Make Your Own Cd's

Children love music so why not make your own cd's for them. If they're old enough you can even choose the songs together. I'm in the process of putting together our favorite Christmas songs so we all can listen to them on car rides. We use Napster for downloading songs.

Baby Picture Contests

How many of you have entered your children in a baby picture contest? Probably many of you have gone down that road or have at least thought about it. Personally I have thought about it but haven't taken the leap yet. Recently I have been visiting many baby sites to see what's out there and came across an interesting one. I believe I'll enter the contest there. Here's the information on it in the event you might like to try it too.

The 50 Best Parenting Tips Ever

I found these tips and thought they should be shared. The article was posted at:

The 50 Best Parenting Tips Ever

By Diane Debrovner

1. Grant a wish. Take an hour or two each week to do exactly what your child desires without interruptions or distractions -- even if she wants to play a game you hate or build block towers and then knock them all down.

2. Start and end each day with "I love you." We often think we show our love for our children through our actions, but kids want and need to be told that they're loved.

3. Think ahead about safety. Anticipate what your child's next step is likely to be, then babyproof accordingly. If your 9-month-old is about to stand, now's the time to put up the gate, cover the sharp corners of tables, and keep pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove.

4. Praise your partner. Never finish a day without acknowledging -- at least once -- your spouse's role in the life of your children.

5. Choose child care carefully. Spend as much time researching your options as you did the last time you bought a new car. Call others who use the facility, talk with the director and the staff, and spend lots of time observing the children there at play.

6. Leave the scene. If your child is having a meltdown, pick her up from behind to carry her away. Too much face-to-face interaction will escalate the situation.

7. Don't rush to punish. Every child has a cup that needs to be filled -- and refilled -- with love, attention, affection, and respect. A rough day, a big frustration, or a harsh word empties the cup. If your child is acting up, give him a hug, listen to him, and spend time together. He'll be more cooperative, and you'll both feel closer.

8. Never take a bath break. When you bathe your baby, don't answer the phone unless there's a portable one right next to you. An infant can drown in seconds if left unattended.

9. Look the other way. Once a week, ignore one of your child's small transgressions -- bad table manners, forgetting to clean up right away -- and remind yourself that you're not perfect either.

10. Sleep when your baby sleeps. If you keep to your old sleep schedule, you'll be sleep -- deprived, which makes you more likely to be cranky and can contribute to postpartum depression.

11. Don't panic about picky eaters. They won't starve, so just continue to offer a variety of foods and small, frequent meals. Let your kids see how much you like vegetables.

12. Act now, talk later. Respond to your child's misbehavior in the heat of the moment, but talk about the incident later in a "planned discussion," in which you lay down the rules and your expectations.

13. Be your baby's favorite toy. Instead of always offering a plaything, amuse him yourself. After all, you move, you make sounds, you can take turns with him and respond to what he does, and you are warm, soft, and safe.

14. Double-check your carseat. Improperly installed child-safety seats are a major cause of injury. Whenever you put your child in his carseat, make sure it still fits correctly.

15. Be romantic. Go out on dates, kiss in front of your kids, and say, "I love you" to your partner (with your kids in earshot).

16. Keep syrup of ipecac in your glove compartment. You probably have it at home, but you may also need it on the road (if your doctor advises you to use it).

17. Make photo albums. Take two hours a month to create lasting, organized family memories. As you gather photos or souvenirs, you'll have time to reflect on the preciousness of your life.

18. Soothe your baby's dry skin. Keep a jar of thick emollient at the changing table, and massage her legs and thighs at each change.

19. Coin a nickname. Call your child by a special moniker that reflects your unique connection to him. A child with many names is a child loved many times.

20. Read all food labels. Always know what your child is eating, especially if she has food allergies. For instance, whey and casein, common ingredients in packaged goods, are really just milk.

21. Present a united front. When you and your spouse disagree about how to handle misbehavior, keep talking and reading about it until you reach a consensus or a compromise.

