you go? 

Figure out how far in advance you need to book things. You can shop around and find better deals the earlier you start booking. If you are going to a show or game of some sort, you can get better seats if you buy tickets earlier. Google best times to fly. Search for things in an "incognito" window so the Internet doesn't remember you are looking. Flight prices in particular will jump if you forget this step. 

Plan the Food

We love to stay somewhere with at least a little mini fridge so we can pack lunches when possible. We don't like eating out for every single meal, plus it saves money to pack food. We typically try to eat out no more than once each day, and try to do less if possible. 

Decide where you will be eating meals, and then plan what they will be and where you will eat them. 

Also, in planning your food, don't forget to have some snacks planned. Kids are much more pleasant if they aren't hungry, and often when traveling, you are moving around more and kids can get quite hungry. 

How to plan the perfect family vacation. Pick the perfect destination, plan everything effectively, and have a fun time making memories.If we are not flying, I like to make food ahead of time to take with us. I will boil some eggs to have as snacks. I will bake some banana bread. It is a great way to use up food that would otherwise go bad and have some yummy snacks for your trip. 

Make a Budget and Save

Taking a vacation with the money pre-saved makes the trip a thousand times more enjoyable. I love buying things ahead of time as I can to spread out the expenses. I always estimate how much the entire trip will cost and figure out how to save for the trip so that while we are on the trip, it is all paid for and the money is there to cover what isn't already paid for so we can just enjoy the trip without worrying about going into debt. 

Make a Packing List

Make a packing list for each person so you can check things off as you pack. I try to pack light, but I also want everything we need. I always pack 1-2 extra pairs of underwear and socks per person just in case something happens. I even make a packing list for my husband so he can just consult it instead of asking me what he needs to pack and if there is anything else he needs. Be sure you think through your activities and that you have what you need to do them. I mentally walk through each day so I don't forget anything. Check the weather of where you are going and have plans for inclement weather happening. What will you need if it rains or snows? Do you have what you need for the sun? What is the climate like? Is it more humid? Are there lots of bugs (and bug spray needed)?

Schedule Hair/Nails/Doctor Appointments

If you like to have a fresh hair-cut or you want your nails done, make sure you make the appointments with enough time. If you need to see a doctor for any reason (certain vaccinations, clearance, medications, etc.) be sure to schedule with enough notice. 

Prepare the Home

There are a variety of things you need to prep at home before you go. I always like to put a hold on my mail. You can go here to set up your own mail hold. If you have pets, find someone to take care of them while you are gone. We always get a neighbor. You might need to board your pet at the vet or a boarding place. If you have plants or a garden going, you will want to make sure you have someone lined up to water those things if needed. 

Arrange with Work, School, Family, and Extra Curriculars

Let your work colleagues know when you will be gone. Arrange for your responsibilities to be covered while you are gone. If your child is in daycare, let them know. If your child will miss school, talk to the teacher ahead of time. They will often gather up work your child will miss so he/she can do it ahead of time. If your child is in dance, music lessons, or a sport, be sure to let those in charge know your child will be missing. 

It is also smart to tell neighbors you trust that you will be leaving and your dates. It can help them keep an eye on your house and know if they see things going on that something isn't right. It is also smart to let your family or close friends know when you are going, how long you will be there, and how you will be traveling. That way if something happens, someone knows you aren't where you should be. 

Charge and Prep Electronics

In the last couple of days before you leave, make sure your electronics are ready to go. If you plan to take a Kindle, make sure the movies and books you want on the device are loaded. Make sure your devices are charged fully. 

Prepare Your Vehicle
How to plan the perfect family vacation. Pick the perfect destination, plan everything effectively, and have a fun time making memories

If you will be driving at all for your vacation, clean your vehicle out. Check the fluids and the tire pressure. Get the oil changed if it is due. Fill up with gas. Be prepared and ready to go.

Home Prep Right Before You Leave on Vacation

Just before you leave, there are some things you will ideally do. One is clean up a bit. I love coming home to a clean house and it is so nice to not have a mess on top of the mess you bring home. You will have unpacking and laundry to take care of. 

If you have the time, clean your refrigerator out in the few days before you leave. You can get food out that is bad or about to go bad. It is also wise to empty all garbages just before you leave so you don't have anything in the house rotting and/or stinking up the place. 

