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Tips To Get The Kids To An Appointment

Posted by Live Love Mom on May 22, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree




Children don't always want to leave the house. However, if they have a doctor's appointment or a dentist appointment, they need to leave the house. Some kids have an introverted personality, and that's okay. However, to be able to care for them medically they need to go to appointments. Here are some last-resort tips to get the kids out of the house. 


If they are doing an activity, wait til they are done. If it's something that can be done soon and you are good with time, let them finish their puzzle, eat their breakfast or watch their tv show episode. Kids are less likely to protest, or at least not as much, if they're finished with whatever activity they were doing.

Start getting ready. You need to get ready ahead of time so it doesn't take a long time to get to your destination. Make sure you have your hair combed, teeth brushed, you're fed and hydrated and fully dressed before you move on to your kids. This avoids kids throwing their clothes off while you are getting ready and you have to start over again.

Do as much prep work as you can. Load the vehicles with the items you need such as the diaper bag, snacks, drinks, etc. That way you don't have to go back in the house once the kids are in the car and ready to go. If you're going somewhere up to an hour away or further, you will need milk for young babies and probably some water and a snack for school-aged kids. If your vehicle takes a bit to warm up during the winter, you can throw some blankets in there too to put on the kids' legs to keep them warm.

Get the kids ready. Get them dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, and have them go to the bathroom before you leave. If you have a baby, change their diaper and feed them before taking off. Make sure they ate their latest meal and/or snack. Put on their coats and boots if it's winter, a windbreaker if it's spring or autumn. 

Pick them up and put them in the vehicle. Of course if they're too big to be picked up, hold their hand and let them know you're going to the car. They may start to protest, but it's what's best for them to go to their medical appointment, so they need to be in the vehicle. They will probably start figuring out that they're going somewhere they don't want to be. Buckle them in their car seats, then sit yourself down, and you can start driving. I find that often once you start driving, after a few minutes they calm down.

If they don't, once you have arrived at your destination, take the time to open the door of the car and talk to them softly. Give them kisses and hugs and explain that going to the doctor or dentist is necessary. Encourage them to speak calmly to express why they are upset. Validate their feelings and praise them for vocalizing their needs. If they say it's because they were cold, offer them a blanket. If they were hungry, offer them the snack, and some water if they are thirsty. 

Show them the play area. Once you arrive, there is often a play area in the waiting room of every dentist or doctor. Show them the play area and encourage them to play while they wait. There are often toys, books and a coloring station to keep your kids happy and entertained. If it's winter, be sure to remove their coats and boots first. Then, you can take a seat in the waiting room and wait within view of the kids. You did it mama!


What tips do you have to ge the kids out of the house for an appointment? Comment below!

How To Encourage A Picky Eater To Eat A Healthy Meal

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 12, 2020 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (4)
by: Stephanie McEndree



Some kids can be particularly difficult when it comes to which foods they eat. Most kids would prefer to eat junk food all day, but this is not what is best for them. It's important to give them more than empty calories throughout the day and get their nutritional needs met. Whether they are picky eaters or have sensitivities to certain foods or stimulus, these tips can help you get your children to eat some foods that are good for them.


Make the food. Cook or throw together the meal that you want your child to eat. Make sure it's nutritious and aesthetically pleasing. A plate with white rice, eggs and mashed potatoes is pretty bland to the eye. Make it colorful and exciting, such as carrots, green beans, red peppers, etc. You can add some apples, grapes and oranges for breakfast foods or a healthy snack. Either way, it needs to be prepared right. Be sure to make more than what your child will eat to ensure the next step.


Start eating the food u want them to eat. If you have issues with them eating at the table, be sure to sit at the dining room table first. Then, slowly start eating the meal. Be sure to only take a few bites so there is plenty left for your child. Take small bites and make it obvious to your child that you're eating. 


Exaggerate the good taste. Rave about how good it is, hum while you chew with your mouth closed. If your child isn't already curious, now they should be. In fact, most kids will come up to you and ask you to share, or say that they want some, or straight up steal the meal! It's a subtle way to get them interested, and encourage them to eat more nutritious food and sample a wider variety of foods.


Make it fun.  Kids like to play, so why not make it fun with dips and sauces? Offer some honey to dip the fruit, some jelly for toast, or some dip for celery and carrot sticks. This enhances flavor and exposes the kids to ways they can make their foods unique. It can also be the turning point for a child to be interested in your food and want to eat it.


Got any more tips? Comment below!

