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Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for you all and the wonderful comments you leave to help keep me going here :) I love to provide you with help and make parenting a little bit easier for you. I hope  you have a wonderful holiday (or a wonderful few days if you are not in the US or celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend). 

I will be taking a "Fall Break" for the rest of this week. See you next Monday (which is December by the way...ack).

Keeping the Christmas Spirit as a Parent

Do you remember Christmas as a child? Remember how much you loved the whole season? What's not to love? Parties, great food, time off of school, novel songs, and the anticipation of looking forward to presents.

Keeping the Christmas Spirit as a Parent

As we become grown-ups, the Christmas season takes on a different form. It is kind of like the difference between having a puppy as a child and having a puppy as an adult. As a child, even if you are "in charge" of the puppy, the reality is the bulk of the responsibility is on an adult in the home. You might play with it sometimes and you might feed it daily, but you aren't potty training, you aren't puppy-proofing, and you aren't dealing with the vet every few weeks.

As an adult, the reality of what the Christmas season is about is as stark as that first time getting a puppy as an adult. You have to decide where to go when--you are juggling the parties and the family gatherings. You are doing the shopping and wrapping for the most part. You are trying to establish good traditions that are meaningful. You are probably trying to make sure your child understands the reason for the season--which is very important but also takes forethought, effort, and time.

All summed up, Christmas is a lot more work as an adult than it was as a kid! I recently read a talk by Dieter F. Uctdorf (can you tell I really relate to his talks? I am often quoting him). He starts by talking about the Grinch. He says:
"Perhaps the Grinch’s story is so memorable because, if we are honest, we may be able to relate to him. Who among us has not felt concern over the commercialization and even greed of the Christmas season? Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by the packed calendars, the stress of finding gifts, the pressure of planning meals and events? In fact, psychologists tell us that during this season of cheer and goodwill, many feel sorrow and depression."
We know what the Christmas season ought to be—we know it should be a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, a time of celebration and of generosity. But sometimes our focus is so much on the things that annoy and overwhelm us that we can almost hear ourselves say in unison with the Grinch: “Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW? 

So the question becomes how do we, as adults, take control of the Christmas season and keep the spirit of Christmas with us. Most of us are pretty new to this. We have spent most of our lives to this point just enjoying Christmas. So how do we take on the extra responsibilities and still enjoy the purpose of Christmas?

Advent is a great tradition that keeps you focused on Christ each day. There are so many ideas on Pinterest and many great books, too. 

Read Christmas Stories
Keeping the Christmas Spirit as a Parent
There are many Christmas stories and scriptures we can read to keep the Christmas spirit in mind. A Christmas Carol is a good one, as is of course the classic found in Luke.

Prepare Early
I really like to be done with the bulk of my work before December 1 so I can not turn into "crazy-mom-with-a-to-do-list." I still have things after December 1, but I have most done before then so I can just enjoy my family and enjoy Christmas.

Cut Back if Needed
We need to be able to enjoy this season. We need to have time to ponder on the meaning of the season. We need to have time to spend with our loved ones. We need to have time to read inspirational scripture and stories that remind us of the reason for the season. 
 If we notice that planning for parties and scrambling for presents begin to detract from the peaceable message of Jesus Christ and distance us from the gospel He preached, let us take a step back, slow down a little, and reconsider what matters most.
You don't have to go to every party and you don't have to go overboard on any one tradition. Your child wants time with you more than anything else you can concoct in your mind.

Rejoice in the Savior
We celebrate the birth of the Son of God, the Creator, our Messiah. We rejoice that the King of kings came to earth, was born in a manger, and lived a perfect life. When Jesus was born, the joy in heaven was so great it could not be contained, and angelic hosts parted the veil, proclaiming unto shepherds “good tidings of great joy, . . . praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Be Optimistic
Our attitude affects everything and everyone around us. 
If we look for what is wrong with the Christmas season, we can surely find it. Like the Grinch, we can grumble and complain, becoming cold and cynical about what we see around us. Nevertheless, if we look for the good, we can see this time of year with new eyes—perhaps even with the eyes of a child.
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Surviving a Cold

How to help your baby survive a cold

Cold season is upon us! And not only that, travel season is upon us. Those two things combined have a way of bringing out the worst of sicknesses. I recently posted on the Facebook page a question for readers. Essentially the question was, "How do you help your baby/child with a cold?" If you want to hunt down the original comments, see the facebook page and look at November 5, 2013. Here is the advice given.

