Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How To Keep The Peace In The Home

A home should be a heaven on earth. Unfortunately, my home often resembles a zoo or fight club when the kids fight and scream at one another.

Naturally, my kids will turn to me to play judge and carry out "punishments". As a mother, I always want to be fair BUT you know what I learned, I can never be fair to all my children. If I side one child and not the other, I'm not being fair. One child will be happy but the other will not. If I decide not to take sides, I am also not being fair. Plus, there is always the possibility that I do not know the whole story of what happened.

Here is an example:
D2 (crying): Mommy, koko kicked me.
Mommy: Koko, why did you kick him? No physical violence isn't it?
Koko: Fine-lah. He can punch me but I cannot kick him-lah. He do me first. You don't care about me, you only care about him.
Mommy: D2, why you punch koko? Of course koko will fight back isn't it?
D2: Because he don't share with me his junk food

... and the story can continue on and on and whatever judgment you give, it is not going to be fair to someone.

So, what to do?
I took a step back and decided to implement some principles that have been taught by parenting experts:
  • Acknowledge their feelings
  • Use the word "I"
  • Seek first to understand... then to be understood
Acknowledge Their Feelings
No more playing judge. I realized that what the children really needed was not for someone to say who is right and who is wrong. When they come running to me with tears in their eyes and a complain, they really just want someone to emphatize with them. They want someone to acknowledge how they are feeling.
For example, when my daughter came to me bawling because baby bit her arm, I just acknowledged how painful it must be and lovingly rubbed the injured spot. After a while, all is well.
So the past few days I've been using the phrase "I know you are feeling...."

Use The Word "I"
When my kids come to me complain about their siblings, they always start the sentence with "he" or "she". For example, "he snatched my scissors from me and don't want to give it back". Well, whenever the sentence starts with "he" or "she", it is in an accusing tone. And no one likes to be accused right? That's where the arguments start.
So, when my kids come to me to complain, I asked them to start the sentence with "I". I say I want to hear what happened to them and not what someone else did.
It wasn't easy for the kids to do this because they are so used to talking in an accusing manner.

Many times they needed help, so I would start the sentence for them "I feel... because...."
This also helps them convey their feelings better.
Sometimes, they would get so frustrated not knowing how to start the sentence, they would just huff off and forget about it. Hahahaha.

Seek First To Understand... Then To Be Understood
This one is from Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.
I realized that more often than not, the arguments are because of misunderstandings. My children like to assume the worse of their siblings. What was accidental is interpreted as intentional. What was done as an act of good will is seen as an act of annoyance.

I realized that often they don't even know why the other sibling is angry at them.

So, not only do I try to understand what they are feeling, I try to get them to understand each other too. It was hard for them to talk to each other without shouting. So, on this one occasion, I had them write notes to each other. On the note, they were to write:

I know you are feeling....
I will ... (write what they are going to do for the other person)

This really helped a lot. The hitting, shouting, name calling etc... are really the kids' ways to get the other person to acknowledge and understand how they feel. Once the "angry" person is understood, the angry feelings go away.

Well, I won't say my home has achieved 100% bliss :) The kids still do argue and fight. But at least we have a better way of solving the problem.

More Resource:
The Happy Child Guide is the best selling parenting ebook of 2010. Find out the right way to respond to your children's misbehaviors. If your way is not working, you need to find a better way. The solution to a more well behaved child may just be a click away. Have a look at how you can benefit from it by clicking my affiliate link:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tips to Become Happier & More Empowered

By Aurelia Williams, author of Journey to Joy

Hey - Did someone press the FFW button?

Have you ever felt like someone just pressed the Fast-forward button on your day and before you know it the day is over and you are sitting there wondering what you've accomplished?

I love to organize and with working Part Time outside of the home and FULL-TIME at home with my business, 4 children and Husband I really rely on a schedule and many time management tips to keep my sanity (ok, so some of you think I am already insane, I won't argue with that) but at least I am organized ;)

Here are a few of my favorite Time management Tips (these are just a few of the tips I share with my Journey to Joy students):

1. Meal Planning: Try planning 1 - 2 weeks worth of meals at a time and write them down on a calendar. Do your shopping accordingly and prep tomorrows dinner today. You will be AMAZED at what a time saver this is.

