Sooner or Later, Your Kids Will Cause These 5 Home Problems

Dirty floor and children’s shoes. Concept of child soiled carpet.

No matter how hard you try as a parent, eventually, your kids will cause some issues within your home. You may walk in one day to find drawings on the walls, spills on the carpets, or a television that no longer works. You can do your best to prevent these problems, and keep a clean home, but the best course of action is learning how to handle them once they happen. Below are 5 house problems your kids will most likely cause sooner or later and what you can do to amend the issue.

Clogged Drains

Fitting as much toilet paper into the toilet and flushing it seems like some sort of rite of passage for all kids. They just love to throw it all in there and see what happens when they push the lever. You turn your head for one second and the next you have an overflowing toilet and a clogged drain. 

In this situation, you’ll need to know how to unclog your drain. This can typically be done with a little bit of equipment, but you may not want to do it on your own. According to Fit It Right Plumbing, a plumber in Canberra, “Using any drain equipment comes with its risks and one of the biggest risks is getting the machine you are using stuck inside the drain. This can happen in many ways but usually comes down to experience.” Instead, opt for hiring a local plumbing service and let them take care of it for you. And, knowing kids, you may want to store that number in your phone for future use.

Stained Carpet

If you have a nice carpet in any room your children spend time in, don’t get too attached to it. It won’t be long before they spill something on it, or decide to use it to dry off their hands after finger painting. Many parents, therefore, simply opt to go without carpet throughout much of their home, as hardwood and tile floors are much easier to clean, but this isn’t an option for every home.

Should you decide to stick with the carpet in your home, you’ll need to know how to get various stains out. Invest in some good stain removing products and learn the best ways to remove a stain without making it worse. There are also some home remedies you can use to treat the carpet if you’re in a pinch. Finally, you may want to call in a professional rug cleaner every once in a while to get out those set-in stains.

Broken Glass

Broken glass is not only a nuisance, but it’s also dangerous. If your child breaks some glass within your home it’s entirely possible that they could cut themselves, especially if you aren’t nearby. Things like glass cups, vases, and windows are all common casualties when kids are around, and the broken glass on the ground could cause some issues.

If your kids are old enough, explain to them the dangers of broken glass. That way, if they do break something, they will know better than to try and clean it themselves. No matter the age, when glass breaks inside the home, make sure you clean thoroughly in a wide area around the accident site. Small pieces of glass could have slid away from the object when it broke and you don’t want anyone to accidentally step on them later. Sweep up as much as you can, then go over the entire room with a vacuum to make sure you got it all.

Wall Drawings

All kids love to draw, but unfortunately, it’s not always on a piece of paper. Kids see empty walls as a blank canvas, and it won’t be long before some crayons, markers, or paint ends up there. To prevent these pieces of art from becoming a permanent fixture in your home, always give your kids water-soluble art supplies. That way, if they do get something on the wall, you can easily wash it off. Should your kids make some art on the walls with other supplies, it’s not a bad idea to keep some leftover paint from that room so you can cover it up. 

Sticky Electronics

Finally, kids’ hands are filthy. They also love playing with electronic devices, which is not a good match. Every parent has the experience of picking up their cell phone or remote control and finding it sticky from their kids. You need to be sensitive as to how you clean these devices because too much moisture in the wrong spot will only lead to further problems. You can use this guide for some tips on how to clean sticky electronics.

Accept That Things Will Break

No matter how careful you are, your kids will find a way to break or damage things in your home. Rather than trying to prevent any problems from happening, the best you can do is learn how to fix the problem once it arises. This will let your kids be kids, but also keep your home from looking like a warzone.

Come Join Our Houseparty!

We've LOVE our partnership with Houseparty! This post is a collaboration with our partners Houseparty app. All opinions are my own.

Over the past 8 weeks, at any given moment, someone in my household has been on a video conference.

Everyone…. except me!

And you know why? I’m such a dinosaur at learning new tech-related things. (My daughter Kaitlyn laughed at me when I made this claim, saying “But Mom! You’re a blog owner!”), but I’m serious! The thought of video conferencing paralyzed me.

Teaching Mom a New Trick

If it’s a new social media platform, or perhaps a new app, I tend to distance myself because of two things. One, I always assume it will consume too much of my time. And two, I’ve succumbed to the thought that you can’t teach this old dog a new trick!

Six weeks ago I would have rolled my eyes if you would have told me that I’d be a pro at video conferencing! But quarantine happened, and I needed a way to connect with…well, EVERYONE.

Then Houseparty entered the room.

I was hesitant to “learn” Houseparty. I’ve tried other video conference calls where it’s so complicated. You have to enter a call-in number and/or long code every for every single call and well, it never felt personal. 

This app was so easy. I simply downloaded the app, signed up, added friends, then BOOM. I was on a video call! (Imagine Facetime, but for iPhone and Android users, with everyone on the same screen!)

As I mentioned earlier, I’m hesitant to try new things. Before downloading the app myself, I asked my daughter, Kaitlyn to try it out and show me how to do it. (I know, I know… showing my age here!) I even asked her to write her own testimony and review of the app, so that you could hear some feedback from a newbie (me) and a tech-savvy teenager (Kaitlyn)! So for the first time in OMC history, my daughter Kaitlyn is writing her first blog post entry! (Proud Mama!)

Kaitlyn’s Testimony

Houseparty is a group calling platform that can be used in multiple ways. It isn’t specified for one age, and can be used by everyone! You can have your kids have a playdate on a call, have a fun group call, and much more. You can record a message and send via the Facemail feature for friends who aren’t available to connect. Plus, Houseparty is safe and secure. If you’re worried about unwanted callers joining your chat, you can easily lock the room, securing your call. If you want to add anyone else, you can easily invite them and add them. With this easy to use locking option, it also helps you feel secure if you’re worried about your children on the call.

This app has truly changed my life, especially in this trying time with quarantine. It’s so difficult to not be able to interact with others and not see my friends. With Houseparty, I am able to talk with my friends, play games with them, and it makes it feel like they’re in the room with me. It makes me feel like I am still with them, and gives me comfort even when I can’t see them. 

 

How to get started!

This is how you use it.

