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Two Rectangle Stockinette Stitch Oversized Kids Dress

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 5, 2020 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (5)

by: Stephanie McEndree




This piece is perfect for beginners wanting to make their first dress. It's not as large as it would be for an adult, so it's a perfect way to start and it's not too much work to where you get discouraged. You need to know how to cast on, bind off, the garter stitch, the stockinette stitch and how to sew. This piece is knit flat, which is also ideal for beginners. Stockinette stitch gives this piece a thinner feel and look, and without sleeves makes it suitible for summer wear. With how loose it is and oversized, it allows the dress to be airy and doesn't let the kids be too hot in it. 




Size: 6-7 years, oversized

Items needed:

-Size 11 single point knitting needles
-Red Heart Comfort 1000g yarn in red, 1 skein
-US size 7 crochet needle
-Scissors




Kntting pattern:

 

  1. Cast on 50 stitches
  2. Knit rows 1-10 in garter stitch
  3. Knit in stockinette stitch until piece measures about 18 inches
  4. Knit next 10 rows in garter stitch. Piece should measure about 20 inches.
  5. Bind off, cut the yarn with the scissors 5 inches from the piece. The piece will be used to sew in shoulder strap.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 with 2nd piece.
  7. Turn piece so that the garter stitch sides are facing outwards, and the pattern inwards.
  8. Sew the seams together at the shoulders, at least 4 inches from each side.
  9. Leaving a 4 inch hold from the shoulders for the arms, sew the sides together with a crochet needle. Tie off.
  10. Cut the end of the string about 5 inches from the piece. Sew in ends with a crochet needle.
  11. Turn the piece inside-out, and you have your finished piece.


If you try this pattern, be sure to show us a photo in the comments and how you like the pattern! Personally, this was my first dress! I knew I was good with the garter stitch as I made the sweater, and I wanted to try a different pattern. My husband said he likes the edges on the dress so it gives it a nice pattern and is different from using just the garter stitch. I also like that it's sewn together at the top, since dresses with straps like a tank-top seem to fall off the shoulders of my girls all too often! This way it stays nice and secure so my girls can play hard and still have their dress in place! It fits well below their knees so they will be able to wear it for a long time.

 

I Stand With You

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 1, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree




I can't imagine what mothers of children of color are feeling right now. Can you imagine being afraid every day for your child to die? Can you fathom a world where unarmed people of color are shot and killed in their own homes? Can you imagine that the very people you call to help you, those who are supposed to serve and protect you from harm, end up killing you, a family member, a friend? Can you imagine hundreds of years of racism, and even during these times where people are realizing they were wrong in different aspects of prejudice, people of color are still facing racism so bad it's deadly? Can you imagine seeing the police as judge, jury and executioner as they gun down innocent black chilldren, men and women? Can you imagine these people being put on paid leave and temporary suspension, if any? This is the world we live in.


The only way I can possibly relate is to try to imagine what mothers of color are going through. But the fact of the matter is, I will never understand. No white person ever will, because we are born with a privilege. It's not right, and it's not fair. However, we need to use this privilege to stand up for and protect for our black brothers and sisters. We need to speak up because their voices aren't being listened to. We need to make sure their voices are heard. We need to do absolutely everything we can to protect them. 


Here is what you can do to help. Please add to this list in the comments if I have forgotten anything.


Join the protests. Peacefully join protests. Carry signs, join chants, walk. Stand in protest. Show you support the black community. Show that you are not okay with the deaths of innocent black children and adults. Show you are against police brutality.


Assist them. Form a human chain around them with others. Protect people of color. Especially during the protests, stand between them and the police. Do not let any harm come to them. The police will not use accessive force against you, especially if you are unarmed. 


Record it. If you see a person of color being mistreated, pull out your phone and start recording. Yell at the police officer or whoever is attacking them, to stop. Call attention to this mistreatment. Don't let them get away with it. File a complaint. Even if the cops tell you to stop recording and are being forceful, keep recording. You can pretend to stop recording and put your camera down, but have it still pointing to the abuse if you can. If not, at least keep it going so sound is still recorded.