2. To-Do Lists: I know most people HATE them but they actually do work. Just take a few moments out of your day (either in the morning or in the evening) to make a list for that day or the following day. Be sure to only put down the items that you MUST finish on this list.

3. Delegate: Do you have friends, a husband, children that can pitch in and do a few things for you? If so, be sure to use all of your resources.

4. Morning Rush: Scooting the children out of the door can be a huge time eater! Be sure to prepare lunches, lay out clothes and plan your breakfast the night before. This will make your mornings run a tad smoother.

5. Just say "NO"!: Such a small word that carries a might punch! If you truly can't fit something into your schedule and it is not urgent, just say No!. Keep a list of non-urgent things that you can do on hand for when you do have some down time.

Well, those are just a few of my time management tips. I personally set aside about 15 minutes a night and sit down with my Palm Pilot and make a short TO-DO list for the following day and it is amazing at the time this save.

Also be mindful of your own body. Are you a morning, afternoon or night person? Try to schedule your most time consuming tasks when you have the most energy.

Take Care!

Next Steps:
For more help, instantly access your instantly access your Journey To Joy tools for a happier and more fulfilled you. This inspiring eBook with accompanying audio recordings, worksheets and easy-to-apply action steps shows you how to squeeze more time and happiness into every single day.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Choral Speaking For The First Time

My girl was asked to be in her school's choral speaking team. They went for their choral speaking competition last Wednesday. I've never heard of choral speaking coz' they didn't have it when I was in school. So, I took some time out from my daily house chores to go support my girl at the competition.

Here's a video of her school team. One of the rules in choral speaking is they are not allowed to move their feet. All actions are to be waist up. Plus, the kids have to memorize the whole script.

Unfortunately, her school took 6th place (out of 15 teams I think). I didn't stay until the end. I left after her school finished their presentation.
Oh, my girl is in the front row, right in the middle. She's they one that yells the letter "Y", in the word UNITY.

Well, I'm glad she got to experience being part of a "team".

Mamas Parenting Tip
  • Encourage your kids to be active in school. Encourage them to try out for whatever activities are available. BUT don't pressure them into joining. We have to respect their wishes and take into account their personality too.
  • Teach them how to balance their time between work and play. Too much studying and not enough play is no good. Too much play and not enough studying also not good. Teach them time management skills and learning how to prioritize.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Playdate tips to keep toddlers and preschoolers happy and busy

(ARA) - When the weather keeps children inside, clever moms need to get creative to keep toddlers and preschoolers from going stir crazy. Experts agree that screen time is not the answer: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 2 years old watch no television and that those older than 2 watch no more than one to two hours a day of quality programming.

So what's the answer?

Arranging a playdate is a great first step. Whether they consist of activities for side-by-side play or group play and interaction, playdates encourage the development of social and communication skills and, even better, break up the day by offering something new.

But instead of inviting over the entire neighborhood, Heather Flett and Whitney Moss, co-authors of Babble.com's No. 4 "Most Useful" parenting blog, RookieMoms.com, and the book "The Rookie Mom's Handbook: 250 Ideas of Things to do With (and Without!) Your Baby" recommends keeping it small. They say try mini playdates.

"A playdate with two or three young children max is the optimal number for socialization without intimidation," says Flett. "Any more than that and you've got a circus on your hands, and worse yet, your child can get more overwhelmed than engaged."

Ready to play? Here are tips to help guide the fun:

* Empower your child. Involve your child in planning activities. Show him how his favorite toys - that may be harder to share - are being safely tucked away.

* Keep it short and sweet. Parents know better than most that variety is the spice of life; keep playdates to an hour until attention spans grow with your child. A great Rookie Moms tip: Establish the end time before the play even begins to accommodate nap times, dinner prep or errands.

* Provide easy-access toys. Children should dictate the flow of playtime but moms can provide icebreakers. Moss suggests that moms plan activities where everyone gets to hold something and feel as if they have a role and purpose in the play. One great idea, she says, is to dump out a bucket of DUPLO bricks in the middle of the play table or floor. The larger bricks are better for little hands and encourage individual creation or group building projects. Moss' children especially love when she gives them a challenge to guide their play, such as "Who can build the tallest tower?" or "Let's see if we can make a little village."