Check the windows and doors and make sure all are locked. Do a walk through and make sure the lights are all off and the electronics are unplugged. Turn down or up the thermostat (depending on the time of year). Before you leave, give your pets and/or plants one last check/feeding/watering.

Ultimate Vacation Planning and Packing Checklist

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How to Have Successful Independent Playtime for Twins {Guest Post}

How to get your twins to play independently each day. This is great for giving twins some time alone. 

Independent playtime is important for all children, but it is especially important for twins. Our twins share a bedroom and are literally together 24/7, aside from when they are in independent playtime. It was a challenge to separate them, and we endured many days of tears and them pounding on their doors, calling for each other. It was quite heartbreaking, but I persisted because I believe that independent playtime for twins is essential. They need a chance to explore, play, and grow in their individual personality without their twin to influence them.

How to get your twins to play independently each day. This is great for giving twins some time alone.

Why You Should Do Independent Playtime for Twins

As I mentioned above, independent playtime is important for all children,  but I think that it is especially important for twins. The bond they share is absolutely incredible and it's an amazing blessing to watch it grow and develop. However, let's face it... one day, they're going to be separated! Whether it's for elementary school, high school, or college, one day they will be apart. While it's natural that they will miss each other, I don't want my girls to be so dependent on each other that they fall apart if they aren't around each other.

I also think it's a great way to nurture their individuality. I've noticed that my twins like to mimic one another. Josie will be reading a book and Margo will see her, and decide she wants to read that book for herself. Margo will be playing Paw Patrol, and Josie will come along and need to play with the pups at that exact same moment. They influence each other, for better or for worse. I want them to have a chance to not be influenced by each other for a few minutes a day; I want them to learn what their own interests are and develop their own preferences for play.

Independent Playtime for Twins at the Same Time

Since it is very common for twins to share a bedroom, it can be tricky to find two separate places for them to have independent playtime at.

Separate Bedrooms

This is our current setup. One twin goes in their bedroom, and the other twin goes in their brother, Theo's room. Theo goes downstairs in our playroom, but if we didn't have a playroom I would put him in our guest bedroom. You could even child-proof your master bedroom and do independent playtime in there. A bin of toys could be kept in your closet, or brought in from another room.

Bedroom and Playroom or Living Room

This worked for us in the beginning. Our playroom is on a different floor than our bedrooms, and since they were crying and calling for each other, I tried separating them by floors. Not being able to hear each other cry was extremely beneficial. However, I ultimately wanted them both in the bedrooms because our playroom is off of the kitchen with no door, and I know it's hard for them to see me walking around and not be able to come to me.

Sound Machine

They no longer cry, but I still use a sound machine (with a different sound than they get for sleeping!). The bedrooms they are in are right next to each other, and I don't want them to hear the other one playing and become sad that they aren't together. 

Tip: If you are doing independent playtime for your twins at the same time, do whatever it takes to make it so they can't hear each other.

Independent Playtime for Twins at Separate Times

If your logistics don't work out and you simply don't have the space to do independent playtime at the same time, there are still ways you can do it.

T.V. Time
How to get your twins to play independently each day. This is great for giving twins some time alone.

If you are a work-at-home-parent, or simply have housework to get done, you can alternate T.V. time with independent playtime for your twins. While one twin is having independent playtime, the other can get their T.V. time, and then vice versa.

One on One Time With Parents

You can also use independent playtime as an opportunity to have one on one time with your twins. I try to do this once a week with each child because every parent of twins knows that it's hard to find one on one time with them!

Cleaning Up After Independent Playtime

I've noticed with my girls that when independent playtime is over they are so anxious to see each other that it's like pulling teeth to get them to clean up. I've switched things up a little, and now I let them reunite and then we clean up both rooms together. They are much happier to clean up once they have given each other hugs.

Keep Your Tone Light

When I put my twins into independent playtime, I keep my voice bright and cheery. I say things such as "you're going to have so much fun playing by yourself! Josie will be in the other room playing and having lot's of fun and you can see her when your time is up!" I also remind them of what will happen after independent playtime.