Vicks on Feet
When your child has a cough, putting Vicks Vaporub  on the bottom of the feet helps them to stop coughing so they can sleep. You apply to the bottom of feet and cover with socks (just to keep it all contained). We use Vicks Baby Rub on the little ones.

This sounds like an old wives tale sort of thing. I have known about this since Brayden was a baby; it is easily the most common advice given from mom to mom for sicknesses. Even moms who haven't tried it will say, "I haven't tried it, but I heard..." It sounds crazy, but it works!

And after learning about essential oils, it makes sens that it works now. I always wondered why that is the advice and not "on the chest" like you would think. The feet are the place on your body where things can enter the blood stream faster than any other point on your body. 

"3 nights with Vicks seems to do the trick and they get over the worst of the cold symptoms."

Crushed Garlic on Feet
I hadn't heard of this one before, but one reader said this helps.

Essential oils
When you use essential oils, be sure you use a kind that is safe for administering on children. We use doTERRA Breathe Essential Oil to help with breathing. We also use OnGuard to fight off the bugs and doTerra Lemon Essential Oil for sore throat. Others recommended Eucalyptus  Still others recommended Thieves Essential Oil by Young Living. Another oil recommended was Olbas Oil. Another said:

"Oregano essential oil mixed with coconut oil on her feet for a cough. Takes it away

instantly. Then eucalyptus and melaleuca essential oil mixed with coconut oil on her chest and back for

runny nose/congestion. It works wonders!"

I love baths when I am sick and my kids do too! I find a warm shower followed by a bath really gets those buggers flowing out (nice huh?). You can see that nicely in the picture above. During bath time, things just flow right out, which is nice for clearing things up. Some do a ginger bath, some do a regular bath.

"baths in a steamy bathroom"

Lots of people mentioned pushing lots of fluids. Many mentioned using mostly water instead of milk (milk builds up mucus). 

Nose Sucking
The Bulb Syringe Aspirator is the timeless popular way to go. 

Many, many people recommended the Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator. I haven't tried that so it is going on our list!

"Nose Frieda!!! That thing is like magic!"

"the Nosefrida Snotsucker (works so much better than the blue bulbs)"

Saline Nasal Spray
We use Little Noses Saline Spray/Drops. Saline drops help prevent things from getting hard and crusty in there. 

Boogie Wipes
I have not tried Boogie Wipes  but they were recommended several times. Another recommendation was Puffs. We also like the Klenex with lotion in them.

"Ours is way more bothered by the sore throat than the sinus stuff, so Advil is a life saver and seems to

be more effective than Tylenol"

"now that he is over 1, we do elderberry and vitamin d supplements to help boost his immune system

and cut sick time in about half."

"we LOVE LOVE Hyland's Baby Cough syrup. It was invaluable to us at night when he had a bad cough!"

  • Bone Broth
  • Sun exposure to torso
  • Chamomile 
  • Vicks vapor rub and water in a scentsy
  • Fresh air
Lemon/Honey Drink
These are both ingredients that are well known for soothing sore throats. I use doTerra Lemon Essential Oil on my kids (including Brinley) when they have a sore throat (I also use it on myself). It is great for the young ones you don't want to give honey to yet.

"I just wanted to mention that while honey is great for a sore throat it should never be given to babies under 1 year, and some doctors advise against it until 2 years."

Vicks Vapors Nightlight
Vicks Advanced Soothing Vapors Waterless Vaporizer--I have not tried this. Several readers recommended it.

Johnson and Johnson Vapor Bath Wash
Johnson & Johnson Soothing Vapor Bath--Another one I haven't tried (I love hearing all of these new ideas!).