"No matter their age or skill level, giving children a bucket of bricks allows them to find a fun and engaging way to play in his or her own way," says Birthe Jensen, a preschool guru from LEGO Systems. "The versatility of DUPLO gives so many ways to play, and not only will children hone critical skills like hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and shape and color recognition, they are building creativity and confidence.It's fun to see where their imaginations take them."

* Feed the animals. Encourage little guests to eat at the table but if the kids wander off, the RookieMoms suggest that drier snacks like crackers or raisins will help keep the play area (somewhat) clean.

* Don't forget to clean up. Assign each child a specific task. You will have much more success with asking "Can you put all the blocks back in a basket?" than "Can you help me clean up?"

Beyond playdates, other ways to break up foul weather days include:

* Freeze dance: Boogie to favorite music - when music stops, children freeze into funny poses;
* Pillow forts: Throw a sheet over a card table and fill with pillows, books, furry friends and even a flashlight;
* Dress up: Pull out mommy and daddy clothes, Halloween costumes and giggle over gear like goggles, aprons, purses and more;
* Or, plan an outing to the library for storytime.

Whatever your day brings, don't forget to mix it up. A busy child is a happy child.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mom Bloggers Can Make Money

There are thousands of mom bloggers already online. Many of them are making money, and most of them are trying to make money. Do you have what it takes to be a profitable mom blogger? I believe that any mom blogger can start to generate a profit from her blog with the right approach and learned skills. That means you too.

It does take some study and some work. You will not become a millionaire overnight. Now that we have that cleared up let me reiterate that you can make money blogging. It might not be the same type of blogging that you are thinking of right now. How serious are you about making money blogging? You might have to adjust your thinking, your habits, and your schedule, but you can make a profit.

Here’s some ways to start a blog that won’t work very well.
  • the willy-nilly-slap-something-up approach
  • the kiss-up-to companies approach
  • the controversial approach to get attention
  • the fake-it-till-you-make-it approach
  • the guilt-my-family-and-friends-into-reading approach.
Go ahead if you want to try them. You might see a flare-up of popularity before everything goes down the drain. If you do try them you will learn some good lessons, but you will also waste some valuable time.

While you are working on building traffic to your blog you can add affiliate links and become an affiliate marketer. You don’t have to have your own product to sell; you can sell an already finished product for a commission. You can also use your sidebar as a place for an ad network. They find the advertisers; you wait for the profit.

Just because anyone can start a blog for free does not mean that there isn’t a necessary skill set. The good news is that the necessary skills can be learned and developed by anyone with the will to learn. There are profitable bloggers of all age levels from middle school to senior citizens; and of all skill sets from drop-outs to college grads. Blogging is a good thing to know. Most websites have them and the skill of blogging is a marketable asset in and of itself.

Just doing what you can and hoping for the best will only get you so far. If you want your blog to make a profit then you need to study and learn the best way to do just that.

If you want to learn more about blogging, gaining more exposure in the blogosphere, building great relationships and incorporating new profit points into your content be sure to sign up for the Smart Blogging Skills 10 week course.

p.s. Kelly is doing a Group Coaching for the first time. Besides the ten weekly audios and printable curriculum lessons, you will be able to join Kelly for a live weekly Q & A session on Wednesday nights. This starts 30th March to June 1st 2011. There are no extra charges. You can pay $10 a week or $59 up front. You'll
be able to ask questions and get feedback every step of the way - at no extra cost.
The Group Coaching Bonus is only available once this year so be sure to take advantage of it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Don't Fall For Work From Home Scams

Working from home is a fantastic way for moms to earn some extra money and still watch the children. Every woman who wants to become a WAHM has traveled down the same path. Unfortunately, that path is littered with scams and traps to take money and time from honest women looking to make money from home. With a little common sense and extra research, you can find legitimate work at home opportunities.

The first step is to search for jobs in the right places. Don’t simply click on ads to find work. Try to find helpful groups of WAHMs who have successful work at home jobs to guide your search. You can try searching on message boards or finding e-mail groups for ideas of where to start your work at home job search. Many of these women can give you insight into which work at home opportunities are actually worth your time.

Keep in mind that there are no real ways to get rich quick on the Internet or by working at home. The only people who get rich are those who are scamming others. Never believe an ad or an “employer” who claims that you will get rich instantly.

