5 Ways to Make Mom’s Mornings Easier

5 Ways to Make Mom’s Mornings Easier

 

Are you struggling getting your child ready in the morning?  I know I did.  My daughter is so slow by nature and hates getting up for school.  I was so tired of fussing with her every morning trying to get her ready on time.  Something had to change because I was becoming wore out.  Sound familiar?  I sat down with a friend of mine and she gave me some great tips. I have made a video for you with some of these tips.

Here is a recap of 5 things to do to make your mornings easier!

  1. Get them dressed at night
  2. Fix their lunch at night
  3. Have their hairbrush laid out for the next morning
  4. Have their toothbrush laid out
  5. Lay their socks and shoes out the night before

My strategy has changed the older she has become.  Now she completely gets ready before she can eat breakfast.  She is ready to eat when she wakes up so she gets ready a little quicker.  We still lay her clothes out and prepare her lunch at night.  I can reason with her the more mature she becomes.  If she doesn’t get ready on time, we take something away that she loves until she decides to follow the rules.  If you have any new ideas, I would love to hear them.  Place them in the comment below.

 

15 Outings to do with your kids for free or cheap this summer

15 Outings to do with your kids for free or cheap this summer

Go to your local library and check out the Atlanta Zoo DVD. Once you return it, you will receive 2 adult and 2 child tickets for free! If you live in another state, ask your local library if they have this deal.

Go to the zoo

GO SWIMMING

Don’t have a pool? Ask a friend if you can use theirs in exchange for cleaning their pool for them. I would LOVE for someone to clean mine!

See if your city has First Friday.

The kids love attending First Friday because they cater to them! They have activities like bounce houses, eating and concerts for adults!

Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers.

Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers at their house and take turns. Each time do a theme. Ex:

  • One day have a slip-n-slide party with lemonade drinks (with umbrellas in them) and fruit roll ups.
  • Have a movie party with popcorn and drinks.
  • You can freeze blocks of ice in a bowl. Each child will have their own block of ice. Add some salt on top of the ice block so it will begin to melt. Watch the salt produce holes in the ice. Have the children squirt different colors of food coloring in each hole. It will be pretty. These are just some examples of some fun ya’ll can have.

Go to a movie for cheap

Most theaters have a movie day that is just for kids. Everyone has to see a certain movie that the theater picks. These movies are at a discounted price and usually serve snacks for cheaper too. If you want to choose your own movie then go to the matinee for a cheaper price. Some theaters also have a certain day of the week that they have discounted prices. Call your theater to get the details.

Most bowling allies let kids bowl 2 free games

There are bowling allies that participate in free bowling for the summer. Our bowling alley lets kids bowl 2 free games. You have to bring your own shoes or pay for shoe rentals. Taxes may also apply. Still, this is a cheap way of entertainment.

Check your library for free reading programs

Check your library for free reading programs. They usually have incentives for reading. Ask your local library what incentives they have. Here is a website in Georgia that is connected with our local libraries that includes incentives for kids. Free tickets to museums! https://georgialibraries.org/partnerships/

Check your library for free reading programs.

Summer Reading Program with Candlewick Press and Pizza Hut. When your child meets their goal each month, they will receive a free Personal Pan pizza. Sign up here!

Get a free book and Bible!

If you want your child reading Christian books, you need to do the LifeWay R.E.A.D program. Your child will read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six Scripture verses. It’s from June 1 – August 31. Turn in a completed summer reading journal at your local LifeWay store to earn a free book and a new free Bible.

Get free Six Flags tickets!

Ask your school if they participate in the Six Flags reading program. If they don’t, then I would ask them to. When students can complete 360 minutes of reading from the beginning of the school year to around February they will receive a free Six Flags ticket. This will have to start before summer but will be used during the summer. http://students can complete 360 minutes of reading . and http://static.sixflags.com/readtosucceed/ParentLetter.pdf

Get a season pass to a water park.

Get a season pass to a water park. Bring your lunch and it will make it cheaper. You can get discounts on Coke cans or some fast food restaurants if you go for the day. We have a smaller water park in our own town. We get a seasons pass so we get other people in with the free friends coupon.

Join your town’s Facebook page for free activities.

Join your towns Facebook page. They will post all of the activities going on in your town. Our town is family oriented and plan a lot for kids. We have a local theater where they perform plays. Ask around to see what your town is doing.

Go to nearby beach or lake.

If you live near the beach or a lake, take a day trip with friends. If you carpool, you can split the gas and pack a lunch (and snacks, drinks). I purchased a large canopy so we can have some relief from the sun. Also, I purchased a big cooler on wheels. Bungy chord that canopy onto the cooler with wheels and Whola! We have a beach with a rubber mat on the sand. It’s easy peasy. Plop up that canopy and you have a haven for the day!

See what your local colleges have to offer.

