Browsing Tag

parenting tips

How to throw a DIY #Minecraft Birthday party

My kids love Minecraft, the 3D-like sandbox building video game, and so much so that they have Minecraft posters, spend much of their free play time on the weekend reading Wiki entries on how to navigate different worlds and also read books on the game. 
Now I’m thinking of throwing the eldest a birthday party and would try to skip the party planning route and instead do a DIY party. I found these ideas for how to decorate a Minecraft birthday party CreativeBirthdayExpress. I’m going to order some templates to start. I’ll share the final output when it’s done. I’m confident I’ll be able to pull it off or at least come close. 
Wish me luck!


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Woman with phantom quintuplets discovered after 9 months of non-pregnancy is getting psychiatric evaluation (VIDEO)

Paul Sevat in empty nursery with 5 cribs.- courtesy: Camile Laurin-Desjardins/Le Journal De Montral/Agence QMI

A Canadian woman is the latest to experience a very public case of phantom pregnancy or pseudocyesis, a very rare disorder in which a woman experiences all the symptoms of pregnancy, but is not pregnant.

Barbara Bienvenue told her boyfriend and town that she was expecting quintuplets and even collected cribs and loads of gear for the babies right up to she was supposed to be 37 weeks pregnant and due to deliver the babies.

That is when doctors told her boyfriend Paul Servat that Bienvenue was not pregnant and never once. She is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation as Servant works to repay some of the associations and groups that donated for the babies.

“I lost everything, it was my whole life,”  Servat told the Toronto Sun adding that Bienvenue told him she was expecting twins, then triplets, then quadruplets, then quintuplets. He said her belly grew, and she experienced morning sickness and lactation.

Very unfortunate. Watch an ABC News video about the story:

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5 Tips to help your teen manage homework stress

A recent study by the American Pediatric Association found that teens are more stressed than adults and their levels of stress tend to peak during the school year. Of the teens surveyed, 42%  said they felt they didn’t do enough to manage their stress.  Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Tutor.com has tips to help teens experience less stress at school and during homework time after school.  Here are some of Mandy’s tips. 
1. Schedule homework time. Just like you schedule time for soccer practice or dance lessons, schedule in homework time for your child every night to form a routine. It should be at a time that fits both of your schedules. The best time is right before or after dinner—early enough to stay focused on tackling tough subjects like algebra or chemistry.
 2. Create a homework zone. Set aside a space in your home where your child can work on homework without major distractions (i.e. TV, video games and siblings who may already be done with their homework.) A comfortable spot for both of you is best, that way you can catch up on your own reading or work and still be available to answer questions your child may have.
 3. Set goals and prioritize. Your child probably has assignments in different subjects from different teachers each night. Have your son or daughter review their list of assignments (if they don’t usually write them down, now is a good time to start) and estimate how long each will take. Then, help them prioritize which ones to do first. There’s no right or wrong order to completing homework assignments, but having an action plan can help your child stay focused.
4. Know when to get help. If your child is taking longer than expected to finish one problem or is getting frustrated, encourage them to take a break by working on something else for a while. If they come back to the problem and still can’t figure things out, don’t stay confused–Tutor.com can help get them back on track in just a few minutes.
5. Wrap things up each night. At the end of each homework session, have your child walk you through their completed assignments. Acknowledge the small accomplishments they made to keep them motivated.
Good luck parents!

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Dads’ love, Happy Moms & being Active make Happy Kids (INFOGRAPHIC)

What makes a happy kid? Dads, a happy mom, being active and living in Mexico!
Happify.com‘s latest infographic qualifying what makes children happy determined that feeling loved by a father was even more important for a kids’ well being than feeling loved by mom. It also discovered that when a mom is happy , a kid is too.  Mom’s satisfaction with her life impact’s a young child’s social and emotional skills more so than her education, income and job status.
It also ranked 12 countries in world and found that while the United States came in 5th, Mexico came in first!
check out the rest of the infographic here:

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How to pick your baby’s pediatrician

