5 Baby MUST HAVES

Whether you are attending a shower, expecting your first child, or even having another baby, these items are definitely needed for a baby.

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  1. Pacifier Clip

These clips have been a staple in my house! I even had two kids using them at the same time, so I use a different color for each kid. These save the pacifiers from getting dirty by falling on the ground and they make it a lot easier for the child to find their pacifier when needed. They work with most pacifiers brands too!

2. Car Seat Arm Rest

This little cushion provided the extra support needed when carrying a baby. It helps when holding the baby seat in the elbow bend. No more red marks!

3. Baby Carrier

I preferred a baby carrier such as this one shown above. I used it mostly when going out, walking, and shopping. But I have also used it around the house when my hands needed to be free. I have used the carrier with the child facing me and with the child facing forward for a view. It is a must in my book!

4. Boppy Pillow

Who ever invented the Boppy Pillow is a parenting genius! I used mine daily. I was even debating whether or not to buy one for the upstairs floor and have one for the downstairs rooms. In the beginning newborn stage, the pillow and I were inseparable. I used my pillow for feeding the baby, propping the baby up, tummy time, entertaining the baby on my lap, and even used as a cushion for those early sitting up days when the baby loses balance and falls over unexpectedly. I have even been known to use it for extra cushion or propping myself up! Well worth the money. I had two or three covers I used on a laundry rotation basis and as backup.

5. Baby hammock

Keep in mind, I had three kids under the age of 4!!!!!!!!! After dropping my oldest off at school, I had to run errands, including shopping! Where do you put all the kids and groceries? Well this baby hammock solved that problem for a while. I was able to have the baby safe and comfortable in the cart while still having room in the bottom of the cart for groceries. It worked for months. You have to watch the weight limits and when your child advances to sitting up and becomes more active. But this was truly a useful product for me!

I hope this list provided help in knowing what products can be useful when dealing with babies. As I said, I really used these products and would highly recommend them.

Stayed tuned for a list of must haves for toddler!!!!! Please let me know what you think of this list. Tell me if there is a stage you would like me to focus on and see some products to aid in that age group.

A guide to closing the age gap between siblings.

 I have been told, “you’ve got your hands full!”

A little background information is needed to know where I am coming from. I am a mom of four kids. Their ages are 9,5,3, and 2. When you add in my fun nephew, he is right in between at age 4. It is like a set of stairs! That covers a wide range of abilities. I try at family gatherings, parties, holidays, and everyday to do what I can to help these kids by giving them the tools they need to be successful, well-rounded, and independent individuals.  I do have my hands full, but hopefully, below I have given examples of how I have found success in accomplishing tasks with such a range in abilities.

Grocery Store

While shopping at grocery stores, it is inevitable to have to wait. We typically have a wait at the deli and at the registers. My husband and I have worked out a system where he waits and orders at the deli and I watch the kids. During this time, I will direct the kids to the produce section. It is only feet from the deli. I find a nice place that is not in anybody’s way and I begin my “lesson”. I will talk, discuss, and ask questions about the local produce we see. We usually pay attention if there are any special seasonal items or not so commonly seen items and start with those first. Typically, I will as my youngest questions regarding color or shape. I will ask my third born to identify the object. At this time, if it is an unknown item, I may have to tell them the name and give a little description. (i.e. gourds at the fall time) I will move on to my second born and ask him questions about it, like if he can group it into fruits or vegetables. Is it a root vegetable? Does it grow on a tree or bush? I may ask him to compare and contrast items like a banana and a plantain. I will ask my oldest harder questions like to spell the name without looking. We may use a scale to practice weighing items. Depending on how long the weight is at the deli, we get a few rounds like this in where everybody participated and we kept moving on to more items to keep the discussion lively and interesting.

The grocery store has many possible engaging opportunities. Depending on age, a child can hold a small clipboard with the grocery list and can cross them off after finding the item. The list can be words if they can read or they can be pictures.

