Posts tagged with: parenting

Apps for Moms

I am addicted to my iPodTouch. I got it for Christmas last year and it has proven to be the single best gadget ever, next to my laptop. I love trying new iPhone/iPodTouch apps, especially those that make my life as a busy mom easier. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

  • iFood Assistant by Kraft Foods. Bring the Kraft recipe database straight to your iPhoneTM or iPod Touch®. This new downloadable application gives you easy, delicious recipes and meal ideas, right at your fingertips. It’s smart, portable and so simple! (free)
  • Baby Log Records diaper changes, feedings, naps, and baths. It can even be exported to an Excel spreadsheet. This is perfect for the mom who has their baby on a schedule. ($4.99)
  • Phony Phone Using the PhonyPhone™, parents can transform any iPhone into a fun, educational digital playground for kids without having to worry about them accidentally making calls. ($0.99)
  • Purex Laundry Help This is the go-to guide for key laundry care information at the touch of a button. The application has three help sections: Stain Guide-The best ways to remove tough laundry stains by fabric type (2) Fabric Care-Has instructions on how to wash and dry specific fabric types (3) Clothing Label Decoder-Helps you understand all the laundry care symbols on your clothing. (free)

These are just a few of my top picks for fave Mom iPhone apps. Do you have a favorite? Let me know and I’ll compile a list of Mommy Babble Reader’s Choice iPhone apps for moms/dads.


Stroller Suspenders

Stroller Suspenders, the latest “must have” product for moms and babies, is now introducing their new and affordable Stroller Suspenders Basic Series.

All moms and dads want to keep their baby nice and warm under a baby blanket when taking the baby out in their stroller, however without anything securing the blanket to the stroller, it often gets caught in the wheels or falls to the ground.  Stroller Suspenders is an innovative patent pending strap and clip that is designed to secure a baby blanket in a position to cover the stroller for warmth, shade or privacy.

The new affordable series is made using nylon webbing, are sold in pairs and are available in three colors, black, tan and pink.  The Basic Series will have a suggested retail price of $9.99 and will be available in 390 Baby Depot stores nationwide and online at www.Mom4Life.com. Mom 4 Life specializes in offering unique and useful products that are 100% mom invented with free shipping.

Stroller Suspenders Designer Series is made using cotton webbing with decorative ribbon.  The Designer Series is currently being sold at finer baby boutiques and online at www.strollersuspenders.com They are sold in pairs and retail for $18.00 each.  They are currently available in six different designs and styles for boys and girls.

Suspenders, manufactured by Omma, will protect both baby and their special blankets.   A recent recipient of The Baby Planners Seal of Approval, the patent pending Stroller Suspenders strap and clip are made in the USA, will not cause damage baby’s blankets, clip on baby’s hands, and they fit with most strollers. Check them out today!


Booster Seat Safety

Before you jump in the car to start your summer vacation, we want parents to make sure their children are safely buckled up in the backseat. The majority of serious injuries and fatalities for children under the age of 14 occur in the summer months due to motor vehicle collisions. With only 28 per cent of children between the ages of four and eight using booster seats, parents are putting their children at risk for serious injuries in the event of a car crash. Booster seats are required in most states for children ages 4-8 and those who have not yet reached a height of 4’9″.

I know that kids, especially as they get older, don’t like to sit in a booster seat. When my kids fought sitting in the seat I just explained to them that, I loved them too much to allow them to sit without a booster seat. They understood that and when a friend would see that they still sat in a booster seat and tease them, which happened often, my kids said, “It’s because my mommy loves me. I guess your mommy doesn’t love you very much.” This “positive” peer pressure actually led to several families in our church getting booster seats for their kids.

Some tips for using a booster seat:

– A child is ready for a booster seat when they are less than four feet
nine inches tall and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
– A booster seat lifts a child up so that the seat belt fits correctly.
Both the lap and the shoulder belt must be used and will hold the
child and the booster seat in place during a crash or sudden stop.
– There are two different types of booster seats:
A high back booster seat provides head and neck protection in cars
without head restraints and a no back booster is used in cars that
have adjustable head restraints or high seat backs.
– A child is ready for a seat belt, in the back seat when he or she is at least four feet nine inches or 80 pounds.