Protests have been the peaceful way for centuries to show opposition against unfair policies. One of the most famous ones are the Boston Tea Party, and also Martin Luther King Jr's marches, and Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man. 


To every person of color out there, I am with you. I support you. None of you deserve to die. What happened was wrong. I stand with you.

Oversized Easy Garter Stitch Kids Sweater

Posted by Live Love Mom on May 29, 2020 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (1)

by: Stephanie McEndree



This knitting pattern is made for beginners and is very easy. It's done entirely in garter stitch. Garter stitch is the stitch knitters first learn when they start out knitting. There is no fancy stitch, so it's less time-consuming, and you don't have to worry about what stitch you did last on your row if you get distracted. This oversized sweater is perfect for those chilly autumn or early spring days where your kiddos could use a bit more warmth. It's roomy enough to wear over another shirt, but can also be worn by itself on warm days. Since it's oversized, it's breathable and your child won't overheat.


This is my own take on the https://gina-michele.com/2016/07/super-easy-3-square-childs-sweater-knitting-pattern-2.html" target="_blank">3 Square Child's Sweater by Gina Michele. I wanted to make my first sweater in garder stitch but with sleeves and no turtle neck, so I adapted her pattern to make it my own. I made a larger one than she had listed (since my daughter is a size 6 years), I didn't do the turtleneck and I measured, made and sewed the sleeves all on my own. Shoutout to her for inspiring me to make it my own!


Needed:

Size US 11 straight knitting needles

Crochet needle

Red Heart Comfort Yarn 1000 yards in red, 1 skein


Knitting pattern

Gauge: 3sts = 1 inch

Size 6-7 years, 7-8 years, 8-9 years


For the front and back square:

Cast on 56 (58, 60) sts. Knit in Garter Stitch until piece measures 17 (18, 19) inches. Bind off. Cut off the yarn leaving a string several inches long.

Sew the pieces together at the top 4 inches on each side. Fold over and sew the side seams together, leaving a 7 inch opening for arm holes. Cut off the strings several inches long. Weave in ends with a crochet needle as you would with a yarn needle. 





For the sleeves:

 

Cast on 45 (47, 49) sts. Work in Garter Stitch until the piece measures 14 (16, 18 ) inches. Bind off. Cut off the yarn leaving a string about 24 inches long.

Sew a sleeve's left and right side together with the 24 inch long yarn string. Then, align the sleeve with the arm hole and sew together. Tie off Weave in the end.

Repeat instructions for second sleeve. Turn the sweater inside out and you're done!




Tips To Get The Kids To An Appointment

Posted by Live Love Mom on May 22, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (5)

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!

Make Homemade Chalk Paint

Posted by Live Love Mom on May 15, 2020 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Rebecca Norris



Posted this for my kids but this is a fun, easy activity that I just had to share!


 

How to make Homemade Chalk paint


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Food coloring of your choice
  • Cups
  • Measuring cup
  • Bowl
  • Paint brush


Instructions:

  1. Measure 1/2 cup of corn starch in a measuring cup.
  2. Empty the corn starch into the bowl.
  3. Measure 1/2 cup of water in a measuring cup.
  4. Pour the water into the bowl.
  5. Mix the corn starch and the water together in the bowl.
  6. Pour the mixture into the different cups
  7. Take the food coloring and add a few drops in a cup.
  8. Choose another color of food coloring and add a few drops in another cup.
  9. Repeat until you have all the cups with different food coloring.
  10. Mix the cups individually to form the chalk paint.
  11. Grab a paint brush and get painting on the driveway, sidewalk or cement paths!

Here is the result! My daughter painted a beautiful unicorn! Try it out with your kids and let their imagination run wild. What will they paint? A jungle safari? An ocean with whales, sharks and dolphins? The desert with camels? Sit back, drink some coffee and enjoy watching the masterpieces unfold!



