8/3/18

These Childhood Development Facts Will Shock + Amaze



1. If babies’ bodies grew at the same rapid pace as their brains, they would weigh 170 pounds by one month of age.

2. 60% of all the energy a baby expends is concentrated in the brain. Birth-to-three is the fastest rate of brain development across the entire human lifespan.

3. The average child will grow in their baby teeth by three and lose them before turning thirteen.

Primary Teeth Development Chart
Upper TeethWhen tooth emergesWhen tooth falls out
Central incisor8 to 12 months6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor9 to 13 months7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid)16 to 22 months10 to 12 years
First molar13 to 19 months9 to 11 years
Second molar25 to 33 months10 to 12 years
Lower Teeth
Second molar23 to 31 months10 to 12 years
First molar14 to 18 months9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid)17 to 23 months9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor10 to 16 months7 to 8 years
Central incisor6 to 10 months6 to 7 years


Food for thought: According to Truedent Family Dentistry, in Miami, FL, “Dental decay usually traces back to a high amounts of sugar in the diet and improper brushing habits. By teaching your child to brush regularly and limiting his intake of sugar, cavities can become a thing of the past." Your kids' health is an investment in their future. Not only that but teaching your child good health habits will save you large medical bills in the future.


4. Babies whose parents frequently talk to them know 300 more words by age 2 than babies whose parents rarely speak to them.

5. By age 1, a child typically understands about 70 words, but can only speak only a handful of them. At about 18 months, your toddler's spoken vocabulary starts to explode, adding new words at the astonishing rate of one every two waking hours.

6. When your toddler announces, "Mine!" while clinging to his truck in a playgroup, it's not so much a selfish refusal to share as it is a cognitive achievement. The declaration of "mine" is his way of saying he understands that you — and the other children — are separate from him.

7. Music boosts learning. Singing, listening to, and playing music improves spatial orientation and mathematical thinking.

8.  A baby has 300 separate bones at birth but by adulthood only 206. Why?
Because some bones, like the skull, fuse together later.


9. Until the age of six or seven months, a child can breathe and swallow at the same time. -

 75% of adults reading this will try to do it!

10. The average 4-year-old asks 437 questions a day!  (No big surprise there!)


Sources:

7/20/18

5 Lessons Learned During My Mom Strike

While surfing through the FirstTimeMomandDad Archives, I found the post on my Mom Strike. I laughed so hard at myself, I had to repost it.

Posted in April of 2015, I'd just spent two-weeks focused on a project, not on my house. In that time, left up to the husband and child, the house became a proper shithole. There were toys everywhere, socks and shoes thrown about, dishes piling high, laundry piles that resembled the great Alps, a toddler bedroom that looked like a tornado hit it. It was like I was living in a frat house that runs a daycare.



 I cracked.

And rightfully so.

Why in the hell should I have to do it ALL?  Why am I the only one racing around keeping the frat house with a daycare, tidy? I'd hit my limit and needed the boys to step up to the cleaning-plate.

Starting immediately.

Those two were going to help me, or be in big ass trouble! So, I announced that I was going on mom strike. I was no longer jumping to cook or clean. I was no longer going to do it all! I was going on a mom strike.

My mom strike lasted five days, and coincidentally, taught me five life-long parenting lessons...

1. I created the filthy beasts living in my house. 

I like things cleaned and organized a certain way, so I just did it myself. In the process, I screwed myself. I wanted the house cleaned to my standards, and I was sure the boys couldn't come close.

Wrong.

It turns out, with direction, they can. Kind of. Yes, I stood over them one or two times, but after that, they managed to sort their own laundry, clean up their own dishes, and work together to load and unload. Now, I just let them grumble and walk-off. They know what they're doing. Clean is clean, who cares how the shirts are folded, their put away and dammit, that's what matters.

Goats, husbands, toddlers. Same thing. 



