Life Lessons with Little League

Spring is basically here, and our children have moved from winter sports to spring sports. What usually is within the months of end of February to early June, these sports usually consist of soccer, basketball, and the ever post popular spring time sport, baseball.

I’ve been in the little league world for 4 years with my oldest son. 1 year, I was even brave enough to have both boys enrolled in little league at once! What is probably typical for some families with multiple children in little league, it was definitely a shuffle for us as a family to oblige to the boys baseball schedules.

For new parents introducing their child’s first sport, I highly, highly recommend little league for your child. As your child starts at the age of 5 (sometimes even 3-4!) tee-ball is introduced, with the fundamentals of baseball. The basics. There are great life lessons learned through tee-ball as well! Whether or not your son sticks with sports all the through childhood, even just a few years can teach him a lot.

  • Paying Attention
  • Practice/Persistence
  • Showing Up
  • Luck
  • Successful = Having Copycats
  • Just Do IT!
  • Scorekeeping?
  • Rainy Days

Last year, we had moved to a new city, which meant my oldest son started at a new little league. We’ve moved around from different little leagues before, but our previous league was by far our favorite. (Shout out to Fremont American Little League!!!)

If you’re excited out this little league season, having it be your child’s first time, here’s what your little slugger will gain.

  1. Paying Attention
    During tee-ball, the kids are basically playing in the dirt, or catching butterflies in the outfield. It happens more often then not. T-ball practice and games isn’t a place to play in the dirt or catch butterflies.. It’s inevitable that the hardest hit balls will find the kids who aren’t paying attention. They’ll either miss their chance to catch a ball, or they’ll get drilled. If you don’t pay attention in life, you’ll miss some great opportunities.
  2. Practice/Persistence
    Most kids aren’t natural talents when it comes to t-ball. Some can swing and miss 10 or more times before they hit the ball. And catching isn’t exactly easy either. But when they eventually hit one, it’s awesome. The look of pride and joy on their faces is priceless. That’s when they realize that if they stick to something and work at it, they can accomplish their goal. Definitely a valuable life lesson.
  3. Showing Up
    Even though my boys love t-ball, there have been a few times when one of them didn’t want to go to his game, or parents made prior engagements on weekend game days (I am guilty to this.) But once you bring your son to his game, he’ll most likely have a great time and is glad he went. This is true in many aspects of life. Whether it’s school, work or just going to the gym to work out. Getting yourself to show up is often the most difficult part.
  4. Luck
    When your son hits that ball at first swing, and runs his little tail off to first base and is safe, its an amazing feeling! Or when he’ll stick his glove out and turn his head away as a fly comes down from the sky directly toward him…and lands right in his glove. Luck isn’t something that should be relied upon. But when it happens, it’s a pretty cool feeling.
  5. Successful = Having Copycats
    One kid will hit a home run and a bunch of his teammates will want to use his bat the rest of the game. To 4 and 5-year olds, the bat is the “secret sauce.” When someone is successful in life, other people want to know how he achieved such success and how they can get there, too!
  6. Just Do IT!
    After all the practices and preparation, the big moment will arrive. At game days a kid will have his first at bat in an official game. He’s put in the work. He knows what to do. The ball is right in front of him, resting on the tee. He just has to swing. In life, you can analyze, study, practice, prepare, think and debate. But when it comes down to it, if you want to accomplish anything, you’ve got to take your shot. Just swing and see what happens.
  7. Scorekeeping?
    In tee-ball no one keeps score at the games. The kids don’t mind. They just want to have fun. There are so many competitive aspects in life. Everything from merging into traffic to answering the question, “What do you do for a living?” can feel like a competition.
  8. Rainy Days
    Sometimes the sky will open up and a pouring rain will ruin all your plans. That’s usually how it goes for spring ball. But it doesn’t have to ruin your day. “Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes, it rains.” 

    So there’s the life lessons of little league!!! If you’re child is returning back to little league, or you’re new to the baseball community with your child, welcome! Have fun! Let the kids play, and plaaaaay baaaaalll!

October Bubbles

October is finally here!!!!!!! But although the month is filled with pumpkin patch visits, harvest festivals, and Halloween fun, the summer heat still lingers on. I remember a couple years ago, it was still 80 degrees in November!! Now, obviously I’m speaking as being a full on California native. Raised in the Bay Area, and now raising my young boys in sunny Sacramento.

