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Safari Birthday Party

This year, Kaitlyn had a safari birthday party. She loves animals and wanted a party that was all about animals. It was a lot of fun! To make it easier on myself, I did a lot of things similarly to how I did them for McKenna's princess party, but just made it safari instead. I did it as a scavenger hunt type of thing, but we were on a safari to see animals. Here is the invitation:

We had 12 seven year old girls there and the party lasted two hours. It could have easily been longer with the games we had planned.

As girls arrived, they each went outside to play. It is good to have something for the kids to do while you are waiting for everyone to get there. Once all the girls got arrived, we started.

These girls were literally cheering to play Safari Bingo. We played a normal round, then a blackout round, and then they could eat their treats if they wanted to.

Next up, we did charades. They really enjoyed this, too. I had the girls randomly draw out an animal from the Bingo callout cards I had, then they acted it out. 

After charades was done, we did Watering Hole Limbo. I turned on some music and the girls did the limbo. I used the same limbo stick we had made for McKenna's princess party.

We then moved on to pin the tail on the zebra. To prevent peeking (we had some of that at McKenna's party), my husband took some swim goggles and spray painted the lens black. No peeking!

The next activity was a game. To play this game, you wrap something in newspaper or wrapping paper in several layers. We wrapped a box of candy. We did several layers of newspaper and ended with wrapping paper. You have the children sit in a circle and put the gift in the middle of the circle. You will also want two spoons and a set of hot pad mitts. You will also need two dice. 

The children take turns rolling the dice. If a person rolls doubles, she gets to pull the gift by her, put on the hot pads, and try to open the present using only the spoons. The person to get it all the way open wins the present. We wrapped three and played this three times. They loved it!

Next, we played four corners. To play this game, the children each pick a corner to stand in. I put a picture of a predator in each corner. After they chose their corner, I drew the smaller picture out of a basket. The people by that animal were out. You do this until you have one person left. I didn't get a picture of this.

The next activity was to play deadly lion, which is like hot potato. We passed around a stuffed lion to music. When the music stops, whoever is holding the lion is out. You keep going until one person is left.

Our next activity was to stand on one foot like a flamingo. They had to pick one foot to stand on. They could hop, but if they touched furniture or put the foot down, they were out. 

We then headed outside to play tug of war. The girls divided up into two teams. Because of time, we played twice. They would have loved to have played more than that.

The next activity was a race. We did this two times, also. 

My intent was to do this game next, but time was almost up so we did presents and then this game while we did cake and ice cream. Each girl drew from the Bingo callout cards and then drew that animal on the white board. The other girls guessed. 

Party Favor
For the party favor, we sent home a safari pack we got from Oriental Trading Company. It had a little notebook, pencil, and stickers that were animal print. We also did an animal print fan from Oriental Trading Company. We put these items in an animal print bag I got from Walmart. I think a safari hat could be fun, too. Oriental Trading has a lot of safari themed items.

To access the Bingo game I made along with the poems and pictures of safari animals, click here.

Other Game/Activity Ideas
Other ideas that I had that I thought would be fun are:
  • Pinata
  • Face painting
  • Painted parrots (paint nails)
  • Safari memory game
  • Coloring page
  • Safari hunt for plastic animals

Kaitlyn Child Summary: 7.25 Years Old

Kaitlyn at her piano recital
This is a summary for Kaitlyn from 7-7 years and 3 months old.

Eating is going well. Kaitlyn has gotten a lot more self-motivated about eating her fruits and vegetables because McKenna is quickly creeping up on her in height. I tell her if she wants to grow taller, she needs to eat more fruits and veggies :). Summer is a great time for her, too, because of all of the fresh fruits and veggies we get out of our yard.

Sleeping is great. No issues here.

Kaitlyn did soccer and softball during this time (she loved both). She finished up piano and dance. She continues on with swimming. She took a month off of gymnastics for summer. 

Did I ever tell you about Kaitlyn's super mean dance teacher? Her dance teacher was SO SO mean. She would tell them things weren't good enough, that only the best dancers got to stand in the front row, that they were terrible, that they had to do a certain move over and over again until a certain girl got it right...

