Posts tagged Mom & Child
Memory blankets are a crafty, unique way to preserve your kids' childhood.
May 16th, 2012 | 10:47 PM
By Melissa Carlisle
Melissa Carlisle is a local and national District Consultant, as well as the author of the MelissaStuff blog. She’s the mother of three boys – 6, 4 and 2 years old – making it easy for her to know exactly what kinds of deals you are looking for as a mom.
As your kids outgrow their baby clothes it can be incredibly difficult to bring yourself to throw them out. There’s that adorable preemie outfit, the toddler shirt that fit their budding personality perfectly, or even the blanket that they couldn’t live without for years.
But what do you do with them? Keeping a stack of clothes, blankets and bibs for years seems silly. What will your kids do with any of that stuff?
Memory blankets are the perfect answer. Experienced quilters can take outfits, t-shirts, blankets, and even smaller sentimental pieces can be preserved in a gorgeous, functional quilt. If you’re the crafty type with basic sewing skills, you can make a memory quilt on your own. There are some great tutorials like Lil Blue Boo and The Bunk House , that show you how to make a tee-shirt quilt, step-by-step!
If that’s beyond your skill-set or you have little kids running around your house getting into every project you start, there are some great online solutions. If you are comfortable mailing off your memorabilia to a seamstress and paying $150 – $1000+, professional quilters will take your shirts, create a quilt and ship it right back to you.
My personal opinion is to grab a memory quilt offer right here on Plum District, like this offer from Mominizer – and have a quilt made in the easiest, most economic way possible! Save your money, time and memories all at the same time!
Have you made a memory blanket (or had one made)? What materials did you use? Did you keep it for yourself or give it to your kids?
You value everything your kids say, but sometimes, it's just so silly you have to laugh!
May 12th, 2012 | 8:45 AM
The combination of your kids’ personalities and their imaginations can result in comments that leave parents shocked, embarrassed, or just downright overcome with laughter. These are some quotes that our District Consultants and Regional Managers shared:
From Kristi Stovall, Regional Manager in Jacksonville, FL:
My 7-year-old son asked, “Mama, can you hatch us another baby? Because I would really like a little brother.” To which my 6-year-old daughter replied, ”Don’t be ridiculous Walter. Mama is too old to hatch any more eggs!”
From Deb Clem, Regional Manager in Kansas City, KS:
The school counselor asked the kids to list the top 3 things they learned in grade school. Rosie listed: (1.) Never let your cousin cut your American Girl’s hair. (2.) Never ask a lady if she is pregnant. It won’t turn out well. (3.) Never trust boys.
From Dawn Lazzara, District Consultant in Jacksonville, FL:
On a Mother’s Day project in preschool, my son filled in the blank with this response: My Mommy is as pretty as…”a brown and white dog!”
From Helen Connor, Regional Manager in Boston, MA:
When people tell my 6-year-old daughter that she looks like daddy she says, “No I don’t. I’m not hairy!”
From Brita Brown, District Consultant in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN:
My 3-year-old daughter asked, “Mom are we lost again? You are so bad at directions!”
From Michelle Peterson, District Consultant in Salt Lake City, UT:
I was preparing the Thanksgiving turkey and my 6-year-old daughter Chloe was helping me. As I pulled the neck out of the cavity she said “Yep! We know this one’s a boy!”
From Carly Kirsch, District Consultant in Hartford/New Haven, CT:
We were out in the back yard and I spotted some tulips that had bloomed. When I pointed them out to my 3.5-year-old daughter and said, “Look, there are tulips!” She replied, “Oh wow, pretty! We have those at school, except we have a lot of lips there.”
Teacher Appreciation week starts today. Here are some ideas for showing your appreciation that are easy and fun.
May 7th, 2012 | 1:09 AM
By Jill Holland
Jill has been a District Consultant in San Diego since December 2011. She has a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son.
In Encinitas, a beach town and suburb of sunny San Diego, families try to keep Teacher Appreciation Week simple, affordable for parents, and meaningful for teachers! These are some A+ gift ideas that you can do anywhere, and anytime of year, so your child’s teacher will feel the love all year round:
- Flower Day: If each child picks and brings a flower from their yard, one parent can arrange them quickly in a vase for a lovely bouquet. Watching the parade of kids carrying flowers to school is adorable, and the arrangement will be as unique as each student in the class.
- Fruit Day: Think outside the apple. Each child brings a piece of fresh fruit from home on this day and everyone chips in for a bowl. Voila! A beautiful fruit arrangement that every family can easily participate in.
- Coffee Day: A few parents bring the teacher’s favorite coffee or tea from their favorite coffee spot, favorite breakfast treat, and surprises them at their break. Parents can also chip in for an extra bag of coffee and have all the kids sign a mug.
- Spa Day: Parents can chip in to buy a mani/pedi or massage and package the gift certificate with some lotions, scented candle and card.
- Restaurant: Chip in for a gift certificate to a local restaurant so they can end their week with a delicious meal. Include a nice bottle of wine with the card, and toast to them.
Simple, honest appreciation from kids and parents versus grandiose gifts seem to touch teachers the most. They dedicate every day to your children, so dedicating a few days to them is worth the creativity and gesture.
Signs that it's happening and how to approach it
April 27th, 2012 | 12:13 PM
Bullying is a widespread problem that affects millions of people everyday – online and in person. It happens among children as young as 4 years old, through young adults (at which age, this behavior often results in legal consequences). As a mom, it’s highly important that you are informed about this common and harmful behavior, and know how to combat or prevent the bullying of your child, or interfere if you suspect your own child is being a bully (which no mom wants to think, but must be prepared to deal with).
