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35 Awesome Camps to Sign Your Kids Up for This Summer

April 25, 2017 at 8:13 PM • Posted in Family Events & ActivitiesNo comments yet

Howdy, Kansas City! Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. With summer comes extra time for the kiddos, and if you’re looking for camps and activities — you’ve come to the right place. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has a list of some great camps to get your kids involved in this summer. Check it out!

10 Awesome Camps to Sign Your Kids Up for This Summer

35 Awesome Camps to Sign Your Kids Up for This Summer

Can you believe we are already talking about SUMMER?! It seems like we were just getting ready for spring cleaning and clear skies. But yes, it is that time already! Summer camps are already preparing for a slew of kids and anxious parents around the Kansas City metro area and iFamily has THE premier list of awesome camps for you to think about this summer! I know my kids have been constantly talking about camp since last December (lol).
So, get ready to dive into a wide variety of activities, places and camps for your kids to experience!

1. Cub Creek Science camp

You kid can learn, explore and experience animal adventures! They are a sleep away camp and are located in Rolla Mo. Check them out, enroll here or call them at 573-458-2125.

2. Engineering for Kids South Kansas City

This summer camp introduces your child to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through project based learning! For more information you can request info from southkc@engineeringforkids.net.

3. Horizon Academy

Located in Roeland Park, Kansas, hey offer academic tutoring for students with Add/Adhd, dyslexia and specific learning disorders.

4. i9 Sports of Johnson County

Located in Lenexa, Kansas, i9 offers a wide variety of sports for boys and girls! Focusing on new sports and sportsmanship while having fun!

5. J Camp at the Jewish Community Center

This day camp also has a wide variety of activities for your child including swimming, drama, sports, culinary, tennis and more!

6. Theater of the Imagination

Located in Overland Park, Kansas, kids can act, sing and make movies! Plus when you enroll, mention iFamilyKC for $10 OFF!

7. Sky Camp at Sky Zone

Located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, kids can jump around either for a full day or half day and this cool facility!

8. The Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art

Who said camp was only for kids? The Nelson Atkins Museum of art has summer art classes for kids and adults!

9. Sion Summer Spectacular at Notre Dame de Sion School

Your kids can participate in Art, Stem, Fitness and health enrichment.

10. Jacomo Summer Camp

Your kids can spend their summer, swimming, fishing, hiking, canoeing and more! Located at the Kemper Outdoor Education Center in Jackson County, Missouri! To request more information, contact organizers at 816-229-8980.

kansas city summer camp guide

There are so many camps to choose from this summer! These are just a few that my family have shown interest in, but trust me…there is something for everyone! If you are looking for a complete directory of awesome summer camps in your area or throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan area, pick up your copy of the iFamilyKC magazine or scroll down below for a more complete list. You can find us at your local, daycare, schools, libraries, Crown Center and my family’s favorite, Kaleidoscope!

11. Champions Gymnastics Academy 

Starting June 5th, from 7am-6pm (Monday thru Friday), you kids can enjoy Summer Day Camps at Champions Gymnastics! Drop in by the hour ($5/hour) or pay $150/week. Call their location in Raytown at (816) 360-9879 to sign up!

12. Lori’s School Of Music Summer Camp Sessions

Give your child a taste of Music with Lori’s School of Music. Group summer classes are only $12 per week and are  a great way to introduce your budding pianist to music. Call for more details (816) 478-4838.

13. We Rock The Spectrum 

At the metro area’s only indoor sensory gym with a focus on Autism, your children will enjoy Rockin’ Friends, arts and crafts, sensory activities, and open play at We Rock The Spectrum Kansas City. They’re offering half and full day camp options in June and July. Grab the details on their website and call (816) 844-9580 to pre-register. Single day camp admission is available!

14. Emerald City Gymnastics

During any of the five sessions to join in on, your young athletes will develop their gymnastics skills, climb the 5,000 sq. foot indoor rock wall, enjoy fun playtime, participate in crafts and games, and get a fun camp shirt! Open to children ages 5 thru 12 with full day, morning, and afternoon sessions available. Grab a spot now!

15. Accelerated Schools of Overland Park 

Students enjoy 90 minutes of creative expression as well as 2 1/4 hours of individualized academic instruction at Accelerated Schools of Overland Park. Open to 4th-8th graders June 5th- July 28th. Call for more info (913) 341-6666.

16. Ceramic Cafe

Fun themes that change with each camp session, their program provides instruction in ceramic art techniques including glass fusing, pottery painting, and hand building with clay. Email ceramiccafekc@gmail.com for more info.