Now, these were first grade girls who were in a rec dance class. This wasn't a comp class. This was just rec. She was intense and mean. Because of this, Kaitlyn grew to hate dance. She told me she wanted to not take it next year. I have zero problem with her not taking dance if she doesn't love it, but before this year, she loved it. I also didn't want her to end on such a negative experience. So I talked her into trying it out next year and promised we would move to a different studio so she would not have the mean teacher again.

Toward the end of the year, the other moms and I started talking about how our girls were affected by this mean teacher. I mustered up the courage to ask other moms what they thought of the teacher. Kaitlyn has a good friend in the class, and her mother and I decided last November that we could not stay at this studio another year. I knew she felt the same as I did, but I didn't know if other moms did.

When I asked, I found out they all felt the same! And all the girls did, too. Most girls wanted to quit dance. Only a few were willing to try it another year (this was a class of 15 girls). Anyone I talked to who was going to do dance next year is moving studios.

I have some major regrets here. At the beginning of the year and I noticed this behavior, I resolved to talk with the studio owner about it after their places were assigned. I didn't want to sound like a scorned mom complaining about the placement of her daughter. I knew Kaitlyn would be put on the front row and at that point, I could talk with the owner. Then I found out the teacher is the owner's daughter. That made me think talking to the owner would do nothing other than make the owner mad and the teacher take it out on Kaitlyn. So I said nothing.

At the end of the year, when my daughter was to the point of hating dance, I really questioned that decision. I went to Kaitlyn and apologized to her for not saying something. I really felt like I failed her. Here I was sending my 6 year old, sweet girl into a room with a young woman who could easily be listed on the "top ten meanest dance teachers" list. And I said nothing when I heard her make mean comments. Nothing. 

Kaitlyn is completely non-confrontational and she told me she was glad I said nothing. My husband assured me I did what I judged to be the best for the situation at the time. And I did. It is what I really thought was the best thing. It was not driven by fear; I am not afraid of confrontation. I figured it was a time Kaitlyn would have to learn to adapt and adjust in a difficult situation. But I just don't know. I honestly don't know what the right path would have been to take, but I can tell you that if it happens again to any one of my children--at least when young, I will say something. 

Hopefully our new studio will be nice. 

The end of the school year went well for Kaitlyn. She did fabulous on all of her testing and she is reading really well. 

Kaitlyn still had a big crush on the boy who wants to marry her at the end of the year. He had an end-of-year party at his house and she was invited. She was getting ready for it and asked me if I thought Jake would think her shirt was cute. Ack! 

This summer, Kaitlyn did an art summer camp. Kaitlyn absolutely loves art and I knew the art summer camp would be something she would love. And she did. She totally loved it. She came home just beaming and excited every day. 

Kaitlyn primarily plays with stuffed animals, Legos, or art supplies. Her favorite books right now are any book that has a unicorn or dragon in it. Her current favorite is the Unicorn Chronicles series. She has been reading like mad this summer. She reads at least 5 books a week. She is easily reading 5-6 grade reading level books. 

Here is our typical summer schedule. We are pretty flexible here. I don't mind if things get mixed up or even skipped. This is our blueprint.

7:00--wake up. Eat breakfast. Get Ready. 
7:30--practice piano, then sibling play.
9:00--walk/bike ride
9:30--sports practice (like playing catch)
10:00--outside playtime
12:30--learning time
1:00--free play
2:00--rest time (we actually don't do this most days)
2:30--independent playtime
3:30--free play
6:00--Family time
7:30--get ready for bed



Brinley Toddler Summary {23 Months Old}

This is a summary for Brinley from 22.5-23 months old.

Sleep was normal here.

Eating was also normal.

Playtime is going well. She really enjoys her independent play. She is also enjoying coloring, so that is a fun addition to the day. Once the kids are in school, I plan to start a more focused "preschool" type of thing with her. For now, it is more fun-based activities. 

A great thing about Brinley is when it is about time for Independent play to be over, she starts cleaning up her toys. Brayden was this way and I loved it! He would often just be finishing up cleaning when I walked in to get him. 

Brinley loves to get a laugh. She will do anything for a laugh. I can totally see the "baby comedian" in her. In the Birth Order Book, Leman talks about the baby of the family and how they typically are funny people who love to make people laugh, and she is so that! Here is a picture of her and one of her antics--wearing as many bows as can possibly fit on her head.

