November 16, 2017

A Proud Parent Blinded By Their Pride

Are you a proud parent of an amazing little guy or girls? I am a very proud parent, but a few weeks ago I witnessed first hand the blindness caused by a different type of proud parent, and I was saddened by the results. I have been a SAHM for about 4 years now and my husband works his butt off for me to stay home and attend college online. It is a lot of work, but with only one income we live a lot different than most. We budget and save anyway we can, but our children always come first (as well as the We don't often get to do a lot of things that we would like to simply because we cannot afford it. So I am the Pinterest loving mother who finds an alternative to every adventure that will save us money.

The best part is that our children are happy and well that is what matter right! If we do go on an adventure there are times when it takes us a while to save before we get to, but that is just life for us. We are not upset by it, we are not begging people to feel sorry for us! We are not afraid to say that there are times when we need help, but if we can get by on our own we do just that. Most of all we do not live outside of our means, and try to paint an image that we are something we are not.

So now that you have an image of who I am and why this bothers me so much let me tell you about my experience. A few weeks ago we woke up to snow, so it was a scamper to find winter clothing; boots, gloves, and hats. Well by the time we needed to leave two of my three girls did not have gloves, because they were lost sometime between last year and this year. We were running late so the girls had to go to school without them. While there I asked the office secretary what time the first recess was, so I could go home and cut up an old something to make them some mittens. She gave me the oddest look when I told her why I needed to know, but I turned around and went on my way.

When I got home I had to pull out all of our sewing stuff, which was not easy to get to, and get started. I had found an old fuzzy pink blanket, that no longer gets used, and began drawing out my design. I had a little trouble with the sewing machine, so I was only able to get one pair done in time for recess. Luckily my youngest daughter was able to borrow her baby brothers mittens. So I returned to the school to deliver the girls their gloves. As I walked in I got to see all the kids getting into their winter gear. To my surprise, because of my panic to get our kids everything for playing out, my daughter was one of few that actually had what they needed.

Now some may have just not included their stuff for the day, but should have, because seriously your child is going to be out in the cold and snow! Why are they not prepared? I am not saying that everyone needs to be scolded and needs to be embarrassed that this has happened, but this is where I think a lot of peoples pride blinds their judgement. When I was at the school before winter started there was a note in the office letting people know that if your child needs anything for winter to let them know and they will help. Now not all parent go in the office to read, so the school has also sent this home for parents, so why not let them know?

Is it because you would be embarrassed for others to see that you need a little help? Maybe it is because there was another parent in the office, who you knew was well off, and you didn't want them to witness you in need? Are you afraid of seeing the look of disgust, because you asked for help!? Guess what they are not going to judge the fact that you child needs something, and you are not able to provide it at this time. They will probably respect that fact that you are making sure that your child is warm, even though it took everything your had to walk up and ask!

So if you are that parent that did not ask, what are you going to do? Now your child is standing on the playground cold and miserable! Picture it for a second if you would. Now how did that image in your head make you feel? So why would you not let the office know you needed help? Not only can the school help, but there are usually programs at the Fire Stations everywhere that can help! So contact them do not make your child suffer so that you can uphold a certain image.

I wish I could hand a warm coat and other winter necessities to all the children that need. I wish I could just take a visit to not only our school but surrounding school and talk with the teachers about which children are in need of anything. When I say anything I mean not only winter stuff, but also clothing, shoes, school supplies, or even a warm meal. I wish there was something that I could do to help more! Since there is not much I can do for those children I have been thinking about providing a list of services that parents can take advantage of, and asking for it to go in the weekly envelopes.

So I beg of you all please do not let your pride get in the way of making sure your family is safe, warm, fed, or properly clothed. There are so many resources out there if you just step up and ask! Do not be embarrassed or ashamed, life happens! Do not let your family be left behind because you couldn't such it up and do what needed to be done at that particular time! We all need a little help sometimes, whether it be financially or emotionally and it is okay to admit it!

November 14, 2017

Save Money and Time This Christmas Season!