17. Debbie Howard’s Gym

Located in Olathe, Debbie Howard’s Gym offers gymnastics classes, open gyms, birthday parties, and full gym rentals. They aim to teach your kids how to believe in themselves. Call for more info (913) 829-3006.

18. Kanakuk 

Since 1926, Kanakuk has been providing America’s premier summer camp experience for boys and girls ages 6-18. here is no better way to create lifelong friendships and build your child’s character and confidence this summer. Call for more information (417) 266-3000.

19. Paint, Glaze, and Fire Ceramics & Coffee House 

Join Paint, Glaze, and Fire for their 20th camp session! Children will have fun creating ceramic, clay, canvas, and glass fusion projects. Sign up early since class sizes are limited! (913) 645-1966

20. Sunset Trails Stables 

Sunset Trails camp fun includes horseback riding, care for animals, outdoor activities, barn games, gardening, fun crafts, and more! Available for kids ages 6 and up in Lee’s Summit. Call (816) 554-7699 for more details.

21. JCPRD Summer Camps 

Friendship, teamwork, and exploration are all in store for your kids at JCPRD’s Summer Camps! They’ve got indoor and outdoor full day and partial day options available. Connect with Johnson County Parks & Rec directly for more information.

22. Kids On Campus KCKCC

Ideal for ages 8 thru 18, KCKCC’s Kids On Campus program provides sports, STEM enrichment, arts, field trips, life skills, and more during their day camp in June and July. Grab more info online and register for your child’s spot now before space fills up.

23. Learning 2 Fly

Learning 2 Fly is the place to be for curious minds and energetic bodies. Their summer camps are a fun way to enjoy aerial fitness and more! Call (913) 262-2600 for more details.

24. Shakespeare Summer Camps 

Camp Shakespeare is a fun and unique summer arts experience you kids will never forget! Taught by theater professionals in a neighborhood near you from Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Grab more info at (816) 531-7728.

25. Kansas City Ballet Summer Programs 

Your performers will enjoy classes, workshops, and ballet camps at Kansas City Ballet this summer for ages 3-18. Space is limited so be sure to reserve your space soon! (816) 931-2299.

26. Kansas City Young Audiences 

Conveniently located in Midtown, Kansas City Young Audiences offers camps and classes all summer long for ages 4 through 18. Schedules and class descriptions are available online.

27. Summit Stables 

Ideal for ages 3 and up, your riders will enjoy an equestrian summer at Summit Stables. Call (816) 607-1440 for more details.

28. Kansas City Zoo 

Zoofari Adventures and Junior Zoologist Camps are now enrolling at the Kansas City Zoo! These camps are an excellent way for your animal enthusiasts to get the inside scoop about the Zoo’s amazing creatures for children between the ages of 4 and 14. Camps start May 30th! (816) 595-1234

29. Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit 

Kids bowl FREE all Summer long at Summit Lanes in Lee’s Summit! Children ages 15 and under can bowl two free games every day in the summer. Pre-register online or call (816) 524-3322 for more info.

30. Jazz Camp 

Kansas City Community College and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra present Jazz Camp, a summer program for people ages 13 and up. Includes lunch and a camp shirt. Call (913) 228-7503 for more details.

31. Camp Grow

Camp Grow introduces your child to 4-H! Completed projects will be entered into this year’s fair. The program is presented by the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame. Call for more information (913) 721-1075.

32. Crescendo Conservatory

Calling all fairy princesses and rock stars! Join Crescendo Conservatory this year for fairy princess camp and rock star camp. Twirling in tutus though a magical forest or dancing under a mirror ball are all in store for your dancers this summer. Visit online for more information.

33. Xtreme Gymnastics 

Registration is now open for campers at Xtreme Gymnastics! From Day camps to gym warrior camps and gymnastics camps, there’s something for everyone at XGT Kids!

34. Science City 

From June 5th to August 4th, your kids can create, explore, and experiment at Science City’s STEM learning camps! Space is limited to sign up quickly!

35. CYT KC

CYTKC has camps all across the metro area for kids ages 4-12 for musical and non-musical sessions including Disney Around the World, Disney on Broadway, High School Musical, Star Wars Episode II, Lord Of the Rings, and MORE! Learn more and get $10 off using the code IFAMILYNEW at cytkc.org.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Ways to Update Your Home This Weekend

April 18, 2017 at 7:17 PM • Posted in Organizing Family ChaosNo comments yet

Spring is in the air, Kansas City! And with spring comes house and yard work. If your home is needing a little TLC or an update…or two, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has some great ideas on how to update your home this weekend that won’t break the bank! Take a look…

5 Simple Ways to Update Your Home This Weekend

5 Simple Ways to Update Your Home This Weekend

 

It is finally spring…at least for the past week or so it has been! Last weekend I ventured outside, raised my hand to block my eyes from the sun that I haven’t seen in months and immediately started sneezing! Allergies from the lawns being mowed and the trees in full bloom. As I ran inside for an allergy pill I realized the outside of our house, like my tan, could use a little refresh! We aren’t trying to sell or anything but it is always nice to not be the house on the block that gets pointed at while the neighbors are walking their dogs. So I did what anyone would do in this situation; I grabbed a lawn chair, a diet Dr. Pepper and googled ͞”How to update my house”…for cheap!͟ After a quick nap from all that googling—I ran to the home improvement store and came out with enough projects to last until Fall.

