Monthly Archives: February 2012

FHE Made Easy – Week 4

Click to go to the FREE lessons!

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 It’s ready! Another week of fabulous, easy Family Home Evening lessons! This week’s focus is on prayer, as the lesson is:

Week 4: Enos Prays

This is a great time to review (or learn!) the proper steps of prayer with your child. Speaking of children, I mentioned last week that for younger kids, you can use treats during your lesson to keep their hands and mouths busy. (Eating cookies, that is.) For older children, we have had success with the following. We show them the treat, be it cookies or brownies, or whatever, and tell them that each time they misbehave, we take a bit. For real. It usually only takes one or two bites for them to realize that we’re pretty serious about this.
{I didn’t say we were the nicest parents in the world, now did I?}

If you are loving these lessons like we are, grab the entire year for only ten dollars. You can print out all the lessons and visual aids and various coloring pages, have them filed and ready to go. Family home evening ready in five minutes or less. Brownies are not included in this offer. :(

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How to Find your Mommy Mojo {Guest Post}

How to Find Your Mommy Mojo

Okay, you have got to meet the lovely, talented, amazing Nicole from My Everything Else. She is such a talented writer, she even writes for KSL and other fabulous news outlets. I had such a fun time guest posting on her blog, and she was lovely enough to return the favor. I just said “lovely” twice about the same person, so now you know it’s true! I am inspired by this post because my Mommy Mojo has been in hiding this past… month. Year? Well it doesn’t matter, because Nicole is here to save the day. For real.

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Lost your Mommy Mojo? Three Tips to Get It Back

I am so excited to join you today! It’s a privileged to be a part of Confessions of a Slacker Mom!  Last week Sarah was my lovely guest over at My Everything Else. (Do I dare admit that her post encouraged me to stop slacking?) Her ideas inspired a toddler-friendly Learning Cupboard for my twin toddlers! Take a peek…

I’m Nicole, from My Everything Else. I’m a mommy to four (#3 & #4 are identical twins), writer and consultant. My blog used to be about learning to juggle the new twins in addition to everything else. I quickly learned that life is much more about the Everything Else.

But recently those little twinners have thrown me into a Mommy-Midlife-Crisis. It’s real and it’s serious.

They went from two naps a day to just one. Just. One. Nap. It cannot be.

I was a mess! I needed those nap times more than I needed my daily dose of Diet Dr Pepper.

Much of my life exists through my laptop and nap time was laptop time. How was I going to get work done for my client, meet my writing deadlines, pay bills, plan meals, and (admittedly quite important) Facebook and blog?!?

I sulked for several days, barely finding any time to shower. This was tough. I tried to squeeze in computer time everywhere I could. I was never present in the moment. I even day-dreamed about my previous life and ambitions for a career.  Then I realized only I had the power to snap out of it.

It wasn’t easy. It required dedication (that means no slacking).  Here are three tips that helped me. Maybe, if you ever find yourself in a Mommy-Midlife-Crisis, they can help you too.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I love my sleep. I went years and years as a sleep deprived mom. We just got the boys to start sleeping through the night regularly. But I realized if I woke up one hour before I had to get my daughter up for school I could shower, get dressed and maybejust maybeput on makeup.

If I woke up two hours early. I could even read my scriptures, do some yoga and get time in on my computer! Ahhh.

It was a plan. Six A.M would come early but not if I made Mom Rule #1: In bed by 11 p.m.

Separate ’Working Me’ from ‘Mommy Me’

Even though I stay at home with my kiddos. I work from home too. I suspect lots of moms do. Even if their ‘work’ is just for church obligations, the PTA or a hobby. I decided in order to succeed and bring my Mommy Mojo back, I would need to ‘go to work’ each day.

I took out a weekly planner and blocked off my working time from my mommy time. And then I made Mom Rule #2: I am valuable.  I was sure I could succeed at both ‘working me’ and ‘mommy me’ and view myself as valuable and successful.  Why do we moms not have higher self-worth?