Bellyitch Rewind

Most parents chose a pediatrician for their child before the baby is even born. For first time parents this decision can be confusing. The majority of parents end up switching pediatricians a couple times at least before they find one that they are comfortable with. Prepare yourself before making your first decision and you may avoid having to switch which can be a hassle and also upsetting to your child.
The first aspect you have to consider is the pediatrician’s demeanor and bedside manner. A good pediatrician will be warm and friendly – it’s difficult to get a child to cooperate or settle down when they don’t feel comfortable with the person examining them. It’s important that your pediatrician shares similar views as you on the things that you find most important. Additionally, they should have an open mind towards differing opinions and respect your thoughts and opinions.
The office and staff is just as important to consider when making your decision. Since you will be dealing with the receptionists, nurses, and medical assistants it is imperative that you consider them in your decision. Talk to the staff to see if they are accommodating and warm. Inquire about how long it takes to get an appointment for a sick child. Some offices have a difficult time getting kids in quickly which will become very important for you if your baby is sick. Ask who you talk to when you call with a question – in some offices you can talk immediately with a nurse and in some you leave a message for someone to call you back later. Deciding which system you feel most comfortable with will save frustration later.
Many parents find it important for the office to have two separate waiting rooms – one for kids who are sick and one for kids who are not. Since illnesses are passed so easily from child to child it is nice to avoid these germs when coming in for a well-child checkup.
Set up an interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make the best decision you can with the information you have. Your child’s pediatrician will be a big part of those early years so it is important that you and your child feel comfortable with them.
Some sample questions are:

  • What is your philosophy about child rearing?
  • Who covers the practice when you are out of town?
  • Do you have a 24 hour hotline and a nurse practitioner on call for emergency advice?
  • What is your policy on minor emergency visits without an appointment?
  • What vaccinations do they recommend and what is the schedule?
  • How do they feel about listening to parents about their children’s condition?  Mommy knows best or they are the professionals?
  • Cost and what insurance coverage is accepted?
  • If you wanting to use holistic solutions, how does the pediatrician view this?  How do they feel about breastfeeding?

One of the best gifts for a new mother, is a list of recommended pediatricians from other mothers.

Dr. Cristina Ramirez provides holistic chiropractic care for pregnant women, babies, and kids.

How to help children cope through Earthquakes

This week, an earthquake hit the West Coast, which was a source of mild panic and humor when a video of a Live TV news crew’s reaction went viral. The incidence also reminds us of the importance of managing children’s reactions to earthquakes.

Earthquakes can be terrifying, and it is natural for children and adults to be afraid. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, earthquakes are especially difficult to cope with because they come without warning and are followed by aftershocks. With continued shaking, survivors do not experience a clear end to the crisis. Some children and adults may have reactions very soon after the event, while others may experience problems weeks or months later.

The following tips from the National Institute of Mental Health and other organizations will help you help the children in your care

During an earthquake 

During (and after) an earthquake, children will usually become tearful and clinging. They will want their parent(s). Even toilet-trained children may have accidents or experience nausea and vomiting.

Deal with the situation as calmly as you can. In a disaster, the children will look to you and other adults for help. How you react to an emergency gives them clues on how to act

As soon as you are sure the danger has passed 

Let the children know that you understand why they are scared. Comfort them with a hug or reassuring words. Reassure them that their parents know where they are or where they may go. Their parents will come to get them as soon as they can. They are safe with you.You will look after them.

After an earthquake 

• Return to routine as soon as possible.

• Express your own concerns openly, and let students know that it’s normal to be afraid.

• Encourage the children to talk about their fears. Help them sort out what is real from what is unreal. Encourage them to draw or write about their feelings. Children are less afraid of things that they understand.

• Be aware that children begin to suck their thumbs, have difficulty eating or sleeping, wet their beds, or report mysterious aches or pains. It is common for children to “regress” or act younger when stressed. Do not criticize the children or call such behavior “babyish.”

• Parents frequently look to you for advice, so help them understand their children’s behavior and be aware that they also may be suffering. Parents may be afraid to leave their children after a disaster. Some parents may be angry or upset because their children are frightened. Reassure them that with support most children will recover without any lasting problems.

• Watch children for ongoing signs of emotional distress (avoiding things that remind them of the event, appearing numb or withdrawn, having nightmares). If a child continues to be disturbed for more than a few weeks, the family may need to seek professional counseling. While most children recover completely after a disaster, others may have more long-term problems that require treatment, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

• Understand that you also may have emotional difficulties after a traumatic event and take

care of yourself.

source: excerpt from fema.gov

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Happy Pi Day: 14 Kid-Friendly Pie Recipes to try!

Happy Pi day!!

March 14 is generally recognized as a day worldwide, we geeks recognize and celebrate the mathematical phenomenon that is the  unique irrational number: Pi!

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is approximately equal to 3.14159……  The numbers after the decimal never repeat and go on forever!
Pi has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century,
Pi day is  also a great day to celebrate, make, eat and be all about PIES!

