Firefighter Dad Dave Shares Parenting Advice

Firefighter Dad Dave Shares Parenting Advice

Firefighter Parent Advice - PreparaMom

International Firefighter’s Day, a day nationally recognized to our brave men and women who protect our homes, is May 4th this year.  My husband Dave is one of those courageous firefighters.

He is a big part of the operations here at PreparaMom and PreparaKit and I thought it might be nice for our audience to get to know what he does as a firefighter.


What Does a Firefighter Do All Day?


First, a little background. Some have mentioned to me that they have this totally inaccurate picture of firefighters as guys who sit around the station and wash the fire-truck while they just wait for a call to come in. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Firefighters have to stay in peak physical condition because their lives and the lives of others depend on it. That means two hours a day of mandatory gym time, plus constant training and practice to maintain skills and competency.

Firefighter Parent Advice - PreparaMom

Staying in Peak Condition is Part of the Job for Firefighters!


Firefighters have to carry 100+ pounds of equipment when they go into a burning building and handle high-pressure hoses that could knock most people over. For a better idea of how much it takes, you can check this video out.

Inspections, community help and outreach, as well as equipment checks and maintenance, means no real time to yourself because at any moment, it’s expected that you have to be out the door within two minutes of a call and to the scene of the emergency within five minutes. Let’s just say they learn real quick to use the potty quickly! ?


What Advice Does a Firefighter Have for Parents?


Dave has a pretty good idea of how to be prepared at a moment’s notice to be on the move. Trust me, I know first hand!

I specifically asked him to share any unique advice for parents from a firefighter perspective to help parents be better prepared for emergency situations.

Dave’s main emphasis is on preparation and awareness. Seeing as this is the main part of his job, it is no wonder that he would be keen on these areas!


Being Prepared Means Staying Calm In Emergency Situations


Preparation as a parent can mean making sure you fill up your gas tank as soon as it gets near a quarter tank, ideally half a tank. Having gas in your tank means you can be assured to get as far away as you need or get to the help you need. This is something he is always on me to keep up with.

Dave always makes sure to keep supplies in the trunk of our car for emergency situations. Supplies such as water, first aid kit (this is a really good one!?), blanket, disposable gloves, utility knife, and flashlights.


Be Aware of Your Surroundings


With awareness, you need to be alert to what is going on around you at all times. Kids usually do fire drills at school and now they’re adding active shooter drills as well. But sadly, these alarming situations can happen anywhere and at any time.

I never realized this but whenever we fly on an airplane, he is already checking out the exits and talking to our son about the exit plan. If you’re on an airplane, prepare your child by talking to them about what they would do if there was an emergency and where they would go if they had to exit the plane quickly. (Don’t blow off those instructions before the flight given to you by the flight attendant.)

If you’re in a restaurant or movie theater, you need to be able to find two different exit points you can use. Head for the nearest one; but if it’s blocked, you should be able to adjust and switch to a different exit.

He is always telling our kids that it’s fine if you get scared in a situation. But don’t lose your head and start panicking. This is when you’re going to get into a serious problem. As long as you know in advance what to do, you can fall back on that and stay calm and collected while you get out of harm’s way.


Thank a Firefighter for the Work They Do!


Firefighters have a tough job as evidenced by all the work and training that they do. I couldn’t be more proud of my husband.

This year, for Firefighter’s Day, thank a firefighter for all that they do in the community. And spend this time talking to your children about what they can learn from firefighters so they can stay prepared and be safe year-round.


Be Prepared for the Unexpected!


At the beach, the park or playing ball – be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Fun, Healthy Sport Snacks for Kids

Fun, Healthy Sport Snacks for Kids

Fun, Healthy Sport Snacks for Kids - PreparaMom

As moms, it’s our responsibility to instill healthy habits in our children. This includes getting physically active. A popular option is to get our kids playing sports.

Now when playing, sometimes you’re going to have to be prepared for little scrapes and minor injuries.