  1. First, I downloaded the app, which didn’t take long at all.
  2. Next, I created an account, which was simple information like your email, name, and phone number.
  3. Next, you could connect with others through your contacts, along with seeing who you know that has the Houseparty app.
  4. When the app is all set up, you can add your friends and you can have fun calls! When someone makes an account that is on your contacts, it automatically sends you a notification in app so that you can add them. It’s safe, private, and is effortless for when you want to see and chat with friends and family. 

(Kristi here, again) Didn’t Kaitlyn do a great job? It was fun to discover this video conferencing app with her. I love how this app is able to not only connect friends and family during quarantine, but we’ll be able to continue using this form of communication long after social distancing is a thing of the past (can you even imagine?)!

Discovering Houseparty is transforming the way our whole family communicates. With one touch of the button, we can all hop on a family video call, do some “Quaran-gaming” together, call grandparents and see them face-to-face, and so much more. This is most definitely one app that I’m thankful I’ve learned.

This mama can still hang with the kiddos. (I’m sure Kaitlyn will roll her eyes at that sentence!)

Until next time, thanks for taking the time to learn about Houseparty!

Kristi (and Kaitlyn!)

For more info about Houseparty, check out their Instagram page! Then be sure to download their app and join the (House)party!

Let Someone Else Wash & Fold Your Laundry + A GIVEAWAY!

I am up to my eyeballs in chores. Laundry, dishes, bathrooms, cooking, more laundry, more dishes, folding, putting away….WILL IT EVERY STOP?! Then, on top of doing all the things, the kids are constantly needing me. Needing me to help figure out a Zoom call, needing me to fix a broken toy, needing me to solve all of their questions.

You’d think that during this time of quarantine we’d have plenty of time to do all the things. You’d think my house would be spotless and there wouldn’t be a sock left unmatched. Well… Turns out pre-quarantine me and quarantine me have the same housekeeping skills.

Turns out pre-quarantine me and quarantine me have the same housekeeping skills.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could give one chore away for someone else to do? I’m pretty sure every mama reading this unanimously shouted YES!

We’ve discovered a company who can do just that. Introducing Laundry Care, a nationwide laundry service that services the Greater Orlando area! They specialize in providing affordable, high-quality wash & fold service-with the convenience of free pick-up & delivery. Their laundry experts will ensure your garments are washed, dried, folded and returned EXACTLY AS YOU LIKE.

GIVEAWAY!

We’ve teamed up with Laundry Care to bless someone with a $50 gift certificate!

There are SO MANY people who would benefit from this $50 gift card giveaway. New mamas, teachers, essential workers, medical professionals, and YES… even YOU!

New Mamas

COVID or not, new mamas need all the help they can get! Bless a new mama with a gift certificate to help during those difficult first months (or years!) of motherhood!

Teachers

These last few months have been brutal for our teachers. Not only did they have to completely relearn how to teach using an online platform, but most of them had to then homeschool their own children as well! Bless your child’s teacher with a gift certificate for laundry service and take one chore off of their plate!

Medical Professionals

It goes without saying that medical professionals have carried so much of the load during times of crisis. Help take a load off of them by gifting a well-deserving nurse, doctor, or EMT the gift of someone else doing loads of their laundry!

YOU!

It’s not selfish to accept the giveaway for yourself. If you’re anything like me, you’re ready to throw in the towel and let the family know that mom is off duty. I’m not proud to admit this, but I’ve had some pretty ugly mom moments these last few months. I’ve had to retreat to my bedroom and collapse on a bed full of unfolded laundry. Wouldn’t it be dreamy if the bed was empty because all of the laundry was folded (by someone else!) and you didn’t have to worry at all about the neverending pile?!

So how does Laundry Care work?

So now that we all agree that everyone NEEDS Laundry Care, how does it work?

SIGN-UP: Confirm your pickup address and create your account. Honestly it’s as easy as ordering a pizza.

SCHEDULE: Make an order and choose a day/time for your pickup & delivery. You can even choose larger items like comforters and pillows that are always difficult to wash yourself.

PICK-UP: Package your dirty laundry in 13 gal size trash bags and give to our driver. Laundry Care is doing no-contact pickups & deliveries.

DELIVERY: Receive your freshly clean and folded laundry same day, next day or two days. Pick-up and delivery are always FREE. They can even arrange to come by while you’re out.

GIVEAWAY RULES

We are conducting a $50 gift card giveaway on our Facebook page. Hop on over to enter. It’s easy and simple to enter!

However if you aren’t the lucky winner, you can still get 25% off all orders with code CLEAN25. Or, if you’d like to purchase a gift card for that special someone, here’s a link for gift cards!

COVID Safety

Laundry Care is doing no-contact pickups & deliveries. For more info on our no-contact deliveries and cleaning procedures ***click here***

5 Mom Rights and Responsibilities You Need to Know

Many moms will agree that being a parent is one of the hardest things they have ever done. It’s rewarding but it certainly has its challenges. While being a mom means a lot of things, it does not mean you have to suffer. You don’t have to put on a superhero cape every day and make the impossible possible. It’s time to get rid of your superhero cape and drop some of the heavy weight you’ve been carrying. 

You may be a mother to a tiny human but you’re still a person with your own individual needs. You have a responsibility to your baby but also to yourself.  

Your rights as a mother

1. You have the right to nurse or not. 

You can nurse for as long as you want or as little or not at all. Lactation problems aside, the choice is yours. I see many mothers who struggle with decisions about when to stop and feel guilty about their decision to terminate pumping and nursing their babies. If it’s creating an emotional struggle and is intolerable, then it’s okay to stop. Abrupt discontinuation of breastfeeding is a known risk factor for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders so be sure to seek appropriate support.

2. You have the right to sleep with your baby as long as you’re engaging in safe sleep practices at all times. 

There are a lot of dos and don’ts to follow and many for good reasons. By no means am I suggesting that you ignore them, but I invite you to release the pressure you may be putting on yourself to follow everything with rigidity. So if you decide you want to keep your child in your room with you or in a separate room, like the baby’s nursery, do what works for you as long as you’re being safe. 

3. You have the right to share as little or as much as you want about your motherhood experience with family and friends.