Cheap Easter Goodies To Get In One Store

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 9, 2020 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (1)

by: Stephanie McEndree



With Easter right around the corner and us moms wanting to be safe, it can be hard to get the easter shopping done. It doesn't seem like a priority with what's going on right now in the world. With very young kids, they probably won't notice that easter didn't come this year. However, when you have older kids they will definitely notice. Here is what you can do to make it a wonderful easter without breaking the bank.


Backyard easter hunt. For people with special needs kids, introverted kids, or who simply don't want to make a trip somewhere else; a backyard easter egg hunt is perfect. Keep an eye on the kiddos while they look around your yard for some chocolate eggs!


Indoor easter hunt. This is great no matter the weather outside. Hide easter eggs all around the house and help your kids find them!


Egg painting. Paint some hard-boiled eggs or eggs with the yolk removed for some cute easter decorations. Watercolor paints or regular paint can be found at your local dollar store as well as paint brushes.


List of materials to get at your local dollar store for easter:



Chocolate bunnies. They come in milk chocolate and in various sizes, and some are in the shape of trucks, chicks and more. Pick up one chocolate bunny per child at your local dollar store and save big bucks on mall prices. Your kids will still get the chocolate they crave and you will have more money in your purse.




Paint and paintbrushes. Get these at your local dollar store for a couple bucks or less. Have your kids paint easter eggs at home with the eggs you probably already have in your fridge. 




Coloring books. There are often coloring books that are easter-themed around this time of year. Pop by your local dollar store and get one for the whole family, or one per child if you feel like splurging. You can even use the paint to paint the pictures instead of coloring them.




Chocolate eggs. They come in small bags at the dollar store and are under $4 each. These are a great alternative to the chocolate bunny as you can make sure the kids don't have too much at a time since they are seperate doses of chocolate. You can get them as well as the chocolate bunnies if you want!




Plastic eggs. You can get these easily at the dollar store and place the aforementionned chocolate eggs inside for a cute easter egg hunt! You can use them again next year too, so no waste.




Jelly beans. For the kids and even adults that prefer sweets to chocolate, these are also cheap and available at the dollar store. You can put them in plastic easter eggs or just put small packs around the house for the kids to find. Yum!


Any other ideas for materials found at a dollar store? Comment below!

Co-Parenting Dos and Don'ts

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 6, 2020 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Melinda Humpherys



You might be a single mom like me, and not be with your child's father anymore. It can be a challenge to co-parent with someone that you aren't with, especially when they hold a grudge. If you need to go to mediation, I would definitely recommend it. However, if you think you can come to an agreement, here are some co-parenting dos and don'ts to serve as a guideline.

DOS

 

  • Work as a team. Come up with a co-parenting plan. Talk about how you want to raise your child, the values, morals, discipline and religion are just a few of those things. Some won't always agree, but it's good to set down a baseline when you can.
  • Communicate. If you're on bad terms, just communicate about the kids. Make sure doctor's appointments, homework assignments, and results are always told to each other. You need to be up to date on your child's life to best be able to give them a good life.
  • Allow the other parent to see their child. You both made that child together, and barring some worries about the child's safety, you should always permit your child to see both parents.
  • Make a childcare plan. If you'd rather watch your child during the dad's days when he works than a babysitter, say so. Be sure to be comfortable vice-versa if you want to ask for such an arrangement.
  • See each other as little as possible. Exchange the kids by their schools; drop them off at school or daycare, and have the other parent pick them up on their days. This avoids confrontations in case one or both of you are not happy with the other, and your kid won't beg to stay with the other parent.
  • Keep a record of all exchanges. Write down the custody schedule and keep a record of it. If the other parent starts bad-mouthing you on the phone or by text, make a record of that as well. You can use it if you choose to go for full custody.
  • Keep up with the ex in-laws, especially if your ex has no relationship with them. This way your child can keep seeing his or her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Family is very important.

 

DON'TS

 

  • Call each other names. No matter what went on in the past, you need to be polite for your child's sake. Even if they can't do it, keep your cool. If they are upsetting you, feel free to walk away or hang up the phone, or stop texting. Remember, your mental health comes first.
  • Put up with any crap. If they become abusive towards you or overall unpleasant, feel free to put a stop to it. It's not good for you or your child.
  • Get jealous. Your ex will date again, and your child will eventually refer to that person as their step-mom. Don't get jealous, and don't be mean to this other person. Be polite, and realize that you can never be replaced. See it as an extra person to love your child.
  • See each other outside of kid-related things. You don't want to confuse your relationship or re-create romantic moments that you might end up back together. This will destablize yours and your child's life. You are exes for a reason. Keep it that way.
  • Do all the work. You need to keep your ex responsible for their part of the parenting. They need to take care of your child when it's their time. You shouldn't have to provide food, diapers, clothes, etc. for their time unless specified in a custodial plan. If your child is going without, file for full custody immediately. If you're going to do all the work, you might as well have full custody.
  • See his friends. If they were his friends first, let them go. You don't need to be involved in your ex's life anymore. Stick with your own friends. You don't need to be adding more tension.
  • Stalk him. Don't bother checking up on him on social media or ask everyone what he's doing. Your child will notice, and it might give them false hope that you will get back together. He isn't your concern anymore. Focus on your own life and your child's life.

