Managing a Major Move with Young Children

A major move can be really stressful for anyone. If you’d like to make it even more challenging, add a few young children to the equation. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to successfully complete a move, keep your children entertained and maintain a sense of peace. There are a few tips you’ll want to employ as you move forward. Consider these four.

1. Plan ahead.
You don’t need to hire someone to help you clean out boxes if you do it in advance. If you decide that you’d like to move in the next year, begin to declutter. Don’t wait until you’re two months away. Take time to go through boxes to throw items away and sell things. If you’re able to put yourself in a position to tackle one box a day, you’ll be in great shape. Wait until the kids go down to bed. Spend thirty minutes to an hour on one box, closet or area. You’d be surprised how much you can tackle within a few months when you dedicate a little bit of time each day. Plus, you would’ve done all of this while the children were asleep. Use your phone or a calendar to keep yourself on track.

2. Create an organized schedule.
When things begin to get a little hectic in the days before the move, find ways to create a schedule for the children. Most children (and adults) thrive on routines. Knowing this, create a schedule for them. Once they get out of school, give them different activities to work on each hour. If they decide that they’d like to spend more time on a particular task, this is fine. After all, the goal is to keep them occupied. Activities like painting, coloring and other arts projects are great for creativity. If your children love puzzles, set up a station for puzzles and popcorn. As dinnertime gets closer, they can enjoy dinner and a good movie. As you’re able to finish up your moving tasks, you can join them.

3. Consider hiring a babysitter.
A babysitter is a godsend when you’re trying to get the children out of the house while you manage errands and more. Sometimes, it can be stressful to stay on top of everyone’s schedule and a move. If you know that your children are in the care of someone you trust, you’ll be fine. Plus, a babysitter isn’t just helpful for the times when you’re taking care of moving details. A babysitter is helpful when you’d like to get away from all of the chaos to take a break. At least once a week, make sure you’re doing something to pour back into yourself. Meet up with a friend to enjoy a delicious lunch. Head over to the salon to get your nails done. Go to the spa to receive a nice massage. Whatever helps you to unwind and maintain a sense of calm is good to include. Once you incorporate the elements of self-care with a major move, you’ll be able to approach the situation with a clear and peaceful perspective.

4. Hire movers for the big day.
When you have to do a lot of heavy lifting, it’s very easy to get exhausted, flustered and frustrated. This is why it’s best to hire a great moving company to take care of the heavy lifting. When you’re moving local, many people assume that you don’t necessarily need the help of professional movers. Though you might not be driving across the country, your furniture still needs to get from Point A to Point B. Plus, movers are really beneficial because they lift heavy items for a living. They understand how to properly manage and lift without causing damage to their bodies. If you try to lift the couch and load it onto a moving truck, you could pull a muscle or put too much pressure on your back if you don’t do it properly. Don’t put yourself in a position to harm yourself. Plus, while the professional movers are taking care of the heavy items, you can spend time with your children in the other room.

If you don’t make a plan, you’re asking for a chaotic experience. If the move is unexpected and you have no choice but to make things happen quickly, consider getting help from people you trust. Close family members and friends can either babysit or take over parts of the move so that you’re not as stressed. Before long, you’ll be settled in your new place with the kids in tow.

Portable North Pole Toys for the Holiday Season #GiftGuide

Portable North Pole (PNP) brings the magic of Christmas to life with personalized video messages and calls directly from Santa to children young and old. Children (and parents) have sent more than 210 million videos globally since they started 10 years ago.

New for 2018 – the10th Anniversary of Portable North Pole- a line of adorable products, toys and plush dolls that lets kids live the magic of the season while encouraging good behavior:

  • NEW! Letters to Santa Kit: Take your personalized video to the next level using the Letters to Santa Kit, as the included video message reply will include your child’s hand-written letter. Each kit comes with stationary, envelopes, festive Christmas stickers and an officialNorth Pole post office stamp and ink pad. MSRP $12.99.
  • NEW! Twenty-Four Sleeps Until Santa Christmas Storybook:Kids count down the days of December with Santa! Every page offers the “Search and Find” game where kids hunt for Santa’s missing keys and a merry advent verse to read each day. Plus, the book can be personalized with a child’s photo and details. MSRP $12.99.
  • Do-Good Elf:Inspires learning about the true spirit of the holidays by encouraging kids to teach their elf the difference between naughty and nice.