Don’t feel compelled to share anything with anyone you’d prefer not to. People with well-meaning intentions can sometimes ask questions that might feel intrusive to you. It’s okay to set boundaries with others and ask for any space you may feel you need. 

4. You have the right not to love everything about your motherhood experience.

There is no need to feel guilty about not loving or enjoying all aspects of being a mom. You will feel all the feelings possible. Being a mother invites a lot of emotions and it can be overwhelming at times. Allow yourself to feel all the feels and try not to judge them. They are just feelings and feelings do change. 

5. You have the right to make mistakes. 

You are never going to do it all perfectly. You were never meant to. You will make mistakes, but you will also learn and because you will learn, you’ll grow.   

So of course, with rights, you also have responsibilities. 

Your Responsibilities as a Mother

1. You have a responsibility to take care of your baby AND yourself. 

This isn’t optional. You need to do both. It’s too easy to put yourself on the back burner but this is not what’s best. Remember that what is best for you is ultimately best for your baby. 

2. You have a responsibility to ask for help.

You can get what you need if you ask for it.  You don’t have to do it alone and there’s support available for you. Support can come in many forms and can either be formal or informal.

3. You have a responsibility to find allies in your community.

That might be a postpartum doula, mom group, lactation consultant, or whatever your need may be. There are lots of resources available to you. 

4. You have a responsibility to have a postpartum plan for yourself.

There’s a lot of preparation involved in having and taking care of a baby. Most moms have a plan and are well prepared for their baby’s arrival but have no plan for how they will take care of themselves. 

5. You have a responsibility to be compassionate and gentle with yourself.

Mothering is hard work. You do need to be gentle and give yourself lots of compassion and understanding. 

So take a deep breath and know that you’re doing a good job. Feel free to keep adding to this list as you continue your journey to and through motherhood and pass along to a friend who needs to hear that they too are doing a good job. 

Guest post by:

Kerri-Anne Brown, LMHC
Healing with Wisdom, LLC
Reproductive and Maternal Mental Health

www.healingwithwisdom.net
www.facebook.com/healingwithwisdom

How to Avoid Hurry Sickness: For Moms

Dear Hurried Mama trying to avoid Hurry Sickness,

I see you rushing through your day, crossing off to-do lists, chugging the coffee, shushing your children away for a second to “gather your thoughts,” running from one activity to the next, and finishing your day feeling empty and unaccomplished. I see you trying to multitask, snacking along the way, feeling rushed and unseen. I see your panic, your fear – your worry, and I’m here to tell you it’s time to break up with Hurry Sickness, and it’s time to find the joy in going slow.

Together, we can do hard things.

With love,

A Mama recovering from Hurry Sickness

How to avoid hurry sickness: for moms

Photo By: Lacey Irving

Psychology Today defines Hurry Sickness as, “A behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.” Have you ever felt a sense of urgency with little to no deadlines or pressures in sight? While I cannot recall the first time I felt the need to rush through my days, I know rush and urgency have been the core driving force throughout my days for a long time.

The truth is, I do not have as much on my plate as one would think. While yes, I homeschool (even prior to COVID-19), work from home, have three children, and a husband who works 12-hour shifts, I’ve worked intentionally over the years to clear my schedule in hopes of clearing my mind. I used to be known for being a part of every mom’s group, bible study, the friend who would hand-deliver home cooked meals, and show up to every single baseball practice as the hands on mom, but there was a season in my life when it became very clear to me that too much of a good thing was still too much. I set out to cross things off my schedule and prioritize my time for what mattered most.

And yet, even with less demands on my schedule, I still felt a sense of urgency in my days.

A few months ago, prior to COVID-19, our church hosted a guest Pastor to share a message with us. He spoke about how to avoid Hurry Sickness, and I leaned into his sermon.

His message lit a fire within my soul to slow down and pause when I’m feeling rushed or hurried. I cannot continue to let my heart race. I want to breathe the fresh air, sip the hot coffee, water the plants, watch my children play, and notice the freckles on their faces and the pitches and the tones in their voices. I want to walk through life enjoying the scenery rather than racing to my final destination. I want to give my brain a chance to grow and soak up information rather than drown in the day to day. I want to live free of hurry sickness – and I want to help you do the same.

5 Ways to Avoid Hurry Sickness: For Moms

1. Wake up before your family

Recently, I shared how waking up before your children will not only help you set the tone for your day but also create healthy habits of self-care. This step alone allows you to organize your day and prioritize what is most important. During this time you can journal, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, and create a to-do list with your top three priorities. Hurry Sickness sets off alarms in your mind and body to worry about what needs to get done and in what time-frame but we all know Hurry Sickness doesn’t offer a clear outlook on the reality of the task at hand. What may feel urgent might actually not be. Take time in the morning to evaluate your to-do list and cross off ALL items that can wait.

2. Find support

Take a moment to look at your core group of friends and family members, and try to think of a person who you can turn to for support when you’re feeling overwhelmed and/or need help making decisions. Sometimes, I find it hard to recognize what tasks are important and which ones can wait, and I turn to my sister and husband to ask for help in deciphering those decisions. Also, if I’m feeling overwhelmed, they are there with open arms to listen and pray for me. I don’t always ask for advice but knowing they are there to listen helps tremendously. Community support will help you realize you’re not alone, and in those moments of reaching out for help, you’re giving yourself a moment to stop, breathe, and refocus.

3. Do not multitask: Choose focused work instead

As moms, we cannot believe the lie that tells us to do it all. The truth is, we can’t, and we’re not supposed to. While there’s a glorious stigma surrounding the term ‘multitask,’ multitasking can lead to complete burn out. Rather than giving something 100% of your focus, multitasking gives each task only a small percentage of your focus and skill, which ultimately ends with mediocre results. The best tip to avoid Hurry Sickness, choose focused work and give your full attention to the task at hand. Yes, this applies to household chores, meal-planning, playing with your children, and if you work from home – work. Tip: Create a block schedule to help you stay focused!