When I was pregnant, I noticed a big benefit for me and humidifiers. We live in a dry climate and the humidifier help significantly when I had a cough. You can't always see a difference with them, but extra moisture can help keep things moist inside.

"Humidifiers didn't seem to help much but they made me feel like I was doing something."

Another reader said, "Cool mist vaporizors work great with croupy coughs. Warm mist or regular

humidifiers with vicks medicayed liquid work well for normal coughs and congestion."

"I make smoothies a lot for my daughter. When she has a cold, I use coconut water instead of milk to cut down on the dairy. In an effort to up the liquid intake when she's sick, smoothies are a great way

to do that as well as put in a ton of fruits and veggies!"

"green smoothies with lots of kale and fruit for my toddler"

Sleep at Incline
Being at an incline is helpful if you can keep the child sleeping on it. 

" extra pillows for bigger kids"

"During a recent cold, I also propped up one end of the crib mattress so he could sleep with his head at a more upright angle. This seemed to cut down on waking because of congestion."

"I put a pillow UNDER the crib mattress--it elevates the mattress so they can sleep a little better"

Extra Rest
We all know your body recovers with sleep (I think I never saw that so dramatically as I did after child birth). If your baby or child needs extra time in bed when sick, don't be afraid to make it happen! One day when Brinley was sick, before she moved to one nap a day, she went down at 11 AM and slept until 4 PM for one nap. I didn't wake her because I wanted her to get her sleep. That was the only nap she took that day, but she woke feeling much better.

Lots of Love
Don't be afraid to give your baby or child extra love and comfort when they are sick. When Brinley first comes down with a cold, she always needs to be held for about 15 minutes in her rocking chair before bed. She won't fall asleep in my arms, but she will just lay perfectly still and relax. She gets all setttled and then is happy to lay in her bed and fall asleep.

" If my guy wakes crying, I'll hold and rock him until he falls asleep. It provides not just comfort, but the upright position gives the nose a chance to drain and he can breathe more easily. "

All Is Calm book {Giveaway}

Today's giveaway is for a daily reader, All Is Calm: A Daily Reader From Thanksgiving to Christmas by Randy Schlichting and Amy Shirley. I received a free digital copy of this book to preview before writing this post.

This book is designed to be a daily reader that you read each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. You read one small chapter a day that gives you an idea for helping you remember the reason for the season and keep everything calm as you celebrate the Christmas season. You can read the entire book in under an hour, so it is something you have time for! At the end of each chapter, the authors list scriptures to refer to that speak about their point of the day.

You have the chance to enter to win your own copy to enjoy this season! Three lucky winners will win a copy of the book (your choice of paperback or Kindle). Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • You must enter the giveaway to have an entry.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until 12:00 midnight November 29, 2013.
  • The winner will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter.
  • The winner will be announced sometime after the winner is chosen. I will email the winner.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back and/or check your email. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time.
  • I will not use your email address for any purpose other than contacting you if you are the winner (and FYI, I don't have access to the email addresses except for the winner).

My Favorite Things 2013

These are a few of my favorite finds I have found this year. I am always sharing about kid stuff and sometimes we need our own ideas! These are products I have purchased this year (or received for birthday gifts from friends and family) that I just love!

Vue Phone Cover by iFrogs

This is something that basically just gets me all giddy. I am the type of person who likes to change things up a lot, and changing up my phone cover brings more joy than it seems it should. Do you remember those Nokia phones--the common phone of about 12 years ago? (wow I feel old right now). They sold face plates for those at the dollar store and I probably had about ten.

This kit comes with the case and then a few different inserts. But it also comes with a template and a punch for your camera. So you can use whatever as your phone cover. Any scrapbook paper...oh yes. Family picture. You bet. Your child's latest drawing or love note. Absolutely! I find the size of this to be the perfect balance of size vs. protection for my phone when I have little kids.

And on Amazon right now this is only 6 dollars--81% discount! Great stocking stuffer.


My mom is kind of the queen of finding random things to buy and try. She ordered one of these from a gardening magazine and said she loved it. So I bought myself one to try out. 