How To Celebrate Your Kid's Birthday During Coronavirus

Posted by Live Love Mom on May 5, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (5)

by: Stephanie McEndree




Having a birthday during the pandemic can really throw things off for planning. You might have had a birthday party already planned, but you had to cancle due to the virus. Or, your child may have one coming up and you want to make it special. Here are some ideas on how you can have a great birthday party for your child without breaking quarantine.


Your backyard. It's safe and weather-permitting, you can do lots of fun stuff outdoors with your child. If you have more than one, you can set up some games they can play together outdoors. If not, join in on the fun and play with them. You can have a picnic outside, hit a homemade pinata filled with candy you bought at the grocery store. You can open presents outside too, and play with whatever you already have for them outside; trampoline, swingset or sandbox.


Indoors. This is a great choice for all weather. You can spend time together in many different ways! You can make paper decorations, bake a cake and decorate it together, and much more! You can also play some fun games such as pin the tail on the donkey, twister, board games and more. You can also video-call friends and family so your child gets to talk to them and spend some time with them. You can have a family movie marathon with your child's favorite tv shows and movies and cook some popcorn. Read them their favorite story at bedtime, use a bath bomb at bath time. Any way you can think to make the day special, do it. Your child may remember this birthday as the most fun yet!


Not sure what to do or how to keep your child happy or busy on their special day? Here is a list of activities you can plan and do during your child's birthday.


Pinata
Pin the tail on the donkey
Bake a cake
Decorate a cake
Movie night
Board games
Picnic
Puzzles
Scavenger hunt
Treasure hunt
Talent show
Twister
Card games
Costume play
Pretend play
Story time
Painting
Drawing
Arts & Crafts
Making paper decorations


Got any more ideas for kids' birthday activities? Comment below!

How To Spend Time WIth Family During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 29, 2020 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree


It can be hard being apart from your family during this pandemic. Here are some ways you can spend time together despite the coronavirus.


Video calls. Whether you use facebook, skype or even snapchat, you can video call with your family. People are starting to use Zoom so they can video chat with many people at the same time. Have an online family reunion and spend some time together.


Play games. There are apps linked to facebook that you can play together. You can also play games via video chat, such as bingo or battleship. You can play almost any game through video chat if you try hard enough, or are creative.


Activities. Do activities together online. You can go on video chat and watch the same youtube workout video and do the workouts together. You can try Zumba as well and laugh as you try to dance like the instructor. You can also learn a dance from TikTok together.


Phone calls. Pick up the phone and call your family! Especially with the older generation, they love having a phone call from their loved ones. If you're not sure what to talk about, you can always mention the weather and ask how they are doing and what they've been up to lately. A popular topic is how everyone is passing the time being cooped up.


Send them something. You can send a letter, a card, flowers or even a delivery meal to brighten up their day. If it's their birthday soon, mail them a small gift if you can afford it. It will let your family know you are thinking of them even during these hard times.


Got more ideas? Comment below!


How To Socialize During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 19, 2020 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



It's harder now than ever to socialize with people during the coronavirus pandemic. Plenty of people, especially extroverts, are finding these times trying and very difficult. Without further ado, here is how you can keep connected with your friends during COVID-19.


Social media. Scroll facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, pinterest, and whatever social media accounts you have. You can keep up with your friends and how they're doing by reading their posts. You can also like their posts and comment on them to let them know you're thinking of them. For those who are anti-social or introverts, this can be the best way to reach out to your loved ones without being emotionally overwhelmed.


Online games. There are plenty of games out there where you can socialize with your friends, loved ones and even strangers. There are plenty of games on social media you can play with someone else. You can also get involved with more complexity such as MMORPGs. They are computer role playing games and are very popular. You can also bust out your PS4, or your Xbox or whichever gaming platform you own and start a friendly game. 


Video calls. Zoom, Skype, Facebook or more can be used to video call with your loved ones. You can do it either through your phone or on a computer. For computers, make sure you have a mic and a webcam so you can effectively communicate. Be sure you also have a good internet connection or the video will cut out a lot.