Brinley loves to follow me around in the garden while I pick things. She will sit and eat the peas or the raspberries--pretty much to the point that I don't typically make it into the house with much. 

Brinley has gotten to be so good at the baseball games. At the first game, I left early because she was always trying to run away, run into the dug out and on the field, and throwing a fit with me trying to keep her still. But over the weeks, she has gotten used to it and the games are actually quite enjoyable!

Yes it is gone! I am so excited. That Aveeno Eczema Therapy cream is amazing. 

8:15 AM--Wake up/Breakfast
8:45 AM--Get ready
9:00 AM--Walk/Bike ride
9:30 AM--Outside Time
11:00 AM--Independent Playtime
12:00 Noon--Lunch
12:30 PM--Learning Activity
1:00 PM--Free Play
1:30 PM--Nap
5:00 PM--Free Playtime
5:30 PM--Dinner
6:00 PM--Family Time
7:30 PM--Get Ready for Bed
8:00 PM--Bedtime


McKenna Child Summary: 5.25 Years Old

This is a summary for McKenna from age 5-5.25 (5 and 3 months old).

Eating is great. Nothing new or different here.

McKenna doesn't really need naps very often these days, even with it being summer. 

McKenna played her first soccer season this Spring. I have to be honest. I expected McKenna to be an amazing soccer player. She is strong, athletic, fast, aggressive, and competative. She has also watched soccer for her entire life, so I though she would run out there and no just what to do. She has been dying to play for years. Begging to play. She obviously would know just what to do.

Nope. Not at all.

She was more confused than Brayden or Kaitlyn ever were when they first started playing. 

She would bust it out and run up along side the opposite team and run right along with them as they dribbled the ball right into the goal. 

It can be hard to have taught a child for an entire lifetime that they need to be nice, share, take turns, etc. and then throw them onto a field and expect them to naturally go against all of that. 

By the end of the season, however, she clicked. She understood what she was supposed to do and she did it. She started scoring and started being a defender. 

At the end of the game, she still said, "Who won?" she never had any idea--even when her team won 9-0 she wondered who won. I love that about her. She is playing hard just for the sake of playing hard and for having fun. 

McKenna is done with preschool and anxiously waiting to go to school with her brother and sister! It should be exciting!

I made a crazy decision this year. In our town, you can play kids up in softball and baseball. It is even highly encouraged to do so. Kaitlyn played t-ball last year, and it was time for her to play softball. I got thinking...I could play McKenna up (way up) and have her be on Kaitlyn's team. McKenna would be at all of the games anyway, so we might as well have her on the team, right? So I signed her up. Sign-ups were in the late winter, so it was long ago.

Along comes Spring. We head on out to the backyard to practice playing catch and hitting the ball. And...I was a lot concerned. McKenna couldn't catch the ball even if I threw it right to her mit. Her hitting was okay, but her catching was frankly terrible. I figured there was a good chance she hadn't developed depth perception yet and was too young.

I went in the house and called the woman over softball and told her McKenna was terrible and I needed to pull her and put her in T-Ball instead. She said that was fine, but she assured me she would really be fine to stay in softball, too. I decided to listen to her and kept her in softball.

I am glad I did! She did awesome. Now, she wasn't the star of the team or anything like that, but she wasn't totally terrible, either. She offered a whole lot of comic relief in those early games. For example, she would slowly jog to her base. Or she would get to her base and stop right in front of it and not touch it. Or she would get to it, touch it, and then step off with the baseman holding the ball. Or she would be running home and stop about midway between third and home and head over to the dug-out. She is tall, but her head is tiny and no helmet ever fit her so she was always at bat with a helmet blocking her vision. Here is the thing, though, is she never got out by the other team (she did strike out a few times). The other teams didn't get the game well enough yet to get her out. 

There were girls up to Brayden's age on her team. The great thing about McKenna is that she is so unaware that she didn't even realize that she should feel nervous around these girls. She would go stick herself in the middle of their conversation and talk to them. They were always very sweet to her. She also loved playing catcher (where she spent a ton of time talking to the umpire, because McKenna makes fast friends with whomever is around her). 

She improved a lot. If it had been baseball, it wouldn't have been good. Baseball here is a TON more intense than softball. But softball turned out to be glorified T-ball, so it was great. 