Let me tell you, this thing is amazing! So amazing I think every person who does any type of gardening should own one to make your life easier. I used this for picking weeds (throw the weeds in there as I go), trimming bushes (throw the clippings in as I go), transplanting plants (put the plant in there and then hauling the thing around the yard as I planted them in new places), and picking produce. It is seriously awesome. It is very easy to clean. You could also use it for water. Some people use them inside for toys and stuff like that--I haven't tried that so I can't speak to it, but for gardenign purposes, it is definitely worth it.

Norwex Clothes

I have mixed reviews for Norwex products in general. This summer our fridge broke, so we bought a new stainless steel one. I then found out that you have to use only microfiber clothes on it. My mother-in-law told me the best was Norwex. 

I have a few of their clothes. Some I love, some I hate, and some are "eh." Pictured here--the blue one is the Norwex Enviro Cloth Cleaning Products. This is the one I use on my fridge and I also use it to clean my painted cabinets. It works well. No complaints. No raves. Just nice.

The purple is the Norwex Window Cloth, Antibacterial. This one I really like. I am not sure why, but when I use it to clean my mirrors and windows, they stay cleaner longer. When bathroom day rolls around again, the mirrors aren't as dirty as they usually are. I thought I was imagining things so I did some testing and it is true. I am not sure why. But I like the window cloth and would absolutely buy it again.

I also have the Norwex Microfiber Dusting Mitt.  I like it. I don't buy the claims Norwex makes that it repels dust (I should test that out though...)--I just don't see how you repel dust from landing on a flat surface. Maybe a tiny bit, but not enough to make it so you are dusting less often. I do find the mitt quite convenient. My kids love to use it. It makes dusting faster and makes it easy to do things like wipe the lamp shades off as regular dusting, which I don't do with a rag. So I like it fine. I have a friend who hates hers. 

The Norwex Kitchen Scrub Cloth is my absolute favorite Norwex cloth. If I had only one, this would be it without hesitation. The funny thing is I bought this one intially thinking I could clean my fridge with it, but you can't because it is really scratchy. So I was initially quite frustrated by it. We decided to just use it to scrub stuff in the kitchen. And WOW! It cleans our counter with very little elbow grease. It also cleans Brinley's bar stool seat (we have the Inglesina 2013 Fast Table Chair, Ibisco). To clean this thing with a wash cloth and soap and water is basically impossible. You can get it cleaner, but not clean. Then I take my amazing Norwex cloth and water with very little effort it looks brand new. So I love it.

The Norwex Kitchen Cloth is one I could definitely live without. I actually don't use it. I guess I could...but it is redundant with the other clothes I use--the ones I have for my kitchen already are better than this one is so I just don't use it.

USA Brand Muffin Tin

Ever since we got married, we have been using cheap muffin tins. They recently all but one became unusable due to rusting...For my birthday a couple of months ago, my husband and I decided it was time to invest in a nice one. We went to our local specialty kitchen store and looked at all they had to offer. Then we asked the sales person. She highly recommended this one, which was the most expensive by about 10 dollars. So we debated. Was it really that much better?

Well, I didn't buy both so I don't know, but this one is awesome! This is made from aluminized steel--whatever I cook in there cooks absolutely perfectly. Then it has Americoat on it. So no greasing and things just pop right out. Seriously awesome. We have one other "cheap" pan (but our nicest one we had owned--cost about 15) and when I cook in both at the same time, the food in the cheap one does not come out well at all. So I think I will be buying another one of these and just stick with that.

The down side is it is hand-wash only. But things don't stick to it so it is easy to clean. Another note, you can't use metal knives or spoons to get things out of your muffin tins (seriously news to us). So we bought a Tovolo Scoop & Spread Multi-purpose Spreader for getting things out and we love it.

Blendtec Blender
Remember when I was debating which blender to get this last summer? I asked you all on Facebook and got a lot of recommendations. The most came in for the Blendtec. I was mostly debating Vitamix and Bledtec--and no one said they had one and hated it so I figured either was a good bet. Then people brought up the Ninja. I happen to have various neighbors I was able to borrow these products from to try them out. 