2. My Timing and my husband's timing are WAY OFF. 

Every night after dinner, I do the dishes and clean the kitchen straight away. I can't stand having a messy kitchen. My husband, can. But only for so long. He prefers to wait until later that night to tackle the mess. While it killed me to wait, thanks to the strike I learned a very valuable lesson, my head and kitchen will not explode if the dishes aren't done immediately. In his words, "There are no Dishes Police coming to get you. Relax. It can wait." Let me tell you when my husband is the one doing the dishes, the wait is definitely worth it.



3. There is NO reason my three-year can't pick up his own damn toys.

I had a girlfriend who taught her toddler that the 'Clean-up Fairy' will come and take the toys not cleaned up at the end of the night. It worked for her son, and now it's working for mine! The trick is to hide the toys left out. The next night, when your child cleans up fearful the fairy will be back, put the stolen fairy toys back by morning as a reward for keeping his toys tidy.


4. I don't want a damn cape; I want a cocktail.

I'll be the first to admit, I need to chill the F*$k out. I run around like a crazy person trying to keep my house in tip-top shape. It's like I have something to prove to myself and the world. I waste so much time picking up and cleaning things that get wrecked 30-seconds later.  WHAT THE HELL?

It's so not worth it. It's like I think if I have a perfect house and a well-behaved child, then I get to go to the Hero Mom Ball at the end of the year and claim a super-hero cape. Well, screw the cape. I'll take a cocktail and a better use of my time.




5. Mom strikes are so awesome; I'm already planning my next one.  

If you're worn out, feeling under-appreciated, sick of being the one that does everything while your partner and child are having a blast watching you, then call a strike! Clean up after yourself ONLY! When they start complaining... FIVE DAYS LATER. (Filthy beasts.) Make a list of things you do, hand it to your family and leave. Go to the park with a good book. Let them realize just how much effort it takes to keep the house cleaned, cupboards stocked, laundry in the drawers, bills paid and any of the other four million things you do in a day to keep your family healthy and happy.

I'm sad it took me flipping out and letting my house turn into a shithole to get to this place. But, in the end, it was worth it.


7/19/18

5 Tips to Save Big on Back-To-School Shopping




Below are five easy ways to save loads of time and money preparing your child for school.

Do Your Homework 

Start by making a complete Back-To-School Shopping List. Know exactly what you need to avoid over-buying. Next, compare prices online to find the best deal. There are way too many apps and websites available today to NOT to compare prices both online and in-stores. Write down the store/website with the best deal next to the item. When you've gone through your list, jotting down the best stores/websites, check for stores or websites that overlap. It takes time, but it will save BIG BUCKS!

NOTE: Between the coupon apps and the compare-and-save apps, and the in-store price matching offers, there is no reason to pay full price anymore, Online AND in-store. 


Shop Online to avoid temptation.

My husband is always giving me shit about how it's impossible for me to walk into Target without spending $100 in the first four aisles. You can get your child's entire school supply list online. With free shipping after $25, it's become the only way I can shop Target without spending at least $100. To reduce budget busting temptations, shop from the comfort of your couch. TIP: Make sure the kids are around driving you crazy, this will further reduce the temptation to buy extra stuff for the heathens.

TIP: GiftCardGranny is a totally legit website to get gift cards at super discounted prices. So before you head to the store or buy a gift card, check Gift Card Granny first so you can add even more to your savings.


Don't Discount The Discount Sites

Websites that offer deep discounts like Groupon, Zulily, Overstock, Wayfarer, Amazon, and my new favorite, Jet.com...  all will be fighting for your attention during the back-to-school season, so capitalize on it!  Most are offering free shipping with no minimum purchase.



ALWAYS USE A COUPON! 

If you buy ANYTHING online and don't search for a coupon code first, you need to be slapped. Hard. It's seriously as easy as typing into the search bar, "Coupon code for Target," and like magic, money-saving coupons appear. It takes thirty-seconds to find the coupon, copy the code then go back to your shopping cart and apply the coupon code. Seriously,  in less than a minute, you can save up to 90%! Agin, if you're not doing this, you need to be slapped. Hard.

Moms, you know how your child thinks Forever 21 is what their Heaven looks like? Groupon Offers Coupons that will save you big there!



Get Cash Back!