Check out your local colleges. Ours have programs for kids. We have a Raptor Center that houses animals they can’t live on their own because they are hurt. The college also performs plays and has a museum. They plan different activities during the year where families can come.

Free park pass for 4th graders.

I am signing my daughter up for this one. She is in the 4th grade. I will let your know about our adventures. You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks for an entire year. It is called Every Kid in a Park.

These are just some ideas to get you started. I hope you enjoy!

  1.  Go swimming – swim at night while watching a movie on a big television outside
  2.  Go to the beach if you live pretty close by and pack lunches and umbrella.
  3.  Find a college that has a museum – They are cheaper and kid friendly
  4.  Locate a county/city water park – We have a small water park at our park so we get discounts because we live in that county.
  5.  Invite friends over and cookout – get a slip-n-slide for the kids
  6.  Go to the river to swim
  7.  Find out from your local theater what day they give discounts for movies.  We have $5 Tuesdays and the concessions are half price!
  8.  Local bowling centers have discount programs
  9.  Get a group of kids together and stations of  different crafts – Each parent can be in charge of one station.  Make sure one station is making something to eat and drink!!!!
  10. Play in a sprinkler

7 Steps to help eliminate being overwhelmed, over scheduled and exhausted

7 Steps to help eliminate being overwhelmed, over scheduled and exhausted

About a year ago I found myself overwhelmed, over scheduled, exhausted and for what?  I thought to myself, “There’s more to life than this.”  I work, run errands, take my kids places, cook, grocery shop, clean other people’s houses on the side, help with homework, etc…  There was no time to enjoy life and my family.  Years ago women didn’t work and family was their number one priority.  I know your family is still your priority, but work drains us and doesn’t give us the time or energy to give it our all.  This is when I realized that something needed to change.  I had to figure out ways to make my life easier and have time for my family. I came up with an 8 step solution that can help eliminate being overwhelmed, over scheduled and exhausted.

I need you to realize that you should master one step at a time before you move on to the next step.  If you try to move on to the next step too fast, then you will be overwhelmed and quit.  Getting a system put in place is the key.  I have Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD) which makes me get overwhelmed easily when a lot is thrown at me at one time. In a lot of blogs I have read (not all of them), the schedule is too much for me to try do accomplish so I don’t try.  It seems that they have everything in order all of the time and nothing stresses them out.  Either they don’t work or they are so OCD that it tends to make it easier for them to accomplish it all.  I wish I was like that but in reality I am not.  So, for the people more like me, these steps are for you!  Here we go!

ORGANIZE:

This step is the a little overwhelming, but it only has to be done ONCE within a short period of time.  After this, you will maintain it.  It is worth the effort and frustration so please don’t get discouraged!  I am living proof that it does work!  If life gets in the way, just pick up where you left off and don’t beat yourself up. 

The first place I started was with my mail.  I would always place it on the kitchen table or counter.  It looked messy and we had to dig for our bills.  I emptied our wooden file cabinet and started creating a filing system.  I made a hanging folder for each item: bills, sales paper/coupons, appliance instructions, banking information, doctor bills and any other personal information.  Look at your mail to see what you get.  This will help you know what folders to make.  If you don’t have a filing cabinet then you can purchase a small plastic one or make your own out of a Xerox box.  Get cute ideas from Pinterest.  Let that be the only accomplishment that you do that day to not get overwhelmed.

Then move towards the kitchen.  I pulled things out of my cabinets, sections at a time.  Don’t do all of the kitchen at once.  You will be exhausted.  Remember, this is what we are trying to avoid.  Baby steps!  Take two or three cabinets at a time.  Pull things out to see what to keep and what to give or sell. You don’t need 6 of the same size pans or a lot of cups, etc.  Be realistic on what you need to keep.  While you are at it, wipe down the inside of the cabinets.  I had a lot of stuff to purge. I relocated some kitchen items to bigger storage to give me more room.  I put my extra crock pot under my bed. You can put other seldomly used kitchen stuff at the top of the closet. Less is more.  The less stuff you have the easier it is to find things and put things up.  Here is an example of a filing system you can use.

https://www.amazon.com/Internets-Best-Collapsible-Organizer-Decorative/dp/B079ZNH4B3/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=1ZL74GX1NFWRV&keywords=file+storage+box&qid=1578530538&sprefix=file%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFLVVM0V1dSRVVWMVcmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA5Njc1ODQyVzJLQzc2OTVGWFdPJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAzMjAzMzExVzdJUEdRUjQ0WDVRJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Once the kitchen is finished, move to the living room.  Remember, not on the same day.  It will take a few weekends to do this.  Stay committed to see the end results.  This is the hard part so it will get easier!  I took furniture out of my living room and put them in another part of the house with a purpose.  If you don’t need it then sell it or give it away.  I put the filing cabinet in the kitchen where there was room.  The sofa table became a computer table in the extra room.  Go through drawers, cabinets and things lying around to purge, leave them there or find a new place to put them.  I am donating the Wii and the games.  My daughter walked in and thought our living room looked bigger and clean!!!  Pat on my back.  It was a huge accomplishment and yes I was tired.  Knowing I was going to keep it this way made it well worth the work.  If it becomes too much, slow down or ask for help.  Friends and older daughters are great for this.

