Savvy Chic

tidbits, thoughts, and ramblings. . .with a Mormon twist

Happy Pioneer Day! July 24, 2008

Filed under: children,kids,mormon,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 11:52 pm

I’m so grateful for the many brave pioneer, both ancient and recent, in my life.  To those who left their homes and countries to seek out a better life for their family and future posterity.  And to those, like my father with my mother, who courageously blazed new trails in my life time.  I am indebted to them and give them my respect and love.

So, how are you celebrating Pioneer day?

To honor those of the past, there are many fun activities!  Here are a few ideas:

Make butter!  Have the kids shake a pint of whipping cream until it sounds like there is something solid in there–it will be butter!  Spread it on warm homemade bread.

Make stick horses!  Using a dowel, a tube sock filled with batting, either large googley eyes or marker drawn eyes, and some yarn for the mane, put it all together and add a ribbon/bridle/reins.  Glue the sock onto the stick for added stability.

Play some pioneer games–stick pulling, blindmans bluff, hopscotch, leapfrog, drop the handkerchief (like duck duck goose), three-legged race, gunnysack hopping race, jump rope, or tag. (Here are some more ideas)

Make a cornhusk doll.

Sing songs together.

Make a fun summer meal including corn-on-the-cob (let the kids husk the corn) and shelled peas.

Learn some survival techniques or camping skills.  Better yet, go camping!

Have a campfire and tell stories!

(Here are some more ideas)

What are your ideas?

 

Moby Wrap vs. Ring Slings, and other carriers

Filed under: baby,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 11:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have all sorts of baby wearing gadgetry–padded ring slings, unpadded ring slings, hot slings, mobys, rabozos, backpacks, etc.  I also have three kids, all of which I have worn (for about three years each) or currently wear!  So, I have had a lot of time to figure out what I like and what I think is most useful.  Your experience may be different, but unless you make your own gadgets (like I do), or know someone with all these things, it would be rather pricey to experiment with everything to find what works for you.  (On the other hand, what works for me may not work for you and in that case, good luck!)

Each of the carriers have their own benefits and drawbacks.  Here is my personal evaluation of the various carriers.

I like hot slings (a sling without rings) because they take up very little space when folded up. They can hold the baby in several positions so they are fairly versatile.  However, they have to be fitted just right (within a half inch) to be able to feel really comfortable.  That is annoying because I still have some baby fat after having a baby yet I still want to use my baby carrier 6 months from now when I have lost that baby fat! So, I will wait until I am at my normal size and then keep one of these in my car, or diaper bag, or both.)

Rabozos should be fabulous because you can use them as a sling, a back carrier, a nursing cover, or a table cloth, and they are infinitely adjustable as well as small when folded up in the diaper bag.  However, I didn’t like having to tie the knot nor untying the knot when I wanted to adjust things or change my baby’s position.

A backpack is great for wearing a heavy baby for a long time.  I like this for grocery shopping or walking to my friends’ homes.  It is bulky though and not something I keep in the van.

Then there is a moby wrap.  I love how the wrap distributes the weight of my baby over both shoulders and on my hips.  I love how he is so close to me and within perfect kissing distance.  I can wear my baby for a long time in the moby comfortably.  There are some drawbacks for the moby though.  First of all, 6 yards is a lot of fabric!  Even though it is easy to put on (see my tutorial), it still takes a few minutes to put it on and get my baby situated.  And then my biggest qualm is that breastfeeding isn’t very convenient.  So I only use my moby right after feeding my son and then when I know I will need to have him right next to me until the next feeding.  I imagine I will use my moby more after I wean my baby.

(Another con for the moby I have heard from other mothers is that they are hot–6 yards of a thick knit fabric can get toasty in the summer months!  I don’t have that issue since I made mine from a lightweight woven fabric.)

Ring slings, I have to admit, are my favorite carriers.  Adjustable, comfortable, convenient, compact, and so versatile, I really don’t leave home without one.  (Here is more info about ring slings.)  I usually use my padded sling, but I keep an unpadded sling in my van just in case I forget the other one.  The unpadded sling is great for keeping my baby really close to my body since it is easiest to adjust.  I can even wear him on my back with it.  However, I can’t wear him as long without the padding–about an hour is my max.  With the padded rails and shoulder pad in my primary sling, I can wear my baby for around three hours without any uncomfortableness.  I love being able to simply slip the sling on, put my baby in, and we’re off–usually in less than 10-15 seconds.  And I can adjust him equally fast–from the kangaroo carry to a snuggle carry to a hip carry.

My kids love(d) being in the sling as well.  My second would actually bring the sling to me and ask to be worn.  The sling truly is a bonding tool as well as a convenience!

There are other carriers–many that I have tried and some that I haven’t.  Those listed above are the ones I have liked the most.  What have you tried that you liked, and why?  Best wishes choosing what will hopefully work for you and your baby.