After trying them all, and then some, we went with Blendtec. As soon as we tried it, we were sold. Immediately. After months of thinking and debating, we tried it at lunch one day and bought it an hour later. We have loved it and have not been disappointed. 

Kindle Paperwhite

This was my Christmas present last year. I have long been a "hard copy is the only way for me" person. I love to snuggle up with my book and read. I am an English major! There is no way I could turn from real books for these electronic things!

My mom is also a big reader and had the original Kindle and then upgraded to the Kindle Fire HD 7". So I figured if my mom could enjoy reading on a Kindle, I could too. 

And how!

I love reading on my Kindle. I had tried reading on my iPad and my iPhone and didn't like it at all. But I love reading on my Kindle. I seriously forget that I am reading an electronic device. I love having multiple books I can carry around with me at all times. And I love how easy it is to check books out from the library (from home) and return (automatically). I can get free new books constantly. It was also really nice while I was nursing--it was much easier to have the Kindle open than a book while nursing.

Sleep Cycle App

Last May, my friend Serra and I decided to start running a few days a week early in the morning. I wanted a different alarm than my normal alarm on my phone. I did some digging and came across this app.

I LOVE this app. Super love. With this app, you set a 30 minute window you can wake up in (so I wanted to be up no later than 6:15, so I set my window for 5:45-6:15 AM)--you can also do shorter windows. But the 30 minute window allows the app to wake you up at the best time for you. It senses your sleep cycles and wakes you up at the perfect time so you aren't groggy.

You can also mark things to see how well you sleep with certain factors. Ate late? Exercised? Stressful day? Slept with socks? Slept in a t-shirt? You can customize your variables. It then tells you how you slept and over time can tell you which variables help you sleep better and which impact you negatively. I learned through doing this that in the summer, I do not sleep as well with socks on. I always thought I loved to sleep with socks on, but it impacts my sleep negatively in the summer. For someone as interested in sleep as I am, this app is so amazing. And at this point, my body is so trained to wake up at the certain time each day that I do every day of the week. Love it.

 J Jeans & Things

I don't remember how, but I came across this site this year. I have loved it. The prices are good and they are great to work with. I hate buying stuff online because you never know how it fits. They have been easy to do exchanges with and they have even taken some returns when things just weren't working out. Their selection is constantly changing. 

What about you? Do you have any new favorites this year?

Building Faithful Testimony in Children

One of the scariest realizations you come to as a parent trying to raise your children to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the fact that your child might some day turn from it all. My children and your children all have the ability to choose what to in life, and despite our best efforts, they might reject it. This is simultaneously the greatest and scariest gift the Lord has given us all--free will.

I bet most if not all of us know someone who has strayed despite coming from a strong home. The whole thing is a very real reality. This of course has had me thinking, how can I best raise my children to want to choose to follow the gospel? As I was recently studying, I came across a great talk that gave me some direction.

I was raised in a home where my parents didn't go to church. I went on my own. I also, therefore, did my gospel studying primarily alone. I got some at church each week, but most of it was at home on my own. As hard as it was, it was also a great blessing because I grew to have my own testimony. It was mine. I wasn't leaning on anyone but the Lord for my faith. I have often wondered how I can allow my children to have that same experience while providing them with the home and family support and benefits I can give.

I believe if my children gain a strong and powerful personal testimony of their own, they have a better chance of sticking with their faith throughout their lives. I read The Power of a Personal Testimony by Dieter F. Uchtdorf that gave some great ideas for how to build a personal testimony. He said that the process of gaining a testimony is based on the law of harvest "For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galations 6:7). So with real effort, our testimonies will be real and strong. Here are the steps Uchtdorf suggests for building a strong testimony:

1-Desire to Believe
I think as parents, this is completely in our favor. Children are trusting and believing. They are also highly emulating. Your child wants to be like you. If you believe, your child will want to, also. The desire will be there. Be sure you are as good of an example as you can be so your child doesn't grow to view the gospel as a hypocritical thing. You will make mistakes and that is perfectly normal--apologize when you do. Make amends when you do. 