Sacramento heat is absolutely no joke. 8 months out of the year its between 85 degrees to 100. While some cities like Seattle, Washington, have rain just about 8 months long, and spring weather the rest of the time………Sacramento, as told by my neighbors and new friends describe the weather to be hot, and within a flip of a switch, its winter. Being raised and blessed for the past 30 years of my life with the San Francisco breeze, I honestly cannot wait for mother nature to flip that switch!

October is here, but Mother Nature won’t allow us Sactown folks to embrace the autumn season just yet. So until the weather kicks in, the boys and I will continue to enjoy summer like activities outside like, bubbles!

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Having gone through raising two young boys, you end up learning a few tricks up your sleeves. Millennials call it “Parenting Hacks.” We all see this cool Nifty and BuzzFeed videos on our Facebook Timelines on how to fix things, and make adulting easier. Here’s one cool bubble fun Parenting Hack I’ve used to keep the cool bubble soapy liquid inside the tube!

Note: Assuming parents, teachers, and guardians alike are reading this blog, you know exactly why this hack can be useful.

If not I’ll explain.

We’ve all seen the bubble tubes. Usually sold during the Spring/Summer season for children to enjoy, and help parents keep children unplugged, and pretty much used as a quick and easy go-to activity. Sold for $0.99 a pop, these fun little bubble tubes/wands, are easy to enjoy, to pack anywhere from a diaper bag, backpack, to a purse. I usually keep them in my trunk handy. These bubble wands simply open with a quick twist, and swing away using the wand, creating fun bubbles. 90% of the time, your child does not have the eye and hand coordination to keep the open bubble tube upwards, as he/she wands away.

THE RESULT: The bubble solution spills EVERYWHERE, at your feet, sticky, ekky, and the first bubbles blown fly away. #FAIL

SOLUTION: Zip ties.

I’m aware this will no longer give you the flexibility to take your bubble wand anywhere, but if fixed to the house/backyard or grandma and grandpas you’ll definitely want to thank you.

For Day cares, after-school, schools, or care-takers/teacher alike, we can all find a away to fit this in within the child’s daytime home/facility.

Here’s what you’ll need….

Supplies:

-Scissors

-Large Zip Ties

-Bubble Tube (Can be purchased at Target/ WalMart/ Dollar Tree) 

Directions:

  1.  Take a few zip ties, (I used 2, per bubble tube) and zip tie the tube to a fence/patio railing gate.
  2. Attached zip tie to the tub part of the bubbles (The plastic tube, which holds the liquid solution.)
    This holds the tube upright at ALL times for the solution to never spill!!!!! (YAY!!!)
  3. Secure the zip-tie to the tube, and the railing/gate/fence.
  4. Keep bubble want accessible for child to easily use, and twist off.

And viola!!!!! Your bubble wand is now ready for use!!!

If for a school, or daycare center, this makes it really really fun, and easier for the adults/teachers alike to have all children participate in bubbles. You can also keep the bubbles, left on the railing/gate/fence, and refill at any time! This also is great for families with multiple children, wanting to play with bubbles!

COOL ADDITION: Create a rainbow bubble area! Target usually sells this bubble tubes in different colors. Collect the all, and place them next to each-other creating a rainbow bubble area!!

What’s your favorite parenting hack? I’m looking for simple, easy, and ready-to-go hacks that will make my life as a parent a “little-bit” easier. Share! Comment below!

 

Cherrio Corn On The Cob

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a casual craft. I’ve been focusing on my new lifestyle here in Sacramento, that it’s been difficult to slow down, and enjoy a simple craft with my kids. With fall inches near us, I thought it was appropriate to share a harvest craft! In celebration of fall/autumn, and settled down in one of the top cities in California that harvests majority of the states agriculture, this would be a perfect craft to share!

I live fairly close to a few farms. One exit away, I’m already downtown. The other, I hit farms, and just a few yards away, is the Sacramento River. I actually drive by two farms every day, on my way to work. At first it was something to get used to, as in the Bay Area, there was only 1 or 2 farms I’d actually see. But these farms are gorgeous!!!!!! Acres and acres of amazing fruit and veggies. Early Spring, when I first moved to Sacramento, there were miles out to the sunset sunflowers. Beautifully, amazing tall sunflowers. A photographers dream. Living here in Sacramento has also inspired me to grow some fruits and vegetables. I’ll have to share with you how my garden boxes are doing. (So stay tuned for that!)