But you’re also going to have to be prepared to provide them with the food and snacks they need to fuel their activities.

Here are some of the best fun sports snacks that are also healthy for your child.



This is always a healthy option for your kids. You may need to get creative with your choices and you definitely want to offer some variety.  

Here’s some of the best options:

  • Orange slices — If your child is old enough to peel their own, then you can upgrade to clementines.
  • Apple slices — Just skip the high sugar caramel dips.
  • Applesauce squeezers — This is a great choice for families on the go.
  • Bananas — This is a great source of potassium that can be lost as you exercise leading to muscle cramps and spasms.
  • Raisins — There’s a reason this is called nature’s candy. A box of raisins is a quick hand-held snack to take with you.
  • Yogurt — Fruit flavored yogurt tubes are another portable healthy snack. 
  • Melons – Cut up honeydew and cantaloupe are refreshing options.Fun, Healthy Sport Snacks for Kids - PreparaMom



Protein snacks have become big lately in the stores. For adults, protein bars and shakes are good on-the-go snacks. But these aren’t really appropriate for kids. (Not to mention they’re usually full of artificial ingredients.)

Here are a few natural protein alternatives:

  • Cheese sticks—Kids love string cheese, but if you’re worried about fat content, opt for the 2% cheese instead.
  • Turkey and Chicken—Roll a slice of turkey or chicken around a cheese stick and you have the protein benefits of a sandwich without the carbs.
  • Salami sticks—You may have seen these at parties as an hors d’oeuvres. They are sticks of mozzarella wrapped in a piece of salami. You can now buy these in 2-packs for a quick snack.
  • Protein packs—Many companies are now selling “Lunchable” style protein snacks with cheese squares, meat, and nuts.
  • Peanut Butter—If your child doesn’t have a peanut allergy, this can be put on celery for a quick and healthy snack option.



One of the biggest tips I can give is to stay hydrated as much as possible. Give your child his or her own water bottle to fill and refill as they need it. Plain water is a healthy option that will keep them going. Don’t give sugary sodas or juices. Sports drinks in moderation for those days they’ve been playing all day in the heat to get an extra boost in between games.

Healthy Snacks Keeps Your Kids Prepared with Fuel for the Playing Field

Part of any athletic regimen is taking care of yourself so that you can perform on the court or field. By giving your kids these healthy snack options, you’ll give them that boost to keep playing their best.

Be Prepared for Healthy Sports All the Time!

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Appropriate Sports by Age

Appropriate Sports by Age

Age Appropriateness of Kids Sports - PreparaMom

Parents instinctively know that sports are good for kids. It’s obvious the exercise, social interactions and discipline taught will all benefit our kids.

Our children observed lots of different sports and determined which sports they were most interested in.

As I learned, there are sports that are better for kids at different ages for different reasons. So then, which sports are appropriate for specific age groups?


Let’s take a look at the general age appropriateness of athletic competitions.



This is not the time to try anything with heavy contact or lots of rules. Your child needs to be focusing more on interacting with other children and learning how to play together.

I took our kids to Gymboree classes where they interacted with other kids and enjoyed hands on play, music and singing.


4 to 5 Year Old’s

Now they can start to have a little more structure in their physical activity. Consider signing them up for team sports like T-ball and basketball. (Obviously, the basketball is going to have to be modified so they can reach the basket.)

Some hard core golf players have their kids start playing golf at this age. Miniature golf is fun for the kids!

Pay special attention to how the coaches handle these kids. At this age, it’s about learning the rules of the game and how to play without too much of a competitive edge. Avoid heavy contact sports and consider something like football if it is no-touch, flag football.


6 to 9 Year Old’s

Once a child is regularly starting school, their ability to concentrate and focus for an extended period of time should be increasing.

Their physical maturity with hand-eye coordination and vision should be more acute. This is the time for more team sports such as football, soccer, softball, and baseball but it’s also a good time for athletic classes.