Reward Them

I suppose this isn't specific to twins, but I give them lots of praise when independent playtime is over. Our 'reward' is their television time for the day. My kids all love watching t.v., and it isn't something we do a ton; for us, it is the perfect reward for independent playtime. If it's a snowy day and we don't have plans, I'll sometimes let them watch a longer movie; if we have plans or I want them to play outside, it will be a quick ten minutes of some nursery rhymes (our favorite nursery rhyme show is Little Baby Bums). 

Other Helpful Twin Posts

Caitlin is wife to Ben, and mama to their son Theo (4) and identical twin girls Josie and Margo (2). They live in Rhode Island and she is passionate about healthy living, keeping it honest and real, and bringing encouragement and solidarity to all moms, but especially to twin moms. You can follow the chaos over at her blog, Twin mom and More.

McKenna Preteen Summary: 9 Years Old

This is a preteen summary for McKenna from 8.75 to 9 years old. This includes information on a nine year old girl. 

9 year old preteen girl information

Eating is great. Just to illustrate how non-picky of an eater McKenna is, I asked McKenna what she wanted for her birthday dinner. I will make the birthday boy or gal the meal of her choice. 


Huh? Soup? I mean, McKenna doesn't complain about anything we eat, and she always eats her soup all gone, but she rarely asks for seconds when we have soup and she never oohs and ahhs over how much she loves the soup.

"Are you sure you want soup? You could have anything." I pressed her.

"Yeah," she replied nonchalantly. 

I then listed off a long list of foods that are big hits at our house.

"Turkey steak!" 

That was not listed in my long list. She insisted upon it, though, so that is what we had. 

Sleep is great. I have to give her a time she needs to end reading at night. A "lights out" time limit. She loves to read and would probably read on late into the night if she had no restriction. To ensure she has motivation to actually check the time and turn lights out, we tell her if she consistently can't turn lights out in time, she won't get to read before bed at all. I am understanding of the occasional miss; I know I have gotten lost in a book and lost track of time! It happens. But it can't be a habit or the norm. 

Last time I talked about what a golden age third grade is. Well, school is still great for McKenna, but I have been made aware of a fair amount of drama happening in her grade among some girls. It has gotten pretty bad. She hasn't been a part of it, nor have her closest friends. I am glad they have all been able to stay out of it. I mention it just so others reading these updates are aware that drama definitely can happen at this age. I typically see it start mid-fourth grade and really hit in fifth, but sadly third graders aren't immune. 

McKenna and a good friend of hers are now in charge of helping a kindergartener eat lunch and get to class. Our kindy is half day, but this boy is going all day, so he goes to lunch and then goes to the afternoon class. 

During this time, McKenna continued her musical theater class. She was cast as Sebastian in their production (performance in May). She was excited because Kaitlyn was Sebastian in our school musical. 

McKenna also had piano lessons. She practiced soccer once a week. Then she had the musical at the school. She was a Sea Creature in our school production of the Little Mermaid JR. 

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McKenna has been loving Wings of Fire, Goddess Girls, and Chronicles of Prydain. She also read a Wrinkle in Time and loved that. I wanted her to read it before she saw the movie.


7:00--wake up shower/get ready/eat/practice piano/scriptures/prayers
activities/family time/dinner
7:00--start getting ready for bed
8--in bed. Lights out by 8:30-8:45

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Creative Ways to Choose the Perfect Baby Name

Creative Ways to Choose the Perfect Baby Name. Ten different ways to choose the best name for your baby.

Choosing a name for a baby is a bit responsibility. This is sadly a responsibility that some parents utterly drop the ball on (like...the lady who named her child Vagina. Don't worry, it is pronounced Vageena. You can't make this stuff up!). You worry about your baby's name being the right fit, sounding good with the last name, and having nice nick-names. You want the name to be good for a baby, child, AND an adult. You may want a popular name or an uncommon name. You then have the issues of having to disassociate yourself with other people you have known with names (good luck, teachers!). If you name after family, will you hurt feelings of other family? The list goes on. Add to that the fact that there are two parents naming this baby and not one...it is a wonder any of us have names at all. A name stays with you for your entire life, so it is completely reasonable to take it seriously. 

Creative Ways to Choose the Perfect Baby Name. Ten different ways to choose the best name for your baby.

