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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


How was your Halloween? Any cute pictures to share? 
I'd love to see your little one in their costume
or standing next to a pumpkin.  Feel free to leave a link below.  

Friday, October 29, 2010

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:
{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brushing Toddler Teeth

If you've never brushed a child's teeth, then you might think this post is a little silly. However, going through the toothbrushing routine with a strong-willed child can be daunting. Babies are stronger than you think and when they bite down on that toothbrush or grab it and try to pull it away, there is almost nothing you can do about it.

I've managed to figure out a few techniques that work for me and Nate (he's almost 14 months old).

1. Make up a silly song. I sing a silly song every night right before we head into the bathroom to brush. I only sing it then, which prepares him and lets him know what time it is. The crazier I get with the song, the more he laughs and gets into the mood to brush his teeth.

2. Let him get his feet wet. I sit Nate on the bathroom counter with his feet in the sink and then turn the water on. This distracts him for a few seconds while I grab the toothbrush and put the toothpaste on. It also creates a fun moment for him. It's part of our routine. Of course, you should keep a firm grasp on your child to keep him from falling.

3. Be fast. This is not a chore that you can take your time with. I have to grab Nate's hands and then brush quickly. Get the top, bottom, and sides as fast as possible. I'd love to spend a full three minutes brushing and really get those pearly whites but there is no way he is going to let me. So be quick. Don't drag the process out longer than it has to be.

4. Encourage skill development. Once I have brushed Nate's teeth, I let him hold the brush and show me his skills. I encourage him to "show mama" what he can do. He enjoys watching me in the mirror and grinning with a toothbrush in his mouth. He's getting better at it each time.

5. Model.  Is there a time when you can brush your teeth in front of your child? By showing them that even Mom and Dad brush, they will (hopefully) become more accustomed to the idea of brushing and begin to fight it less.

Each child is different. What works for you? Do you have a tip or trick to making teeth brushing easier? I'd love for you to share in the comments. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Green Up Your Halloween


Today, I wrote about greening up your Halloween on Stylings of S. She has a great blog that focuses on fashion, traveling, and other pretty things. I hope you'll hop over to her blog and read the rest.
Excerpt:

I can hardly believe that Halloween is less than a week away. It seems like just yesterday I was looking forward to the beginning of summer.  Halloween can be a lot of fun. Parties, trick or treating, chocolate, and costumes are just a few of the highlights. But with a lot of fun comes a lot of waste.

Go HERE to read the rest.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr user PT

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stef's Ginger Snaps!


Hasn't it been great having different people share their tips and tricks on Walk With Me?  Today, I am excited that  Stef from Stylings of S is sharing a yummy recipe. I can't wait to try this one out. I'm sure I will my son will love them. 

Stef's Ginger(not-quite-a-cookie-or-a-cake)Snaps!

It’s Stef from Stylings of S guest blogging here to share a delicious family (and family friendly) recipe with you! 

The weather is slowly turning cold and in my house, that means lots of tea and delicious home baked cookies. My house bakes quite often, but it wasn't until recently, we discovered the use of applesauce in recipes—replacing butter, lard etc with unsweetended applesauce. The consistency of both the dough and the cookie is different, so keep that in mind, but I think it creates a great, slightly more healthy cookie!



I modified this recipe from its original form to create these Ginger cookie-cakes! They are not quite a cookie, not quite a cake, but are definitely delicious!

First, turn on the over 350 degrees F.

Then, you’ll need:

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tbsp ginger
3 tsps baking soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup of unsweetended apple sauce 
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
½ cup of molasses
a bit of extra sugar for sprinkling on top before baking! 

In one bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, sugar, egg, and molasses. Then comes the fun bit: mixing them all together. It works best if you slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix, mix, mix until they are blended. 

Spoon them out onto a baking tray (non-stick) and sprinkle them with a bit of extra sugar.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.

They are not overly sweet, so they work well with a cup of tea! Give them a whirl and let me know what you think! 


If you enjoyed this post, please head over to her blog, Stylings of S, and check it out! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Finding Time To Blog

Do you feel that you never have time to blog (or do what makes you happy)?
Does your free time fly by?
Is it a constant battle to balance family life, your online interests, hobbies, as well as your other duties?

I feel the same way but I've developed an acronym to help me stay on task.

Read my guest post at Blogger Talk Community Blog.

