Summer Activities That Help Your Child Grow, Guest Post

Summer is in full swing and with that comes long days, warm nights, sunscreen and afternoons at the pool, slices of watermelon and more. Whatever summer means to you, there are a lot of hours in the day to fill! It can be a challenge to keep little ones occupied while making sure that they’re still deriving some benefit from their activities. The infographic from TakeLessons.com  below gives some ideas so your little ones are having fun while learning, and so you can (maybe) have a bit of a break!

Summer is here! With school out and the temperatures rising, no doubt your kids are excited to play. But beyond the summer camps, sleepovers, bike rides, and water balloon fights, stealthy parents know how to encourage activities that can actually help kids grow and learn!
Don’t worry — that doesn’t mean workbooks or summer homework. We’ve got three fun summer activities in mind that kids will be excited to participate in, and ones that will build confidence at the same time.

First up? Music lessons! If your son or daughter loves to sing along to songs when you turn on the radio, music lessons are a natural fit. And there are so many different lesson types to consider, from piano to guitar to saxophone.

For the more introverted or bookworm types, learning a language — like Spanish or French — might be a great choice. Of course, your child won’t become fluent over the course of one summer… but it can be a fun introduction to new cultures! Plus, it’s easy to find fun games and apps that support language learning.

Finally, if your child can’t stop moving, sports like soccer and softball are a great way to keep him or her busy. They’ll never know they’re actually improving their teamwork and goal-setting skills!

Here’s a recap of all the surprising stats you need to know about these fun summer activities for kids.

If you would like to check out more from TakeLessons please visit their website. You can also check out their social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. You can also view their post 3 Fun Summer Activities that Help Tour Child Grow.

What Everyone Must Know About Personalized Books with I See Me!

At my baby shower, my Mother- in- Law requested that people bring new or used books to add to my baby’s library. After receiving several books, I made it a priority to start reading to my son as soon as he was born. Still to this day we try to make time to read every afternoon. My son loves looking at the pictures. I often find him sitting in his room just looking at books in fascination.

Disclosure: I received a free item in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks!

When I saw that I See Me creates personalized books, I knew this was perfect for my son. Shortly after receiving our book in the mail, I sat down with my son as we started to read “Logan’s U.S.A. Road Trip.” As soon as my son seen his face on the book, he said “Oh Wow, Logan!” I actually started to tear up as I watched his excitement. Every page is personalized to fit him; such as his name on the license plate of the car and his picture on the little boy that’s traveling the U.S.A. I couldn’t believe how detailed every page is. To my Surprise, I See Me even dedicated a page to teach my son about the state that he lives in. This was completely unexpected but I found to be truly amazing.


My U.S.A Road Trip Personalized Storybook teaches your children the factual geographic exploration of the United States. It’s a fun and exciting as they can see themselves traveling across the U.S.A. The story is perfect for children as it teaches them about all 50 states. In the back of the book they’ve included a map of the United States, and a list of all 50 states along with their capitals.


This book is now our absolute favorite. I see us reading this one time and time again. I also want to purchase one of the other titles that I See Me offers, for my youngest son. Not only do they specialize in personalized books but they personalize Lunchboxes, Puzzles, Coloring Books, Placemats, Stickers and Growth Charts. They really do offer something for everyone for any occasion.


Please feel free to check out their website I See Me.

You can also find them on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+,  and YouTube. They also offer Email Promos/Discounts and Updates.

At Last, The Secret To Comfortable, Durable Kids Shoes Is Revealed

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When it comes to my children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories this mother will always choose comfort and durability. Good looks are always a plus but it doesn’t come first on my list when shopping. My children wake up at 6 am and are on the go until 10 p.m. with the exception of one afternoon nap, sometimes! So, I think it’s extremely important for my kids to be comfortable all-day long.

Having comfortable clothes, shoes, and accessories help assist in better attitudes throughout the day. If my children are uncomfortable than they will be sure to let everyone know. Durability is also extremely important because my kids play rough. They’re young and adventurous, and have I mentioned how messy they are?

One of my daily struggles are my children’s shoes. We’ll be walking through a parking lot and I look down to realize that we’ve lost a shoe and the hunt begins. My children also have tons of shoes that are uncomfortable. They’ll take them off intentionally to relieve tension off of their feet.

Disclosure: I received a Free Product in exchange for an honest review. However all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks!

As previously posted The Wander Years we started my youngest son in Freshly Picked Moccasins as he began to walk. The moccasins were instantly our favorite pair of shoes for our walker. We’re very happy with the decision we’ve made of beginning with these moccasins. The moccasins always stayed on his feet and I never had to worry about the comfort of the shoes. So, I was extremely excited when I found out that Freshly Picked released a new sandal line that would be perfect for my toddler. 

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I’m obsessed with Freshly Picked shoes because they are comfortable, durable, and always stay on my children’s feet. These sandals are amazing. When the box first arrived in the mail, I was extremely impressed with the packaging. They never disappoint! These sandals are perfect for casual and dress up events. They’re very cute so that’s always an extra win in my book.