We took it seriously when we named our children, but some names just came to us while others were difficult. Kaitlyn was a name we both loved before we were even ever pregnant with Brayden. We knew that would be the name of our first daughter. It was set and decided.

Then our oldest was a boy. I wanted a name chosen quickly--I hated calling the baby "baby" and wanted a name to call him. We had a hard time choosing a boy name. My husband played football and therefore knew a lot of guys who were basically jerks. He remembers their locker room talk and he didn’t want his son being like many of those people. It took FOREVER to find a name he was okay with. I finally told him that he had to disassociate himself from names. Every gets some veto names, yes. There are some names I just couldn't do. He had literally never known a Brayden, so in the end, it worked out. We chose the spelling of Brayden because it means "brave" while Braden means "from the wide valley."

Braxston is the baby boy we lost at 20 weeks. My husband chose his name because the strongest reality my husband had to the baby at the time was my constant contractions. 

When Kaitlyn came along, we already knew our first girl name. When Kaitlyn was a newborn, we were at the zoo and heard a mom call out, “McKenna!” We looked at each other and knew that would be the name of our next daughter. 

When McKenna was a baby, I was helping in Brayden’s kindergarten class. I was prepping stuff for the Christmas program and checking off names in the afternoon class (Brayden was in morning class). I came to the name “Brynlee”. I had the thought, “If I have another girl, that will be her name.” And I did! 

All of our children are named after family for middle names.

I asked my Facebook followers how they choose their baby names and loved their ideas! Here are their methods. 

How to Choose a Baby Name

Choose a Name from the Bible

Hannah shared:
"Anna comes from the name Hannah which In the bible God blessed Hannah with a child when she had none. Also Hannah is my name and Lise comes from the name Elizabeth whom God also blessed with a child. This name is special to me because I suffered an ectopic pregnancy as my first pregnancy and God blessed me with Annalise. I found this name and my husband loved it."

Relax and Let One Parent Pick

Emily shared: 
"My first 2 are girls and I already had names that I loved...so we went with those and my husband didn't care too much. I'm pregnant with our third which we just found out is a boy...I have no names, so I'm letting my husband pick"

Candice shared:
"If it was a girl my husband got to name her and vice versa....we named our son "Frank" after my Grandpa...my hubby hated t at first but its growing on him https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/fa5/1.5/16/1f642.png:)...to be fair tho...i hated his pick for a girl (lylith) lol"

Lauren shared:
"I got to pick a boy name and my husband picked a girl name, and we ended up having a boy.
Honestly I heard my son's name in a show I really like, and when I pitched it to my husband he liked it too and it ended up fitting perfectly for my son."

Carrie shared:
"We decided that I would name girls and he would name boys, but we both had Veto power."

Peruse the Social Security Website

Press shared:
"We each went on the social security website separately and chose names past the 200 mark. We wanted an uncommon name and one not associated with family or anyone we know so as not to offend anyone. We each made a list of 15 names then swapped lists. We had 4 of the same names on our list, narrowed it down to our top 3 and chose what sounded best with our last name. We struggled a bit with the spelling but went with an easy spelling. For the middle name my husband had no clue so I gave him my top 3 and he chose the one he liked best."
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Name After Family/Friends

Lacey shared:
"We talked and talked about names until we came up with them. It was hard picking names as a teacher where I didn’t have a bad or weird association with a name lol It also meant I liked names that were easy to spell and pronounce. Cody James is our first.
Luke Bradley is our second. My husbands 22 yo cousin died on the fire dept while I was pregnant with Luke. We had a different middle name picked but immediately decided to use Bradley after him for his middle name. Luke has Brad’s badge displayed in his room. We talk about it a lot but their daddy is also a fire fighter so we have to be careful how we tel them about him."

Angela shared:
We went with historical family name. Giuseppe and Gianna were my husbands great grandparents. Giuseppe immigrated from Italy when he was a child. Later he married Gianna. I like that they match. They mean Joseph and Jane."

Katie shared:
"Our first was named after my brother in law & it was such an easy decision (Will) and my newborn was so much harder to decide on. We finally narrowed it down to two and then took about 15 hours after she was born to know she was an Eliza and not a Tessa. Their middle names are both Biblical which was very meaningful to me."

