Tips for Parents in Perfecting a Back to School Routine
It’s been a few weeks for most of us with the new Back to School routine. If you’re like most parents, it can be a struggle.
Let’s just say from getting the kids to bed on time so you don’t have cranky kids, to making sure they are off to school with a great breakfast to start their day, we all struggle, both moms and dads to make this transition a success. Summer has ended and that is enough to make us all feel depressed, add the stresses of getting back on a schedule for a successful school year for all.
Below are some tips for you that may help you make everyone a rock star this school year.
- Don’t over book yourself the first few weeks. Clear your calendar as much as possible to make sure you are giving the family time to adjust. You being available will help smooth the process. Don’t over commit with work, including business trips, if you can.
- Prepare school lunches (even if that’s getting the money prepared for them to buy) the night before. That includes getting your grocery shopping done after work or on the weekends. Involve the kids. As you can see the boys and I love grocery shopping for our weekly meals. We’ve all been there, slinging bread around the morning of to get the lunches prepared. Don’t add this extra stress to yourself. Waking up knowing the lunch is in the fridge ready to roll out the door in the morning will make you sleep better and one less thing to worry about in the morning.
- Praise everyone for waking up when those alarm clocks go off. Show the family you appreciate their promptness; even reward the kids, for getting up when those alarms go off in the morning.
- In the beginning, give yourself extra time. Set the clocks a bit earlier until you have it down pat. Allowing an additional 15 minutes for any hiccups or mishaps will take off some pressure for both you and your children.
- Have your meals scheduled. This includes both breakfast and dinner. Having a few nights a week planned out where dinner is ready to go and breakfast isn’t a challenge will take away the stress along with knowing your children are getting their dietary needs met. Parents hate the feeling knowing their kids went off to school with an empty belly or not the right foods to help them get through their day. Make it healthy and build in those foods that will assist in getting them through the long day and new schedule.
- Have a plan for after school. Don’t expect them to know what you want from them after school. Be clear with your expectations of the entire family. Who’s on first? Chores to letting the dog out, make it clear who is responsible for doing what when they return to the home. If homework is the first priority before dinner or if you do it after dinner, be clear with those expectations.
- Review books and schoolwork. Parents should review what your children are bringing home, from books to homework and additional school related papers. Have a bin that your children are responsible for managing, placing items in and being sure you’re seeing them. Nothing like searching in a stuffed backpack for papers. Give them some of the responsibility to help out.
- Ask for help. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed at times, stay calm and ask for help from the family. It doesn’t have to be all on you. Have them help make the lunch one day a week. Give yourself a break once and a while and order take-out. It’s ok to do it and don’t over-react when things don’t go as planned. That’s what parenting is all about.
I hope these tips help, and when in doubt, send your kids off feeling great every single morning!
Celebs are just like us when it comes to their babies, they too are nursing. There has been a recent upsurge lately with celebrity moms being very vocal about their stance on supporting breastfeeding.
We’ve compile a pretty awesome list of celeb moms that are and were proud to breastfeed their little ones.
Jennifer Garner – One of the most down to earth moms in Hollywood, her three children Violet, Seraphina and Samuel were all nursed. “All I ever heard was everyone bitch about [nursing]—nobody ever said,
‘You are not going to believe how emotional this is.’ It’s like, I’ll say I’m going to stop, and then I’m in there, feeding her.”
Tori Spelling was vocal about her “supply” while nursing. Discussing very openly about her lack of “abundance of milk” while nursing son Liam.
Angelina Jolie was on the cover of W Magazine nursing her twins Knox and Vivienne. She spoke about how she tried to nurse both at the same time, and how difficult that really was and eventually just had to have them take turns.
Mary Louise Parker was very happy to show off her nursing body at many red carpet events. Even making statements thanking her son William’s nursing for her curves.
Naomi Watts jokingly discussed fatigue not just on having a newborn but also nursing. Jokingly calling it “lactose lobotomy”
Catherine Zeta-Jones nursed both of her children, Dylan and Carys and discussed how supporter undergarments were a necessity for many of her red carpet events while nursing.
Harlow and Sparrow, Nicole Ritchie’s babies were both nursed but Nicole has made statements where her own diet had to make some adjustments due to some sensitivity to Harlow’s digestive system.
“you really have to cut everything out when you’re breastfeeding.”
Kourtney Kardashian came out being vocal about her not being able to nurse in public because of the paparazzi. She eventually didn’t care and had an “oh well” attitude if someone got an eye shot of something. “My attitude is, if someone sees a little somethin’ somethin’, don’t look if you don’t like it.”
