“They grow up so fast.” That’s what everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, told me. Ha.
We had three kids in under three years and both work full time. We’re now almost six years into parenthood and I gotta say “fast” isn’t how I would describe it. My husband and I spent the first five and a half years up to our elbows in diapers (the only thing worse = potty training), dressing three kids top to bottom daily (sometimes more), loading and unloading into car seats, negotiating everything from books at bedtime to the color of cups.
We’ve been awake far more than we get to sleep.
Fun? Sometimes. Ok, a lot. But Fast?
More like sloooooooooow motion.
This has been our life for 5.5 years: Happy kids. Cranky parents. Happy parents. Cranky kids.
Getting dressed. This shirt? How about this year? Where’s your shoe? Your underwear is on backwards. I just changed your diaper!
Eating breakfast. Switching out spoons. Refilling the cereal bowls.
Finding the jacket. Loading in the car. Loading out of the car to go potty. Loading back in. Dropping off at daycare. Forgetting show and tell. Working. Working over lunch. Rushing out of work. Picking up at daycare. Getting a great report. Getting a bad report.
Piecing together a dinner with vegetables. Negotiating the eating of said vegetables. Spilled water.
The “Someone touched someone else’s plate” crisis. Baths.
The battle of who gets to sit next to the spout. Brushing teeth.
No really, brush your teeth.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH!
Books. Bed. Too many covers. Not enough covers. “I’m thirsty!”
I swear I never thought my little kids were going to grow up until our oldest entered Kindergarten last fall and now I can’t even believe her first year of elementary school is already over. Where in the world did that year go? She’s reading, adding, subtracting, telling me about oviparous animals (I had no idea). Dresses herself. Can help set the table. She puts her dirty dishes away. Perhaps the most shocking was when she recently lost her beloved buddy that she’s slept with since birth and she just shrugged it off. Braving her bed solo now.
HEY TIME, SLOW DOWN!
Now I’m kicking myself for my secret prayers to speed thing up. I’m find myself crunching the numbers time and time again on how many more Christmases we’ll have with “Santa,” or how many more birthday parties with balloons and games, how many more times she’ll beg me to come to her school to eat lunch with her, or how many more times she’ll reach for my hand in the parking lot. And wondering the same about her little brothers.
SLOW DOWN. Please? So, for anyone feeling like the toddler years aren’t speeding by quickly as everyone promised — It’s true, the days are long, but the years are short. Hang in there. And never let go to your little one.
4 Summer Safety Things Your Need to Remember This Year
With summer right around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to share some summer safety tips! I made a list of common summer problems that can put a damper on a fun summer day!
#1 Always Remember Your Sunscreen
Even if you don’t think you (or the kids) will be outside long enough to need sunscreen, you are better safe than sorry when it comes to skin care. A few weeks back, my kiddos had back to back soccer games outside and while it didn’t LOOK or FEEL hot, I got really burnt and let me tell you – it HURT! The appropriate strength of sunscreen is also super important to protect your skin. Make sure you do your research on the proper strength of sunscreen and don’t forget to apply sunscreen often to prevent harmful burns!
#2 Take Water Safety Seriously
With summer time comes swim lessons, pool parties and water activities. While these things are super fun, they can also be super dangerous. While my family does not have a pool, a lot of our friends do and I want to make sure that my kids know basic water safety in case I’m not around. Teaching kiddos about life jackets is also important – especially making sure they have a proper fit.
#3 Always Protect The Noggin
Since the weather’s getting nicer, bike riding is going to be HUGE for my family. The kiddos have gotten new bikes for Christmas and their birthdays and they can’t wait to test out their new stuff. It is really important to ensure the kids know that they must wear their helmets (and pads) if they want to ride bikes.
#4 Stay Hydrated
Making sure you and your family drink lots of WATER is also really important when it comes to summer activities. I know I’m guilty of forgetting how important proper hydration is – and I’m a nurse!! Keeping enough water on hand for everyone in your family can help prevent dehydration – which can be very serious and lead to illness.
I hope these summer tips are good reminders for the upcoming summer season! I can’t wait to share with you all the fun stuff I have planned over the next few weeks!