Next, were the bathrooms.  I went through washcloths and towels.  If they were yucky, I made them rags.  I went through anything that was leaking (shampoo) or what I didn’t need anymore and purged it.  Remember to check the dates on your medicine bottles too!  I bought baskets from the dollar store to place alike items.  You can purchase small shelves like the one below to put on your bathroom counter to store items you use daily.  I use a hair caddy to put my blow dryer, straightener and curling iron in.  It is screwed to the wall.

https://www.amazon.com/Furinno-5-Cube-Shelf-White-11069WH/dp/B074NHV6S3/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=open%2Bbathroom%2Bcountertop%2Bwooden%2Bshelves&qid=1578532050&sr=8-5&th=1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Houseware-Cabinet-Styling-Organizer/dp/B07J12MT54/ref=sr_1_1?crid=TIWL0FHKX4ZU&keywords=wooden+wall+mount+hair+dryer+caddy&qid=1578532356&sprefix=wooden+wall+hair%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-1

Hall closets were next on my list.  I made sure the sheets were put together by size and straightened up. Purge what you don’t use.

Lastly, are the bedrooms and extra rooms.  I started off by going through the closets. If you find your kids important things that they made, you can take pictures and make a scrap book of your kids artwork or your favorite writings that they did in school.  I purged old and wrong size clothes.  Also, decide what you don’t use anymore and purge those items too.  You can take all of the purged items to sell and make extra money or donate them.  Also, you can do a swap with friends with the items that you don’t want including furniture and dishes.  Just remember that you are trying to eliminate items so don’t get caught up in trying to take in too much stuff.  

Congratulations! You are now done with Step 1!

 

Learn by using colors

Learn by using colors

I have learned that teaching kids using different colors, has helped them retain the information better.  Using this technique along with movement makes learning easier.  In the NCBI article at the end of the paragraph, it states:

“Colour helps us in memorizing certain information by increasing our attentional level.  The role played by colour in enhancing our attention level is undisputable (,). The more attention focused on certain stimuli, the more chances of the stimuli to be transferred to a more permanent memory storage (). As stated earlier, colours have the potential to attract attention. Farley and Grant (), were among the earliest who came out with a theory suggesting that colours have a greater effect on attention. This conclusion was based on their study on attention and cognition. They compared colour and noncolour multimedia presentations on memory performance. It was reported that the coloured multimedia presentation resulted in better attention than the non-coloured presentation. Greene, Bell, and Boyer (), further explained that warm types of colours such as yellow, red and orange have been found to have a greater effect on attention compared to the cool type of colours like brown and gray.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743993/

I use this method for many of my lessons.  Color words versus black words far exceed memory retention.  It also works well when helping your child learn for a test.  Try writing their sight words in different colors to help them remember!

Is your child getting too much Cortisol?

Is your child getting too much Cortisol?

too much Cortisol?

I referred to this in one of my earlier post “Is your child struggling to learn”?  It talks about how video games create the startle effect which creates Cortisol in the body.  Too much Cortisol for a long period of time creates stress on the body.  You can read this posts in more detail to see the full affects that it does to your child’s body.

We as parentsneed to know the signs!

Did you know that screaming at your child can cause their Cortisol level to elevate?  As long as you are not yelling all day, the affects won’t last long.  It’s when a child is being yelled at a lot that it affects their prefrontal cortex.  Three major biochemicals are released when a body is in stress.  They are Adrenaline, Cortisol and Norepinephrine.  It makes their body go into fight or flight mode.  Everyone goes through that some time or another, but it is not healthy to stay in that mode.

My Story on why this became

my mission to help parents.

 I was in a situation where my stress level (Cortisol) was up from being around people who yelled.  It eventually caused me to have an autoimmune disease. Realizing this, I did research to see if it was true.  It was compelling to find the link between my situation and how Cortisol levels affected my health.  Every time I found myself stressed out, I could physically feel my Cortisol level go up.  This needed to change.  If yelling affected me in this way, then I needed to know how it affected our children.  I did some research and came across an article that talked about how yelling can be a drug-like fix where the brain gets a buzz from the Cortisol.  You can read more on this from this Blocked to Brilliant article.        
High cortisol levels can lead to anxiety, stress, fatigue and more.
There is a correlation between elevated Cortisol and blood sugar imbalance.  Children are gaining weight  and it’s not entirely because of bad eating habits.  It can be contributed to high levels of Cortisol.   Knowing this is the key to healing.
– Kim Fowler
Awesome news

You can help change the levels of your child’s Cortisol!