Emails. For the more old-fashioned people and for those who have elderly friends or who aren't used to the whold fuss about social media, emailing can be a familiar platform for communication. Send emails back and fourth and it can be as quick as instant messaging. 


Instant Messaging. Also known as IM, this is found virtually on every social media platform. You can IM on yahoo, google talk, facebook, pinterest, tumblr, instagram, twitter and more. Just make sure the both of you are online and start chatting! 


Phone calls. Scroll your phone and find the phone numbers of people you would like to talk to. Call them and if they don't pick up, leave a nice message. It's especially important during these times to check in on our elderly friends and family. Call your grandparents, your neighbors, your great-aunts and uncles. You can even offer to get them some groceries at the same time as your own to save them the trouble. Not sure what to talk about? Talk about current events, the weather, whatever you can think of!


Letters. For those special friends who live across the ocean, or even someone who enjoys recieving mail, write a hand-written letter. If you don't like your handwriting or it isn't legible, type up a letter and print it. Be sure you know the person's address so you can mail it to the right place. 


Have any other ideas? Comment below!

Precautions To Take When Going Out With Kids During The Pandemic

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 18, 2020 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Stephanie McEndree



Wear a mask. Have the kids wear a face mask as well as yourself. With coughing, sneezing or even talking launches airborne particles of the virus into the air up to ten feet away, it's better to prevent than to treat. Even if you don't have medical-grade surgical masks or N95 masks, a cloth mask or bandana is better than nothing. 


Wear gloves. Put on gloves on the kids hands as well as your own. Be sure not to touch your face while you have these gloves on. Discard them at the trash can by the grocery store's doors after you leave. This way you avoid cross-contamination on your vehicle and other objects you touch every day.


Social distance. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between people at all times. The only exception is the people you live with, and health professionals such as a doctor that has to examine you. There have been lines outside grocery stores before being allowed to go in. Maintain a distance of six feet between those people and yourself and your kids. 


Bring wipes. Use clorox wipes or similar to wipe down shopping carts, as well as door handles and light switches. Not only are you protecting yourself and your family, but you are also protecting others and minimizing the spread of the virus. Remember, baby wipes are not anti-bacterial and contain no anti-viral properties.


Disinfect groceries. When you get home, wash the reusable bags and wipe down grocery boxes and bags. As more and more people are infected every day, it's important to keep things clean. A box of cereal can be touched several times a day per person, so can the milk or juice carton. Keep things on the safe side and wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe.


Wash your hands. Wash their and your hands when you get home. Be sure to use warm water and soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. You can sing songs to help you remember, such as singing ''Happy Birthday''. This is also a great time to teach younger kids proper handwashing techniques and hygiene if you haven't already.


Order online. Some grocery stores offer an online cataloge of groceries that you can order in advance and have them delivered the next day. This is especially useful if you are a single parent or if one of your family members are high risk. 


Got any more suggestions? Comment below!

Unique Gift Ideas For Your Husband

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 17, 2020 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



Is your husband hard to buy for? Does he have everything he could possibly want or need? Are you tired of getting him the same old gifts? Are you looking for something new and refreshing to gift him? Are you wanting to wow him and also impress him with the originality of his gift? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you've come to the right place! Here are some unique gift ideas that are sure to make your husband smile!


Land. Emerald Heritage sells real land in Northern Ireland and the title Squire or Squiress to go with it. Whether a tiny or large plot, it makes for a very unique gift especially if your husband is Irish. Highland Titles sells Scottish land and the Scottish title of Laird, Lord or Lady or Glencoe. If you get a 10 square foot plot or larger, you can make him Laird or Lord of Lochaber as well. There is also plenty of merch in their store you can buy to highlight the gift.


Title. Buy a title very cheaply, if you're fine with the certificate being in German. I would suggest Nobility Titles. The aforementionned also include a title with the land they sell. Titles are hereditary with children and can be passed down. Also, the buying of land contributes to nature conservation of native forests. You will also be helping to make a difference in the world!