Like every craft I do, this was so affordable, quick and easy. It fits any age child, and if you have an older child (3rd/4th grade) I’d highly suggest talking about agriculture, and food.

 

Here are few examples to talk about with your kids:

  • Ask your child about almonds?
  • Where are they grown?
  • Where did almond trees come from?
  • When did almond trees arrive in the US?
  • What kind of weather do almond trees like?
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Have fun talking with your child during the craft…Here are some more questions you can ask your child over crafting!!! This encourages talking, learning, aside from doing the craft in front of you. Depending on the craft, keep topics concentrated of the same craft at hand! Since this craft if about corn, and fall harvesting, topics about farmers and agriculture should be covered!
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So as you enjoy this craft, be sure to talk to your kids. This is something that I’ll be incorporating into my craft tutorials. As my kids grow, and get older, so will my tutorial craft posts. I’ve come to terms with my children growing, and it’ll hit a point of no more kids craft posts (BUT that won’t hit for a couple more years, since I still have a kindergartener. ) Sniff. Sniff….. Imagining them getting older, not doing these crafts with me does sadden me, but I do look forward to whats to come!
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In the mean time, I introduce to you my version of the Pinterest Inspired: Cherrio Corn On The Cob!!!

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What You’ll Need:

  • Green & Yellow Construction PaperDon’t have construction paper handy?
    No worries!!! This craft can be done using crayons/markers/colored pencils/ or paint!!!! Read scroll down below for separate instructions!
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Cherrio Cereal
  • Hole Puncher
  • Fall Colored Yarn/Twine

Directions:

  1.  First, take your yellow construction paper and cut into quarters.
  2. Stack them together, then with a pencil freehand a corn ear shape. It kind’ve looks like a giant’s thumbprint.
    (Don’t worry about the bottom of the corn ear cut out, since it’ll be covered.)
  3. Cut and set aside.
  4. Taking the green construction paper, cut into 6 equal pieces.
  5. Stack the green squares together.
  6. Draw out two leaves, the shape of a “v.”
  7. Cut and set aside.
  8. Take green “husks,” and glue on top of the yellow corn.
    If you have young ones, this is where they can join. Older children, and definietly do the above steps.
  9. Take your Cherrios, and have your child glue Cherrio’s to the corn.
  10. Apply the Cherrios, set to glue, and wait to dry.From here they Corn on the Cob is complete.

    No Construction Paper?????????
    Sometimes we don’t always have the art supplies needed to create with out children. But, using white paperworks just fine, after applying paint/crayon or markers! All you need to white paper, and the colors yellow and green!
    To  transform it into a harvest garland, continue on to steps 11-13.
  11. Take your hold puncher, and punch a hole on the top of your ear of corn.
  12. String through your yarn/twine, through each corn.
  13. Cut, snip, and adjust to your desired length.Your corn on the cob craft is complete! Display your garland around your home, as it adds it that fun harvest DIY feel!

Once you have completed the garland, hang them around your classroom, or around the house. I usually place my decorative garlands on my china hutch. I also had a few extra corn on cobs, which I plan to tape around my kitchen!

If you’re interested in my Autumn decor, you can read more about HERE.

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And voila! A corn on a cob craft!!! This is a perfect craft the kids can enjoy after school, or in the classroom!! Enjoy this fall autumn craft, munching on Cherrios, and discussing farmlands, and your favorite vegetables!! Teachers, this is also a great introduction to fall harvesting topics, and Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned for more fall crafts!! I have tons to share, but so little time. So I’ll try my best to share as much can before October!! Once October hits, get ready for some Halloween crafts!!!

You can check some of my previous Halloween Craft HERE!

Sports Mom

I’ve been in the world of little league for the past 4 years. Last year, I was able to handle both boys in little league (with conflicting game & practice schedules) while pursuing my weekend races. With keeping my mind cool, tag-teaming with daddy, meal planning and extra help with the grandparents, last years baseball season went by smoothly. Mom’s out there, if you’re ever feeling stretched thin, ask for help with family. That’s what they’re there for! Really. Don’t be afraid to ask to help. (I realize this, as I’m now 100miles away from my parents.)