Excerpt:
A few weeks ago, I was emailing a former coworker who is on her way to becoming a Stay at Home Mom. She asked me if I was enjoying staying at home and what I did for fun. So I told her.
Her response: “Blogging? Ha. There’s no way I have time for that.”

To read more, click HERE.


photo courtesy of flickr user Zoutedrop

Friday, October 22, 2010

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:
{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

4 Things You Never Had To Clean Before Kids

It's a good thing that Simple Green sent me such a generous supply of cleaners.  I have needed it more than ever now that I have a baby walking around the house. No matter how many times I clean his hands or wipe his face, he still manages to leave remnants of his lunch around. After just two months, I have managed to use most of the Simple Green All-Purpose cleaner.

I've been realizing that there are things I used to rarely clean that now need constant attention.

1). Dining Room Chairs.  Ever since we strapped Nate's high chair to one of our dining chairs, they have never been the same. He drops his sippy and milk splatters everywhere. Then he rubs the chair with his peanut-butter hands. Needless to say, our chairs need to be cleaned often.

2). Coffee tables and end tables. Sure, before Nate, I had to dust them but now I have to get sticky fingerprints off them.

3). Sliding glass doors. Cleaning them now is absolutely pointless, but every once in a while I do it for fun. Within an hour, however, the fingerprints have returned. There aren't any birds crashing into our sliding glass doors.

4). The car interior. Specifically, the seat where Nate sits. Instead of an occasional vacuum job, we now have to search for hidden piles of crumbs.


What about you? What do you find yourself cleaning more often?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Organize Your Day

About Me
Hi all. My name is Tiffany.  I am the mother of 3 wonderful girls. My girls are my life and I do everything for them. This includes blogging. If I didn't blog, I am not sure how long my sanity would stick around.  I write whatever comes to mind on my blog Wyatt Family Farm. I have recipes, reviews, and giveaways.  I love to participate in memes and co-host a weekly blog hop, A Year Ago Today, each Thursday. I volunteer for everything, and have to be organized to do so. I am very OCD about being organized and my kids love to laugh at me, but they love it when mom is always prepared! So my systems can't be that bad.
Secret Fact: I put things in a safe place, sometimes so safe even I can't find    them. When I say it's safe, hubby says "Great! We'll never see it again!"

Organize Your Day


Many years ago I got a idea about a Control Journal from the FlyLady.  I think hers is a bit more complicated and I like to call mine a household notebook, just sounded less invasive. I use it for many reasons, but my biggest one is to help keep my head on somewhat straight. I have just moved into a new place, and with every life changing event, your household journal will need to be changed and updated, as your routines will change. So I am in the process of redoing mine and thought I would take you all on a walk thru my process and routines. Every ones' will be different depending on what works for them, but I will be providing some basic pages that you all can download and use. This will most likely be an ongoing series as I tweak and add more to my household notebook.

Ok, to get started, all you need is a binder and some paper. It doesn't need to be fancy, just something to get you started. But if you want to decorate it up, now is a good time to use some of that scrap paper!

The pages that I have started so far are Birthdays and Anniversaries, Things To Do Today, and Weekly Menu. I have my Birthdays and Anniversaries page at the very front of my notebook and at the end of each month I look for the birthdays or anniversaries that are coming up in the next month and send the cards out. I get a whole month done in one day! Its a huge weight lifted off of me.

My next page that is listed is my Things To Do Today page. I have this one in a sheet protector and each night, before I go to bed, I write what needs done the next day with a dry erase marker. This helps me save paper and I can edit as needed.

Then there is the Weekly Menu.  I also put this one in a sheet protector and write each weeks' meals in a dry erase. I love having a menu. It saves me time in deciding whats for dinner each day and is a life saver when making lists for groceries.

I am just in the beginning phases of redoing my book and will be posting more to this series. You can find all that at my blog, Wyatt Family Farm. Pages that I know will be coming include, Daily Morning and Before Bed Routine, Recipes Index, of course, the Honey-Do List ;), as well as many other tips and tricks to make your day smoother. I hope to see you soon on the farm! Wyatt Family Farm that is!

Printables:
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Things To Do Today
Weekly Menu

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Link Around

I came across several blog posts this week that are worth mentioning. If you have a few moments, take a look at some of these fabulous posts by other bloggers.
  • I absolutely love this library that Amanda from Soule Mama has made for her kids. I only dream that someday I can have a space half as nice for my kids.
  • Looking for ways to teach your child how to ride a bike? Jessica from Life As Mom has use a unique method for her kids and it only took them an hour to learn! 
  • Have you taken time to look at Alicia's blog, A Magical Childhood? She shares so many unique ways to have fun with your children. Check out this post called 10 Ways To Make Today Magical.  
Did you read any good posts this week worth mentioning?
Leave a comment and include the link so we can all link around. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:
{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


Library

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Park Time

On Monday Nate played at the park for the very first time. 


