Friday, April 30, 2010

Embarking on a new Journey...

I've decided to embark on a new Journey...

...And that journey is, I'm going to go back to school! Am I crazy or am I crazy? I know what you're probably thinking, why would it be crazy for me to go back to school? Well, being a stay at home mom to 2 girls who are under the age of 2 and only 13 months apart, babysitting another 5 month old girl Monday thru Friday with an occasional extra kid or two, blogging, doing my wifely duties, taking care of 2 dogs, tutoring...etc. where am I going to find the time to STUDY? I like a challenge, so I decided to manage all of the above and adding school to the mix.

Even though, I'm a little nervous of juggling everything at once, I'm actually really excited and can't wait! My hubby works at Manor College, so that is where I will be going. It's a great 2 year college and plus, I get to go for FREE! Can't beat that. It might be a little weird at times because I have become friends with some of the teachers there and now I will be probably be their student...

I've decided to go for my Bachelor's Degree in Radiologic Sciences. I want to specialize in ultrasounds during pregnancies. Since being pregnant, twice, I was always amazed at every ultrasound session that I had. I couldn't believe that while I was looking at a black and white blob on screen, the ultrasound technician was taking a look at my baby's brain. It was incredible!

Due to lack of time, I will be going part time. I'm trying to make up for loss time by going through the summer. Right now, I'm signed up for 2 online classes, Enlgish and Math. Ahh! I'm so not worried about Enlgish, but Math? I'm horrible at it and don't get it at all, so I will be calling for help very SOON! Summer classes are only 5 weeks long, but tend to be a little more stressful because they try to cram in 15 weeks worth of work into 5! But the good thing is, it'll pass on by quickly. It might take forever for me to complete my degree because I'm going part time, but I don't care as long as I finish, even if that means going to school in my 30's. I figure I get a head start now while I'm still only 24 and my mind is still semi-functional then to start later on and waste all this time. Hopefully, by the time that our girls are in school full time, I will be finishing up school and starting my career!

So here's to me taking a step to better my future and better my family's future. My girls and my husband are my motivation! And here's to a much more busier schedule including dirty diapers, bottles, back to back episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, outside Summer fun and now online, night and possible Saturday classes!

Wish me luck! I'll keep you updated on my new Journey to the future!

-Natalie aka. Manor Student

Celebrate Mother's Day at Michaels All Week Long


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Come celebrate Moms and Grandmothers alike all week long with workshops and goodies just for her!

Michaels is offering week long in store events for you to make gifts for Mother's Day. Here is the calendar of events:

Saturday, May 1st from 1pm-3pm: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day Bead Event" (FREE)
Learn to make gorgeous jewelry for Mother's Day. Create elegant pieces for Mom, or bring her along and create art together. (Gem earrings 1pm-2pm, Glass bead bracelet 2pm-3pm)

Sunday, May 2nd from 1pm-3pm: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day Mug Event" (With the purchase of mug with markers)
Turn an ordinary mug into a work of art. Join them to make a personalized mug for Mom.

Monday, May 3rd from 6pm-8pm: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day Corsage Event" (With the purchase of flower of choice)
Decorate Mom's day with flowers. Create a corsage for Mom that she will cherish forever.

Tuesday, May 4th from 6pm-8pm: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day Spa Clay Pot Event" (FREE while supplies last, clay and pot provided. Products in the clay pot not included)
Honor motherhood with luxury and comfort. Give Mom the gift of relaxation with a crafted Spa Clay Pot.

Thursday, May 6th from 6pm-8pm: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day T-Shirt Event" (With the purchase of T-shirt choice)
Say Happy Mother's Day with one-of-a-kind, wearable designs. Give Mom the gift of your creativity with a handcrafted T-shirt made by you with handfuls of love.

Friday, May 7th from 6pm-8pm: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day Picture Frame Event" (With the purchase of frame)
Frame yourself for Mother's Day. Wish Mom an oh-so-joyous with a thoughtful handmade picture frame and her favorite picture of you.

Saturday, May 8th from 10am-Noon: "Make-It Take-It Mother's Day Card Event" (FREE)
Make Mom a gift that she will treasure forever. Thank her with a heart felt handcrafted card.