Celebrity video. On an app and website called Cameo, you can order a personal video from a celebrity to your spouse! You can include keywords of what you would want it to say! Prices vary on how huge and well-known the celebrity is, and they have to be on Cameo to make the video. Celebrities range from sports players, musicians, bands, singers, actors and more.


Personalized song. Pay a musician and singer-songwriter to make a personal song for your husband. It can be a slow song or an upbeat tune. This is all made possible by Songfinch, and you provide details so you can get a truly unique song. You can also buy the song on a CD, record or even in a bear and some sheet music.


Autographed photo. Get an autographed photo of their favorite athlete, it can often be found on ebay or similar sites. You may also find an autographed baseball, football, jersey or similar item. Your husband is sure to cherish it forever!


Blanket. Who doesn't like staying warm? Order a blanket on Canva and put a photo of your choice on there. It can be your wedding photo, a family portrait, a quote, the winning goal in his favorite match, his favorite celebrity, or anything really!


Personalized wallet. You can order one on Wish if you don't mind waiting around a month. It's often in felt or leather and includes a warm message to your husband saying how much you love him.


Tie clip. On wish, you can also order an engraved tie clip that says husband, I love you, or anything similar. This is perfect for the husband that wears ties often whether because he is a businessman, or because he often goes to formal functions.


Got any more ideas? Comment below!

Ways To Show Your Husband You Care

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 16, 2020 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (5)

by: Melinda Humpherys



Lots of wives show they care every day. They might cook, clean, or simply tell their husband they love him. However, whether they are feeling particularly appreciative a certain day, some wives like to step it up and do something special for their husbands. Here are some ideas on ways to show your husband that you care. 


Give him a massage. Whether it's a foot rub or a back rub, a massage always feels good for anyone. Set a time where you can get alone time just the two of you. Turn off the lights, light some scented candles, and use some massage oil. Be sure to rub the oil between your hands to warm it up before you massage your husband. You can also put on some soothing music. Who knows, you might get to have some steamy love-making afterwards!


Write a love letter. Describe how you feel about your husband in a touching love letter. You can also write a poem or a song if you're better in a lyrical context. Bring up some happy memories such as when you first met, your first date, your engagement, your wedding day, your honeymoon or the birth of your children. You can list the reasons you love him, what you love about him and how he's shaped you. 


Surprise him. Whether it's tickets to his favorite game, doing the one chore he dreads or baking him a birthday cake, catch him off-guard with something he'll love. Put on that sundress he likes and let him show you off on a date you pay for of his choice. Watch his favorite sports with him. Play video games together. The possibilities are endless!


All in all, think about something he wants. If you aren't sure, think of something he would cherish or enjoy. 


What To Put In Your Hospital Bag

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 14, 2020 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (5)

by: Stephanie McEndree



As a mother of two, I know a thing or two about packing a hospital bag, or even a bag for a birth center. It's good to have everything on hand when you're leaving your home to give birth. Pack the comforts of your own home. You can pack up to three days worth of items for a vaginal birth, and about five to seven days worth for a c-section. Here are the essential items I brought with me.

  1. Diapers
  2. Bottles and formula if formula feeding
  3. Nursing bra if breastfeeding
  4. Nipple cream if breastfeeding
  5. Breast pump if breastfeeding
  6. Breast pads if breastfeeding
  7. At least 3 baby outfits per day you'll be away from home; 2 day outfits and pyjamas
  8. 6 Recieving blankets, or 2 per day
  9. 3 Warm blankets, or 1 per day
  10. 3 pairs of socks, or 1 per day
  11. 3 pairs of mittens, or 1 per day
  12. Car seat
  13. 3 Hats or 1 per day
  14. 3 Changes of clothes for mom or 1 per day
  15. Chap stick for mom
  16. Granola bars or other snacking items
  17. Juice bottles or water bottles to stay hydrated
  18. Warm socks for mom
  19. Snacks for dad 
  20. Changes of clothes for dad, 1 per day
  21. Reading materials for dad
  22. Toothbrush & toothpaste for each parent
  23. Camera
  24. Mobile phones
  25. Phone chargers
  26. Camera chargers
  27. Hair brush
  28. Deoderant
  29. Travel-sized shampoo, body wash and conditioner bottles
  30. Winter coats if it's winter
  31. Burp cloths
  32. Old underwear
  33. Adult diapers or maxi overnight postpartum pads
  34. Q-tips
  35. Nail file
  36. iPod for music
  37. Mints for a sugar boost and to freshen breath
  38. Tennis ball for massaging the mom's back
  39. Pyjamas for the parents
  40. Slippers for the parents
  41. Birth plan
  42. Makeup to make you feel better