Have you started your Christmas shopping? Have you made your lists and checked them twice? It is that time of year again, and it always seems to sneak up no matter how prepare you try to be. So I am here to give you a list of amazing gifts for your family, and to even add to your own list!! So lets get started with those younger in our families!

First and foremost lets talk Amazon! They are amazing and you can find some of the best deals right now! They have their deals of the day which is year round, but now is the perfect time to get a Prime Membership and save during the COUNTDOWN TO BLACK FRIDAY!! They have amazing deals everyday leading up to Black Friday, then of course they will have their mega sales for Black Friday!! So hop on over to Amazon now and check out some of their deals!

Do you have a infant or small child? Well when my son was small that best gift ever was the baby wraps and baby carriers. Although some see them as a gift more for mom, I have to disagree! Who wouldn't want to be carried around all day!! Seriously this is way better than a carseat or stroller!

Also with winter who does not want to be styling with some amazing new winter wear for baby! We do not want them getting cold, and seriously babies can never have too much stuff!! Or can they? I personally love Handmade Items!! They are my favorite, seriously click the link below and check them out you will be in love!!

Now for those over active, exhausting toddlers, why not a great way to keep them busy. Whether girl or boy below are some great suggestions that have helped our home get through the winters Cabin Fever! The Kitchen Set is my Favorite!! It will keep those little busy bodies busy for hours. Let them take your order and see what they bring you!! It is so much fun for the little tikes and it is so cute to watch them!

As kids grow they get more expensive to buy for, and they become very picky about what they want. When they are little shopping is no problem. I hop on amazon and search their favorite cartoon character and with in minutes I have it all picked out!! Now it is a war of what gifts I can even afford! The electronic war begins at this age and have you seen some of the prices! They are ridiculous, luckily I found an amazingly affordable alternative for their technology wants!! I have discovered the Amazon Kindle! It is so affordable, and easy to use! There are parental controls on every aspect, as well as monitoring so you can see what they are doing! My favorite is the locking password on purchases so they do not empty the The kindle is not only entertaining but we have also added for our little ones and now they are learning while having fun!

Now moving on to the teenagers! Well I do not have one of those yet thankfully so I would not even know where to start! They seem so needy, grouchy, and moody! This one might be more difficult and I would like to wish all those parents to teens luck with their Christmas gifting! I am not looking forward to the drug out sighs and eye rolls to every present they open, because I did not get the exact thing they wanted! Or I got it in a different shade of pink than they wanted!! No matter the situation you can find the best products on Amazon! The best part is they come to your door without you having to go out into the hustle and bustle searching for that perfect gift!! So pull out your laptop or tablet and relax with a glass of wine while you shop!

October 24, 2017

How to Save on Halloween Costumes

So every year we try to save money on costumes and this year I think is our record saving year! When I look at the prices of these cheaply made costume it makes my stomach churn. We have four little ones and the cost of buying new costumes would be about $100-$150! WTH! That is ridiculous for an outfit they will wear one time and then it will become part of the dress up box. So a couple years ago we started making their costume which cut our bill in half, but that wasn't good enough! So over the past year I have keep all stained and ruined clothes, and have also keep odds and ends craft stuff! This year our bill for costumes was $17 for four kids!!

For my oldest daughter, who wanted to be a garden fairy, we had a dress from her aunties wedding and we redesigned it with some flower (which cost me $7). Then dad had some copper wire in the shed so he made up the shape of her headband and wings. So that was just $7 for an entire fairy costume, which is almost done and already looks amazing!

Now for our second daughter, she is a batman fanatic so she already had the shirt, the mask, and the boots! So I took an old pillowcase, and a pair of jeans, ripped them up and designed a cute little skirt. so her costume did not cost me a penny, just a little time and hot glue

Our third daughter is a paw patrol fan, and this year she wanted to be Marshall. Marshall is the fire pup, now her costume was the most expensive at 8 dollars for materials (tulle and felt sheets). We already had a fire hat so we used that with a tutu, then we just have to pull a red shirt from the closet and she is all set!