First, the basics. What is bullying? According to www.StopBullying.gov, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”
Signs that your child may be bullied:
- Becoming withdrawn
- Decline in school performance
- Trouble eating or sleeping
- Few friends or close contacts
- Speaking of another child with fear
- Showing fear when it is time to go to school
- Noticeable decline in how he/she sees him or herself
- Signs of physical altercations, such as bruises, scrapes, and other marks
- Missing or damaged clothing or other personal belongings
How to approach the situation:
- Encourage your child to share his or her thoughts and concerns. Remember that this is your turn to listen. Don’t lecture or interfere with their verbal expression.
- Learn as much about the situation as possible. Ask your child how and when the bullying occurs and who is involved. Talk to other adults and children who may have witnessed bullying incidents.
- Teach your child how to respond to bullying. Encourage your child to maintain composure when approached by a bully — not to cry or fight back. Suggest that he or she say “I want you to stop this now,” and then walk away, and go to a teacher or school official for help, if necessary. Tell your child it might be best to stick with a group of friends in the places and during the times when the bullying tends to happen.
- Contact school officials and follow up. Talk to your child’s teachers and school principals to inform them about the situation, gain more information, and determine the next step. Keep in contact with them, especially if the bullying is persistent.
- Boost your child’s self-esteem. Remind your child that you love them the way they are and that the bullying is not acceptable and will be ended. Praise your child for being brave enough to talk about the situation, remind them that it is not their fault, and tell them that you will come up with a solution together. Help your child get involved with activities that raise self-esteem, such as sports, music, and art. Arrange fun get-togethers, outings, and other activities that help to develop your child’s social skills and social network.
Now, here are some signs that your child may be a bully:
- Views violence positively as a solution to most problems
- Shows little sympathy to those who are being bullied, or are having problems
- The need to dominate others and control situations
- Shows aggression toward adults and other children
How to approach the situation:
- Make sure your child understands that bullying will not be tolerated anywhere. Tell them about the consequences of bullying.
- Teach your child about diversity, and about treating others with respect and kindness. Let your child know that it is wrong to ridicule differences (whether it’s appearance, race, religion, special needs, socio-economic status, etc.), and that there are consequences for being disrespectful. Consider signing them up for an activity or club where they can interact with a diverse group of people and form new friendships.
- Encourage good behavior. Praise them with they handle situations in positive ways. Positive reinforcement can be more effective than negative discipline.
- Set a good example. As you know, it’s best to lead by example, so think carefully about how you resolve conflicts and problems. Your child will most likely follow your lead.
Tips for finding the perfect sitter
April 23rd, 2012 | 12:45 PM
Carly is one of our hardworking moms in Connecticut. When she’s not out making moms day, shes making her own day with her children and husband. Here she shares her tips on finding the perfect sitter for your family.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “date night” I gently sigh as I briefly think back to what life was like before kids. Don’t get me wrong – I simply adore my children and I wouldn’t change a thing about having them, however, there are times when I crave the quiet nights my husband and I used to have before kids.
In order to have some well-deserved time alone with your sweetie, you also have to find a good babysitter. If you don’t have friends and family close by, then that can be a difficult and daunting task. Weeknights are busy and by the time our long-awaited weekend arrives, we find ourselves over-committed and ditching the idea of going out (yet again).
The first step in reclaiming date night is committing to a date. Once that is agreed, established, and officially written in pen on the calendar, we come to the truly hardest step in getting out for a night:
Finding a reliable and responsible babysitter with whom you can feel confident with leaving your kids in their care.
Here’s some helpful tips on how to find the perfect babysitter so you don’t have to stress while you relax with the hubby.
Tip #1: Stay local
Luckily, my sitter lives right across the street from me, but if I couldn’t connect with her, backup plan is to contact the guidance department at my local high school. They put me in contact with their program that works directly with people and businesses in the area to provide students with job opportunities and work experience. Not comfortable with a high school student? Consider contacting local colleges and universities and get in touch with a coordinator at student services. Often those who are seeking a degree in early education may be looking to gain some experience with kids and some extra cash, too!
Tip #2: Get a friend’s recommendation
If you have a good friend whose sitter they trust, their sitter probably has friends who are also looking for some extra cash. It’s well worth the effort to ask. If they’re really your true friend, they might even loan you their sitter just this once!
Tip #3: Create or join a sitter swap
Create a fun solution to your own problem! Take full advantage of your network of friends, family and neighbors and see if they’d be interested in doing a sitter swap. One week, you drop your kids off at their house for an evening play date while you and your significant other go out for date night. Then, the next week, you take their kids and do the same. A huge benefit: it saves money and your kids get to hang out with their friends.
Tip #4: If all else fails – Google it.
There are new services popping up with parents like us in mind. Two relatively new sites are Sitter City and Care. Both offer similar services for finding babysitters, nannies, and even daycare. Some of the benefits of these sites is that they have free trials so you can see if you like the service. You’ll find there are reviews from parents who have used certain individual’s services through the site. Once you have added your information, and the type of sitting services you are looking for, the rest is easy – the applicants come to you! The cons? The drawbacks include a fee to join to get the “premium” information.And of course, the big caveat that it is the Internet – you just can’t be sure what information is true or not, despite background checks. Being very careful is always the best advice when choosing to use the Internet for these searches.
Tip #5: Talk to your kids
Once you’ve found a sitter, it’s critical that you some feedback from your kids. See if they like the sitter and are excited to see them. Ask your kids if they like being with the sitter. If they do, then book them for some nights in advance so you have some date nights to look forward to in your future to reconnect and get some time away – even if it is just for a few hours!