Can you think of anything else you brought along that helped you? 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!

Put Your Kids Before Your Marriage, Here's Why

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 11, 2020 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (6)



I have heard and seen over and over on social media, the phrase ''put your marriage first always'', and to put their kids in second place. Having been raised in that exact environment, I have to wholeheartily and completely disagree.


As some of you know, I am no longer with my children's father. The relationship was toxic, and I am very thankful that I ended up out of it. If I had stayed in that relationship and stuck to the ''put your relationship first'', then I would maybe still be with him. I would have taught my children that it's okay to stay in a relationship you are unhappy in, and that it's okay to be mistreated by someone. They would have learned that this is how you treat someone that you love, and it would have reflected on their future relationships. Growing up in a toxic environment like that is good for no one, especially the children. Can you imagine growing up in a place where it's tense in the air, mommy is crying, and daddy is yelling? It's not something I wanted for my children, nor for myself. They say, happy mom, happy baby. So I did what I had to do, and I let go for good.


Now, having grown up in an area where my parents prioritized their marriage, I felt second-best during my highest moments. My dad made it clear that my mom was more important to him than me, his own flesh and blood. I remember crying to my grandmother about it. I remember feeling like, no matter what anyone did or what happened, they would stay together. And I was right.


My father started hitting me. My mom, prioritizing her marriage over her kids, stayed in the marriage that entire time. She never left him, she never called therapists or child protective services for help, never even came to comfort me when he was done. She just let it happen. It has affected me very negatively. I harbor a lot of anger not only against my father, but against my mother for not protecting me or leaving. She should have taken me and left. But she loved him too much, and was financially dependent on him. And she learned to put her marriage before anything because in the end, when the kids left the nest, she probably didn't want to be alone. She probably figured she was spending the rest of her life with my father, not me. 


Now as women we are raised that divorce is for losers, that we have to stay in a marriage no matter what. We are accused of not trying hard enough, of giving up too easily, that we should stay for the good of the children. As women are raised and conditioned to believe that being married and staying married is the ultimate goal, men are getting better and better at hiding their abusive tendencies. They wait until after the wedding to show signs of abuse, or they wait until the woman is pregnant, or he has alienated her family and her friends away so she is isolated and completely dependent on him. It's a gradual process, and it is a vicious circle. Women who have been raised in an abusive household will more than likely end up with someone toxic.


I decided to break the cycle. I want better for my children, and I will keep that mentality the rest of my life. Because in the end, could you live with your children hating you? Your children will most likely outlive your spouse, and they are the ones who will take care of you when you get old. They are all that will be left of you when you are gone. Do you really want to send them out into the world with emotional baggage already? You can get a new lover or partner anytime, but you can never replace your child. 


My advice to you, as someone who was raised in an abusive household and someone who had children with someone that was abusive towards me; put your kids first. At the first sign of foul play towards you or your children, run and never look back. Do it for yourself as well as your kids. You and your children deserve to be loved, happy, and most of all safe. Make the right decision.



