Kids Chores – Our Daily Routine + A Free Chore Chart!

Kids chores. It’s a beautiful thing. Well, most of the time. Except when they’re fighting having to do chores. Then it’s not such a beautiful thing. But, I am blessed. Haley, my 5 year old, loves doing chores. She thrives with chores. When she does them, she goes all out. But, I know that will change as she gets older. I already see the transformation coming. But, for now, I’m enjoying the kids and chores phase. 

Are your kids old enough to help with chores? Let’s be honest, how much do they enjoy it? My oldest, she’s 5, loves helping with chores. She actually asks if she can help often. Haley is a huge help. Plus, she makes sure that her chores are done in a top notch manner. Which, I have to be honest, helps mommy a ton. Right now, her chores are simple. Because, her attention span isn’t quite there. We’ll worry about advance chores when she’s older. But, for now she enjoys being a kid with chores on the side.

We follow a chore chart to ensure that she remembers what to do. She loves filling it out, too. So, that’s a plus. The chores she does may seem like everyday tasks to us. And they are. But, she loves them. She loves her chore chart. I even added a free printable below for you. It’s the same chore chart we use for Haley. I created it, too!

Kids Chores: Our Daily Routine

Like I said, I’m totally blessed. Haley loves doing chores. Most of the time her chores are done before I have to ask.

Morning: 

  • Make her bed
  • Get dressed
  • Brush her teeth

Afternoon: 

  • Homework
  • Help mommy as needed
  • Help set the table for dinner

Night: 

  • Brush her teeth
  • Help feed the dogs
  • Put toys away
  • Get dressed for bed

Overall, Haley’s attitude is great. But, on her chore chart I have spot for extra good behavior. In the near feature, we plan on adding more extensive chores. But, as of right now we’re dealing with the basics.

What are some kid chores you get your kids to do? How old are your children? I’ll need some ideas for the near future. But, for now, enjoy your free printable “Chore Chart” below! 

kid chores chart

 

Is Santa Real? Plus, Win An Autographed Book!

The day has yet to come where I have to answer that dreaded question. The question that asks: “Is Santa Real?” My little ones aren’t quite to that age. But, I know that day will come. It’s a day that every parent may experience at one point in time. But, what do you say? How do you keep the Christmas magic alive? It’s easy. Plus, I discovered this cute little book that will help you. It’s called “The Myth of Santa’as Beard.” This book is a Christmas winner in our house. 

We’re only a few short weeks away from Christmas. I can’t lie. I’m excited. But, I’m not prepared. We have our Christmas tree up. But, I’d be lying if I said all our Halloween is up already. I’ve yet to replace the Halloween wreath on the front door. But, it’s happening by this weekend! I promise. At least nobody has commented on it, yet. Plus, there’s no doubt in my mind that Christmas this year will be fun. Haley is old enough (5) to really get into the spirit. Plus, she decorated the tree all by herself! Dray is a year old now. So, he’ll be able to rip into the presents. I’m excited! Even our baby proofing of the tree is “festive.” 😉

is santa real

My household is full of believers in the Christmas spirit. We love celebrating Christmas together. It’s an important time of year for us. We all hate that it goes by so fast. Haley loves thinking about what Santa may bring her. We read Christmas stories. We bake and decorate. It’s a great time to put technology to the side. To remember what it’s important in life. Plus, surrounding yourself with positive people.

We love reading classing Christmas stories. You can’t forget the annual Christmas movies. We’re addicted to those, too. When the tree is put up we may be playing Christmas music. Or we may have a Christmas movie going in the background. This year we added another Christmas tradition to the list. Our family discovered the cutest Christmas book. It’s called “The Myth of Santa’s Beard” by Sharon Thayer.

“The Myth of Santa’s Beard” has a great story behind it. Plus, a cool little addition at the end. This Christmas story tells the story of why Santa’s beard is so long. The myth is that every time you do something good, Santa’s beard grows a little longer. But, eventually it grew a little too long. The elves work a little magic and help Santa’s beard problem out. But, that doesn’t stop the magic. It still grows a little every time you do something good. At the end of the book there’s a special surprise that your little one will love!

I won’t give the secret away. Because, if you scroll down you can enter to win your own copy of “The Myth of Santa’s Beard.” As a bonus, it will also be autographed by the author Sharon Thayer! This is a book your family will enjoy for years. No wonder it’s an award winner.

