Life’s a Beach – Unless You’re a Mom Headed to the Beach with Your Littles Alone

So you’re headed to the beach with your tiny village of miniature you’s and you’re thinking “I think I can, I think I can” while also thinking “don’t forget the damn sunscreen!”.  Those trips to the beach without your significant other are tough. Only the strong survive – but you CAN do it!

Yep – we have all done it! Made it all the way to the beach with only one arm floaty. It might be one of the most self defeating feelings on the planet. How could I do that? This is going to be a tough day! 

The good news is you can get through it, with very little issues – but preparation is a MUST! Here are a few tips to get yourself through all those trips to the beach so your day is (mostly) smooth sailing!


Check lists are a must

It can even be a permanent checklist that you perfect and then laminat but do it BEFORE the day of the trip. Get the kids involved as well. Unless you have triplets that are under 12 months, chances are you can get a few good suggestions from them for the check list – things you may not have thought of until one of your sweet little ones beg for it while you’re basking in the sunlight of the beautiful vitamin D provided by the suns rays!

Cover all your bases 

Necessities, entertainment, snacks, etc? Identify and locate them all! Heck – pack the car the night before if possible! It’s different for every family due to the different stages of life for each child but you know what you need. Think about the previous trips to the beach.. what made it easier? What made it harder? Plan for each! 


Recruit your army

Your kids can help! Anything from making sandwhiches to finding sand toys, you should not do all the work alone. Designate a child, based on their abilities, to a task of some kind. Obviously you wouldn’t ask a two year old to make sandwhiches but they could help gather their floaties or sand toys.  Expect them to contribute and future beach trips will be easier.

Bottom line

Prepare for the unexpected and expected. Change of clothes, sunscreen, towels, food, buckets, chairs, hats bandaids, etc. Oh, and of course the camera for all those amazing memories you’re creating with your little ones –  trust me, they won’t remember the one arm floaty that was forgotten but they will remember the giant sandcastle that was built while the sun was setting on that beautiful summer evening. 

Kids in the Kitchen with Sarah

***GIVEAWAY***

Kids in the Kitchen with Sarah
Summer Cooking Camps

Winner will get their choice of camp for their child, ages 4 – 12.  The choice includes the following weeks:

6/6 – 6/9 Pizza, Pasta & Pomodoro

6/13 – 6/16 Around the World

6/20 – 6/23 Spa Week

6/27 – 6/30 All American Barbeque

The classes run from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM each day and include kitchen tools, t shirt, recipes and all food.  

The value is $130 and you can register on Sarah’s Facebook page: Kids in the Kitchen with Sarah. 

She would also like to offer a $10 discount to any Everyday Mom member who would like to sign up for a camp.

***How to enter***

Comment your child’s Favorite dish and you’ll be entered to win. Live drawing on Friday, May 26th at 2:00pm. 

Clean Eating Crockpot Meals

Written By: Lisa Valentine

Being a mom can be hectic and being a working mother makes it even crazier, especially when I’m at work in middle of dinner time. That makes it even harder to make sure my family is fed a hot meal. When I first became a mom my husband and I both worked different shifts and neither were the typical 9-5. With my husband working 12 hour shifts and my first baby starting to eat real food, I was at a loss for how to have a hot meal for my family when I could not be there. That’s when I started my crockpot experimenting.
Pinterest became my friend. I just started trying different recipes that I found and started making a list of which recipes were at hit. Not all got put on that list, some got altered and tried again, some got the boot. There were a lot of failed attempts and wasted food but I got better at picking meals to cook in the crockpot and it became my saving grace.

   I’m not just talking to working mothers here. I know how crazy kids’ schedules can be and it’s hard to cook dinner every night, especially when your kids have sports and different activities after school. We end up hitting the drive through because we are at a loss for what to cook or you just don’t have the time.  No matter what kind of mother you are; working, stay at home, work from home or homeschooling, the crockpot is THE go-to mom hack. Even when I’m not working I use it because there are some nights I know I won’t have the time or energy to cook. You know, those days you are out all day running errands or doing something fun like going to a theme park, the last thing you want to do when you get home is cook.

