8 Tips for Surviving Sickness in a Big Family (When Mom Gets Sick)

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Surviving sickness in a big family is no joke, especially when mom gets sick, too. I read a blog post once claiming that once you hit kid number three, the germs can make their way through every family member, cycle back and start again! Is it true? I’m not sure, but I do know that if you have more than three kids and sickness hits, you’re surely in for a long week (make that weeks).

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10 Tips for Better Bedtime Routines (or just containing the chaos)

bedtime routines big families

Bedtime with multiple little kids close in age can be a little chaotic, at least when attempting to follow any kind of ideal routine.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan compared bedtime with four kids to “hostage negotiations in reverse…just stay in there! I’ll give you whatever you want! Just stay!”

I completely and totally agree with him. (Just so you know, if your kids are compliant, peaceful, angelic beings who lay their heads on their pillows without asking and never ever leave their room unbidden, this is probably not the post for you.)

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Decluttering Toys: Our Moderately Minimalist Toy Collection

Decluttering toys is a hot topic among moms today. Minimalism seems to be a lasting trend as so many are seeing and wanting the benefits of owning less stuff, especially families with young children.

When left with a limited selection of the best toys for them, children will play for hours without you needing to push and prod them.

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Why we don’t use “school” to teach hard work

Driving to the grocery store one evening, I tried to explain to my kids why daddy is so tired all the time. You see, my husband recently reentered the field of engineering after a six year hiatus.

For him, every day comes with a new set of challenges. He is re-learning constantly. It’s not re-learning the same things either. Each day, he encounters new programs, new problems, new state regulations, and he’s been at this for three months straight.

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5 Baby Registry Essentials (from a mom of 4)

Making a baby registry for your first child can be like making a Christmas wish list as a kid…almost identical, in fact.

Baby Registries & Christmas Wish Lists

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Do you remember being given a Toys’R’Us catalog as a kid? “Go through and circle what you like,” our parents said.

Oh my goodness, THE BLISS.

Page after page filled with tantalizing, colorful toys. Fifty circles later, I handed it back to my parents, completely clueless about what I really wanted for Christmas.

Now, when my kids make Christmas lists, I take them with a smile and a nod. I secretly know that more than half the items will break or lose their appeal two weeks later.

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How to Encourage Pretend Play (A story of kids needing less than we think)

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Creating an environment that encourages pretend play can feel daunting in our screen-filled world.  Many parents who want to foster their child’s imagination think a play kitchen is an essential toy for encouraging creative play.  In fact, play kitchens are now commonplace, found in most homes with young children.

I fell for it too – believing a play kitchen (and other props) to be absolutely necessary for my kids to play pretend.  

As my daughter approached three years old, I started looking for the perfect play kitchen.  Home aesthetics are important to me, so I prioritized the ones I could handle looking at every day in our small apartment.  

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Developing Your Philosophy of Education (Before You Homeschool)

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“Why do we do this anyways?” Her brows furrowed with confusion.

I felt for my new friend who had been homeschooling for over a year now. I never stopped to ask the question myself until four months into homeschooling…when all the methods I thought would work just didn’t.

And without a good answer to that question, many people quit.

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Why We Stopped Giving “Chores”, and What We Do Instead

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Our kids don’t do chores.

Gasp! Before you jump to the comments for a good rant about the value of contributing to the family via chores, let me explain. Instead of “chores”, our kids do “family service” and “paid jobs”.

Does it really matter what you call it? Whatever you call it, chores are chores, some would say. But I believe word choice makes all the difference, especially when it comes to our attitude towards work.

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Early Potting Training (The Lazy Way)

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Potty Training.

Besides sleep training, I don’t know another two words that have quite the same effect on parents. Both stay at home and working parents alike eagerly scour the internet for the fastest, guaranteed method. With pressure to train kids in time for preschool, we trade training secrets and argue the merits of using pull-ups or not, one day or three days, drinks or no drinks, rewards or no rewards.

Some parents luck out. They have an eager to please, compliant child who happens to be ready at the time the parent initiates training. 

Then there’s the rest of us.

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Apologizing to Your Child: Why Kids Deserve More Than Just an Apology

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My then two-year old stamped his feet, screaming unintelligible words in protest! Apologizing to my child was so not happening.

All I had done was help him undress to get into the bathtub.  Simple. Innocent. Kind, even…unless you’re a two year old who has lately developed the desire to do everything himself.  

Minutes of frustrated dialogue ensued as I struggled to interpret through the tears and screams.  His speech is not awesome in the daily scheme of things.  

Add a tantrum to the mix, and you’re pretty much playing an evil game of charades.  Plus with a baby that still wakes up at night, by bath time, I’m totally fried.  And having played interpreter all day long, I’ve got nothing when it comes to a understanding a tantruming toddler.  

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