Now come this season. We’re in a new city, new league, new neighbors, and far away from any family. Decisions needed to be made, to make schedules easy to handle between myself, and well…Only myself as daddy is juggling work. This season, I only registered my oldest son Jaeden (8yrs old) to little league, as my 5 year old has no interest in tee ball what so ever. (He said he wants to do golf?!) Feeling really ballsy, and just a few days before our move to Sacramento, I volunteered and stepped up to be Team Parent as a way for me to get to know our new community and for me to meet more parents out there.

 

7 weeks into the season, and I’m not sure if it was the smartest decision. Knowing, that I have a bad case of social anxiety.

 

Presently, I’ve met plenty of parents on the team. Some, which I can see being friends even after season. Another few, live in my neighborhood, or their kids go to my son’s school too. In the end, it all works out! (Better than I expected, as I’ve worried nights before -for no reason.) I would’ve met these other parents eventually, even without the job of team parent. Putting the team parent job aside, which I’ll blog about another time, I’d like to focus on something more glamorous. What to wear, what to bring, and other baseball game essentials for the sports mom.

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Everything above are all things I actually own and take with me on daily basis. Everywhere.

(Of course if it isn’t above 70 degrees. Sacramento skips Spring, and loves to jump into Summer in mid-April)

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I typically post these essentials* more for special occasions, or for gift ideas, but this time I thought it would be fun to have a post specially for sports moms out there. Which, I’ve accepted will be my forever seasonal trend all throughout the year, and for each of my boys. Sports will never end in this family! (And that isn’t a bad thing!)

Nowadays, my style is very simple. Long or mid-calf length black leggings, Nike Frees, green army cargo jacket, a hat, and a warm cozy scarf. That is what I’ll wear to my son’s evening games. And by evening in my household, that’s a few hours after school, homework is complete, and that transitional period of rush hour and dinner time. That’s when it’s baseball season. Weekday games always tend to be my favorite. For some parents, not so much, because they work, and rush just to make it in time for the game. Which I totally get.

Evening games, usually consist of me bringing:

  1. Camping Chair
  2. Backpack
  3. External Charger
  4. iPhone/iPhone cord
  5. Camera (Simple point and shoot, and to hit record)
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Granola Bar
  8. Purewell Wipes
  9. S’well Water Bottle
  10. Gatorade
  11. And a pair of sunnies

 

If you’re a on the go type of mom, which I’m sure we all are, keep the camping chairs in the trunk, and a backpack filled with the electronics (external charger, extra cords) along, with granola bars, first aid kit, sun glasses, and a scarf ready to go, hanging in the garage or near the door! This helps a lot! Especially, if you like bouncing from different purses. Have a designated baseball/sports mom bag-purse!

 

Happy Friday everyone! And too all you little league moms, and team moms, the season is almost over!! Start soft planning the end of season party/picnic and brace yourself for summer vacation!

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Being Grateful

With Thanksgiving here, I’d like to dedicate this post to my three boys. These boys are my what keep me waking up every morning with a smile, to tackle each day willing to grow, and improve.

NeedleToTheGoovePhoto Taken By: Jose Barcena | 2015

Tumblr: helladapperphoto.tumblr

Instagram:[email protected]

Location: Needle To The Groove

Derrick

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time on self-improvement basically so I can be more like you. You’re really good at living life. I’ve watched you grow since we were 15 years old, and every obstacle, milestone, and curveball life has struck towards you, you’ve managed to overcome it. You’re really good at living life that just isn’t vacationing, and spending money on the coolest electronics. You’re good at living the daily grind. The fixed routine, a custom lifestyle – and for that I’m grateful.

Jaeden

My 8 year old, and first born. A spitting image of his dad. I see so much of me in you, but more of daddy.  I encourage you to work hard, make mistakes, and then achieve success. I am the lucky one who watched you persevere to crawl, walk, read, and make friends. You are so naturally athletic. You come for challenge, and can make a game out of anything. You make me grateful for life, and look at it as fun playground.

Tristan

My little boyfriend. He just turned 5. I love him more than life. Someday Tristan, you will become a very lucky girls Prince Charming. As much as I want that girl to be perfect for you, I want you to be prepared for her. Just know that I Iove you now, forever and always. And know that someday I will love her too.