22. Make family rituals sacred. Once a week, do an activity together, such as reading a book out loud, taking a walk, driving to the woods, or having Sunday breakfast at the same diner or coffee shop. These are the types of memories your kids will treasure most.

23. Nip aggression in the bud. Don't ever let your toddler hit or kick you, even if you know she's angry or frustrated. Block the hits immediately, and firmly say, "No, you do not hit me."

24. Teach your child simple songs and nursery rhymes. Rhyming and playing with sounds is fun and tunes your child in to the specific skills that are needed for reading.

25. Put your baby down when she's awake. Letting her self-soothe is the key to her sleeping through the night. If you nurse or bottle-feed her before bed and she falls asleep, change her diaper one last time to wake her up.

26. Make amends. One of the most important things you can say to your child is "I'm sorry, I messed up." Admitting you're wrong also gives your child the right to make mistakes.

27. Never make your love conditional. You should love your child just because he was born, not because he plays the piano or aces math tests. Tell him often that you'd love him no matter what grades he got and that your love for him grows bigger every day.

28. Monitor yourself. You are your child's first and most powerful moral teacher, so make sure you set an example that you want her to copy. Ask yourself nightly, What did my child learn from my behavior today?

29. Trust your instincts with child care. If you have reservations about a caregiver or feel that your child isn't doing as well as he could, you're probably right. Don't worry about hurt feelings or awkward conversations. Your child's needs come first.

30. Don't be overprotective. You shouldn't try to shield your child from all disappointments, failures, or stressful situations. Kids need to learn to handle difficulty in order to cope with life's challenges.

31. Avoid vicious cycles. If your child is misbehaving in a particular way and you've told him 100 times before not to do it, don't issue warning No. 101. Instead, make it easier for your child to behave. If he always leaves his coat on the floor, for example, install low hooks in the closet.

32. Let your toddler explore. Parents often don't want their children to bang big pots or do other things that are annoying or messy, but that's the way kids learn.

33. Wake a sleeping baby. There are times when doing this is a good idea -- during a morning nap so he'll be sleepy enough for an afternoon nap, or during an afternoon nap so he'll be sleepy enough at bedtime.

34. Ban bad-mouthing. Kids aren't born to hate -- they learn it. Refuse to allow discriminatory remarks of any kind. Help your child discover the positive traits of people, and teach her to focus on the similarities rather than the difficulties.

35. Bait and switch. When your child is misbehaving, distract him with something that's incompatible with the misbehavior. For example, if your child is grabbing food from someone else's plate, hand him a glass of milk.

36. Encourage friendship over popularity. You can't guarantee that your child will be liked by everyone, and it's not your job to make her popular. Support her friendships, but don't try to micromanage her social life.

37. Wear rose-colored glasses. Your upbeat attitude is critical to your child's self-image. Change your language so everyone views him more positively. For example, instead of saying, "My child is overactive," say, "My child is so energetic."

38. Listen before you give advice. The most crucial moments in parenting are when your child is experiencing an emotion such as sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, or embarrassment. First, help your child label the emotion, and validate how she feels. Then, and only then, suggest ways to solve the problem. That way, your child will be more likely come to you for help.

39. Demonstrate differences to your toddler. For example, your child might like one kind of food (say, sweets) while you prefer another (salad). This is of endless interest to young children, who are learning that people can have different perspectives and tastes -- an important life lesson.

40. Don't be a slave to developmental milestones. Children develop at different rates. Try not to push your child -- he will let you know when he's ready to start crawling, walking, or reading.

41. Limit rewards. Help your child develop his own internal reward system so he congratulates himself for a job well done. Change your pronouns: Instead of "I'm really proud of you," say, "You should really be proud."

42. Don't help too much with homework. It's your child's obligation, not yours. If you pitch in, she'll feel she's not capable of doing it herself.

43. Make honesty a priority. Never lie in front of your kids -- for example, don't tell a telemarketer that your husband isn't home when he's really sitting on the couch.