Oh my goodness! What a change here! We have had issues for about a year. It has been a roller coaster. We have tried incentives, leaving her there with her teacher without us, and just not allowing her to even go to swimming lessons while the other kids went. 

You might remember that last time I said she had ear tubes and I hoped getting those out would help her with swimming lessons because she complained about water rushing in her ears.

She got her tubes out in May and wow! What a difference! She is passing stuff off like crazy. She is just busting through lessons and loving it. 

What is the take away from this? If you  have a child with ear tubes, I would definitely get him/her fitted for ear plugs so swimming can be okay. Also, if you have a child with tubes who is having a rough time with swimming lessons, just wait until the tubes are out and conquer lessons then. 

McKenna got her tubes out in May. It was so very funny. I had talked with her extensively before going in about how she needed to hold still and be brave. I told her it might hurt for a bit but if she moved, she would cause long-term problems in her ears so she needed to just hold still. So we went in ready for that. 

They gave her some medicine to make her calm--I can't remember what it is called but it is very common. They thought it would basically put her to sleep, but she just got so she was  bit wobbly. She would kind of tip over a bit. She was quite amusing. She got the hiccups. She was very calm and giggly.

They took her into the exam room and swaddled her up. They then put her on the exam room and a nurse literally straddled her on the table to hold her down. They must have some crazy experiences if they feel the need to medicate, swaddle, and straddle. McKenna just chit-chatted and laughed and had a grand time. The doctor and nurses were all just loving her. 

Apparently usually kids are okay for the first tube coming out and then flip out after and they have to really wrestle them to get the second one out. McKenna held perfectly still for both. She also held perfectly still for her paper patches to be put on.

Let's be real, the girl just had her face stitched up with no medication to placate her last December. She held perfectly still then. A little ear tube was not going to phase her. Her ENT said afterward that she definitely didn't need the medicine, but that you never really know beforehand. 

After they were done, they gave her a sucker. They also gave her a wheel chair ride out of the hospital and I pulled around to get her (I had Brinley with me AND McKenna is as tall as most second grade girls--she is about 1/4 inch shorter than Kaitlyn, so she is a bit bigger than I can carry through the hospital and out into the parking lot). 

She was very happy and giggly until we got home. We pulled in and she saw her friends outside playing. She hopped out of the car and went running (like a drunkard) to go play. I told her she needed to play inside. 

I was helping her get downstairs so she could sit and watch TV (I figured she had the best chance of not injuring herself that way). Like I said, I can't carry her, so I was trying to help her down. She wanted to do it herself but she couldn't really walk. I suggested she slide down the stairs like Brinley does (and McKenna does about a thousand times a day because she thinks it is fun). She burst into tears and proclaimed that she was not a baby. The nurses had told me she would likely get weepy at some point as the meds wore off. 

There are some things I learned during this experience:
  1. I should not have brought Brinley along. They have always told me that to remove the tubes is a simple procedure so I figured she was going to sit on a stool, he would take them out, and we would be on our way. It was a lot more involved than that. It was simple, but not like your basic check-up simple. I just would have liked to have been able to give 100% focus to McKenna rather than having to split it with Brinley. If I did it over, I would have just had it be the child and me.
  2. I could have fought the medication. The hard thing is that you don't know for sure how your child will react, and you don't really want to risk damage to the ear drums unnecessarily. If I  hadn't had Brinley, then I would have felt confident that I would have just used myself to calm her down and keep her still, but again, my efforts were divided. It wasn't a huge deal, she is fine and was fine (and it was very entertaining), but I don't love medication unless it is necessary. The upside to it is that it makes it so they don't remember it very well. This is nice if they have a lot of fear or anxiety so they don't associate that fear and anxiety with the doctor. 
  3. If you think you will run any errands on your way home, think again! Do your errands before the appointment. You will spend the rest of the day taking it easy. 
  4. You can't get in a pool for 2-3 weeks. They want you to keep ears dry as much as possible for as long as possible, so baths are out (we did showers--but had to wait a few days). I would have liked to have known this before deciding when to get the tubes out. I would have done it at a less hot time of year!
  5. As they heal, your child will likely experience ear pain. The ears are not used to popping and all of that since they had tubes in them, so your child has to re-learn the art of doing that. I was afraid she was getting an ear infection when she complained of ear pain, but that is apparently normal.
At her check-up, her ears had healed perfectly! No scar tissue and no problems. 