Happy Thanksgiving to you my fellow readers. I am thankful for you. I create content in a reflection of parts of my life and interests, can inspire. From the stay at home mom, a woman looking to get healthy and happy, or maybe a mother looking for her creative outlet. I made this blog in no way to proclaim a Pinterest perfect life. That’s not what I have, nor claim to be about.

Tiffany’s Tidings is an outlet for me, to be on the internet, besides platforms like IG, SnapFish, Twitter, and Facebook. It all boils down to being real, and happy. No filters, no special effects, no collaborations to make myself better.

This is me, and my family I am thankful for. My number #1 subscribers.

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B.T.W!

Stay tuned for my Thanksgiving runs recap!! I have my first Half Marathon Saturday!!

Stay tuned! 

Calmer State Of Mind

While we love spending time with extended family, sometimes (or often) it’s also a big time of stress and conflict. Stresses like these dealing with family and friends can happen more often during the holidays, but also in other instances such as other events and weddings. The Holiday disagreements happen. But if it’s one thing learned over the years, that keeps me cool during this stressful season is having my partner and I being on the same page specifically for the holidays. Stress tends to build up and there are times when family members can lose their cool, so the next time you argue with your partner during the stressful holidays, consider this calm down  themes/points:

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Be On The Same Team

With your husband, spouse, partner, boyfriend, fiance, approach the seasonal holiday party(parties) with a game plan.  Anticipate the issues, issue spots on what’s going to happen, and address them before they become issues. We know our families, so addressing the hot button topics with your partner. Between each other as couple, fill each hother in on day-to-day going’s on whats currently happening within each other’s extended family members.

Sit down for a few minutes and discuss in preparation for the family party. Usually, my boyfriend and I discuss our plan during the commute to the party. Our drives to family parties are usually 30-45minutes, so we’re able to catch up on “who’s not talking to who,” or “don’t bring up that..” 

One thing to remember at the end of the night, is although you’re dealing with friends and extended family members, whatever happens during the party, at the end of the night you’re going home with your significant other. It’s all about supporting each other, and even if you disagree with whatever’s happening within the family, present yourself as a unified friend. Deal with it at home.

Find The Humor 

When at the family party, however the situation presents itself, go there with a smile, and just find the humor it in all. Weather it’s your teenage brother fighting with his girlfriend in the other room, or your mother complaining about why your children don’t want to wear a bow-tie, or your little nephew crying during prayer. Whatever it is, find the humor. Remember, this is a time of gathering, you don’t meet with these people on a daily, nor live with them on a day to day basis, so if you’re on vacation seeing family, don’t push anyones buttons, accept other peoples behaviors, and just take a step back, smile, and find the humor in it all.

Accept It

There’s a reason why you showed up to Thanksgiving. It’s your family. They may be far from being perfect, but you oviously accept them for who they are, and they accept you for who you are. People are not going to change, you will not change for your family, nor don’t assume they want you to be a certain way. Your family isn’t going to change into the way you want them to be.

Level set your expectations. The internet, social media, and TV  portrays the holidays as a perfect family gathering. So your expectations don’t always have to be so ideal. You got to get realistic with what your expectations are with your family especially during these times of events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

One thing my boyfriend has taught me, which has some harsh truth to it is “Set your exceptions low.” Although there is some level of truth to it, it works. When gathering together, you know exactly the personality traits in which your family members have, so accept it, and leave that level of expectation there. That way you know how to handle their behavior and any sudden occurrences. At most times, you find out you’ll end of having a good time.

Leave At It’s Peak

While at the party, when everyone is having a good time, that is honestly the best time you can leave. It’s a common trick to practice during family events. I’ve been practicing for quite awhile, because of the crazy amounts of family holiday parties my family is invited to, somehow we’ve managed to show face to each one in previous years. (One year we did 4 Thanksgiving Parties!!! In one day!!!!!) Yes. It’s exhausting, but if you follow the common tips above it helps me deal with the overload, in dealing with extended family, and family gatherings. Leaving on a high note, keeps that engrained memory of family fun fresh in your head. As you leave the party, and drive off, it’s the last memory you and your family will have. It is a little heart breaking to leave, but trust me, it’s the best way to avoid the low, after all the partying, the food coma, and then grumpy children.