4. Turn off your notifications

“WHAT? But what if I miss something important?!” Yes, these thoughts crossed my mind as well when I first received the advice to turn off my notifications on my phone but the truth is, if it’s important, they’ll find a way to get a hold of you. There’s something about a red dot that says, “This is urgent!” when the truth is, it’s not. If it’s urgent, it would be a phone call, not a text, Facebook message, or DM on Instagram. Do you want to avoid Hurry Sickness? Take charge of your day and set boundaries by turning off notifications and choose a specific time to respond to incoming messages rather than rushing the second they come across your screen.

5. Just stop

In the moments you’re feeling a sense of urgency and rush, just stop. Sometimes when I’m feeling rushed or overwhelmed, I stop in the middle of whatever it is I’m doing, put on my tennis shoes, and take a brisk walk. The fresh air alone helps me regather my thoughts, refresh my mind, and restart my task. Sometimes, I feel rushed without even having a task to do. By stopping, I can ask myself, “What is the next BEST thing I can do in this moment,” take a deep breath, and set out to do just that. Strategically place reminders around your home, your car, and on your phone to just stop. I have signs that say, “Just breathe,” and “Lean in,” placed around my home to remind me it’s okay to go slow and pause for a moment.

white ikea malm dresser

In a world where instant gratification and constant hurry is glorified, it’s hard not to fall victim to Hurry Sickness, but with a little extra support and intentional planning, you too can avoid Hurry Sickness and find the joy in going slow. Today, choose to walk, choose to breathe in the fresh air, and choose to simply stop. The world will keep turning but your brain doesn’t need to continually feel dizzy from the commotion. And remember, together, we can do hard things.

NO-SEW DIY: KIDS PLAY TENT

Every kid loves to build forts and my kids are no exception. The only thing that I don’t love is the clean up; having to put away all of the blankets and chairs once they are done playing is a total hassle. I wanted to give them their own little hide-away play space by creating a super easy, no-sew tent that made clean up a breeze.

Constructing the tent will take you less than an hour and you can purchase your materials for around $30. Bonus, you don’t even have to know how to sew or use major power tools to create a super cute tent.

NO-SEW DIY: KIDS PLAY TENT

Materials:
  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ 8 ft. Furring Strips
  • 2 1/2 yds. of Fabric of your choice (select an outdoor fabric if you plan on using tent outside)
  • 3 – 48″ x 5/8″ wooden dowels
  • Stitch Witchery fabric bond
Tools:
  • 5/8 ” Spade Drill bit
  • Drill
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Heat Press/Iron
  • Straight Pins (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)

 

 

Start by having the furring strips cut down to 48″ pieces. Most home improvement stores will cut them for you at no charge.

Next, measure and drill a hole 6″ from the top of the furring strip. Drill a second hole 1 1/2″ from the bottom of the furring strip.

When drilling into wood be sure to wear protective eyewear.

Create a 2″ fold (use the straight pins to hold it in place) and bond the fabric using stitch witchery and a heat press or iron. Insert the dowel into the opening and set it aside.


Create an “A” with your wood by lining up the holes and insert the dowel. Repeat the process with the other end of the dowel.

If you are having trouble inserting your dowel try sanding inside of the hole.

Insert the fabric wrapped dowel into the holes at the bottom of the wood. Then drape the remaining fabric over the center dowel and insert it into the holes at the bottom.

If your fabric is a little loose you can roll the bottom dowels, wrapping your fabric around for more a taut look.

Add a small blanket and a few throw pillows and it’s the perfect little hideaway. What’s great about these tents is that you can collapse them for easy storage when you aren’t using them.
    

Finding the Power Within Us

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We are mothers. We are the powerful ones. We have the ability to chase away monsters in closets and to make boo-boos hurt a little less just with a kiss. But sometimes, we feel powerless.

The world can feel chaotic at times, both within our own home and out. We want to feel like we’ve got it under control and that we’ve got it together. We want to show everyone that we’re okay. But sometimes, we feel like we’re gasping for air as our problems seem to swallow us whole. We question our ability to bring goodness and positivity to our kids. We wonder how we can make sense out of life’s chaos for them, when we can’t even do so for ourselves.

But we hold a power that, even though it might be hidden under layers of doubt and fear, is always with us: the power to empower. 

Here are a few stories from my own life, when the ability to empower others made me realize that we are more powerful than we may think.

There’s power in empowering others.

Two months into being a new mom, my phone chirped as a text came through one morning. It was a family friend asking if I would meet her at the mall, babies in tow. She, too, was a new mom, but a virtual veteran to me, with her baby being nearly six months old. I was struggling badly in my new role as a mom, and had largely isolated myself from socializing with anyone other than my husband, stepson, and baby. Something about her cheer and lack of judgement made me get dressed and drive up to the mall, where we sat in the food court and chatted for a couple hours. To this day, I don’t know if she knows the gravity of what she did for me by just reaching out to me, offering some social interaction, and making me feel a bit more human. While we were talking, she had mentioned a workout group where I could bring my baby with me. A new world opened up to me. She had the power to change my perspective – and she did.

There’s power in empowering our children.

My son wouldn’t stop talking about how well he could jump. Maybe I was bogged down with other problems or maybe I really didn’t understand what the big deal was, but I rarely gave his efforts much attention. One day we went outside for a walk and when he didn’t jump over the little cracks in the sidewalk, I asked him why, as he always did this to work on his jump skills. When he shrugged and said he just wasn’t a very good jumper, my heart dropped. I immediately told him that he was the very best jumper in the world. He looked at me, unconvinced. Had I, unwittingly, squashed my son’s confidence? Who was I to take his dreams of being a champion jumper away? I knelt down to his height and told him I actually thought that he was turning into a ninja because his jumping skills were so good. An absolutely priceless, big-as-can-be smile spread across his face. He then offered to show me how he might be going at least fourteen feet in the air when he jumps. So, even at four years old, we all could use a little nudge of confidence. I wanted to give him the power to dream of being the best ninja ever one day – and I did.

There’s power in empowering ourselves. 

Cursor blinking, I stared at the words on my screen. It was an outpouring of emotions, deep and personal. Would anyone read these words and think my experience was worth sharing? And even so, would anyone relate? I had submitted writing to other publications before, either receiving a “thanks, but no thanks” response, or – even more frequently – no response at all. There was a looming feeling hovering over me that I just wasn’t good enough. With bated breath, I hit send on what would eventually become my very first published piece of writing. I read over the response email a few times just to believe it. My words were beautiful, it said, and I nearly started crying. I had given myself the power to hit send. I had the power to tell myself that my words were worthy – and I did.