 


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How To Find Time For A Social Life

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (6)

by: Stephanie McEndree



Being a mother keeps everyone extremely busy. Between working and parenting, it seems impossible to find time to catch up with friends or family. So, how does anyone find time to maintain friendships? Here are some tips below.


Gather information. Make sure to note everyone's schedule such as work, extra cirriculars and more. This will help you find out when is best to spend time together when you aren't busy, whether it's just you and one friend or a group of friends.


Make it a habit. Especially with your mom friends, it's good to see each other regularly. Set up a playdate, even just getting together at a local park and sitting on the park bench chatting while the children play. It's also a great option because you're not limited to when you can get time apart from the kids, and you can do it once in a while on weekends when no one works. 


Set aside time. Even if it's just a 5 minute phone call at the end of the day, make sure to carve out those precious minutes out of your day to connect with your best buddies. It will improve your mood and uplift your spirits, guarenteed.


Plan ahead. Choose about one day a month to have your partner watch the children, or to have a babysitter. Get together with your friends and go out together. Even if it's just going to a friend's place to watch a movie together, it'll get you that social time you've been craving.


Scout local events. There are local events you can attend together with your families. It's especially easy if you live in the same town or at least nearby. There are yearly carnivals, festivals and grand openings you can all attend.


Take a class together. If your kids are signed up for the same sport, for example, you can all chat during the games while cheering your kids on! If you drop off your kids for practice, you and your mom friends can get some coffee nearby while you wait until practice is over. You can also join parent-child activities such as cupcake-making and ceramic mug painting.


It's important you keep open-minded and keepa spot in your schedule open. With some flexibility, anything can be accomplished.


 

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Time Management Tips For The Working Mom

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Whether you work from home or you work outside of the home, it can be tough to manage your time. Add children to the mix, and it seems impossible to get things done. Moms are expected to make a decent income, have a great career, take care of the children, cook, clean, and even have time for herself. It can get pretty overwhelming and seem impossible. 

To help you figure out how to balance your time between working and parenting, here are some time-management tips to get you started.

 

  1. Have a routine. Routines are key for any child no matter what the age, and it will help you pick out time slots to do everything. It's okay if some things take more time to accomplish, as long as you roughly stick to the routine and schedule, it will work wonders.
  2. Hire some help. If you are a single parent and work outside of the home, you may need to think about investing in a daycare, a babysitter or a nanny. If your parents are retired and nearby, you could always asked them to look after your children while you work. You can also hire a cleaning lady if you need help keeping the house clean, even if it's just once every other week.
  3. Set up an office space. For those who work from home, have a computer room or an office set up in your home you can retreat to. Have your partner care for the kids while you work. This way you can concentrate on your job without being interrupted. 
  4. Pre-make meals. It'll be easier for you to feed yourself and your kids if you can just grab a meal. Make some sandwiches for lunch, bag up some snacks so they're ready. One night a week, you can meal-prep during naptime or after the kids are asleep and freeze meals for dinner.
  5. Take advantage of naps. Naptime is when you can get some cleaning done, or even some well-deserved alone time. Take a break from work if you can, and indulge in some me-time. or get your chores done.
  6. Give the kids chores. It's a great time to give children age-appropriate chores so you aren't cleaning all by yourself. Have them help you with dishes, wipe up counters, sweep and mop and put their toys away. Have some food available in the pantry that your kids can get themselves when they're hungry. Teach them to be a bit more self-sufficient if they're old enough.
Got any more time management tips? Comment below!

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The Rainbow Movement

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 27, 2020 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (3)

by: Stephanie McEndree



A movement has been sweeping across the province of Quebec in Canada. People are searching for ways to connect to the outside world while also being safe. This turned into the rainbow movement. The idea goes like this: parents have their children draw, color, paint, etc. a rainbow. Then, they stick it on a window facing the street. Often, parents add a hashtag #CaVaBienAller which is french for ''All Will Be Well''. Then, parents go for a walk with the kids and look at houses' windows to count how many rainbows they can find. 




It's a very touching movement, and also allows kids to go out, get some exercise, get some fresh air, and do something fun with the family. You can also walk the dog at the same time. Here are some ideas on how to make a rainbow.