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of injury-related death for children. Every year, an estimated 100 children age 14 and under are killed and more than 10,000 are injured due to traffic collisions. Show your kids how much you love them. Get them a booster seat.


Go Play Outside

Grandparents.com has launched a major national campaign encouraging grandparents to join a movement called: Go Play Outside. The goal is to get kids off the couch – and outside for a collective 1 million hours of play by summer’s end.

The site is asking grandparents to plan outdoor activities with their grandchildren and then come to Grandparents.com and log in their hours and experiences. When the goal of 1 million hours is reached, a donation will be made to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children.

“In just a couple of weeks, we already have thousands of hours logged in,” said Dr. Georgia Witkin, nationally acclaimed health expert and spokesperson for this movement. “And what we’re hearing from participants is that they are not only feeling good about helping their grandchildren – they are having a lot of fun doing it!”

Leave me a comment here and let me know how you are getting your kids/grandkids outside this summer.


Free 1 Week Meal Plan

How would you like to have 2 hours free to do whatever you want, not what everyone else wants this week?
It’s not easy. Moms are always working on something or busy taking care of someone else’s needs.
Take planning your family’s meals and grocery. Do you know how much time you spend on that?
My last count, about 2 hours. It would be so nice to outsource that, and I think I’ve found it.

I’m going to try a week’s free meal plan and grocery list from Dine Without Whine this week to see how it all goes.
They are giving a way the plan free here.
If you plan to join me, go ahead and click that link to grab
your free plan.


Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have been a consumer and fan of Blue Bunny Ice cream for years. I have been a part of their iScream Team and received their newsletter and coupons for a while now. Last week I met @blue_bunny on Twitter. We had been chatting about how for our family, Memorial Day weekend means 5 birthdays! Of course, that also means lots of cake and ice cream too.

Well, @blue_bunny started telling me about their Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches.
They are a party in a sandwich! Creamy white birthday cake flavored ice cream with colorful confetti sprinkles and swirls of blue frosting between two vanilla wafers. 10 sandwiches per box. At the time they were also featured on the iScream Team’s coupon. I went to my iScream Team page and printed the coupon. I went to my local Wal-Mart and purchased the last box of Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches that was in the freezer.

I brought them to the final birthday party of the week. There were 18 people at the party so we cut the ice cream sandwiches in half so everyone could try them. They were a HUGE hit! Everyone from ages 6-60+ loved the unique taste of the Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches.

They aren’t only for birthday parties either. These will make a great treat to share with the family anytime. When you are craving cake and ice cream this summer don’t heat up the house to bake a cake. Cool off with Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches.


Tips for a Successful Parent-Coach Relationship

It’s a common scene that happens in youth baseball leagues in towns across the country. A parent is unhappy that his or her child is not in the starting lineup, batting in a certain spot in the order, playing a certain position, or perhaps that parent is displeased about another issue. The parent directs that anger towards the coach, an argument ensues and tension is created for the rest of the season.

Jack Perconte understands the challenge a coach faces with parents of players. After a 12-year professional baseball career that includes seven seasons in the majors, Perconte retired in 1987 and opened a baseball training academy in Naperville, Illinois. He estimates that he has given more than 60,000 hitting lessons. Perconte’s book, “The Making of a Hitter: A Proven and Practical Step-by-Step Baseball Guide” (www.themakingofahitter.com), details how parents can teach hitting to their children, and coaches can teach it to their young players. It also educates coaches about how to effectively communicate with the parents of his team’s players so everyone can enjoy the entire season.

“The key to a successful parent-coach relationship is having a mandatory pre-season meeting between parents and coaches,” Perconte said. “Encourage both parents to attend.

“In the invitation, let the parents know that invitation that attending the meeting is important because it will give them the opportunity to learn about your philosophies and guidelines, and it will give them to chance to ask questions,” Perconte added. “At the meeting, try to address every issue you can think of that could possibly lead to friction as the season progresses.”