Our son was easy and only cost us $2 for the hair color spray and some face paint! The easy part is he is not old enough to decide what he wants to be so we just looked at what we had, to see what we could come up with. Well last year his Joker outfit was super big, and he didn't really get to trick or treat due to it being super cold and he was still very little. So he is going to re-use his costume from last year! We had the green vest and purple shirt, and he has black slacks in his drawer!

The best part about making our own costumes is the kids getting to choose what they want to be. Now if we went costume shopping they would just look for the cutest costume, which means it would be the most So with our method they get to be anything they want! Everyone will save different things so not everyone will have exactly what they need, but seriously go to second hand stores and you can find things really cheap!

Even if you do not sew or are not the craftiest, pull out the glue gun and let the kids join in and help you design while you do the gluing! They will love it and it could be a great bonding moment for you. Our oldest mentioned that she loves the fact that no one will ever have the same costume as her. Apparently, there are a lot of kids that end up with the same costumes at school, but not her and her sisters, because they are homemade from our own designs.

I watched a news report a few weeks ago on television and they said that 3.4 billion dollars was forecasted to be spent on halloween in the US this year! That is a lot of money for costumes and decorations that we could make at home on our own. I know not everyone is crafty, but serious that is what Pinterest is for. There are so many super easy DIY projects for everyone to try!

October 19, 2017

Teaching Your Child Independence

So many parents worry about their child being to attached, or too independent. Well I would like to talk to you about life lessons in being more self reliant and aware. Now with older children it is a different story, but they are never too young to start with independent ventures. It will help them later in life more than you know. I am not saying cast you 3 year old into the outdoors on their own, but maybe let them dish their own plate at dinner, or pour their own milk. Let you 6 year old walk into the school on their own.

School was a scary one for me I worried about them getting lost or having a bad day because I didn't take them into the school. Well my children were so independent that they would not let me take them in and I just had to realize that they were big girls and were exercising their independence! They go to school everyday and know where everything is way better than I do so what good was I!

I stand by keeping your baby close as long as you can because one day they will drift away, but there is a line that needs to be put into place when it comes to 'babying them'. Some people look at independence as something that we teach our teenagers so they grow more independent well did you know from the baby age up to five is the most crucial learning time for a child? So why wait, start early on with little things and stand by so you can praise their progress.

When it comes to a small child independence isn't them not needing you anymore it is about you teaching them to do the little things on their own. For example, brushing their teeth, you start them off and brush them thoroughly then give them the brush and let them have a try! You do not need to leave the room or anything, just stand by and let them show you how big they are!

I would like to share a few steps that I have taken with my children at different milestones in their life. Now this is just from my own experience and I have had to do them all at different ages with my four children, because like I always say no child is the same. Use what works at whatever stage you feel it fits into and start slow. Patience will be needed to allow your child to feel comfortable. If they see you getting frustrated then guess what?? They stop trying, because they know they are not doing it right and they do not want to upset you!

Step 1 (start here!)

I suggest begining when baby is around 4-6 months with tummy time, down on the floor. Do not run over at the first little noise and pick them up! Let them get flustered a bit. That sounds horrible but that is how they will build their strength to begin moving around and rolling over. If you are picking them up right away then they are not getting the exercise they need to get stronger, and now they know that with a little fuss they get their Babies are much smarter than most people realize.  

Now after they get that strength and start moving guess what? It is time for you to sit back and see that independence in action. Even as a baby they will suprise you. This is the stage of mischief and eating crap of the floor. Seriously lay on your belly and look around, now every spec of anything you see on that floor is going in your babies mouth. So take a little independence away and make them lunch while you vacuum! Now put up those baby gates and watch them play!! (Be sure to baby proof)

Step 2

So now that you have been run raged keeping up with a mobile baby are you ready to move onto the next milestone? Here comes standing up on the furniture and scooting along the front of the couch. Now this is an important stage as well, because out of instinct we want to catch them, and hold their hands while they walk. Guess what mom? You have to let go! If you hold on they will want you to keep holding on!! I suggest a push toy so they grow independent from you and do it on their own! Now like I said this doesn't mean baby is ready to be alone and doesn't need you it is just preparing them for life. So stand in front of them a few steps and have them follow you! 