 

#1 Update your Curb appeal

Even if you aren’t selling, it’s important for your own sanity to keep your house up with the trends and do some quick updates when needed. When we bought our house 3 years ago, it was a foreclosure—great for the price and the fact that there were lots of updates made before we even signed our paychecks away. However one of the ͞updates͟ was painting the front of the house. Yes, for three years, the front of my house was a slightly different color than the other three sides! No one could really notice but once you walked around to the back you could! So we knew that the house needed to be painted, a friend of ours gave us a name and within the next week we were getting a new paint job. So much for planning! Regardless, the house looks so much fresher and cleaner with a fresh coat (of all the same color) paint. Perhaps a little expensive for a quick update, but paint can be used other places.

 

#2 Look to your front door.

The first thing people see when they visit your home; it should be inviting, warm and bright and accent the front of your home. Keep that in mind when choosing a color; you want to accent and not take away; although bright red is a trendy color, you don’t want it looking like your front porch is constantly on fire!

 

#3 Think about the whole picture too

Actually go out into the street and imagine what your neighbors are going to have to see every day! Look at the landscaping, decorations, window treatments inside the house—all add to the whole picture of the front of your home. Landscaping can add 7-15% to a home’s value This is where you are going to get the most bang for your buck.

 

#4 Stock up on plants & flowers when they’re on sale.

Plants and flowers are probably going to be on sale right now in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, so stock up while you can. I am awful at plants and flowers; I am really good at realizing we are having a barbeque tonight and running to the nearest plant store to buy an already blooming hanging basket. When my mom comments on how beautiful it is and great job on keeping it alive, I nod and agree! Not too bad for a backup plan either; but this year I thought I would try to grow my own again. If you are like me, stick with easy, drought tolerant, dog and kid tolerant, ͞oh I thought those were weeds!͟ tolerant type flowers and shrubs. I am getting a little better; a few plants I planted last year came up again this year—I consider that progress! In any case get ideas first on landscaping before you head to the store. This will help the wallet and your stability once your get your hands in the dirt! I see the light! And it ain’t pretty If the only change that you have had to the front door or garage door lighting is the light bulb then it is probably due for a little update.

 

#5 Take advantage of a sale on light fixtures

This is kind of like the earrings you would wear with that great new blouse; yeah they are fine on their own but you look so much more put together when you wear them both. If you find that new fixtures just aren’t in your budget right now, just get out the old spray paint! Okay preferably not old spray paint but it is amazing how many colors and styles of spray paint there are now. Metallic and bronze are really popular for outdoor lighting and a simple coat will do wonders with only a few bucks. I love landscaping lighting but because of that previous statement of kids and dogs and rogue lawnmowers I really don’t see them working right now. However this is a really nice way to add some night lighting for added security and ͞landscaping͟ when you can’t see the landscaping at night!

 

#6 When it’s not broke…just paint it!

So as you are painting the light fixtures you are going to want to use every drop of that paint, so you will start looking for other things to paint as well. Think plastic chairs and tables and even floors and paving stones! I haven’t tried this yet but I intend to soon! There is a small patio beside our deck that I struggle with a use for it because most people just stay on the deck. I think this year I am going to try and paint it, perhaps making it a checkerboard pattern and making a giant game board. Or maybe just painting a few paver stones, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

I have seen tons of ideas on painting deck flooring in fun and bright colors; again it is a quick and easy update that can be done for a fraction of what it would cost to build a new one. However, this is a great place to spend some money; new deck chairs, tables, fire pits and outdoor play areas are going to add more value, in terms of family time ,than you know. If you want to wait until the fall; this is when most of these items go on clearance. You just have to shop around and wait for the right deal. And if you don’t find what you are looking for—there is always paint for that!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Tips to Help You Go Green this Earth Day

April 14, 2017 at 9:30 PM • Posted in TechnologyNo comments yet

Happy Friday, Kansas City! Earth Day is right around the corner, can you believe it?! In honor of it, we have our technology expert, Burton Kelso, back with some tips to help you go green with your technology. Take a look!