Holli here with the iFamilyKC team with some important news about seasonal allergies and childhood asthma. One in ten school aged children suffers from a lung disease with recurring symptoms that include wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. As one of the most common long-term illnesses in children, asthma is the third biggest reason children under the age of 15 go to the hospital. It is important to remember that seasonal allergies can quickly cause asthma flare ups and understanding the facts about this condition can help keep your family more active this season. Today, we are sharing some tips and helpful information from our friends over at Children’s Mercy Hospital as well as a personal story from our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassador, Emily, whose daughter was diagnosed with asthma. Take a look …
Children’s Mercy Excerpt: Surprising Asthma Facts
Children’s Mercy recently posted an article highlighting 8 Surprising Facts About Asthma and Seasonal Allergies with the help of Dr. Jay Portnoy. As an allergy sufferer myself, I found the post to be extremely interesting and I learned things I had never realized. I have pulled the three most interesting (to me) points from the article and encourage you to take a look at the entire post to learn more.
Pollen travels hundreds of miles.
“Just when you thought it was safe to move across state lines, turns out pollen may be in hot pursuit. Ragweed pollen – which can be detected as early as mid-to-late July in some parts of the country, but mostly blooms in mid-August and peaks around early September – has been measured in the air 400 miles out to sea and two miles into the atmosphere, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Surprised yet? For perspective, Detroit to the District of Columbia measures just shy of 400 miles (and Kansas City to Oklahoma City is just shy of that).”
Thunderstorms worsen asthma.
“Rain is usually good for allergy sufferers because it clears pollen out of the air – but that’s not the case for thunderstorms, says Dr. Mitchell Grayson, an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of allergy and clinical immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. ‘With thunderstorms, mold and pollen cells will be ripped apart,’ he says. ‘Exploding’ allergens carried by the wind often send people with asthma to the emergency room, Portnoy says, adding that they should use their inhalers and be prepared during storms.”
Stress intensifies symptoms.
“‘Psychological stress can exacerbate disease, and asthma is no different,’ Bielory says. ‘Anxiety makes your breath shallow and shorter, which can make it worse.’ Studies have shown that stress is known to increase the rate of asthma hospitalizations needed for treatment. Even laughing or crying too hard, or getting angry or fearful, can offset your breathing. So relax, take a deep breath and don’t forget to smell the roses (or not).”
Emily’s Story About Her Daughter Maci
One of the worst phone calls I have ever received was when my daughter, Maci, was not breathing while I was at work. At just a year old, she was playing and couldn’t catch her breath for a good ten seconds. We took Maci the doctor who examined her and said that she looked and sounded just fine. Fast forward two years when Maci was in preschool. She would cough a lot during recess, snored a lot at night, and her colds seemed to last a bit longer than they did for other children. Then, one day, she had an attack. She was wheezing and having a hard time breathing so we took a trip to the new Children’s Mercy in Independence.
The Children’s Mercy staff was incredible. We were moved into a room as quickly as possible upon arrival and a doctor was already waiting for us when we arrived. He listened to Maci’s chest and immediately knew that she was in need of a breathing treatment. The nurse came in with an inhaler and a mouth piece and explained how to use it and why each piece was necessary in my daughter’s treatment. She showed me how to set up the inhaler, how to properly administer it to my daughter, and how to store it when we were done. She assisted me as we gave my daughter her first treatment and sat with us as we spoke with the doctor.
Together, we discussed all of my daughter’s symptoms and we received a diagnosis: She has asthma. She was put on an asthma action plan and prescribed liquid steroids and albuterol. The asthma action plan detailed the symptoms she might exhibit and the treatment we would need to give her based on the severity. We were sent home with the inhaler and mouth piece to keep the symptoms at bay until my daughter’s prescription came through. When we left Children’s Mercy, I felt properly informed about her condition and my daughter felt much better. I can not say enough positive things about my experience at Children’s Mercy.