I was just thinking about how she is so much easier these days. She had a lot of years of being someone I had to really put a lot of focus and attention on to make sure she kept the right path in front of her. She has really grown to be much more self-governing in the last few months. This is just in time for Brinley to approach the terrible twos...

I have decided I really love summer camps--the kind that is a class in the day. I have been wondering if McKenna should move dance studios to be at our local ballet company. The studios here that supposedly do a combo of tap/jazz/ballet, etc. really don't add much ballet in there. We have a school that is just ballet. They are strict with a dress code and hair code. All music is classical and the kids are taught by real ballerinas who are in real ballets. The discipline of ballet really appeals to me. I think that could be very good for McKenna.

So, McKenna did a summer ballet camp with this studio. McKenna totally loved it. I did, too. But she doesn't like not having variety in her dance time. She loves ballet, but she also loves dancing to music with words, too. So I am not sure what we will do. I am leaning toward just keeping her at the same studio as Kaitlyn. That way, we stick with one recital and one company to deal with. I still need to think on it. McKenna seems to be made to be a ballerina, so I hate to not point her in that direction. But I also don't want to make life more hectic than it needs to be. Decisions, decisions.

A very interesting thing to me is that Kaitlyn and McKenna  have had very different intersts in toys all growing up. It actually in some ways is unfortunate because we have a bunch of girl toys already! Kaitlyn has always liked the animals. The My Little Ponies, the stuffed animals, etc. McKenna, however, has always liked the more girly things. The princesses and baby dolls have been her main focus. 

Here is our typical schedule. Most of this time period was during school, so here is the school schedule:

7:00 AM Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast. Daily chore.
9 AM Go to school.
12 Noon Get home and eat lunch. Free play with Brinley.
1 PM Game time with me. 
2 PM Rest time.
2:30 PM Indpendent playtime
4 PM Play with Brayden and Kaitlyn
5-5:30 PM Dinner then time with family
7 PM Start getting ready for bed
8 PM in bed

Canvas Print {Giveaway!}

Today you are entering to win an 8x10 canvas print from Canvas Champ  at I love canvas prints. Love them. They sent me a free 8x10 print from Canvas Champ and it is really fabulous quality. I would not hesitate to get more! Their prices really are inexpensive, too. If you have anything you wanted made into a canvas, take advantage of it!

They also have other fun options like a peel and stick, photo boards, metal prints, acrylic prints, and canvas banners. Enter to win your free print 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 each winning entry to make sure it was valid.
  • Entries will be accepted until 12:00 midnight August 2, 2014 (so that means you will not be able to enter on the 2 at all).
  • 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).

Reader Favorites Day 2014

I love reader favorites posts. I love to see what you have found that you just love. Some of our favorite toys and products around the home were recommended by you readers. 

Below are the reader favorites posts for you to visit today. Follow the link and comment on the post with your favorites in that category. I will add your comments to the body of the post. Is there a category you would love to see? Go ahead and comment letting me know what category you would like to see included. 

Reader Blog Day 2014

Today is the day to share your blog with the rest of us! Please look through the lists of categories below, choose the one that best fits your blog, follow the link, and comment on that post to share your blog. Please share your blog on only one link--choose the best one for your blog. If you don't see a category that fits your blog, go to "Misc." If/when I get enough similar blogs on that post, I will create a new category. If your blog is listed in one category but it actually fits a different category now, go ahead and list it with the better category.

Poll Results: Adding Baby to Family and Sibling Dynamics

Here are the results for the poll on dynamics with a new baby and the older children.