And last, my favorite tip of all, get cash back on your online purchases. My longtime time readers know, I stress this every chance I get! I have made so much CASH BACK over the years using Ebates. I don't even do anything differently. I added the Plug-in to the browser, and now every time I shop an Ebates pop-up shows me how much cash back I can earn (3%, 5%, 10%) and any available coupons. It's mental, at checkout, Ebates automatically tries the coupon codes. I love love love Ebates! Seriously. On August 15, a check for $100 will be deposited in my account.





PLEASE, SIGN UP FOR EBATES!!!!!

Do you have a super Shopping tip? Please share, us Parents need all the help we can get over the next two months!

7/18/18

Top 10 Words Of Wisdom for ALL parents.


I'm pretty sure if God gave out 10 Parenting Commandments, this is what they would be...




1. Laugh at yourself- First and foremost, Laugh. Parenting is hard enough, if you don't find the humor in it, you will go batshit by the end of the first 6-weeks.

2. Laugh at your child- Kids are hysterical, laugh at them. Most of all, laugh with them.

3. Forgive yourself- There is no such thing as the perfect parent. No. Such. Thing. We all make mistakes. If at first you don't succeed... you will eventually.

4. Forgive your child. Those little shits... mean well. Just like us, kids make mistakes too. It's part of life. For little ones, life is all about trying new things and testing limits. They are bound to screw up a few (hundred) times.

5. The Joneses are assholes- Damn those Joneses trying to set standards and pass judgmentsPay no attention to the talking heads, they don't know you or your child.

6.  Your instinct is right, listen to it. Mom. Dad. Listen to your inner parent, it knows what's best. Don't let someone or some book make you think otherwise. Start with your instinct, then go from there.

7. The "Right Way" is the way that works for your family. Your family is the new normal. Don't let a book tell you your instinct is wrong. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else, work within those bounds.

8. Say I love you and hug your family every day. Who doesn't love a little acknowledgment and affection? I know kids especially do. So give it to them. Make there be no question just how loved they are.

9. The dishes can wait. Don't sacrifice your family time. Take the time to be with your family now, because tomorrow is not promised. Besides, the dishes will always be there.

10. Love every second and every stage because when they pass, you will miss them dearly. Yes, even the really annoying stages. Every day goes by so fast, try to remember and document as much as possible.


7/16/18

Genevieve Gorder's Top Tips For Creating The Perfect Nursery

While writing an article for Parenting.com on tips for designing a nursery, I had the great fortune of interviewing, Genevieve Gorder, on her top tips for creating the perfect nursery. Below five of my favorite takeaways from the interview.  


Consider Your Infant's Needs First

No matter what, keep the nursery airy, light and free of clutter. Stick to as many natural products and design elements as possible. Your baby won't even be able to see across the room for a couple of months, so think about health and cleanliness first. Fresh air, light and safe spaces should be your first concern. Also, babies grow quickly, so consider easy to change design elements. The last thing you want to do is paint and redesign your child's room every couple of months.


This is a perfect gender neutral art piece. Credit: 76th & Newbury

Avoid matchy-matchy themes

Sticking to one color palate is not stimulating, it's boring. The nursery is your first opportunity to share the world, it's colors, shapes, textures, and sounds, so make the most of it. Sticking to gender-specific colors and toys creates a one-dimensional room. Babies need textures, colors and shapes to interact with, not just pink ruffles and blue bears. Start with a neutral wall color that allows for easy incorporation of different colors, shapes, and textures, bold design elements. The neutral wall also makes it easy to change the room's design throughout the first few years of your child's life.



I love everything about this shot of a nursery from 76th & Newbury. Spot on.




Include as many sentimental pieces as possible

Before you buy one piece of furniture, look to family and friends FIRST! And while you're there, look for folk art, antiques and other design elements to add a personal touch. Use grandma's old dresser for a change table, spruce up the old rocking chair on your parent's porch, beg to borrow or just steal that mirror you've always admired at your mother-in-law's house.  Have an artist in the family, ask for a piece to add to the room. Who knows, many years from now, your child may use that same piece in her nursery. 