7 Tips to Help You Go Green this Earth Day

 

7 Tips to Help You Go Green this Earth Day

For Earth Day and even after the holiday, there are some steps you can take around your home and in your daily life to conserve energy and help contribute to a healthy environment. Here are some suggestions I have to be “eco-friendly” and help our mother Earth.

#1 Use rechargeable batteries.

To reduce the amount of batteries that wind up in our landfills, consider switching to rechargeable batteries for everything else like flashlights, remote controls and toys. These can be recharged up to a 1000 times and are a much cheaper and eco-friendly alternative.

 

#2 Use LED lightbulbs.

Not only will LEDs reduce your electric bills, they’re also safer to dispose of and will reduce your carbon footprint. There’s no real excuse not to shift to LEDs already.

 

#3 Reduce the brightness on your monitors.

Cutting your monitor or laptop’s screen brightness might seem like a minor thing to do, but the energy savings will add up over time. For desktops, this is easily done by lowering brightness with the help of the menu buttons on the monitor. For laptops, you need to use the “Function” buttons on your keyboard.

 

#4 Don’t use screensavers.

If you use screensavers, disable them and just switch off the monitor instead.

 

#5 Smartphone power management.

For smartphones, you can cut down on display brightness from the notification area itself. You can also configure your phone’s power management settings to extend battery life. Simply choose the profile you want to use: balanced, performance, or power saving. Some phones provide detailed options within each of these where you can force the device to shut off mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth when the phone is inactive. These tweaks will help in extending your phone’s battery life and reduce energy consumption.

#6 Use programmable timer switches and thermostats.

Ever forgotten to switch off the lights before you’ve left home? Need to have your thermostat turn off at a specific time? If yes, you might want to consider programmable timer switches that can be used to switch appliances ON and OFF at pre-selected times and programmable thermostats that will allow you to control the temperature at home while you’re away.

#7 Dispose of your e-waste responsibly.

Dumping your electronics and gadgets directly in the trash bin is hazardous to the environment. Harmful chemicals from electronics buried in the landfills could seep into ­ and poison ­water systems. You can take your old e-waste to Goodwill or Best Buy to be recycled responsibly. You can consider selling those old gadgets on Amazon for a trade in towards a new device.

 

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, KC Live and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library

April 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM • Posted in Family Events & ActivitiesNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! The weekend is right around the corner and if you’re looking for something new and creative for your family outing, consider checking out First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette and her own squad had some fun and shared it with us below. Check it out!

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library

 

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the
Kansas City Public Library

As you may know over the past few years, Kansas City has hosted a popular trend that is increasingly growing. I’m talking about First Fridays! Art galleries, local restaurants and fellow Kansas Citians enjoy the culture rich Crossroads Art District and downtown Kansas City. But did you know, the Central Library ALSO has a First Friday’s event?! Me neither!
The Central Library is located downtown off 10th and Main st. If you haven’t been there before, they have an excellent kid’s area, stunning interior and enough space to get lost in a good book! The kids and I visit there frequently but never heard of their First Friday event until a few weeks ago, so I thought why not? So the whole family headed off to visit the library!
Since we have never been, we didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew there were going to be activities for the kids, but would there be something to keep the adults entertained too? You bet! As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with local musicians playing their guitar and violin, friendly staff welcoming us and an array of adult satisfying hors d’oeuvres. Plus an open bar with wine and local brew. I knew then, my husband was sold lol.

 

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library
Once we grabbed a small glass of wine and a cookie for the kiddos to snack on, we ventured off upstairs to explore the setup for kids! You would have thought they were in Toys R Us they were so excited! The library hosts different exhibits throughout the year and the one that was on display was “Things Come Apart”, a cool display of everyday items completely taken apart. So the kids’ activities were a reflection of that exhibit. They had hands on activities that required nothing else but an imagination.
One station was a marble obstacle course! The kiddos could put together different shaped blocks to make a maze or obstacle course. Once the kids built their structure, they would see if it could get from one side to another without falling off!

 

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library
The second station was a really cool one! There were buckets of “straws” and jacks that you could put together and make just about anything you could think of! We built windows, turbines and even a chair. One librarian got super creative and built a structure taller than my little Italy!
The third station required a little more than brain power! It was a build your own vehicle station! There were different length pvc pipes, wheels and notches that kiddos could put together to make their own car, lawnmower or whatever else their minds could fathom!

