BabyShowersByMail 6 Month Diaper And Wipes Giveaway!

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This is such an awesome giveaway! Who doesn’t need diapers for a new baby? And delivered?! Hello awesomeness!!

How many new time parents think about all the diapers they need. Even parents that have had more than one child remember the hundreds and hundreds of diapers they need while your little one is growing up. Have diapers on your list grocery list constantly or perhaps you are planning on a new edition to your family soon? Well, check out this AWESOME company that will DELIVER diapers and wipes.
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Shaking, Someone Grabbed My Baby!

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Part three to my homeschooling series was to come out tonight but I haven’t finished writing it. I planned on finishing it after Jon got home tonight. We had our first homeschool field trip today and it was awesome, but this evening something horrifying happened.

Please, KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON YOUR KIDS! Tonight at the McDonalds a homeless woman grabbed Lucas told him to come with her and tried to walk out with him. I was right there and grabbed him out of her arms, while Jon came over and told her to get her hands off him. The police were called but she was gone. But it only takes a second people, it happened so fast and even with me watching and walking towards her as I saw her approaching Lucas (I mean I was so close I could hear her telling him to come with her, I was just telling Jon we were sitting in the high top which was right next to the register) I couldn’t believe what was happening. I shudder to think if I had my back turned getting ketchup or a straw and she had those extra seconds to get out the door. Seriously. I am still shaking.

 

So forgive me. I will get it posted tomorrow but I need to call it a night. I am just too shaken to write or even think. Praise to God for protecting my baby.

 

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iMyne $1,000 Back To School Cash Giveaway! Ends (9/10)

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I am super excited to team up with other bloggers and bring you guys this awesome cash giveaway. I mean who can’t use some extra cash come back to school time? Even if you homeschool you can put the money towards supplies, field trips, decor and more.

Did you know you can shop, earn, and donate all at once? You are already shopping online or on your mobile devices, so why not donate to a good cause while doing so. iMyne allows you to do just that. Many of the retailers you already know and love actually offer money back as an incentive to shop their sites, but these incentives are rarely cashed in on. iMyne works with these sites to send those savings back to you as well as your favorite charitable cause.
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Homeschool Supplies on a Budget

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I shop for all of my homeschool supplies on a budget and quite a tight one. I find the best deals, discounts and use as many free resources as possible. Before we get into this, please check out part one of my homeschooling blog series, Why We Homeschool – a Teacher’s Decision to Homeschool.

Homeschool supplies on a budget

When I began planning for this school year I did some research on the curriculum, supplies and how to schedule. I made a list of the recommended supplies and some of the most recommended curriculum (in my homeschooling groups). Then I broke it all down in an excel spreadsheet at the current prices. You can see my list at the bottom of the post. Of course there is a ton of great stuff out there but I am not trying to spend a fortune! We are on a tight budget so here is how I planned out curriculum and supply list out.

Here are my money saving tips!

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Why We Homeschool – Homeschooling Blog Series Part 1

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why we homeschoolThe school year has started and I am super excited – this is going to be our first year homeschooling! I am a certified K-6 elementary teacher but have not yet used my degree! I became pregnant with Lucas soon after I graduated from college and was making good money freelancing so I never pursued a career in the public school system. I am blessed to have such an awesome job, but I absolutely love teaching. I am excited that I can be home with my boys and also put that 45K degree to use. (Not that I wouldn’t HS without an education degree, it is just a bonus.)

A Little Bit About My Teaching Experience

While I do not have any experience in the classroom as a paid teacher, I did complete three internships while in the college of education at USF. These internships took course over three semesters and with each one I gained more experience and responsibility of a class. In my final internship I taught 2nd grade and I loved it. After a few weeks of warming up, I was eventually turned over the reins for the majority of the semester. That meant I was there M-F working from 7:15 am to 4pm (often longer) -it was full time, no pay. I had an amazing teacher to study under for that final internship and I learned so much from her. I learned about organization, planning classroom management and so much more – I am incredibly grateful for that experience.

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Car Seat Safety: Common Mistakes Can Put Your Child’s Life At Risk

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car seat safetyCar seat safety is one of the things I am most passionate about as a parent. I cannot tell you how many babies I see strapped in wrong or not in a car seat at all, on the daily basis. To me this is not something that should be taken lightly. It is like being in a roller coaster with no safety harness. Every time you get in the car, your child is at risk, so ensuring they are as safe as possible should be the number one priority at all times. Forgive me if this post is not as lighthearted as usual. I have seen several other bloggers and friends posting pics of their kids and they are in their seats wrong and it is scary. I am genuinely concerned! This is something I am passionate about and I do plan on becoming a CPS technician.

Before Lucas was born, we took a car seat safety class. Then they came out and checked our car seat to make sure it was installed properly. You can also get your local fire department to check your car seat. Trust me, it is well worth the trip.

We started out with a Graco Travel System. The base stays in the car permanently, and the car seat snaps in and out of the base, as well as the stroller. This is very convenient for small babies.  You don’t have to worry about getting them in and out of the seat from the car and it easily snaps into the stroller, which is really nice when the baby is sleeping.

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Why We Stopped Eating In Front Of The TV

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Somewhere in between baby one and two we got into a bad habit. I would allow the kids to eat meals in front of the TV. Over time, instead of it being an occasional thing, it became a routine. Breakfast and lunch were typically served in front of the TV. I even moved their little arts and craft table in the living room at one point. Why We Stopped Eating In Front Of the TV

It was partial exhaustion and partial laziness on my part and I would always tell myself the next meal would be at the table. Then it got to where dinners and snacks also were in front of the TV! Sounds like my kids watch a lot of TV, huh? Well they really don’t! While we don’t “limit” screen time, we do try to make sure it is balanced out. The majority of their time is spent doing arts and crafts, reading books, independent play time and outside time. The boys get about an hour of screen time a day, maybe two if they watch a movie because it is raining or super hot outside. So how did we get into this bad habit? It just slowly happened over time and during the summer we became very laid back. Too laid back.