There’s power in empowering your community. 

Three days after my writing was published, I got a Facebook message from someone I knew in college, but hadn’t talked to in a decade. She had read my post and was compelled to tell me her own struggles with motherhood. Reading her own experience and feeling so humbled that she felt she could open up to me made me feel so full – of gratitude, of optimism, of community I never knew I had. In the moment, I had clarity. I knew I was meant to share my experience with others. I had the power to enable others to feel heard, be heard – and I did.

Each one of these stories showed me that people, including myself, held the power to make positive change in the world, one person at a time. Reaching out and lifting others up is a power we all hold, no matter what is going on in the world.

Yes, the world can feel big and scary sometimes, even for those of us who kiss boo-boos and chase away monsters in closets. The weight of all of our problems can feel so heavy sometimes, as we play hide-and-seek and push little ones on swings. There’s a tightness in our chests sometimes, even as we kiss our kids on the forehead and say that everything is going to be okay. But don’t forget, you are more powerful than you think. When you’re feeling powerless, empower others – other mothers, our children, our partners, our neighbors, our community, and ourselves.

So send the text. Kiss the boo-boos. Tell your kid he can jump to the moon. Chase away monsters. Tell yourself you are good enough. Empower others. 

The power is within us.

The System All New Moms Need: Lumi by Pampers

We're always on the lookout for products to help make life easier for you! We've partnered together with Lumi by Pampers to share this amazing product!

Ask any new mom what they wish for most, and you’ll likely hear SLEEP! Tired takes on a whole new meaning for new parents. Lumi by Pampers is making motherhood easier by introducing their smart sleep system that all new moms need, because when baby sleeps, Mom sleeps!

Gone are the days of tiptoeing into your child’s nursery to see if they’re asleep. Gone are the days of worrying if your baby is whimpering because of a wet diaper. The Lumi Smart System by Pampers, developed by a panel of experts, will quickly take your worries away with their crystal clear video monitor and highly-developed app.

It starts with a video monitor

The Smart Sleep System is three-fold, beginning with their HD video monitor. This state-of-the-art video includes 1080p HD wide angle, night vision, two-way audio, room temperature and humidity tracking. The amazing crystal clear quality of the camera, and the continuous background audio that lets you hear baby even when you’re on Instagram or when your phone is locked!

The Sleep Sensor and Tracking App

The sleep sensor automatically tracks your baby’s sleep patterns and the status of their diaper. This is such an amazing tool to help you create a routine that works for the whole family. It’s enhanced with Velcro ® to securely attach to Lumi diapers.

With the Lumi system, you are able to see your baby’s sleep patterns and potentially make changes to their schedule to optimize a better sleep time. Sleep is when baby’s brains develop the most, and establishing a good routine early can significantly payoff as your child grows older.

 

It’s safe to say that mom brain is real. It’s difficult to keep track of how long your baby slept, or when you last changed their diaper. The Lumi app takes all of the guesswork out.  Their system brings together your baby’s data into personalized insights to help you understand their unique development journey, all within the Lumi app. You can chart baby’s naps, overnight sleep times and even the last time you fed your baby to help create a routine that works best for your family. You receive a weekly report to get a better grasp of how your baby is sleeping and even get tips from pediatric sleep experts to help baby get optimal sleep!

Memorial Day Discount!

Lumi by Pampers is on the cutting edge of motherhood and our needs! They have a 15% Memorial Day discount, use code CITYMOM15 (valid May 22-28, 2020), especially for YOU! Treat yourself (or send this link to your significant other!) and receive one of the best tools to help make motherhood easier for you!

 

Find out more!

Check out some FAQ and follow Lumi by Pampers on their website, Facebook page, and Instagram page!

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

To be honest, this Mother’s Day I would be happy if I didn’t have to wash one dirty dish, clean up the kitchen, or take care of the tiny humans. But if my family happens to get me a gift, I won’t be mad about it!

We’ve reached out to some local (and a few national) businesses to share some last minute Mother’s Day gifts. Here’s some popular finds. (Feel free to forward this link to your significant other, in case they need a little nudge!)

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts

Sophie & Trey

The Dashing Squad

Walk On Water

Downtown Divas Boutique

GourmetGiftBaskets.com

basq Skin Care

Smiling Goat

Sixty Vines

Garp & Fuss

Sweet Dee’s Cupcakery

Quarantine 30 Day Challenge: Budgeting

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It’s time to check in on our Quarantine 30 Day Challenge! It may seem like 17 weeks have gone by, but it was only one month ago that our entire state of Florida began a state-wide, stay-at-home order. I chose to “attempt” a 30 day budgeting challenge. I figured, it would be a good thing, but I never dreamed that it would end up being a pretty IMPORTANT thing!

Budgeting helped us avoid a crisis!

In a nutshell, thanks to budgeting, I found out that our auto insurance policy had been cancelled.

My husband and I had NO IDEA.

We thought our automatic payments were going thru, as they had for the past 14 or so YEARS that we’d been with the same insurance company.

Thoughout that time, we bought and sold cars, moved from California to Texas and now to Florida, and we kept the same insurance company. Never had any issues. Had a great experience with the company when we needed to file a claim after having flood damage to one of our cars when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017.

I thought auto-pay was automatic

Imagine our surprise when, as I was “tweaking” our budget, I noticed that our car insurance payment had not been debited from our account.

Hmmm. That’s weird.

I checked and the previous month wasn’t showing up as debited either. Huh? Weird again.

The next day, I called to find out if maybe it had to do with a bank account and debit card change. A few months back we had changed bank accounts, but I thought we had set up our payments with the new bank and everything was running smoothly.

As you may know, if you ever miss a payment or two on anything, things can get cancelled. You might get phone calls from creditors, etc. So I figured, everything must be great!

To my utter shock, when I called the insurance company, they informed me that our policy had been cancelled almost 3 months earlier!

What do you mean by “cancelled?”