44. Share your loves. Whether it's a favorite hobby, a wonderful song or poem, a great recipe, one of your favorite childhood memories, or a fun game, it will be remembered and cherished.

45. Set your child's sleep routine. By 3 months, your baby should begin sleeping where you want her to be sleeping at 1 year. After that, it will be much more difficult for her to make a change. If she's in a bassinet, move her to the crib; if you won't be cosleeping, move her out of your bed now.

46. Take your child's side. If you don't know what happened in a particular situation, don't play devil's addvocate. For example, if he says, "I hate the teacher! Today she made fun of me in front of my friends," don't immediately say, "I'm sure you were giving her a good reason."

47. Don't worship expert advice. Believe solely in your children, not in Mozart CDs, baby academies, or flash cards. No one will ever know what your children need or who they really are better than.

48. Be very silly. Dance, burp, laugh until you cry, and spit watermelon seeds at your kids.

49. Plan meals together. Let your kids help choose dishes to make and take part in the preparation - they'll be more likely to eat what's served.

50. Break the rules sometimes. Have ice cream for dinner, or wear pajamas all day on a snowy weekend.

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with permission from the May 2002 issue of Parents magazine.

Books for Babies and Toddlers

I have a confession. I love to read. Okay, so lots of people love to read but I love to read my daughters books. Okay, okay, so I don't read them just for my own enjoyment I read them aloud to her. I never knew how much fun reading to my little one was going to be. Between the funny faces, made up voices and the giggles we have a blast! I started reading to my daughter soon after she was born. I know she didn't understand any of it then but it was a routine we started right away. Now my daughter loves to pull out her books and when she's not chewing on them she pretends to read. I hope some day when she understands the words she enjoys reading as much as I do but until then I will have fun reading the stories to her.

Here's a list of some of our favorite books:

Bear Snores On

my first colors board book

first words

I Love You, Stinky Face

Where Is Baby's Belly Button?

counting kisses

Pampers, Huggies and all Diaper Boxes

If you have a little one I'm sure you've noticed by now how many diapers you go through in a month day. So what do you do with all of those empty boxes? If you're crafty and even if you're not there are so many things that can be done with them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a race car out of one and sit your little one in it and race around the house or yard.
  • Cover them with paper and make them look like bricks. Then you can build a fort!
  • Cover and decorate it with whatever your fancy and turn it into a toy bin or turn it over and it can be a small desk.
  • Cover it with blank paper and let your little one decorate it.

Get the idea? Use your imagination and share your ideas! The diaper wipe containers are also handy for crayons. The little plastic containers the baby food comes in are great for taking crunchies (puffs or cheerios) with you on the go. It's funny but some of the best toys are things we would ordinarily throw away. So, keep an open mind the next time you head for the garbage and think..."what can I turn this gem into?!"

Stubborn Toddler

Have you ever said or thought that your toddler was stubborn?! I have and then I try to remind myself that she's not stubborn so much as just trying to find her way in the world. We so often forget with our children that the world is a big and sometimes overwhelming place - especially when you're new to it. The next time your little one starts to show their stubborn side remember that they are not trying to annoy you. Look at the world through their eyes and do your best to get what needs to be done in a fun way. Make a game out of things as it really makes life easier and a lot more fun.

Eating Fruits and Veggies the Easy Way!

My daughter used to be great at eating her fruits and vegetables. All I would have to do is give her a spoon and away she'd go! One day something happened that changed everything...she decided eating at the table was BORING! The good old days of having her eat and eat healthy were done unless I could come up with a new plan. Since she loves to drink from her sippie cups I decided to make her a veggie drink. The only pureed type vegetable I had on hand was carrots so that went into her sippie cup along with some apple juice. Unbelievable as it may be this was a big hit! The next mealtime consisted of a pureed pears and apple juice concoction... another huge hit! Now whenever I want to get some extra fruits or veggies into my toddler's diet I experiment with different drink combinations. It is so much easier for an active toddler on the run to drink up her vitamins and it sure makes this everyday mom happy. :)


