You know how you set out to do something, but then life gets in the way? well that is what has happened with my blog, even though blogs are about life in general, this one got put on the back burner. I am back and ready to share motherhood, business ownership and parenting a very strong willed four year old girl!
Cake Making and Popcorn Cakes! January 6, 2009
Toddlers often want to help in whatever we as parents are doing and my daughter is not different! A very good friend of mine asked if I would design her daughters birthday cake and of course since I love to draw and have an art degree I never use, I agreed!
Shayna wanted to do this with me so instead of having her help me decorate the cake I was working on we gave her her own, but instead of cake we gave her a popcorn cake and cake frosting to go wild with, not only was it easy it was somewhat healthy (well the popcorn cake part). We gave her all sprinkles her little heart desired and knew it would be a mess but it gave her a sense of confidence and ownership of her own creation. If we look at everything we do as a learning opportunity we are doing our job as parents and allowing our little ones to explore the world they live in!
My toddler is better at customer service! January 5, 2009
As the holiday season winds down, I am left with thinking that those who have jobs should feel very lucky, but yet I am met with unfriendly, unhappy sales associates wherever I go! I am a friendly person and always say thank you and please, but this seems to be foreign to many people these days! I went to a very exclusive mall here in california, mainly to take my daughter on the amazing carousel they have, but it was closed so we shopped a little here and there and every store I went into, three to be exact Nordstrom, Macys and Baby Gap I was met with associates that were annoyed I was there! I asked to have my daughters foot measured and the male associate acted as if I had just ruined his day, my gosh its his job! and there are so many people losing jobs these days that he should be happy his store is not going under! I tried to make all the associates smile with a little humor and a please and thank you for your time, but it did not matter, I left with a bad feeling. I was in sales 15 years of my life and I never, ever tried to make anyone feel as if they were bothering me, they were why I got a paycheck!
I think toddlers are the best customer service associates, they say hi to eveyone, they always want to help (even if its a task they can’t handle) they will talk your ear off making you feel you are important, they ask alot of questions showing interest, I think we need to take a better look at toddlers and follow their lead in customer service, they can’t teach us anything worse than what we are experiencing now! Just a thought!
Toothbrushing and Step Stools! November 17, 2008
Having a toddler and figuring them out is like a huge maze that you often get lost in! One of the big struggles we have is brushing my daughter’s teeth, and we all know how important that is, but I tell you there were times I would think they were just baby teeth that she is going to fall out so why fight the battle! Now all of you dentists, please don’t yell at me! I know as an adult that it is important for gum health and for creating routine.
I started thinking why is it such a struggle?, well my daughter is very independent and wants to do things her way or have it be her idea. I realized that if I make it a game, something she enjoys to do and can do on her own then maybe she would be more willing to play!
I had purchased a step stool (pink in color) for her to be able to wash her own hands at the sink, but she likes it so much it now lives in her room. many times I caught her on the stool trying to reach something on her dresser, that’s when the light bulb came on! I decided one night that I could no longer go through the fight of the brush routine, so I asked her to get her toothbrush and toothpaste from her room ( I put them at a level that she could reach) she ran to her room and came back with both items! she was so happy she did it herself and her dad and I clapped! She opened wide for the first time so I could get a good brushing!
Yes it was that simple! She has now decorated the stool with stickers we gave her, making it more her very special item! I have to remember that at 2 1/2, children want to do everything they are learning with every move they make. There are battles to fight but maybe if you take another look at your battle you may come up with another game plan. Good Luck and enjoy the maze!
Its a crazy world out there, lets get creative! October 22, 2008
I figure its time to address our current economic situation and share with you some ideas of how to get through it with your pockets and minds attached! As you have read I run a mothers group and have recently reached out them letting them know that I am sensitive to the current economic situation, and want to be proactive on helping them and our group survive with little or no bruises!
I have asked them to be creative and submit ideas on how we can save money as a group and still enjoy our outings and time with our children, because of course you never want to loose sight of the reason we are in a group, which is the support but also more importantly that our children are having fun while in a social and educational environment!
Here is the number ONE idea submitted:
- Book, clothes and toy swap (we do this once a quarter but now we will do this more often)
The Idea for a swap is to bring your lightly used items or items your child has grown out of, to an open location (we use a local fire station room, free to us through our community) and then lay all our treasures out by size and category. This has been a great success for our group, and very cost effective. We decided to donate any leftover items to a local Mother’s shelter, so not only are we saving money we also are helping others!
You can host a “Swap” Party at your home or call your local city and find out if there are any free rooms you can use if you are a community member, libraries don’t work because they usually ask that you have liability insurance. Even if you are not part of a group, I assure you if you put out flyers for such an event you will get people to participate. Ask the school that your child attends, if you may post the invite details, and maybe tell them you will donate any items that are left to them, or to a local home or shelter of their choice. Like I said be creative!
Our second most popular idea is to have a babysitting swap, since we all know that babysitters are not very affordable when you are trying to cut costs! We have established a day we call “Mommies Moment Friday” MMF for short. We establish what mom or moms will participate each Friday and limit the children to 3 per mom, then we ask for moms to put their names in for that Friday and the first 3 or 6 moms that respond are awarded the time to take 2 hours maximum to run errands, see a movie or whatever they prefer to do with their time, the moms that are doing the sitting are automatically given the spots for the following Friday, that way every mom is given a chance to participate.
