Wednesday, 21 August 2013

When Volunteering Becomes a Full Time Job

I received an email from AYSO soccer and they are looking for coaches.  Immediately, I thought I might coach my 7-year old daughter’s team if I could get a friend to assist me.  When I mentioned it to my husband, he said, “ABSOLUTELY NOT!”  I don’t really blame him.

A few years ago I was volunteering for everything.  I had two leadership roles; as a mom room for one child’s class and the Girl Scout leader for another child among the many other volunteer jobs I was doing, all with a small toddler at home.  By the end of that year, I was a disaster.  While I enjoyed being with my children and getting to know their peers, there were many parts of the volunteer jobs that were not a lot of fun.  Plus, I still had all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, paperwork, etc. to handle at home.

One of the reasons that I stay home with my children is so that I can provide an organized and calm home life for my children and for my husband.  I want to decorate for every holiday.  I want to have a home-cooked meal on the table most nights.  I want the kids to come home to the aroma of cookies baking in the oven.  This was not happening.

In recent years, I still volunteer a lot in my children’s classrooms but without taking a leadership role.  This allows me more flexibility.  I am also focusing on my children, their academics, extra-circular activities and sports.  Oh, did I mention school projects.  As your children get older, you will see the projects they are assigned and realize there is no way they can complete this projects without help from you and many trips to the craft store.

Kudos to all the moms that step up and take the leadership roles.    It is great experience for moms that are out of the work force because you can put it on your resume if you decide to re-enter the work force one day.  I am sure that I will again take on a leadership role but for now, I will enjoy being a a worker bee instead of a queen bee.

 

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Winners Announced! Labor Day #WorkforceGEAR Giveaway!

You all labored well over the course of this giveaway and we thank all for your efforts!  Here is a link to the winners on our partner’s site Kanga Care  Stay tuned for the next multi brand giveaway!

 

You work HARD and deserve a Labor Day Giveaway worthy of your efforts!  In your honor, we are partnering with some of the hippest baby gear companies to bring you the #WorkforceGEAR Labor Day Giveaway with 3 grand prizes totaling almost $4,000!  Check out the 25 GEAR companies represented and enter below.  Contest starts on 8/20/13 at 7 am MST and winners will be announced on Thursday, September 5.

 GOOD LUCK to all you laborers out there! Enter the Rafflecopter below and PLEASE SHARE!

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How to enter:
Start: Tuesday, August 20th – 00:01 am
End: Tuesday, September 3rd – 11:59 pm

Use our easy form below to:
Like each of our sponsor’s Facebook pages
(Bonus entry!) Post a picture of how your family relaxes on Instagram
(Bonus entry!) Follow our sponsors on Instagram
(Bonus entry!) Follow our Sponsors on Twitter
(Bonus entry!) Tweet about the Giveaway
How are winners picked and when will you know who won:
2 winners will be selected from among the Instagram submissions
1 winner will be selected at random through Rafflecopter
We will announce the winner on Thursday, September 5th.

Full entry here.

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Get Active and Stay Active with the Whole Family!

I’ve been working really hard this summer to get healthy. Being a work at home mom during the summer home with kids I want to make sure they too are staying active and the best way for all of us to do that is to do it together! Of course if you are in the high temp weather areas please use caution with some and always remember to drink lots of water and have it with you at all times for everyone!

10 Ways to Get Active with Your Kids in Tow

1. Go for a walk. No matter the age, no matter the ability it’s one thing everyone can do together. Put the little in the stroller and go. We also use this time to get the dog out. We have everyone taking turns holding the leash and Gavin has become much more confident in taking care of our pet as a result.

2. Swim. Swimming is a great way for everyone to stay cool and exercise at the same time.

3. Jump Rope. Did you know if you want to burn a lot of calories fast you should jump rope?

4. Run. This is a new one for me as I’ve stepped up my walking. I have the kids take their scooter so they can keep up with you.

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5. Hula Hoop. Not only is it fun for them but let’s talk about what a HUGE calorie burner this is.

6. Garden. Not only do you benefit from fresh vegetables to teach healthy eating but you can also burn a lot of calories when you’re moving all around digging, weeding, and planting your plants and vegetables.

7. Take a bike ride. This is a fun one that can be fun and you can make it short or long or the way to get to one of your plans for the day. I find children go farther and longer on their bikes.

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8. Play Wii. Many games are now made specifically with weightloss in mind. My boys love games where they can dance and since and before you realize of you’ve burned through 600 calories and you’ve had a fun night.

9. Rollerblade. This one is great for just mom too if the kids want to scooter or bike faster then you can walk or run.

10. Take a hike. My kids love exploring and I love climbing. If you plan accordingly your kids will find hiking fascinating. Not only will they not realize the exercise they are getting but being outdoors with nature is very educational too!

