Have a question, concern or problem regarding your child's behaviors? Send me an email and I will do a blog post about it! You will always remain anonymous! tkmiller81002@yahoo.com

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Vacation

I am going to be going to a family reunion this weekend and while I am enjoying the crisp, cool, mountain air I am going to find my motivation and inspiration for more blog posts! I know I have been a slacker lately, but seriously when I sit down I am either nursing a baby, and really who can type while nursing a baby, or falling asleep myself. N is finally at the age where she is interested in her surroundings so I should be able to find time to blog when I get back. So be ready!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Motivational Mondays: Get Motivated to clean your house!

A while ago a friend of mine posted on her blog about cleaning her house and all that she does to keep it clean. In the post she mentioned a website called Motivated Moms where you can purchase a house cleaning schedule. After a few months of thinking about it I decided to buy the schedule and I am so glad I did! The schedule is perfect if you get overwhelmed with house cleaning like I often do and if you like checking things off of your to-do list which I also love to do! After purchasing the list I wanted I printed out the pages and then laminated each of them so I could re-use the lists. Every Sunday I put the list of things to do for the new week on my fridge and as I go about my chores I mark them off the list. On the list it has daily chores such as running the dishwasher, wiping down the kitchen and bathroom counters, sweeping the kitchen and entry way floors, etc. Then it breaks down the bigger chores like scrubbing toilets and showers into different days of the week. It even as a spot on there for clipping your kids nails - it's every Wednesday! I love this chart and I feel like cleaning my house isn't such an overwhelming task anymore. Every morning after I drop M off to school I have about 2.5 hours before I have to pick her up so I work really hard at getting J and O to help me get as much done on the list as quickly as we can so we can have time to play the rest of the day. For me if I get my cleaning done first thing in the morning I am much more likely to keep up on it throughout the day and my kids are more likely to clean up after themselves as well! Sometimes I even call up my friends and chat away while I clean or blare the music really loud and jam out while I clean which is a great way to stay motivated and get the work done quickly!

I have some friends who clean a little differently, they will clean one major room per day for example, bathrooms on tuesday, kitchen on wednesday, mopping on thursdays, etc. and if that works for you great! But this way it is a little bit each day and I don't feel like my days are spent following my kids around and cleaning up after them. I highly recommend you checking out the motivated mom's website and take back your free time!

Do you have other tips on keeping your house clean?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Teaching kids about borrowing to others

I am in love with the fact that we have kids on our street finally! That plus the amazing weather meant that tonight my kids were able to ride bikes, scooters, and skates out in the street with the neighbor and their cousins. Our kids have scooters, bikes and skates and the neighbor kids had bikes with a few scooters but not enough for all of the kids to have their own so we shared our scooters with them and they played for a little over an hour with the neighbor kids all sharing and having a great time. Well as it is starting to get dark, we are getting ready to go inside and the neighbor kids said that they were going to go to the park and wanted to borrow M's scooter to take to the park. At first I told them no, but then I thought well why not, we aren't using it so why not let M decide what to do.

I called M over and told her that they wanted to borrow her scooter to go to the park and that we weren't using it so it was up to her as to whether or not they could borrow it. She said no and when I asked her why she became very emotional. She ultimately told me it was because she was worried that they wouldn't give it back and she was worried that the "new girl" (it was a cousin we hadn't met yet) would just take it home. I told her that if the girl took her home we would talk to the parents and get it back and that I trusted them to bring it back, but I was o.k. with her decision either way because it is her scooter and I didn't want her to have a bad night's sleep because she felt like she had to lend it to them even though she didn't want to. She was extremely stressed about it and kept going back and forth on what she wanted to do. After a while my hubby came out and I had M talk to him about it as well. He said the same thing I did and I think having her hear it from both parents helped her to feel more secure in her decision to lend them the scooter. She took the scooter over to the girl and said she could borrow it, but that she needed to give it back.