Also are you still feeding baby? This would be a great time to hand over the utensils and let them have a try at it! I know they can grab a handful of food and shovel it in, but they will still need to learn all about those utensils so go ahead and let them make a mess! 

Step 3

So now that baby is getting around and turning you into a mom zombie lets talk about independence in the toddler years. These are the most important years so if you do not start until now it will be fine. In reality some are fine not even taking this advice, but I will still share it! During this stage in life Children are so inquisitive so take advantage of that. Do not dodge their why's, even though they drive you crazy. Instead come down to their level and play with them and let them show you what they can do. Play house and let them be the mom, or get them a kitchen set and let them make you fake lunch. Kids love feeling like your happy little helper so let them.
Do not treat them like a baby, because they will not like it, also do not talk to them in baby talk. I have found talking to them and with them like a person and not a pet or baby will give you much better results. It also makes them feel like a big kid and that in-turn leads to that independence I was talking about, because they feel like they can do more being a big kid. 

Step 4

Now this is the final step of teaching independence I will give for the first five years of a Childs life, because I am still working on the next few years with my 6 and 8 year old. Lets begin with preschool and Kindergarten talk. Now here is where it gets super hard. I know it is hard to let go when they go to school. I mean they are your babies and you are putting them in the hands of people you don't really know as well as you think. So how do you give your child a lesson in independence when school starts? 

Let that little on dress themselves, now not everyday, but give them a turn to give it a try no matter how silly they may look. Also velcro will be your friend, but only until they learn to tie. If they cannot tie do not get them tie shoes, I mean seriously it is just frustrating for everyone around!! Next do not take them to their desk and baby them as you leave. Mom as hard as it is you take them to the door and then give them the morning good bye. I know that this is a hard task for some which is why I always encourage starting the independence teachings at a younger age.

They are going to attach to you and not want to let go so of course for the first few days take them in set them down, come down to their level and let them know it is okay and you will be back. Make sure they know you are leaving and you walk out! Do not sneak away or make a crazy dash for the door, because this action can be very traumatizing for a child. Then work on leaving when they are at their locker or their door. It will not happen overnight, so keep working at it!

Now that you have my Steps and you have skimmed through them do not worry about following them to the T, like I said it is different with every child. These are more of a guide and not a rule book. The most important thing to remember is that if you are flustered or not happy neither are they! They look to you for everything so teach them something that will benefit them and you for a life time. Independence is needed at all stages of life and does not mean letting your baby go off on their own, but lessons for both you and your child! As a mom you never want to let go, but since on day we all have to make sure they know everything about independence before that day sneaks up on you! 

October 17, 2017

Becoming Someones Mother

Are you expecting or have you recently given birth to a beautiful little boy/girl? Either way good for you and good luck. Becoming a parent takes a toll, but it is a toll that you will be glad you paid as you watch that beautiful baby bloom into an amazing person. Watching our little ones grow has really got me all sappy lately, because I have discovered a new liking to blogging. With blogging comes photos, and I have been looking at old photos for days now.

When I think back to the day we found out we were going to be parents it is kind of a blur, but I still remember the emotions that took over when I looked at that pee stick. It was a little overwhelming after it really set it. I didn't know if I was ready to be somebodies mother. Do you have any idea what that means? Do you know what a mom does and what will be needed from you to make that babies life amazing? What if I was a horrible mother and my child hated me, or didn't respect me, because I wasn't the mother they wanted?

Well guess what I was fine and now I am a mother of four amazing children, and they are total nightmares at times! Not because of our lack of parenting, but because since becoming a mother I have learned that children are challenging. Even the supermom at the store, that looks like she has it all figured out, is still learning and being challenged by her children day in and day out. Trust me she may look like she has this mom shit down, but guess what inside she wants to

So step away from the parenting books and take a breath! I am not saying don't read them, because I do think there is a lot of great information in them. I am just simply saying stop trying to study for an exam that there is no right study guide for. Take it all in slowly and a little at a time. This is not a time crunch to know everything right now. Being a parent is a learning experience that will start the day you find out your are expecting until the end of you time!