How To Encourage Kids To Use Educational Toys

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 10, 2020 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (5)

by: Stephanie McEndree



Kids often enjoy games and toys that aren't that educational, and will often go for those first. While free play is crucial to the development of young children, it's also advantageous to give them the biggest variety possible. With educational toys and games, parents are able to focus a child's learning on a particular area they need to perfect. Whether it's a toy or a game, here is how to keep your child's attention and get them interested in what you want them to do. Some children need more encouragement than others, and simply requiring them to do something brings about tantrums and meltdowns when it comes to playtime. Here is a more gentle and subtle approach to take.


Get out the toy. It's good to get the toy or game out as obviously as possible. You want to peak your child's curiosity as well as get them intrigued with what you're doing. This is often the case with young children, they always want to know what their parents are doing. If your child is indifferent, that's okay. You still have more steps to do.


Announce you're going to play with it. This is often enough for elementary-aged kids to swoop in and say, me too! Or for more demanding kids to swoop in and grab it, then play with it or run away. However, it is also often that this merely peaks the child's curiosity. Some will continue to do what they were doing, especially if they are very concentrated.


Hint that you need help. If it's a game, you can say aloud that you need help in a vague way. If the kids don't volunteer, you can try asking your child for help, or their opinion. For example, ask where they think a puzzle piece goes. This should engage the child and draw them towards you and what you're doing and encourage their participation. Be sure to continue interacting with the child so that they stay interested.


Hint that you'd like to play with someone else. You can say out loud that you don't want to play alone, that you'd like to play with someone else. Some children may then volunteer themselves. If they don't, you can always ask them directly if they would play with you. If they don't want to, you can ask if they would like to play with you later. If they say no, then it's probably best not to force it. However, I've found that this generation of children tend to want to play with their parents more than my generation. So, they should be happy to play with you.


Do the activity together. Once you have the child's attention and they decided they want to play with you, go ahead and play the educational game or with the toy together. Some simple games and toys are considered educational, such as building a tower with blocks. This is a popular way for doctors to assess a child's development. You can also use toys that help children practice buttoning, zipping, tying things such as shoe laces, onesie snaps, or coats. 


Got any more ideas? 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!

How To Get A Full Body Workout Indoors

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



With the coronavirus happening, it's impossible to get to the gym. Here is how you can get a full-body workout from the comfort of your own home. Remember to stretch first!


Jumping jacks. These work out the full body and you don't need any equipment. All you need is the weight of your body. When you start feeling the burn, that's when you know it's working. You move your arms and legs which gives them a workout, you engage your core as you jump to keep your balance, and it engaged your glutes when you slap your legs back together. Your chest also gets flexed as you move your arms apart and together.


Stair runs. Run up and down the stairs and it doubles as cardi an strength. It's equivilent to a stair stepper and a treadmill at the same time. Keeping your balance engages your core, and your legs and glutes get a good workout. Move your arms up and down like you do when you run, and you will work out your shoulders, biceps and forearms as well.


Push-ups. These are great for upper-body strength. If you're a beginner, you can always do wall push-ups or ''girl'' push-ups. If you are more advanced, you can always push yourself up and clap your hands before landing, or also do one-hand push-ups. Depending on where you place your hands on the ground, you can work more your shoulders or your chest as well as your arms.


Crunches. These work your abdomen. They are easier on the back than sit-ups. This is what people do to get a great-looking core. If you want to get abs, you have to do crunches. These mostly work your upper abdominal muscles and make it easier for you to keep your balance and get up from a sitting or laying down position.


Lunges. These are great for your legs and strengthen your glutes. You can do jumping lunges, alternating lunges, or side lunges. They work your calves and thighs and are very useful to keep you limber, strong and fast. It's great that you only need your body weight, however you can add some weights and work your arms at the same time as well.


Squats. These are great for both legs and glutes. They tone your backside and your legs at the same time! Since the hips are the heaviest part of the body, you are giving your legs a great workout by doing squats. You also tighten up the glute muscles, and make it easier to lift yourself up from a sitting position.


Scissors. These will shred your abs. You are sure to feel the burn with scissors. These work your entire core and are a surefire way to get abs. For those who don't know what scissors are, it's when you lay down and point your left knee and your right elbow together, then right knee and left elbow, and back and forth. Bonus points for never putting your feet or legs down, as this will maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.