The Do-Good Elf catches you doing GOOD vs. other elves that “spy” on you and report bad behavior back to Santa…

Comes with four (4) personalized videos where Santa checks in on the child teaching progress and more. MSRP $24.99.

  • Karamelli Santa’s Sweetest Baby Reindeer Plush and Okida Santa Playful Husky Puppy Plush: Children teach their cuddly baby pet about the spirit of Christmas. MSRP $12.99.

All toys will be available across North America at most Walmart locations and at Walmart.com this fall.

Get Cooking With Pop Oh Ver

My kids love to play pretend! From princess adventures to playing school; the seem to have the most fun when they make use of their imaginations. Playing in the kitchen has always been a big hit with all of my kids. When they got to try out a few fun sets from Pop Oh Ver they declared them all to be a lot of fun for their little kitchen play sessions.

My youngest daughter is all about sandwiches, so she was more than happy to get her hands on the Pop Oh Ver plus play food set . It has all the fixings to make a soft and squishy sandwich. She has had so much fun offering her little brother sandwich after sandwich and a hotdog here and there too.

The Pots and Pans set and the Master Chef set have been intriguing to my oldest daughter, who loves to help mix things up in the kitchen. I love that the pots and pans set contains a nice assortment of kitchen necessities to keep the kids entertained, and playing with enough variety to mix things up and enough toys to go around with 4 kids! The Master Chef set is a cute addition to the kitchen. I love seeing my kids dressing up like a little chef!

The Pop Oh Ver Counter and Stove set are so much fun, and I love that they pop over a kitchen chair to create a super fun way to play, even with limited space. This would be a perfect gift idea for children that live in apartments or smaller houses this holiday season!

We loved the assortment Pop Oh Ver offers as well as how cute and squishy the play food is! We have been pleased with these toys and would happily recommend them to other families. Pop Oh Ver play food has quickly become a favorite for me personally because it is so child friendly, that all of my kids can enjoy it, even my little two year old!

Greg Page, The Original “Yellow Wiggle” Has a New Project #WhatIsYourChildWatching #ad #ExploreDiscoverAndGrow

Greg Page, the origional “Yellow Wiggle” of “The Wiggles” Children’s TV show and music, recently awsnered some quesitons for us about his new project, “Explore, Discover, and Grow”. Here’s what he has to say.

greg page

What will it take to launch “Explore, Discover, and Grow”?

Explore, Discover and Grow is a massive project which is going to take a lot of passion, hard work, dedication and some money to bring it to life!  We are working at the moment to “pre-sell” as many subscription packages as possible so we can gauge the demand for the product. This will also enable us to get started on production for the series before we launch the mass-marketing campaign next year.  It is also a major objective to give the people that back the project in its development phase, a major discount on the content that will be offered when we go live with the series next year. Essentially, if you get in now, on the ground level, we will be rewarding you with the equivalent of a 50% discount on what you would otherwise be paying if you subscribe when we are live with the program next year.

What made you want to work in children’s entertainment?

It’s an interesting question – and it probably sounds a little trite, but I just had this feeling inside me from a young age that I was going to be on stage, and then as I got older, the feeling turned to being in the education field.  As the “universe” would have it, I met Anthony Field (the original, and still-current Blue WIggle) and he suggested that I get into early childhood teaching, as it involved a lot of music and creativity – for the child and also the teacher!  So I went along to check out the early childhood diploma course that Anthony was doing at the time, and that sealed it for me. I think I had found my calling, and after seeing what was achievable with The Wiggles and how we applied our teaching knowledge to entertaining children it has been a passion of mine ever since – to create entertainment that is purposeful and delivers outcomes for children.