He was entertained by the soccer players for a while.


But it wasn't long before I knew he wanted to play.


So we played.


Crunchy leaves make perfect toys.


I'm not sure who had more fun-me or him.

According to KidsHealth.org, toddlers between the age of 12-24 months need 30 minutes of structured physical activity and 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity.  They also say, in general, toddlers should not be inactive for more than an hour.  

Outdoor activities encourage children to explore and develops motor skills in ways that indoor activities can't do.

Although some of these activities are a bit too advanced for Nate, here is a list of physical activities that can be done with toddlers.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities to do with your children?

Blog Awards

Stacy at Not So Perfect Mom was incredibly kind in giving me 2 awards.

 

Make sure to take some time and check out her blog.

Thanks Stacy!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fine Dining With A Toddler

Everything I've Learned From Eating Out With a Baby:



Let's face it. Fine dining is anything but fine with a toddler in tow. Don't get me wrong. The dining experience can be fun and endearing (everyone loves a baby who throws food on the ground, right?) but eating out with a little one definitely brings about some new challenges. 

Challenge #1:
You can see in the picture at the top that when eating at a restaurant, parents are only able to enjoy and eat from half of the table because if anything is in the baby's reach, he will grab it with speed faster than lightening and end up with ranch, that was supposed to go on your salad, all over his fingers. 

Challenge #2: 
No matter how much you desperately don't want to be that family, you will. You know the family I'm talking about. They have a loud baby and an entire dinners' worth of food under the table.  As much as you think your child will be an angel, he won't. He might be incredibly cute and smile at all the ladies at the next table, but you will still hurry out of the restaurant with guilt hanging over your head because of the massive pile of crumbs left under your baby's high chair. 

Challenge #3:
You might as well order off of the kids' menu because your little one will want to eat only what you eat. If you have hopes of enjoying a salad, be prepared to share even if you know he'll just spit the lettuce out because he hasn't gotten all of his teeth and he can't really chew lettuce. It doesn't matter if you brought his banana puree and carrot puree, and the Life cereal to munch on, he will refuse it all because it's never quite as interesting as what Mom and Dad are eating.

But despite the messiness, eating out will still be enjoyable. He will do little things to make you laugh, alert you to the balloons tied to the backs of chairs, and offer to feed you bites of his food just in case you're still hungry. And if you are lucky enough to have a friend watch your little guy so you can have a date night, you'll miss him the entire time and all conversation will focus on him.

I guess that's just what happens when you're a parent. 

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Guest Post: What Level of Sibling Rivalry is Healthy?

I am so happy to have Daria from Mom In Management sharing on sibling rivalry. 


Bio: Daria is a working mom of 5 in Colorado.  During the day she leads a team of employees.  At night and on the weekends, she and her husband lead their family team.  She writes with a sense of humor about her life – including leadership tips and business trends, parenting, marriage, and saving money.  You can find more insights from her at her primary blog Mom In Management.  She also writes periodically for Marketplace Mommies and Simply Stunning, LLC and can be found on twitter @MomInManagement and Facebook.


What Level of Sibling Rivalry is Healthy?



My husband and I are both only children, and yet, we have 5 kids!  Two boys came as a package deal with my husband and then we had three more together – two girls and another boy.

It has been interesting to watch the sibling relationships play out.  Neither of us have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to have brothers or sisters, so it can be fascinating for us to sit back and watch our kids interact with each other.   It is very much a foreign language to us. 

There have been plenty of times over the years that I turn to two kids squabbling and say “I don’t understand why you’re fighting all the time.  Just STOP!”  This is usually at the top of my lungs, and often followed with a profound statement such as “You should be grateful you have that brother or sister. Love each other, damn it!” 

As you can imagine, screeching ultimatums to love your sister to a 4 year old, or 14 year old even, doesn’t usually ever work. 

One of the perplexities that I’ve had along the years of learning to be a mother is “What level of fighting is normal?”  Everyone we talk to says “Oh, that’s just siblings.”  Really? Hitting your sister with a golf club is “normal”?  Flinging a skateboard at your brother’s head is “normal”?

