Being Proud of My Little Wiggle Worm

April 29, 2021

After the much failed attempt at baseball, we went after karate. 

I'll have y'all know it's going much smoother. He loves it, it's encouraging, his teacher is incredible. The focus is not on how great you kick at for the Little Dragons, but instead they learn self defense techniques while practicing self control, answering up (yes sir), sportsmanship, and confidence. 

This week Harry earned his 5th stripe (The parents have to fill out a form updating the teacher on behavior) and got his first patch for his uniform. 

He was beside himself. 




In the pic below you can see him fiddling with his belt. He was sitting and waiting on his turn to be called up and encouraged by his teacher for his helpfulness. Harrison didn't realize it was a patch week, but has been oh so happy to earn his little electrical tape stripes weekly. 

Then Sensei gave him his fist patch for having five stripes. Y'all he was beaming. Beaming! 


He isn't a child that everything comes easily to. Language acquisition was a struggle. He has some motor skill trouble he is working on with PT and OT at school. He is in speech (and making great growth). But some of the things that are easy breezy (as Harry says it) for others just don't fall that easy for him. But gosh he has such a heart. 

He is kind and loving. He genuinely cares about others and is so happy to celebrate everything for everyone! 

But he is all boy, 100% all boy on top of these things. Sitting still isn't on the menu. He has a thought and must say it now. He is active until he goes back to sleep. 

So with all of that, karate is more and more making me feel like it's the way to go for him. And not just because it is something he wanted to do. 

Throughout class I tried to catch his eye here and there to tap my hands on my lap to remind him to use self control. He needs those gentle reminders during class. Harrison wants to do exactly what he should, but the wiggles get the best of him. Considering he'd be heartbroken if he ever had more than one warning and would have to sit out, I try to silently remind him to reel it in. He's just so excited that sitting during class is tough work. 

But after a class of sitting still as best he could, listening oh so very well, and then getting his first patch... I told him how proud his Daddy would be when we got home and showed him the patch. 

He was beside himself with excitement. Daddy is the ultimate in people who he wants to please. We talked back and forth for five minutes about Daddy and it suddenly hit me. 

I never said I was proud of him. 


I clapped in class and told him he was doing great. I tried to talk up Jeremy since he isn't there with us. 

But I never said I was proud. 

So I said it. 

Harrison's response, "Really Mama?" In his sweet little voice. 


It was a bit of a knock on the side of my head. I encourage him and cheer him on, but he needs the words of affirmation from me as well. I am always trying to tell him how proud other people are and how great he does that I sometimes forget to include myself. He needs to hear that I am also proud of him. 

Heck, my late talker has grown by leaps and bounds and his one big personality quality that is always talked about by his teachers is his kindness. I couldn't have asked God for more than kindness. Inherently kind people are hard to come by and I want so desperately to nurture that so that he holds onto it. 


All that to say, tell your people that you're proud of them. I often forget to say it outright and was reminded of it this week. They need the words of affirmation. 

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A Guide to Keeping Kids Entertained During Weddings

April 26, 2021

Weddings are special, one-off events during which the bride and groom celebrate their love for each other surrounded by all their family and friends – but tell that to kids. At their age, they probably will not appreciate the meaning of marriage and true love, and instead the wedding day can seem a very long day – leading to boredom or overstimulation and the resulting tears or accidents. To ensure that everyone can relax and enjoy this special day, here is a guide to keeping kids entertained during weddings.

 


Hire an entertainer

Weddings often involve a lot of time during which kids are expected to remain quiet and well-behaved. Official wedding photographs, for instance, can take a while to organize and while the best man’s speech might be a particular highlight for you, kids can soon become crotchety. You could hire an entertainer for the reception to keep kids entertained during often lengthy wedding speeches. A magician, for instance, will keep your little ones enthralled with mind-boggling magic tricks. This is a particularly good idea if you are not sure whether the best man’s speech will be suitable for little ears!