Leg lifts. These are great for your core as well as your legs. Some find it easier to put fists under their backsides to help stablize them. These work your lower abs so you are sure to get a six pack or even an eight-pack instead of just the four-pack that crunches can offer. If you never let your legs hit the ground, you add more resistance and you get the best effects from your workout.


 

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I Got Pregnant On The First Try With These Tips

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Getting pregnant can take a young, healthy couple up to twleve months. But who wants to wait that long? Here are the tips I used to get pregnant on the first try, not once but twice!


Chart your cycle. There are plenty of free charting websites out there. Personally, I am partial to fertility friend. Record the first day of your period and you will recieve a fertility estimate of the days which you are the most fertile. It will even predict your ovulation day. This way, you know which days you should be having sex to maximize your chances. You should have sex the day before and the day of ovulation.


Use ovulation predictor kits. Never use first morning urine, however, as LH is synthesized in the morning. By peeing on these sticks, the lines will let you know whether you are ovulating or not. If the control line is darker than the test line, then you have not ovulated yet. If the test line is darker than the control line, then you are ovulating and it's time to get busy!


Take prenatal vitamins. You should take these three months before you even start trying to get pregnant. These vitamins prevent neural tube defects, and the folic acid boosts fertility. If you take certain SSRIs, be sure to take 4mg extra of folic acid as well. Be sure to check with your doctor first.


Don't spit. It can be tempting to use lube, water, or even spit as lubricant. Saliva kills sperm, so it's better to avoid using saliva as lube. If you want to have oral sex, wash thoroughly after with soap and water to avoid the sperm dying. If you require lots of foreplay to self-lubricate naturally, I highly suggest lots of kissing and manual stimulation.


Lay still. After the deed is done, put a pillow under your hips and lay still for at least 5 minutes. This gives ample time for the sperm to swim up the cervix and to your waiting egg. Scientifically, it hasn't been proven that more than 5 minutes works, so you can go ahead and get up after 5 minutes.


 

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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 Balance Motherhood And Dating

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 5, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Melinda Humpherys



It can be tricky to know the rules for motherhood and dating. There is no rulebook for this, and every mom has a different opinion. Here are some tips picked up along the way by single moms everywhere.


Meeting the kids. Don't let your date meet the kids for as long as possible. This is essential to keep the lives of your kids secure and stable. You want to know for sure and be certain that things will work out with your date in the long run before introducing them to your kids, so if you do break up, your kids aren't crushed about it.


Background check. Check to make sure your date doesn't have any recent criminal history, especially anything dangerous such as violent crimes, drug crimes or crimes against children. Trust me, you don't want that around your kids.


Demeanor. Make sure you pick someone who is kind and patient. You want to show your kids what a healthy relationship is all about, and how a woman should be treated.


Tell your kids. Let your kids know that you are back to dating again, so it doesn't come as a surprise when you do introduce someone. Be sure to have them talk about their feelings with this news.


Stability. Learn from my mistakes and be sure you pick someone that has their life together. Make sure they have a job and their own place. The last thing you want is to be supporting a leech as well as your children. No one falls in love faster than a man who needs a place to stay. Be very vigilent. 


Family. Pay close attention how your date treats their mother. This is often indicative of how he will treat you, and will show how he's been raised. 


Friends. A man who treats you the same way whether in front of his friends or not, is a real green flag. This shows he isn't too proud to treat you well and his friends don't find him ''cool'' if he acts like a jerk.


Listen. Does he express differing views from your own? Does he say that it's all his ex's fault for the breakup? Does he seem hung up on his past? These are all things to look out for. When you do visit his place, check to see if it's very messy. You don't want someone you will be picking up after as well as yourself and your kids.


Have fun. When you make time away from your kids to go out, whether with him, friends or family, be sure to have a good time. It's good to be out of the house, so enjoy it!

 

 

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