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4 important things to do once baby arrives

4 important things to do once baby arrives

Life can be one big blur of diaper changes and spit-up once your baby finally arrives. And when you’re just trying to survive the day, it’s hard to think about the essential things you need now that you’re officially a family. Here’s a handy to-do […]

Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers Giveaway

Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers Giveaway

The first time I thumbed my way through a Best of Bridge cookbook, was when I moved out of my parents house a decade ago. I had no idea how to cook, and I would call my mom at least once a day to ask her […]

How I keep my sanity as a stay-at-home mom

How I keep my sanity as a stay-at-home mom

Transitioning from my daily corporate gig to a full-fledged baby raiser has certainly been an eye opener to say the least. It’s been a little over two years since I traded in my blazers for baby bottles, and while I don’t miss the daily grind of meetings and emails, having my new coworkers keep me company in the bathroom has taken a little getting used to.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to be a stay-at-home parent, don’t let the picture-perfect social media posts  fool you. It’s certainly not all rainbows and unicorns — at least not at first.

It has taken a long time, with many lessons along the way, to crawl my way out from under a mountain of dirty diapers to find balance in my new life. Here’s a few things I do to keep my sanity as a stay-home-mom:

One goal a day

It would be nice to have an immaculate house, the gutters cleaned out, the kitchen floors sparkling and my car washed at the end of the day, but it’s an impossible feat when I’m rushing my toddlers to the potty, breaking up their fights and preparing snack after snack, after snack… after snack. So I set one goal for myself each day — cleaning out the closet, writing a blog post — just one extra thing I want to accomplish before the day is done. Just one.

Head out

The last thing I want to do as a stay-at-home mom, is stay at home. Taking my kids to the playground, the mall or the grocery store keeps my house in a state slightly cleaner than a garbage dump. My kids are also able to play and explore, and I’m able to have conversations with real-life adults — everyone wins.

Clear the calendar  

Besides the occasional playdate or dentist appointment, I try to keep our calendar clear during the week. Not only because life with kids is unpredictable, but because we are all tired. Packing in too many things in a day, a week or a month is sure to end in meltdowns, for all of us. Having a free agenda allows me to sip my coffee a little longer, and let’s face it, coffee is my everything.

Accept the mess

Ah, yes, I could spend the entire day picking up Shopkins, peeling stickers off the windows and washing smudgy fingerprints off of the wall, but it’s a never-ending uphill battle. Sometimes I can only scrub the surface, and that’s okay.

Do my own thing

As a stay-at-home mom, my life may revolve around my kids, but I also maintain a life of my own. As impossible as it seems sometimes, I make a point to do the things I enjoy: reading, writing, listening to music, whatever distracts me from the cartoons and crushed Cheerios on the carpet.

Remind myself 

These moments at home with my kids will only last a few short years. Yes, there are times where I lock myself in the bathroom and repeat a not-so-G-rated mantra, but there are also many milestones I am a part of because I’m home with them, and for that, I’m grateful.

3 tips for your trip to the pumpkin patch

3 tips for your trip to the pumpkin patch

October is pumpkin picking time. If you’re heading to the patch this weekend, here are three things you can do to create a great experience for you and your family. Pick the right patch It’s not all about the pumpkin these days. Most families heading to the […]

5 easy Thanksgiving Day crafts for toddlers

5 easy Thanksgiving Day crafts for toddlers

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and in the Robertson household, we take turkey time very seriously. To help get in the spirit of the holiday, and add a little seasonal décor to the home, we decided to make a few simple crafts. All you […]

Enter to win a ‘My Letter Art’ prize pack

Enter to win a ‘My Letter Art’ prize pack

I love crafting with my kids, but when it’s art time, their patience runs thin. They want to dive right in and get their hands dirty as soon as possible, so it’s essential I have a project on hand, ready to go. I try my best to prep the pipe cleaners the night before, but often I’m too exhausted.

Then I found My Letter Art.

Or rather it found me. Brought to life by a fellow busy mom-on-the-go, My Letter Art provides hands-on, ready-to-go letter craft kits, and ready-made letter art for decorating kid’s rooms or classrooms. The best part? These art projects require zero preparation! As a busy mom with two young kids, that’s a big deal. So when the opportunity to try My Letter Art came about, not only were my kids jumping for joy, so was I!