As I was watching my daughter struggle with making this decision I realized the value in teaching her the value of lending things to those in need, this little girl wouldn't have a bike or scooter to ride while all of her cousins did, especially when we are able to lend things. My kids are spoiled in the sense that they have a lot of nice things, but we have also taught them the value of working to earn their belongings. Her scooter was bought at a thrift store and she used her money to pay for half of it. I know there are other kids who don't have as much and so I think it is a valuable lesson to teach them. Too often I think people are more concerned with what is theirs and keeping what is theirs than focusing on using what they have to share with others. I also think that some people borrow too much and their needs to be a balance. I have no problem giving someone a few eggs every once in a while, but when they want to borrow eggs EVERY time they go to make cookies eventually I am going to say no. My husband and I also will lend family members money on the basis that if they borrow that money they can not borrow another penny from us until they pay us back the money they borrowed the first time. You have no idea how handy that rule has been when it comes to family! I think too often we focus on teaching our kids to share what they have while their friends are playing, but when playtime ends sharing does too. So we will see how this all plays out and if the neighbor kids return the scooter or if we have to hunt it down (I know them pretty well and am not worried about having to hunt it down). Either way it will be a great way to teach her about lending things to others and trusting people. I think it will also be a great way to teach her how to give logical consequences because if they don't return the scooter like they said they would then M can then decide to no longer lend her toys to them because they didn't keep their word. Lots of teaching opportunities!

Have you ever had your kids lend something of theirs to someone else? How did it go for them? What are your thoughts on lending to others? Where do you draw the line?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I have been in a kind of bleh funk lately.  I have literally sat down to type a blog post on here multiple times and have had nothing come to me. My kids have been amazing lately so I haven't had their misbehaviors to be an inspiration for my writing and I haven't really had any friends complain to me about their kids, so no inspiration there either. I just have random thoughts that aren't developed enough to write a post about but I don't want you to think I have abandoned ship either. My hubby went back to work last week and so all of the household responsibilities have wiped my brain!

I must say that I thought having 4 kids would be a lot harder than it has been. I would love to just say it is because N is such an amazing baby, which is a big part of it, but more than that it is that I have raised 3 independent, well-behaved kids already and that makes a huge difference! I love that when I am feeding the baby my kids can play on their own and I'm not stressed about what they are doing or what they are getting into. I love that when my kids wake up they play quietly until I come out of my room, I get woken up enough from the baby and my kids know I set an alarm in the morning to make sure they are fed, dressed and ready for the day by the time M has to go to school, so the fact that they let me get as much sleep is a true blessing! I love that I have taught my kids to be clean and to clean! It helps so much that when I tell my kids to go clean their rooms while I am cleaning the kitchen that they go and do it and they don't fight me on it either. To me the past two weeks have been a real testimony of all my efforts as a parent in the techniques I use, the discipline methods I use and the patience I have with them. I know that it is my consistency and diligence that has made it so having 4 kids is a walk in the park compared to what I thought it would be!

So since I am in such a funk and really don't have much inspiration to write about PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave a comment about what you are struggling with or what you are wondering about in regards to parenting and maybe I can get some inspiration from you! Thanks for hanging with me!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Motivational Monday: The best reasons for being a Mom!

I recieved this a long time ago and I have it on my fridge so I can see it everyday!

The best reasons for being a Mom:

Glimpses of God everyday.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
A hand to hold.
Endless wonder of rocks, ants, and clouds.
A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites,
building sand castles, and skipping in the rain.
You get to finger paint, carve pumpkins, play
hide and seek, catch lightning bugs, and never
stop believing in Santa Clause.
You get a front row seat to witness history:
first step, first word, first date, first bra, first
time behind the wheel.
You have the power to heal a booboo, scare
away monsters, police a slumber party, and
patch a broken heart.
In the eyes of a child, you rank up there with God.
Author unknown.

To download a pdf format of this go here 
I hope everyone had an amazing Mother's Day yesterday and continue to feel loved every day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fit Friday: Make a plan

Too often people say they are going to start a diet or start working out and then fail to make a plan on how to accomplish their goal. By failing to plan they in essence plan to fail. I myself have been victim to that and the one time I was most successful at exercising and losing weight I made a plan, typed it up and put it on the fridge where I would see it everyday, and after following that plan I lost 30 lbs and was in the best shape of my life.

The first thing I do when making a plan is to set an overall goal and then small mini goals within that plan. Right now my current goal is to lose 20 lbs to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I also force myself to be honest with myself. Before I became pregnant I could run for a solid 20 minutes and was pretty fast, I could do an hour zumba workout and not be sore, I could do a 20 minute hardcore ab routine like it was nothing. So I know it is possible for me to be able to do those things again - however, I need to rebuild that strength. There is no way I can get on the treadmill right now and run 20 minutes straight, it hurts just to walk! My abdominal wall is completely shot right now - I just carried a 9 lb 11 oz baby so rightly so - and there is no way I can bust out 20 minutes of hardcore abs. I need to take baby steps and that is where my mini goals come in.