After our family vacation and having tons of reflection time, I really analyzed the things that were making my days more difficult, and how that would only increase as my husband returned to teaching and working 2 (maybe 3) jobs.  I realized that meals in front of the TV were not helping me, but in fact they were making my life much harder.

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Toddler Trickery: How Do You Get Veggies Into Your Kids?

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My little dude is soooo onto me when I try to give him greens with dinner. It doesn’t stop me, but he never eats them. With breakfast we offer a fruit, which he usually eats, and with lunch and dinner we also offer a fruit and some kind of veggie. But he never eats them!

 

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Breastfeeding Basics: Things I Wish I Would Have Known..Or Did And It Didn’t Matter

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Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging experiences a new mother can face. I knew I was determined, no matter what, to breastfeed exclusively, but no amount of research or advice could prepare me for what was in store.

Lucas was pretty calm at first. We nursed right after he was born and several times there after perfectly fine. But then he got hungry. And I mean hungry. Little did I know, this was normal for him. I called the lactation consultant. Was I doing something wrong? I felt like I was starving my child! When he wasn’t on the boob, he was hysterical. She was wonderful and assured me that nothing was wrong, my son was just hungry. I was producing more than enough colostrum and he was getting it fine. His latch was perfect, my flow was perfect. He just wanted to eat 24/7, so to me, it seemed like something else must be going on.

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Bullies At The Park

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I was so excited when we moved into our new home. We live down the street from the park where Jon and I both have fond childhood memories. It had become routine for Lucas, Liam and I to pack up in the morning and hit the park. We would spend a good part of the morning there and often eat a picnic lunch. It was a fantastic routine.

Sadly we have stopped going to the park as much. We live in a great neighborhood, we absolutely love it, but it seems but no matter where you go, parents just aren’t parenting.

Bullies At The Park

In our case it seems that most of these children were up at the park with parents or nannies, who were chatting on their phones, not really supervising the kids at all. On several occasions older kids came up to Lucas and pushed, hit threw dirt or moss on him, smashed his truck and said mean things, “like go away, I don’t like you.”

Lucas was not the only younger child this is happening to. Several at Lucas’ friends parents said that they had the same experience. (For the most part the toddlers his age are supervised.)

Now is this the everyday occurrence? No, absolutely not. But the fact that an older child is in anyway being mean to a much younger child is unacceptable. And the fact that this stuff was happening with me have hovering right over him (call me helicopter parent I don’t care) I would hate to imagine the things that would happen if I wasn’t!

In most of these cases I was able to talk to the child, redirect him and things were fine. It was clear the kid just needed some attention and guidance. However in once instance there were much older boys, and Jon was the one at the park. He redirected Lucas and told the boys that they were not going to throw Lucas’ truck or talk to him like that. Their parents were no where to be found.

Another mother, one of the regulars too, had her son come over and pay with Lucas and told Jon that the same thing had just happened to her toddler aged son. Luckily, Lucas has yet to really get too upset or have his feelings hurt. I don’t think he understands fully yet. He was incredibly upset when someone got physical with him though. And that really set me off because he doesn’t know that kind of behavior otherwise.

I just don’t understand why parents aren’t at least watching their kids. Why where there is clearly an incident occurring and another parent is having to step in to redirect their kid, no one approaches me. They have not a clue as to what is going on! Sure, some may say “it is something he is going to have to deal with later in life.” Really? Why? Because parents are choosing not to parent? I sure as heck wouldn’t allow Lucas to treat another kid that way. Sure, he will have to deal with kids being harsh, even mean, and there will be times where he is those things as well.  But I will be there to help guide him, build his confidence and teach him how to treat people. Especially those younger.

At two, no child deserves to be bullied in any way. As his parent, it is my job to protect him as much as possible. I just had no idea that it would be from bullies at such as young age. It makes me sad. And it makes me sick that these kids are starving for their parents attention and haven’t been taught how to treat people smaller than them.

Let me also be clear in saying that there are definite instances where another toddler or even older child doesn’t share, snatches a toy, is mean etc. and their parent steps in with me and tends to the situation. Those instances, while not okay, are normal and teachable moments. I am talking about people NOT parenting their kids, not teaching them right from wrong.

I have found that the older kids are there later in the day, so on days we go, we head up very early now and leave mid morning. Lucas still gets time to play with his friends, dig in the dirt and gets some sunshine and fresh air. And we don’t have to worry about older kids bullying younger ones, and the kids at that time have very attentive parents.

It is just sad that bullying is so extreme, but it is easy to see how it starts. People need to stop popping out babies because they can. Parenting is a joy but it is also serious business – act like it! You have an obligation to your children.

What is your experience with your kids at the park?

 

UPDATE: I wrote this post a year ago and never published it. I just wrote it to sort out my feelings. Now we have had several instances with park kids! Different parks too! One older kid dressed as bat man PUNCHED Lucas right in front of me, and Lucas was not provoking in any way. It was insane. Where were his parents? They eventually came over as I held my hysterical 4 year old and fumed with my friend. This kid terrorized so many other kids at the park that day, we met a few of them in the ice cream shop.

What I noticed is that parents aren’t watching their children. And it seems to be older kids picking on younger ones. Kids are all over while parents text, talk or sit in their cars. Sadly, at paid events, like Gymboree we have not had one negative experience. Now, i am not saying this happens all the time, not at all, but I simply find it unacceptable that parents are no where to be found when it does occur and that it’s a much older kid every time!