Since her diagnosis, we have kept my daughter’s asthma under control thanks to the action plan we received from Children’s Mercy. The nurse provided me with helpful tips and tricks (including how to administer my daughter’s medication via inhaler while she was sleeping) and we are at a point now where my daughter is comfortable recognizing the signs for when she needs her inhaler which helps to keep her symptoms at bay. Here are some of the tips we use at home:
#1 Regular Vacuuming
We bought a vacuum with a HEPA filter that is specifically designed to target indoor allergens that lie deep within the carpet and make it a frequent habit to steam clean the carpets.
#2 Wash and Dry Stuffed Animals and Blankets
We use hot water to wash all of my daughter’s stuffed animals and blankets before drying them to get rid of the allergens that hide in those cozy places. This is especially important because my daughter is so attached to her blankets and animals.
#3 Keep The Windows Closed
Although we do occasionally let fresh air in, we typically run the air conditioner to keep allergens out of the house. This will be especially important this year as the warmer temperatures mean one of the worst allergy seasons we have experienced.
#4 Use A Humidifier
We have a small humidifier in my daughter’s room by her bed and we also run a diffuser with child safe essential oils.
Children’s Mercy has a variety of resources available for families who suffer from seasonal allergies and asthma. Grab the scoop online and be sure to take advantage of these tools to keep your family healthy and active year-round. Connect with Children’s Mercy Moms for helpful advice, tips and tricks, and so much more online, on Facebook, and on Twitter!
This time of the year seems to be very popular for celebrating birthdays. Our family has been invited to SO many birthday parties recently and there are many more to come in the next month! I think it’s great because I get to relax and attend all these carefully planned and wonderful shindigs and I don’t even have to think about planning my own kids’ parties since their birthdays are in fall and winter! I started thinking about how time goes so incredibly fast and how I could actually live in the moment and create lasting memories for my kids. Celebrating your child’s actual birthday is a great way to put them in the spotlight for a day (especially if you have other children) and here are some fun things you could do:
9 Ways To Make Your Child’s Birthday Extra Special
#1 Make a special breakfast in bed for them or even ice cream for breakfast
#2 Blow up balloons and tie them together in the shape of their age
#3 Let them choose what’s for dinner
#4 Bring lunch to school as a surprise
#5 Fill the inside of their room or the car with balloons, streamers and whatever obnoxious/fun things you can find
#6 Decorate the car with window paint, (“Honk for the birthday girl!”)
#7 Have them open presents from you on their actual birthday
#8 Let them stay up past their bedtime an hour or so
#9 Write a special message to them and read it aloud at the dinner table
These are just some of the ways you can make your child feel extra special on their birthday! None of these things are super expensive or difficult to do. And in this Pinterest-happy world we live in, I’m always looking for simple things to do with my kids. Our kids are only little for a very short time and focusing on the present time is the best way to cherish that time. What have you done to make your child’s day extra special? Please feel free to share some more ideas in the comments!
The weekend is here, folks, and that means family time and date night for moms and dads is upon us! If you’re in the market for a fun film at the box office, you’re in for a treat. We sent iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassador to catch an early screening of the new “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” earlier this week and are excited to share her thoughts on the movie with you today. Take a look…
If you are looking for a hilarious movie to see in the theaters, this is the one! My husband and I went to see “Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising” at Cinemark Palace on the Plaza and thought it was hilarious!
The original movie, “Neighbors”, introduced you to a young couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) who live next to a fraternity house led by Teddy (Zac Efron.) The sequel picks up with the same young couple who now are expecting another baby in the next few months and they have put their house on the market with the hopes of selling their home quickly … until a new sorority moves in next door.
The new sorority is led by Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her new college friends who are even crazier than Teddy and his fraternity brothers were during the first film! These girls become fast friends when they realize during a fraternity party that they really want to party but don’t want to be the stereotypical sorority girls. These girls just want to party – at all hours of the day/night which is a huge turnoff to their next door neighbors who are currently in escrow with future buyers of their home.
For 30 days, Mac and Kelly have to have their house in perfect selling condition because the new owners have the chance to stop by (without notice). Obviously, this is a major issue because, let’s be honest, who wants to live and raise a family next to a huge sorority house that is constantly throwing parties?!