Sunday, May 9th from Noon-1pm: "Mother's Day Wilton Cookie Event" (FREE)
Express your love delectable delights for Mother's Day. Join them for a free Wilton cookie event. Decorate a special treat for Mom or Grandma, or invite them along to join in the fun! (While supplies last.)

For more information on Michaels Mother's Day Events or to find a Michaels store near you, click HERE.

Thanks to Bucks County Family Fun Events! for the wonderful head up.

Enjoy and be creative!

-Natalie





Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baskin-Robbins 31¢ Scoop Night

Come out and help Baskin-Robbins honor America's firefighters by participating in their 31¢ Scoop Night!

Join them tonight (April 28th) between 5pm-10pm!

The Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is donating $100,000 to the National Falled Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). At participating locations, you may also have a chance to make a donation to your local fire charities.

My father-in-law is a retired Philadelphia Firefighter Lieutenant and both Lyla and Kalina LOVE ice cream, so you know where we'll be tonight!

Click here to find a store near you!

Everyone is invited!

-Natalie

Monday, April 26, 2010

*CLOSED* Cute Kid Photo Contest- WIN $100 Toys R Us Gift Card- Congratulations to Lucas & Gabriel!





Enter your cutie today and have a chance to win a gift card to Toys R Us in the amount of $100!

As you can see, I've posted pictures of my little cuties! Kalina is on the left and Lyla is on the right.

I'm so not modest when it comes to how beautiful I think my girls are, just like any other parent would think of their kids. So I decided to host a giveaway based on how cute your little one is!




Find a Toys R Us near you on here.


Here is how you enter:

  • Become a follower of my *MOM*ments Blog
  • Become a fan of my *MOM*ents on Facebook or Twitter
  • Become a fan of Toys R Us on Twitter
  • Send a cute photo of your child(ren) with caption of their names & ages to my.moments@hotmail.com
  • Leave a comment on here saying you entered the contest

Terms:
**Ages of children must be between 0-14 years**

You may submit more than one photo if you have more than one child but only one will be the winner.

If you submit a photo with more than one child in it, you would still only receive one gift card in the amount of $100.

Please keep in mind that all photos submitted will be posted on this website.

By entering this contest, you agree with all terms.



Contest will end on Sunday, May 2nd at 11:59pm(est). I will announce the winner on Monday, May 3rd!


Disclosure: I purchased giveaway item.


Good luck to everyone and I can't wait to see some cute pictures!

-Natalie


Cute Kids Contestants:

Caitlyn - 18 months
Alexa - 1 year
Andrew - 3 1/2 years

Alyssa - 19 months
Emily - 3 years
Alex - 2 years
Larissa - 4 years
Preston - 5 years
Serenity - 1 year
Brianna - 10 years
Lucas and Gabriel - 5 years
Anthony - 4 years
Benjamin - 12 months

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Devastation in Rio (Brazil)










By now, you may or may not have heard of the devastation in Rio and Niteroi (across the bay from Rio). On Monday, April 5th, late afternoon, the city of Brazil received 11.3 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. It was the heaviest in 48 years. The results, as you can see from the pictures, were devastating.

Well over 100 were dead before the next day and that was before more mudslides in the area buried hundreds more alive. Niteroi declared a state of emergency while Rio declared 3 days of mourning.

About 4,000 families have been made homeless and 10,000 houses remains at risk.

Health workers will distribute 70,000 aid packages to the victims of the flood. The kits will contain food, clothes and medical supplies.

As you all know, I'm from Brazil, so this story hits close to home, literally. I have family who resides in Rio. Right now my family and I are doing everything we can to help out our country. So far, we have packed 2 huge boxes of clothes and toys to ship over there. We contacted a local church in Rio who are very excited to receive these donations and distribute them to those in need. I'm in the works of teaming up with a moving company to see if we can get any kind of discounts on the shipment. The boxes will costly approximately $230 each to have them shipped to Rio. I will be putting up a huge part of this cost out of my own pocket. My goal is to have at least enough donations to pay for the two boxes, total cost = $460. My ultimate goal is to receive a lot more so we can put together more boxes of clothes and toys to ship to those families who are now homeless and orphans. They literally are left with nothing but the awful memories of what happened.