 

How do you deal with holiday stress and what keeps you calm? Do you sit with your significant other and plan ahead? Or do you deal with the crazy in-laws and extended family, knowing something always erupts? Holiday traveling is a lot to deal with, especially with having children. Do you avoid the parties, and just take a vacation away from it all? Let me know you’re thoughts, and how you manage to deal with the holiday season!

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

 

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Volunteering Gig

We all want to be involved at our kid’s school. But squeezing in the time and figuring out where you fit in can be hard. It’s not just fitting it in – in your schedule, but socially too. I’m a young mom, well, I’d like to say I’m a young mom now approaching 30 but done with the diaper/toddler stage. Both my children are now at grade school level, and fitting in with other parents is difficult. While some were starting college, I was in 2nd grade. Now, as adults we’re both in the same communities for our children. I’ll come back to socially fitting in as a parent at your child’s school later on, but let’s continue to focus on volunteering.

This guide below inspired by Scholastic.com will help match your life to the best volunteering jobs. You’ll be helping out without stressing out before you know it!

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Above is me at my son’s Nursery school. Once a week I’d come in and develop a greater bond with my child by sharing his nursery school experience. 

Early Days Of Volunteering

Many years before having children, I was volunteering at hospitals, after-school programs, care homes, to community churches and festivals. All throughout high-school my best memories were helping out the community. My very first volunteering gig was being a candy striper hospital volunteer. Candy stripers make a hospital visit pleasant by eating with, reading to, assisting or delivering items to patients. I passed out snacks to new moms in their recovery rooms, and also took pictures of the new borns! I also did afternoon crafting in the corner of the pediatrics department.

My first job was a SCORE! coach for an after school tutoring service called SCORE! Educational Centers. Helping out children has always be of some interest to me I enjoyed helping out with children, practicing methods of positive reinforcement, and helping students set and achieve academic goals. Jumping straight into motherhood at 21, helping out children has been a background of mine. Below is a guide I follow with have two children 4 & 8. As a stay-at-home mom I believe it’s my duty to give back. Check out I was able to find my perfect volunteering gig.

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That’s me and my son Tristan. Coming into his classroom gave me an opportunity to observe how my child gets along with other children and adults.

Become A School Volunteer!

You life is….

Basically Insane

  • You and your partner work crazy long hours.
  • You have a kid (or two) still in diapers.

Start as a booster or attendee: If you have more money than time, write a check for the new monkey bars or the after-school art instructor. Don’t feel guilty- a donation is always welcome.

If you have more money than time, attend school events! You’ll be expanding the PTA community beyond the same few families, which is a good thing!

 

You life is….

Mostly Workable

  • Your boss lets you arrive late or leave early, and your partner’s job is flexible, too!
  • Your youngest is in elementary school.

 

You’d be great as an event volunteer or committee member. What to know: If you’re signing up for an event, look for opportunities that let your bond with fellow moms and dads, like joining a craft table pr the cleanup crew.

A year ago I had enrolled youngest son was put in a Nursery school, where I developed a greater understanding of my own child and all children. As it was a parent-run, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a high quality preschool experience for children. One day a week positions were given to the parents to sit in and help in the classroom with active rolls and duties to complete. Weekends, parents we were come in a care of the facility and school yard. It was a really interesting approach in learning for my son, and myself. Co-Ops or cooperative schools is definitely a great intro to learning with your children socially and as well with other parents. However,  participating parent obligations are needed, this boosts future willed volunteering positions later on in your child’s school life.

If you want to be a committee member, set specific parameters instead of taking on a open-ended role. That way, you know what’s expected of you-sending out the email blasts, say-and you don’t put in more time than anticipated.

When my oldest son was in 2nd grade, I arranged with his teacher that I can come in every Friday for a crafternoon (Crafting afternoon.) It was perfectly set, as the kids just arrived back from lunch, winded down with a book reading, and settled into groups as the teacher and myself rotated groups with different activity tables. What was fun was most holiday events landed on a Friday that school year, and I hosted the classroom party as well.

 

Your life is….

Pretty Flexible

  • You work part-time and have an understanding partner.
  • Your grade-school kids are fairly independent by now.

Set you sights on class parent and be prepared to: Plan parties, collect donations, send emails, and round up snacks. Partner with someone who has what you don’t, like time in the mornings or an outgoing personality.