  1. How old was your child when the new baby came?
    15-18 Months: 3
    19-24 Months: 1
    2 Year Old: 1
    3 Year Old: 2
    5 Year Old: 1
    8 Year Old: 1
    9 Year Old: 1
    11 Year Old: 1
    12 Year Old: 1
  2. Did you do anything to "prep" the older child for the baby?
    Yes: 4
    No: 1
  3. If yes, what did you do?
    Role Playing with Dolls: 2
    Practice Being Quiet: 1
    Read Books: 2
    Talked About It: 2
    Have Child Help Prep: 1
    Be Around Other Babies: 1
  4. How did your child initially react to the new baby? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
    More Clingy: 2
    Jealousy: 1
    Stress/Anxiety: 1
    Physical Pain (tummy hurting): 1
    No Real Change: 2
  5. How did your child act after about a month after the new baby was born? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
    Sleep Regression: 1
    Normal: 1
    On Way to Normal: 2
    More Bickering Among Siblings: 1
    Don't Remember: 1
  6. Was there a point of difficulty at any point?
    Yes, First Few Weeks: 1
    Yes: 1
    No: 2
    Not Yet: 1
    Don't Remember: 1
  7. Did you do anything to help the older child accept the new child?
    No: 2
    Reassure Love: 1
    Encouraged Interaction and Helping: 1
  8. Any words of advice?
    "Any behaviours in child 1 that need working on are best worked on before the new baby arrives or wait till things settle down first. It is a big change to the whole family when a new member arrives."

    -Independent playtime/ roomtime is a must!
    -Plan several "ideal" schedules before baby arrives.
    -Relax your housekeeping standards for a while. It takes longer to get back into a good routine when you add another baby.
    -Plan intentional one-on-one time with each during the day or you can become resentful.
    -Get the baby up and back down before the older gets up. Yes, this is hard at first, but it allows for the one-on-one time. You can merge schedules later as baby starts to sleep longer periods."

    "As My children are now 22, 21, 19 and almost 10, as I said earlier, there is not much I remember that marked them or me to the point of being something I really remember. Children have a way of fitting in. Make sure you marriage is solid and the priority and the new babies will just find their place into the hearts of the entire family."

    I think around a month and a half everyone was walking on egg shells, anxiety was high we had another long family time and went through a lot of feelings that were not being expressed. For example when we held the baby to bring him to another room that was being perceived as him being more important to her, or the baby being in parents room for the first few months with MOTN wake ups was being perceived as her not as an important part of the family. We just encouraged a lot of communication and explanation and around 2 months it seemed to Allen worked out."

    "This is probably obvious, but it's even more important to be ready for when the baby comes home(when you already have children). Have simple meals ready in the freezer. Line up some fun things the older kids can do without you, like a day with the grandparents, or a daddy day so they don't feel left out as much. I wish I had done MORE along those lines. I wasn't ready for the huge guilt trip."

    Always supervise sibling interactions with the baby, but remember that "babies do bounce," so don't be overly protective. The other family members I mentioned with the new baby were SOOOO careful, that the older child now just ignores the baby and doesn't want anything to do with him."

Reader Sample Schedules Day 2014

Today is Reader Sample Schedules Day. These posts are among the favorite on this blog. Take a moment to fill comment on the post where your child is currently. So if you have a 13 month old, head to the 12-24 months old post and share your current schedule. If you remember other ages, feel free to fill that in as well!

Here is what you do. Click on the link to the post you want to add a sample schedule to. Then add a comment with your sample schedule. Then future moms can come look at these sample schedules to get ideas for their babies and children!

There are some posts that definitely could use some attention--one is the 3 children or more post. Another is the 5-8 year olds...because there are NONE right now! 
NOTE: I am turning comments OFF of this post. I want to make sure you add your schedule to the appropriate post. 

Reader Week 2014

It is reader week again! This is a fun week where you readers help contribute to improve posts that parents look to as resources regularly here. Akin to the idea of "many hands make light work," I think many minds make great ideas. I love turning to you readers to see what you all love and getting new, fresh ideas. Here is the schedule for the week:

The Readers Sample Schedules posts are some of the most popular and most-visited posts on this blog. I know you love them! So be sure to drop by Tuesday and add your most recent (or any!) schedules. I will have a post up linking you to all of the reader sample schedule posts so you can easily get to your pertinent post. 

Poll results can be very helpful to people. It helps someone come see what is "normal" and also see that even though there is a range of "normal" there are also people who fall in a range outside of normal. If you haven't voted on the current poll, click here to do so: 

Poll Discussion Post: Adding Baby to Family and Sibling Dynamics

I will put a post up Thursday that will take you to the various posts where you can share your blog. I have a post for various categories, everything from business blogs to "just-for-fun" blogs. This is fun because it helps keep the Babywise community close and helps you be aware of blogs written by like-minded parents. 

