Nine More Months

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yes, You Should Talk to Your Kids About the Charleston Shooting.

I heard about the Charleston Shooting last night after my kids were already in bed. Usually that's the time where I change into my pajamas, grab a glass of water, and hit the computer. Except last night I didn't even get to my lap top before I saw it on my phone, in my news feed.

9 Killed in Church Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

"Not again," I said to myself. 

I read as many news articles as I could find, as I usually do, to get all of the details. Or as many of the details as I could, anyway. There wasn't much about it yet. Just that it had happened, the shooter, he was a young white guy, fled the scene. That he had attended the prayer meeting before getting up and mowing down as many people as he could. That he spared a life to make sure his "message" got out. That he was still on the run.

I went to bed with an ache in my heart for the victims of this...of this hateful act. For their families. For the survivors. For the church and the community.

Today I woke up and my news feed of course was flooded with news of the shooting. Who the shooter was. What some of his family said about it. That they had caught him. That a woman who was spared was speaking out. That the victims had been named. 

I didn't tell my kids about it this morning. I sent them to school oblivious, unknowing of what some people are capable. It isn't the first time I've neglected to share this kind of news with them. They are young, 6 and 9, and I don't want the weight of the world on their minds when they should be enjoying their child hood. 

While they were at school I read this great article: Charleston Shooting: We Need to Talk About This

It doesn't mention children, but I do believe that they shouldn't be left out. 

We will talk about it. 

Kids are observant. They hear more than you think they do. They hear everything, except when you ask them to do something, really. While they're playing and you're watching that short news clip? They hear it. They may not understand, or they may even misunderstand it. Which is why it's important to tell them yourself.

You can choose how you present the situation and what details you give. You can bring it up yourself, or turn on a news station and wait for them to ask you what happened. I prefer the method of bringing it up on my own.

Choose empathy.

Whatever your beliefs are, leave them aside. Talk about it from a simply human aspect. Leave out numbers, or unnecessary details. "Yesterday a bad man took a gun to church and hurt and killed a lot of people. The man who did it is going to jail, but a lot of people are very sad now."

Be prepared for follow-up questions. 

They're going to ask questions. Maybe even a lot of them. You don't have to answer all of the directly, but be prepared to field them.

Give them a purpose.

If you're the praying type, invite your children, or ask them, if they'd like to pray for anyone. Let them choose. They may surprise you with their answers. If that isn't your thing, ask them what they would like to do. Some kids like to write letters or draw pictures, or make cards for the people involved. Maybe even help raise money for the affected community. Whatever it is, I believe that it's important to their character to become socially involved in times of tragedy.

It doesn't mean that every time something horrible happens you should run and tell your kids. They should still be allowed to be naive, to be kids. I obviously won't be discussing it with my toddlers, but I believe that grade school children have the capacity to not only understand these things, but also to problem-solve where it may be needed. Ultimately it's up to you to choose how you want to present tragedies such as this to your children. 

But, if we want change to happen, we need to build our kids up to help make it happen.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Laundry Tips for Moms of Messy Kids

I was invited to join the #freetobefree linqia campaign sponsored by all free clear and share my thoughts on how all free clear makes life simple and free. With four kids, of course I'm constantly doing laundry. But, I'm not worried about them ruining their clothes. Kids make messes! The only thing I worry about it having the time to fold and put it away.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

20 Reasons You NEED to go to Knott's Berry Farm this Summer!

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

With just two weeks left of school here in South Orange County, Summer is quickly approaching. The little ones are old enough to go on full-day outings now, and  I'm planning on making it the Best Summer Ever. I'm working on our Summer Bucket List to make sure we out do last year's. It's going to epic, and of course it's going to involve visiting our favorite Southern California Theme Park, Knott's Berry Farm.

If you're in the area, or plan on visiting, Knott's has so many new and exciting things happening this Summer. And if you're working on your bucket list too, here's 20 things you can add to it:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Swim Safety Tips with SwimWays

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for #SwimWays. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Summer will be here before you know it! Here in Southern California it's Summer every other week, basically. But real Summer will be here soon enough, and we can't be more excited for all of the fun activities that it brings. Our favorite of course being swimming.