Here are Perconte’s suggestions for a thorough and successful parent-coach meeting:

1. Give the parents background information about the coaches, especially about their playing and/or coaching experience related to the game. Be honest about your background.
2. Express your philosophy of coaching. The three ultimate objectives are winning, player development and fun. I suggest a 30, 30, 30 split on these objectives and applying the remaining 10 percent for the area most needed. This 10 percent will be determined by the competitiveness of the team and the league. At the meeting, clearly state the goals of the season. I believe it is alright to play to win even at a young level, as long as it is kept in perspective. Remember, you want the children to develop their skills and have fun.
3. Discuss your philosophy about playing time, batting order and positions played. Let the parents know how you plan to run the team. For example, do players have to earn their position on the field or in the batting order, or will you rotate the players? Give parents a chance to ask questions, and make sure your answers are clearly understood. Be sure to recognize and discuss the objectives of the league and level at which the team is playing.
4. Discuss when and how the coaches can be approached during the season so there are no confrontations. Set up a system where conversations are held away from the players, other parents and the crowds. There will be issues that arise from time to time, but let parents know that disagreements will be handled in a civil way away from the players.
5. Effective communication is the key to averting problems. Make sure parents also reiterate the coaches’ philosophies to the children. Most of the time, players are happy and content with playing and being around their friends. Troubles start to when parents start to grumble at home to the players about the coach. Insist to the parents that they approach you before getting upset and expressing that displeasure to their children.
6. Most issues arise because the parent does not think the coach is being fair. It is important that the coach fulfill his or her philosophies detailed in the pre-season meeting. If you change your philosophy in the middle of the season, then problems can arise.
7. Just as hitters are made, coaches are also made. Coaches should be a role model and a teacher to their players. It is easier to help children develop their baseball skills and enjoy the game when the parents understand the reasoning behind the coaches’ philosophies.

Jack Perconte played 12 years of professional baseball, including seven in the majors for the Dodgers, Indians, Mariners and White Sox, posting a career .270 average in the majors and a .311 mark in the minors. He was a 16th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1976 and made his big league debut with the Dodgers in 1980. After retiring from professional baseball in 1987, Perconte opened a baseball training academy in Naperville, Ill. The hitting drills, mental training and coaching tips found in “The Making of a Hitter” (www.themakingofahitter.com) were culled from the 60,000 hitting lessons Perconte estimates he gave while operating the academy.


Parenting Myths Book Review and Giveaway


Leslie Leyland Fields new book “Parenting is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt“, is an insightful look at nine myths most Christian parents believe as fact. Leslie is a writer, professor, wife and mother of six children which range from a college student to a kindergartener who lives in Kodiak, Alaska. Leslie writes with an honest transparency that is refreshing-especially in a parenting book.

Mrs. Fields does not claim to have the answers to all of our parenting struggles; she does expose the myths and thought patterns that are prevalent in Christian parenting. Fields debunks 9 parenting myths including:

  • Myth: Having Children Makes You Happy and Fulfilled
  • Myth: You Will Always Feel Unconditional Love for Your Children
  • Myth: You Represent Jesus to Your Children
  • Myth: If Parenting is Difficult, You’re Not Following the Right Plan

As the myths are exposed they are replaced with life-transforming truths that liberate readers and “break the cycle of guilt and failure” says Fields. Truths such as:

“I am not sovereign over my children-God is and He will use every aspect of my human parenting, even my sins and failures, to shape my children into who He desires them to be.”

Ultimately, Fields’ myth-busting returns parents to their families with a deeper commitment and clearer understanding of their role, restoring hope and joy to discouraged mothers and fathers. This book is an easy read, but it takes time to digest. I would suggest taking several days on each myth. Read the chapter one day, study the suggested Scriptures the next and then spend time with the reflection questions letting them marinate in your spirit for a while. This book would make a good study for a couple, parenting class, small group or women’s ministry. I know you want your own copy of “Parenting is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt” by Leslie Leyland Fields. You can buy it at your local bookstore or you can win it at Mom Maven. The rules for entering this giveaway are below. Mandatory to enter: Visit www.leslie-leyland-fields.com click on “books” and then “Parenting is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt“. Look at the 9 myths and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which myth you would like to bust. Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address so I can contact you when you win. Bonus Entries:

  • 3 entries for twittering this post and pasting the post URL in a separate comment.
  • 3 entries for stumbling up this post with a review and posting the URL in a separate post.
  • 3 entries for following this blog or subscribing to my RSS feed.