And just in time, I’ve joined Foodie by Glam‘s campaign and have curated a collection of 14 kid-friendly pie recipes. Get ready,  pore through this collection and pick one or two of these recipes that are super easy to make and are designed for the pallet of tiny tummys. It includes some mini versions of traditional pie recipes for teenie hands!
Baking is a wonderful family activity to do as an alternative to playing video games or watching TV. It also has educational aspects because children learn about units of measurements too!

 Fun and instructional! You cannot beat it!
If you make a pie recipe with your children soon or anytime this month, please send us a photo and let us know! We’d love to showcase it on the blog later! Thanks!
Do note for full disclosure, this collection of yummy recipes were curated as part of a paid opportunity but that doesn’t mean I didn’t assemble it with you lovely readers in mind and heart. Have fun baking moms and dads and grandmoms and nannies too! ha!

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36 Innovative Inventions for New Parents

We were preparing to update our wildly popular post of “8 Fun and Wacky Inventions” for new parents when we noticed that Buzzfeed beat us to the punch with its recent post of “36 Ingenious Things You’ll Want as a New Parent”. While most of the products on our list were more novelty than functional, the innovative products and devices on Buzzfeed’s list look quite functional and practical.

It’s worth a looksey. Our favorite is the sippy cup that suctions to the bottom of the table. Ingenious!

Check out the other fab items listed HERE!

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Tips for organizing your children’s clothing

From the moment of your first baby shower until the day your child officially grows up and moves away, it can seem as if managing her clothing is a full-time job. Organizing the no-man’s-land that is a child’s closet can seem overwhelming, even when you’re a parent who has an enthusiastic affinity for putting everything in its proper place and a knack for carving those spaces out. If mountains of clothing fall out of your child’s closet any time the doors are opened, these tips can help you take control of the chaos and get the closet back under control.

Cull Outgrown Clothing Regularly

Whether you’re sentimental and loath to part with the clothing that documents each of your child’s developmental stages or simply haven’t had the time to tackle the mounds of outgrown clothing your child owns, the first step to creating an organized, clutter-free closet for your youngster is to cull everything that no longer fits or is damaged, and to repeat the process periodically to keep old-clothes collections from getting out of hand again. Donating serviceable items to local charities, selling them to a consignment store, or even passing them along to friends and relatives as hand-me-downs will keep perfectly good items from going to waste and also get them out of your house once and for all. If you’re collecting clothing for sentimental reasons, the process can be a bit more complicated. Paring down the collection of clothes that you’re saving to only those with real milestones attached can help; the outfit she came home from the hospital in, the dress from her first birthday party, or what she wore on her first day of school are great keepsakes. All of the outgrown scraps of play clothes and novelty t-shirts, however, will only serve to clutter some area of your home. Getting rid of things that have no specific sentimental value can help you make room for new things, make it easier to organize her current wardrobe, and give the gift of much-needed clothing to less fortunate children.

Rotate Seasonal Items

If you know that your child won’t be wearing shorts in January, make a habit of switching out his wardrobe seasonally. Unless you live in an extremely temperate, mild climate, short sleeves and sandals probably won’t see much use during the winter months, so make room for the heavy jackets and sweaters of winter by moving summer clothing into storage. When it’s time to pull clothing out of storage and rotate back to the warm-weather items, make sure you take the opportunity to cull anything he’s outgrown over the winter. When the things in his closet are things he uses, rather than things that lurk at the back and unnecessarily take up space, it’s easier to maintain an organizational system.

Invest in an Organizational System

While handy parents can build shelving systems that are customized to the specific dimensions of their child’s closet, those that are a bit less talented in the construction arts may want to consider investing in a ready-made system to make the job of organizing a bit easier. In most cases, these systems can be adjusted and modified as your child grows and his needs change, making them worth the money and easy to maintain over the years. Bins, shelves and adjustable rods make it easier to compartmentalize your child’s clothing and shoes in a way that works for your family.

Space-Saving Solutions

Opting for space-saving choices like hanging complete outfits on one hanger not only makes more room in your child’s closet, it can also save a significant amount of time during his morning routine by eliminating the need to locate coordinating items. Cascading hangers that hold several articles of clothing, hanging organizers that add quick shelving to a closet that has only a rod, and bins for storing shoes and other items are all great and cost-effective space-saving solutions that can make your organizational project run more smoothly.

Keep Clothes in Kids’ Reach

When your child is learning to dress himself and is exploring his burgeoning independence, you’ll want to make sure that he can reach all of his clothing to foster that independence and ability to manage simple tasks on his own. As you’re conceptualizing your organizational system for his closet, building it around the idea of keeping the things he needs most within his reach can create a clean, clutter-free space that he’s able to use without adult assistance.

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