 

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library
And of course no kids’ event is complete without snacks! The library provided more kid friendly snacks along with low sugar juices and water to recharge them from all their creativeness!
My family and I had such a great time we are definitely planning on attending the next one! Just keep in mind this is ONLY THE FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY OTHER MONTH at the CENTRAL LIBRARY. Also, with each First Friday, they conduct a different set of activities that reflect the current exhibit down the hall!

Friday Night Fun: First Friday at the Kansas City Public Library

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

April 12, 2017 at 6:35 PM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessNo comments yet

Happy Hump Day, Kansas City! We’re back with a great Work It Wednesday post from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. This time she’s tackling fitness cliches — some being true, and some…not so much. If you’re trying to stay fit and need a little extra motivation, she’s got it for you below. Take a look!

Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

Fitness clichés that actually ring true…and a few that don’t.

 

#1 Fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life.

I talked about this in my previous post. Fit is a process. Enjoy the journey. Make it a part of your lifestyle. You can’t workout for a while and then stop and expect the health to stay. You have to make it a way of life.

 

#2 What you eat in private, you wear in public.

Unfortunately, this one is true. But who hasn’t eaten a cookie in the corner of your kitchen with your back turned so the kids can’t see and then told yourself it didn’t count because no one saw it?!? One cookie won’t kill you, but consistently eating badly will quickly curb those health goals and gains.

 

#3 The act of getting strong doesn’t start in the gym, it starts in your head.

You have to be mentally strong and positive regardless of what happens in the gym. You have to be able to tell yourself to keep going and that you are doing great, even when you feel like you don’t want to keep going and that you are the least healthy person on the planet. Get it done mentally so you can get it done physically.

 

#4 Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

There are so many doubts, so many negative thoughts, so many misconceptions that can keep you from achieving your goals and sticking to a healthier lifestyle. You have to overcome all of those doubts and fears in order to come out on the other side, stronger and healthier. So tackle what scares you head on. Do a workout that you don’t think you can do. Once it is done, you’ll feel like the strongest person alive.

 

#5 Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.

I feel like this one could go either way. Some people see results and think ‘yay! I’m done! Goal reached!’ and they quit. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. You have to work to maintain. But there are many people who are very motivated by results. It keeps them wanting more and pushing themselves harder. It makes them gym rats. It makes them healthy.

#6 You can’t out train a bad diet.

Again, sadly, this one is true. Weight is 80% diet, 20% working out. And oh how I wish those numbers were reversed. I would be the thinnest woman alive if they were. Winning in the kitchen is the hardest part of weight loss.

 

#7 You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.

Unless a bear is chasing you, then you should probably go fast.

 

#8 The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.

Not true! I have had some really bad workouts. Painful, struggle filled, daunting workouts. Workouts that made me want to cry. (Mostly running on a treadmill—that’s just pure torture!) But the end result is good. The end result is strong. The end result is ‘yes I did do that!’

#9 If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

If you are always doing the same workout or the same weight or the same level, you will see results for a bit, but then your body becomes used to that workout and that movement or weight and it stops changing you. Change your routine up, push yourself a little harder sometimes, try something new. Keep challenging yourself and the results will come.

 

#10 One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago, your body couldn’t do what it just did.

I’m not saying it’s not a great moment. It is a great moment. It’s a great motivational tool. But nothing will compare to the day my kids were born, the day I got married, the day my kids walked for the first time, etc. Those moments, at least for me, will always top physical achievements as great moments. But physical achievements do feel pretty dang good.

 

#11 Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

What?!?!? That just can’t happen. Once I’m comfortable being uncomfortable, I’m not uncomfortable anymore. I know, too literal an interpretation. This one falls in line with the challenge/change line from above.

 

#12 Summer bodies are made in the winter.

While this one is probably true, I would LOVE to know when I can start working on my winter body. When does that happen exactly?

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Journey

April 11, 2017 at 5:16 PM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Maternity & Prenatal Resources, Mom ResourcesComments Off on How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Journey

Howdy, Kansas City! Bringing a new baby into the world comes with it’s own set of worries and can be overwhelming. The responsibility of another human being is nerve-racking to say the least, particularly figuring out how to keep them fed. There’s plenty of controversy surrounding feeding a newborn, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, wanted to share her journey through the overwhelm. Check it out!