This is something I never really thought about until tonight. My husband was going through the nighttime routine to put our daughter to bed for the night. She said goodnight with hugs and kisses to me and then dad brought her to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Next it was off to her room for a little reading, hugs and kisses and time to put the music box on. It really is an easy routine and all was going well shut off the light and found the nightlights bulb had blown out. As the room went pitch dark our daughter started wailing. Luckily we found another nightlight in the house that used the same bulb type and switched them out. Then, because her routine was skewed, it took another hour to get our daughter to sleep. So moms and dads...don't forget to have a back-up for the ole nightlight! I know I will be running to the store tomorrow to make sure we are covered!!!

Shopping Cart and Highchair Covers

These things are the best! When I was pregnant I saw someone in Target pushing a shopping cart with the most adorable cover. The mom was kind enough to tell me all about them and where she had purchased hers. I have to tell you...these things are awesome! You can find them in the baby stores but I bought mine online at . We splurged on the super soft one and love it! I thought it would be a bit more plush than it is but I have no complaints. It fits most shopping carts to a tee and we also use it for highchairs when we go out to eat. If you are pregnant or already have a baby and haven't added this to your list of must-haves you better do it now! Or if someone you know is having a baby it's the perfect baby shower gift!

Way Too Quiet!

Have you noticed that when your little one is way too quiet it usually means trouble?! Recently I was checking my emails and noticed that my little girl was way too quiet. I decided to check on her and low and behold...trouble was found! In the three minutes she was left to explore she had found the toilet bowl and roll of toilet paper. The lid was lifted and she was playing in the bowl of water. There were wet wads of tissue all over the bathroom. I don't know if there was anything else dumped in the bowl as it was filled with paper and I wasn't about to dig in and find out. So I I am thankful she has not learned how to flush yet. I can only imagine what she would flush the next time she has three minutes to discover!

Ice Cream Cones Rock!

Building on my previous blog about trying to get my toddler to eat I found a new use for ice cream cones today. It started when my husband made eggs for breakfast. Once breakfast was ready he put our little girl in her high chair. Have you ever heard a child protest? Well, multiply that by ten and that's what we had on our hands. I wonder if it's time to get a booster chair for her?! What do you think? Your comments and feedback are appreciated. Anyways, dad ate all of the eggs while I tried to find something for our little one to eat on the run. Wow, she is getting spoiled but I'm hoping this is just a phase. I will be working on getting her to sit down to eat all of her meals again. But for now our main concern is getting her to eat. So, back to breakfast. I've read several recipes how you can bake cupcakes in ice cream cones and how much kids love them served this way so I decided to try muffins....blueberry muffins to be exact. I mixed a blueberry muffin mix by the package directions, mixed in a few fresh blueberries and poured the batter into ice cream cones, wrapped the cone part in foil and baked them upright. They came out GREAT and were a huge hit with our daughter. She ate it upside down from the pointy side first but she did eat it...and with a smile! YAY! Now, what will I make for lunch? Hmmnnnn....shall we go through the high chair battle again or shall I find something lunch like to serve in the leftover cones? Any suggestions???

Toddlers and Eating

Maybe this should be titled toddlers and not eating. I don't know about the rest of the toddlers in the world but my little one just doesn't eat much these days. She is so very interested in everything else around her she does not want to sit still for even a minute. My solution which probably is starting the worst habits is to give her a sippy cup while changing her. Afterall she has to stay somewhat still for a diaper change. And as she runs around all day I try to give her nutritional things that she can eat while on the run.


Hi! I'm a stay at home mom. I decided to start this blog to give us every day moms (and dads) a place to share useful information. Our daily lives as parents are usually pretty hectic so let's try to bring more sanity into our lives. Whether it relieves stress with laughter or helps find solutions to parenting dilemmas this blog is meant to add a good element to your every day life as a parent. Anyways...I hope you enjoy my blogs and join in on the fun.