Rainbow Mosaic

Handprint rainbow

Sponge painting

Paper plate rainbow



Got any more ideas to make a rainbow? Got any display ideas for your windows to encourage social distancing activities? Comment below!


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Parenting Hacks During Coronavirus

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 24, 2020 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



With the mass panic happening, there is a shortage of resources. It's taking a while for grocery stores to replenish stock, and when they are replenished, people panic-buy all over again. Here are some tips that can stretch out your grocery store trips even longer and you can become more self-sufficient. 


Cloth diaper. If you don't own any, go out and buy some. You won't have to buy disposable diapers over and over again, it's better for the environment, and you won't have to worry about getting diapers when there aren't any in the grocery store.


Cloth wipe. Use washcloths to wipe your baby when you change diapers. They are washable, reusable, and you don't have to worry about there being a shortage at the grocery store. You can buy some at the dollar store if you don't have enough at home.


Breastfeed. If you have recently given birth or are currently breastfeeding, continue to do so. You won't have to worry about a formula shortage at grocery store, plus you pass your immunity on to your children when you breastfeed. This is especially important during flu season and during pandemics.


Homeschool. Since daycares and schools are closed, feel free to homeschool your children. Send a message to their teacher asking what they need to know to succeed in their next grade and teach them that. There are also countless resources online you can scour. Be sure to make it as fun as possible so the kids still feel like they're on a vacation.


Grow your food. If you already have a garden, great! If not, you can buy some seeds at the dollar store to plant in your garden. Plant veggies, fruits and herbs. It will feed you and reduce your trips to the grocery store by giving you some fresh produce.


Do you have any other tips for parents to make social isolation and being self-sufficient easier? Comment below!


 

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BTW: You ARE A Single Mom If you are Married

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 24, 2020 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree




I have seen the argument over and over, especially on the internet; what defines a single mother? Coupled with different definitions and cultures, it can be hard to come up with one answer. Here is my take on it.

 

In the “Single Parent” page on Wikipedia, it says “A single parent family is a family with children that is headed by a single parent.”

 

Now, when you are no longer with the child’s father, this is always the case. Sure, if you have a boyfriend he may help you out, but the child is completely and legally your responsibility.


Marrying someone else doesn’t make them the father of your children, especially if the father is still in the children’s lives. Barring adoption or termination of rights, your ex’s name will remain on the birth certificate. Therefore no matter the custodial arrangement, in your home you are the only parent resposible for that child. You do all, if not at least most, of the child care alone.

 

Why is this even up for debate? It’s often due to jealousy because other single moms who are in no relationship feel the title belongs to them alone, and they wish they had more help with their own kids. It’s fine to feel that way, however it isn’t fine to minimize another woman’s struggles just because she has a boyfriend or husband. She has the same struggles as the others; no child support, doing most if not all of the child care, court battles for custody, late nights, mounting bills and more. Let’s not try to diminish other mother’s experiences or invalidate them because they happen to have a boyfriend.

 

The question itself is also sexist. No one has even asked this question about a man. Also, seeing her as “better off” when she is coupled with a man, is also sexist. Women are portrayed as sad or crazy if they are single, but desirable and successful if married.

 

So what is the true definition of a single mother? It means a mother who is not in a relationship with the child’s father. It’s that simple. Let’s not make it more complicated than it needs to be.


 

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Exclusively Pumping For Two

Posted by Live Love Mom on October 24, 2016 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Stephanie McEndree



Yes, I am a single mom of two kids that I exclusively pump for. How do I do it? What is my secret? I’ll let you in on it.


 

I only pump twice a day. Once in the morning after my 2 year old is at daycare and my 3 month old is asleep for her morning nap, second time when both of my girls are asleep for the night.


 

I use a Medela Pump In Style Advanced. This pump is portable as it comes in a backpack, so I can just wear it on my back and move around the house. This is crucial as a single SAHM, as if one or both of my kids wakes up in the morning or evening, I can get up and tend to them without skimping out on my pumping. Since this is a hospital grade pump, it allows me to pump only twice a day without losing my supply!


 

I use Freemies. Thank goodness there are Freemies compatible with a PISA. I put these suction cups in my bra under my shirt, so it is very discreet! I even went out running errands while pumping!


 

I have a deep freezer. This helps for storing my extra breastmilk because my regulat freezer is full of food for myself and my kids!


 

I make about 44 ounces a day. With my 3 month old taking in 35-40 ounces a day that leaves 4-8 extra ounces that I can store in the freezer for long-term storage, the fridge for short-term storage, or to just give to my toddler.


 

With these things to help me, it is possible to exclusively pump as a single mom!


 

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