How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding:  A Mother's Journey

 

How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding:
A Mother’s Journey

Last week my husband and I took our oldest to Kindergarten round-up. I did surprisingly well, but I was told this is the easy part; you go and listen to a presentation and take some paperwork, none of it is real yet. Kind of reminded me when we first got pregnant with her. We tried for what seemed like so long, we prayed, we planned, and we mapped out cycles and when that stick finally showed that plus sign we couldn’t believe it. I know that shock lasted for about 7 months, that is when we started getting the room ready, buying the hundreds of items that you needed in order to bring this 7 pound little person home and when we started buying for me. I was never one to imagine that anything would go differently than what I planned. Labor would go smoothly and perfectly (which it did except for the 22 hours to get her here!) and then we would have a happy and healthy baby that would start breastfeeding right away. Just to be sure, I made a batch of flax seed muffins two weeks before my due date. I still remember the look on my Dad’s face when he tried one at breakfast one day; which was pretty much that same face I made every morning when I ate one. But with all this preparation I got the pump ready and sterilized and cleaned out the freezer for the containers of breast milk that would start flowing the minute little girl hit the ground!
News to all you new moms out there—don’t make plans ahead of time. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan and I know now that this is okay. To be clear I am ProChoice—Breastfeeding ProChoice that is, we will leave politics out of this. I believe that every mom has a right to choose whether or not to breastfeed their child and they shouldn’t be judged either way for this. From that first meeting at the hospital I was urged to breastfeed because of the wonderful benefits it offers. I completely agree; all of the benefits to me and my child let alone the bonding that I would get to do with her while feeding her, and even better was the money that we would save in formula, bottles, etc. I was on board—remember the flax seed muffins? Fast forward to labor and birth, we were blessed, all went just fine and I wasn’t too worried when we had issues latching that first time; this happens, we will bring in the lactation consultant just relax and hold her close. When she latched that first time it wasn’t like a huge relief, if anything it was worse.

When the lactation consultant came in the next day things went from bad to worse; we had tried so many times to get anything to come out I was now bleeding and baby girl didn’t want any part of that- and rightly so! The lactation consultant still tried to get her to latch; tried to get something to come out and at the end of the session said I was dehydrated and my milk just hadn’t come in yet; give it a little more time. By day two—I was in tears, baby girl was still doing fantastic trying to latch but she was still not getting anything if very little. Everyone said that it was still important whatever she could get. At this point it was extreme agony for me to have her latch; but as a mom you work through it. I never could have imagined something so easy to be so difficult—NO ONE warned me about this.

At the end of day two, I was in pain, crying all the time and the lactation consultant kept telling me that I needed to try harder, that I needed to maneuver myself and my babies’ head to make sure she was latching. After trying for a few more times, tears welled up in my eyes. I looked up at her face and all I saw was disgust, she told me if I didn’t try harder that little girl could start to become malnourished and sick; bottle feeding was not an option because it would confuse her. After she left, I was inconsolable. How could someone who worked in this line of work be so mean and heartless when it came to a mom that was obviously having trouble? I felt completely worthless, my husband did everything he could to make things better and our little angel wasn’t even complaining, but I knew she must have been so hungry and I (her mother and provider) couldn’t give her what she needed. We went home three days later; little girl was doing fine she had only lost a little weight and whatever she was getting was moving through her. There were several theories that we had; maybe it was the hospital setting that was making me nervous, maybe it was because baby girl hadn’t cried very much signaling my body to produce. Whatever the reason I was so glad to get away from that consultant who I thought was having a bad day which turned into having a bad week and then by the time we left she had completely given up on me.

Once at home, my doctor and pediatrician said to pump and/or feed every hour and let her cry a little bit. On baby girl’s first pediatrician appointment she had lost some weight; now we needed to look at the pump, maybe it wasn’t strong enough, maybe it wasn’t frequent enough. So back up to the room I went with that terrible sounding machine hooked up to me. At this point I wasn’t spending any time with my baby, let alone my husband who I am sure was stressed out as well. Having a crying wife and baby was probably not his idea of a first week at home! My entire life was pumping to get those few drops of precious fluid. You are probably screaming at this point asking why didn’t I stop? Because I am her mom, my one job is to take care of her, provide her with nourishment and I would not be beat by my bodies’ unexplainable problem. In my head, nothing and no one else could do this.

Then I got a call, from a nurse who happened to be my best friend. She “gave me permission” to stop, she told me I wasn’t a bad mom but I would be if I continued. Why did her words echo differently for me? I knew I didn’t have to pretend with her, she knew what I was like and she knew I wouldn’t stop; it was like an addiction, an addiction to be the best and provide because I thought that if I couldn’t do that simple thing then what else was I going to mess up on?

When I say that I am ProChoice to breastfeeding—this is a stance that I took after having my babies. I was all for the benefits and helping my child grow and prosper but my body had different ideas. The second time around I was more firm, when my milk didn’t come in with my second daughter, we had the lactation consultant come in; and I saw the same look in her eyes of disgust that I couldn’t do this one simple task. I cried one more time and then had an amazing nurse who gave me “off the record” samples of formula that we supplemented right away. I told the lactation consultant that I didn’t want to see her again and came to the reality that my milk didn’t come in, so what move on! And you know, my second daughter didn’t mind at all.