Identifying the aisle numbers above them for the younger children. You can also discuss what is in that aisle which provides real life problem solving skills on how to find needed groceries. This shows grouping and categorization.

The older children have the chance to do mathematics with coupons, money, rounding, and recipe ingredient amounts needed.

Even older kids can use a calculator, use decimals, discuss budgets, sale prices, and so on.

Egg hunt

An egg hunt is typically done around Easter time. However, I just threw a “dinosaur” themed birthday party for two of my sons. We had a “dinosaur egg” hunt. These eggs were distinguished as dinosaur eggs by having dots on them. Before the hunt began, I took the time to divide up the eggs and locate them according to skill level. For my daughter, the youngest, hers were left out in plain sight close to the driveway. For my littlest son, his were back a little, but in plain sight. For my second son and nephew, theirs were all the way in the back of our yard by the bushes. For my eldest, he had to find them hidden very carefully throughout the yard. It was a hit! No tears. It didn’t take anyone too long and all were successful.

Dixie Cups

When one child asks for a snack, seems like they all want a snack. Am I right? Well, I am not comfortable giving the same snack to all my children. So I use Dixie cups to help me disguise my rationale. For example, we had purchased red, white, and blue     M & M’s for the Fourth of July. They wanted some as a snack. So, in the Dixie cups, I gave a decreasing amount of candy in each kids’ cup. The oldest got the most with a few and by the youngest, she had only a couple. Everybody is happy!

Wrapping Paper

This one is my favorite!!! With four kids, Christmas morning can be a little chaotic! I am the type that is taking videos and pictures to capture the look on their faces when they see their presents. While doing this, it is hard to read and pass out the gifts. For a while, my oldest passed them out. Then it hit me. I CODED THEIR PRESENTS. I wrapped each kids’ presents in one certain themed paper. The first year, it happened to coordinate with their Halloween costumes because they were obsessed with the character. Each kid knew which ones were for them. Even my one year old at the time knew hers were the pink princess ones! It went so smoothly. A $3.00 roll at Target was enough for the whole job for each kid.

Assigned Colors

Similarly to the wrapping paper, my kids have somehow been unofficially assigned a color. They all seemed to gravitate towards one certain color. I used that to my advantage. They all know what their color is and they know who belongs to what. The toothbrushes are color coded. Even their sunglasses in the car can be passed out due to the coloring code. We have the famous IKEA plastic ware which the kids can use the coloring code to help set the table. I have bins I use for different things throughout the house they can access. I have four shoe bins by the front door in which they know where their shoes go and where to get their shoes. My one year old was able to complete this task independently. Again, it’s about helping them foster independence.

Easter Eggs

Again with the eggs? Yes. This time, they are not plastic. We are talking about dying Easter eggs! I know kids make messes, but dye?????????? That stuff is permanent! I bought the special kid-friendly bib aprons, special spoon, and even whisk device to aide in this process. Despite my best efforts, we had meltdowns over not being able to see, reach, pick the eggs up………….Then I tried this. We all gathered around the kitchen table. My eldest was able to dye the eggs regularly. For my middle two boys, I found these white paper mache eggs from Wal-Mart. They used markers and colored on the eggs. My youngest daughter used these same eggs and placed stickers on them. Since they were all white, they all looked the same, and everybody had a good time!

Pumpkin Carving

Due to circumstances, we were unable to purchase a large pumpkin to carve this past Halloween. So I bought 4 of the Styrofoam pumpkins they sell at the Dollar Tree. My husband worked with my eldest and they actually used tools from previous kits and carved the Styrofoam. NO MESS!!!!!!! It was great. For my middle two boys, I also purchased from the Dollar Tree, two kits with face pieces that you insert into the pumpkin. It’s like a Mr. Potato Head situation. I won’t say that all the pieces ended up perfectly where they should be, but they had a great time being able to do this activity on their own. And I assisted my daughter whom I gave sticker face parts to place on the pumpkin. We displayed them for all to see!