2-Search the Scriptures
Uchtdorf says, "...through diligent study of the word of God, the good seed "will begin to swell within your breasts" if you will not resist with unbelief. This good seed will "enlarge [your] sould" and "enlighten [your] understanding (Alma 32:28)."

So we need to create situations where our children study the scriptures. That is one reason we have daily family scripture study. That is one reason I make sure my children see me study the scriptures daily (back to them wanting to be like me). 

There are two other things I can think of to do. One is to answer your child's questions with the scriptures. When your child asks you a question, even when you know the answer and can quote a scripture, say to your child, "Let's see what the scriptures say about that." Show your child how to seek answers to questions in the scriptures. This will teach your child where the knowledge comes from. You are awesome, but the knowledge isn't from you! It is from the Lord. Your child will learn to turn to the Lord with questions.

I also have my children who can read do personal scripture study each morning before they leave for school. I am trying to establish that habit now so that it will become as normal a part of their lives as brushing their teeth each morning. When we read the scriptures, we are then able to recall what we have read. We cannot remember something that was never in our minds to begin with.

3-Do the Will of God; Keep the Commandments
To gain a testimony of something, we have to live it. This goes back to being a good example. And this is a big part of our job as parents in these young years. We are teaching our children how to live right. We teach them to do what is right even when it is hard. Kaitlyn recently wrote on the neighbor's shed. When we found out, I walked her over to apologize to the neighbor and ask what she could do to make up for it. The neighbor didn't mind, but is a mother herself so she came up with a job for Kaitlyn did to make amends for her mistake. Kaitlyn was not happy about going to the neighbor and telling her what she had done, but I hope it was a lesson to her in the importance of keeping the commandments, including the commandment of making things right when we make mistakes and the commandment to be honest.

4-Ponder, Fast, and Pray
We need to pray for our testimonies. As parents, we should pray for our children. We should encourage our children to pray for themselves. We should encourage our children to think about the things they learn, seek answers to questions that arise, and pray to know if what they are learning is true.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you as you try to raise your child in the gospel. I obviously haven't been able to put these things to the full test, and the reality is my children will all have the freedom to accept or reject the gospel in the end. But I hope that I will be able to look back at the years I was given to teach them and know I did all I could do to help them come unto Christ. 

Brinley Pre-Toddler Summary: 15 Months Old

This is a summary for Brinley from 14.5-15 months old.

Eating is the same. She is just eating foods she can eat by herself.

Playing is good. 

For naps, during this period we went to one nap a day. She wasn't quite ready for one nap every day, so we did an every other day plan. This worked nicely for our schedules of what we do each day. 

Brinley has this new thing of liking to throw her blankie out of her crib. Okay, she doesn't like it being out of the crib, but she likes to see what happens when it is thrown. 

Brayden also loved his blankie. My other two girls weren't highly attached to anything for sleeping, so we never had this issue, but I did with Brayden. With Brayden, he threw it out once, maybe twice, and then stopped. I think if I remember right, he threw it out, I gave it back, then he threw it out again during the same nap, so I didn't give it back, and he never threw it out again.

I tried the same thing with Brinley. She has gotten significantly smarter about it, but she still test by throwing it out every so often (though maybe she accidently drops it as she is throwing other stuff out). Most of the time, she throws everything but the blanket out. This isn't upsetting to her. But if the blankie makes it out, you know immediately.

The good news is she typically doesn't do this all until after she has slept, so it isn't preventing her nap from happening. 

I can talk to her through our video monitor, so when she has hung her blanket over the edge, I will talk into it and tell her not to throw her blanket out. The first time I did it, she looked pretty shocked :) But she has always listened.

Brinley had a cold during this time period. She was not happy about it. The first night, she woke up crying about 1 AM. I went in and sucked out her nose (used Little Remedies Saline Spray/Drops and a plain old Bulb Syringe Aspirator), put some oils on her (I use doTERRA Breathe Essential Oil Blend), and put some baby vics on her (Vicks Babyrub Soothing Ointment). Then I held her for a bit before putting her back in her bed.

