Cheap Snacks For Your Kids

I don’t know what it is but why do my kids seem more hungry during the winter time? I feel like they are always eating. Now you can be okay with it. Check out these snack ideas that will not break the bank.

This Thanksgiving my oldest son said he likes holidays because he can eat all day!!! He acts like he doesn’t eat….which I can promise you all, he does. These boys are active and they are growing and love snacking. Check out my post on how I get my kids to eat their veggies.

I’ve come up with some snacks to help you with your budget this winter.

Martha White Muffin mix I get for a dollar a pack and you only need half a cup of milk (any milk will work). They do offer Gluten free ones as well. I use a mini muffin pan and I can make 12 (nice size) or more if I make them small.

I make my own Jello. Luckily we have BOGOS (buy one get one free) where we live. Making Jello or Pudding is cheaper to make and put it in your own containers then buying in convenient cups. I also buy a big jar of applesauce and add it to my own containers.

I know some friends of mine, their children love Smuckers PB&J sandwiches. Convenient packaging is more expensive if you put a little time to prepare you can save more money on your groceries. I buy my own bread, peanut butter, and jelly. I have gotten a sandwich rounder from Pampered Chef that I love and I make sandwiches ahead and throw them in the freezer.

Saltine crackers with peanut butter is an easy one to make ahead as well.

I know kids that love the mini Lunchables but I don’t buy those, instead I get the mini ham and a block of cheese I cut myself. Add saltines too. Which I always get these items on BOGO as well.

Rice Krispies are a great snack and the kids love to help make them. Also, you can easily make them special for any holiday. We usually add a little food coloring of our choice and use cookie cutters and make them into something special. TIP: Use warm water on your cookie cutter so you don’t have a sticky mess.

We make popcorn on the stove top, add a little oil and salt and it’s good to go:)

I always have hard boiled eggs available for them.

I make my own Chewy bars. 3 cups of Oatmeal, 1&1/4 cup of Peanut butter, 4 Tbsp. of Honey, 1/4 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup of shredded coconut and 1 Tbsp. of Cinnamon. Mix it all together add it to a 12×12 pan and leave it the fridge.

Trail mixes are always fun to have. I will add cereals, peanuts, raisins, and mini pretzels. Really anything can work well. I throw it in a big container and they snack on it whenever. When we were younger I use to do this a lot, we would call it soup. Easy to throw in some of the 4 oz containers and bring along on car rides.

We usually just do water but sometimes I get the lemonade sugar they can add to their water or half and half apple juice with water. It’s nice they have reusable bottles they use throughout the day as well. Don’t forget to clean and cut fresh fruit and veggies. I hope this list is helpful. Let me know if you have any other snack ideas for me. Love ya, Mary xoxo

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My Son’s First Ambulance Ride

There is nothing scarier than having a neighbor call you to get home quick, “the ambulance is here”…..

So my oldest son always seemed sick when he was younger. Check out Bradly’s birth story. Once, he had a fever over a week. We took him to the children’s hospital and the doctors twice and they said nothing was wrong with him. They told me that he needed to fight the fever off his self and not to give him medication until it was OVER 105. degrees. I did not like hearing that!! Finally, after a week of him being miserable he one day got better.

A few months later he had his first ear infection and took a ten-day antibiotic. We went to the checkup and the doctor had cleared him and said he was better. So we took him to Chuck E. Cheese. (Kind of celebrating him getting better.) We then had to go to the store and I felt Bradly and realized he felt warm. I called the doctors office right away and he said that was weird but he would prescribe him a new antibiotic. We finished what we had to get and went home. (the prescription wasn’t ready yet)

When we got home I took our youngest and meet my mom to go to the store with me to get orange juice and the antibiotic. I get a call from my neighbor to get home now. I was thinking my husband said something smart to her and she got pissed. (That was their kind of relationship) Then I heard her say the ambulance was there and my heart sunk into my stomach. Luckily, I was just around the corner. I pulled up to them taking my little man on a stretcher in the ambulance. I jumped into the truck and Bradly was just staring at me. He didn’t grab my hand. He didn’t talk to me, he had a shocked look on his face.