These, hopefully, have been good examples of how everybody can be involved with an activity and how everyone can participate as a family. Please let me know what you thought of my ideas. Is this something that I can continue to give ideas on in the future? Is there anything specific subject matter I can address?

50 Random Facts About Me

Since I am just starting my blog, I thought I would take some time and write details about my life. Come on, lets start to get to know me!

  1. I am 5 foot 5 1/2 inches. ( The half is important!)
  2. I weigh—– not answering that!
  3. I have two smart and handsome older brothers.
  4. I have my degree in education.
  5. My favorite color is pink.
  6. I have had glasses since the fourth grade.
  7. I like making to-do lists and love the satisfaction of crossing items off the list.
  8. My greatest strength would be my detailed planning ability.
  9. I have one awesome nephew, who is my Godson who I love like crazy.
  10. A pet peeve of mine is when a grilled cheese sandwich bread slices don’t match up.
  11. I have 3 piercings in each ear.
  12. I sleep with the blankets up to my ears but yet, my feet stick out of the covers.
  13. I graduated from Pennsylvania State University.
  14. My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate.
  15. A goal I have, is to make homemade stuffing like my mom’s.
  16. My favorite candy is M & M’s. The mini ones, to be exact.
  17. Most people and kids would describe me as silly.
  18. An unbelievable singer is Tim McGraw.
  19. I am glad for the invention of the DVR. As a mom,  I don’t get “live” TV anymore.
  20. I am currently reading the book “The Toddler’s Busy Book” by Trish Kuffner.
  21. I look forward to watching the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies.
  22. I would be considered an introvert.
  23. I cannot live without chocolate!!!!
  24. My first job was at a movie theater.
  25. My favorite number is 25.
  26. Sandra Bullock is my favorite actor.
  27. If I could play an instrument, it would be the drums.
  28. Since becoming a mom, I now can cry at commercials, movies, and songs.
  29. My favorite sport to play is volleyball.
  30. My go to drink is water, but my favorite soda is caffeine free Pepsi.
  31. Turtles are my most-liked animal.
  32. I take on average of 300 plus pictures at special events like parties and holidays.
  33. I love to swim.
  34. Having to choose between the two, I would pick swimming in a pool over the ocean.
  35. An extraordinary movie is “Speed”. (Don’t judge!)
  36. I am famous for my chocolate chip cookies.
  37. I lost my dad, unexpectedly, when I was 28 and pregnant with my first child.
  38. Game night calls for Scattegories.
  39. I love to pack but hate to unpack.
  40. I am not great with driving directions. Thank goodness for GPS!
  41. I have never seen a Star Wars or Star Trek.
  42. Prefer to print photos and have photo albums.
  43. Mac ‘n cheese is my go to meal.
  44. Babies laughing is the best sound in the world.
  45. Bring on the surprises!
  46. I have always wanted to be a mom and a teacher.
  47. I would call myself a “memory keeper” instead of a scrapbooker.
  48. Obsessed with the Dollar Tree store.
  49. McDonald’s is my choice for fast food.
  50. The cup is half-full.
  51. * Bonus- since I didn’t answer the weight question.  I collect movie stubs, flattened pennies, and magnets.

Did I forget anything? Is there anything you want to know about me? Please comment and let me know.

Let me introduce myself.

I am a mom of four amazing, funny, and creative children. I have three boys and one girl. Their ages are 9,5,3, and 2! My house is full of noise, fun, and love. I am a teacher, who became a stay-at-home mom to raise my family. I love all things kids related. I love researching, reading, watching, and learning about children.

Given my education background, I find myself fusing my two passions together striving to do the best and be the best for my children. I am creating this blog because I feel with my experience and expertise, I have valuable knowledge to share with other mothers who are also doing their best.

I am hoping to create a community with mothers of all types who will share tips, tricks, and ideas to help each other out.