A day at the pool is so much fun for my little ones, but it can be really stressful for me. I used to be terrified to take all four of my kids to the pool without help, which severely limited our pool days, sadly. Over the past couple of years I've gotten a little better, a little wiser, but definitely not older. Anyway, enough denying my upcoming 30th birthday, I've put together some Summer Swim Safety Tips to help keep your kids safe while they're having fun at the pool.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Orange County Community Foundation - Give Where Your Heart Lives

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the client. All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. 

When you make charitable contributions, where do they go? Do you choose based on common interests? Do you give locally, nationally, or even globally? While I personally support any kind of giving, it is most important to me to put my time, effort, and money into my local community. It can sometimes be overwhelming to try to pick from all of the great local non-profits, which is where the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) comes in.

Monday, April 6, 2015

20 Unexpected Uses for Baby Wipes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias

When you have four kids, shopping trips have to be efficient. One of my favorite places to go is Sam's Club because I can get everything I need for the little ones in one place, and without spending our entire paycheck!

Sam's Club's Member's Mark brand has lots of great baby products that fit your life and your budget. I'm fortunate that my two babies can wear the same size diapers, so I can buy one large package that lasts us well until the next big shopping trip.

Another thing I love about Sam's Club is how great they treat their members! The employees are always helpful, and very generous with samples for my kids, too! They also have a great pharmacy to help keep your whole family healthy. You can even find great parenting tips, such as Diaper Rash Basics, and how to deal with picky eaters in this month's online issue of Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine, a free resource provided to Sam's Club Members! The magazine is a great way to find simple solutions for problems, and discover great products at Sam's Club.

As much as I love getting more for my money, I also love getting the most out of my baby products. One of the most multi-functional products that you probably have in your house right now is baby wipes. Those suckers can do almost anything! Since I have a nice stockpile of them, I can keep a package in every single room of the house, for more than just diaper changes. They can do all kinds of things! Inspired by the great tips in the Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine, I've put together a list of 20 things you might not have known you could use baby wipes for!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Five Reasons to Spend Your Spring Break with Knott's Berry Farm

I was given tickets to attend the Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival by the awesome folks at GigaSavvy. They have also provided me with two tickets to give away, so be sure to read to the bottom to enter to win them! No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

At Home with Graco® - The Simple Sway™ Swing and More Multi-functional Baby Products

Tracking Pixel As a mom of four kids, it seems like I'm the resident expert on baby stuff for my friends and family. Even though it may seem like I'm a pro, baby gear is constantly changing and I still feel like I have a lot to learn! Graco® recently sent me a few of their newest products, and invited me to join some awesome San Diego bloggers and moms to learn more about and discuss these must-have baby items. While I've only been having babies for about 10 years, Graco® has been making trusted, quality and helpful products including car seats, strollers, travel systems, swings, highchairs, playards and more for over 60 years.

We all gathered at the beautiful home of Theresa, who is one of the lovely bloggers at Mom Smack. She set up a great brunch for us, and it was nice to just hang out and chat as moms, about mom stuff of course. I left my kids with a sitter, so it was extra nice for me to be able to have uninterrupted conversations. Well, uninterrupted by my kids, anyway.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Great Non-Candy Valentines for Little Ones

Valentines Day is a day to show your love and appreciation for friends and family. Although it's traditionally a holiday for couples, children celebrate it at school with their friends. Growing up, my mom always had a little treat for us on Valentines Day. It always made me feel special to know she was thinking of me that day. 

I decided to continue the tradition with my little ones as well. There is always an abundance of candy choices when it comes to Valentines Day, but I like to choose a gift that lasts longer than one day and isn't filled with sugar. These sweet gifts are sugar free and perfect for your tiny Valentines.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Family Time at Knott's NYE - Giveaway

This post and giveaway is sponsored by our friends at GigaSavvy on behalf of their client, Knott’s Berry Farm. SoCal Locale is running the giveaway and is responsible for the winner selection and prize fufillment.

After you have kids, New Year's Eve becomes a different kind of holiday. No more partying until way past midnight with our friends. Some years we were so tired that we just laid in bed and watched the countdown, passing out shortly after midnight. What a way to ring in the new year!