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I handed my three-year-old a glue stick and she dove right in, creating her letter L. It was simple enough for her to do all by herself, and it was also a great teaching tool for my two-year-old son, who is just learning the alphabet.

Not only are these unique craft products a great way to practise letter recognition and phonics, they sparked some ingenious, impromptu letter games. After we created our letters, we spent some time coming up with some additional items that started with the letter L.

In celebration of all the kids going back to school right now, I thought I would share these great teaching tools with you by giving away a My Letter Art prize pack to one lucky winner.

Enter for a chance to win

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We love My Letter Art so much, we’re giving away five letter projects to one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is one or all (for additional entries) of the following:

  • Share this post with your friends
  • Follow Rock ‘N” Rattle on social media:
  • Comment on this post and tell us your favourite family crafting project.

Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only and ends on September 19, 2017 10 p.m. PST.

Visit the My Letter Art store to learn more about their products. Happy crafting!

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Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this review, only samples for reviewing purposes. All opinions expressed on this blog are my own.

Basic Invite: customizable stationary with a competitive edge

Basic Invite: customizable stationary with a competitive edge

I spent hours combing through Pinterest when planning my children’s first birthday parties. I decided on a theme, I picked out colours, you would have thought I was planning my wedding all over again. I chose printed invitations because I wanted our family and friends […]

5 ways to wind your kids down from summer vacation

5 ways to wind your kids down from summer vacation

There’s a funny thing that happens when summer hits. Our kids’ bedtimes slip later and later into the night, bath time is replaced by a few laps around the kiddie pool, and measuring sugar intake, well, that just doesn’t happen, does it? Is it any […]

Children & nightmares: 6 ways to stop scary dreams

Children & nightmares: 6 ways to stop scary dreams

As a child, I was terrified to go to bed at night. My parents were great parents, but didn’t always censor what I saw on television. I watched what they watched, which were shows such as Unsolved Mysteries and movies like Fire In The Sky. Haven’t seen Fire in the Sky? Don’t. Just don’t. 

Being the youngest, I was the first to go to bed. Every night I would reluctantly climb up the stairs and head down the dark hallway to my room. I made a solid fortress of stuffed animals around myself, and pulled the sheets up to my eyes. 

When I became a parent, I vowed that my children would never be afraid of what lurked in the shadows of their bedroom, even if I was. Then,  just a few weeks ago, after tucking my three-year-old into bed, she whispered in my ear “I have bad dreams,” and the hair on my arms stood up.

Every night that followed, I woke up to my daughter crawling into our bed at 3 a.m. I had to rectify the situation quickly.

Here are a few things we did to help turn her dreams from sour to sweet:

Eliminating the scary stuff: it turns out that my daughter was following in my footsteps and watching a few cartoons that were scaring her. The videos were G-rated and she seemed to enjoy them, but we opted for something a little more upbeat with friendly themes and she started to sleep more soundly.

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Get creative: making a dreamcatcher helped to keep all of her bad dreams at bay too. Making one was a great way to bond while learning about dreamcatchers, and now she feels at ease looking up at it before she falls asleep each night.

A good night story: in addition to telling my daughter stories about pleasant things like princesses and Candy Land, reading books about bedtime fears and nightmares is a big help too, and there are plenty of great titles to choose from.

Bed time fun: hunting for potential closet monsters with flashlights is helpful and fun. One of my daughter’s favourite things to do is cast spells with her magic wand. Right before bed, she’ll give her wand a few shakes and chant “magic, magic, monsters go away.” We have yet to see any.

Something to snuggle with: at times when it’s difficult for my daughter to fall asleep, I give her her favourite doll to cuddle and encourage her to tell some stories of her own. It’s a great way to develop her imagination and have someone there in the bed with her.

Reassurance: each night before I leave my daughter’s room, she asks if I’m coming back. I assure her I am (and I do check on her). I also let her know that if she is scared or needs me, that she is welcome to come to our room. The nights that she sleeps on her, I let her know what a big girl she is, and the praise seems to go a long way.

Disclaimer: nightmares can also be the result of a deeper emotional issues. These tips can help, but if nightmares persist, you may want to visit your family doctor for recommendations. 

 

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Cetaphil Baby product review & giveaway 

Cetaphil Baby product review & giveaway 

With all the fun in the sun, sandy beaches and sunscreen that summer brings, our little one’s skin needs something gentle and hydrating at the end of day. Cetaphil Baby products are perfect for protecting and moisturizing delicate skin. And now that both of my […]