Yes, it’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to head to the attic, your basement, or your storage closet and bring out those boxes of decorations that have been collecting dust for the last eleven months. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or maybe all three! You know you love it when all of the lights are up, the tree is decorated, and the candles are lit…but while you’re busy decorating the house and admiring the romantic glow of the fireplace, safety might be the last thing on your mind.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 240 injuries per day related to do-it-yourself holiday decorating activities during November and December of 2017. Let’s make sure you have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season with your friends and family.
Here are some of my top tips to keep in mind as you deck out your home in style this season.
1. Trees Get Thirsty Too!
A dried-out tree will definitely catch fire faster than one that has been properly watered. Be sure to check the water level every day to ensure it has proper hydration.
2. If You Fake It, Make It Safe!
If you decide to ‘go faux’ and buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire-resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
3. Double-Check Your Lights
The CSPC issued new guidelines for seasonal light safety back in 2015. There is a setting for minimum wire size, as well as standards for strain relief and over-current protection.
4. Prevent Electrical Cord Damage
Always avoid using nails or tacks when hanging up those cords, and don’t mount lights in a way that might damage the cord. Use hooks or insulated staples to prevent any type of damage. Cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, or located near heat sources.
5. Secure Those ‘Old Flames’
Old flames can die hard…especially when they’re burning on a holiday candle. Never leave a lit candle unattended, because these neglected candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Always keep them on a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Battery-operated candles are the perfect substitute, with none of the risk and all of the glow!
6. When You Say “Lights Out,” Mean It!
When leaving the house, make sure to turn all lights off to avoid a short that could start a catastrophic electrical fire. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am. When it’s time to call it a night and the kids have finally made it to dreamland, be sure to turn off all of the lights before your head finally hits the pillow.
It’s important to have fun decorating this holiday season and enjoy special quality time with your family and friends. If all goes as planned, hopefully there won’t be any accidents if you follow these simple tips. If by chance you do have a minor mishap, it’s always good to have a first aid kit nearby and our PreparaKits have got you covered with the essentials.
Be smart, have fun and be safe this holiday season.
It’s that daylight savings time of year again, and you know what that means…cranky kids, temper tantrums, and no sleep for you, right? Well, not necessarily…we’ve got you covered. The ‘spring ahead, fall back’ time changes can mix up everyone’s schedule. The loss of just one hour can really affect a child’s attention span, appetite, and overall mood. You can minimize the effects of daylight savings time by being prepared.
Here are some helpful tips on how to get kids back on track so everyone can get a good night’s sleep.
Allow Time for Gradual Adjustment:
It takes some time to adapt to a loss of sleep. So if your child normally goes to bed at 8 p.m., put him/her to bed at 7:45 p.m., then 7:30 p.m., and so on, until they are going to bed as close to 7 p.m. as possible. This step-by-step process is not as much a shock to the system, as it is when you abruptly expect your child to fall asleep an hour earlier after the time change. If you’re having trouble getting your child to bed earlier, which is often the case in older kids, then just focus on getting them up in the morning a bit earlier instead. When daylight savings time ends in the fall, this gradual approach can still help — follow the same guidelines — just push the wake-up times and bedtimes a little later rather than earlier.
To Make Bedtime Easier, Control the Lights:
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your body’s internal clock. The levels of this hormone increase in the evening as it becomes dark to help induce sleep. Melatonin levels decrease when it’s light out to assist with wakefulness and alertness. Daylight savings time alters your natural cycle, and the results can be particularly difficult for kids. I recommend dimming the lights in your child’s bedroom and turning off all electronics about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. According to The National Sleep Foundation, these devices can reduce sleep time, sleep quality, and daytime alertness because of light exposure and brain engagement right before bedtime.
In the morning, you should try to get your child into the light as much as possible. Natural sunlight is best, so if weather permits, make sure there is sunlight entering your home, or turn on the lights so it’s nice and bright! To help when you “fall back,” make sure your child has some light exposure in the early evening. Be careful to ensure that your child’s room doesn’t become too bright too soon in the early morning.
Establish a Routine:
When daylight savings time begins or ends, it’s especially important to stick with a bedtime routine. Your child is now dealing with a change in schedule that might throw him off. It’s absolutely critical that they have a routine during bedtime because that’s what helps create a powerful signal for sleep. One option is giving your child a warm bath, reading him a book, and snuggling together before lights out.
Get Enough Sleep Beforehand:
In the days before you change your clocks, make sure your child is getting plenty of shut-eye. Sleep results in more sleep, so going into daylight savings time well-rested will greatly help your child because he won’t be cranky and overtired, which can make falling asleep even harder.
Be Supportive and Understanding:
In the days following daylight savings time, try to be more forgiving if your child is throwing extra temper tantrums or seems to be particularly frustrated or difficult in any way. The time change can cause these short-term changes in your child’s mood, but your understanding and support will help them adjust a little better to the new schedule.
