Kids and Baking

Posted 07-26-2012 at 10:25 AM by whitneywalters

My kids really enjoy helping me in the kitchen. They are happy to help with any project but I know that their favorite is baking. I am sure this is mostly because they know baking usually leads to a sweet treat but I am using this chance to teach them skills that will stay with them life long.

I started baking with my mom when I was barely old enough to walk. Baking was a huge thing in my family. We baked something at least once a week. My favorite thing to make with my mom was chocolate chip cookies. She always waited to add the eggs till all of us got a taste of the dough. That is one memory I am very fond of.

My kids on the other hand like making cakes and cupcakes more then anything else. I always let them help with the mixing, frosting and decorating. I have even let them frost and decorate a cake all by themselves. They loved it. My youngest recently turned one and the kids helped me make the cupcakes for her party.

I use the time we spend baking together as math lessons, reading lessons, cooking lesson and just spending time with them. I want my kids to feel like I go out of my way to involve them. I want them to be included and know I enjoy being with them. After all I was the one that wanted to be a stay at home mom and I know I need to make the most of the time I have with my kids in their early childhood.

Diaper Swapers

Fifty Shades of Magic Mike

Posted 07-26-2012 at 09:49 AM by Krista

There is an awesome article I read recently called “Fifty Shades of Magic Mike,” (hence the quotation marks around the title). The premise of the article is that women are into the book series Fifty Shades of Gray—was I the only one who didn’t know it was being called “Mommy porn”? Ew.—and going to see the movie Magic Mike, which is
at its core a movie about male strippers. The author asks how we, as women would feel if it were our men doing these things.

The first thing that came to mind was that of course most men do engage in these type of activities. One word: porn. I remember being shocked at how common this practice was among men. In fact, my husband J talks about it openly with male friends. I guess it just goes to show how cavalier our world has become about the female body.

And I think that that was the author’s point, that we criticize men about these things, but yet when we do it—reading erotica or watching a movie about strippers—we do it in the name of entertainment and we don’t see the harm in it. I have to admit that before reading this article I was confused about

Breastfeeding Past the One Year Mark

Posted 07-25-2012 at 10:25 AM by whitneywalters

My youngest just turned a year old and I have already been asked about when I plan on weaning her. The answer to that is I don’t. I have no plans of weaning Amelia anytime soon. I do not think that just because a child is a year old is any reason to wean.

I have breastfed all four of my kids. When I was pregnant with my oldest I knew I wanted to breastfed but I had no idea how long. I will never forget the first time I breastfed him just minuets after he was born, it was amazing. When I got pregnant when he was six months old I was really worried I would not be able to nurse while pregnant but I did. I nursed him the whole time I was pregnant with his little sister and for three months after she was born. One morning he just told me milk was for baby and never wanted to nurse again, he was eighteen months old.

My second child was a difficult baby, she nursed all the time, never wanted put down and I nursed her to sleep for naps and bedtime until she was over a year old. I got pregnant with my third child while still nursing her but I really wanted to wean her at that point. I did not force it but I gently pushed her towards weaning, it took a couple months but she was also eighteen months when she stopped nursing.

Alternatives to Spanking

Posted 07-25-2012 at 10:23 AM by ParamedicMama

I can’t just post about being a no-spanking family and not follow up with a list of alternatives, right? Since eliminating spanking from our behavior-correcting actions, I’ve added a few new things. One of the things you need to consider when choosing discipline strategies for your child is the reason behind the offensive action. Is your child tired? Hungry? Was this deliberate? Does your child just need attention? Is there a sensory overload and your child needs a space to process things in? For a behavior to be corrected, you must immediately respond to it, be consistent in your response, and follow through.

Sometimes, you need to sternly tell your child that whatever he did was NOT acceptable, and then immediately put him down for a nap. Other times, you may need to let him know that it was not acceptable, but then hurry up and get some food in him because his low blood sugar is making it more difficult for him to be in control of himself.

Many times for young children, a sensory activity can help them calm down. The key is teaching your toddler to seek out the sensory activity before they begin acting out. At first, my daughter would act out so that she COULD get to play in the rice box. I had to teach her that the rice box was to help her stay calm and behave, not to reward her for bad behavior. She still had to have a time out. Once she understood the correlation though, she would ask to play in the rice box when she was getting frustrated but before she would act out. Success!

Protecting Your Heart

Posted 07-25-2012 at 10:07 AM by Krista

Due to recent events in my life, I have been thinking a lot about relationships, particularly those of the romantic variety. I have never dated anyone seriously outside of my husband. Of course I realize this is a rarity. In today’s world it is not uncommon for a person to have between five and ten “serious” relationships and that amount of sexual partners. And as you all know, that number can be considered tame by many.