   Before I had my second baby I knew I needed to plan ahead this time. That’s when I made a list of our favorite recipes and made some freeze ahead crockpot meals to have on hand post baby. Nutrition is so important when you are postpartum and getting little to zero sleep usually leaves us in survival mode, eating whatever comes our way. This was a life saver when we got home from the hospital! All we had to do was decide the night before what we wanted for dinner, let it thaw out a little bit in the refrigerator and throw it in the crock pot the next morning.

When I became a health and fitness coach and started getting into clean eating, I started altering the recipes to fit our clean eating lifestyle. I knew this was something that I could not keep to myself and could use to help other moms who struggle with putting nutritious meals on the table because time is limited.
   Sometimes time plays a factor, even with the crockpot. Sometimes I forget to put it on in the morning or just didn’t find the time. My shortcut for that is adjusting the cook time. Below is a conversion chart for crockpot cooking.
LOW setting   HIGH setting
7 hours            3 hours
8 hours            4 hours
9 hours            5 hours
10 hours          6 hours
11 hours          7 hours
12 hours          8 hours
My go-to versatile crockpot hack is chicken. Throw in some chicken breasts with a little bit of water or chicken broth (low for 8 hours) and shred it when done. You can use this throughout the week for several recipes and alter to your liking. Some ideas are,
Chicken Salad
Buffalo chicken
BBQ chicken
Quesadillas
Enchiladas
Burritos (or burrito bowl)
Stir fry
To put my clean eating twist on it, I use organic chicken. I will serve atop of a salad, quinoa or brown rice or wrapped in romaine hearts or Ezekiel tortillas. I also recently discovered NUCO coconut wraps, they are a natural alternative to tortillas. I thought they were more flexible and held together better than the Ezekiel tortillas. They tasted good to me, but if you don’t like the taste of coconut, you may not like them. I ordered mine off of Amazon.
I hope these tips bring you some relief so you can still eat healthy while surviving parenthood. Bellow I added some of my favorite freeze ahead crockpot meals with grocery list to help on those days you are in a pinch.

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Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons cornstarch or 2 eggs
2 large clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp salt + fresh pepper
For the sauce:
2 tsp olive oil
8 cloves garlic, smashed
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil  

1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs, about 1/8th cup each.
2. Flash freeze on parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer then place into ziplock bags.
3. Make sauce ahead or when ready to put in crock pot – In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden, being careful not to burn. 

5. Pour crushed tomatoes into the crock pot with bay leaf. Add garlic and oil.
Drop meatballs into the sauce, cover and set crock pot to low, 4 to 6 hours. When meatballs are ready, adjust salt and pepper to taste and add fresh chopped basil or parsley.
Serve over favorite pasta.
Write on bag:
1. When ready, pour sauce and place in Crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
2. Serve over favorite pasta.

Easy Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
Ingredients
1 1/2 to 2 pounds stew meat
32 oz beef broth
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 carrot
1 medium onion
1 stalk celery
8 oz green beans
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
Add 1 T oil to a large pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add about 2 pounds of cubed beef and cook until browning some. About 10 minutes.
While the meat is browning, clean and prep veggies. One stalk of celery chopped medium. One carrot cut into 1/4 inch medallions. One medium onion chopped medium. Also 8 oz of fresh or frozen green beans.
Add all to freezer bag. Add 32 oz beef broth (you can do this now or when you dump it all in the crock pot), one 15 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained), 1/4 t thyme, 1/4 t marjoram and one bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well
Write on bag:
1.When ready, cook on high for 4-5 hours until meat and carrots are tender or 8-10 on low

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
Ingredients
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 peppers, sliced
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
1/4 to ½ cup chicken broth, depending on preference (leave this out if you prefer a drier fajita filling)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
Squirt of lime juice

Instructions
Combine sliced onions, peppers & chicken in a ziplock bag
Pour chicken broth over top (you can do this now or when you are ready to cook)
Sprinkle everything with cumin, salt, and chili powder.
Give a nice quirt of lime juice over the top.

Write on bag:
1. When ready, cook on low for 4-8 hours (or on High for 4 hours) or until meat is spreadable.
2. When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon with your choice of fixings.

Chicken Vegetable Soup
Ingredients
1 – 2 lbs chicken, skinless, boneless
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup corn, frozen
1 cup edemame (soy beans), frozen
1 14oz can tomatoes, diced
4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. pepper, ground
1 tsp. parsley, dried
Instructions
Add all ingredients to a zip lock bag and freeze.