What was life like after leaving “The Wiggles”?

Life after The Wiggles was tough – I had been removed from what was essentially all of my adult life – my passion and my driving force.  I was also going through a marriage breakdown which was affecting me greatly, so I was battling a number of factors. But, I knew that life could, and would be good again.  I met someone who I had known in school, and we started dating and then finally married. This lifted my spirits incredibly and then finally, I was able to start creating content for children again after 5 years of being out of The Wiggles.  That period where I was unable to work in the field of children’s entertainment was difficult, because that was all I had ever known. I tried other things which didn’t work out for me, and then, I got back to doing what felt right. I have now been a co-creator or creator of over 40 brands, with 2 of them being aired on national broadcasters, and 4 in co-productions with animation studios.  So, it has been a long road to get back to doing what I love, and I am SO excited to be producing content that is going to really restore a balance in children’s screen-time diets with Explore, Discover and Grow!

Are you still in touch with any of your castmates?

Not often, they are still very busy.  And the funny thing is that it was never normal, or usual for us to contact each other outside of the business of The Wiggles!  Not that we weren’t friends or friendly, it’s just that was the way it was – we spent SO much time together on the road, that when we got home to Sydney, we would just stay out of each other’s pockets.  And when I got sick and left the group, it kind of just stayed that way really – the guys were touring and they would check in on me every now and then, but then I got “better” and kept doing our own things.  I see them maybe once a year and do “reunion” shows of the original lineup of The Wiggles for the original fans who are now in their 20’s – we play at licensed venues here in Australia where our “over-age” fans can now enjoy a drink while they watch The Wiggles perform live!  I must say it is a strange thing, but it is a LOT of fun, because we just deliver a 100% Wiggles experience – keeping things on the same level that we did for these fans when they were 3 or 4 years old – and they love being able to reminisce about their childhoods.

How has life changed since your diagnoses of autonomic neuropathy/ dysautonomia?  

Things are back to normal for me.  It’s one of those things that I have had all my life, and just thought everyone felt the way I did in certain situations.  There’s no doubt that years of touring and losing sweat from my body affected me greatly toward the end of 2006, and that was undoubtedly compounded by the event so my personal life.  However, like a lot of things, once you finally get a diagnosis and you understand what you are dealing with, things can be managed, and it doesn’t affect me at all today with what I do in my life.  I am very lucky, and I believe that everything happens for a reason. That part of my life led me to a new chapter of my life where I am able to create again, with a new vigour and energy that I didn’t have before.

Was your family musical?

My mum played piano from a young age, and we had a piano in the house from the time I was about 7 years old.  My sister learned piano and did a few grade exams, but gave up. I learned guitar from age 6, but never really practiced enough , or properly which I now regret, as I am nowhere near as good on the guitar as I think I would have been had I practised harder, but hey, you live and learn – sometimes!

Have you ever performed for adults?

What was that like for you personally in comparison with performing for children? Yes, I have performed for adults, and it is a very different experience.  I enjoy it, but it is different. I am lucky that most adults know me from The Wiggles so I can fall back on my WIggles persona a little bit, which is easy to do, because it is inherently my persona I guess anyway!  But it does make it easier to break the ice in those performance situations where people might be a little bit like “OK, this guy can sing and dance for kids, but is he going to be able to entertain me?” – and hopefully I do!

What do you see yourself doing next?

I think I will always be creating for children, and trying to find ways that are enjoyable for them to learn new things – either about the world or themselves.  The world is in a funny situation right now I think. We are tying to progress things socially, culturally and technologically, and I think that sometimes we forget the basics of what makes us who we are.  There is no need for pushing boundaries for the sake of it, and I guess I a bit conservative when it comes to children’s edutainment – if it ain’t broke, then why fix it? There are a raft of educational shows that worked for children over the course of many years – shows that were not fast-paced, and allowed children to digest the content easily.  It seems that a lot of content these days is more about the quality of the production rather than the content, and I think that’s a shame, so I am going to be sticking to my path on this as I feel it si the right thing to do for the best interests of the children! I think this is my life, and my passion!