Please, let's try our best to help those in need out. I couldn't imagine going through a third of what they went through and now still have to worry about where are they going to live, are their families still alive, and so much more!

If you would like to help by contributing in any way, please do so. I will be accepting donations through Paypal. All money donations will be put towards the shipment of the boxes. Any amount counts! Please click the "Donate" button to make a donation. If you would like to make a donation another way, please contact me via-email. After you have made a donation, please leave me a comment with your name and contact information. All donation amounts will be confidential.

I will keep you updated on any additional information. Please pass the word along!

Thank you so much in advance,

Natalie

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day



So today being "Earth Day", I have thought up of some activities to do with Lyla (because Kalina is too young) to teach her some things about the Earth and how to RECYCLE & REUSE.

I got some great ideas from Target at their "Dollar Spot". They have little pots that comes with the flower seeds already. They're very tiny and cute! They also have bigger pots with different seeds that you can purchase separately. You can make it an Earth Day activity, to plant flowers. It also gives your child(ren) a sense of responsibility to water them routinely. I also purchased gardening tools for Lyla. She is such an outdoor girl and loves to play outside. I noticed her interest in helping my parents out in their garden and how much she wanted to play with their, sharp tools, so I got her very own plastic and child-friendly set!

To celebrate Earth Day today, I plan to not use my car today! Instead, I will take the girls for a nice walk. I'm going to bring a trash bag with me and some plastic gloves and have Lyla help me pick up trash along the way. To help save some energy, I'm going to have less Tv and computer time. Although, this may seem like a challenge, I have picked out different Earth Day activities to do with her. Here are 2 that I plan to do today:


Thanks to About.com: Family Crafts for the great ideas! Check them out for a complete list of different arts & crafts that you can do. I plan to use our Home-Made Binoculars on our nature walk today. I can't wait to make my Greeting Card Storage Box because I always feel bad throwing away cards that we receive and they just keep piling up, so this will be a great thing to do!

There are many things that we can all do as a community to help our Earth. Although, this is one day out of the year that we really take focus on it, please try to make everyday Earth Day and let's try to make the grass a little greener on both sides!!


-Natalie

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert at Sesame Place!

You just can't imagine our excitement when I found out that The Fresh Beat Band are going to be performing at Sesame Place! Combine one of her favorite places, Sesame Place, and one of her favorite shows, The Fresh Beat Band, and we will have a very happy toddler!

The Fresh Beat Band will be performing on Saturday, June 19th to Sunday, June 20th (10 AM - 8 PM). Concerts will be held at Monster Rock Theater at 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 4:45pm on Saturday and 10:45am, 12:00pm and 1:15pm on Sunday.*

*Reservations Required- Click HERE to make yours today! They are filling up fast. I just reserved ours for Sunday at 1:15pm (insert BIG SMILE here).

Sesame Place has a TON of great concerts this year! Concerts and Fireworks are free with your paid admission. Visit the Sesame Place website under EVENTS for a complete listing.

Don't forget to follow Sesame Place and my *MOM*ments on Twitter!

-Natalie



Monday, April 19, 2010

*CLOSED* FREE Giveaway: 4 Tickets to Sesame Place! CONGRATS to David Larson!




In honor of my new blog and Sesame Place celebrating its 3oth Birthday, we have teamed up to give you an opportunity to win 4 FREE tickets to Sesame Place!

Don't forget to mark your calendars, The 30th Birthday Celebration season begins opening day, May 1, 2010. (Don't worry, you will get your tickets in time for the opening day.)





Elmosesasm

The all-new, hilarious musical show, Elmo Rocks! Starring Elmo with Zoe, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, will captivate the audience as they see the Sesame cast transformed into "The Rockin' Elmo Band!" Children and their families will love dancing and singing along with this high energy rock n' roll show.

You can also have an Ultimate Birthday Party with Elmo & Friends!