This is one stage I am currently at right now with my boys. The time flexibility is there, but I don’t quite have the outgoing personality as I think I might have. So, I plan class treats, all day volunteering a few times a month, and plan the holiday parties.

 

Your life is….

Ready For More!

  • You work at home and have a chill partner!
  • Your youngest kids is already in grade school (or you have ultra-reliable childcare)

PTA Positions Keep in mind: This is a commitment, and full time job. The role is to listen to parents and ideas. Being a school advocate as district meetings, and maintaining a good relationship with the principal. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards are pretty exciting: After all, because of the hard work and dedication, you’re sure to see positive changes at your school!

Alternately Edited By Francesaca Castagnoli Scholastic.com/ParentAndChild

 

Overall, as parents, most of our plates are not only full but overflowing; our schedules are so tight they’re cutting off blood flow and our to-do lists are endless. The last thing any of us truly wants to do is commit to another project, group, or organization. But the one area of volunteering shouldn’t be ignored. The ongoing social, academic and emotional success of our kids relies heavily on the amazing network of parents and guardians. I hope the above tips can help you find a place within your lifestyle to help out at your child’s school.

What do you do for your kids school? Are you a stay-at-home-mom, that comes into class once or twice a week? Are you part of the PTA, and take a pretty active roll within the school? Comment below!

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Happier Mornings

The holiday season is slowly approaching, but until then it’s the crazy and most busiest season for most families. Before the boys wake up for school, I stand in my kitchen analyzing our family white board. Schedules are so crazy right now, especially with birthdays every weekend, appointment visits, and early dismissals, it’s hard to keep track of all of it. Every morning feels like a Monday morning. Getting the kids ready for school until I drop them off is a precious time for me schedule and get organize. It’s a time for me to process our day/week/month and so forth.

Too boot out the crazy season, crazy mornings are evidently to happen. Rushing my children to get, change, eat breakfast, up brush their teeth, pack homework its an insane tornado every morning. Develop new behaviors and practices for yourself. Here are a few secrets to happier mornings:

 

Challenge Them

Instead of rushing them, challenge them. As your child is slowly packing their backpack, tell your kids that you doubt they can do it. Naturally we as parents feel we have to explain every single thing to our children. But actually, of you say, ‘I bet you can’t get dressed all by yourself,’ your child will most likely respond, ‘Oh yes I can! Watch!’ Once your child completes the task, praise him!! This will encourage an encore performance.

Practice

Self-sufficiency requires some repetition. The good news: About two weeks of dedication is all parents need to get kids with the program. During that time, help your child get through each task until he can do it entirely without you. Then fade out those prompts and you’re done.

Do Some Prep

A bit of advance legwork, like laying out the next day’s outfit or putting out the cereal the night before, can save a lot of hand-holding during the a.m rush. Growing up (in a Filipino household) I’ve witnessed my mom cook dinner in the wee hours of the night. She would be cooking loads of food for the week to feed our family. My mom would also prep my dad’s lunch the same night. It was what we say ‘baon’ (pronounced “bah-own”) in Tagalog.  She’d pack two tupperware for him, one filled with rice, the other with the specialty dish, usually a soup meat based dish with boil veggies. I saw my mom do this ever since I was a little girl, until the day I moved out later in my early twenties.

Now, as a mother, I need the efficiency in her methods. My dad still this day grabs his lunch every morning, as I do the same for my young boys with their breakfast and school lunches.

Set A Fast Pace

One morning I left the kids for a moment as they were eating their breakfast, to do the rest of my make-up (yes, if I have a few minutes to spare I apply some make-up as a refresher) When the kids linger, just this week I caught the boys playing checkers as they were waiting. Try to beat the clock!! Pick a series of related tasks (think: brushing teeth, putting on socks and shoes), set a timer for a few minutes, and ask your kid if he can do them before the buzzer sounds. Every time he wins, he gets a point to be used for a treat.

Raising boys: They love games. Create a game for anything. That brings us back to challenging them.

Calm Yourself

The more stressed you get, the less likely kids will do what you ask. To decompress, walk to the end of the house and back. Remember you can always try again tomorrow. Something I’ve been practicing is openly apologizing for rushed and late days when things were clearly at my fault. In the car as I drop my son off school a few minutes late “I’m sorry we were late today. Tomorrow we will wake up earlier, and get it right tomorrow.”

