6 Tips to Make Errands Easier With Kids

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I have had on occasion (quite often actually) people come up to me in sheer amazement that I'm out and about with my three young kids (5+under). Heck, looking back from where I came from sometimes I amaze myself... not that I have it all figured out or am the perfect mom (I'm SO not), but at least in this area of parenthood I have come a long way.

Truly you wouldn't believe I went through a phase in my early parenting days that I actually could not go to the store with my kid (pre multiple children days). I had to leave Rylee home with Sevio, even the thought of taking her with me threw me over the edge. Running errands turned into such a stressful, unpleasant, and not to mention unproductive event that I just opted for not doing it at all, or waiting till late when she was in bed. Can you say not healthy. Say it... NOT HEALTHY!

We are not meant to holed up in our homes, going slightly loopy because we have a kid(s). Kids are not a burden. Kids have needs that need to be met, and they have seasons of volatility, but they should not debilitate you from living life. You can do things you did prekid days. You can take them with you. You can have an enjoyable experience. And you can... pardon my French... get shit done!

So I've been there, I know how you can feel trapped in your own home, like staying in is a whole lot easier than facing the public eye of your volatile toddler. I've learned some tricks of the trade and hopefully sharing them will help some other mom out there that is feeling like I once did. I can promise your kids won't always behave while your out but if you incorporate some or all of these tips in regular day to day life your outings with your kid(s) can be productive + fun... yes, FUN!

Tip #1 Pretrip Assembly. This means all kids have recently had a snack or meal, all bums are freshly changed, and older children have sat on a toilet. Then your checklist: shoes, jackets, diaper bag, soothers, stroller/carrier... oh and don't forget your luke warm cup of coffee.

Tip #2 Be Prepared. This is crucial for your survival and the enjoyment level of everyone involved! Pack easy snacks (fruit, cut up veggies, granola bars, my homemade kiddie munchie mix, seaweed snack packs... anything your kids will surely eat), water/milk bottles. Kids turn into wild animals when left unfed for too long... hangry mini humans = bad news bears.

Tip #3 Know your limit, play within it. Kids have limits, there's only so much boring adult stuff they can handle. Create opportunities for fun, for us we make a pit stop at the grocery store bakery for a yummy cookie or cheese stick, for recycling day the kids take turns who gets to get out and help (they love it, and their learning to be little helpers... Bonus!), or make a pit stop for 10 or so minutes at the park to run off some of their exuberance. Also trust your mommy senses, you know when things are about to get hairy, it's ok to call it quits before it's too late. (bonus tip: have fun things that live in the car but don't forget to change them up once in a while... ex: books, coloring, small interactive toys)

tip#4 Prioritize. If your a list person, make a list of the most important things you need to get done. Do them first. That way if things turn sideways, and we all know they can and surely will, you will have gotten the most pressing "to do's" handled and can rest at ease that the important stuff has been taken care of. Everything else can wait for another day, no biggie!

Tip #5 Reward Good Behaviour. This doesn't have to mean giving them treats or tangible rewards but I do think its important to recognize and encourage your child when they have behaved well. Fill up their little love tanks with positive affirmation. Be purposeful in recognizing their good qualities and behaviour to build their character up. But treating them to a trip to the local coffee shop for a shared hot chocolate or smoothie once in awhile is great too!

Tip #6 Take it slow.  Doing errands with small kids can get infuriating if we're trying to do too much or trying to rush their small little legs and curiosity along. Enjoy the moments of doing life together, make the time to let them explore and answer their questions. Also take the time to parent them, don't give in to their tantrums... they're smart, it just takes one time of giving in for them to know what to do to get what they want! 

For example, lately Adelyne has been refusing to stay in the grocery cart, she wants me to carry her. Have you ever tried to carry a child while trying to maneuver a cart around a store... no... just no. She's too young to be running free, and isn't to be trusted in the big part of the cart, she is extremely stubborn and is the queen of tantrums (no joke... inconsolable till you give in), so what do I do?! I give her a timeout, we find a spot out of the way and she sits for a 1 or 2 minute timeout right then and there, some may think that's harsh, but holy smokes IT WORKS! She doesn't even cry, she knows she's pushed it too far and does her time, and then she sits in her seat and we move on (*this will not work for every kid... just an example of taking the time to parent your kids in the heat of a moment without running for the hills or giving into their screaming fits)

There you have it, happier less stressful excursions are possible! Now go, get your kids and get out there! ... Good Luck!

10 Must Haves For Baby's First Library

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What better way to roll through March, the National Reading Month, by collecting some great titles for a new baby! I've made it easy for you by compiling, in my opinion, the top 10 list of must have books for any new little peanut in your life!

Don't think you have to be a expectant/new Mom or Dad for this list to be relevant for you... I tell you some of our favourite baby shower/birthday gifts for the kids have been books! Maybe we're just book nerds, but heck, books are something that I cherish for the snugly bonding memories they create.

All of these books are great in their own way, some are classics, and some are newbies in the book realm but still very much goodies! Check them out!