 

Gifts

Surprise your young guests with gifts at their table setting at the wedding venue to keep them entertained throughout the duration of the wedding meal. There is a great selection of fun gifts for kids you could consider that will not blow your budget. A coloring book and crayons is always a fun and absorbing option; or a book will keep them quiet for a bit. You might have some young guests who are playing a larger part in your wedding ceremony, such as flower girls and page boys, in which case you might like to surprise them with a larger gift, like a scooter, to thank them for their contribution.

 

Organize a quiet room  

With loud music, sugary drinks, and a general air of high spirits, it can be easy for children to become overstimulated at some point during the lengthy wedding day. This might manifest in different ways depending on the child’s individual temperament. They might, for instance, become hyperactive and potentially cause accidents by running around the room; or they could become grumpy and tearful, and potentially have a tantrum. Either way, organizing a quiet room allows them to take a time out and calm down away from the noise and bright lights of the main reception. For instance, a cloakroom kitted out with soft lights and blankets provides a welcome haven away from the sensory overload.

 

Kids’ table

If you have a number of young guests attending your wedding, you could seat them at a separate kids’ table during the wedding meal. This will give them an opportunity to socialize and have fun with others of a similar age, while also allowing their parents to let their hair down and enjoy the reception. You could even hire a babysitter to supervise them and ensure that they do not become too noisy whilst sat on their own.

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I Like My Eggs Shaken and Not Empty

April 9, 2021

 The days of spring in the South when we can play outside without fear of melting, they're simply the best. Granted the trade off is severe allergy issues and the constant handing out of Xyzal. 




I don't have a picture of it, but yesterday I saw Elliot scale the rock wall on the side of the playset. Second children really are something else. Harrison wouldn't have dared half of what Elliot does with ease. 



You might see children playing outside and coloring with chalk, I'm seeing a spearmint plant that is thriving in a land of many-a-dead potted plant. Don't even ask about the lavender, the two of us have never done well together. 


Anyone else have strange kids? I've caught these two all but licking the pan after dinner, but only if it is french fries that were seasoned with Tony's. 

How Louisiana are my children? Well there consumption of Tony's should clarify that. 


Two things here. 1) We've Pavlov Dog-ed the kids by accident. If the beaters turn on they come running, especially hungry baby Elliot. 

2) He started yelling "No cheese, no pictures Mama!" at me when I took out my phone. 


Last but not least, out first half decent family photo since Elliot's new born shoot. The church had an Easter egg hunt last weekend and the kids had so much fun. Little Ole Elliot, in true second child fashion, shook every egg to decide if he wanted it or not. He did in fact put some back. 

That baby ain't picking no empty or low weight egg. 😂

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Guide to Caring for Elderly Parents

April 6, 2021

Aging is a natural part of life and most people need some extra support as they get older. Supporting an elderly parent can be challenging and they may reject your help in the beginning. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to show your love and support, without taking away their independence. With that in mind, here is a guide to caring for elderly parents:



Assess your parent’s care needs


Your first step should be to assess your parent’s limitations and care needs. Make sure that you approach the subject with sensitivity and be prepared for your parents to resist your support. Many elderly people find it difficult to admit that they need help, especially if they are used to being very independent. Sit down together as a family and encourage your parents to speak openly and honestly about their needs. According to Pasadena Health Center, some common healthcare needs of seniors include arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimers Disease. These conditions can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms that make daily activities more challenging. For instance, you may notice that an elderly parent finds it difficult to walk without aids or can no longer drive safely. Assess the level of care your elderly parent needs and then create a plan to provide the support they require.


Discuss the benefits of assisted living


The care needs of elderly people tend to increase as they get older. Your parents may develop health conditions that make it difficult to live independently and you might become concerned for their safety and wellbeing. In this situation, it might be a good idea to discuss the benefits of assisted living. For instance, assisted living communities offer extra security and plenty of fun senior-friendly activities. According to residents at Brightview senior assisted living in Rockville, MD, one of the biggest factors in choosing an assisted living community is the overall community feel and connection to other residents.