Take Care of You:
And most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourself too! Many adults feel sluggish and cranky themselves after the time switch, so make sure you’re getting the rest you need as well. Thankfully, these effects are all short-lived — within a week or so, everything should be back to normal.
As always, I’d love to hear which blogs resonate most with you! Feel free to reach out and message me on Facebook & Instagram!
Children are natural-born explorers. They love going out on their own so they can experience the world and have adventures.
But, many parents are faced with the nightmare of what happens when your child wanders off and gets lost. It’s a scary situation that no parent wants to think about, but you do need a plan in place if it happens.
Here are things you can do to prevent your child getting lost:
First, realize your child can wander off and get lost almost anywhere at any time, so you need to be prepared and proactive. Have a conversation early on with your child about what to do if they get lost.
Make it a game for your child to memorize your cell phone number. Give them a copy of the number as they may not be thinking clearly if they’re panicked. This can be on an ID bracelet or a personalized “dog tag” they carry with them.
What To Do If Your Child Gets Lost:
Dress your child in bright clothes
If a child is lost and they’re wearing something bold, they’re much be easier to spot. Take a picture of your child before you go out to the park or the mall so you’ll have a picture of exactly what they look like. This way, if he or she gets lost, you can share this photo easily with security guards who can be on the lookout for them.
Designate a meeting spot
If you’re going someplace that’s especially crowded, like a theme park or shopping mall, explain to your child that they should look for you at a designated spot. This should be someplace easy to find like the main entrance or at a specific ride or store.
That way, if they get lost, they can find you quickly and easily. If you don’t have a designated meeting spot, tell them, instead, to not move at all. Explain that once you realize they’re missing, you’ll instantly start looking for them. If they’re looking for you while you look for them, you could end up chasing each other for hours. If they stay in one place, they’ll be easier to find.
This sounds impossible, but no good is going to come from being frantic and terrified. Try to keep a level head so you can rationally search for your child.
Teach your child about “safe people.”
If you aren’t there within a few minutes, have your child let an adult know that they’re lost. Have them look for a security guard or a store employee with a name tag. These people can do a better job of helping to reunite you with your child than the average person off the street.
Imagine walking through the mall with your child only to turn around and not see them there. Terrifying, right? By preparing ahead of time, you and your children know what to do in this event and you’ll quickly reunited!
Be Prepared for the Unexpected!
A child can go missing in the blink of an eye. If that happens, I know you want to be as calm and as prepared as possible to locate and reunite with your missing child. Let us help you do that by sending you a FREE Child Safety Identification Kit. You can get your FREE kit by clicking here.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of a Supermom is “an exemplary mother; also: a woman who performs the traditional duties of housekeeping and child-rearing while also having a full-time job.
On the outside looking in, this mom appears to very well organized, crafty, resourceful, cooks, bakes, and still manages to somehow keep herself fit, well dressed and have a social calendar. When you go over to her house, everything is neat and tidy. She tracks and manages all the household activities without a glitch.
She has her kids under control at all times. Her kids get read to every night. She is very health conscious and makes sure her family eats well. There are freshly cut fruits and baked snacks on the kitchen counter for afterschool snack. She is very involved at her kid’s school.
These are the moms you come across and ask yourself, “How the heck does she have time to do all of that?”
Now truly, has anyone really ever come across a mom like that… except in the movies?
I mean there are days I feel like I am supermom because I really do need to juggle everything and all by myself because my husband is away from work for days at a time. And if you’re a single mom, you are hands down automatically a supermom.
But most days my kids are lucky if they have a hot meal on the table for dinner every night.
Let’s face it, us moms (and dads) have a lot on our plate, especially when you are juggling activities for more than 1 child. Some days it feels like you can’t even keep your head on straight because you’re being pulled in all sorts of directions.
So I am going to take it one step further to redefine what a supermom is. My new definition of a supermom is someone who manages to keep the household and family running smoothly, provides a positive environment for their kids to learn and grow and while also contributing to the household income one way or another.
So do Supermoms really exist?
I say Yes!
You’re a supermom if you accomplish any of the following:
Your kids are fed, even if it means eating leftovers for 2 days straight.
Your kids are clothed, even if it means they need to rewear their socks because you haven’t gotten around to doing the laundry yet
You look forward to being able to surprise your kids and see them jumping up and down in excitement when you tell them what you have planned for the weekend for them
You read to and with your kids regularly (not necessarily EVERY night)
You watch out for all aspects of their safety
You make sure things get done, even if it means delegating
You bake cupcakes for your kid to bring to school to share with their classmates, or rush out to the store to buy store bought ones. 🙂
You support and guide them to make good decisions
You teach them, one life lesson at a time
The truth is, we are all supermoms in our own ways. We each have our own special powers. And it doesn’t mean we have to perform them all at once either. We all have one main goal for our kids…that we raise them to grow up and live a happy and meaningful life.
We’ll all be taking different paths but at the end, we all want the same outcome. If we accomplish that, we, as parents have done our jobs and will have really lived out our supermom ways.