This is only my view and my experience. I am sure there are a hundred moms out there that had amazing experiences and there are lactation consultants who are helpful and take pride in their work—bless you for helping those new mommies. But I know there could be just one mom that needs that friend to tell her to stop! What may be best for your baby may be something entirely different than what you are doing. Think big picture instead of just one little room—what is the best for you and what is the best for baby. You are still a great mom and that baby will soon be sitting at the table refusing to eat her dinner and you know what? It’s okay to stop forcing her—its okay to let her eat when she wants—she came out that way, why would it change!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Camp Out” This Summer at the Nelson Atkins!

April 11, 2017 at 11:00 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Educational Fun for KidsComments Off on “Camp Out” This Summer at the Nelson Atkins!

It’s that time of year, Kansas City! The time of year that you realize summer will be here before you know it! If you have a little family member who loves all things art, consider a summer camp at the Nelson-Atkins this summer. They have something for nearly all ages (3 and up), so get on it and check out what they have to offer!

“Camp Out’ This Summer at the Nelson-Atkins!

From knights, dragons, and animation, to cartoons, animals and nature, camp and classes at the
museum have something for everyone!
Full-day camps, multiple week classes and one-time workshops allow you to personalize your art-making experience.
Complete listings and details available at:
*Museum members receive a discount

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamilyKC Team

Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

April 7, 2017 at 1:22 PM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

Can you all believe it, Kansas City? Easter is right around the corner! As the weather finally warms up, and the sun is finally out, we’ve got some fun ideas coming from our Mom Squad. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has a cute (and free!) Easter themed printable to share with you today. Check it out!

Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

 

Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

 

Hi guys! Easter is around the corner so I wanted to find something fun to add to the blog this week for your kiddos to look forward to before Easter break! Lunch time was one of my favorite parts of the day in school! My mom used to pack my lunch a few times a week and I looked forward to the notes she would lovingly create and put in my lunch box.

 

I LOVED seeing the notes when I opened my lunch every day, It was a little way for my mom and I to stay connected when we were apart. So, I wanted my daughter to experience the fun and love of lunch box notes just like I did! Now, I am not an artist and I never claimed to be BUT using a computer, I was able to make some pretty cute little notes and I wanted to share them with you! Print them, cut them out and add them to your child’s lunch! They will love it!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

April 6, 2017 at 8:23 AM • Posted in Educational Fun for KidsComments Off on 10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

Howdy, Kansas City! It can be easy to get complacent in learning with the kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette (and homeschooling mom extraordinaire) has some great ideas to have fun AND facilitate learning at home. Check it out..

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

As a homeschooling parent, curriculums, supplies and everything that goes along with it can really start to add up! So when my husband and I decided to homeschool, I scoured the internet for affordable curriculums and how I could easily keep the kids interested. Then I headed to the Dollar Tree and compiled lists of items that I could use to pair with lessons or just to use for added practice.
These are some of our favorite learning activities that we have done our first year of homeschooling.

 

#1 Rice tray letter

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

Place a small amount of rice/sand/sprinkles on a small tray. You can point to letters on a poster like I do, write the letters down or print off flash cards. Have your child write each letter in the rice to practice their hand writing and letter recognition.

#2 Dot game

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

A classic game that uses pure brain power! On a sheet of paper, create a grid of dots using a marker or pen. Then if you have younger kiddos, demonstrate how they each take turns connection lines so that they are the one to make a square. It took my 5 year old a few tries and given squares to fully get the hang of it. However, this keeps my older two busy for hours!

#3 Healthy food collage

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

Physical and Health is very important in school curriculums. One of the kid’s favorite things to do is projects. So instead of letting those weekly ads go to waste, let them look through and find items that cover the selected topic and use them to make collages!

#4 Lego maze

This is great for practicing STEM. Grab a marble and all those Legos! Measure the width of the marble and have your child create a maze for the marble to roam through! Make it challenging by requiring so many “turns” of the base. Check out this example.

#5 Popsicle sentence structure

 

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

This is one of my favorite games. It has helped Baltimore easily create full sentences. Grab a piece of paper and colored Popsicle sticks. Then on the paper, take 4 different color markers and write who, what, where and when. Then on the colored Popsicle sticks write a who, what, where and when on the corresponding colored sticks. Then pick one from each color and lay them in the same order as the WWWW.