Be honest about the support you can provide


It is natural to want to help your parents as they get older, but you must be honest about the support you can provide. Caring for someone is hard work and it can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Consider your other commitments and think realistically about how much help you can provide.

 

If your parents live close, then you might be able to offer assistance a couple of times a week. However, this will not be possible if you live far away or have a demanding work and family schedule. If your parents need more support than you can provide, then consider other care options. For example, you could arrange for a professional carer to visit your elderly parents at home and assist with their daily activities and routines. You could also hire a cleaner to help with household chores. This extra support will allow your elderly parents to maintain their independence and freedom. You can have peace of mind knowing that your parents are receiving the care they need to maintain a good quality of life as they get older.

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Meal Planning Monday

April 5, 2021

This might need to be changed to Meal Planning Thursday - since that's when it actually happens. 



Thursday | Grilled Chicken with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Friday |  Pioneer Woman French Dip Sandwiches with Fries

Saturday | Easter Dinner - Regina Charboneau Biscuits - Strawberry Pie - Black Ham - Hashbrown Casserole - Carrot Soufflé - Deviled Eggs 

Sunday | Leftovers

Monday | Breakfast Tacos (this is easy peasy low carb, so it repeats) 

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Chick-Fil-A Nuggets with Fries

Breakfast - Orgain Shake or Atkins Bar
Lunch -Low Carb - Taco Salad
Reg Macro - Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato 
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A Lotta Bit of Life Lately

 It's been a minute. 


Granted after 12 years of blogging I feel like I should start staying "It's been a decade," let's face it I go through highs and lows of posting regularly. 


Regardless, here's what we've been up to. 



If you haven't been to a Jeni's Ice Cream or purchased some of that expensive stuff out of your local freezer section... do it now. It's worth every macro lost and every pound gained. Just do it on your leg day and call it a win. Their ice cream out does any custard I have ever had at the drive through in Monroe that was the bane of my prewedding "getting in shape" need. 


Monkey see, Monkey Second Child over here constantly has us rolling. His biggest thing lately is that he wants to drink what Daddy is drinking. (Harry and I are boring with plain water so he doesn't try to snag our drinks.) Jeremy, looking for a break from the toddler slobber, ordered the kid his own lemonade and he was in hog heaven having a "real drink" and not that healthy mess that Mama doles out. 


We recently had Book Character Day at school. I went above and beyond my non-crafty-mama-self and made him the shirt of his dreams. Sadly his dreams don't start at the early hours of 6:50AM and his face doesn't do his true after breakfast feelings justice. 

I kid you not, they read a book about emotions in his class and wrote a word that is "in their heart" on a heart for the board... this was clearly done in the morning. His word was sad. Had they done this after lunch they might have had a different word. But Harry is always sad to leave bed. Ask him  his feelings at PE or recess and you'd get a different answer. 



With decent weather lately, we've spent a ton of time outside. These two get kicked out of the house daily and piddle in backyard. On this particular day Elliot has dropped his popcorn and was eating it off the grass. C'est la vie. 


In other Elliot news, ignore the dirty microwave, he has been watching us microwave now for two years of his life and decided that his time had come. I was out in the yard speaking to our neighbor and he ran into the house... I caught him just in time to see he had taken the step stool to the microwave and was about to push +30 on an apple and a car. 

Before you think anything let me say this... HE IS FAST. This child plots and plans before he gets into something. For instance, I changed the door knob on the pantry to keep him out, so he's been practicing round handles on the sly and I saw him try and open the back door yesterday... he can also now open the pantry door. 


If  you haven't make homemade cooked playdough, do it now. I scented ours with peppermint essential oil and every time they play at the table the house smells clean. 

Major plus for the fact that they play with this for hours. 


We had a pajama day after church Sunday. We just needed it. I don't deal well with busy busy. 

Elliot wanted to go outside so I told him he needed shoes... this was his solution. Mama's outside sandals. 