Are you saying they are going to grow up and look back fondly on these years of mutual torture?  Why would they do that?  Someone terrorizes me for years and I would think the smart thing to do would be to avoid them. 

I have been very worried about this actually, because I very intentionally did NOT have only children.  I wanted my kids to have siblings - built in friends to comfort and support them throughout their lives. 

But as I’ve traversed this foreign land of siblings, a few things have started to stand out to me. 

1.      I’ve noticed a pattern that the older sibling generally pushes the younger siblings’ buttons in a very sneaky quiet manner.   The younger sibling then lashes out very physically and loudly.  This seems to be very satisfying to the older sibling, because then they get to squeal “Mom! Little brother hit me!”  We’ve had this happen in three sets of kids now, so I’m beginning to believe this is common between most families.

a.     Our oldest would often sit in the car and pinch his brother where we couldn’t see his hand in the rearview mirror.  Brother (JR) would then punch him and we’d of course yell at JR for punching his brother for no reason.
b.     Our middle child (Jag), sits in the back seat and makes faces at her little brother (Tev) or hums under her breath.  Tev then screams at her to stop looking at him and we of course chastise Tev for yelling about something so silly.  
c.     Close quarters (ex: the car), is the scene of a lot of bickering!

2.     Kids can literally be pounding each other to a pulp on the floor one minute and then best friends 5 minutes later.   It is astonishing to me every single time I see it.  Grudges amongst siblings?  Not terribly long lived. 

3.     When the kids are legitimately scared or hurt, the other siblings are very caring.  We recently moved into a larger house.  Our 8 year old and 6 year old have bedrooms in the basement.  They were both nervous about sleeping down there and so they decided to sleep in the same room for the first few days.  Well, it’s been 6 months with no end in sight.  They will fight like cats and dogs during the day, but bedtime?  They are quiet and well behaved.  They don’t want to risk having me separate them.

4.     No matter how much it seems like the kids don’t like each other, just go ahead and take one of them out of the picture for a little bit.  The one left behind will almost ALWAYS start asking “Where’s brother?  Where’s sister?  What do you think they are doing?  When will they be back?”

5.     Kids get into the most arguments when they don’t have a focus.  Give them an activity – playing ball, painting rocks, cleaning the house even – and they cooperate pretty well together.  It is in unstructured time that the most conflict arises.

All of us are learning this parenting thing as we go.  After all, none of these children came with an instruction manual!  And maybe you knew these things based on your own relationships with your siblings.  But, for 2 only children trying to figure out how to raise all these siblings?   It has been very comforting to see that these squabbles don’t seem to indicate long term hatred of each other.  When it comes down to a foundation for lifelong friendship, it seems like this fighting is just part of building those memories.   

What do you think?  Is fighting amongst siblings normal?  What is the worst fight you ever got into with your brother or sister?  Are you still friends now as adults?

If you liked what you read, please visit Daria at Mom In Management or follow her on Twitter or Facebook

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Maximizing Our Time

Today, I guest posted over at Mom In Management about maximizing our time as moms. Daria's blog is all about being a wife, mom to 5, "insight into leadership, business practices, and corporate trends," recipes, and money-saving tips. It is definitely a great blog.

Excerpt from my post on Mom In Management: 

As moms, we have a lot on our plates. We are responsible for meals, housework, bath time, getting the baby dressed, packing the diaper bag, brushing their teeth, laundry, and playtime. And that doesn’t even begin to cover everything we do in a day. Many of us have work related tasks, writing jobs (for us bloggers), and let’s not forget the need for personal time. It can be tough...


I hope you'll head over to her blog and Read More!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:
{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

October Isn't Just For Halloween

When I think of October, I usually think about the impending Fall weather, changing of the leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween. But did you know that October is also Fair Trade Month? According to Wikipedia, Fair Trade is defined "as a financial relationship between producers, sellers, and consumers based on the principle of equity within the exchange of goods."

What does that mean? Basically it defines the relationship that certain companies choose to have with the individuals and businesses who produce, sell, and buy a product. Fair Trade allows overseas workers to be adequately paid for the products, services, and skills that they offer. Many American corporations have been and still are guilty of paying dangerously low prices for goods such as coffee, sugar, bananas, chocolate, and other products. The result of this underpayment are cities and villages living in very poor conditions. Parents are not able to feed their children, afford homes, and purchase basic necessities. 