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Freshly Picked sale moccasins and sandals for both girls and boys. Their moccasin sizes range from 0-7. The Sandals range from sizes 3-12 but run a size smaller than the moccasins. Freshly Picked also has tons of designs to choose from. I definitely recommend both moccasins and sandals, they ‘re a mother’s dream come true. You can buy yours today at Freshly Picked

5 Educational YouTube Channels, That’s Perfect for Toddlers


We’re living in the age of technology with phones, kindles, tablets, and computers. My husband and I are huge fans of the internet and it saddens me that my kids are following in these footsteps so young. As parents, most will usually grab a device for the kiddos to take along to watch. I normally try not to do this because I want my kids to focus on their surroundings and make their own entertainment. However, when my family spends the day at home, I will let my children watch television when I need to clean or get some chores done

My kids ages are 1 & 2 and they would rather watch YouTube videos over Disney classics. This of course was pretty heartbreaking for me at first. When they were born I started a collection of Disney VHS tapes. However, they just refuse to watch them. They choose to watch their favorite shows on YouTube. After watching these selected videos time and time again, they are mommy approved. My toddler has learned so much from these videos such as, counting, singing songs, his ABC’s, and also his shapes. I’m incredibly impressed with how much he has learned all together from these videos. I do limit my children’s screen time because I want them to play instead. However, when they ‘re watching television, if these are the shows they pick than that’s ok with me.

My children’s favorite YouTube Channels:

The Mother Goose Club is a group of young adults that dress up as Mother Goose characters from the famous Mother Goose nursery rhymes. These young adults sing and dance to teach your children about the mother goose nursery classics. This channel also incorporates cartoons into the videos.

Bob The Train is an 3D animated, colorful train that sings educational songs. He sings about shapes, colors, counting, and the alphabet. Every video is a fun exciting adventure.

Busy Beavers teaches children through bright and colorful videos. They are fun melodies that teach about colors, shapes, counting, the alphabet and more. My children love to sing and dance with the beavers.

Blippi teaches children about numbers, the alphabet, shapes, and colors with fun educational videos. His videos are based on real life adventures about topics that hold my children’s interest. His videos also have cartoons incorporated. I have to admit that I really enjoy watching Blippi as well.

Little BabyBum are 3D nursery Rhyme videos. Every video is fun and colorful. They teach my children while they sing and dance.

Now remind you, I’ve watched each and every video from all 5 of these channels. They’re age appropriate for preschoolers and young children. Each video is very educational and makes learning fun and exciting. I’m used to the older cartoons, but with shows in high definition now a days, I can understand my children’s decision. I hope you and your children enjoy them as much as we do.

 

If I Only Knew Then, A Letter to My Father

Words can’t express how much I miss you dearly. As a young girl, you were always my hero. I looked up to you then just as much as I look up to you now. I know you’re in Heaven watching over your family and friends. However, I wish you weren’t taken away from us so soon. You were young and had a lot of living left to do.

You had two young girls that needed you dearly, and a loving wife whom be lost without you. God needed you too and must have known that you taught us well and we would soon all be ok. Since you’ve been gone, I have a lot to share with you, both good and bad. When you passed I turned away, the pain was too great to bare. I ran as far as I could and didn’t look back. I have a lot of regrets as well. I’m sorry I didn’t know you were sick. You were so strong and never let your pain go noticed. Your body was strong but your heart was not.

You were always the family rock, you held us together and kept us in line. As we must carry on, we’re all just dealing with your loss the best we know how. We haven’t always made the best choices, but don’t get discouraged. You’ve instilled strong family values within us, and taught us right from wrong. Even if we may stray from the path provided, we always find our way back at some point.I wish you were here with me now because I have two little boys that I would love to introduce to you. Your grandsons would be greatly honored to know you. As a parent, I now know the life lessons that you were trying to teach me. At the time, I was young and didn’t care. I’ve grown up a lot since then. I would love to tell you, thank you! I remember your lessons everyday as I’m teaching them to my children. As I hope one day they will realize that it’s only for the best. Everything I do, I’m doing it for them.

I will raise these boys just as you raised me with respect and love. I will tell them all about you and show your picture often. One day, you will get to meet them, but until then please watch over them and protect them. As you’re watching down from Heaven please know that all is well here. I’ve been blessed that you taught me how to be strong and how to carry on. I can’t wait to see you with hopes that our family will all be together once again. Until then always remember that I love you. Thanks for being the father that taught me well, loved me unconditionally, protected me, and gave me that shoulder to cry on. You Daddy, will always be missed.

 

 

Focus Mom! You’re in Autopilot Mode

Yesterday I was talking to my blogger friend and we were discussing some of our post. She’d mentioned how she hasn’t wrote a heartfelt post in a while. I immediately realized that I haven’t wrote one either. I’ve been so busy and fully stuck in autopilot mode.