Are there any moms out there that knows the secret to having the perfect mornings because I can always use as many different tools in my tool belt as possible. As some of you may already know, a strategy of handling a specific situation will not work every single time so it’s helpful to learn multiple ways.
Being able to send my kids off to school in the mornings with everyone in a happy, positive mood is what I strive for and is what sets the tone for the rest of my day.
I love the mornings when my kids are smiling, getting along with each other and not bickering at each other every 5 seconds. When that happens, it usually means I can get them to school on time and we’re not rushing.
It also means this mom is in a much happier mood and allows me to be more mentally ready to tackle all the things on my to do list for the day. I don’t know about you but when I’m in a good mood, my thoughts are clear and I really do feel like I can take on the world.
These are the kind of mornings that I would like to have more of:
My kids get up on their own, brush their teeth and get dressed without a word. I hear them laughing and joking around with each other.
They come downstairs and my daughter pours herself a cup of milk and asks her brother if he would like a cup, and continues on to pour a cup for her brother. They eat breakfast and continue to smile and laugh with one another. They are being so nice to each other. Wait? “Is this really happening,” I think to myself?
Image by Hal Gatewood via Unsplash
I make a comment about how wonderful their behavior is and they both just smile and grin from ear to ear because they know they are being good.
So they hold on to that feeling of proudness and take it even a step further by finishing up their food without being reminded. I don’t hear a peep of snide remarks or bickering at all. I think to myself, “awww, they really do love each other”.
I haven’t had to break up an argument or nag at them or even raise my voice to get them to calm down.
On the way to school, we’re smiling and laughing. Singing along to the songs on the radio. We’re ALL in a happy mood. It’s so amazing. Love those days!
But of course, with kids being kids, most mornings don’t usually look like that. Not even close.
So what does a typical morning look like for me? I’ve heard some experts say that it’s not good to rush your kids in the mornings, but how can you not? They would be piling on the late school slips if there wasn’t some degree of urgency.
Not a morning goes by when I don’t hear my daughter saying to her younger brother, “Stop!!” or “I’m telling mom” or my son having a meltdown because after the 10th time of his sister yelling stop, I had to step in to give him my peace of mind.
Then comes the morning rush hour where I’m pushing to get lunch packed, jackets on, backpacks on, shoes on, so we can get out the door and be dropped off at school on time. This typically goes with me saying all of these statements at some point:
“ok you got 10 minutes before we have to leave”.
“Preston, you haven’t even eaten anything on your plate yet!”.
“Put your lunches in your bag and lets get ready to go”.
“What do you mean you don’t know where your jacket is?”
“Why did you not give me this paper to sign yesterday?”
“Let’s go, it’s time to go!”
“If you don’t get your shoes on this minute, we are going to be late”
“Come on, let’s go, inside the car”
Days like this, I just want to pull my hair out and in my head, have thoughts of all these different plans that needs to be put into place the very next day because dealing with this every morning is getting oh so tiring.
Image by composite via Pixaba
Then there are those days where everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. You drop your kids off at school only to find out they forgot their lunches and even worse, their shoes! So you have to drive all the way back home and back to school, and now you’re frustrated because you’re going to be late for work.
Most, if not all moms will agree with me that mornings in their homes are pretty hectic. People who know me know that I am always trying to find new or different ways to make the daily struggles easier or run more smoothly.
When I learn about a new process and try it out and it doesn’t work as well, I move on to the next thing. Which is why I constantly love to hear from other moms who are doing something different that works because there’s a good chance it will work for our family as well.
Over the years, these are some of the processes I have found that helps to move things along in the mornings:
⚪️ I have my kids lay out their clothes the night before so they know exactly what to wear.
⚪️ Instead of wasting time in the morning trying to figure out what they want to eat for breakfast, I have them decide the night before so that I can wake up and just make it.
⚪️ I have them pack their bags and leave them near the door so it’s all ready to go.
⚪️ I’ve used a white board to list out things that needs to be done to help remind them what they should be doing and in what order. It helps to put them back on track when they deviate. (Although, as long as I can see that they are getting things done, I really don’t care what order it gets done. But it helps them to be able to refer to something if they need a little reminder).
⚪️ To minimize the sibling quarrels, my daughter wakes up to her alarm 15 minutes earlier than my son so that she can use the restroom first.
⚪️ I buy them their own mouthwash and toothpaste. This alone has stopped so many silly arguments from occurring.
⚪️ Once in awhile, they know that if they are fully ready for school ahead of schedule, I’ll pass by the Starbucks and treat them to a hot chocolate at Starbucks. Yep, sometimes, I do resort to a little bribing and I’m okay with that.
Image by Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay
It’s not perfect and it doesn’t always go as planned every morning. But many times, having these routines in place does make the morning run more smoothly, which means I have a better chance at setting a more positive tone for the rest of my day.
What does your mornings look like? Share in the comments any tips you have that has worked well for you. We’d all love to learn about it.