Write on bag:
1. When ready, cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

* To shred chicken – I keep the chicken in the Crockpot and take two forks to pull apart the chicken. The chicken should be falling completely apart.

Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients
1lb chicken tenders
3 T olive oil
1 cup raw honey
2 T sesame seeds
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Directions
Place all ingredients in freezer bag, toss to coat and freeze.

Write on bag:
1. When ready, place in crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
2. Remove chicken & shred, and then return to sauce.
3. Can serve over hot cooked rice or serve in lettuce wraps.

Crock Pot SW Steak
Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs. stew meat
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. jar chunky salsa
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
Directions                                                                                                                                          Place onions and garlic in bottom of freezer bag and top with meat. Mix salsa, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper in small bowl and pour over meat. Top with drained black beans.

Write on bag:
1. Cook on low for 7-9 hours until meat is tender
2. Serve with favorite rice

Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients
1 – 2 lbs chicken sausage
2 peppers, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp parsley

Directions
Flash freeze sausage on parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer.
Place onions and peppers in bottom of freezer bag and top with meat. Add in can of tomatoes and parsley, pour over meat.

Write on bag:
1. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours
2. Serve with favorite rice or in favorite rolls

Grocery list
Meat & dairy
4 pounds stew meat
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
2 lbs chicken, skinless, boneless
3 lb chicken tenders
2 lb Ground turkey
1-2 lbs turkey sausage
4 eggs

Pantry
Whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
32 oz beef broth
1 32 oz & 1 can chicken broth
3 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes
Lime juice
Honey
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Extra virgin olive oil
16 oz. jar chunky salsa
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

Spices
Salt
Pepper
Sesame seeds
Parsley
Chili powder
Oregano
Bay leaves
Thyme
Cumin
Marjoram
Basil
Cornstarch (if subbing for eggs)
Frozen
Green beans
Corn
Edemame (soy beans)

Produce
2 bulbs garlic
fresh chopped basil & parsley
Carrots
6 medium onion
Celery
5 peppers
*Don’t forget freezer bags, your favorite fixings for garnish and favorite rice/pastas.

Freezer bags
Cheese?
Salsa?
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Rice
Pasta
Romaine (for lettuce wraps) and/or side salad for soups.
Whatever else you like…

Cake, Cake Pops and Cupcakes… oh my!

Looking for an activity to offset the dreaded summer vacation boredom? Do you love all things Sweet? Always wanted to make those cute desserts you see on Pinterest but don’t know where to start? Looking to improve on your decorating skills?

The Sweet Tooth Cakery is bringing you decorating classes to create fabulous cakes, cupcakes and cake pop designs! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to create fabulous desserts. We will share recipes, best practices and you will leave with new knowledge and your beautiful creations!

We have some great offers for Everyday Moms!

Everyday Moms get 10% off all classes with the code EM10.
If you book 2 classes, you can use the code 20OFF for $20 off your total.
If you book before May 17, you can use the code EARLYBIRD10 for an additional 10% off!

Click here to book now

(For anyone taking a full day of classes, there is a 1 hour lunch break. Everyone is welcome to pack a lunch, no need to leave while waiting for the next class to start.)
We are offering 6 different classes over 4 weeks in June. These classes are for all skill levels, ages 10 and up (except Mommy & Me). Classes are $60 each and you will take home your creations! All tools, ingredients and equipment will be provided. You don’t need to bring anything except your excitement (and your sweet tooth)!

All courses will be held at Brandon’s Event Space, 137 S Parsons Ave., Brandon, Fl 33511. (Corner of Parsons and Robertson)

Cake Pop Basics. Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 10am-12pm

In this 2-hour interactive course, you will learn step-by-step how to prepare delicious cake pops! In addition to learning the complete process, you will also receive recipes, tips for choosing chocolate, the different sticks and packaging available as well as how to customize with sprinkles, sugar and other decorations. Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

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Basic Cake Pops

Advanced Cake Pop Design Wednesday, June 7, 2017 1pm-3pm
Take your cake pops to the next level! Create designs from popular movies, most used emojis and look alike ice cream cones! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to make mouth-watering creations! Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

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Cupcake Decorating (buttercream flowers) Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10am-12pm
Each student will learn piping skills including easy ways to fill piping bags, the different piping tips and the designs they create. We will learn rosettes, sunflowers and the beautiful “cupcake swirl”. Each student will take home 6 beautifully decorated cupcakes.