Isla Fisher was open to media outlets about nursing her daughter well into her second year. Even making jokes about Olive going away to university she would stop then.
Salma Hayek, probably one of the most talked about nursing experience; nursing a malnourished baby in Sierra Leone while on a UNICEF trip. Salma admitting numerous times that she was addicted to nursing seeing all the good that nursing does for her child she felt it was very important. “When I see how much good it is doing her, I can’t stop.”
Gwyneth Paltrow, aka the Milk Machine, as she called herself, didn’t take dieting so seriously as she does when not nursing. She felt she had to let up a little bit to be sure she could produce while nursing.
Gwen Stefani was hurt when her son Zuma self-weaned while she was on tour. She said it impacted her hormonally and felt rejected but understood that she couldn’t jump around on a stage and then nurse and do it all over again. “I think it gives you superhuman powers.”
Some quotes from celebrity moms:
“The first time we went out to a restaurant… I had a Hooter Hider on and this guy walks by and was like, ‘Ughhh.’ He was just disgusted. I was like, ‘You didn’t get enough hugs when you were little.’”
“Breastfeeding has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love it! I can’t stop! I think I’m going to breastfeed him until he goes to college! I’m hooked!”
“The only time he cries is if he’s hungry. We all have nipples. I don’t care who I offend; my baby wants to eat. If I can’t get a cover over me quick enough, so be it.”
“I lost most of my weight from breastfeeding and I encourage women to do it; it’s just so good for the baby and good for yourself.”
“I thought, you read all of the stuff in magazines like, ‘Oh, I breastfed my baby and I am so skinny now’ [but] I am breast-feeding my baby and I am not getting any skinnier!”
2014 has already been a baby booming year for many celebrities and the baby news of expecting celebrity parents continues to be on the frontlines of gossip columns. Here are just some of the recent celebrity babies that made the news.
Drew Barrymore and her husband Will Kopelman had their baby Olive two years ago and already added to their family with their new baby girl this summer named Frankie. Their family is growing and Drew looks more beautiful than ever being a mom.
Kelly Clarkson, who just recently was married last year, wanted to get started with her and new hubby’s family. She took to Social Media (twitter) to share her great news of expecting back in November 2013. This American Idol alum and her husband Brandon Blackstock welcomed baby River on June 12th and recently was inspired to create a paint splattered onesie for her online merchandise she already sells. Who knows what’s next for this power house songstress and possibly more celebrity babies in her future.
It was no Scandal to find out and follow Kerry Washington as she was pregnant during the ABC hit show and then recently delivered a baby girl in May. Olivia Pope doesn’t seem like the mothering type, but we know Kerry will be a hit with her little girl Isabelle. The celebrity news outlets are already praising Kerry and her post baby body. She’s getting ready to shoot the next season of Scandal. Producers can let up on the creative ways they went about hiding her baby bump during last seasons’ episodes.
Probably one of the more shocking celebrity babies of 2013/2014 so far has to be Gwen Stefani. As one of the most stylish moms of Hollywood and her newly slotted judge on The Voice surprised us last year announcing her 3rd pregnancy and then delivering little boy Apollo on February 28, 2014. Apollo makes three for Gavin and Gwen, Kingston 7 and Zuma 5. We look forward to seeing Gwen on the next season of the Voice and rumors have it that Gavin will be making an appearance at some point with coaching some of the finalist.
The list could go on and on, just to name some more celebs that delivered babies so far in 2014:
Kendra Wilkinson from Playboy Playmate, Jenni (JWoww) Farley of Jersey Shore cast, Jimmy Kimmel’s wife, Kenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live, Jenna Fischer of The Office and let’s wrap up the news with Lil’ Kim who delivered baby girl Royal Reign. We had to end it on that note with the celebrity babies of 2014, so far.
How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom
How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom —throw a baby in the mix and they can quickly turn into a chaotic event that you hope ends quickly. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the long holiday season full of festive parties and family get-togethers, but this time doesn’t have to be stressful just because you have a baby. Even if you’re planning to host a party of your own this holiday season, making it all work flawlessly—even with a baby to attend to—is totally possible, and quite fun if you plan ahead and expect the unexpected at all times. The following tips on how to dress (you and your baby), and how to cope with the stresses of hosting your Thanksgiving soiree will help you get through, and enjoy, the holiday festivities.