Abby shared: 
"My husband names our oldest after his 2 best friends, Daniel Parker. I named our middle my 2 favorite names, Konrad Asher. We had to agree on a name for our youngest, and it took till week 34 or 35, and even that was a compromise: Malachi Patrick, with Kai as an optional nickname."

Christine shared:
"Was going to be Audrey Katherine (Audrey comes from my grandmother's middle name), but my hubby didn't think anyone was named Audrey anymore (HELLOOOO... it's quite popular!). So we switched it: Katherine Audrey. Kid 2: I originally liked the name Liam, but for whatever reason, his personality in utero was not really a "Liam." Hubby wanted a Biblical name and offered me a list. I picked Joshua and then added two middle names to make my son named Joshua Patrick Theodore, his own unique name, my hubby's name, and my father's name."

Sarah shared:
"My husband's lifetime best friend (who became mine as well) passed away a few weeks before we found out. There was no doubt we were gonna name our baby after him, whether a boy or girl. We had a boy and I truly believe our best friend is his Guardian Angel."

Name After Meaningful Locations

Allison shared: 
"Our daughter was named after a winery we went to in Napa Valley on our honeymoon. It wasn't actually my husband's first choice but after I was rushed back for emergency surgery after c-section, he let me decide on her name! Artessa Jane"

Natalie shared:
"We wanted something not incredibly common, but something that would be easy to spell and easy for people to pronounce. We also liked last names as first names. I was a librarian at the time, and my husband joked that we should pick a name that related to libraries in some way and we ended up with the name Reid. For our second, we knew we wanted to continue using R names, and settled on Riley for our daughter."

Be Open to Random Inspiration

Lynn shared:
"We chose Olive for one of our twin daughters quite by accident thanks to the What To Expect app. We kept calling the baby (at that point we didn’t know we had twins) whatever fruit/veggie they said they were the size of. So at first, we called her Baby Rice, Baby Pea, etc, and when it was time for Baby Olive we said, “hey, I kinda like that!” and decided on Olive for a girl name right on the spot! We get compliments on her name ALL the time.
Her sister’s name we struggled with for months! We eventually settled on Emilie."

Misty shared:
Off a souvenir name plate rack outside a tourist shop while we were waiting for an international flight."

Marah shared:
"I heard someone talking about Holland and fell in love with it for a girls name. That was about 2 months before I found out I was pregnant. I loved how unique of a first name it was without being too strange."

Do Your Research

Alyssa shared:
"Apps, books, researching meanings of names and comparing favorite. Lots of vetoing a la Rachel and Ross... our last one we could only agree on one name in the last day of the hospital and now call her a ton of nick names. We call all our kids by nick names actually. So I think our biggest deciding factors were name meanings and nicknames. We picked out our middle child’s name back when we were dating; just tried to think up the most epic name ever and we found it - Maximus!"

Ashley shared:
Our first was a girl so we had to find a name, a boy would've been "junior." We first looked at the top 25 girl names. We both had top 5 names growing up and think it's cool/fun bumping into people with the same name." 

Consider the Meaning of the Name

Charlene shared:
"We went through name lists combined with names we already had in our heads, checked the meanings and loved them. Our first means appointed which we thought was pretty special. And the second means strong fort, protector of man, which we can definitely see already at 2yo. Names give so much purpose. While they are developing, their life is paved out in front of them. So cool."

Leona shared:
"I really like names that have a good meaning, and / or come from family names.
I usually make a short list and then we talked about it and arrow it down. Right now we have one chosen for number for and we are just letting it sit for a little bit and till we decide for sure."

Name After Books

Lori shared:
"Favorite literature - such as Gone with the Wind. Three of my girls are named from that😉"

Call the Baby Names Until You Find the Right One

Karen shared:
"Well, for the first one I made a short list, then my husband and I talked about the names on the short list, tried using the name(s) in sentances when referring to him until it just felt right."

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Spring Break 2018 and Posts to Read

Babywise and parenting posts, information, and helps
It is time for spring break! We will be having some fun as a family this week and so I will be taking the week off. Follow me on Instagram for updates. You can also get inside information by subscribing to my newsletter. 

Babywise and parenting posts, information, and helps

While I am gone, I have linked some great oldies for you. These are from June of 2012. Click on the image to read the post. 