It is very rare I leave my kids unless it’s a quick trip to the store and if they want to stay with daddy. I didn’t even see my husband until they were about to drive off and I told him I’d meet him there and my mom and the baby were in the car. I ask the men what happened and they said that he had a seizure. He never had one before (he was almost four). We get to the hospital and they put an IV in to give him fluids. He still had a fever and they checked him over and didn’t see anything was wrong with him.

I was not going to allow that to happen again…. they told us that we should transfer him to the children’s hospital an hour from us because they didn’t have a pediatrics in that hospital. The ambulance transferred him and he was starting to come around a little bit. We finally get checked in and the nurses were amazing. They said he had a febrile seizure and he was fine. To me, that didn’t seem fine. They say it can run in the family. My sister had seizures when she was young. There was a reason why he spiked his fever.

They sent in a neurologist and she wanted to do all kinds of scans of his brain. I refused those because they wanted to sedate him. After two days being there, another doctor came in and said he can’t leave until he is 24 hours free fever. I started realizing he was swallowing funny and asked them to check his throat. Guess what he had strep throat. They said they didn’t see that much in younger kids.

That little man remembers his arm being wrapped up. (from the IV) and he got to play on their tablets. Four days in the hospital was way too long for me. But I was so happy when that day finally came when we all walked out of the hospital together. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Did You Get Everything For Baby?

Did you get everything you need for baby? Are you looking to give a gift to baby? I have a great list you don’t want to miss. When you go to a baby shower everyone wants to give all the cute clothes, bath tubs, diapers, wipes. Which all those things are great, but then when the time comes and they get a little older they have a lot more items they will need. I have a list of items we forget about. Make sure you get everything for baby.

Babies that are 6 months and younger:

What baby doesn’t love to stare at themselves. A simple mirror can entertain them for hours. Touch and feel books are a great way to introduce books to your child. Musical toys are pretty much annoying but so worth it because your baby with try to figure out how to make it go off a hundred times. Crib toys are a great way to have them entertain themselves in the morning, they will let you know when they are up by kicking it. You will need spoons sooner than you think. You will always need clothes. I loved my bumbo it was a great way to teach them how to support themselves. Also when they got a little older I used it in the bathtub. Teething rings are perfect for your little ones I especially liked the ones you can throw in the freezer. Car seat toys are very useful. Floor mats are perfect for tummy time and practicing to roll over.

Babies 6 months and older:

Babies grow so fast so clothes are a must. Activity table will help with your baby to start pulling themselves up. Pushing toys are great for beginner walkers. I breastfed and then went right to a straw cup. Big knob puzzles are a great for them to start hand-eye coordination. Bath toys are always fun no matter the age. Colorful books are great way to start showing them about different colors. My boys loved hugging stuffed animals that made sounds to them. Activity blocks are a lot of fun for baby. Hard sole shoes are so important for a baby that is learning to walk. It helps them with support and balance.

I hope you will find some use in this list when you shopping for a special baby this year. Let me know if I missed anything. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Countdown Family Fun Until Christmas

Here are my Christmas traditions throughout December. Join along with us or let me know some new ones we can add to our list. Make sure you check out my Halloween and Thanksgiving traditions as well.

  • Dec.1st- Decorate Christmas tree together
  • Dec. 2nd- Finish decorating
  • Dec. 3rd- Make something for the Christmas tree (Lace popcorn and cranberries)
  • Dec. 4th- Make Christmas cards
  • Dec. 5th- Have hot chocolate and snuggle
  • Dec. 6th- Send Christmas cards
  • Dec. 7th- See a Christmas Parade
  • Dec. 8th- Christmas party
  • Dec. 9th- Go Christmas shopping
  • Dec. 10th- Watch Christmas movies
  • Dec, 11th- Drive around to see Christmas lights
  • Dec. 12th- See Santa
  • Dec. 13th- See a Christmas play
  • Dec. 14th- Make homemade items to give away
  • Dec. 15th- Donate or send a care package to someone in need
  • Dec. 16th- Go caroling
  • Dec. 17th- Make a gingerbread house
  • Dec. 18th- Finish Christmas shopping
  • Dec. 19th- Make a Christmas project
  • Dec. 20th- Give something nice to a neighbor
  • Dec. 21st- Wrap presents
  • Dec. 22nd- Make Christmas cookies together
  • Dec. 23rd- Cookie exchange party
  • Dec. 24th- Celebrate with family and go to church
  • Dec. 25th- Merry Christmas

All through December our elf on the shelf (Elfie) does something new every night and leaves the kids a small treat.