If you have an idea or ideas, I would love to hear them! so put your thinking caps on and lets see what all of you can come up with!
Pizza and Pumpkins! October 13, 2008
When you have a 2 year old you often try to think of ways to keep them occupied, but we forget that they are so easily entertained! Include your toddler in everything you do, this is a great way for them to feel included and to take the moment to teach them a new skill.
I don’t know about you, but my two year old is not the easiest toddler to take to a restaurant! So my husband and I decided to have a fun family Saturday night, and make our dinner at home while incorporating a fun project! Homemade pizza and carving pumpkins! Shayna had a great time having her own dough to roll out while Mommy and Daddy tried to become Pizza chefs! She learned about fresh dough and how much fun it can be just rolling it through your fingers, then when it was done being rolled out we helped her make her own pizza so she could see the end result!
Including your child in what you do daily is rewarding, you get to watch their world get bigger and their vocabulary expand, everything you do can be a learning event. So try your own Pumpkin and Pizza night, I guarantee it will put a smile on your face and your child’s!
Pine Cone Bird Feeder is a Hit! October 8, 2008
My daughter is amazed by birds! so we made a pine cone bird feeder today, its the second set we have made, she is learning to watch the birds eat the seeds from the pine cones and be very quiet as not to scare them, I let her take pictures with our digital camera, I will show you those below, but I wanted to urge all of you to take your little ones outside and explore the wonders of nature! We made 3 pine cone feeders, one for mommy, daddy and Shayna. I put the peanut butter on she rolled the bird seed onto the pine cones! she was not only making pine cone cone feeders she was learning about texture and creativity! She loved that I let her make a mess.
All you need is a few pine cones gathered from the local park (Shayna and daddy’s job) then a little peanut butter (Smooth) spread all over pine cones, put bird seed into a bowl and have your child roll the pine cone around in the seed, add a string and you are ready to hang from a tree. Shayna is so proud of her creation she wants to see them everyday and watched the birds feed from them.
A simple fun project that allows for creative play and accomplishment!
Below is a pic Shayna took! (hmmm maybe a photographer in the making?)
Why Join a Mother’s Group? October 7, 2008
That’s a great question and one that I asked myself when it was mentioned to me. I did not want to join a group of women that I never met nor did I know how to get out of the house and find one! But after 6 months of being home everyday with maybe a trip here and there to the store, I decided I had to do something. I looked on the Internet and found many groups but just was not sure how to go about joining in and I wanted to know so many things, so instead I started my own group thinking this was a way to start from scratch and I could run it my way! that’s how www.coastalcuties.com was born.
The way I started the group was to put out a flyer to the local parks and recreation classes, I had the name of the group, a little about me and why I started the group and a few ideas I had for outings for the group. I set up the first meeting at a park and gave each mom a care package that had healthy snacks, 11 moms showed up! I realized I had done something valuable.
So if you find yourself wandering Target several times a week, or have so many questions and concerns your head is spinning? I guarantee you will get what you need from a moms group, but do your research, find a group you are comfortable with, do the moms support each other with out judging? are they friendly and welcoming? do they greet new members with open arms? How often do they meet? Do they have a once a month mommies night out? are there membership fees? what type of events do they plan? what is the average age of the children in the group?
These questions are important and will help you find the group that fits your life and your child’s.
Rock climbing with my moms! Fun for you and fun for your child is the key to a mother’s group!
If you have any questions on how to start a mom’s group of your own or where to locate a group in your area, feel free to contact me! I would love to hear about your moms group and what makes it work for you! Happy Blogging!
About me! How did I get here? October 5, 2008
I’m Andrea a mom to a 2 1/2 year old daughter named Shayna (her name is hebrew for “beautiful”) and wife to Jeff (who will share his own experiences from time to time!). We live in California near the coast (hence the name!) There’s lots of chaos and craziness in our life, but so much fun as well!
I started this blog in October 2008 to encourage, inspire, and support moms and anyone else who happens to stumble upon my site!
A little about me, Well…I run a mother’s group that has a membership count of 135 moms! (more about that later) I am currently working on my own baby product line to be released this year (cross fingers) so my time is filled with moms, children and business (is there anything better?) I am a 42 year old mom, my daughter was my 40th birthday gift, try to top that gift! she is amazing in every way and a tough cookie! she was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis (try to pronounce that one!) at 3 months old. We were told that her soft spot prematurely closed or did not open at all and that if we did not take care of it she could end up with some disabilities, so at 5 months she had the surgery to open up the soft spot and have her forehead and eyebrow area restructured. She pulled through with flying colors and is now the smartest, energetic kid I know!
This is Shayna and her best friend, our dog Duffy. He was named for a boat I wanted “A Duffy Electric Boat”, but instead I got the dog, who I love very much.
So how did I get here and by here I mean blogging, I thought it was time to join all of you ! So join me on my journey from my coast to yours! Happy Blogging!