Top 10 Must Have Book For Babies First Library
| fyi this post contains affliate links |

1. Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown

The quintessential bedtime book! Bold yet simple illustrations hold your little one's attention while you subtly lull them to sleep with the sweet rhythms of this book.

by Sam McBrainey

Oh how great it is when your child starts grasping how far and wide your love can go, all the way to the moon... and back.

by Eric Carle

Take a stroll down memory lane as this is very likely a favourite from your own childhood. Who doesn't love the hungry caterpillar, he eats his way through the pages right to your heart!

by Kate Merritt

The perfect book for any baby! The artwork is so colorful and let me just rave about how they are 100% Waterproof, chew proof, rip proof, non toxic and washable!

By Robert Munsch 

This classic captures a mothers everlasting love for her son and it will undoubtedly pull on your heart strings every single time you read it. 

by Christie Matheson 

An interactive book for you and your toddler. Watch the pages come alive as your child taps, shakes, and jiggles the seasons to change. 

by Robert Munsch

A classic but not so typical fairy tale. It's a tale of courageous princess set to conquer a dragon to save her uh.... not so charming prince.

by Dr. Seuss

It's not your standard "ABC's", how could it be, it's Dr. Suess after all! Go against the traditional "A is for Apple" with this rhythmic complex tongue twister!

by Sandra Boynton

Who knew hippos rockin' crop tops and bare bellies could be so cute. You and your little will forever be calling your belly button "Bee bo" from here on out.

10. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

Not only do you get to learn the name of those big tractors and trucks your kiddo is so enthralled with, but its also the perfect book to unwind with right before bed.

Smile Project : Month 3

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Here we are, capturing our third month of the smile project! What is the smile project? Head back here to check out the beginnings, but in a nutshell, over the period of one year I will take one picture, every month, of each kid, with one instruction... Smile! What they give me is what I capture, one shot is all I get, unless it's completely a blur... which lets face it toddlers can get blurry real quick! In that case I try again a little bit later because I'm looking for their natural expression in that moment. 

After this year is up we'll have 12 months of looking back over their unique take on expressing their characters through one single word. We'll see physical growth, emotional growth, and mental growth as they learn to understand instruction and their own definition of being joyful through the expression of smiling. I'm really looking forward to the end result. Here is month three.




Kiddie Munchie Mix

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Today I'm sharing with you my favorite go to snack for our kids! It's simple, its yummy, it's got versitility and most importantly it keeps them busy and quiet!

This snack evolved because I spend a lot of time waiting around with Zach and Adie. Whether we're watching Rylee play soccer or gymnastics, or at Zach's speech therapy, or waiting for ferries (the bane of our West Coast existance)... whatever it is we spend a lot of time waiting. I've learned the hard way that being unprepared while waiting with toddlers is not an ideal situation, thus the creation of the Munchie Mix.

One of the best things about this is you can use whatever you want and make it however healthy you want. Changing it up is actually part of what makes it so great, because the kids never get bored of it! 

Also if your kids are like mine, there's certain things they don't like (like Rylee doesn't like craisins), no big deal, make a base, store it, and when its snack time add to it. Heck throw in some sweets for movie night or a special treat and you just made yourself Mom of the year!

Kiddie Munchie Mix

Banana Chips
Wholewheat Sesame Sticks
Peanut Butter Panda Puff Cereal

*extra options*
Fish Crackers
Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews...)
Pumpkin or Sunflower seeds
Other dried fruits (apricot, apple, mango...)
Chocolate chips
Mini Marshmellows
Reese's Pieces/Smarties

Put all your items in a bowl, give a stir, and store in an airtight container. Serve in little cups, ziploc bags, mason jars, or these handy "To Go Snack Catchers"! Enjoy your quiet nimbling at home or on the fly!

Celebrate Reading

Friday, March 3, 2017

Did you know March is National Reading Awareness Month? I didn't till yesterday!

Reading is something that I enjoy doing with the kids, but I do not repeat books in one sitting... that drives me bonkers! We don't do it every night or day, but every couple days we'll sit down before bed, each kid with their own pick, and away we go down rabbit trails, counting apples, or magically making things appear and disappear with the turn of a page. There's so many great books out there, and it's always surprising which book each kid latches on to. 

Books are so special and can hold so many memories, they are one thing we have a really hard time letting go of, and that's saying something for us (purging happens a lot in this household)! I remember a few months back I was taking one of the kids books to the recycle. Sevio caught me, I've never seen him react so emotionally to an object, "How could you?!", I was like, "Look at it... its corners are all frayed, the cover is bent so bad it's hanging on for dear life...".

NOPE! Forget all rational thought, that "Pajama Time" book never made it out the front door! It was one of the first books the kids latched onto, so it holds lots of memories of snuggles in pajamas before bedtime. And it's not just Sevio that holds on... I still have books from my childhood, I made my mom search boxes upon boxes for two Grimms Fairytale books my Dad used to always read me... it's all about the memories!

Over the month of March I'll post some great reads for different ages, what we're currently reading, and some ideas of how to get your kid excited for reading! Stay tuned and be sure to sign up for our email list so you don't miss a thing!

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