WHAT IN THE WORLD?! Excuse me? Can you explain to me how an insurance company simply cancels your insurance without an email or phone call? No notifications?

I feel like, if my husband or I had seen a “cancellation notice” or something similar, you would think we would have done something about it!

So, of course, I asked. I called the local office. I contacted the national office. I sent messages thru social media. I submitted a formal request to reinstate our account. And we hit all the dead ends you can imagine.

At one point, I think I just broke down and cried. The whole thing was so frustrating. You mean we didn’t have insurance for like 2-3 months?! How could we not know?

Thank God for budgeting (and 30 Day Quarantine Challenges!)

I quickly said a prayer of thanks to God for protecting us! Can you imagine finding out you don’t have insurance thru an accident? At least, we found out thru budgeting! (And then I thanked God again that I picked “budgeting” for this 30 Day Quarantine Challenge!

Eventually, the insurance company said that they had mailed a letter to let us know about the cancellation. No email. No phone calls. Just a letter that my husband and I wish we would have known about. Maybe it got lost, or we accidentally thru it out with a pile of junk mail. Who knows?

But wait, it gets better!

To make this whole thing even more baffling, a few weeks before, when we were still unaware that we were uninsured, my husband went to the insurance office in person. He requested an extra copy of our insurance cards for the cars. They were like, of course! Here ya go! (Meanwhile, they did not tell us that they had cancelled our policy. They just gave us the cards, like everything was perfect!)

Can it get even better? Of course! Just last week we got a card from the same insurance company that cancelled our account, wishing my husband (whose policy they had cancelled) a happy birthday.

Unbelievable.

Back to the point, all that mattered was that we didn’t have insurance, so we HUSTLED to find a new company. Sadly, we found out that, because we had been “uninsured for so long,” we were going to have to pay a higher premium.

Don’t be afraid to ask friends for (budgeting) help

I asked, I begged, I called, I emailed and we looked at all the possible options. Thankfully, my husband was able to chat with a friend who, interestingly, works for the same insurance company that we’d been so frustrated with. She gave us great counsel. Our friend not only pointed us in the right direction, but helped us figure out how to set up insurance considering this situation. She helped us stay within our current budget, and guided us on what to do “repair the damage” that we were unaware had been caused.

I hope you never have something like this happen to you! As much as I love setting things up on auto-pay, I learned my lesson. Check your accounts regularly.

Quarantine 30 Day Challenge: Lesson Learned

If I learned anything from this Quarantine 30 Day Budget Challenge, it’s that keeping track of our income and expenses affects more than just money; it can truly affect your whole life.

In this case, budgeting helped save us from a potential crisis, had something happened to our cars while we were oblivious to our insurance situation. I’m glad we were able to set up insurance and thankful that God protected us in the interim!

Honestly, with how Corona-crazy things are in the world, we need peace of mind more than ever. Our state of Florida starts Phase 1, reopening in the midst of this Covid-19 crisis. The last thing I want for you is to stress out about money.

Budgeting Tools!

If you’d like budgeting help, I’m a fan of money expert Dave Ramsey! (So is another one of our Orlando Mom Collective moms, Angelica!) Dave’s free budgeting app, Every Dollar, is pretty easy to set up and use. That’s the one I use!

I’m also a fan of the You Need a Budget podcast. I haven’t tried their budgeting system, but have a friend who LOVES it. My friend & his wife are a 1-income family with tons of kids & they can somehow afford Disney Annual Passes! I think that means they can budget with the best of them! 🙂

Stay safe! And let me know in the comments if you have any budgeting stories! I’d love to hear from you!

~Coppelia

There’s a New Restaurant in Town: Sixty Vines

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“Come as you are and enjoy a new attitude about wine culture. It’s time we focus on food first, with cuisine inspired by the wine country and an open kitchen that delights every sense. It’s time to experience a better way to enjoy wine: on tap and perfectly selected to complement each dish. At Sixty Vines, we have the right pour for every palate. Because food tastes better with wine.”

Sixty Vines

I CANNOT wait for this quarantine to be over, so that I can experience Sixty Vines IN PERSON! I recently placed a to-go meal, (appropriately called “The Sixty – Quarantine Kit”!), and when approaching this Winter Park location, I couldn’t help but imagine myself sitting on their greenhouse patio, enjoying a perfectly paired wine. Their esthetically gorgeous venue is definitely on my post-quarantine bucket list. But until then, I LOVE how you can experience their limited menu, with daily kits available for pick up!

‘The Sixty’ – $60 Quarantine Kit

This three-course meal gives you a Sixty Vines experience to take home to your kitchen table (with wine included)! Their daily menus can be found on their Instagram and Facebook pages.

For just $60, the Quarantine Kit includes:

     2 Proteins Ready to Grill
     1 Specialty Pasta Ready to Heat
     Fresh-Made Salad & Bread
     1 bottle of Red or White Wine
     2 rolls of toilet paper

We chose a vegetarian option, and IT WAS DELICIOUS! It included:

  • Hummus
  • Orecchiette Primavera
  • Fig and Prosciutto
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Dinner Rolls

Wine On Tap

“It’s time to experience a better way to enjoy wine: on tap and perfectly selected to complement each dish.”

We chose a Cabernet Sauvignon. I love custom wines! I can’t wait to experience Sixty Vines in person to experience their selection!

Thank you, Sixty Vines, for a fantastic peek into what I can expect, post-quarantine!

xoxo,
Kristi Corley

PERFECT for Mother’s Day!