The design of the book has even landed it a spot in our Christmas decorations. It stays propped up with all the rest of the decorations. Plus, it’s an easy way for Haley to grab it if she ever wants to look at it. Which happens several times a day. She loves this book. I can’t deny it either. This is a great addition to our Christmas traditions.

is santa real

So, it’s obvious that my children believe in Santa. We believe in the magic of Santa. The magic of Christmas. But, this is my opinion on the magic of Santa. If you chose to introduce him to your children, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great, too. As parents we spend too much time judging each other. We just need to respect each others opinions.

I also have another opinion on Santa. Which, as I said before, is my opinion. Christmas has became entirely too much about gifts. It’s not so much about family anymore. I don’t know about you, but, I’m not rich. I can’t afford to get my kid a tablet. She wants quite a few things. I just can’t afford them. But, I don’t want her to think she’s any less important than children who receive iPads and drones. Because she’s just as important. She is the world to me. I make sure to reassure her of this every day. When I say Haley is a grateful child, I mean it. She doesn’t beg. She understands. She’s amazing. I really don’t think we should buy our children’s affection. I think our time with them is more valuable than the money we spend.

is santa real

“Is Santa Real?”

The day will come when a parent is asked: “Is Santa Real?” How does a parent respond? What do they say? I’ve often thought about what I’m going to say to Haley. But, after a long thought session, I figured it out. I know exactly how I will explain the magic of Santa to her.

St. Nicholas was a real person. He lived a long time ago. Around Christmas time he was known for his secret gift giving. So, in order to keep his spirit alive he uses people who believe in him to carry on the tradition. That’s why parents all over the world spend time wrapping and placing presents under the Christmas tree. So, mommy and daddy are putting the presents there. But, that’s because they want the magic of what St. Nicholas did a long time ago to live on today.

It doesn’t matter how to you celebrate the holidays. This is a no judgement zone. Whatever your decision, I support you. But, have you ever had to answer the question “Is Santa Real?” I’d love to hear your experience.

So, “Is Santa Real?” What’s your opinion? While you’re at it – enter to win your own copy of “The Myth of Santa’s Beard” by Sharon Thayer. As a bonus, it will also be autographed! This book would be the perfect addition to any Christmas tradition.

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Kidioke Review: Must Add To Your Christmas List!

** Disclosure: I received a Kidioke book for free in exchange for my review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Christmas is right around the corner. Are you still at a lost when it comes to buying for your smallest fan? Then you have to check out Kidioke! Plus, Kidioke has a cool app you can download to go with the book, too. My daughter has made me promise her I will get her another one. I think it’s a great idea. It’s a fun product and plus it’s educational, too. Especially when Haley is now learning to read. 

The past few months have been a roller coaster for our family. As many of you know, my kids stay sick. Dray goes to physical and speech therapy. Haley has epilepsy. Which means we spend a lot of time at the local children’s hospital. About two months ago I quit my job. I didn’t want to. But, with how often my kids were sick, I missed a lot of work. I didn’t feel like I was part of the “team.” Because of the missed work it became hard to afford gas. Not to mention paying a babysitter on top of that, too.

Right before I quit, Haley came down with pneumonia. She had just started kindergarten. Which was really awful. Because. from the get go she missed 2 whole weeks of school. Now, we’re just now getting over another case of pneumonia. Poor girl has been through the ringer. But, that doesn’t stop her excitement. She’s a lot of fun. Even if her 3 hour long stories make absolutely no sense. She loves school. Her intelligence is amazing.

Every afternoon Dray and I sit in the car line at the elementary school waiting to pick her up. We’re waiting at least an hour every day. At first it was hard. Dray is only a year old. It’s hard to keep him entertained. I would bring toys, drinks, snacks, and even let him tear up magazines. But, he gets bored fast. Even his favorite toy doesn’t keep him entertained more than a couple of minutes. Especially if we’re in the car and not moving. He’s great for car rides. Just not sitting still and the car isn’t moving.

Thankfully, a few weeks ago, a miracle came into our lives. We discovered Kidioke. Now waiting in the car rider line isn’t so unbearable. He’s entertained the whole time. Which is amazing to me. All thanks to a book. But, a book that we will stock up on this Christmas season.

What is Kidioke?

Kidioke is basically a book that allows your kids to enjoy the “karaoke” side of life. Each book includes a popular song. The Kidoke books also look cool with the side guitar on each book. The books also have a LED timer display. This helps little ones know when each verse will start.

