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The little book with BIG resources!

5 Mantras for Homeschooling Moms

Schooling at home is a rewarding and complex endeavor.  Dinner.  Academics.  Life skills.  P.E. And then there’s the laundry. It is easy to become overwhelmed and even distracted with the day to day operations of running a homeschool. By adopting the following Mantras, you can feel more peace and experience higher productivity in your home.

  1. Rise and Roll – when you awake in the morning, complete a task right away. Empty the dishwasher, make your bed, walk on a treadmill, start a load of laundry.  By completing an activity or chore, not only is the actual task being accomplished, you are setting the tone for your children to be in action mode. Students will be more focused on beginning school, as opposed to starting the day by watching TV or lounging.  Fly Lady, an expert organizer and parent, shares a great tip on being ready for the day,
    “…it is imperative that you have your home in order and you are dressed to shoes each morning…”.  In other words, Rise and Roll!
  2. To Each His Own – Brown, otherwise known as UPS, is not the only organization with logistics issues. Your family requires order to run smoothly. Cut down on clutter and messes by teaching each child to be responsible for his own creative endeavors (piles, craft supplies, sports equipment).  Begin at a young age to teach your child that responsibility lies with him to clean up and organize.  WARNING:  equip, train and model organization.  Provide tubs, shelves or baskets to give toys, school books and clothes a home.
  3. The ONE Thing – have you noticed there is usually one thing in your home that totally bugs you? Address that distraction first every day so teaching can be your focus.  Is it dirty dishes?  A cluttered countertop?  Laundry? Email?  Set a timer for 15 minutes and take care of the ONE Thing first, then focus on school activities, fuss-free.
  4. End Today Ready for Tomorrow – when winding down school activities for the day, leave enough margin to collect your thoughts and clean your space. The feeling of walking into school the next morning with a clean space and a clear plan is priceless! Tips to help wrap up your day:
    Set a timer 15 minutes before the end of the day – this allows transition time for completing assignments
    b. Using a notecard, make any notes needed to start school the next day
    c. Teach your student to put away materials (Yes, they will get them out again tomorrow! However, they will learn neatness, self-discipline and planning ahead through this process.)
  5. Paper Calendar Rule – Post a family calendar in the kitchen. Model and use the calendar by discussing it daily to help children learn to plan ahead and prevent fire drills.  Running out the door because of a forgotten appointment is stressful and can be prevented. Having the visual reminder keeps appointments and activities close at hand.

Schooling at home is a rewarding experience, it requires parents to be thoughtful and intentional.  Rise and Roll, experience a focused and productive school!
Looking at school options for your family?  Consider partnering with Maize Virtual Preparatory School, the leadership academy for students in Kindergarten through High School.
Suzanne Wandling, Outreach Coordinator, Maize Virtual Preparatory School


Saturday Thoughts With Anne: Say “Good Riddance” To Mom Guilt

Happy Valentine’s Day, Kansas City!
We just love the insight our Mom Squad Ambassadors share on the blog. This morning iFamilyKC blogger Anne touches on a topic that’s near and dear to my own heart: Mom Guilt. We’ve all been there – those moments where we feel like we’re struggling just to keep our heads above water in this journey through parenting. Motherhood (and fatherhood, too!) is a tough gig. We don’t get sick days, yearly evaluations, or annual salary increases with this job. Our pay is in hugs, kisses, laughter, and love and it makes it all worthwhile in the end: So why do we still have that nagging feeling we like to call “Mom Guilt”? Maybe it’s time to say goodbye…
SayGoodbyeToMomGuilt
Mom Guilt
This should be a legit diagnosis. While there’s no pill to cure it, I find wine helps. And Shiner Bock. Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