What began as a 3-acre theme park 30 years ago has grown to 14 acres with more than three-dozen interactive activities, including water attractions, whirling rides, an action-packed roller coaster, choreographed live stage shows, furry friends and a musical parade. Sesame Place is located near Philadelphia, in Langhorne, PA.

Visit Sesame Place to learn more about Sesame Place's varied season passports, dining with the characters for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the line-up of special events and general park information.

Here is how you Enter:

- Become a follower of my *MOM*ents. If you're not registered with Blogger already, you must Register, then go back to my page and click "Follow". (FYI: You're not a Follower by leaving a comment)

- Become a fan of my *MOM*ents AND Sesame Place on Facebook or follow us both on Twitter @ my *MOM*ents and Sesame Place

-Leave me a comment HERE on why you think I should choose you! (Please keep it short & simple) Please include your Name & Contact Info.

*The Giveaway Contest will end on Sunday, April 25th at 11:59pm. I will randomly select a winner Monday (April 26th) morning. *

Good luck to everyone!!

-Natalie

Lyla's Cool Trick

On Sunday, the family and I finished off our day at the Cheesecake Factory. My mouth is still watering just thinking about the food and dessert that we had there. Anyway, I don't how familiar any of you are with the show Yo Gabba Gabba, but Lyla absolutely LOVES it! There is a segment on there called "Cool Tricks" where different people, including kids, will go to debut their special talent aka. Cool Trick. In one episode, a little boy's cool trick is to hang a spoon off his nose. Lyla finds his trick really funny. While we were sitting at our table yesterday waiting for our food to arrive, Lyla grabs a spoon and hangs off her nose and turns to John and I and said, "Cool Trick, Cool Trick". We burst out laughing. I don't know any 20 month old that can do this! Haha. Good thing I had my camera with me and was able to capture it on film and in pictures.

Below you will find the video of Lyla doing her Cool Trick!

Let me know what you think of it...

Have a good laugh,

Natalie


GO GREEN with Target

Go Green with Target all week long! Get a FREE reusable bag starting April 18th. Target has teamed up with Tide, GE and Coca Cola to give away 1.5 million reusable bags with purchase on April 18th which was the first day of Earth Week.

The exclusive Target reusable bags are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Quantities limited; no rain checks. Limit one per guest.

This is a great deal with an awesome purpose. I got mine yesterday!

Head over to your local Target store to get yours or visit their website at: http://sites.target.com/site/en/spot/page.jsp?title=earth

Don't forget to GO GREEN all year long!

-Natalie

Friday, April 16, 2010

Congrats to my Hubby!

Congratulations to John Dempster aka. My Husband for his new title as the Head Coach of Manor College Men's Soccer! Woo-hoo! He's been the Assistant Coach for almost 10 years now, that it's great to see him accomplish one of his many dreams. We're so excited about this new journey in his life. There has been an article published about him on the NEastPhilly.com website. Click on the link below to read all about it!


We love you and are so proud of you honey! Keep up the good work!

Love,

Proud Wifey

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Home In Haiti

In just a few days, hurricane season will begin in Haiti. Over 700,000 men, women and children currently have no proper homes to shelter them from the rain. You can help by purchasing a waterproof tent or donating cash to help provide an immediate home in Haiti for those who desperately need it. Although, this is still not a permanent solution or an appropriate form of "Home" but it's a solution for RIGHT NOW! Join the many sponsors and celebrities who are helping out. There are hurricane seasons throughout the world and we all know there are millions of people out there who also need our help, but our main focus right now is Haiti due to their recent devastation.

So far 6,106 tents have been provided for 25,805 people. They are up to $53,240.33 in donations. Let's keep up the good work and not let Haiti faint into the rain because they still need our help.

  • Hurricane Season will start in: 15 Days, 17 Hours, 32 Minutes
Visit the website to learn more on what you can do to help:http://ahomeinhaiti.org/

Also, become their fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to keep up with the updates!

Thank you so much!