The movie is full of hilarious pranks played by both the sorority sisters and the young parents. I’ll warn you that if you have a sick, twisted sense of humor – this will be perfect for you! I’ll also warn you that there are some things that are wildly inappropriate… such as sexual references and drug paraphernalia. However, if you’re looking for another reason to see this movie – I’ll let you know there are plenty of shirtless Zac Efron moments!
A while back we talked about the importance of teaching your children to eat healthy (you can find the post linked here) and, this evening, we’re excited to share a post about another way that you can encourage healthy habits in your household. Understanding where our food comes from is important in encouraging your children to try new things. What better way to do that than to bring your kids right to the source of where their food is grown. The Kansas agricultural community is strong and that’s evident in the opportunities that are available for families to head out to farms to learn and explore. Last week, iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassador Becky had the opportunity to take her family Strawberry picking and we’re excited to share her experience with you here on the blog with some helpful tips you can use when you plan your adventure to the patch. Take a look…
Strawberry Fields Forever
Let me take you down, ‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real. And nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Fields forever ….
Let me tell you, The Beatles knew what they were talking about. Over the weekend, my family ventured out to the strawberry fields at Gieringer’s Orchard in Edgerton, Kansas and it was a magical, dreamy place. I really could have stayed there forever.
Located in Edgerton, Kansas (south of Gardner), it was a bit of a hike but worth every mile. I knew we were going to love it when we pulled up and saw a guy wearing a Strawberry costume greeting guests and passing out strawberry stickers to the kids.
It was a gorgeous day and lots of people had the same idea to pick strawberries, but the orchard is so big it didn’t feel even a bit crowded. We had an entire row to ourselves (more if we wanted) and there were lots and lots of beautiful, red juicy strawberries perfect for picking. We were having so much fun we had to force ourselves to stop before our haul became so large that we’d be stuck eating nothing but strawberries for the next two weeks.
After picking we stayed a bit to enjoy the fruits of our labor (literally), ate lunch (pack your own) and the kids enjoyed the play area which includes a large stack of hay bales and a wooden tractor to climb on.
Strawberries are $2.75/lb. or $2.50/lb. if you buy 20 pounds or more. Obviously supplies are limited so check the hours, location and inventory info before you go by checking out the Gieringer’s Orchard Facebook page.
5 Tips For Planning Your Next Adventure
#1 Make It Comfortable If you have really little ones, bring a blanket that they can sit on in the strawberry fields. Children ages 2+ will happily wandering up and down the rows of strawberries.
#2 BYOB (Bring Your Own Baskets) Bring small buckets or lightweight 9×12 pans for your kids to carry the berries they pick. The orchard provides large, shallow cardboard boxes for your bounty but they can be awkward (and get heavy) for your little ones.
#3 Pick First, Play Later Head straight to the fields and then after picking let your kids use up any extra energy in the play area. You don’t want them to lose steam before you’ve collected your haul.
#4 Bring Your Own Sustinents your own food and drinks. There are shaded picnic tables but they don’t sell food. Bottled water is available for $1.00.
#5 Plan For Your Pick If you aren’t planning on freezing your strawberries you’ll have about four or five days to use them while they are at their best. So depending on how many pounds you pick, you might need to get creative. Strawberry margaritas, anyone?
If you haven’t been to Sky Zone Lee’s Summit yet, you’re in for a real treat! This new facility, located off of i-470 in Lee’s Summit, has a lot to offer children and adults of all ages. From fitness classes to birthday parties, the indoor trampoline park is a wall to wall experience that you’re going to love. We are proud to work with Sky Zone to bring you some incredible offers throughout the year including two BIG special discounts just for iFamilyKC peeps this month.
Sky Zone’s Birthday parties offer a unique experience that is out of this world and (the best part about their parties) they’ll take care of all the hassle for you from set up to tear down – all you have to do is show up and enjoy the fun. Right now, you can save $100 on their super jump birthday party packages. But (as they say on Shark Tank) that’s NOT ALL! There’s more!