View this post on Instagram

Roses are red, violets are blue, let Sixty Vines help you spoil MOM for all that she does for you! 💗⠀ ⠀ We are now taking pre-orders for our Mother’s Day Kit! ⠀ .⠀ 💥Burrata Filet Kit $110 ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ All Packages Include:⠀ ▫️Choice of Squash Blossom Pizza or Margarita Pizza⠀ ▫️Roasted Cauliflower⠀ ▫️Roasted Sonoma Potatoes⠀ ▫️Choice of: House Salad or Beet Salad⠀ ▫️Deviled Affogato- including⠀ ▫️Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew and ▫️Sweet House Salted Carmel Ice Cream⠀ ▫️1  Kids meal- Choice of Kids Cheese Pizza or Pasta⠀ ⠀ Add Ons:⠀ 🥞 Sixty Vines Brunch Kit $40⠀ 🌸 Flower Market with @meljohnsonsflowershope⠀ 🍥Macaroons $30 per sleeve of 9 in a Happy Mother’s Day Box⠀ 🕯 Sweetly Recycled Rosemary Candles⠀ 🥂 Froze $14 per pouch⠀ 🍷 Wine: all wine is 50% off always!⠀ ⠀ The best gift you can give MOM is your time being present! Leave the cooking to us – DM to preorder by Wednesday, May 6th and we’ll have it ready for pickup Friday 5/8 or Saturday 5/9! #motherday #winterpark #sixtyvineswp #orlando #mom #family #brunch #dinner #winterparkmoms #visitorlando #orlandotogo

A post shared by Sixty Vines Winter Park (@sixtyvineswinterpark) on

Graduation Parties!

5 Reasons Why You Need a Family Doctor

Who do you call first when you have a weird rash, nagging back pain, or sudden flu symptoms? A family doctor should be the right answer to this question. Well, of course, with the exception of emergencies. A lot of people choose not to have a family doctor. But then, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t partner with a versatile family doctor who will oversee your family’s health care needs.

Here are five reasons why you should have a family doctor.

1. They take care of the whole family.

Everybody wants the best for their loved ones, right? When you have a family doctor, they can make your family stay healthy. People with family doctors are more likely to take their family members for check-ups and examinations. Check-ups are crucial for preventing illnesses and staying healthy.

2. Medical examinations are more accurate and efficient.

Meeting the same doctor several times has a huge advantage over meeting with a different doctor every time you need medical care. You see, when a doctor treats you for years, they get to know and understand your medical history well. This helps them to make accurate and efficient examinations. They can easily notice red flags regarding medication, as well as monitor your health changes over the years.

Additionally, the ‘family’ in family doctors is crucial. Treating multiple generations of a family helps the doctor to have an accurate understanding of the family’s health history. For instance, if your doctor knew you had cancer at a young age, and so did your father, that should be a red flag. The doctor can recommend genetic testing and come up with a screening plan, not just for you, but for your entire family.  

Understanding your medical history and that of your family is just part of the picture. Knowing what’s happening at home is important as well. Such information can be helpful in some situations; for instance, when assessing stress and anxiety in a child whose mother has just lost her job.

3. They treat the whole person.

Yes, family doctors are passionate about treating the whole you. The goal of family medicine is to nurture a patient-centered relationship for the whole lifespan of the patient. If you find a family doctor that connects well with your personality, you have a supportive life-long friend.

4. Family physicians are extensively trained.

Upon graduating from a medical school, a family doctor must complete a three-year medical program. During this time, they are trained in six medical areas: gynecology and obstetrics, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, pediatrics, community medicine, and surgery. Some family physicians proceed to receive training in other areas such as urology, emergency medicine, radiology, ophthalmology, and orthopedics.

5. Family medicines are the best in managing chronic illnesses.

Ongoing personalized care is crucial when it comes to managing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, stroke, and cancer. Your family doctor will provide just that for all chronic illness cases in the family. 

Are you ready to team with supportive long-life friends? Bayless Integrated Healthcare is available at the Moon Valley location to handle all your family medical needs.

 

 

Tips and Ideas To Make Virtual Playdates Actually Fun

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It’s a whole new world when it comes to play groups in the time of COVID-19 quarantine. Instead of worrying about shoving the laundry behind closed doors (that’s standard prep…right?) and offering snacks, I’m accepting invitations through my email for my five-year-old and three-year-old to be available for a Zoom call. Weird times indeed.

I know my kids have missed their friends more than I could have even imagined, so when the invitations to let them at least see and talk to friends came up, I accepted without a second thought. But then…I wondered how it would work. My kids have never done anything like this before. Sure, they’ve said a few words to family through FaceTime on holidays, but they’ve never held up a whole conversation with their own friends through a screen. As a WAHM, I’ve been on plenty of video chats to know that they can sometimes be awkward experiences, so how would my kiddos react to it?

I have asked the moms in our very own Orlando Moms Collective Village what they have done to make virtual playdates for fun for everyone, and they came through with some amazing tips and ideas!

1. Show and Tell

An old standby but a guaranteed good time for kiddos of all ages! Let everyone know to bring something special to the playdate. Then, each child can take turns showing off their prized possession.

2. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Depending on the ages of the kids participating, this can be as simple or challenging as you want with varying levels of parental involvement. Take turns calling out a description (e.g. something blue, something round, something with a 6-letter name) and each kid finds something in their home that matches the description.

3. Make/Build/Craft Along

A little project can go a long way in making a virtual playdate feel more exciting and purposeful! Whether they are building with Legos, modeling with clay, or creating friendship bracelets, kids of all ages love to share experiences and teaching or learning something with friends. My kindergartener recently discovered that her friends also like to finger knit, and they were giddy to work on their crafts together.

4. Charades

All kids love being silly for their friends, and what could be better than a virtual charades party? Animals, fairy tales, Disney characters, and super heroes are all great categories to get your group started.

Tips For Success

  • If little ones are too interested in wiggling away from the screen, put them in their highchair with something to keep their hands busy while they see their friends.
  • Familiarize yourself with the video chat platform you will be using. Many offer different virtual backgrounds, viewing setups, and other ways to make the most of the experience.
  • Think about the space they need for their virtual playdate. Sure, it’s all on the computer, but they might get into a spontaneous cartwheel contest and need some appropriate space (not that my kids kicked over a tray of craft supplies or anything…purely hypothetical).
  • Lay out your rules and expectations before the call according to their age and how they are typically allowed to use technology. Are they allowed to share screens when using your computer? Can they move your computer? Will you be staying in the room with them?
  • Encourage your older kids to use online games they already play to socialize with their friends regularly.
  • Set up a parents-only chat to socialize with your friends too! We are all working hard to fill our kids up with love, time, and attention, but don’t forget to check your own cup as well. A casual chat with friends can be just what you need to feel a bit back to normal.

With a little prep, your kid’s virtual playdate may just be almost as good as the real thing. Just don’t forget to shove the laundry out of the background (some things never change!).