I will put up a post Friday to posts where you can comment and share your favorite things. These will include baby products, toys, books, etc.

Giveaways are fun because it gives you readers a chance to win something for free! Be sure to drop by Saturday for your chance to enter to win a canvas! 

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and thank yous as I write this blog. I really do enjoy it and sincerely enjoy helping you. So long as you keep reading, I will keep on writing. Have a great week!


I hope you have enjoyed the Babywise Success Stories Week this year! I love to hear from you all on the successes you are having and how you are making Babywise work in your family. I love spreading the message that there are many parents out there who use Babywise and love it.

There are so many benefits we have seen in our children from using Babywise and the methods beyond. We have well-rested children who are predictable. We have had help in sleep training, feeding, scheduling, discipline, educating, and more. We have had guidance we need on getting our kids to sleep in their childrens beds (not our bed--that was a goal of ours before we even heard the word "Babywise"). We have had great ideas to apply for everything from potty training to character training. It has helped us be intentional in parenting and forced us to look at our main values and goals and set a plan to achieve these. 

If you can and feel inclined, continue sharing your success throughout the year. When you are sharing something on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, your blog, etc., that is a result of your efforts with Babywise, share it with a #BabywiseSuccess. I don't think we should feel afraid to share what works for us, and with our united voices, we can spread the word that Babywise babies are actually happy, healthy babies. 

Have a great weekend!

Multitude of Success

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I decided it would be fun to have a whole round up of many success stories during this week. Below are many great things people shared on Facebook about what they love about Babywise. Do you see anything you recognize in your life? If you have something you want to add, please feel free to do so in the comments below!
I love BW because we know what to expect as a family, and there have been very few gradual changes to his schedule. He is always happy, sleeps 11 hours/night, has always napped well, and has slept through all his teeth 8 and 3 molars), house alarms, pretty much everything! -  

4 hour schedule. Enough said:) -Jeanine

I can see in my children's eyes how much they *trust* me. They know what to expect from the BW schedule, and it brings us all peace of mind. -Marie

Yes, I agree with Marie Bartels. Using BW has helped me feel strong and capable as a parent. I can meet my needs and my children's. They trust me because I meet their needs (and of course, adore them and cover them in kisses whenever possible) - they know what to expect from the schedule and know that I will change things when appropriate. I like the way that BW focuses on parental assessment of any situation or problem. While my kids took longer to sttn, I felt more confident in using CIO as a sleep training strategy, and assessing its usefulness at any given time. I think that using BW helped me enjoy my kids more and enjoy parenting more! -Katie

The way we can make a schedule to fit our family's lifestyle and be able to tell people pretty much exactly what to expect when we leave our son with them. It's so easy to plan things because of the schedule we have in place. He has slept through the night since about 8 weeks with only a handful of nights with interruptions due to sickness, teething, etc. I get comments about how happy and content he is which provides an open door to explain to them why  We love BW!! -Sydney

 BW has given us the ability to really enjoy our baby girl. She slept through the night at 6 weeks. There is no guessing if she is hungry or sleepy. She takes two two hour naps and one one hour nap in the early evening. She is just now five months. I can get house work done and whatever else I might want to do. BW makes happy babies and a happy home. And yes it is true... Everyone thinks we are"just lucky", but no it's baby wise!! (and she has GERD.) -Kristen

I love that the sleep habits I taught my then 4 month old now allow me to focus teaching my now 2.5yo other skills like obedience, patience, and sharing. Many of my fellow mothers are still so focused on getting their toddlers to sleep that the other more abstract concepts have to be put on hold. I love that I knew baby wise so well with my second that he never had to cry it out and has always been a great sleeper for 18mos now (and he had bad GERD till 15.5mo). I love the concept "start as you mean to go on" and the words it puts to other parenting concepts so I can explain my methods to friends, family, and husband! I don't think I could've had my first two only 16 mos apart with our BW! -Alyssa

I love how loosely I followed BW and my LO still fell right into the routines. It doesn't have to be strict to work! Eat-play-sleep, full feedings, and LO took right to it. I didn't expect it at all!