The Kidioke is a great way to help your little one learn to read. In a fun way, too! Parents will love the song selection, too. Kidioke is bringing back the classics that’s for sure.

kidioke

Kidioke Book Series

Kidioke: “My Girl” by The Temptations

Kidioke: “Lullaby” by Billy Joel

Kidioke: “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

We were lucky enough to get the “What A Wonderful World” version. Such a great song. 

Find Kidioke books on Amazon + FREE Shipping!

Check out my post “5 Christmas Family Traditions You Can Start This Year.” One of the ideas is wrapping up 25 books. Then starting December 1st allow your child to open one book each day until Christmas. I can’t wait to see how stoked Haley is when she sees a few Kidioke books in the mix.

If you have a chance to check out the Kidioke series, let me know how you like it. Plus, what’s your favorite one? The songs are oldies but definitely goodies. I’ll post a review of the Kidioke app next week. So, if you’re familiar with the app – shhh! Don’t give any spoilers. 😉

Gerber Helps Fuel Healthy Toddlers

Gerber Helps Fuel Healthy Toddlers

My family has trusted Gerber for generations. The brand has stolen the baby industeries heart since 1927. We feel the same about their line of GERBER CEREALS, too. We used their cereals to introduce Haley to solid foods. Dray was introduced to solid food with their cereal, too. Plus, it’s easy to mix in your own purees. Making for a different experience for your baby every time. 

Introducing Haley to solids was easy. She was a great eater. Dray is a different story. His first birthday was Sunday. He still has problems eating solid foods. We’ve talked to his pediatrician about it. She says to just give him time. It’s just a different experience for me. I guess because Haley was such a fierce eater. Now she is picky, picky, picky.

I used GERBER CEREALS for Haley quite often. Now, Dray has become a Gerber baby, too. Both of my little ones were introduced to the solid food world through their cereals. But, I must say, the flavor variety has expanded since Haley enjoyed the cereal. I found this out while visiting Walmart. They have a HUGE selection. Which is great. Because, Dray is texture and taste funny.

gerber cereals

Dray loves fruit. So, when I saw the GERBER CEREALS Rice & Banana Apple, I was ecstatic! I knew he would love this. Plus, all of the benefits it offers is amazing. WalMart has a great variety of the cereal. So, if you’re in the market, I’d check them out.

The #1 food source of iron is GERBER CEREALS!

I mixed apple puree into the cereal. Dray absolutely loved it. He watched me every time I took the spoon to the bowl. He knew the good stuff was coming.

GERBER CEREALS

GERBER CEREALS Benefits

  • The #1 food source of iron
  • Two servings equals 90% of the daily iron baby need
  • Made with calcium
  • Promotes healthy bones and teeth
  • No artificial flavors
  • No artificial colors
  • Non-GMO
  • Has Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and 6 B Vitamins

Are you just now introducing solid foods to baby? Or are you a professional at introducing them? Regardless of your rank, your baby or toddler will benefit from GERBER CEREALS. Since 1927, Gerber has helped build healthy babies. 

Daydreaming or Absence Seizures? Absence Seizures In Children

We all tend to daydream once in a while. But, is it daydreaming or seizures? Absence seizures can seem like someone is daydreaming. But, in reality, they’re having a seizure. Just like a daydreaming episode, these forms of seizures are also short lived. So, sometimes they may be hard to recognize. If you think your child is suffering from absence seizures, you should consult your pediatrician right away. 

My daughter, Haley, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was just 2 years old. Prior to the seizure that caught my attention, Haley didn’t seem to daydream much. She fell a lot. But, I figured that was normal. She was a wild toddler. But, one night she didn’t something strange. Something she has never done in the past. It was enough for me to prompt a call into her pediatrician. She suggested I bring her in right away. Within a week we were at an appointment with the top neurologist at the local children’s hospital.

The “Daydreaming” Episode That Made Us Call The Pediatrician

I remember that night so clearly. We were standing in the kitchen with the back door open. I was cooking, Haley was watching. Then Haley walked straight to the back door and looked out. She stared for a second or two. I thought she was just seeing what she could see. Then I called her name. No response. I called it again, still nothing. So, I started saying silly things. She wouldn’t respond. The only movement was her chewing on the inside of her bottom lip. I tapped her shoulder. She didn’t do anything. This lasted a good minute before I tugged her hair a little. About 10 seconds after the hair tug, she turned around. She was staring at me. She looked petrified. Then she just hung onto my leg.

