Browsing Tag:

kids

Exchange Screen Time for Family Time with Teal Firefly

The other day I went into the kids playroom while they were at school and it dawned on me that the way I spend time with my kids has drastically changed over the last two years.  Two years ago, both started their journey in full day school which meant them spending more time out of the house than in it.  Gone were the days where every waking moment was spent trying to “pass the time” with the kids.  As I rummaged through the jumble of toys, I began to reminisce when the kids were babies. In those days, I remember looking at the clock and wondering how it was only 9 AM when it felt like I had already been up for 12 hours.  The toys and trinkets were my saving grace, and just what the kids needed to keep busy.  While those days were amazing, it didn’t require much more from me other than supervised self-play.

As I filled bags with toys that the kids no longer play with, I couldn’t fight the bittersweet feeling of having both kids gone all day.  On one end I was thrilled to have a little bit more time for myself, but on the other end, I was sad that our time together was reduced to just a few hours before bedtime.  With after school clubs and sports I’m finding that the time I spend with the kids is engrossed in “the grind.” It has become so much more important to make those short windows of time together meaningful in some way.  

Teal Firefly DIY Card Kit
Teal Firefly DIY Card Kit

My daughter, who is seven years old, loves to craft and do projects.  What I learned was that she not only has a genuine interest in doing it, but relishes in the face to face time she gets with just me when working on a project. Juggling time between making meals, picking up, going to activities, doing homework and dropping off….things get busy!  I try not to be hard on myself, but I too crave those moments… alone with each child, one-on-one.  

My husband and I are big travelers and especially love to travel with the kids.  It’s an opportunity to break from the grind and make time to do things together as a family.  We’ve had travel plans scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday for some time.  Knowing we would have some down time, I wanted to do some fun crafty projects with my daughter, so I poked around the internet for some meaningful projects for us to do together.  

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I stumbled across Teal FireFly, whose DIY crafting kits have everything you need to make creative, embellished cards from start to finish.  And they are not overwhelming or messy.  The kit contained cards/envelopes, direction cards for 4 designs, tags, glue dots, embellishments (rhinestones, glitter confetti) and a glitter glue pen. These kits come in a small box, so are easy pack and do while at the airport.  Like most parents with little ones, we always give ourselves some extra time in case the kids walk at a snail’s pace or Chicago traffic does what it does best….take forever!

While sitting in the lounge I pulled out one of the cupcake card set and my daughter’s eyes lit up! She was excited to have a box of goodies with instructions toward a useful finished product!  I loved the simplified, full color direction cards, as the illustrations made it easy enough for Carina to follow on her own.   We made fun cupcake cards from the Celebration kit that we plan to distribute with gifts during the holiday season.  She, and I, loved the one-on-one and even shared the goodies for some quality father-son time for my husband and son.  It was such a great alternative to screen time as we had a chance to chat and be creative together!  These cards will make a thoughtful touch to holiday gifts that can seem so impersonal sometimes.  I know that family members and friends will appreciate the extra effort!

Founder, Laxmi Shah, breaks it down best, “When you make a card by hand, you pour your heart into it!! I have found that there’s immeasurable pleasure in that for both kids and adults alike.”

So even though one chapter of endless hours in a day are over, I am grateful for companies like Teal Firefly for making products that we can do ourselves while spending quality time together.  Bye Bye supervised self-play….Hello creative togetherness! 

Right now Teal Firefly is offering 10% off the entire store in honor of the shopping season!!  Check them out here: www.tealfirefly.com

Your Chick,

Sonia

“Just Like Mommy” Fashion by Jems&A

I’ve always believed that confidence comes from within. You can’t fake it.

When my family comes together at the end of the day, we sit over dinner and discuss the things we are most proud of from the day.  It might sound self-indulgent, but we hope that in recognizing our strengths and accomplishments we can be encouraged to continue to improve.  Although it’s easy to focus on the “weight we need to lose” or the “wrinkles that are creeping in,” teaching self-acceptance can be a great confidence booster. It’s amazing, as a mother of two, to watch how much we influence the level of confidence our children have. But there is something I have learned about confidence: it is multidimensional. While self-worth comes from within, our outward selves can impact how we feel about our inward selves.  Even though confidence isn’t always driven by what you see on the outside, it can definitely influence it.  

Just Like Mom!

I have observed my almost 7-year-old daughter watch me get ready for the day.  Some days I feel like wearing yoga pants and no make up. Other days, I feel like wearing heels and a dress that make me feel good.  When in both looks, I make it a point to be body positive and self-accepting as I know she’s listening to my thoughts and watching my actions.  I’m certain I’m not alone when I admit there have been times that my daughter has emulated me in a way that I am not proud of.  I use those moments as a stiff reminder that she’s watching and I need to be sure to send the right message about self-esteem and confidence.