The reasoning behind my autopilot mode is that I’m tired. I’m not sleep deprived; however, my mind and body are both exhausted. I’ve been so busy working on my business, every second that I find time to myself. Which isn’t very often. I’ve been focused on my Book and blogging at the same time. I usually only work on my book on the weekends, but I was so driven to get it completed. Now that’s its finally finished, I’m trying to promote it. I’m also taking care of my two sweet, little boys, trying to potty train my toddler, playing with the kids, housework, mowing 2 yards, cleaning several houses, cooking meals, running errands, all while trying to remembering to take a shower during the day. Whew, that all sounds exhausting after I see it written down.

I’m just tired. However, my motherhood drive is in full swing. I want my family to be happy so that is what keeps me going. My husband works all day long. So, the last thing I want him to do when he gets home is have to mow the yards. Trust me, he does try. He deserves a hot, homecooked meal when he gets home. In which, I always try to have served on the table. Not because he expects it, because I feel he deserves it. He works hard, so I try to pick up more duties so he doesn’t have to.

I’ve tried to balance my life and work but there’s just so much that needs done all the time. There’s not enough hours in the day. I do try to practice self-care by taking twenty minutes a day to myself or staying up late just so I can get a moment of silence to myself. I don’t want to come across that I’m complaining because I’m really not. I can handle this, I’ve done it for years. However, I’m sick of living in autopilot mode. My body and mind just go and go because it knows what has to be done. I feel like I am never fully rested. Whether I’m tired or sleeping, they’re still going.

I’m trying to take more time to live a little and smile more. I’ve realized, when I’m talking to someone that my mind is usually elsewhere. This is never good nor respectful. In order to get out of this mode, I really need to cut some tasks out of my daily schedule. I know I wouldn’t want to hang around someone that acts like a programmed robot and that’s exactly what I’m doing. So, I don’t expect my family too either.

As mothers, we just want the best for the ones we love. All while neglecting our needs in order to achieve it. I know I can’t be the only one out there who is stuck in auto pilot mode. So, if you’re reading this and thinking, “Wow this is so me.” Let’s change it! Let’s not be programmed on auto pilot, let’s live a little. Who cares if the house gets a little messy? I know I know, ha-ha I do! However, I’m working on this. It’s ok if our loved ones help out more because mom seriously can’t do it all, all the time. Trust me I’ve tried and it’s not working out. Instead of getting the dishes done right away, sit down and relax. Let’s make washing dishes a family event later. No matter what it is that we decide to change, it shouldn’t be put off anymore. Enjoy this life before it’s too late.

How to Keep Your Sanity While Potty Training

The last few months I’ve been fully dedicated to potty training my 2-year-old. Potty training is one of our biggest struggles so far. I’ve always heard that boys are harder to potty train, now I’m starting to believe it. So far everything has been fairly easy, such as taking his binky away, and switching from bottles to Sippy cups. Potty training is not so easy.

I wish this were a guide to potty train your child in less than a week but however this is not the case. In fact, I can’t even write a post on how to potty train your child in less than three months. I keep telling myself that when my kiddo is ready than it will happen. It’s just not happening as soon as I’d like.

We have tried 2 different potty chairs. The first one is a potty just for him, which was a nightmare. He would pee in the potty once in a while. When he did pee in the potty, he would pick up the potty and run, spilling the fluids everywhere. The other somewhat potty is a seat that we place on our toilet. The seat seems to be working ok, we both seem to like it the best. 

I tried to let him read books while sitting on the potty. After hours and hours of sitting in the bathroom, week after week, I’m starting to think this idea just isn’t working. He seems to be too interested in reading a book rather than using the potty. Then we tried to turn his seat around and let him draw on the back of the toilet lid with washable markers. It’s fun and all but he’s too excited to color, let alone pee in the potty. Lastly, I tried Dawn dish washing soap in the toilet. He’s fascinated with bubbles so I tell him to pee on the bubbles. Yes, you guessed it, so far this hasn’t worked either.

So here it is, your guide to keeping your sanity while potty training. While you’re in the bathroom for hours on hours:

Don’t forget to take your phone. While your little one is reading or coloring, you can catch up on some much-needed work. If the phone rings then you don’t have to run and answering it, leaving your little one unattended. The phone is also good for when your little one starts to get bored. Throw up a cartoon YouTube video, and that just bought you at least 10 more minutes. You can also use the phone as a timer to track potty progress.

Don’t forget your snack and drink. I know when I setup camp on the bathroom floor that I have to have supplies. If you’re constantly in the bathroom then you’re going to get hungry. You may be thinking, food in the bathroom is gross. However, when your sitting forever then you get hungry, so you run and grab a snack. Meanwhile your kid jumps up and is peeing on the floor. You may thank me later ha-ha. Drinks are good for you both. What better way to help your little one use the potty? A drink.

Take something for yourself to read. Consistency seems to be the biggest success story when it comes to potty training. So, you better get used to sitting back and relaxing while your little one is learning to use the potty. Read a book and that will help you lose track of time. You won’t be counting the minutes until your child goes in the potty.

Parenting is hard, and potty training is our struggle. I’m just trying not to lose my sanity in the midst of it. Please do share your tricks and advice, I’m open to trying almost anything at this point.