Used BW with all three kids. My almost 4yr old sleeps 12hrs as does my 2yr old and my 3mo old. They are calm, aren't clingy and are independent children. In toddler beds at age 1, never get out if bed until morning, and no 3 hour sleep routine. It's wonderful! -Katie

What I love about BW??? The fact that my 4 yo, 2yo, and 4 mo sleep 11+ hours every night. They are the happiest little girls. All 3 of them take awesome naps, which let's me get things done. -Oana

Keeping a routine has been so helpful with our twins... We all know to expect during the day and at night. Establishing the right bedtime (7pm) has been a sanity saver for us and like someone mentioned above, there are no fights at nap time and bedtime! -Mara

I love how I don't have to guess (for the most part) if my baby is hungry or sleepy and it relieves guilt for not feeding him even though he is crying because I know it is because he is trying to put himself to sleep. -Heather

-I love how it equipped and empowered me as a new mommy. I feel confident in the decisions I'm making on his behalf knowing they are for his best. I also love the peace it brings to our baby and home. -Cristi

Both of my babies are BW babies. It has given us peaceful nights and days that are so much more manageable than I ever dreamed they could be. There are no bedtime battles at our house! -Becky

Confidence! I feel like I know what I'm doing with a first baby. I'm rarely guessing what my baby needs... I just know!! It's pretty much awesome! -Karley

I love that I can leave my three girls all of whom were BW babies, the youngest just turned one, and they can still follow their schedules to a tee with other family members and on our own vacations. I love that when it's bedtime, I walk then to the bedroom, do our bedtime routine and within minutes they're asleep. Everyone's always so impressed! -Elaine

-We did BW with our first and loved it. We were allowed to enjoy our time with our baby because we were all well rested. It also helped us as new parents to be more confident in our "crying problem solving". Fast forward 22 months - our first is an enjoyable toddler and our second is 6 months. I would not have survived the last 6 months without BW (and the whole wise series)! The sleep training and routine have allowed for a smooth transition where I can enjoy both my girls without all the horror stories my friends like to share. -Amanda

 I have a 19-month old and 3-week old (both boys). I was at the library last week, and a lady asked me for any tips for surviving with 2. Don't get me's tough no matter how you slice it, but BW is a huge help! My older son is in independent playtime for up to an hour a day. This is my saving grace! I can take care of the baby, clean up the kitchen, and make myself presentable. I don't know how parents survive without it... Plus, having him in a strict routine makes life more predictable for all of us! I'm now working on the little one, and he's already developed some sort of schedule, though he's obviously unpredictable because he's so little. Knowing what to expect with the older one helps me tremendously. -Andrea

Love that babies are well rested and happy -Kim

I love knowing what to expect, being able to plan family activities because I know when my baby needs to eat and sleep, and I love that my whole family is getting enough sleep. I also feel like my kid was much better prepared for daycare, even at just 3 months. -Amy

It took longer than expected (by Babywise standards) for our baby to sleep through the night, but he started going to bed without complaint before eight weeks and has done that pretty much ever since. He is now (13 months old) sleeping through 12 hour nights and is such a happy content little guy. My life is busy, but there is order and predictability. I can really enjoy my baby. All this is such a blessing considering that little sister will join us any day now. I don't know what I would do without the commonsense principles of Babywise. -Janalin

BW literally has been beyond amazing. We started at 6 weeks and our little one slept through the night at 12. Next week he will be 7 months old and is doing amazing. He is always happy because he knows what to expect. We are so blessed. People tell us all the time that we have the best behaved baby and that he is the happiest they have seen; combination of love and Babywise for sure! Xo 
-Bangs, Bottles, and a Bambino

Happy babies. I have two BW babies, and I can't even begin to tell you how happy they are. I get constant compliments on the happiness of my children. People are baffled, actually at how happy they are sometimes. My response is always "a baby that is well fed and we'll slept is a happy baby"

 I love that BW has given my family predictability in our week. I can set aside time for focusing on godly training as well as working on behaviours that carry the wrong attitude. As for my babies they sleep through the night quickly and are much more settled than any other baby I know. Selah -Kat

I love that I can leave my kids with anyone and can tell them exactly when they eat, nap, wake up, etc. It's predictable and easy for everyone involved. I can also plan things in advance because I know when my kids will be awake and napping. Babywise produces great sleepers, predictable schedules, and sanity for me as a mom. -Lacey