Dress for Success
Since you’re going to be the host (and life) of the party, you should be as comfortable as possible while still looking great. Rather than throw a formal dinner, opt for a casual party instead so you can dress the part and your guests will be comfortable, too. Here are a few clothing ideas that look and feel great!
- Autumn colors – Bring the beautiful fall colors to your wardrobe by choosing an outfit that incorporates brick red, maroon, shades of brown, dark orange or golden yellow. Draw inspiration from this fall color palette to really get you in the spirit.
- Leggings and Jeggings – While your tight-fitting jeans look great, they probably aren’t practical for this holiday. With all the good food you’ll be serving, they will be uncomfortable in no time. Opt instead for a pair of leggings (which are perfect for this time of year) or a pair of jeggings (they’re hot right now). Paired with a tunic top, the stretchy material will allow for overindulgence and still look fabulous.
- Wrap sweaters – utilize a wrap sweater over the top. These are great because they always look great and double as outerwear if necessary. Should you get too warm, simply remove it.
Most moms look forward to the holidays simply because it’s fun dressing the little ones up in pretty dresses and cute little dress pants and shirts. While babies look so cute in these types of outfits, they may not be the most comfortable attire, and worrying about stains can be nerve-wracking. Rather than going this route, choose comfortable, easy-to-manage baby clothes inspired by the holidays.
- Autumn colors – Take advantage of the season’s color palette and dress baby in shades inspired by nature—rich maize, orange, garnet, browns and other warm tones.
- Fabrics – Choose fabrics that offer warmth and comfort such as velvet or corduroy as these materials convey a holiday-type feel.
- Garments – Layers are a good idea for baby because you can remove some if he gets too warm or when it’s feeding time to avoid stains. Onsies work great for layering because they keep your baby warm and come in many designs suitable for the holiday season.
- Shoes – Shoes are optional because it’s your casual party, but if you forgo them, be sure to have a pair of coordinating socks on those cute little feet.
- Accessories – Accessories such as hair bows can be added to “dress up” your child’s look a little bit, but ultimately, aren’t necessary.
Dealing with the Stress
It can be a big job hosting a Thanksgiving Day party, no doubt, but with the following 11 tips, the festivities should go off without a hitch.
- Make Lists – To keep things organized so you don’t forget anything, make a list (or lists) of things you need to buy, things you need to do, and who’s coming. Mark things off as you complete them. By doing so, you’ll get everything done and feel accomplished without stressing over what you may or may not have forgotten.
- Delegate – As you make your lists, decide what you have to do and what others in the household can comfortably manage—this includes helping with the baby. By giving over some of the work that needs to be done, you take some of the stress off yourself.
- Cook Ahead – Do as much ahead of time as possible. When the little one is taking a nap, do what you can to get ready for the party so you’re not trying to deal with a fussy baby and put a party together at the same time.
- Take Shortcuts – Don’t think you have to prepare everything from scratch. Take advantage of pre-made or boxed items when you can. More than likely, your guests will never know the difference.
- Stock up on Snacks – Hungry guests aren’t happy guests, but if you keep an array of snacks on hand to tide them over until mealtime, everyone’s happy. Shop ahead of time and take advantage of sales on cookies and crackers. The same goes for drinks.
- Decorate Smart – Decorate your house for the Thanksgiving holiday with simple decorations like pumpkins and fall inspired table settings. There’s no need to go all out—just strategically place a few fall decorations here and there, but out of baby’s reach if he’s at that age.
- Tidy is Good Enough – Your guests aren’t coming to your party to see an immaculate house. They’re coming to see you. Don’t spend days on end cleaning from top to bottom. If you have a messy room, simply shut the door. Too much clutter? Gather it up and place it behind closed doors.
- Make it a Buffet – Don’t feel the need to put on a formal dinner for your guests, especially if there are a lot of them. Simply make the meal buffet-style and let them serve and seat themselves.
- Background Music – They say music calms the soul, so play some festive holiday music in the background to help guests get into the spirit. You’ll be surprised at what a little holiday music can do for your mood.
- Don’t Stress about Tradition – If you try to live up to another family member’s longstanding holiday traditions, you may become overwhelmed. Your grandmother had her traditions, but this is your party. Start your own traditions and keep fond memories of hers.
- Look for the Signs – Just as you can get overwhelmed during the holidays, your baby can too. Upsets in a child’s routine can send him spiraling into a meltdown quickly. Watch for signs of fussiness and irritability in your little one and have a plan in place for dealing with it. Make sure there’s a quiet room in a different part of the house where he can go when he gets tired or the festivities become too much. Appoint other family members to help out in caring for the baby during the party so you can enjoy it, too.