On Christmas Eve, we have a family dinner together and go to church. We also play a left, right game and all win an ornament at the end. When we get home we read the night before Christmas. We all get new Christmas pj’s from my mom and take pictures with our stockings. Then we leave cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. My boys will hang a light and a magic key for Santa on the outside of the door. (since we don’t have a fireplace.) They say their goodbyes to Elfie and head off to bed.

On Christmas morning, the kids are usually the first to wake up. We tell them they have to stay in their room and just call for us when they wake up. Or else they would have every present open before the camera came out. After my kids open their Santa presents and stocking gifts we go to my mom’s house. My boys will have round 2 of breakfast and have a four generation breakfast. We call them “hot ones” but they are just fried dough with syrup. They open presents from all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. We go home, have leftovers and then finish opening presents. End the day watching the Christmas story on rerun.

We definitely enjoy all of December and stay very busy all month long. The days go by so fast so enjoy every moment you have with your children. I hope you liked hearing our family traditions and I would love to hear what traditions you have. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Other than of course, having a family dinner with a huge turkey and loads of veggies and pies we are a family full of traditions. Check out my Halloween traditions.

We start off the day with some morning shopping. We come home just in time to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Make some of the sides for the family dinner.

Head off to my sister’s house for a late lunch/dinner. We sit and read the ads for Black Friday shopping. We play family games… who can draw the best turkey and BINGO. Yes, we have been playing bingo since I can remember and we pick out prizes if we win. The kids really love playing along but usually get burnt out quickly. (We are not a football family)

Check out some new traditions I would like to start by making some turkey cookies with the kids HERE. Also how to keep them entertained HERE!

The sisters and my mom plan out our route for Black Friday shopping make our list and check them twice. I really don’t like how they have changed Black Friday to Thanksgiving night but we still go, just don’t crazy. We use to start shopping at 10 P.M. and not get home until the next evening. Now that I have Ebates, I shop more online. Those are our family traditions, let me know what your traditions are. Love ya, Mary xoxoxo

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Home Remedies For Child’s Cold

Nobody likes seeing their children sick. But honestly, it feels like they get sick at the most inconvenient time. Take a look at what I do!

When they are younger they don’t understand how to blow their nose. But try to teach them or suck it out the mucus. When one gets a cold the whole house gets it. (Try these easy tips before heading to the doctors)

Children 2+

Children vitamins and extra vitamin C

Immunity oil to rub on the back of neck and wrist (They also have one for sinuses)

1/2 teaspoon of natural honey

Fresh squeezed orange juice

Warm decaffeinated tea with lemon and honey

Lots of fluids (Even if it’s ice pops)

Put a cool washcloth over the forehead and eyes (Maybe even a warm bath)

Chest rub (Put it on the bottom of their feet and add socks all night)

Warm soups (Little at a time)

You can try to prop their head up with some extra pillows.

*This one works with babies as well, we stand in the bathroom with the water running hot. The steam will help them breathe when their nose gets stuffy.

Children 5+

All the above plus…

Gargle with warm salt water (if their throat is sore.)

4oz. of Apple juice with 3/4 teaspoon on apple cider vinegar (with the mother) (1 or 2 times a day) I do this every day but with 2 Tablespoons of ACV and I was able to prevent myself from the flu when all the boys had it.

You can also add the chest rub to their chest and add a hand towel there so it doesn’t get too messy.

If you allow it. Let them suck on a cough drop if all else fails.

I’ve heard some friends say they put garlic in their orange juice. I’ve personally never done that before but if you have let me know what you think.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EXTRA SLEEP!