Natalie

March for Babies


Don't miss the opportunity to participate in the "March for Babies" walk. It's for a great a cause and as a parent, I can't think of a better walk to participate in. Once you find out that you are having a baby, the first thing you wish and pray for is that they are healthy. Join together to help all babies be healthy one day! When you walk you are giving hope to more than half a million of babies who are born too soon every year. And it funds research to find out problems that threaten our babies. The March of Dimes spends 76 cents of every dollar you raise. Visit their website to register now. You can register as an individual, start your own team or join another team.

If you would like to participate in some way and can't make it to any of the walks, you can visit their website to leave a donation here:


Here is a list of all the walks in the area (PA):

One of the most popular one in Philadelphia is the one that takes place at the Art Museum, so here is the information:

Philadelphia
April 25, 2010
Philadelphia Art Museum
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130 Map It!
Walk Distance: 5 miles
Registration Time: 8:00 AM
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Chapter: Pennsylvania
Phone: (610) 945-6050
Select This Walkor Learn More

You can make a difference today for all the babies that need our help because they are our future!

Thanks to everyone in advance-

Natalie

Shady Brook Farm Carnival



Come enjoy an evening of family fun at the 2010 Shady Brook Farm Benefit Carnival for the Christine McCaffrey Community Emergency Fund. Who doesn't enjoy fun rides, tasty food and exciting games? I know we do!

For more information you can visit their website at: http://www.shadybrookfarm.com/

Here is the weather forecast for tonight through the weekend:

Thursday, April 15th- High 74, Low 49. Sunny with very late showers.

Friday, April 16th- High 66, Low 51. 70% chance of PM T-storm.

Saturday, April 17th- High 58, Low 47. 30% chance of AM showers.

Sunday, April 18th- High 61, Low 46. Cloudy.

Hope you can enjoy a night of fun!

-Natalie



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TAX DAY FREEBIES


Here are some fantastic Tax Day Freebies for you:

1. GO GREEN with Starbucks! Bring a reusable cup to get Starbucks coffee for free tomorrow.

2. If you prefer Dunkin Donuts, get a free donut with your coffee tomorrow morning.

3. If you're looking for something a little sweet, go to Cinnabon for two free sweet cupcake bites!

4. Celebrate a special day all month at IHOP with free food for kids between 4 PM and 10 PM each night until April 30.

**If you're reading this post after April 15 and you're upset because you missed all the freebies, there's still one more tax day freebie left for you at Jack in the Box with free fries on April 16.**

For more freebies on Tax Day throughout the country, visit:http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/taxes/awesome-tax-day-freebies

Hope you enjoy the tips tomorrow, I know I will!


-Natalie

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tilapia Dinner in less than 20 minutes!

MmMm... Gotta love a great Tilapia dinner! Gotta love a great Tilapia dinner even more when you can make it in less than 20 minutes!

We all have those days where time is not on our side and we wish the day had a 25th hour. There's something that everyone wonders about at least once a day and that is "What's for dinner"? Well, if you are pressed for time but yet want to make a delicious dinner, go with Tilapia! Even if you're not a seafood fan like me, this is great because Tilapia does not have that "fishy" taste. The prep. time is quick, the cooking time is quick and eating time I bet will be quick too ;o)

Here is my very own recipe for when I make Tilapia but ShHh don't tell John, he won't be happy that I'm giving away my secret...


Prep. Time- 5 minutes
Cooking Time- 7-10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Fresh (frozen) Tilapia Fillets (I would recommend getting the large bag with the fillets that are individually packaged. It's a lot easier when you are only going to be making a few fillets so you do not have to defrost the whole bag because they're stuck together. It is no more than $10.)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • Butter
Instructions:

In a large skillet, start melting the butter. Place the frozen Tilapia fillets in skillet with the melted butter. Add a cap full of lemon juice for each fillet that you are making. It is about 1/2 teaspoon. You can add more if you like your fish a little more tangy. Sprinkle the garlic salt to your liking over the fillets. Spread about a teaspoon of cocktail sauce on each fillet. Then sprinkle a little bit of the Montreal Chicken Seasoning over the fillet, just for extra flavor and little color! Cover the skillet and let the fillets simmer for about 7-10 minutes until they're ready.

I always make this with a side of rice and pour the leftover "gravy" that it makes over the Tilapia and rice. It's really yummy!