Epilepsy.com has a load of information on seizures!

daydreaming or absence seizures

Haley’s Initial Pediatrician Appointment

The next day we went to see Haley’s regular pediatrician. After an exam, she referred us to a pediatric neurologist specialist. She explained to us what absence seizures were. She told us to be patient. Sometimes neurology is backed up. So, getting an appointment may take a while. The neurology office called us that day.

Haley’s First Neurology Appointment

Neurology got us in fast. Within a week we were meeting with the top neurologist at the hospital. On his initial exam, his first instinct wasn’t seizures. Since I had never noticed it before, he chalked it up to daydreaming. But, decided to order an EEG anyways. It took a while for us to get the EEG scheduled. It was almost a month before her first EEG.

Daydreaming or Absence Seizures?

daydreaming or absence seizures

I watched Haley a lot during the month prior to the EEG. I knew what I was looking for now. That’s when I started seeing the occurrences more often. I was honestly surprised that I hadn’t noticed them before. But, these only lasted 5 – 20 seconds. 

Haley’s Diagnosed With Epilepsy

Haley’s pediatrician called us back two days later with the results of her EEG. They results were abnormal. She had abnormal activity in the right temporal lobe of her brain. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and we started her on medication.

Neurology called us in shortly after we got the results from her pediatrician. They informed us what absence seizures are. One of the rare, but possible, causes of the seizures is brain tumors. The neurologist wanted to do a MRI. Just to rule out any brain tumors. Thankfully, Haley was free of any abnormalities! So, Haley is part of that 60% that do not have a reason behind their epilepsy. 

Haley had a second EEG a year after her first. They found the seizures had spread to the left side of her brain as well. She still enjoys every day just like any normal kid. She even started Kindergarten this year. So, before you say your child is just “daydreaming,” make sure you know the facts. Because, let’s be real, is it daydreaming or absence seizures? Epilepsy is the 2nd most common neurological disease in the world. 

Baby Not Sleeping? SleepyBud Has Great Tips!

Your baby is not sleeping at night. Well, you are not alone! It’s a common problem. Recently I received an e-mail from the masterminds behind the website SleepyBud. After I browsed around the site, I was quite impressed. The tips on here could really help me with Dray’s sleeping schedule. He’ll be a year old next month. But, he still fights sleep. 

Alright, mamas. We’ve all enjoyed that moment. The moment when you find out you’re pregnant. Were you excited? Were you scared? Whatever feeling you experienced, rest assure, it’s normal. With both of my pregnancies I experienced excitement and fear. Pretty much anxiety shoved into a bottle. But, day by day, I’m surviving. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t question my survival in the beginning. The sleepless nights. Nights that turned into sleepless months. The mom guilt. Forgetting important events, dates, and so much more. All I wanted was sleep. But, baby is not sleeping!

I thought I was doing everything right. Following the book. But, still, I remained exhausted. The drained feeling poked at me every chance it had. Haley is 5 now. She actually loves sleeping now. To be honest, her sleep schedule was predictable. She went to sleep about 9:30 every night. She’d wake up around 5:30AM to eat. Then she’d take a good nap for 2-3 hours. Then several throughout the day. That girl just loves to sleep.

Dray, on the other hand, totally different story. He’s almost a year old now. Sleep is the last thing on his agenda. I don’t think he sees sleep as a “priority.” My sleep vocabulary expanded greatly after having him. Googling tips and advice, because my baby won’t sleep, devours my search history. That’s why when Marten contacted me from SleepyBud, it was hard to contain my excitement.

baby not sleeping

Baby Not Sleeping? Check Out SleepyBud!

SleepyBud, founded in 2015, provides information that benefits you and your baby. The website helps you and your baby get a good nights sleep. Plus, there is so much scientific research behind each article. Jenny, her husband Marten, and their adorable daughter Molly are the masterminds behind this helpful website.

For the past 10 years, Jenny has practiced as a doctor. Marten is an airline pilot. Then you add their adorable 1 year old daughter Molly into the picture. A busy family who knows a thing or two about sleeping.

One of their articles I found quite informative. It focuses on how much sleep is normal for baby. Plus, provides an awesome baby sleep chart by age. You can see the article here.

 

 

Infographic Credit: SleepyBud
What have you done when your baby won’t sleep? If you’re facing that issue now, have you checked out SleepyBud?! If so, please share your experience on how the SleepyBud website helped you!