LOVE this custom tree art from &6th & Newbury



Look to Nature 

One of my favorite tips from Genevieve was to use nature for design elements. She recommends walking around the yard or a nearby park to collect strong tree branches then wrap them in bold yarn colors in varying textures to create a sturdy shelf. One of Genevieve's favorite design element in her daughter's nursery was a large dried root from a tree that cost under $50. She hung it on the wall using a large hook and fishing line then hung photos and other child-friendly elements. Now, seven years old her daughter still cherishes her, "Tree of Life." (Shown below now hanging at the top of the stairwell.)


Photo credit: Genevieve Gorder


There's Only One Thing You Should Splurge On

Linens. Your infant will be spending a great deal of time sleeping on those crib sheets, make sure they are gentle, natural and hypoallergenic. Consider all linen options before buying off the rack at a big box store. All you need is two sets, and they'll be worth every penny. 

To read my article click, here.



7/13/18

These Stain-Fighting Hacks, Every Parent Should Know

While I'm a firm believer every child is different, one thing rings true across the board, stains. Those little creatures are stain making masters. From the first spit-up to Big Red, stains happen. Add animals into the mix and, well, shit may literally hit the fan. Which is why when Empire Today reached out asking me to join a small round-up of super-bloggers to share stain-fighting hacks, I was all-in. Stains, I friggin' know. I have a boy and a puppy. I'm a stain-fighting Jedi.

It is my honor to share my stain fighting tips with you today, along with five other stain-fighting-Jedi moms and bloggers.

We were asked to share my tips on:

Coffee Stains. 
Colored Drink Stains
Crayon, Marker, Ink
Mud
Pet







Here's what I had to say:

COFFEE

For stubborn stain-makers like coffee, I start by saturating the stain with plain white vinegar. While the vinegar works it's magic, about five minutes, I fill a bowl with hot water and a few drops of dish detergent and grab two clean, dry cloths. With one towel I blot up as much vinegar, and hopefully the stain, as possible. I take the other towel and dip it in the soapy water and alternate between gently rubbing the stain out and blotting the carpet. I'll repeat this with a clean area of the cloth until the stain is no more.

MUD TRACKS

Being a mother and pet owner, I know mud tracks. I know how messy and nearly impossible they are to clean out of carpets. I also know to avoid mud tracks like the plague. Thankfully, unlike sudden spills, mud tracks are predictable.

Rain=mud.
Simple.

There’s only trick to getting back breaking mud stains out of carpets, avoid them!
To do so, I lay old towels by the door on rainy days and keep a pack of baby wipes handy to clean muddy paws.

PET STAINS

Pet stains are the worst! Not only are they tough to remove from the surface of the carpet, but the stinky residue clinging to the fibers is near impossible to eradicate. To add insult to injury, that stinky residue is a calling card to your pet screaming, come back, I'm the best toilet ever! There's only one way to fight these stains, declare war with 2 tablespoons powdered detergent (OxiClean) with 2 cups warm water and a few drops of dish soap and mix until detergent is fully dissolved. Pour the solution over the stain to saturate it, but not oversaturate it, then using a gentle scrub brush work the solution into the carpet, allowing to penetrate for 10-15 minutes before blotting away the liquid. Spot treating stubborn areas with the leftover solution if necessary

COLORED DRINKS-WINE

What's a life without wine? And where's there's wine, there's inevitable spills, splashes, and whoopsies! For those moments, I reach for Club Soda and saturate the spill before blotting up the liquid with a clean, dry cloth. Crisis averted!

CRAYONS-CANDLES-WAX

Finding waxy residue on your carpet can be downright scary. (Think: Red wax on a white carpet.) But have no fear, it can be done using a paper towel or paper bag and a HOT iron. Place the paper towel over the wax and press the iron into the wax, careful not to let the iron touch the carpet, hold for ten seconds. The heat will melt and draw the wax out of the carpet fibers and into the paper. Repeat, using a clean area of paper until wax is completely removed from the carpet fibers.



For more stain-figting tips and to see what the other bloggers had to say click, here


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