If you do try this, let me know how it turns out and how you liked it!

Enjoy!

-Natalie

"To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today."

(Lyla drew this on her board and told me it was a "doggie")

I love the quote that I used as the title of this post. It's so true. You can't expect for children to remember something today that didn't take place yesterday. As a mom, I try to be a part of every minute of my children's lives. We all know it's impossible, but as a mom, I try. As a parent, you are the most influential thing in their lives and you're the one that has the biggest effect on them. So turn the Tv off and get away from the computer and just sit with your kids. Do different activities, such as, coloring, exercising, dancing, go for a walk, anything that involves interaction with them! When John (my husband) and I see on the news that these kids are violent, insane, depressed and doing criminal things, right away we do not blame kids doing these things, we blame the parents/guardians in their lives. As parents we try to teach them wrong from right everyday to only hope that this will carry on into adulthood. So we can only wonder where are the parents in these cases and who were their influences growing up?

As a stay at home mom, I feel like I have more of an opportunity to spend one on one time with my girls and teach them different things everyday. My 19 month, Lyla, was a very early speaker and hasn't stopped since! She is now saying full sentences when she talks, tells stories, sings complete songs, knows all her colors, alphabet, shapes, characters and counts to 10 in 2 different languages (I'm Brazilian and speak Portuguese, therefore my children will be bilingual). I see signs that my 6 month old, Kalina, will be following in her big sister's steps too! (Not to brag or anything lol) Having that job title as a "stay at home mom", you feel more pressure to expand your children's knowledge because society will expect them to know more because they are getting more one on one attention from you. So I decided to take that role as "teacher" to my kids while they are at home with me. I realized how much fun it really is teaching them something and then watching them learn and perform what you taught them. There is no more gratitude when Lyla is saying or doing something my husband and I taught her and people get so amazed and impressed on how smart she is. That's when I realized how much of an effect we really have on her, especially on her vocabulary (so be careful what you say around them).

There are everyday activities that you can do with them around the house or even while you're running errands that will contribute to their learning. Such as:

-Count Everything- Include counting from 1-10 in everything that you can. You can count with snacks, how many crackers, cereal puffs, friuts etc. you are giving them. When we take Lyla up the steps which she now climbs herself, we always count each step that we go up. Anything that we see in bunches, we will count! It really helps them and they don't even realize that they're learning. Now, Lyla just starts counting things on her own...

-Colors- I introduced coloring to Lyla when she was about 15 months old. That's when she could really hold a crayon and got the concept to brush it against a piece of paper. That's when she drew her first picture that still hangs on my fridge today! I always sat down with her with different coloring books, paper and poster boards so that we could just color it all. She loved coloring on a big poster board. I would sit her right in the middle and that way she could color all around her and not get it on the floor. Every time she picked up a different color, I would tell her what color it was. I started going outside of "crayons" to show her that color exits everywhere else, because she started associating colors with only things you draw with. Even when putting on an outfit on her I would ask "What color is this?" and she would tell me or if she didn't know I would tell her. She now uses color as part of her vocabulary and it really helps you to understand something they want and do not know the name for it. Example: I had a hair tie around my wrist and she kept moaning and groaning for it because she did not know what it was called. I kept asking her what she wanted and she just kept pointing to it from afar. I had no idea what she was pointing at until she said "black" and I looked down on my wrist and my hair tie was black. I was amazed. Even today when she does not know what something is called she will refer to it by the color or shape and I know what she is saying. And we all know how much of a relief it is when we finally know what they want! Make learning colors fun! Lyla loved learning colors with M&M's.

-Talk Your Way Through- When feeding, changing a diaper, cooking etc. don't just do it and say all done! Talk your way through whatever you're doing with your children so they follow you as well. Anytime I change Lyla's diaper, I tell her we're going to go change her diaper. As silly as it may sound, I even tell her what's in the diaper. If I'm going to get wipes, I tell her. I guide her through the whole process. It even helps for her to sit more still because it's like she's hearing a story. Today, if she gets something on her hands that needs to be wiped off, she tells me "Mommy, wipes". So talk your way through anything that you can, even when you're changing they're clothes, you can start teaching them body parts such as arms & legs and left from right.