My daughter loves to dress up.  One of the looks she loves best is when our clothing matches. It could be as simple as matching colors, style, or even patterns.  She can tell when I am “feelin’ myself” and she has a way of emulating that momentum.  I don’t claim to have a perfect body or a beautiful face but one thing that I love the most is when I feel confident in my own skin — and I want to teach my daughter to feel the same.

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I recently stumbled across a really fun website called Jems&A.  It’s a female-owned business whose mission is to design and style children’s clothing to help kids express their creative side in what they choose to wear.  The Chicks love to support women’s businesses that also promote positivity!   Their clothes were appropriate for my daughter and consistent with my own personal style which made it easy to do some “mommy & me” matching. They have clothes for not only daily wear but also for a fun night on the town.

Making memories with my children is what I cherish most in this short life. Taking the time to focus on my relationship with my children is one of my main priorities.  It was fun to play dress-up with my daughter and incorporate laughter into our fun looks!  If you like what see here in the post, consider checking out Jems&A. If you use the code ChicksAndSalsa20, you can get 20% off an order of $50 or more.

Feel good, look good, and share that same confidence with your mini!  To read about how to discuss compassion with your mini, check out our post here.

Your chick,
Sonia


Teaching Children Compassion

If my children grow up to be compassionate, my job as a mother will have been a success.

Confidence is important too, but without compassion, it might not have the catalyst to be channeled in the best way.  Yes, if I had to choose one trait I’d wish to instill in my children, it would be compassion.

Sadly, it’s easy to normalize the violence and craziness that has become our new normal.  It’s scarily easy to be desensitized to the tragedy-filled headlines we’ve become accustomed to reading.  In our hyper-connectivity, we can’t shut out the bad.

Sometimes leading by example doesn’t cut the mustard and we can use the help of visual aids.  To that end, I did some research on children’s books that help drive home the message of compassion.  We all want a safe and beautiful world in which to raise our children but we only have the power to control our own environment, and that starts at home.

Enemy Pie (Inclusion)

First impressions may not be what they seem.  When a new boy moves into the neighborhood, a father devises a plan to facilitate an unlikely friendship by using a recipe called “Enemy Pie”.  As he instructs his son, one of the steps is to spend a whole day playing with the enemy.   The book endearingly examples the struggles and benefits of making new friends, and the surprise outcomes that arise from preconceived notions.

 

 

Pete the Cat: Rock on Mom and Dad (Gratitude)

I love love love the message of this book!  How many times do moms and dads go un-thanked and seemingly unappreciated?  Pete is determined to show his gratitude to his parents, whom he recognizes do so much for him, and ultimately learns it’s not the size or type of gift, but the gratitude that comes from deep within that matters.

 

 

Maddi’s Fridge (Poverty/Hunger)

Two friends enjoy each other’s company.  They go to school together and play together, yet one has a very different home life.  She doesn’t always have the energy to keep up with her friend because she doesn’t have enough food to eat.  This book so artfully and beautifully raises awareness about poverty and child hunger.  Maddi’s friend is thoughtful enough to pack extra food in her lunch to feed her friend but they sometimes spoil before lunchtime.  So she and her mother brainstorm ways in which to help Maddi and her family.  This is a thought-provoking book to help you and your child form a discussion on possible ways to help curb hunger in your community.

The Earth Book (Environment)

What better way to teach compassion than by empowering your little one with the tools they need to keep the planet green and clean? This book cleverly showcases different ways and tips with which even the youngest member in your family can help.  Caring for the planet teaches compassion that can be transferred to other aspects of life

 

 

It’s Okay to Be Different (Diversity)

Geared towards the younger child, this book creatively    showcases a myriad of differences, from missing teeth, to facial features, to skin color, that make us uniquely us.  More importantly, the book emphasizes that those differences are okay!  We’re not all made to look alike or like the same things.  Part of the learning process is in accepting those differences in us and in other.

 

 

The Name Jar (Acceptance, Inclusion)

When Unhei moves to the States from Korea, she understandably has some anxiety.  Will the other kids like her? Will she fit in?  Rather than introduce herself by her Korean name, she tells the students that she’ll have a western name picked out by the following week.  So, her classmates help by contributing their suggested names into a name jar for Unhei to pick from.  In a turn of events, one classmate comes to visit her neighborhood and overhears Unhei using her real name.  He then hides the name jar to encourage Unhei to use her Korean name and share it’s special meaning with the class, which she ultimately does.  This book celebrates diversity, multiculturalism,  and accepting our own uniqueness.

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (Bullying)

Kids can say mean things and it’s hard to be the object of teasing.  Lucy is confident and proud of her differences (she likes spaghetti and ketchup in a hot dog bun!), despite Ralph’s comments.  The tables are turned when one day, Ralph needs help and Lucy is there to the rescue.  It’s a wonderful book to launch pad discussions about modeling kind behavior and staying true to ones values even in the face of opposition.

 

 

I hope you love this list as much as my family did!

Your Brainy Chick,

Serene