Contributed by Jennifer @ momspotted

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Is My Scale Broken? or When Did the Scale Jump 25 Pounds…and I am Not Even Pregnant!

After writing my lunch box post and I began to research the idea of “clean eating” and I made the decision to get on the scale.  Wow, that was an eye opener!  Somewhere over the last five years I gained 25 pounds!  I only gained 27-30 pounds when I was pregnant.  How did this happen?!   Oh yes…eating off my kids plates, too many glasses of wine with my girlfriends, take out dinners when I didn’t feel like cooking, buying quick convenience foods and the list goes on.  Some of you may be in my position or some of you may have just had a baby and need to lose the extra “baby weight,” whatever your reason or motivation, I propose we do this together.

I’ve tried all sorts of diets over the years but have only been successful in the short term.  That is why I want to try something new, “eating clean.”   This is more a lifestyle choice than a diet.  Another reason to take this path is my children.  I do not want them to be on a diet or think that they need to lose weight.  I just want us all to live a healthy lifestyle.   There are so many foods out there that are delicious and nutritious that they love.  I want to focus on that.

So, here are the basics on “eating clean:”

  • Eat Whole Foods – Think foods without labels:  vegetables, fruits, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, dairy, etc.
  • Avoid Processed Foods – Basically this is almost anything with a label.  This applies especially to labels with items on it that you cannot pronounce.
  • Eliminate Refined Sugar – Refined sugar is pure calories.

I know this will be a process.  I am not advocating running into your kitchen and throwing everything that is processed in the trashcan….I have a box of Fruit Loops to finish!  And one of my biggest vices is my two cups of coffee in the morning with French Vanilla Coffeemate.  This is going to be a HUGE sacrifice for me.  It’s what gets me going in the morning.  I recommend working through the items you have in your house and then do not buy anything new that is not “clean.”

Here are the steps I will take to jumpstart the plan:

  • Finish my Coffeemate and then switch to green tea.
  • Eat one clean meal a day until kitchen pantry is “clean.”
  • Drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day.
  • Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid second servings.
  • Skip my glass of wine at least 5 days a week.

Let’s start with the clean eating and then we will address getting moving very soon (at least walk for now.)  Walking is great exercise and even better if you are pushing a stroller with a baby or toddler in it!

 

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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Mark Your Calendar… for next Tuesday!

tick…tock…tick…tock…

One week count down to the biggest multi-brand promotion Joovy has EVER done~

Next Joovy Tuesday (Ausgust 20) come back to enter!

New companies. New gear. New rules.

Check out a sneak peek of our brand sponsors.

Stay tuned for contest details and prizes! ‪#‎WorkforceGEAR‬

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

How to Adjust Summer Bedtimes & Routines (or Lack of) Back for School Days

One area of parenting that I am super consistent with is bedtime.  This is mainly for my personal needs.  My husband travels a lot and I need the children to have a consistent bedtime routine so I can have some time in the evening.

This summer, I lost control.  As my children are getting older and able to stay up a little later, I let go of the routine for the summer.  Many nights the children were up WAY to late and other nights I would TRY to get them to sleep earlier with little success.   Most of the problem I believe came not from the varied bedtimes but from the change in routine.  My kids were not thriving without a bedtime routine.  Often, I would skip portions of our evening ritual to move the process along.  This always backfired and it would end up taking longer to put them to bed.

School begins on August 26.  Last night I slowly began to adjust bedtimes. I will move them by 15-20 minutes earlier until we get to the proper bedtime.  I’ve also set our evening routine back in place.  Here is a peek at what it looks like.

  • Dinner (at a somewhat reasonable hour…it’s so tough in the summer when the sun is out so long)
  • Bath for my youngest (the girls like to shower in the morning)
  • Gummy Vitamins (my son has a song called The Gummy Truck he sings)
  • Brush teeth
  • Lay out clothes for the morning
  • Go to the bathroom one last time (at least try)
  • Read books
  • Kiss goodnight and snuggles

Our evening routine has changed over the years.  When the children were small I played music (lullabies) after books and turned on the twilight constellation night light turtle.  Before that, I would sing to them and rock them in the glider.  You need to find a routine that works for you and is age appropriate.

A good bedtime routine is a great gift you can give to your child and an amazing gift to yourself, a peaceful evening.

And there is nothing more beautiful than peaceful, sleeping children.

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Monday, 12 August 2013

A Joovy Story…..