There are also a few red flags to look for when you are searching for Internet jobs. You should never have to pay for work or job lists. There are plenty of free listings available that can provide tons of work at home opportunities. Companies that want to charge you for lists of jobs are just trying to get your money. The lists are often filled with dead job leads, or lists of companies that want to charge you money. Many work at home scams will also require you to pay a start-up fee or cover the cost of “necessary” training. Again, legitimate jobs will never require you to pay them any money for you to work.

Another warning sign is if the ad or website tells you to “act now.” You should always do research before joining a company and never feel pressured to make a decision right away. Many websites are set up with text that says that the offer will expire on today’s date. But if you revisit that website the next day, the ad says that the offer expires on that day.

If you are unsure about a company, do some research on the Better Business Bureau website. The BBB has files on all businesses that have had complaints filed against them. You can see what other people have to say about a particular company and be steered away from scams.

There are some scams that have been around for years that should be avoided at all costs. These business scams have unfortunately been successful for the scammers, so they continue to take the money and time of hardworking WAHMs. If you see an offer for any of the following types of jobs, run the other way.
  • Envelope stuffing is a common scam, although it is being seen less and less these days. These jobs are normally listed as mail service jobs, and then you are asked to pay for a start up kit. After you receive a start up kit, you are given instructions to place your own work at home ads. You basically just sell the start up kit to other people and become a scammer.

  • Craft assembly scams can take many forms. Typically, you receive a set of crafts to complete with instructions. You generally pay for the set and then are told you will be reimbursed for the kits and also paid for their assembly. After working hard at assembling the kits and returning them, you will be told that your work is not up to their quality standards. You will be out the cost of the kits, and they will sell your crafts anyway.
There are legitimate jobs out there for WAHMs, but you have to do some research on the opportunities first. If you do your research and are careful, you can successfully work from home and never be scammed.

Click here to get a guide that will show you 15 legitimate work at home business you can start. Perfect for moms.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mom, Do You Want More Me Time?

By Aurelia Williams, author of Journey to Joy

Let’s see. You did the laundry, dropped the boys off at Karate and the girls at dance class, stopped at the grocery store for a few last minute dinner items...What’s missing? As you were taking care of everyone else all day long, did you remember to take care of yourself?
I know it can be hard to carve out space for you, since being a mom is a full time job, but taking care of yourself helps you have the strength and energy to keep taking care of everyone else, from your children to the snake your son left in the pocket of his dirty jeans. It's all part of what I teach my Journey to Joy students. It IS possible to find the time to get what you need done.

If trying to squeeze out a few more hours a day just for you seems impossible, why not try one of these ideas:
  1. Don’t be afraid to start small. It’s better for you to take five minutes to read the funny pages or your favorite inspirational poem than it is to not take any time at all for you.

  2. Get up twenty or thirty minutes earlier than usual and spend some time doing something you enjoy, such as reading the paper while you sip your coffee or meditating. By the time the children wake up, you will be ready to start your busy day.

  3. Talk to the other moms at your children’s classes and find out if any of them live nearby. See if several of them are interested in forming a carpool, so you don’t have to make every trip to drop off and pick up the kids.

  4. Find another mom who has children that get along well with your kids. Alternate babysitting services with her, so that you each have a few hours of free time every week to go to the gym or get your hair done. Don’t be tempted to do chores instead. You need this time for you and you won’t feel very rested and refreshed if you pick up the dry cleaning, do the grocery shopping, and run the car through the car wash instead of relaxing.

  5. Delegate evening chores like setting the table, washing the dishes, and packing the next day’s lunch. If everyone does ten or fifteen minutes of work, you will have enough free time to soak in the tub or read a chapter of the newest best seller.

  6. If you cook all of your family’s evening meals and always pack lunch for your children, don’t be afraid to give yourself a break once a week. Pizza every night may be unhealthy, but an occasional slice isn’t too unhealthy for the kids. Eating the occasional school lunch can actually be a fun treat for children, even if it doesn’t taste that great.
Finally, make sure your family realizes the importance of letting you find some time for yourself. Speak with your children about respecting your quiet time, whenever and however you manage to fit it into your day.