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Cake Pop Basics – Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 1pm-3pm
In this 2-hour interactive course, you will learn step-by-step how to prepare delicious cake pops! In addition to learning the complete process, you will also receive recipes, tips for choosing chocolate, the different sticks and packaging available as well as how to customize with sprinkles, sugar and other decorations. Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

 

Click here to book your class now!

Mommy & Me Decorating Fun Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10am-12pm

Bring the kids to make some delicious designs. Join us to make mini “Poppy Troll” cupcakes, donut sugar cookies and chocolate lollipops! Take home and enjoy your creations! All children must be accompanied by an adult. 1 ticket is good for 1 adult and 1 child (under age 10).

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Chocolates & Dipped Desserts Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1pm-3pm
Learn the art of making molded chocolates and chocolate dipped treats. Including: marshmallows, Rice Krispy Treats, Pretzels, Oreos and Apples. We will teach you the best chocolate to use, how to prepare, color and add designs and fillings. Take home your delicious creations!

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Advanced Cake Pop Design Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 10am-12pm
Take your cake pops to the next level! Create designs from popular movies, most used emojis and look alike ice cream cones! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to make mouth-watering creations! Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

Mini Cakes that Wow! Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 1pm3pm
We will create 2 very popular designs using pre-made mini cakes. You will learn various buttercream piping techniques and simple fondant design tricks to create a super popular unicorn cake and a super colorful drippy candy cake. Then, take your delicious designs home with you.

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About the Instructor
Pam has been a professional baker and cake decorator since 2011. Her love for cake decorating began when she would bake cakes for her children’s school bake sales. She currently runs The Sweet Tooth Cakery and is the mom to 4 children.

The REAL Mother’s Day Gift Guide

On my personal blog, I wrote about all the great things/experiences you can purchase for Mom this Mother’s Day in a gift guide. I’ll admit, I’ve had my eye on this Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag for a hot minute, but I would never splurge the $250 for a bag on myself on a regular basis, so that’s what I “asked” for, but it got me thinking. . .

While that bag would be such an appreciated gift, there are SO many things I would love to have for Mother’s Day that are absolutely free (or very close to it).

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  1. Gratitude. Being a stay-at-home mom, I take care of the kids all day. Diapers, Outfits, Sweeping, Meal Prep, trying to get my exercise in, picking up the toys, scrubbing literally everyone (but my husband’s) butts. I just want to feel like I am appreciated. I want to feel like the decision I made not to go back to work is something that’s WORTH it to everyone in my family.
  2. A Handwritten Card. It won’t be long before my boys will be making these cards in school classes I know, but being that they are so small now, it means even more that their Dad took the time to sit down, create an experience with them, and make something just for me. There’s nothing more special than an illegible scribble from an 11 month old holding a crayon for the first time.
  3. THE DAY OFF. I don’t want to cook, I don’t want to clean, I don’t want to change a diaper. I want to be able to put on a full face of make-up in peace, and curl my hair without worrying about someone grabbing the curling iron off the counter and burning their face. I want to take the normal 90 minutes it takes to get everyone dressed and out the door, and spend that preparing MYSELF for a relaxing day where I’ll actually look decent enough to take a few selfies.
  4. A bathroom break without ANY surprise visitors. It’s just a fantasy I’m sure, but it would just be SO nice to have my “morning meeting” without having someone burst in for something.
  5. Brunch. Enough said right? Calories don’t count on Mother’s Day so I want pancakes, doughnuts AND all the bacon. Please and Thank you.
  6. I would like to be able to be the ONLY person who uses my cell phone all day. For a full 24 hrs, it would be nice not to have to surrender my iPhone to the demands of YouTube Kids addicts.
  7. Flowers. They can be paper, drawn, or real, but I don’t get flowers enough, and this is the day that I’m really hoping for them.
  8. All the cuddles. It would be so nice, if instead of running and jumping until he passes out, my toddler somehow managed to snuggle up with me for a post-brunch nap. As Mothers, we all know that sleeping children are the sweetest, most angelic creatures in the entire universe, and I just want to soak that in for a half of an hour on Mother’s Day.
  9. To watch ANYTHING I WANT on TV. I wanna catch up on Criminal Minds y’all, I’ve got 3 episodes just waiting in the DVR queue but somehow Moana has sucked up all the TV time this week. (Although I’ll admit I am kind of in LOVE with “How Far I’ll Go” and it may or may not be on my iTunes playlist.)
  10. Speaking of iTunes, can I please listen to MY music all day? When we’re traveling, while I’m getting ready, I just wanna belt out Taylor Swift all day WITHOUT those rude eye rolls the hubs can give me.
  11. Also- can we please block the “Daddy Finger” song on YouTube for just this ONE day?! It’s awful, my kids love it, and it’s inevitably stuck in my head ALL day after Cash has his iPad time. I just don’t want to hear it, like at all. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about DO NOT GOOGLE, you’ll regret it immediately, just praise sweet baby Jesus you have some ignorant bliss when it comes to this tune.)
  12. A long fancy bath. I wanna use bubble bath AND a bath bomb, light candles, and shave my freaking legs without rushing to get clean! No one coming in trying to splash in my water or throwing mini dinosaurs in with me while I condition my hair. I want to exfoliate and moisturize and use that fancy face mask I got last year for Mother’s Day but haven’t had time to use yet.
  13. Sweet Kisses. Last but certainly not least, I just want all the sugar from my family. Sure, this day is about celebrating me, Mama, but I wouldn’t be able to celebrate this day without these babes, and I just want to soak up all of their sweet little kisses before they become grown and think it’s gross when I playfully bite their chunky little cheeks.