You can’t go wrong with apologies, and being accountable when you are at fault. We learn from our mistakes, and make better choices next time and get better the following day. Admitting to minor faults, and practicing them to your children will teach them honesty, and liable to their own actions.

Follow the above steps to create happier mornings in your household and I promise you, just developing new behaviors will produce not just happier morning within a home, but happier family.

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Alternately Edited by Jennifer O’Neil Scholastic.com/ParentAndChild

New Mom Gift Basket & New Mom Friends

New Mom Gift

New Mom Gift by tiffanystidings featuring acrylic drinkware

Are you looking for something special to give to a new mom? Here’s a great ‘New Mom,’ gift basket guide I created that would hit a home run for the mom! Trust me, after having two kids of my own, I would’ve cried if a pal had given me a gift like this!

Gift Basket Items:

In no particular order, and not all above are mentioned here are a few staples I think would be perfect for the new mom. Hope your mom pal would find these useful too!

– Baby wipes (for the rest of her life, she will forever need babywipes.)

This is true, coming from a mother of 4 & 8 year old who are WAY beyond the diaper stage. Baby wipes are ALWAYS needed.

– Journal, Pen & Pencils

A mother always have constant things on her mind. What’s for dinner? Do we even have that in the fridge, do we have to do a grocery run? Do we have diapers? When was the last time I fed my baby, which breast did I last fed the baby with? How long was her nursing?

Having a journal or notebook on hand will help any mother. At whatever age her child is at.

– Nursing Cover

Wherever and whenever, a nursing mother should be able to nurse wherever she is. Depending on how comfortable you are with this, some mothers nurse even while shopping. Having a simple nursing cover and sling will make this job much easier instead of closing yourself in – in a public restroom, or fitting room.

– Simple MakeUp

Limp Balm and BB Cream is basically all you need. As a mother, I see no need to glam myself up just to take my son to his gymnastics class. I honestly feel like, I have no time for makeup, as well as it would be wasted time to apply makeup – as I can just spend time with my children.

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Earlier this week, I had met my god sister after 2 months of her giving birth to her son. We met at our usual breakfast spot and I greeted her in the parking-lot with a similar gift like above all purchased at Target. My god sister is my first closest friend within my small circle of girlfriends to finally have a child. For many years (8 to be exact), I’ve been patiently waiting for my close friends to get pregnant. During the 8 years of not having my close friends to vibe with about parenting, I’ve found other outlets of finding my mom friends, through playgroups, tiny-tots, little league, and local mommy meet ups. But sometimes it isn’t that easy.

Here’s a Momfession by Rachel Hollis from The Chic Site

“It isn’t always easy to find other mom friends, even when you join every mommy and me group in your town. Don’t lose hope, your tribe is out there, you just haven’t found them yet.”

AuggieN

Meet my godson Augustus (Auggie)

Isn’t he handsome?! He is so attentive, kind, and willing to have anyone hold him. I could cuddle with him all night when I get the chance to babysit him!

Do you have any new mom friends? Were you alone for a period of time being the only mom with your circle of friends? Tell me about it! Comment below! I’d love to hear your stories!

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Goals For The Week

Every Sunday evening, I sit at the dining table with my notebooks, journals, and laptops all open. Yes, laptops – because, photoshop currently only runs on one of my machines. I look over the weeks upcoming  family schedule for the week, and create my lists. The lists include meal planning, kids little league practice & game schedules, along with fitness routine work-outs. I also create my weekly grocery list, and goal list. This probably takes me a couple hours in the day to complete, because the kids schedules consistently change with game changes, and carpool arrangements. I’m typically in and out of doing it, between folding laundry, and just relaxing with the kids.

Aside from our family week schedule, I have my own personal weekly goals documented down with my week schedule. The past two months, my goals have normally stayed the same, incorporating my new health and fitness lifestyle. Here’s a list what my weekly goals typically look like:

Weekly Goals

How did you do on last week’s goals? What are your goals for this week?

I’d love to have you share your progress on last week’s goals and your goals for this coming week in the comments. If you’ve blogged about it, leave your direct link below. Let’s cheer each other on to live purposeful and productive lives!

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