This is Kristy Sevy, you spoke with my mom Janet Muir at the OR show.  You kindly gave my mom two Joovy Boob bottles for my youngest daughter Josie, who has had some health problems.  First, thank you so much!!!  I don’t believe in coincidence, and I have to tell you that those bottles have been life changing!  I know that sounds cliche, but after all we have been through I am entirely serious.

When my mom met you Josie’s NG tube had been out for ten days.  Josie had lost three pounds, with the primary problem being liquid intake.  Unless she began drinking (whether out of a bottle, cup, or one of the special drinking tools I have purchased) the tube was going to be put back in.  The Boob bottle is THE FIRST nipple Josie has consistently sucked and swallowed with.  Josie has tried to drink from a cup, but most of the liquid would end up spilling.

Since December 2012 I have taken Josie to a speech therapist, in hopes that she would quickly re-learn how to suck/drink/eat.  I felt so defeated: week after week there was no big improvement.  About two weeks ago Josie’s doctors and I (hesitantly) decided to pull the NG tube out for a trial period.  She had been eating a decent amount of pureed food, and we hoped her liquid intake would gradually improve.  However, liquid intake did not improve and Josie was on this scary line of almost being dehydrated, that is until the 10th day when I tried the Boob bottle.

Watching Josie repeatedly suck and swallow has been amazing and exciting! Every day since, Josie has improved.  She likes the 0-3month slow flow nipple, as she has better control.  She will actually drink 2oz at a time, which has not happened since November 2012.  I was told that Josie was unlikely to suck on a nipple again, as most babies lose their nutritive sucking reflex around 6 months.  I guess I feel like this is all sort of a miracle.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

As of today there are two major milestones I wanted to share with you: 1.  Josie has gained back the three pounds lost and is definitely getting enough fluid through the Boob bottle; 2. Josie sucked out of a straw for the first time today!!!  I have worked with a speech therapist for months, purchased special feeding/drinking tools, and Josie never once sucked out of a straw or a nipple.  Both my husband and I were amazed.  I can’t thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Kristy Sevy

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Monday, 12 August 2013

Nook in Action, Happy Jackson!

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Joovy Story…..

Hello! My name is Bridget Doherty. I just wanted to drop you a little note to tell you how thankful I am that you made the Scooter x2 product. I have been searching and searching for a stroller that will suit my family’s needs and I seem to have found it. I went to “test drive” one at our local BuyBuy Baby today and it is perfect. My second child was born in September and was in the NICU until May. He came home with all kinds of medical equipment – which takes up lots of space in the stroller. I have been looking for a side-by-side stroller that could handle a ventilator, oxygen tanks, my beautiful baby and my stout 2 year old. I have found lots of tandem strollers that could work, but since my boys spent the first 7 months of Finn’s (my baby) life not able to get to know each other, I want them to be able to ride side-by-side and hold hands. So, in light of all this, I just wanted to say thank you, for making a product suits our needs so wonderfully. I haven’t yet picked up the Scooter x2, but I plan on getting it for Finn’s first birthday in September. I really think that this stroller will be something that we use for a long time. Once I have a chance to test it out, first-hand, I will be sure to pass the word onto all the other NICU parents I have met.
Thanks!
Bridget Doherty

Joovy replies:  Thank you Bridget for contacting us.  It’s stories like yours that compel us!  We are so glad you’ll soon be a Joovy Mom!  Please send us a picture and we’ll replace the one below with your family!

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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

theBabaSling by Joovy Now JPMA Certified! {WIN one TODAY}

Thanks to all who entered and participated in our Joovy Tuesday contest.  We are excited that theBabaSling by Joovy is the FIRST sling to carry the distinguished JPMA certification!  JPMA and Joovy take your child’s safety very seriously and we aspire to the highest standards.

The winner of our giveaway is Ashley Cabrera.  Ashley, please contact us at 877.456.5049 to redeem your prize!

Congratulations!

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The Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA) is a national trade association that represents 95% of manufacturers in the prenatal to preschool industry.

The association was founded in the 50s and has grown to over 250 manufacturers whose focus is to enhance children’s product safety.  JPMA’s extensive history of leadership in juvenile product safety includes the development of a comprehensive Certification Program to help guide parents and caregivers toward purchasing juvenile products that are built with safety in mind.

This year, JPMA introduced a new sling category to the JPMA Certification program.  Joovy is thrilled to be the very first JPMA Certified sling manufacturer and wanted to share this distinction with the world!

Educating baby wearers is of great importance to us at Joovy.  That is why we have a library of videos dedicated to educate wearers on how to properly use and wear theBabaSling with their child.

We at Joovy believe that held babies are happy babies and we are proud to bring you this award-winning baby carrier that now carries the JPMA certification proudly!

Enter to WIN theBabaSling today!  Rafflecopter below image.

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