I feel guilt every. darn. day. 
Did I take the time to make her giggle this morning while changing her “panties?”
Did I give her enough kisses when I dropped her off at daycare?
Did I show enough patience while watching her fling green beans all over herself & our kitchen?
Did I spend to much time taking pictures of her instead of just being with her?
Did I keep her out to late the other night just so I could enjoy one last glass of wine with a girlfriend?
Did I cause her to catch a cold by taking her out to run errands with me last weekend?
I missed her first doctors appointment the other day due to a conflict at work. And with that, it became official.
I’m the worlds worst mom. 
The guilt we feel as mothers. When does it end? 
The other night I crawled into bed after a longggg day at the office. I began to doze off & suddenly it occurs to me that I forgot to sneak into her room & give her one last goodnight kiss. The mom guilt, overpowering as it is, drags my ass OUT of bed for that one last kiss. Because you do realize if I didn’t give her that one last kiss; if I don’t show enough patience; if I keep her out past her bedtime, my daughter would obviously end up hating me. She’d likely rebel and get into trouble by 15. Well, moms. It’s time to knock it off.
Because we’re trying. We’re trying hard at this whole mom thing. We may not always get it right. They’re going to fall and bump their head the second we get distracted. And they’re going to cry. That sweet, pitiful, heartbreaking cry. And we’re going to feel terrible. And our hearts are going to ache and yearn to take away every ounce of pain they will ever feel. But we can’t. And that’s ok. They are going to fall. They are going to hurt. They are going to cry. But our steadfast, mommy arms will always be right there to scoop them up and kiss their tear streaked cheeks until that adorable grin we love so much, spreads across those chunky little cheeks.
So it’s time to call a truce.
You and me, mom guilt. We’re done.
iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassador Anne documents her journey through life and parenting at “I Spilled My Wine“.

Questions about this post? Email us at info@iFamilyKC.com

Jayne’s Mid-Week Recipe Round Up!

Good Evening, iFamilyKC Readers!

As we gear up for the (Valentine’s Day) weekend, many of us will be preparing our grocery lists for the weekend shopping. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably getting tired of working with the same recipes over and over again week after week (how many variations of chicken, kale, and mushrooms can I make – seven?!). It seems that iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassador Jayne runs into the same issues with her family and she’s sharing her eight favorite recipes that her family just LOVES. Maybe you’ll feel inspired to make one (or more) of these with your little ones this weekend. We hope that you and your family have a beautiful Valentine’s Day weekend!

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Hey Kansas City!  Hope you all are hanging in there with the “back to the frigid” temperatures!

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We’ve been trying to keep our little ones as occupied as possible, and cooking as a family has been a very welcomed distraction. While cooking or baking with children, there are plenty of ways to help your child learn vocabulary, measurement, and many varied concepts.  We frequently discuss textures and consistencies of ingredients (as well as if they’re liquid, powder, etc.).  It’s a fantastic way to keep your children learning while having fun and spending quality time together as well. Just in case your family is doing the same, I’ve rounded up a few easy recipes to try with your beginner culinary geniuses!  Here are my top eight!  Happy Cooking!
Mom Squad Ambassador Jayne lives is a recent transplant to the Kansas City metro area. She and her two little ones enjoy getting out and exploring the city. Connect with Jayne over on the iFamilyKC Facebook page.
Questions about this post? Email us anytime: info@iFamilyKC.com

Anne’s Must Have Items For Baby’s First 3 Months

Happy Friday, Kansas City!

As we gear up for another fantastic weather weekend, we wanted to share another great post by one of our Mom Squad Ambassadors. Anne, like many of you, is a new mom to a sweet little girl named Lara. We’re so lucky to have her on board to share her journey with each of you. Today, we’re sharing Anne’s must have baby items that came in handy when little Lara was a newborn.

Must Have Baby Items for 0-3 Months

My Must Haves for Baby & Mommy: Those First 3 Months

Let’s start this post with an analogy that describes the first 3+ months of Lara’s life:

Cramming super hard for the hardest final of the school year only to walk into the classroom and realize you studied all the wrong material.

 That my friends, is becoming a new mom.