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What do you REALLY want this Mother’s Day?

Hey, Mom and Dad- It’s not your fault.

By: Taylor Arellano

I was a brand new Mom with a sweet little newborn boy. He was the center of my whole world, my iPhone was filled with nothing but pictures of him throughout every part of our day no matter how insignificant. I lived and breathed for every involuntary smile, coo, and wiggle.

Like any new Mom, I spammed my Facebook news feed with pictures of my new baby all day, every day. I was so proud of this little life Zach and I had brought into the world, and I wanted to share his never ending cuteness (no matter how insignificant the photo really was) with the whole world.

So, the day I received a Facebook message in regards to a picture I posted of a photo of my then 2 month old son still makes me question myself to this day…

I had just started my transition out of the Military and was home often by myself with Isaac. Being a brand new, young Mom I was learning how to balance home chores with trying to feed and please a newborn, as well as apply for new jobs, buy a new home, and more. These days were absolutely crazy to say the least.

One day, Isaac was especially fussy, and I distinctly remember it was a day where I needed to be on the phone to talk to the lenders for the home we were purchasing. Wondering if it would work, I turned on a quiet T.V. Channel and placed Isaac in his bouncer in front of the T.V. Stand to occupy him while I was on the phone. To my surprise, it worked, and I actually thought it was cute that my 2 month old was so entertained by a completely random T.V. show, so of course I snapped a pic and uploaded it to Facebook thinking how cute it was that my newborn was just lounging around watching a morning talk show.

It wasn’t but a couple hours later that I signed into Facebook to find a private message from an old High School classmate that I had not even remembered speaking to in at least 8 years. But what was even more shocking, was the context of her message.

In short, the message basically read that she was attending College to be an early childhood educator, and she wanted to advise me that letting young children watch television was extremely damaging to their development and that my “adorable son” (Yeah, she tried to bring me a up a little before she kicked me down) could actually end up with a speech delay or other cognitive disabilities. There was a lot more detail and degrading comments in her message, but I will spare you those.

Immediately, I felt awful. I was a brand new Mom, I had no idea what I was doing. Was that hour of T.V. going to damage his ability to speak in a couple of years? When is he allowed to start watching T.V.? Why do they even make those baby shows? The questions in my head were endless, but I knew that I did not want to ask this “friend” the answers to these questions because I felt degraded and dumb.

Fast forward 18 months later. Isaac is diagnosed as Speech Delayed.

If you don’t think that message from my former classmate popped into my head, think again.

Zach and I were sad, we were worried, we felt so bad. Did we do something wrong? Were we failing Isaac in his development? We by no means used the T.V. as a babysitter, we played outside with him, we played games with him, we read books. Was this still somehow our fault?