Next Steps:

For more help, instantly access your Journey to Joy tools, for more time a happier and more fulfilled life. This inspiring eBook with accompanying audio recordings, worksheets and easy-to-apply action steps shows you how to squeeze more time and happiness into every single day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raising children to be environmental heroes

(ARA) - For modern families, being eco-friendly can be a big priority. That's why it's important to plant the recycling seeds in children early so their love for the environment grows as they do. However, because students spend significant hours in the classroom, teachers must partner with parents to develop habits that are relevant at home as well as at school.

The United States generated more than 243 million tons of material waste in 2009, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, Americans recycled only 34 percent of that waste. Statistics such as these present ample opportunities for teachers and parents to implement recycling programs through which young children can make real contributions to saving the planet.

Here are a few tips to get started:

Find the right program
Getting your family or children signed up in a recycling program often helps make learning more fun. Elmer's Products has developed the Elmer's Glue Crew Recycling Program as a resource for helping teach children how to show the planet some TLC. The program provides parents and teachers with helpful recycling-related lessons as well as hands-on projects to keep kids excited about recycling in their daily lives. Additionally, it ensures the plastic that glue bottles and sticks are made of is delivered to the type of facility that can recycle them, making sure they stay out of landfills.

Reduce paper use
New information is thrown at children everyday - often times in the form of sheets of paper. While using recycled paper is good, the added communications can pile up. Teach children to print only if absolutely necessary. Instilling selective printing habits in children early will cut back on paper waste and foster environmental awareness for the long-term.

Divide and conquer
The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that more than 30 million tons of plastic waste was generated in 2009 alone. Rather than having one universal trash bin, teach children to separate their waste across various recycling bins. Creating separate bins for materials - such as paper and plastic - will get children in the habit of sorting waste so they can recycle both at home and at school.

To help parents and teachers ensure the recycling message stays relevant and fresh, companies like Elmer's have setup online resources at ElmersGlueCrew.com and Facebook.com/GlueCrew so users can find new activity ideas and share success stories.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips to Become Happier & More Empowered

By Aurelia Williams, author of Journey to Joy

In a search for happiness, many people look for it in other people and not within ourselves. Many people feel that things like money, a better job, better relationships..etc will make them happy. In reality, to find true contentment you must look inside yourself and learn to be your own best friend. That means you have to trust, love, and care for yourself just as you do the people you consider to be close to you.

Following are steps that you can incorporate into your life that will help you to feel more empowered and happy about yourself! These are just some of the many practical strategies I provide to my Journey to Joy students:
  • Begin to lift yourself up, not put yourself down. If you don't like something about yourself, work to change it. If you can't change it, simply accept it. Don't beat up on yourself with negative self-talk. You're not likely to change for the better when you fill yourself with negative thoughts.

  • Give yourself positive rewards. When you do something that you are proud of give yourself a small reward. Try not to wait for others to praise you because you may grow resentful if the praise doesn't come. Pat your own back, it is a great feeling that can stay with you for a long time.

  • Forgive yourself. I doubt that you would keep scolding a child over and over for making a mistake so don't do that to yourself. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness when you make a mistake. After that, work to figure out what lesson you can learn, and use it to make better choices the next time around.

  • Enjoy your successes. Most people can remember all of the details of depressing, painful or even embarrassing events that happened many years ago. What if you did the same thing with all of your wins? Try to remember all of the triumphs and accomplishments that you've made and keep that memory with you and think about it at least once a week.

Always remember to celebrate your wonderful qualities! You will soon discover that the more you love yourself, the more you will be able to give love to others - and the more others will be able to love you!

Next Steps:

For more help, instantly access your instantly access your Journey To Joy tools for a happier and more fulfilled you. This inspiring eBook with accompanying audio recordings, worksheets and easy-to-apply action steps shows you how to take back the joy in your life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Prayers Were Answered

Today I decided to work on our income tax.

I looked high and low for our 2010 Life Assurance Premium Statement because it is deductible. I thought I had kept it in the business expense document folder but it wasn't there. I figured it must be my very poor memory that I couldn't remember where I put those statements.

I checked and double checked all our drawers. I went up the attic to see if there were any more boxes with documents. I made DH go up the other attic too. I just couldn't remember where I put those statements and figured it was misplaced when moving house in November.

I said several silent prayers to Heavenly Father that I would find it.

Well, guess what??? I did find it. It came in the post.