 What vs. How of Training Your Child's Character   How to create the perfect parenting plan   The Importance of Accepting Personal Responsibility
 Why I get after my kids for spilling milk   how to teach respect for personal property   How to Prepare for a New Baby: Establish Independence in Children

 Good Sacrifice vs. Foolish Sacrifice in Parenting   How To Improve Reading Skills Through Sustained Silent Reading   Should You Control the Environment for Your Children

And also, if you are looking for some help on naps and establishing routines, I have two books for you:
 The Babywise Mom Nap Guide 
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 Chronicles of a Babywise Mom Log eBook

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How To Treat Upset Tummies

How To Treat Upset Tummies and stop your child from throwing up.

Nothing zaps you out of a deep slumber faster than a child leaning over you pronouncing the need to throw up. No one likes to throw up and no one likes to clean up throw up. When one of my children has an upset tummy, I waste no time getting that tummy feeling good again. I want the child feeling fine and I want the germs staying put and away from the other five people in our house. Here are my steps to treating upset tummies and preventing the spreading of germs.

How To Treat Upset Tummies

Remedies for an Upset Tummy

Activated Charcoal

How To Treat Upset TummiesThe first thing I reach for is activated charcoal (affiliate link). This is typically used for gas, but is very helpful when your stomach is upset. My kids who can swallow pills will just swallow two. For those who can't, I empty 1-2 capsules into a small cup of water, stir it up, and have them drink it all. It is tasteless. I have heard (from Carrie over at Wiley Adventures) that having it in the cup of water might make it more effective faster than swallowing a capsule. Note: Do not take this if you are pregnant unless you talk to your OB first. 

Bucket or Bowl

Step two is not a remedy, but I get that kid a bucket or a bowl. If an incident is going to go down, I want the kid able to make it into a bowl and avoid the couch, bed, carpet...baically everything else. From a young age, we teach them to look down into the bowl.

We save the 5 gallon ice cream buckets so we can use those for these fun moments. Then it is a "free" container you don't feel bad about throwing away later. 

Motion Eaze Drops

How To Treat Upset TummiesMotion Eaze drops are drops a friend told me about when I was pregnant with Brinley. It doesn't take away the queasiness, but it helps take the edge off. Put these behind the ears and it helps you so you don't feel so much like you need to throw up. Bonus on owning this, it is great for motion sickness. NOTE--I have linked to Amazon so you can see what I am talking about, but if you buy them, go to Walmart and get them for $5 instead of $20 (yikes). 


This is the oil blend from doTERRA that helps with digestive issues. Rub this around the belly button, smell it, and rub behind the ears. 


How To Treat Upset TummiesOnGuard is the oil blend from doTERRA that helps boost the immune system and fight off viruses. You can put drops on the feet, rub on the spine, and inhale. I always rub on the feet, spine, and have the child take a big sniff. Then I run it in every diffuser in the house in hopes of preventing things from spreading. I have this inexpensive diffuser from Radha Beauty (affiliate link) in every bedroom in my house. I have more expensive ones from doTERRA in the large rooms in my house. 


I encourage the sick child to sleep as much as possible. I find sleep a good way to slow the puking down, so it helps that way. Also, as Daniel Tiger teaches us, when you're sick, rest is best. To help sleep come easier, I usually rub some Serenity or Peace essential oils on their feet and spines. 


I require the sick child to stay in bed until everyone has left for school. During the getting ready for school time, I encourage sleep as I just discussed. Once kids have gone to school. the sick one can move to the family room if he/she would like. We bring the sick child's own blankets and pillow so the germs stay with the child. I spread a blanket out under the sick child so if any throw up makes it past the bowl, it hopefully lands on the blanket and not on the couch. 

Wash Everything

Hand-washing is obvious. We all wash hands frequently. Once the sick child is better, I wash all of his/her blankets and pillows along with any others that may be carrying the germs. I wash anything I think needs to be sanitized, and I do it on the sanitize cycle. I will go around with some Lysol wipes (affiliate link) to clean up door knobs, remotes, and whatever else may need to be de-germified. I can't always stop the spread of the germs; we are often contagious before we even know we are sick. But preventing even just one person from getting a stomach bug is WELL WORTH the effort I put in to trying to prevent it from spreading.
How To Treat Upset Tummies

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