Engage My Kids

Now that I wasn’t sneaking off to my laptop, it was time I cherish the moments with my children.

While my laptop was closed (thankfully I have email and Facebook on my phone), I put my aforementioned Learning Cupboard to use. All four of my kids are crazy about it. And, as soon as the weather gets nicer, we’ll spend time outside. Maybe I’ll even get crazy and plan a picnic in the park.  Why? Because of Mom Rule #3: Above all else, spend quality time with my kids.

 I still slack a little. This week I broke Mom Rule #1 and really paid for it the next day. And I have a really hard time avoiding the snooze button on my phone. But I assure you, I got my mojo back! I actually now have more time on my laptop to get stuff done and am present in the moment.

If you’ve lost your Mommy Mojo but found it again, I’d love to hear about it!

 

Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool: Q is for Queen Esther

Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool Curriculum

There are so few scriptural stories about women in the scriptures that I thought it would be fun to incorporate the story of a wonderful, courageous woman into the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool curriculum. This week’s lesson is

Q is for Queen Esther!
{And really, what else would I have used for Q?}

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This isn’t the biggest packet I’ve ever made, but it’s still a ton of fun. My favorite page is probably the uppercase/lowercase letter hunt, filled with tricky letters like O and p!

One of the favorite resources I came upon this week unfortunately expires this week. You can still buy it, but until the end of this week you can watch “Esther and the King” on Liken.TV for FREE! We love these videos. Nana and Grandpa have one of these movies on DVD at their vacation home in St. George, and it’s all my 8 year old wants to watch when we visit! They play 2 movies for 2 weeks at a time, then switch them out. Again, it’s on demand and free, so even if you’re not doing Q is for Queen Esther this week, I would still plop your kids in front of it. This way your kids have a great understanding of Esther and you get a nap.
{Or do the laundry. It’s up to you. But you know what I’m choosing.}
If you don’t get a chance this week, Esther and the King is available for download on both Amazon and iTunes for a killer deal at $9.99! The DVD is only $14.95, which is a fabulous deal compared to Disney DVDs, with a much better message. They also offer mp3 downloads and sheet music downloads!

{Liken TV isn’t paying me to say any of this, I just like their products.}

If this is your first visit to my Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool curriculum, you can find out more here or check out the FAQ page here. Don’t forget to check out the Walk Beside Me Store. It’s an affliate Amazon store. Many families have used these to supplement their homeschooling or public schooling, as well as using them for Sacrament meetings, family home evenings, and more! If you have any questions or downloading problems, leave a comment or email me at sarah@confessionsofaslackermom.com. I hope you enjoy Q is for Queen Esther!

And the Winner Is… {Drinkbands Giveaway!}

DrinkBands Giveaway!

I was looking at the smaller DrinkBands yesterday and I thought, what could I use those for? My babies are getting bigger so I don’t need them on bottles, and our cups are fairly wide.

Then it hit me.

You know those days when you head out to the park or the zoo and it’s super hot so you grab a bunch of water bottles? You throw them in the bottom of the stroller
{because your kids’ arms will fall off should you imply they hold something}
and by the end of the day, all the water bottles are filled with floaties
and for the life of you, you can’t remember which bottle belong to you?

Water bottles, people.
DrinkBands + Water bottles = no more floaties.  

Now, onto the real reason you’re reading my blog today. The winners! It takes me awhile to add all that stuff up (for reals, I am not the best at math), but I get there eventually. With that, I’d like to officially announce the winner of the DrinkBands giveaway!

And the winner is…

No Longer An Orphan!

Please email me within 48 hours to claim your prize!

If you didn’t win, don’t despair. A set of 8 DrinkBands (in 8 colors!) is only $12.50, with free US shipping. That’s a killer deal, especially when you combine floaty free water and less dishes to wash. A total win!

Teaching the Tots; Vol. 1

Teaching the Tots Vol. 1
In case you missed it, here’s my guest post feature at My Everything Else. Be sure to check out Nicole’s blog. She has everything from mom tips to (dare I say it??) a little bit of slackerness. She is also a regular columnist for KSL and others on motherhood.