MOM… WHAT’S FOR DINNER?!

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I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been in my kitchen, cooking and cleaning 24/7.  These last few months during the COVID-19 quarantine, moms everywhere are hearing, “MOM… What’s for dinner?!”. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, late-night snack… they just don’t stop eating! We’ve partnered together with Winn-Dixie to help make dinner time easy for you.

Winn-Dixie’s deli department is making mealtime simple with their ready-made hot meals and cold sides!

It’s easier when Winn-Dixie cooks

Ready-To-Go Meals

My family LOVES a backyard picnic, so Winn-Dixie’s Family Meal Deal is the perfect choice for an easy meal. Their Lip Lickin’ Chicken, deli ribs, dinner rolls and a huge assortment of sides means one less meal I have to cook for the week.

Upgrade A Meal

Another way to simplify mealtime is to add a protein to a Winn-Dixie side dish. Adding grilled shrimp to their Greek Feta Salad or grilled chicken to their Loaded Potato Salad, and you’ve got a meal that didn’t take hours to prepare!

One of my favorite meals is a meat and cheese charcuterie board. Winn-Dixie has an expansive selection of cheeses, deli meats, fruit, nuts, gourmet crackers and olives to choose from. There’s no cooking required and clean up is a breeze! This can easily turn into a date-night-in meal, paired with a glass of wine.

Prepared Sushi or Subs

Now that we are all homeschooling our kids, make lunchtime easier with prepared sushi or Winn-Dixie subs. You can create your own or sub or buy already prepared deli sandwiches. Don’t forget a side of mac-n-cheese!

Safety Measures

Winn-Dixie has taken many precautions to put safety first, especially in light of COVID-19. At their deli department, you can get all the same items typically on the self-serve hotline (olive bar, salad bar, etc.), but now behind the counter or in already prepared containers.

Winn-Dixie has installed Plexiglas partitions at all store registers, implemented social distancing measures all around the store, and they’ve modified their store hours to allow for restocking and additional sanitation procedures.

And finally, you can shop online, and your groceries will be delivered to your home!

Wouldn’t you agree? It’s easier when Winn-Dixie cooks!

Click here for more information about Winn-Dixie, weekly ads, store locations and hours!

3 Reasons Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

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After the first week of quarantine, I realized our family desperately needed to find a new routine to help us thrive in this season. We are already a homeschooling family, and I work from home full-time, so while it may sound like COVID-19 doesn’t have a direct affect on our family dynamics, the truth is, it really does. Immediately after experiencing a week of not being able to leave home, I set out to create new routines and uncovered 3 reasons why you should wake up before your kids.

It’s crazy to think it took a quarantine to instill routines, such as waking up an hour before my kids, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Typically, I’d wake around 7:00 am with the children, and we’d start out our day together. While this seemed to be working most of this school year, I always felt like I was a step behind. Together, we’d get ready. Together, we’d make breakfast (the kids are responsible for making their own breakfast and dressing themselves while I feed and dress the baby), but the reality always ended up being three kids dressed and fed and a starving mom teaching in pajamas.

3 Reasons Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

1. YOU get to set the tone for the day.

Each morning, I set my alarm an hour and a half before the baby wakes. I take 20-30 minutes to slowly toss, turn, and ease out of bed. Crying, tantrums, and t-shirt yanks are no longer pulling me out of bed. It’s just me, moving at my own pace, in my own space.

why you should wake up before your kids, woman sitting on couch with coffee wearing zestt organics

Photo By: Lacey Irving

From my bed, I move to the couch and cozy up under a dim table lamp and a warm throw blanket and journal using the First 5 App. This is something I have always longed to do but it wasn’t until two of my friends challenged me to journal for 21 days during quarantine. Journaling first thing in the morning is so refreshing. It allows me to release any worries I’m carrying and set the tone for the day. I take some time to pray over our schedule and ask God to guide our next steps. This step alone has helped me release some of my anxiety and set a peaceful and energizing tone for everyone in our home.

2. SELF-CARE becomes a priority.

I’ve always thought of self-care as pampering but the truth is, jeans, a favorite t-shirt, and a full belly are forms of self-care and they should be a priority. Before having our third child, I always made a point to get ready for the day. The thought of staying home and working in pajamas sounds enticing but reality reveals this is not the best way to achieve goals and maintain a healthy mental state of well-being. When we feel good on the outside, we feel good on the inside. If we’re looking lazy and ready for bed, our brains will feel lazy and ready for bed.

Take 5-10 minutes to get dressed, apply everyday neutral makeup, and fuel your body and mind with a hearty meal. We cannot pour from an empty cup. Rather than grabbing a quick bite because you’re too busy hustling and caring for the little ones, choose self-care and in turn help become a better mother because you’ve filled your cup to overflow into theirs.

3. You become PROACTIVE rather than reactive.

Have you ever heard yourself say, “Today – 100, Me – 0?” Sometimes our days tend to take control of us, and we choose to react. The third reason why you should wake up before your kids is to become proactive rather than reactive.

As I enjoy my hot cup of coffee, I write in my planner the schedule for our day, our top 3 priorities, and a list of to-do’s I’d like to tackle (whether it’s for work, school, or home.) I printed Emily Ley’s Free Daily Routines Printable, as well as our Homeschool Printable Planner (click on that link to print your own FREE copy to use during COVID-19), and fill those in as well. This helps me stay focused throughout our day. It’s my way of telling the day how it’s going to go rather than reacting to things that “pop up,” and “going with the flow.”

Prior to waking up before the kids, I found myself scrambling, wondering what we should be doing next, and I was always left feeling unsatisfied at the end of the day. By waking up before the kids, you’ll be giving yourself a moment of clarity and quiet to plan with purpose and intention.

All in all, it’s never too late to start something new to better yourself and those you love the most. This season may feel uneasy, overwhelming, and uncertain but you don’t have to let it get the best of you. You matter. Your mental health and well-being matter. Those reasons alone will help you discover why you should wake up before you kids and use this season to instill new routines, choose self-care, and fill your cup. After all, you’re worthy of living a life that’s full, good, and driven by purpose.

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Guide To Orlando

Budget-Friendly Summer Camps in Central Florida

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