On the Go with Britax B 3 G Stroller #BritaxMom

I am a mom of a toddler and I am also a daycare provider to a little one. Having two tiny movers and shakers tagging along with me on my errands and adventures was a challenge up until a few weeks ago. As I juggled a single stroller and a baby carrier, I realized we need a great double stroller or these day trips couldn’t continue.

We got to try out the Britax B 3 G stroller and it has been such a handy helper for this mom on the go. The stroller is stylish and versatile. It comes equipped with one comfy seat that has 12 seating positions for a growing child. I love the one hand fold option. It is so handy for a busy mom with multiple kids to manage. Putting the stroller away has never been easier. I know because I have years of experience.

The best thing about the Britax B 3 G Stroller is that you can add a second seat to accommodate multiple kids. This has made such a difference to my son and the child I watch in the daytime. We can get out and go with ease. The stroller has a generously sized basket underneath it to hold all of our gear, from the diaper bag to favorite toys, we can take the essentials along without having to carry everything.

We have been more than pleased with the stroller. It is easy to push and fold for transport or storage. We love that it will “grow with” our busy toddler. This is the stroller to get for one vital reason, it works with a car seat as your baby is born, but the 12 seating positions enable the stroller to work through the baby and toddler stages, and beyond if needed! The top seat can hold up to 55 pounds, meaning this stroller can handle a newborn baby and keep on going through the preschooler years.

Relay, A Smartphone Alternative For Children

Relay (Republic Wireless)

What do you do if you have young children who you know aren’t ready for a cell phone (perhaps because you aren’t ready for the inevitable battles about screen time and social media), but you still want to be able to reach them when they’re not with you? Relay may be just what you’re looking for. Relay is essentially a walkie talkie, with a few fun twists. For example, since it works over 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, it has they same (essentially unlimited) range as a cell phone, so friends in different states can communicate with each other. And it has GPS tracking, so if you use the free companion app, you can see where all of your Relays are in real time. Relays also come in a variety of friendly colors and with stickers, so your child can personalize his or her device.
We did have a few issues with Relay. First, they didn’t seem to hold a charge for much more than 4-6 hours. Second, they use a proprietary magnetic charger, which means you’re in real trouble if you lose or misplace yours. That said, we know that Republic Wireless is continually adding features and we’re confident that these issues will be resolved soon.
As you know, we love companies that support their communities, and Relay is doing just that, donating $5 from each of the next 5,000 Relays sold to Common Sense Education, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students harness technology for learning and life by providing teachers and schools with free research-based classroom tools. For ages 5 and up. $99 for one, $149 for two, $199 for three, plus about $6.99 per month per device for unlimited use. https://relaygo.com/

Must Have Item – My First Seat by Little Tikes

Disclosure: The below was provided to me to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” and “Terms of Use” tabs for more information

You all know that finding items that you love when you have a baby or older children is incredibly important. I absolutely love this seat. It is a great way to get your baby up and working on those tummy muscles as well as having them be more a part of the classroom.

About My First Seat by Little Tikes:

My First Seat features wide 3.5 inch openings, a wide seat area and tall supportive back to ensure baby is comfortable, supported and that the seat will fit baby as they grow. Careful design considerations were made to ensure that the floor seat would fit infants and babies of all sizes and features some of the largest supportive areas for back, legs, and seat on the market.

The floor seat, which is made completely of soft, comfortable, easy-to-clean foam is designed :

  • For use by infants and babies four months of age to 16  months of age.

  • For fun, supported, comfortable play.

  • To provide safe neck, back, leg and arm support.

  • For use on any flat floor surface.

  • To allow for fun, easy interactions with family during mealtime, playtime and more.

  • To transition with your baby, the seat remains comfortable, safe and supportive even as baby grows due to the tall back, wide leg openings and wide seat area.