How stupid of me. Of course I couldn't find them because the insurance company hadn't sent them yet. The insurance statements I remembered putting away in the folder were actually those of 2009, not 2010. So either my memory is too good or too lousy.

Anyway, I am at awed at how this small prayer was answered. Of all days for the statement to come in the post, it came today. It came at the very moment I was looking for it. Coincidence? Hmmm....

I don't know if you are the same way but if I can't find something that I need, it bugs me and bugs me until I find it. It's like I can't rest in peace. Anyway, I am grateful for Heavenly Father's tender mercies. It was a small matter but He helped me anyway.

I am thankful for all my blessings, big and small.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Stop Nagging The Children

I hate it when I have to tell my kids to do certain things over and over again. It gets my blood boiling and I don't like getting riled up like that. So, to avoid the unnecessary sore throat (from nagging and screaming), I started a to-do list for my kids.

I have a white board on my living room wall. So I divided it into 3 columns and wrote the names of each kid at the top of each column. Then I made a list of things for each of them. Throughout the day, we would tick each activity off when it was completed.

The kids really like having the to-do list. I guess it gives them a sense of direction and purpose. It is clear what is expected of them. It gives them a sense of accomplishment seeing all the tick marks next to the completed tasks. They like it so much, they now make their own to-do list. I don't make the list for them anymore.

Mamas Parenting Tip
  • Besides stopping you from being a nag, the to-do list is a good time management tool. Don't just expect your children to learn core curriculum like maths and science. To be successful, they need to learn living skills too. Learning how to manage time is a good skill to have.
  • Want to convey a message to your children? Sometimes, writing it down gets the message across better and clearer.
  • Getting the children to make a to-do list gives them a plan to follow. It gets them thinking about what they should be doing. It helps them to become productive. When children don't have a purpose, they usually end up doing stuff they shouldn't be doing, or wasting time.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Where To Get Some Cool Homeschool Curriculum

Whether you send your children to school or are homeschooling, you will like this website called CurrClick. You'll find tons of educational material such as lap books, ebooks, file folder games, activity books etc....

I really like how you can preview most of the books. That way you can have a peek to see if it is something your children will like.

I bought a book called 100 Little Language Lessons. Each page is a passage on a certain topic. My kids get to pick up new vocabulary and learn how to spell them. I love it because it doesn't take very long to do. The little passages are educational by themselves. It's a fun little activity to fill up time.

If you are looking for educational stuff to supplement your children's education, give this website a check. Click this affiliate link to see for yourself: CurrClick

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Baby is 18 Months Old

Unbelievable! She's already 1 1/2 years old. This little girl is an active one. She may be small but she keeps all us big ones mighty busy. As we are cleaning up one mess, she is already working on creating another one.

This is where we hope she would play.

But this is where she spends most of her time:
ransacking the table for pens, pencils, color pencils and magic pens.
I have to be more vigilant now coz' she's started to draw in books. I have to make sure the library books are not left out for her to find. I also have to keep reminding the older kids to keep their school books out of her reach.

Regarding her speech, I'm still called "papa". That is still how she calls everybody. She is trying to communicate more. I think I'm getting pretty good at playing charades with her. Whenever I guess the right answer, she will say "yes". That's pretty much the clearest word she can say. I'm glad she's learned how to say "yes" instead of "no". There has been attempts to say "helicopter". Every so often we have one fly over the house. It's funny actually; Here is a baby who can't call me "mama" but is attempting to say "helicopter".

Oh, there is a new word: "Awak, awak." That is what she says when she wants you to read her a book. How she got to "awak awak" from "read book", I haven't the faintest idea. Talking about books, she really likes reading. She will toddle over to the bookshelf and bring books over for me to read. She will also sit and thumb through it herself. However, she doesn't really care about the story. She just likes to turn the pages to look at the pictures. So I deliberately point to the words and ask her to wait when she wants to turn the page.