The winner will be chosen Sunday 1/25/09 at 9pm using Random.Org. Good Luck!

This has been cross posted from Mom Maven. The entries from both blogs will be combined for one drawing.


The How’s of Chores

So far we have covered the why’s, when’s and what’s of chores. Today we will talk about the how’s. Once you decide that it is time to have your child(ren) start being responsible for some chores, then you need to decide what chores each child will be responsible for, how you will track the chores and if you will be paying for the chores accomplished. In my next article we will discuss my thoughts on paying for chores but we will discuss the other ideas now.

First make a list of your children and the chores you want them to be responsible for. Divide the chores based on age and ability Next decide how you are going to keep track of the chores. Are you going to use a daily chore chart, a weekly chore chart? Is this chart something you are going to create yourself, buy or download? Are the children going to be responsible for the same chores every week or do the chores rotate? Don’t let these questions overwhelm you but, a well planned out system helps eliminate problems from the start. Since my boys are close in age and could do most of the same chores, I created a pocket chart. Each boy had 6 pockets. Then I created 12 index cards with chores on them. Every Sunday night I would shuffle the cards and hold them blank side to the boys and they would take turns picking cards. Those cards would become their chores for the week. (This also made them responsible for the chore selection and lessened the amount they could complain about their assignments for the week because they did the choosing.)  We have also used more traditional weekly chore charts. where they can check off a completed chore and then, when I checked their chores I could mark the chore completed.

Now, you can’t just post a chore chart on the kitchen wall and expect things to get done. As I said in a previous post, chores are not about getting your kids to do your work, they are about training your children to take responsibility for helping manage their home. I suggest having a family meeting. Explain to the children the why’s of chores and what is expected of them. Explain the chore chart and how it works.

You need to take the time and teach each chore to your children. You may even want to start with 1-2 chores each and then add 1-2 more each week as they learn the new skills. How do you want the bathroom sinks cleaned? What products and tools do you use to get the job done? I have typed out a “how-to clean” guide for each room in the house and taped it inside a cabinet door or hung it on a wall for the children to reference when necessary.

In the beginning you will have to remind your children about completing their chores. The goal is that they will successfully complete their chores without you reminding them to do them. This does take time but if you are consistent, they will succeed.

In my next post I will be sharing my thoughts on paying for chores.  What do you think? Do you pay for chores? Do you punish for chores not completed? Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with chores in your household.


The When’s and What’s of Chores

When should my child start doing chores? What chores can they do at what ages? Are questions I am often asked by moms. Every child is different, so you need to base what jobs you give your child by what they can accomplish. You will probably be surprised though, most kids are able to do more than they are ever asked to do. A child as young as 2can be responsible for basics like putting her toys away and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. By age 3 you can add basic hygiene like brushing teeth and hair. At age 4 is when true chore responsibilities can begin.

Most 4-5 year olds can be responsible for picking up their toys/bedroom, making their bed, dressing themselves, brushing teeth, washing face and hands, helping separate the laundry, putting dirty clothes in the hamper and putting clean, folded clothes away in their drawers.

By elementary school you can add feeding pets, doing homework, practicing for music lessons, etc. By age 8-9 children can start doing the laundry, this was my boys’ favorite chore! They can also start doing more pet care at this age. They can help in the kitchen by loading the dishwasher, cleaning the microwave, washing pots and pans by hand, wiping down counters, tables, chairs and cabinet doors as well as sweeping the floor. In the bathroom they can clean the sinks, toilets and bathtub. Taking out the trash, dusting and vacuuming can also be added during the elementary school years.

Once they enter middle school they should be folding clothes and towels, mowing the lawn, learning to cook and iron. One of my goals when having my children do chores is that when they grow up and leave my house I want them to know how to care for themselves, their homes, and their families. Now that my boys are in high school they each have 1 night a week that they plan and cook dinner as well as their other chores. I was blessed to marry a man who knew how to take care of our home and I am determined that when the time comes, my boys will bless their wives with housekeeping skills.


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