My children fight extra sleep but I try to lay down with them to make sure they get a nap or go to bed extra early. Good luck and give lots of extra snuggles. Let me know if I forgot anything. Love ya, Mary xoxo

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How To Stay Organized As A Toddler Teacher

As some of you know, toddlers can be oh so crazy! But they can also be lots of fun if you are organized. I was a toddler teacher for over 10 years before my boys were born and I loved the toddler age. I actually kind of miss it.

I have a dividers for each month. Behind that has a monthly calendar and weekly lesson plans with the copy of the activity behind that. On Fridays, This is when I would get everything ready for the next week. Make my copies, cut everything out and gather all my supplies. I also would have the weekend to get any last minute items.

Take a look at one of my lesson plans for the week about bears. I have so much fun making lesson plans. But I also love seeing the children have fun and learn as they play and stay busy with all the activities.

I always used nap times to get everything cleaned up. Hang up their activities or pack up their bags. It’s best to get all that done while they are sleeping so you can have your full attention on them. If you sit and play with them at free time you will have a smooth afternoon. Toddlers need to be taught how to play and they will take what they learned and use it for their real-life skills.

Keep to a daily schedule and do everything in order every day. Your classroom with a routine will run so smoothly because the children will know what to expect.

If you are potty training, they all sit down next to the bathroom and take turn using the bathroom. We would all sit down after every activity and I would make every child try. This is a perfect time for the children to have a book or busy bags. (Small things that will entertain them.) magnets, sorting sticks, shape and color flashcards or search and find bottles. Keep changing it up so the kids don’t get bored.

Have fun, I know it’s a lot of work and very exhausting but it is totally worth it. Remember to have fun with them and they will enjoy coming to class. By the end of the year, it will run amazing and you will have time to add more learning work into their day. (Once they are all potty trained.) Love ya, Mary xoxoxo

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Why And How I Started A Blog

 

I have a few of you asking why I started a blog. Years ago I had thought about doing one but I didn’t really know where to start or have enough confidence.

Over the years I have slowly built the confidence I needed to start. Plus I was feeling like I needed to help financially with our family bills so we can enjoy more trips.

 

Over the summer I was visiting my sister and she had a cute little Mickey Mouse chalkboard written on it, it said, “If you can dream it. You can do it.” -Walt Disney. Everything kind of clicked with me. When I got home that night, I started thinking about what I wanted to write about. (I’m so mad that I didn’t start sooner.)

 

I worked with children for over ten years before I had my two boys. I love children and have so many activities I wanted to share. I have a lot of mommy stories to share. My own and what I have experienced.

 

 It takes me a little bit longer to do pretty much everything. But with the technology we have now, it makes it a little bit easier. I have a few more steps to go through but it’s totally worth it. I use <a target=”_blank” href=”“>Grammarly to help me with my grammar. I chose Wix website and I’ve been very pleased with it from the beginning.  Wix customer service is amazing. They were able to walk me through it without getting frustrated with me. I’m so happy I went with Wix.

 

In the beginning, I used a Free Wix website that was good to start with. (Which I also use the free sites as well for quick landing pages.) I wanted to use Adsense to advertise ads on my website and use Amazon affiliated links on my website so I upgraded my account.

 

I’m learning every day. Reading as much as I can about blogging. I’m so happy that I found something that I like doing, it’s quite therapeutic. I have learned that blogs are really good for promoting a product you sell or a service you are selling. (subscribe, so you don’t miss out on my plans for the New Year on my blog.) Pinterest is my friend:)

If you are jumping in like I did, I would go with WIX website. Since I have been blogging for the last year, I decided to move my website over to WordPress and host with Siteground. It took me a LONG time to transfer everything over but I’m happy I made the change. Don’t know if I would have been able to start with WordPress.

I love how I can write whatever I want and it’s nice to do that since most of my days are filled with just young children. If I can do it, you should give it a try. I’m so thankful for coming across the Wix website with easy templates to follow. Also, probably would not have started if it wasn’t for <a target=”_blank” href=”“>Grammarly. Go ahead and try it, everybody has the right to say what they want. Love ya, Mary xoxoxo

 

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