The short answer to those questions- NO.

We were assured by our pediatrician, speech therapists, hearing evaluation specialists and more that THESE THINGS HAPPEN. We were good parents.

I am a believer in science and medicine, I am a Nursing Student myself, and I know there is a clinical basis for almost everything. I know that there are predisposing factors for illnesses, developmental delays, etc.

…But I also know that I am a good Mom. Zach is an amazing Dad. Our Son is a healthy and curious little boy, and his speech development is a work in progress that we see improvements in DAILY. We are doing our best as parents, and Isaac is doing his best too.

It took a long time for me to stop blaming myself. I would think back on the message from my old classmate and wonder if this was my fault. If the occasional Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode made my little boy incapable of speaking at an age appropriate level. If I should have taken our T.V. and completely left it in the garage for 3 years since according to an early education STUDENT ” a child should see no T.V. until age 3″.

I need to add that I am in no way trying to discredit the knowledge of this person. I am sure she knew a lot about the subject. I also understand that television and other factors do have significant effects on a child’s development. That is not the point here though.

I wondered if that classmate (who had no children) knew what it was like to be so burnt out from being home with an 11 month old for 7 days straight and had 1 shower in that time frame- knew what it was like to just need 30 minutes of quiet so she could be a better Mom.

In addition to understanding that we cannot blame ourselves, we also need to think about how our words may affect another parent. Whenever I feel like I have a piece of advice for another parent, I stop first. I think about how I felt when I got that Facebook message.

Is saying this going to make them feel inferior in their parenting skills and decisions? Is saying this going to be helpful? Am I going to make him/her feel like they have done something wrong? Am I stealing this Mom’s joy right now?

OF COURSE- if a child’s safety or well-being is in danger, there are appropriate ways to intervene. But unless you have A LOT and I mean A LOT of probable cause to think someone is really affecting their child’s well-being, we have to think twice before we hand out unsolicited advice to parents.

The words of someone completely insignificant to my family’s life had a lasting impact on me.

Be a good friend. Be a good fellow parent. But be considerate.

And to my fellow Mom’s and Dad’s with a child who may be needing some extra help in one or more areas of development, hang in there. Progress comes with time, and I know very well how the wait for signs of progress can seem like ages. Be gentle on yourself, and on your child. The first time they call you “Mama” or “Dada” with true recognition and affiliation with the word, you will cry. That first “I love you” will make your heart burst, and it is so worth the wait.

Let’s Party Like It’s Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo is an annual celebration of  when the Mexican Army’s defeated the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This is a great day to make some super cute crafts and snacks with the kids that will fit any type of fiesta that you may have.

  • Sombrero and Maracas

Who doesn’t love a cute sombrero with some fun maracas?!?  The maracas are made with leftover Easter eggs. Fill the eggs with some rice. Tape together 2 plastic spoons with colorful tape and tape the egg onto the spoons. You can use different colors/patterns of tape to make your fiesta even more fun. The Sombrero is a simple plate with cup glued to it. You can add cute pom pom balls, markers, glitter etc. to decorate the sombrero.

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  • Mini Pinatas

These adorable pinatas can be filled with whatever treats your kids enjoy. You can use candy, stickers, temporary tattoos, etc. to personalize them.

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What You Will Need:

• Paper cones
• Small candy/stickers/etc. . .
• Hot glue gun and glue
• Scissors
• Ribbon
• Crepe paper or streamers

  • Cut a strip of ribbon and tie a knot at one end. Thread the ribbon through the botton of one of the cones with the knot on the inside of the cone. This will allow you to hang the finished pinata.
  • Fill that same cone with several treats. Along the top edge of the cone use hot glue and then carefully place a second paper cone over the top to create the pinata
  • To decorate, place hot glue around the two cones and use the crepe paper to hide the seam.
  • Let your kids break them open with a wooden spoon.
  • Enjoy!
  • Cinco De Mayo Dippers

These delicious snacks will let your kiddos enjoy their very own dip and you don’t have to worry about double dippers. .  🙂

cincodemayo3

What You Will Need:

  • Refried beans
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Black Olives
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced Tomatoes

Layer ingredients into clear cups. Top with the olives, cheese and tomatoes. Use tortilla chips to scoop and Enjoy!