By paying these individuals a fair wage (often still lower than what an American individual would make), the quality of living rises in villages and cities, diseases are less rampant, child malnutrition numbers go down, education implementation is possible, and product quality rises. In addition, Fair Trade supports sustainable business practices.



On Halloween night, hundreds across the country will join in Reverse Trick or Treating. Fair trade coffee will be handed out along with brochures that outline the Fair Trade Movement. For more information on how you can be a part of this nation-wide event, click HERE.


What can you do?
-Consider purchasing Fair Trade products. Click HERE for an extensive list of products that have obtained Fair Trade certification.
-Spread the word. Many people are still uneducated about the Fair Trade Process.  
-Visit these resources and learn more.
      -Fair Trade Homepage 
      -World Trade Benefits 
      -Fair Trade Blog 
      -Ten Thousand Villages: Fair Trade for Jewelry 
      -Global Exchange: Coffee 

And if you live in Seattle: 
       -Click HERE  for a list of ways to contribute or learn more.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why I Could Never Be A Sister Wife

If you are a fan of the popular TV network, TLC , then you've probably been watching Sister Wives . The series is documenting a family living in polygamy. Kody, the husband, is legally married to a woman named Meri, but calls 2 other women (soon to be 3) his wives. Between the 4 of them, they have 12 children (and one on the way).

This show is worth checking out if you haven't done so already.  It'll boggle your mind and leave you thinking about how different and insane life would be with Sister Wives.


Here are my 10 reasons why I could never be a sister wife.

1). I'm too selfish.

2). I don't want to take care of someone else's kid all day and all night. No thank you. My own child is a big enough responsibility.

3). I don't want to have to financially support someone else while they get to take my husband away from me and then leave me to take care of their kid. See reason #1.

4). I like some peace and quiet occasionally. With 12 kids, 3 women, and a man, there is no way anyone is getting any quiet time.  I'd be the Janelle in the relationship: gone at work all day for 12 hours. Need. To. Breathe.

5). There is enough drama between one man and one woman (trust me, I know all about that). But add another girl or two to the mix and the drama must be sky high. No thank you.

6). I want my husband sleeping next to me every single night. See reason #1. Enough said.

7). Competition with other women? No thanks!

8). I can see it now. Sister Wife: "Can I borrow your shirt?" Me: "No, get your own." Sister Wife: "You suck at this Sister Wife stuff." Me: "I know. Deal with it."

9). Can you imagine all the germs and sickness that must circulate in that home? I'd be walking around with a mask all day and a bottle of hand sanitizer permanently attached to my hip, and then I'd make each kid bathe in it each morning and night.

10). I'm too selfish.


But to each his own, right?

This post is linked up with Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Greeting Cards from Being Tazim

When saying Thank You, there are occasions that merit something unconventional. Something beyond the standard Hallmark greeting card. Tazim, blogger at Being Tazim, graciously sent me a selection of her handmade greeting cards. Each card is produced on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and contains a delicately placed stamped image on the front. The inside is left blank for scribbling of thoughts, whether it be a thank you, get well soon, happy birthday, happy anniversary, or any other message.

Here are a few pictures of the cards I received:






The next time you are looking for a card to share that special message, consider Tazim's shop where you can browse and purchase a variety of beautiful cards, as well as jewelry.  And don't forget to visit her blog where she writes about creative spaces, interior design, and art. 

Thanks Tazim!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Growing Up

It's amazing how the time flies. I'm reminded of this nearly every time I look at Nate. He's changing so much and so quickly. I don't feel like I can keep up.

When I see him sleeping in his crib, I see a little boy and not the baby that once inhabited it only a year ago.

Then:


And now: 


Same crib. Same blanket. Same little boy. It's fascinating how they change.

Earth Cafe Cheesecake Winner!

Before I announce the winner, I would like to thank Craig at Earth Cafe for his generosity in providing me with 5 sample slices of his delicious cheesecake and for then providing one lucky winner with 2 entire cheesecakes of their choice.



Also, thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway. I wish I could give you all a cheesecake (that would mean I would get one too!), but unfortunately, there can only be 1 winner. If you aren't the winner, I encourage you to think about purchasing a cheesecake for your next event, get-together, or just as a special dessert for dinner. They are vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free delicious cheesecakes. Click here to read my full review.

Chosen via Random.org, the winner is Vikki from Random Ramblings . Her comment said: "I am now also following both you and Earthcafe on twtter"


Vikki, I will be contacting you shortly to obtain your address and choice of cheesecake.


Thanks Vikki and enjoy your cheesecake!