Funny story about the nose sucking. I was doing it with as little light as possible so I wouldn't wake us up more than necessary. As I was squirting the snot onto a rag, it bounced off and hit me right in the eye! So gross.

At the beginning of this period, Brinley started yelling MAMA!!! in about as annoying of a manner as you can imagine when she wanted me. Amusing initially, but quickly not something I enjoyed. Happily, before this two week period was up, she was done with the annoying yelling.

I LOVE when babies start doing things like nodding yes and shaking head no. She is nodding yes now, which is very fun.

Oh yes, we have them. The mini-fits. Any time she doesn't get what she wants, she throws a little fit. I think this is highly compounded by her siblings. Any time she cries, they try to make sure she stops. They will basically give her whatever she wants in order to stop her from crying. Can we say spoiled much? I am having to work with them. They have such a soft spot for her, but it obviously is not the way to react with mini-fits. It will be interesting to try to teach them how to be gentle and loving during a fit while not giving in to the fit--children are so "black and white" that they can have a hard time understanding things like this sometimes, but they will get it. See The "Mini-fit"

Two naps:
8:45--sippy of milk, fruit, cereal, yogurt, finger foods. 
Independent Playtime happens in this block.
11:15--nap starts
12:45--wake up, sippy with solids (veggie, fruit, other foods we are eating)
3:15--nap starts
5:00--wake up, sippy with solids (veggie, fruit, dinner) 
7:30--Sippy of milk, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00-8:30.

One nap:
8:45--sippy of milk, fruit, cereal, yogurt, finger foods.
Get ready. Clean with mom.
Independent Playtime.
Play with McKenna.
1:00--Nap starts
4:00-4:30--wake up. Snack. Play.
7:30--Sippy of milk, then bedtime. In bed by 8:00.

Quotable Mondays: Gratitude

Today I wanted to post about gratitude. Since it is Thanksgiving month, rather than highlight one quote, I am going to post several that I like.

It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.

If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we'd be happy with more?

Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

Commentary on that--I fond this on Pinterest and the comment on it talked about raising four children in a one bedroom house. This idea is something I often think about. My grandmother raised seven children in a very small house with only one bathroom. There were four bedrooms--three for the kids. She also did this in Wyoming where it is real winter for about 8 months of the other words, very little playing outside happening. I try to remember this when I start to think about what I "need" in my house. 

8 Important Ways That Gratitude Can Change Your Life:
  1. Have a morning gratitude session
  2. When you are having a hard day...make a gratitude list
  3. Instead of getting mad at someone, show gratitude.
  4. Instead of criticising your significant other, show gratitude
  5. Instead of complaining about your kids, be grateful for them
  6. When you face a major challenge, be grateful for it
  7. When you suffer a tragedy, be grateful for the life you still have
  8. Instead of looking at what you don't have, look at what you do have.
I thought that was a great list!

You can see all of my posts on gratitude here: Gratitude

And here are some of the best:

Book Recommendations: Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave?

To finish up BFBN week, I wanted to share with you a great book written by Babywise parents. The book is titled Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave? and is written by Joey and Carla Link. You might recognize the name Carla Link if you read/listen to Moms' Notes.

This book is very encouraging! The Links have three adult children whom they used these principles with. Some have children of their own they are using these principles with now. I love hearing advice from parents who truly have been there and done that. These are people who implemented Babywise (Growing Kids God's Way) principles, loved it, and their kids loved it enough to be doing the same with their children.

This books is very easy to read and breaks down all of the advice into managable steps. The authors seem to really understand how to make the advice they give attainable and they lay out how you can take baby steps to implement these things. 

They also give you the "why" behind why you are doing what you are doing. The why is always very helpful when you are in the thick of discipline and need to keep in mind why you are doing it--and these are sources you can trust. They have the benefit of "hindsight" and knowing what really was worth the effort and what wasn't.

Check it out! It is a great read for discipline help.