You can ask a million questions, you can get advice from every which angle, you can read product reviews, you can peruse other “new mommy” blogs, but nothing, I repeat nothing will enable you to make all the right decisions.  And that’s 100% okay. But what can help is knowing some of the products that have helped other moms maintain their sanity those first three months.

Let’s talk swaddling.  For the record, I hated swaddling my child.  I felt like I was wrapping my sweet little angel in a straight jacket every night, and every night it broke my heart a little more.  But, while my heart broke in half, my sanity remained in tact because we all slept! So swaddle we did, every evening around 8:30.  We tried several different swaddle products with Lara. I even purchased the Ergo Brand Swaddler that was around $30 for ONE.  Needless to say, we decided to stick with ‘ol faithful below and returned the Ergo Swaddler.  Our favorite thus far has been the Summer Swaddle Me Blanket Set.  Super soft and just lightweight enough! Note: When registering, pay attention to the sizes.  You only need one pack of each size.  Lara was a tiny little peanut weighing in at a whopping 6 lbs 15 oz, but fits into the small/medium just fine. Make sure to register for the different sizes on case they end up needing the swaddle beyond month three as Lara did.

 

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Since we’re talking bedtime, let’s talk nightgowns.  Lara has about 1000000000 nightgowns, and while they’re super cute, they’re just not that practical.  She’s got the footie pajamas, she has the ruffle butt pajamas, she has the gowns, and the list goes on and on.  But, if you’re baby is anything like mine, you’ll be swaddling them every night so there’s really not a need for all the pj’s.   What I wish I had more of are just your everyday, practical white Gerber Onesies.  These are what the babe sleeps in everynight under her Swaddler blanket, not the cutesy footie pj’s.  Take my advice and register for several different sizes of these bad boys. You’ll thank me later.

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Let’s talk about gas. My girl can rip one with the best of ’em. For the most part she seems to have no problem, shall we say, relieving herself.  But when bedtime rolls around, her gas pains set in.  We were given a few boxes of the Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops at our showers and I am SO THANKFUL because we used them almost daily those first couple months.  We kept one on our nightstand and one in the diaper bag at all times.

 

Let’s talk baby monitors.  This is one area that we did a TON of research on before purchasing, and I’m so thankful we did because we absolutely LOVE the one we chose.  Jon’s family lives about 2.5 hours away, so the Wi-Fi capability was a must and a video monitor that provided great live streaming was also high on our list. I also wanted a large screen for my own personal use. This monitor ticked all of our boxes.  And honestly, for the $300 price tag, it should.  This system allows remote viewing from a computer or via the app you can download on your phone.  It also allows two way communication between viewers and the baby.  When Jon’s at work, he can tap into the application on his phone and not only see Lara, but talk to her.  But, if we’re talking most dedicated viewer….Jon’s Grandma takes the prize.  She’s definitely her #1 “fan.”

 

 

 

Ok, moving on.  Let’s talk spit up.  All babies do it and their parents are lying if they say “my baby never spits up.” So another must have would definitely be burp cloths!!  Thankfully we had a family friend make me about 10 cute little ones and they are literally all over my house.  You definitely want them in every room. Mine are pretty long and have a nice shape that covers my shoulder and chest nicely.  I find the ‘ol standard rectangular ones aren’t quite as nice as the oblong style.

 If you can find these bad boys below in your local Babies R Us, scan ’em.

 

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In closing, I want to talk about one last thing….for the mommies.

Granny panties.

Get yourself some nice, comfortable granny panties that can “handle” a maxi pad.

 After you bring that beautiful little babe into the world, that last thing you’re going to want to slip on is a pair of tight underpants. There’s no better way to say it my friends…the “sexy train” has left the station for now, and that’s totally okay.  You just brought a beautiful life into this world, that’s a heck of a lot sexier than any pair of undies.

 

Please please please, if there’s one thing you take from this post, let it be this:

The higher cut, the better.

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