-ABCs- I bought those foam ABC stickers that sticks to the walls in the bath tub and found out that's a great way of learning the alphabet with them. She likes to go splashing with the different letters and numbers. John now created a game with Lyla that very quietly he will ask her "What letter is this?" and she loves to shout really loud what it is and if she gets it right, we scream really loud. My mother also bought her the aquadoodle that sticks to the wall. I put mine up in the living room at her height. I will sit there with her and draw different things and she will too. The best part of it all that once it dries up, it erases itself and you can color on it all over again! I always write the alphabet on there while singing the song. And now she sings right along with me and knows the different letters even if they are not in order. When she sees a word, she likes to spell it out, it's really cute to watch! (Also, it's a great way to be cute with your spouse. John and I will try to leave each other messages with the letters & numbers, so when we get in our showers, we have a little message surprise!)

-Walk of Knowledge- I love taking my girls for a walk. It's also a great way of your children learning the outdoors. It's almost like they're going on a school trip! We'll point to the trees, birds, leaves, cars, people etc. Lyla loves to say Hi to the different things she sees outside. She's learning and getting some fresh air at the same time!

Here are some tips on how to teach them different things that helped me:

*Be repetitive and consistent- NO MATTER WHAT! Don't think you sound silly or ever think "Oh they're not getting it" because they are taking it all in! One of the first things that I taught Lyla was to answer her name when I asked her what it was. I would repeatedly and I mean repeatedly ask her "What's your name" and I would answer for her "Lyla" and cheer myself on and laugh. She would find this so funny. She couldn't wait until I got to the "Lyla" part so she can cheer with me. Then I would not say the Lyla part and that's where she took over. So it became a game when I asked her what her name was and she would answer me, we would both laugh and cheer together.

*Include teachings in everyday things- Like I said up top, you can include learning in anything that you do.

*One on one- Find one on one time with each child, if you have more than one. One on one time is very crucial at least once a day. They need to feel special even if it's for 20 minutes. They pay attention more and listen better when you're talking directly to them and only them. Again, turn the Tv, computer, cell phone, off and just sit with them. They learn so much more when you're doing it with them instead of just handing them a coloring book and say "Here, go color".

*Don't be the only Teacher- Include your spouse, family & friends to teach them what you taught them already or something new. I found out when I was the only one teaching something to Lyla she would only do it when I asked her to or when I was around. So I started including John and our friends & families to repeat what we taught her.

*Always celebrate & cheer- Even if it's the smallest thing, give a BIG cheer and celebration. They need to feel like what they did was right and fun so they will want to keep doing it.

*Read books- READ, READ, READ! Even if you think you have an energetic child, read to them! Even if you think they're not listening or paying attention. Sometimes I would not read the story inside the books because it was way too long for Lyla to sit still and sometimes she didn't get it. So I made up my own stories as I went along or I would just point to different things in the picture. When rocking her to sleep we would sit with a book or when she was eating. I found that when they are eating they pay attention a lot more as well.

Sorry for the long post, but hopefully these tips were helpful!

-Natalie


Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcome Letter

Hello Everyone,

So to be honest, I have sat down in front of this screen to try to write a creative welcome letter to you, but I keep getting interrupted by "Mommy, I want snack" from my 19 month old and my 6 month old's big, loud screams because I am not fully paying attention to her, and I also babysit a 5 month old who might be waking up from a nap right now...story of my life! ;o)

To keep it simple, I'm a stay at home mom to 2 beautiful girls, Lyla & Kalina, who happens to be only 13 months apart! So you can imagine how busy I am everyday! I also babysit everyday to make some extra money. Aside from all the runarounds, diaper changes, feedings and entertaining that I do here for 3 little girls, I will manage to write a blog with my everyday moments as my new role in life, being a MOM!

Thanks!
Natalie aka. Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Mom, Mom, Mama, Mooooommmmm!
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I'm a stay at home mom to 2 beautiful girls, Lyla and Kalina. In this blog I just want to share with you my everyday, precious moments as a Mom. I also want to provide you with reviews and giveaways!