As both a believer and a child with a strict mother I grew up on the principle that one was not supposed to have sex before marriage. While plenty of Christians find themselves unable to follow that command, for the first time I saw it clearly and understood why God would set it. To me, every person you have a sexual relationship with you also have an intimate relationship, whether you want to or not. Each time you give yourself to another person, you are connecting with them on some level and putting some of your hopes into them.

Starting Over

Posted 07-20-2012 at 11:25 AM by Krista

As some of you may have read, my husband and I recently split up. I told him I needed some time away, I needed to think things over. I did end up coming back after a short time. Part of the reason is that my girls need me. We split the days and nights, me watching them when he was at work and him taking the “night shift” so to speak. The problem was that my oldest, who has nightmares, would always call for me. I didn’t want her not to have me there.

Another reason is that we have been together a long, long time. That in itself is part of the problem. As a “child” bride in some sense of the word—I was eighteen when we said our vows—I have grown and matured. Neither of us is the same person. Sometimes, as a couple you grow together and sometimes you grow apart. Needless to say, in the case with my husband I believed us to have grown apart. What can you do to repair this? In my opinion that isn’t much.

You can talk about it, you can try to reconnect. I think talking is a very important aspect of keeping couples connected.

Trying to Beat the Heat

Posted 07-20-2012 at 10:45 AM by whitneywalters

This summer has been a hot one here in Iowa. Everyday for the last few weeks has been in the high nineties and it has broken one hundred a few times. Believe me when I say there is nothing I want more then to sit inside in my nice air conditioned house and avoid this heat wave but I have four kids that get really restless if we do not do something to burn their massive amounts of energy.

We have been spending  a lot of time in the pool. I slather on the sun screen and we head out of a nice refreshing dip in the pool. All my kids love to swim and I will say so do I. It is nice to get in the water, have fun playing and not feel like I am melting being outside.

The days that we do not get into the water we usually go to Dairy Queen. Our local Dairy Queen has an indoor play area.

Your Mind and Your Child’s Mind on Meditation

Posted 07-20-2012 at 10:28 AM by HollyRay

If you are American, you may remember the public service announcements that stated “This is your brain on drugs”.  One such PSA included an egg being smashed by a frying pan, awesome. Sure your brain on drugs is a no go, but what about things that are good for the brain. How about meditation? How would your brain be all “hopped up” on meditation?

Studies have been showing for years how meditation is helping the brain, and I kind of wonder why this isn’t a bigger deal. Meditation can actually alter your mind, making you more compassionate, joyful, and generally mindful of yourself and things around you. This is the part where you “oooo” and “aaahhh” or you shake your head and say I’m crazy. Fear not I come prepared with links to share.

Birthday Bash on a Budget

Posted 07-19-2012 at 02:35 PM by whitneywalters

My baby girl just turned one. I wanted to throw here a really cool party but we are on a pretty strict budget right now. My mom and I are both pretty crafty so we went  to work looking up different decoration ideas that we could make together and save me some money doing so. I wanted to have an owl themed party and I found a ton of ideas online for cute and easy decorations.

We made her a  birthday banner for the wall,  I found all the supplies at Walmart and spent a total of $7 on them. Plus, we have enough stuff left over from it that we will be able to make banners for the other kids birthdays and maybe some stuff for Amelia’s scrapbook.

Every Marriage Needs…

Posted 07-19-2012 at 02:17 PM by Krista

You know what I think marriages need more of, particularly mine? Sex. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. I’ll say it again, because I think it’s just that important: marriages need more sex. Now, first let me say that I do not believe sex is a cure-all or even the most important thing in a relationship. I definitely don’t think you can have a relationship based on sex alone—at least, not a lasting one. In fact, if any of my friends, let alone my husband knew I was writing this article they would be shocked. Typically I shy away from discussing sex and am not a fan of public displays of affection.

So, what has changed my mind? Well, as some of you know my husband and I recently separated. We are back together now and while I am still skeptical some things have changed. One of those “things” is me. For whatever reason, I am constantly affectionate and ready to go to the, um, bedroom. While sex has never been at the top of my list priority wise, that is slowly changing. For the first time in our relationship we are having sex with regularity.

It was never a matter of not being attracted to one another, but rather, we always seemed to choose the “wrong” time to initiate with the other person. Since we weren’t getting our needs met we would become irritated and even hostile toward