Sky Zone is currently enrolling for their sky high summer camp sessions and your family can save $25 per week (up to $225 total!) off of your summer camp enrollment! Among the many benefits of enrolling your kids in camp is the flexibility to come in and out on a weekly basis so that your family can still enjoy travel plans this year. Take a look at both offers and more below…
2 Exclusive Offers at Sky Zone Lee’s Summit
Just For iFamilyKC Peeps
Take your party to new heights and soar higher than ever before as you bounce across Sky Zone’s patented, all-trampoline, walled playing courts during your unique and memorable birthday party that will be out of this world! Valid on Super Jump Party Packages Monday-Thursday Only
Save Up To $225 Off Summer Camps!
Using The Code: iFam25S
Save $25 per week (up to $225 off all 9 weeks) on full day summer camps May-August! Your kids are going to love this unique, fun experience during their school break! Must Register Before May 31st, 2016
We are so excited to be able to share some great family friendly events with you here on the iFamilyKC blog and today is certainly no exception. We had the chance to send one of our Mom Squad ambassadors, Stephanie, along with her family to check out Lego KidsFest last night and she’s sharing her thoughts on this experience with you this morning. Take a look…
Lego KidsFest Kansas City
What do you get when you have an entire convention hall full with millions of Legos? I can tell you that you will have a wonderful time for the entire family. The people who brought the Lego Convention here to the Kansas City Convention Center did an excellent job creating a fun filled environment for all ages. I am very happy to share my family’s experience with you and give you something to look forward to.
When you finally get parked and up to Lego Kidsfest Kansas City it at first will be a little overwhelming for the first time goers. There is literally so much going on you are flooded with a rush of excitement and anxiety. You might be wondering where to start (and thinking that there’s no way you’ll get it all done in with 4 hours) while, at the same moment, struggling with your own inner turmoil as your child(ren) are pulling you in all directions because you just walked them into a dream world. There is so much to do from meeting the Master builders, seeing all the amazing Lego builds, the free play areas, crafts, challenges, food, and the list just goes on and on!
I will tell you though that despite its massive initial weight the Lego Kidfest is put together very well. There was so many smiling faces eager to help you wherever you turned and very large displays drawing you in to each and every attraction. The food was good and facilities were clean and easily accessible from inside. My advice is go with patience and allot your family plenty of time to enjoy all they have to offer. This is a Kidfest so let them have the time of their young lives because it is not every day they will get a sensory overload of fun like this.
From iFamily to Yours,
It’s not too late to get in on the action for Lego KidsFest 2016 here in Kansas City. There are a LIMITED number of tickets still available for Saturday and Sunday sessions. Grab the scoop and reserve your spot at www.LegoKidsFest.com Hurry and grab them quick, this super fun family event will sell out by the end of the weekend! We can’t wait to hear about all the fun you have!
Happy Friday! I’ll never forget walking into my daughter’s first class at Reed Performing Arts Company last fall. As a first time mom who is relatively new to the dance world, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect and I have to say that I am continuously impressed by this studio. Charlotte’s dance teacher, Miss Tarrah, has to be one of the kindest, most patient teachers I’ve come across and she energizes and excites their class each and every single week. I invite you both as a mom of a child enrolled at RPAC as well as someone who is honored to be able to work with the studio here at iFamilyKC to take a look at the incredible programs that are in store for your kiddos this summer with Reed Performing Arts Company. Take a look…
May 31st-June 23rd at the Reed Performing Arts Company Studio
Try a FREE class and see the RPAC’s award winning difference.
Email Whitney for more info at email@example.com.
In addition to their exciting summer programs, RPAC also offers dance classes during the school year as well as fun drama camps and performances all throughout the year. Email them today for more information and to schedule your free trial class!
If you’re sitting here, like I am, thinking about your family’s plans for the summer, you’re in for a treat. We are thrilled to announce that our friends over at Nibble Nook, a cooking school in the northland, are offering Mommy & Me summer cooking classes starting in just a couple of weeks! Learning how to cook is such an important life skill that I am so excited to help teach my daughter as she gets older. You can start your kids in the kitchen starting on May 30th. Take a look…
Baking Classes for Kids at The Nibble Nook!
NEW summer courses for kids ages 6 to 12 begin May 30.
Each 3-class course will focus on a different pastry.
Space is limited so reserve your spot TODAY atTheNibbleNook.com
Mommy & Me summer classes
& birthday parties also available!
We hope you and your family have a blast in the kitchen this summer!