I recommend checking out all those blogging moms. Even before I began writing I enjoyed getting on the computer and finding blogs about real moms and their parenting. I was so relieved to see that I was not the only one out there freaking out! There were moms just like me wondering what we were doing wrong, when there was not anything wrong. It was great to read a post and be able to say "OMG I am not the only one!!"

I sometimes think that is where so many people do go wrong though is comparing yourself to supermoms. Which by the way most of those supermoms you see on FaceBook are what I like to call "Social Moms". Which is where they fake a perfect parenting plan and life to trick you into thinking they are better. When really they are not, but it makes them feel good to make you envy them and their fake life they portray on the internet.

A mother is a very special person in a child's life and you should not take it lightly, but you should also not be stressing. I know it sounds crazy, but it is still the advice I give to everyone with those parenting jitters, but when that baby arrives you will figure it all out. You can prepare all you want but life opens a door you didn't even know existed when that beautiful baby takes their first peek into the world. It is a door that is holding back everything you need to be that parent you want to be. It is not perfect and everything is a little fuzzy, but that is because life doesn't want to over whelm you.

As your baby grows everything will become clear in time, because like I said parenting is a learning experience and you will be learning as fast as they are. You can read book after book, but they will not have all the answers. A majority of lessons learned in parenting are learned through trial and error of what works for you and your family. Do not parent a way just because you saw it work wonders for a friend or what have you. Chances are you will not get the same results and will just be wasting your time. You need to find your way and make it work.

October 5, 2017

When Children Play

How do you handle your children when they are behaving like animals? When they are running through the house like wild animals, making noises you would hear in the jungle, and destroying everything in their path? Do you stop the madness with a look, the yell of your voice, or the ring of a bell? Well as a mother of four wild beasts let me give you a little advice....DO NOT STOP THE MADNESS!!!

Join in on the fun! Enjoy a break from being the enforcer, come down to their level and join in on the memories being had. They will remember it for a lifetime! Children are easy to please, and easy to have an amazing time with. Forget about the newest fanciest toy, gadget, or tablet. Have a good time with some family time!

Our children, especially now that it is colder outdoors, get a little stir crazy being inside! I know all children do, and sometimes we will give them a little tech time to calm everyone and catch our bearings. Other times it is time for fun to be had, and memories to be made. Dad is usually the more fun one than mom, but we both have our strong points. Dad usually ends up getting jumped, where as mom isn't a wrestler or pillow fighter. I am the calmer one that usually pulls out the craft box or coloring

Either way instead of trying to fight a battle that 9 times out of 10 you will lose, why not join in on the fun. Let those little ones run out some of that energy while getting some great photo ops out of them. I enjoy watching our children run and be crazy, so I try to keep up with my camera and shoot as many photos as I can. I can not stress enough how important it is to capture memories, and mom don't forget to get in on as many as you can as well.

Children are only little and crazy for so long, so before they grow and become to cool to play with mom and dad get in there and make some memories. One day they will have social lives, other engagements at school, or even jobs! It is crazy to think about, but I swear every time I blink we are buying a new wardrobe because they sprouted 6 inches and are another year older!! I cannot wait to see the people they become, but for now I am going to cherish the crazy!

I may complain, and I sometimes seem to use them as an excuse to look like a total mom zombie; but I do not actually think it is an excuse but rather a reason. There is a reason I do not spend the time getting all dolled up when it is not necessary. If I spent more time on me I would miss out on way too much with them, so next time it sounds like I regret them, just remember that I am just expressing my way of being a mom.

September 18, 2017

Snoring is not the only sign of sleep apnea!

Hello reader,

I have returned, and I am sorry about the absence, but this momma's schedule gets crazy this time of year. In the time it has been since I last posted my children started school, I started school, and we have gone through a surgery with our youngest daughter. It has been quite the adventure, but now that I have my schedule organized I am back and will be posting more regularly.