Two good recommendations that stress flexibility and motor skills are gymnastics and martial arts. And, if you haven’t already taught your child to swim, now’s the time. If they excel at this, you may want to consider signing them up for a swim team.


10 Year Old’s to Teens

At this age, your child may have gotten a taste for different sports and found one that they really like.

Their bodies are more resilient, so you can consider contact sports at a more competitive level such as football, hockey, soccer and lacrosse as well as those which focus more on hand-eye coordination such as basketball, baseball/softball, and volleyball.

If your child prefers solo sports, the teen years is a perfect time to continue with, or sign up for events such as gymnastics, skating, martial arts, archery, swimming/diving, or track.


Know There Will Be Cuts and Scrapes

Just be forewarned they’re going to get cuts and scrapes along the way. This is just a function of being a kid and being active. Make sure the league or school they’re playing for has a concussion protocol that they follow for more serious injuries.

The important thing is to talk to your child and find out what they’re interested in.

Be Prepared for Sports at All Ages

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Tips to Keep Christmas Simple

Tips to Keep Christmas Simple

Being a mom at Christmas can be a totally draining experience. Let’s face it: everyone else talks about how magical the holiday is and you have the radio crooning about how it’s the “most wonderful time of the year.”

But those joyful Christmas experiences of your childhood have gone the way of the dodo and been replaced by stress and anxiety.

So this year, let’s make a resolution—one that’s only good for the month of December.

Let’s resolve to do everything we can to keep Christmas simple this year!

1. Let the kids handle the “heavy lifting”

 We all know that the holidays are really about the kids and letting them make memories that will last for years to come. So, have them do as much as possible and take some of the stress off of you.

This year, set up the tree for them and then just sit back and watch while they decorate it. (Obviously, if you’ve got older kids and teenagers, they may even be able to do the tree set-up as well.) But just sit back on the couch and supervise while they hang their favorite ornaments and the stockings up

2. Go digital

Every year, I spend hours trying to sign and address individual Christmas cards to my friends and family. Not this year.

Join me in simplifying the holiday and go digital with your Christmas card. You can still take an updated family picture and use that for your card. But just send out an email/digital card and save yourself time, aggravation, and postage money. (And keep in mind: your friends will probably appreciate it just as much since they won’t have to worry about discarding the card. Hey, it’s even more environmentally friendly!)

3. Let someone else do the cooking

If you remember a childhood of wonderful homemade Christmas meals, please don’t feel like you have to live up to those. On the big day, there is no reason why you should be stuck in the kitchen trying to prepare a turkey or ham while everyone else is sitting in the family room playing with presents and watching TV

Instead, consider buying your holiday meal pre-made from a local restaurant or catering service. Then, all you have to do is warm it up and no one has to know the difference.

There is nothing wrong with gift cards

I’m really tired of people getting judgmental about gift cards. Usually, the complaints center around the belief that the card is impersonal. But really, they aren’t!

If you buy someone a gift that doesn’t fit, that they already have, or they just don’t like, then you have given them an extra job—having to trudge back to the mall and exchange it. But with gift cards, your gift recipient can buy whatever they want and will really appreciate the opportunity to pick up the perfect gift.

And that’s a level of stress that you just don’t need. I’ve spent many a day at the mall freaking out about whether a gift was “just right.” This year, I’m cutting out that stress and letting them find the gift that is best for them.

You don’t have to spend your holidays totally stressed out so that you live in dread of next Christmas. Instead, do your best to make the holiday as simple as possible so you can enjoy the time with the rest of your family.
5 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Shopping in Check

5 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Shopping in Check

What is a budget’s worst enemy?

The Holiday Season!

Hopefully you are prepared with extra funds set aside for this time of year because from now on until the end of the year, everywhere you look, there will be some kind of a sale.

Some kind of advertisement that lures you in to thinking that you absolutely must have it.

Marketing experts are sneaky sneaky.  They know how to push through to your weakness.  

But whatever you do, don’t give in to it!