We've started our toilet training. That was quite by accident actually. You see, we were at church and she was running around with the other kids. I was getting my weekly dose of socializing and I didn't know she had a poopy diaper. By the time I changed her, her skin was already red with rash. So the next few days I let her run diaper free around the house. She eventually got the idea and would pull down her pants to tell us she wanted to go pee or poo. I didn't know she was ready for potty training but obviously, she is. We still have accidents though. That's normal. What makes me tired is when she takes off her pants every 10 minutes to go to the bathroom. Whether she has pee or not, we have to take her. Take goodness for older siblings to help out poor mommy:) The thing is, babyK is choosy when it comes to wearing back her pants. Normally she will not allow the person who takes her to the bathroom to put her pants back on for her. So if I take her, she'll look for her daddy to put on her pants and vice versa. Real cheeky.
Oh, almost forgot to mention that she likes to pee like a boy. She has seen how her brother stands at the toilet bowl; she thinks that's how she should do it too.

She doesn't eat much but loves to drink soup. So that's motivation for me to boil soup every week.

Her molars have emerged. Unfortunately she don't like me brushing her teeth.

When I'm in the kitchen preparing meals, she will position her stool next to me and stand to watch what I'm doing. Watching only is fine with me, unfortunately Miss Octopus Hands will want to touch this and that. Eventually, my patience wears out and I chase her out of the kitchen.

Well little girl, your energy is wearing me out. Hopefully the supplements daddy bought will help me keep up with you.

Monday, March 07, 2011

How To Reduce the Stress Mom

Do you remember the song sung by the 7 dwarfs in the Snow White movie? They were mining for diamonds and were singing "We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig in our mine the whole day through". We mothers are not much different. Our song would be "We work work work work work work work for our family the whole day through".

We fill our time "manning the ship" (so to speak), after a while, we start to feel worn out. As important as it is to take care of the family, it is doubly important that moms take care of themselves too.


Like a car that needs gas to run, you need to replenish your "fuel" too. You know it's time to schedule that personal time when you get irritated by small things, loss your temper too quickly, feel like screaming, feel unappreciated, feel like crying, feel trapped etc.... In other words, it's time for a break when your negative emotions are starting to get the better of you.

Don’t be ashamed to sit for fifteen minutes doing nothing. In the springtime, relaxing in a hammock under a tree is the perfect getaway from the pressures of the day. Reading a book for 30 minutes can also seem like heaven to many moms.

Here are a few tips to help you fit in much needed “mom” time:

1. Get up early if you have to. When you have kids, the day begins at a hurried pace. Once you hit the ground running, there is no stopping you. Waking 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time means quiet solitude to drink your coffee, read a book, meditate or listen to music.

2. Turn ordinary experiences into major events. When you take a bath, add candles, bubble bath, quiet music and/or an inflatable bath pillow. Your regular bath has now become a spa level experience. If you watch a movie, turn out the lights, pop a bag of microwave popcorn and curl up on the couch.

3. Ask your significant other for help. Kids love their mothers but time spent with dad is important too. Let them bond with dad while you go shopping for a new outfit or root around in the garden. Since the time is yours, do whatever you like.

4. Use the Boy Scout motto. Always be prepared and you can spend more time in a relaxed mode. Fix lunches the night before. Iron clothes for the next day and place backpacks by the front door so kids can grab them on their way out. The fewer things you have to do throughout the day, the calmer you will be with your family and not experience burnout.

5. Take exercise breaks. When you get a few minutes the last thing you want to do is exercise but getting a little physical activity in your day has far-reaching implications. Exercise helps you to think clearly and stretches the muscles. Also, stress will drain away as powerful endorphins are released into your system. Do jumping jacks during a television commercial or jog to the bus stop to pick up the kids.

6. Laugh at regular intervals. Keep a funny calendar cube on your desk or subscribe to a daily joke site. Laughing releases stress and can lift your spirits significantly. It also keeps the abs tight.

So, when is your next me time? And what is your favorite me time activity?

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

How To Handle Tantrums In Toddlers

I really loved it when my kids were little babies. So small and so angelic. Then they became toddlers and the angelic part slowly walked out the door as the screaming and kicking took over. Toddler tantrums! Yeah, it's a real headache. Some people call it the "terrible twos", but as many other mothers have learned, it usually begins before they hit 2 years old.

If you are scratching your head wondering what is the best way to handle tantrums in toddlers, here are a few different suggestions from other mothers.

1. Ignore the tantrum. This technique works best when at home. In public places, you don’t want to ever leave your child unattended as a form of punishment. Good behavior in public begins at home. Ignoring a toddler is not harsh. If your child is squirming on the floor screaming for a cookie, continue to talk to them as if you never noticed. Eventually, they will get the hint and stop screaming.