We are continuing our journey of helping our daughter get a good night's sleep. For the past two years we have been going through a battle of trying to get our daughter feeling better. If you are not already caught up then for a little back story please read the following posts.

For the avid follower and those that have been following our battle. We are nearing the end! How exciting to finally see the finish line! Last week our daughter went through a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and a turbinoplasty (which is where they cauterize the turbinates in the nose to reduce swelling and open the airway). She is doing amazing and we are so anxious to see how well this surgery has worked. 

Our journey started with chronic migraines and behavioral issues, then later turned in to a case of extremely severe sleep apnea. When we were told that our daughter stops breathing 6 to 7 times in one hour we were in shock. The worst part of this journey was even now that we were aware all we could do was sit back and watch. There was nothing we could do to help her sleep. Now we have reached a point of hope to see our daughter get back to herself, and have fun with her sibling.

She has spent endless hours on the couch, in her bed, in our bed, or simply on the recliner in the living room, because her body was exhausted and her migraines were getting the best of her. It was a horrible sight to see, because she was such a bubbly little girl before it all began. Then she simply became a zombie in from of our eyes, and talk about emotional. 

It was frustrating at time, but once we saw the big picture and knew about what was happening it was just painful for us. We could not even imagine the pain she was feeling, but we knew if we didn't do something we were going to watch her get even worse. She was acting out really bad and we did not realize it was because of the pain she was feeling, but now that we do it all makes sense. I know when I am in pain I get flustered and I am not the nicest person to be around.

With that being said I would just like to reach out to other parent, grandparents, and guardians. I would like to share our story, because for years doctors and parents have overlooked the symptoms of sleep apnea. Our daughter would have been another looked over case had we not found somebody willing to over look the fact that she didn't snore. Our local hospital rejected the request to test her because she was not a snorer, but we were lucky enough to have an amazing neurologist in another town that set us up with a doctor at the hospital he works at.

When we arrived they were all super friendly and were half way convinced that maybe we were looking into this for no reason, because her tonsils were not enlarged, which is the next sign they check for after snoring. He went ahead and did the test anyway just to eliminate it from our list of possibilities. We spent the night with her and when we woke up the next morning our test was over and the sleep tech came in to inform us how it all went, and she informed us that our daughters have very severe sleep apnea for a child.

To my surprise we had our diagnosis, but now what? When I think of sleep apnea I think of old people that have to wear masks, but this was our 4 year old daughter! I had no idea kids could even have sleep apnea, and how will I get her to wear a mask? Well my husband and I asked what we were to do next, and the tech let us know that she would be referred to and Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor (ENT). 

When we went to the ENT they informed us of surgeries and other possibilities of thing they could correct, because she was still young enough. So last week she went under the knife and is no healing from her corrective surgeries. It will be a few weeks until we can do another sleep study to be sure that surgery was successful. If it was not then we will be starting over and possibly be getting a cpap mask and machine for out daughter. Most children do not have to undergo another test, but because she did not snore before, then we will not have an indicator of whether it worked or not.

The hardest challenge for us was not only the pain, and the behavioral problems, but simply the lack of symptoms we had heard of for sleep apnea. When we read articles and talked to the doctors they are looking for children that snore, are overweight, have enlarged tonsils and adenoids, or restless sleepers. It was not until later that they added in bed wetting and behavioral problems, which were two symptoms we did have, but with her not being a snorer or extremely restless they looked no further.

If you have even a hinkling that your child may have some sort of sleep deprivation, do not hesitate to ask your doctor to do a sleep study. Do not take no for an answer, because I almost did and look what happened. It was our answer and I am so glad that I was determined and was not giving up eliminating or proving the diagnosis. 

You know your child better than anyone, and they look to you for the answer to their...well everything! A child cannot always tell you exactly how they feel or on a scale of one to ten how bad their pain is. Our daughter had severe migraines and we still cannot imagine the pain she feels when she gets one!