 

1. Less Exposure to Stress

Be aware of how much stress  (Cortisol) your child is exposed to on a daily basis.  Some stress if okay, as long as it is not long term.  If they are stressed out about something, talk to them, or have them talk to someone they are comfortable with.

2. Control their diet

The way your child eats can affect your child’s hormonal imbalance.  This is where we see anxiety attacks, insomnia, mood swings and weight gain.  There is a great book that explains how to heal your gut. The book is called, “Cooking for Hormone Balance” by Magdalena Wszelaki.

3. Teach them to relax

This is where I go to my happy thoughts.  I sit still in a quiet place to calm down.  You can have them visualize their favorite place (Ex: the pool) with their eyes closed.  Remind them of the sounds, smells, taste, feel and things they see.  Mine is the beach.  I think of feeling the sun on my skin and putting my feet in the sand, hearing the waves crash, birds chirping and wind in my ear.  I taste the salt water and I see my kids swimming, laughing and having fun.  Have a plan in place for which thought they can have if they get stressed out.  Demonstrate it for them.

4. Light exercise

Your child isn’t going to go to the gym.  Go out as a family and kick a ball around, go for a walk at the park or go to a playground. Enjoy nature.  Getting out in the sun for some Vitamin D is good along with spending time together.  Moving around is healthy for the soul and body!

5. Make a plan for your family

Do some research yourself.  Once I decide what action plan that I am going to use, then I write it on a piece of paper.  Write down the most important actions  first (How to make our morning less stressful, visualizations to do for my child  when is stressed out, healthy menus, exercises for ya’ll to do and a plan for you  when you are stressed to help control yelling),  Let me show you what I mean. The night before I lay out clothes, make our lunches and lay shoes out to make our morning easier.  I make a meal plan for the week on Saturday.  These meals are healthy to improve my hormone balance.  Then I find time that our family can spend outdoor time together (swimming).  A walk with my teenager gives us time to talk about what is bothering her and come up with a plan.  In the evening, if my child’s day was stressful, I message her back (not long) and walk her through visualizations of her happy thoughts..
USE YOUR CALENDAR TO SCHEDULE: Click the small minus sign on the right below this to read more! 
I lay out my calendar and write in the important things for the month.  EX: I schedule when we will spend family time together, whether it is fun or exercising.  For instance every Monday and Wednesday can be for exercising and Thursday and Saturday can be for family fun.  Just don’t overload your schedule because that causes stress.  Then schedule your doctor appointments.  Next, fill in when to meal plan and go shopping.  After this, schedule time for you then schedule time for you and your husband.  Taking time to fill yourself up (activities that you love or relaxing) will give you the energy to fill others up and let go of stress.  Yoga seems to do this for me.  Now that the important things are filled in, see if there is time for anything else (volunteering, etc.)  Looking at your calendar after everything is filled in, will show you how busy you are.  Too much busyness causes unnecessary stress. In today’s time, our kids are in a lot of sports.  Maybe they can only do one sport at a time.  This can free up your calendar if you do this. Get your own calendar out and try this.  Maybe you can carve out something in your schedule to help you out.  Enjoy!
Is your child struggling to learn?

Is your child struggling to learn?

Are you tired of your child struggling to learn?  Do you feel helpless and frustrated?  Did you know that if your child didn’t crawl very much or at all as a young child, that is could affect their learning, later in...

5 Ways to Make Mom’s Mornings Easier

5 Ways to Make Mom’s Mornings Easier

  Are you struggling getting your child ready in the morning?  I know I did.  My daughter is so slow by nature and hates getting up for school.  I was so tired of fussing with her every morning trying to get her ready on time.  Something had to change because I...

Is your child getting too much Cortisol?

Is your child getting too much Cortisol?

I referred to this in one of my earlier post "Is your child struggling to learn"?  It talks about how video games create the startle effect which creates Cortisol in the body.  Too much Cortisol for a long period of time creates stress on the body.  You...

Education is failing our kids

Education is failing our kids

It is sad that Pre-K children are now being taught kindergarten curriculum. We are requiring them to sit still and learn, while so many of our children's minds aren't mature enough. Our elementary age children need to be moving more while learning at the same time and...

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Is your child struggling to learn?

Are you tired of your child struggling to learn?  Do you feel helpless and frustrated?  Did you know that if your child didn’t crawl very much or at all as a young child, that is could affect their learning, later in...

5 Ways to Make Mom’s Mornings Easier

  Are you struggling getting your child ready in the morning?  I know I did.  My daughter is so slow by nature and hates getting up for school.  I was so tired of fussing with her every morning trying to get her ready on time.  Something had to change because I...