So, did this help ” how to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom”? I certainly hope so! And Happy Holidays!
In an interview with CNN slated to air September 15th, Prince William reveals the nursery décor for the new Prince of Cambridge, George. Deciding to bring his love of Africa to his new son’s nursery decor, the royal couple is going with a jungle theme of sorts. In the one-hour special, William says, “I’ll have toy elephants and rhinos around the room. We’ll cover it in, you know, lots of bushes and things like that. We’ll make him grow up as if he’s in the bush,” he adds.
Feeling a strong connection to Africa after having traveled there many times as a child with his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and again several times in adulthood, Prince William even proposed to Kate Middleton during a trip to Kenya. Bringing something so special into his first child’s room was important. The 31-year old new father hopes little George will someday get to experience Africa the way he and his brother, Prince Harry, did on their trips with their parents. Until then, his room in the bush will have to do.
You can create a jungle theme in your baby’s nursery, too. Baby bedding and nursery décor in a zebra stripe pattern adds just a touch of the wild side to your baby’s room. Our Safari series baby bedding is ideal for both boys’ and girls’ nurseries and with curtains, pillows and blankets to match, you can create your own little safari oasis right in your own home. Your little prince or princess will love sleeping in the wild.
Watch the full one-hour special with Prince William, called “Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope” on September 15, 2013 on CNN and CNN International at 10 p.m. ET.
XOXOXOXO, Patty, Owner www.HarperGraceBaby.com
Choosing Colors for the Nursery
Choosing nursery décor for your upcoming bundle of joy is always a fun task. Picking out wall colors, baby bedding, and wall décor to create the perfect ambiance for baby is something you’ve probably given a great deal of thought to. You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so you want it to promote a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. One of the easiest ways to convey comfort and relaxation is with color. Many psychologists believe colors directly affect mood, so decorating the nursery with certain colors can help soothe baby, creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and sleep.
The mood you wish to promote in the nursery will determine the colors you should use. If you’re into Feng Shui, white is a great color to invoke peace, creativity and serenity. It’s also the perfect color because it allows you to be creative with other colors in the crib bedding and accessories in the room.
Blue – Blue colors promote a positive energy. The lighter and softer the shade, the more peaceful the energy, while bold blues are very energizing. Blue is a wonderful color, but you may want to stay away from bright, bold blues in your baby boy bedding because it might deter relaxation and sleep.
Green – Green is the color of nature and one of the most relaxing colors in the spectrum. Soft, light shades promote healthy, restful sleep and can help calm a fussy baby.
Pink – The traditional color for girls, pink in soft shades or used as an accent color can be very soothing and serene. Stay away from bright pinks or an all pink décor because it can be too distracting.
Violet – Violet works in much the same way as pink. In soft, light shades, it promotes calm and serenity. Avoid bold purples in your baby girl bedding as it may be too distracting for a restful sleep.
Yellow – Yellow has always been a popular non-gender color. However, it may not be the perfect color for nursery décor because it can be over-stimulating and distracting. If you include yellow in the room, stick to lighter, softer shades and use it sparingly.
Brown – Brown has become popular over the last few years in the nursery. It works well with other earth tones but should be only be used as an accent color. Too much brown can squash creativity and make a room look drab.
It’s been awhile I know – but now that we are back on the band wagon – found this great post of Trends in Baby Bedding from one of our manufacturers that we thought would be an interesting read.
Long Story Short – Bold Prints and Big Prints are VERY popular. Tangerine Baby Bedding is perfect for both baby boy and baby girl.
We are having fun with Chevron. Our Chevron Baby Bedding will give your nursery a modern, clean look. Now available in Charcoal, Fuchsia or Tangerine. Crisp white & gray, hot pink or orange lends a fresh feel to your new baby’s room. Chevron Baby Bedding is available as a 4 Piece Set (includes crib bumper, crib sheet, crib skirt and blanket), 3 Piece Set (includes crib bumper, crib sheet and crib skirt), 2 Piece Set (includes Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt), or each piece can be purchased separately. Other coordinating accessories include Throw Pillow, Curtain Panels, Changing Pad Cover & Fabric by the Yard. Choose optional monogramming for your baby bedding, which is available in a variety of fonts & colors. Please allow 1-3 weeks extra production time if monogramming your bumper.