I have been debating how I want to go about losing this weight - the main thing will be my diet, I do weight watchers so I will be following the weight watchers plan. What I love most about the weight watchers plan is that you track EVERYTHING you eat. So if I take a bite out of a snickers bar I write that down. It really makes you look at what you are eating and helps you pinpoint where you need to improve and why you are failing. It also helps to gauge how much you need to eat during the day and if you are over or under eating. WW gives you a tracker each week that you weigh in, however, for me I like to make a tracker on my computer, print it out, laminate it and then place it on my fridge and write everything on that. This way every time I go to open the fridge I can see how many points I can eat and I tend to make better choices in my snack or meal choices. When I lost 30 lbs before I did it completely on diet alone. I didn't want to workout because I didn't want to worry about the whole muscle weighs more than fat mentality people get when it comes to dieting and working out. I wanted to make sure I was successful by my food choices alone and then once I hit my weight goal I then started working out. This time around I am going to do cardio along with eating right because cardio is the most effective way to lose fat!

After I set up my goals I create a way for me to be accountable, in order to ensure my success. This is so important to successfully losing weight! If I just said I am going to exercise everyday and then never made a way to be accountable it would be too easy for me to not exercise because no one but me would know. So just like I place my tracker on the fridge for myself and everyone else to see, I also make up a workout schedule with mini goals for each week and place that on the fridge as well with a place for me to mark off for every goal I accomplish. I then tell my husband that he needs to be my cheerleader and my "boss" when it comes to working out. He knows better than to comment on how much I weigh and whether or not I should be eating something, instead he knows to ask me if I have worked out yet and if I haven't when I was planning on doing that. He also never gets bothered if I need him to watch the kids while I hop on the treadmill or watch sports in our room instead of the living room if I am working out to a dvd.

So here is my plan: I am going to walk for 30 minutes straight 6 days a week for 2 wks. Then run for 5 mins and walk the rest for 6 days, then each consecutive wk increase my run time by 2 minutes each week until I am running 20 minutes straight. As for strength training my main focus is increasing my core for now so I will do my ab routine which normally requires doing each exercise for 1 minute each but instead I will do each exercise for 30 seconds, until that no longer hurts, then increase it to 45 secs, then 1 min. I am not going to start my ab exercises until N is 6 weeks so I know my body has fully healed from child birth and pregnancy and my dr. has cleared me. As for diet like I said my plan is to continue doing weight watchers so I will go to a meeting every week until I hit my lifetime goal once again. I need to be at my goal weight by August 15 to remain lifetime so that is my goal.

To me trying to lose weight without a plan is about as smart as opening up a business or writing a book without a plan - you can't succeed unless you make a plan!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Work it Wednesday: Hands on learning

Kids learn best through hands on learning - which means they aren't looking at pictures and saying their names, but are physically manipulating the learning materials. That is one of the reasons file folder games are so popular in early childhood. With that in mind I put together an Alphabet file folder game for you to print out at home and do with your kids - it is perfect for kids 2 - 6 if they don't know their ABC's. 

I actually prefer to put my file folder games in a 3-ring binder to save money and space. In this game the kids are matching the center of the letter to the outline. Because the letters are cut out individually it helps them learn the shape better. Here is what it looks like all printed out, laminated and cut.

Download Alphabet Match Up
The file has 5 different pdf files so you can print out each file individually

Some other ideas for this game would be to have kids use a dry-erase marker to color in the letters. Or another idea would be to laminate the pages and have your kids make "snakes" out of playdoh and then placing the "snakes" on the letters to make snake letters (also great for developing a child's fine motor skills). Or you could cut out all of the letters and mount them onto squares to make a matching game where they flip the cards over and match the outline to the center. The possibilities are endless.

To encourage learning have the kids say the letter with you and the sounds as they look for the letters - the more senses involved the better they will learn it!

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: What's yours like?

Every week I post my parenting tips and tricks but today I am curious as to what some of your tricks are? As a parent we all have them and in need of getting them from others, so leave a comment with some of your parenting tips and tricks!