If you know you tend to overspend AND you know that you can’t afford to, this information is…



I get it.  I love sales.  I love getting a bargain.  I love deals! And with online shopping so readily available, it makes it impossible to not be tempted to buy something all in the convenience of your own home.

And if you don’t stay disciplined, you will find yourself putting a way bigger dent on your bank account than you can really afford to.

Let me help you with some ways to do that.

Follow these tips to make sure you stay on track and prevent yourself from going on a shopping frenzy only to wake up one morning after the holidays are over and see how much money you overspent.

  1.  Make a list.  Write down all the people you would like to purchase gifts for and as you come across             sales, buy with them in mind only.  I know how tempting it is to want to purchase things for yourself       but YOU MUST RESIST the urge to do this.
  2. Be realistic.  You know exactly how much money you are capable of spending.  Take that amount and      drill it into your head and don’t spend more than that.  If it helps, keep a note on your phone with              that amount and deduct from it any amount you buy in gifts.  That way, you have a real time running      total.
  3. Find an accountability partner.  Once you determine this amount, tell someone who you can trust to        keep you accountable to stick to your number.  Someone you can call to talk you out of it when you            are tempted to purchase something you shouldn’t.
  4. Be clear.  It’s super easy to get distracted from our shopping list when we come across something             that we would like for ourselves.  But let’s be clear and honest with yourself and before you decide to       buy something, ask yourself the question, “Is this a need or a want?”  “Am I going to die if I don’t             purchase this thing right now?” If the answer is “no”, then you don’t need it. You have to remember       that you have a whole list of people to buy for so if it’s a want, it can wait until after the holidays               when you have accumulated some extra funds to spend
  5. Stick to the plan.  Resist temptation.  Fight the urge. Quickly buy the presents as soon as you can and      stay away from the stores or online shopping.  There will always be sales on stuff. And hey, if you end      up with extra money after buying everyone their gifts, then treat yourself to something with the                remaining amount.

If you know you always spend too much money during this season and end up resenting yourself for it later, then do yourself a favor and be in control of it this year.

It’s awesome to be the person that has tons of gifts to share. But guess what, it’s not so awesome when you’re the person that had to rack up a huge bill because of it.

It just is not worth it.

So remember, know your limits and stick to it!

You will thank me for it after the holidays are over and you still have money in the bank to pay the bills.

The Who, What, and Why of PreparaKit.

The Who, What, and Why of PreparaKit.

Meet the founders of PreparaKit, Marian & David Nguyen.  Using their personal experience as parents to two young children as well as being healthcare professionals, they started PreparaKit in 2016 with one main goal in mind…to help moms be prepared to handle everyday kid emergencies so that they can have more peace of mind in their pocket.

This nurse and firefighter wife/husband team duo knew how important the safety of kids are to parents in general and how easily kids can get themselves hurt in a blink of an eye.  As parents, they understand the day to day struggles and the idea of always being ready for anything is not always at the forefront of their minds.


After assessing the current marketplace, they found that they could fill a void by creating first aid kits specifically for moms.  They not only wanted to create kits that were fully functional but also cute and fun to carry around. Features such as being simple, easy to use, organized, and portable with supplies tailored to the day to day emergency needs of little ones were all thoughtfully incorporated.

They just didn’t stop at the standard features.  They wanted to address the importance of the individual supplies being used that weren’t in a lot of the generic kits that were being offered.  Things like being latex-free and using fabric bandages instead of plastic so that it’s more comfortable for the little kiddos. Even down to having fun stickers and cartoon character bandages to put a smile on the kids faces.

As a family oriented/owned business, there’s nothing more fulfilling than to know they have been able to contribute to the safety and well-being of countless families.  Making sure they continue to provide high quality products and excellent service to the PreparaKit family is their utmost priority.

Meet the founders of PreparaKit, Marian & David Nguyen.  Using their personal experience as parents to two young children as well as being healthcare professionals, they started PreparaKit in 2016 with one main goal in mind…to help moms be prepared to handle everyday kid emergencies so that they can have more peace of mind in their pocket.