First of all, I just want to say I’m so excited to be guest blogging here at My Everything Else! I have actually been excited about this opportunity for awhile, and yet, life just kept getting in the way. My kids want dinner (seriously! every night!), they want clean clothes (every once in awhile!) and they want to be held (every moment of the day!). So while my intents have been pure-hearted, my procrastination has been um…
…typical.

I’m Sarah, from Confessions of a Slacker Mom. I blog about food allergies, LDS Preschool curriculum, Family Home Evening, parenting with ADHD, and all the things I didn’t do this week. Like for instance, laundry.  I’m a Mormon with stepkids (shocker!), and two extremely little busy girls. I am attempting to homeschool my preschooler but let’s take that one day at a time, shall we?

As you can tell, I’ve got my hands pretty full on any given day. With blogging and thinking of creative reasons I shouldn’t clean my house today, homeschooling my preschooler is something that just *barely* gets squeezed in. Lately, my nearly-two year old is screwing up her nap schedule so that if I do school that day, it’s going to have to include her, too.

Blergh.
Entertaining a toddler in a non-destructive fashion?
Not exactly the easiest thing in the world.

While I was supposed to be writing a fabulous guest post on food allergies (uh, maybe next time, Nicole!), I was perusing Pinterest for ways to keep my little tot happy, preferably for three whole minutes at a time. Let’s ditch the food allergy post and talk about tot school, shall we?

Tot school, as the blog world has coined it (and maybe the real world too, I’m not sure?) is a way to keep your toddlers quiet introduce your toddlers to education in a hands-on way. Since I’m looking for a way to distract my toddler, simple is what I’m looking for here.

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My favorite way to accomplish this is called tot trays. It’s a loosely Montessori based concept where you place activities on a tray that are simple and mostly self-directed. These tot trays can range in activity from letter recognition to small motor skills. If you want tot tray ideas, the first place you need to stop is 1+1+1=1. This blog has plenty of ideas to get you started, including planning forms, storage ideas, and more.

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At Playing House, I found a cute twist on the tot tray ideas – busy boxes! She made several boxes that are filled with tons of toddler attractions: Mr. Potato Head, board books, stickers, balls, puzzles, flash cards, and tons more. She says she can get 30 minutes of entertainment out of a box. I love the idea of rotating the boxes out each week; I’m also thinking of putting them up each day after her attention span wears out the first time (15-30 minutes later). This way, they are still exciting on days 4 and 5!

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My toddler is way into high fives, so this idea I found from Toddler Toddler is perfect. Put the felt handprints around the room and tell your toddler to give the “blue hand” a high-five! {We’d need a set for fist bumps or a “pound” too!}

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Sensory tubs! Sensory tubs are full of things for your child to run their fingers through and discover new items through touch. Counting Coconuts is a great resource for sensory tubs; I love this candy themed tub! I also love sensory tubs to go along with holidays and seasons. What a great way to explore the world around them!

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At My Delicious Ambiguity, you can find tons of “busy bag” ideas–simple toddler activities that can be tossed in a bag for on the road fun, as well as home-learning. Money Saving Mom is another blog with fabulous busy bags. Get a group of ladies together and swap bags: each mom makes 10-20 bags (duplicate bags for each mom in the swap), then you trade them around. And poof, you have lots of busy bags with minimal effort.

A few other ideas sure to keep the kiddo quiet:

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 If you need any more ideas, you are probably an over achiever, or looking for the “make toddler activities with no money, no time, and no effort at all” link. I will save you the time and tell you those don’t exist. I know, because I looked myself! :) Toddler activities certainly can and should be at least cheap (often from items you already have), or little effort (another around of 52 card pick up?), or no time (Etsy, anyone?).

Thanks for reading! I’d love to see you by Confessions of a Slacker Mom sometime. This week there’s a giveaway that’s practically guaranteed to make your life easier, so come check it out!

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