My First Seat is proudly made in the USA, is both bio-and-eco-friendly and has undergone and passed the highest level of safety standards and requirements in compliance with the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

My Thoughts:

This is one of the best seats that I have tried out. There are some concerns that I have found in some of the other similar seats on the market. I like that the leg hole on this one is a little bigger for bigger legs. I like that the back of it goes up higher than others so that you feel a little better about your little one sitting in them. I also like the most that the back seems to come around and hug them much better than any of the others that I’ve seen.

Purchase:

If you are interested in purchasing the My First Seat, you may find it at Target, BuyBuyBaby.com and Walmart.com for $44.99.

6 Best Travel Gear For Kids – Keep Them Happy & Safe

Traveling with kids comes with a lot of responsibilities. You have to be sure of proper ways to take care of your child as you don’t want him to fall sick while in the middle of your pre-planned vacation. You have to stay prepared beforehand and have all the items listed in your bag before you head towards the long-awaited vacation now. But for that, some research is all that you need to consider.

Best travel gears for you to follow:

Modern technology is improving with every passing day. New and new mechanisms are hitting the market just to make your life a lot easier. So, you can try that out now by addressing some of the best travel gears, designed solely for your kids. There are top 6 gears available quite easily in the market, which are must-have in your holiday list while traveling with kids.

First stop is baby humidifiers:

It is always an essential addition to your travel bag, especially when you have a little baby to take care of. The main aim of these humidifiers is to avoid dry skin, irritation and even covering some of the best respiratory issues by improving the quality of air in the bedroom. So, carrying this will ensure that your kid is within a safe circle even while staying in hotel rooms.

Most of these humidifiers work on ultrasonic technology or by using the evaporative action. It helps in boosting the moisture content of room. Some of the models are further designed to alter ambient temperature for creating that artificial micro-climate suitable for matching the little one’s needs well.

Portable travel crib:

Being a responsible parent, it is your duty to research and check out with some parenting expert advice to follow while you are actually trying to enjoy a proper vacation and family time.

This is another interesting travel gear, designed solely for babies. It is hard for your babies to sleep on rock-solid bed as the hotel beds are not as soft as those baby cribs. Moreover, as babies are trained to sleep inside cribs, so making them sleep on bed won’t work that well. It will give rise to sleepless nights, resulting in bad and worn out mood in the morning bot baby and parents too. So carrying those light in weight baby cribs is the perfect alternative option.

Booster seats for comfortable journey:

Car seats can be some great travel dilemmas as most parents will approve that. Some think about bringing them on plane and others just want to check those as baggage. There are some people who might rent those seats where they are visiting. Avoid all these issues on the first place by giving seat booster a chance. This portable seat is light in weight to carry and can be placed on any seat easily for your kids.

Baby wipes are most important:

When you are planning for a baby bag for traveling, you have to add baby wipes inside it. Your babies don’t know how to control nature’s call and might end up peeing or poop in the diapers. Well, carrying baby wipes and some hand sanitizers can often prove to be handy and will avoid all kinds of cleaning issues. Even if you don’t have water, you can still use these wipes for hygiene and cleaner babies.

Baby carrier is another one:

Want to add the most important thing in the list? If so, then you have to head towards the portable baby carrier. When you are in your place, you have perambulator for easy carrying option, but this won’t be easy to carry when you are traveling someone. Your hands will get tired after sometime for holding your baby too long. As an alternative option, go for the baby sling or baby carrier. Made out of comfortable fabric for parent and baby, this will help to keep your baby close to your chest.

Ride-on suitcases:

Traveling can be a bit boring for kids as they get bored quite easily. They just want to have fun but when on railway station or flight, their movements are restricted giving rise to boredom. How about adding some fun element with the important materials in town? Well, you can always end up investing some bucks for the ride-in suitcases. These suitcases are smaller in size and used for packing clothes and other amenities of your kids. It has wheels and a handle to move the bags easily. The fun part is that it has a small sitting arrangement for kids. So, they can sit on top of their suitcases, and you can roll them to another destination easily.

Make sure to create a list first and get these gears listed in it so you don’t miss out on an option! It will be so much fun.