#6 Make 10

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

This game only requires a deck of cards! Taking out the face cards and jokers, pass out four cards face up. Have your child look at the cards and see which two or three cards add up to 10. If they can add up tp 10, set the cards aside in a new pile and deal out new cards to replace the ones that made 10. If they can’t make 10, let them hand you one card, place it at the bottom of the deck and deal a new card. This is also great for helping with quick adding and memorizing fact families!

#7 Kaboom

Grab some more popsicle sticks! 29 to be exact. On each stick write a letter until you have reached all 26. Then on the last three write the word KABOOM. Place the sticks letter/word side down and mix them up. Take turns drawing a stick and reading the letter and saying a word that starts with that letter. When someone grabs the KABOOM stick, all their sticks must go back into the jar and they have to start all over again. First one to get the most letters (when 3 kabooms left) wins!

#8 Shape sticks

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

As you can see we use a lot of these lol! You can get 100 for $1 so why not lol. Take the sticks and write the shape and number of sides. Then have your kiddo sort through the sticks and place them in place to make shapes!

#9 Straw maze

10 Super Fun & Easy DIY Learning Activities

 

Like the Lego maze, this is great to practice many things but this time, the straws add a special element. The straws are longer and cannot be manipulated the same way as a Lego. This will get their brains churning with ideas on how they can manipulate them!

#10 State trading cards

These are always cool when learning about the US and even other countries! You can print these off  or make your own!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

April 5, 2017 at 6:07 PM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessComments Off on Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

Happy Hump Day, Kansas City! It’s been a gloomy few days here in the metro, but we are back to bring you the next installment of Work it Wednesdays with our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. Today, Connie gives us some helpful advice on how to appreciate the fitness journey we’re on – regardless of where we might be. Take a look…

 

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

 

I was approached by one of my people after class last week and she asked me “when can I expect to see results?” She had been coming to my class for a few weeks and always working very hard, and she was getting frustrated because she wasn’t seeing the physical changes she would have liked to have been seeing. I feel like this is such a common hang up for people when it comes to fitness and working out. I can’t tell you the number of times I have started a new workout routine or a new machine at the gym and immediately started checking the mirror for changes. And I know better than that.

We have become so ingrained with the need for instant gratification that it becomes daunting to have to work really hard for something on a consistent basis for a long period of time. It is one of the most common reasons I see people quitting their routines. But here’s the thing, anything worth having is worth working for. And, I believe fitness is about more than a change in your appearance. Its about a change in the way you feel, and a change in the way you see yourself. And that’s what I want to focus on.

There is a cliché saying in the fitness world: It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice a change. It takes one day to decide that you are enough. 4 weeks is a long time to stick with something without seeing results. It’s a long time to tell yourself that its worth it and the work is paying off, when you can’t see it. But it takes one day for you to decide that you are worth the effort. Your health is important enough for you to take the time to make the effort to be better. To be healthier than the person you were yesterday. It’s a one day, one step at a time journey. It is daunting at first. It is miserable feeling like you are never going to be as in shape as the person next to you. It is discouraging to think that you are never going to get to your weight goal or your fitness goal. But guess what, you can get there.

A huge part of making the journey less daunting is noticing the small changes. Notice when you can go one minute longer on the elliptical machine than you could yesterday. Notice when you can push yourself through a 10 minute mile on the treadmill instead of a 10:20. Notice when you choose to eat grilled chicken instead of a burger and veggies instead of fries. Notice when lifting 12 pound dumbbells becomes 15 pound dumbbells. And notice how you feel. Notice when you wake up with more energy than you had a week ago. Notice that you sleep better at night once you get into a workout routine and stick with it. Notice that you no longer run out of breath chasing your kids around the yard. Notice those small changes and celebrate them, even if its just to do a little victory dance in your head.

After a while you will start to see yourself differently. We all tend to be our own worst critics. If you can focus on the small changes and the small victories, all of the sudden that voice inside your head starts becoming a positive one. Instead of saying ‘you are so out of shape,’ you now say ‘I can do 20 minutes of cardio now instead of just 15,’ or ‘I am stronger than I was 3 weeks ago.’ Once we can convince ourselves to be kind to ourselves, suddenly it becomes a whole lot easier to stay motivated and focused.

We tend to focus on the huge goals. The long term, big, scary, life changing goals. But fitness is a journey, not a destination. There is so much to see and enjoy along the way. So embrace the journey. Embrace the small stuff, and the big stuff will come. Stay consistent, stay dedicated and stay enthusiastic. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to enjoy what you are doing to be healthy. Enjoy walking your dog or riding your bike, or taking a dip in your pool. Enjoy your 15 mile training run if that’s what you’re into. Enjoy trying new healthy recipes that you aren’t sure about and discovering new foods you love. Just embrace the ride.

 

From iFamily to Yours,