2. Avoid instant gratification. In public, toddlers throw tantrums when they are denied something that they want. Some parents give in to keep their child quiet but a child learns quickly. Tantrums will continue if they know you will cave. Simply tell them “no” and keep moving.

3. Don’t get angry. When you scream and they scream the situation is wildly out of control. You’ll end up crying and your toddler will still be screaming. In any situation, raised voices mean civilized conversation has ended in favor of basic primal instincts. Don’t revert back to the days of early man. Keep using the same calm voice you use when they are behaving to get your child to calm down as well.

4. Praise your toddler when they behave well. Positive reinforcement is better than negative. In the absence of positive attention a child will behave badly just to get some attention at all. Acting out and throwing tantrums may be a cry for attention. Don’t let it get to this point. Clap and celebrate when they go to the potty successfully and when they put away their toys. Good manners such as saying “please” and “thank you” deserve a smile and a hand clap as well.

5. Run errands after nap time. Kids get punchy when they get tired. A toddler misbehaves more often if they are dragged around when they are tired.

6. Carry snacks with you. Low blood sugar can lead to tantrums. If you are out longer than anticipated and lunch or dinner time is close at hand, let them eat a healthy snack to keep their hunger pains at bay and sugar levels stable.

7. Be consistent in your punishment. At home, you might use “time out” to deal with a tantrum for bad behavior. In public do the same. Sit your child on a bench for five minutes or take them to the car. Eventually they will learn that you are not a pushover and they will begin to behave.

So, what do you do when your toddler throws a tantrum?

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Breastmilk Ice Cream, Anyone?

Have you heard of Baby Gaga? No affiliate to Lady Gaga I'm sure. It is an ice cream made from breastmilk! An ice cream parlor in London introduced this new type of ice cream just recently (late Feb 2011).

So, what was your first reaction? Probably like many others, "Ewwwwww". However, there are people that are all for it.

Okay, let's be rational and look at both sides of the coin.

What's good about it?
  • The owner argues that it is "pure, natural, organic and free range." And if it is good for our kids, then why should we think otherwise.
  • It tastes just like ice cream. Even melts in your mouth. Well, that's what someone said. Of course I haven't tried it.
  • It doesn't come from cows that have been injected with hormones.
  • Get paid for your breastmilk. Mothers who gave their breastmilk for the ice cream earned 15 Pounds for every 10 ounces of milk. If you're a lactating mom and you need cash, this is good news I guess.
What's not that great about it?
  • It's expensive!!! 14 Pounds (USD23) for a martini glass of ice cream. Not sure if I would fork out that much money for that little bit of ice cream.
  • Pure and natural may not be so safe afterall. The local government has stopped the sale of breastmilk ice cream for now because there are health concerns such as Hepatitis virus that can be transmitted via breastmilk.
Will I eat it?
Ummm... NO! You can list down all the benefits of it but I don't think I can bring myself to eat it. My head may say it is okay but I don't think my body will want it.

To me, breastmilk is for babies. They need it. Give it to them. Let's not take that and commercialize it. I was reading other people's comments about this breastmilk ice cream and someone over here said:
"There's nothing wrong with human milk but considering that there are malnurished babies and babies being poisoned by melamine-tainted formula powder, it seems a bit over-the-top to be making gourmet ice-cream out of it, don't you think?"
Yeah, I second what she says. Why not channel that extra breastmilk to other babies who need it instead of giving it to adults who obviously have out grown it.

To me, cows and other animals were given by God for the use of mankind: for food and raiment. So, to drink cow's milk is not disgusting to me, but drinking another woman's breastmilk just doesn't seem right.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking to start an argument here about whether we should or should not eat breastmilk ice cream. Everyone is entitled to their own preference.

I asked my kids if they would? 2 said yes, 1 said no. I'm sure babyK will give an astounding yes :)

So, would you?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Educational Online Games

Came across these online games that's educational.
  • Nutrition Explorations: Play these games and learn about nutrition at the same time.
  • SpinandSpell: Spelling practice
  • Multiplication: Fun ways to practice those multiplication tables.
  • Animal Jam: National geographic's online game. Learn fun animal facts and play different games to earn gems (points).
If the kids are going to be on the computer, might as well give them something fun and educational to do.