If you haven't ordered your Brain Quest books for the summer you need to now! We love them and spent some time daily (during Spring Break) working in it. I also saw, first hand, a big improvement in Harrison's speech. The P sound has been killer - it says it as a K. 


Spring Break brought us a tornado that we actually had to hunker down for in the new house. Turns out that Peppa Pig and some Carrot Cake will keep the kids still... as soon as that was gone Elliot was trying to leave. 

There was a ton of damage in our area but we were quite fortunate to not have to pass too close to our neighborhood, 



This is just your reminder - if you haven't checked out the April Box from Simply Earth.. that blog post is live! 

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Simply Earth Rest & Relaxation || April Box

April 1, 2021

 It's that time of year when everything is go, go, go with sports and activities for families. Finding any moment to slow down is key to sanity - at least it is for me. 


This month Simply Earth's Essential Oil Recipe Box is showing up on your doorstep with the theme Rest & Relaxation. The goal with these oils is to support your body's natural rest cycles to feel more refreshed every morning. 


A great winding down routine in the evening is what helps me get my best sleep. Lately I've been diffusing Palmarosa and Amyris from the March box to help me relax in the evenings, and now I will be adding in this lovely foursome to my routine. 





First and foremost for this month's box - the oils. 


Sleepy (blend) - calming, kid safe for 2+ and pregnancy safe. 
Juniper Berry (single) -  uplifting, deodorizing , soothing, and stimulates energy
Copaiba (single) - uplifts, calms, and soothes
Balsam Fir (single) - uplifts, refreshes, supports respiration, soothing

Notice the theme? Relax, relax, relax. 



I always love their simple labels. Everything has a clean look and the colors are always beautiful and fit that season. 


This month's extras as a Natural Solubilzer, diffuser reeds, and a spray bottle. 

Natural Solubilzer is brand new to me, it helps oils and water mix together better. 


Now for the recipe cards! 

This month sends you two diffuser blends, a roll-on, reed diffuser, micellar water, pillow spray, and balm. 

Y'all know at this point my affinity for diffuser blends. I put something for sleep in the kids room every night, and I try to do it in our rooms most nights.

(PS. If you have Lavender and Lemon from previous month's put them together for an amazing diffuser blend. I like to fill up the diffusers with it when I'm walking around making beds in the morning.) 

I'm near running out of the current linen spray in our room, so the Sleepy Pillow Spray is about to be our replacement! This is the recipe that contains the solubilzer, so I'm really interested to see how the oil blends in better than when I've made sprays in the past. 

I don't use a night time roll-on every day with the kids, but I find it especially helpful when we are camping or traveling. I don't always bring a diffuser on our trips, so when I can't I toss a sleep roll-on in my bag to help the kids relax a bit more when we aren't in our usual surroundings. (super helpful camping when we don't have our beloved blackout curtains) 

Just like the roll-on this month, the balm will also be your travel best friend. I think it really just depends on your preference. Sometimes I do prefer a balm to a roll-on, especially when the kids are in a lotion mood. 

After last month's beauty box I am intrigued to try this Micellar Water - which friends, you could also make a batch using the beauty blend from March. 


A few things before I wrap this up - 


Next month's box will contain the Tranquility blend, Frankincense, Oregano, and Orange. Can y'all guess the theme? 

I'll give you some more hints, at home you'll  need sugar, coconut milk, corn starch, and an ice cube tray... 

*This month's 13% to end human trafficking is going to the organization Disrupting Traffick in Lincoln, Nebraska that trains and enables community members to mentor and provide safe housing for trafficking victims. 

Also - - here are a few tips for what you can do with your box every month! 

1. Add items to your box to get free shipping. 
2. Exchange oils. 
3. Gift a month to a friend. 


As always head over to Simply Earth to order your APRIL box and use the code LABRIDEFREE to get a $40 giftcard/credit towards your next order when you get your Bonus Box! 

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