 

LDS News Source July 10, 2008

Filed under: mormon — savvychic @ 10:45 pm

I just learned of a new news source for everything LDS and Mormon:  LDS News Source.  The site searches over 5000 newspapers throughout the world every hour.  Then they put that information all in one convenient place for anyone interested to read.  Check it out and then RSS feed it so you will be current on what up in the Mormon world! 🙂

 

Know your child(ren) and maximize their potential July 9, 2008

Filed under: children,enrichment,kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 5:21 pm

Karen B. taught an excellent class on knowing our children and how to effectively work with our children to achieve their potential.  She started the class by reading from Elder Ballard’s April 2008 general conference talk about women, “Daughters of God”.

I remember when listening to this talk initially, I knew I would need to read it again and again.  But then life happened and I hadn’t read it again until just now.  (I highly recommend your reading it too!)  One thing that really caught my ear as Karen read quotes from this talk was this,

“I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life.  If a child lives with parents for 18 or 19 years, that span is only one-fourth of a parent’s life.  And the most formative time of all, the early years in a child’s life, represent less than one-tenth of a parent’s normal life.  It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes.” (M. Russell Ballard, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2008, 108–10)

That is so true! With that perspective, I can focus on what is most important now and still have time in my life to do those other things on the not-so-high-of-a-priority list later in my life!

So, focusing on my kids. . . Karen gave some good tips.  She highly recommended PBS.org.  Go to the parent section.  There is a wealth of information and helps available.  We concentrated on developmental milestones.  Karen gave us a handout with milestones from University of Michigan.  The church also has a great list of what to expect and suggestions at each age.

Karen puts together a notebook for each of her kids.  She includes a list of appropriate milestones for the child’s age.  She also includes a chart listing the child’s “strengths,” their “reinforcements” (rewards that work for that child), “areas of focus” (a.k.a. weaknesses, but no one likes to see their weaknesses spelled out on paper), and “notes.” She can also put any thing else she needs to in the notebook.

With this information readily available, she is able to take an active role in the upbringing of her children.  She knows when they are developing as they should and is able to recognize areas of concern quickly.  These notebooks are also good for Dad to get a quick glimpse of his children’s lives.

Karen also makes a list of responsibilities (a.k.a. chores) that her children need to do in the morning before they can have their rewards, such as computer time, TV, trampoline, etc.  (Those rewards are often the same as the reinforcements on the above mentioned chart.)

Karen keeps in mind the areas of focus as she parents.  One child needs to work on handwriting, so Karen will encourage the child to write to cousins–a great idea anyway and it helps the handwriting without even mentioning it’s an exercise.

Karen takes her kids on fieldtrips–a lot of fieldtrips!  She said she likes to do one to two a week!  But before I could get really nervous about considering that option with my kids, she explained that some of these fieldtrips are to Albertson’s.  She has one child putting together a dinner menu on a budget and another child is responsible for finding a food for each food group.  Other fieldtrips ideas are walking along the river (she said that there is an exotic animal farm with llamas, ostriches, and two camels!), Dion’s Pizza tours, Albertson’s bakery (they have tours too), and of course all the museums.  Firehouses and police departments also give tours!  Use your imagination!

Karen gave the great idea of using the talents of our fellow sisters–quilting, learning about homing pigeons, art appreciation, computer skills, etc!  Maybe they would be willing to teach a class about their hobby to our kids.

When planning for the summer, Karen sits down with her kids and they work together.  She asks her kids what things they would like to do this summer that are free.  They make a list.  Then she asks what is one thing they would like that costs money.  And then she asks what projects need to be done.  All of these things are considered and plans are put on the calendar.

When calendaring, they first put church responsibilities and family events, like FHE and other activities.  Then they can fill the calendar with the other things in their life.  This way, the important items are not lost in the busy-ness of life.

Karen pointed out that it is very important to FOLLOW THROUGH on what you plan to do.  This is so important in building trust with your children.  This is even more important with young children so that they will be able to trust you when teenagers.  So, if you don’t really intend to do it, or if you really won’t be able to do it, don’t put it on the calendar!

I really enjoyed this lesson!  It was what I needed to hear.  Thank you so much Karen!  Just so you know, I made cookies with my boys today.  And I didn’t even get upset when one of them accidentally flicked flour all over the kitchen!

 

Independence Day!!! July 4, 2008

Filed under: savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 1:46 pm

I love Independence Day!  I love the pancake breakfasts, the primary parades, the picnics, the family time, and of course the fireworks.  But more than this, I love what the day means.  I love my independence–I can be who I am, say what I think, live where I please, worship my God, . . . I can make my own choices.  I love my independence.

Of course, with the independence, I also take on responsibility.  And when I make mistakes, it’s not always easy to shoulder that responsibility.  But I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from my choices, whether they be good or bad.  I’m so grateful to be free!

I know that freedom came with a price.  I have a brother-in-law located somewhere in Afghanistan.  I have another friend somewhere in the skies on the other side of the world.  My father and grandfathers enlisted and did their duty to this great country.  And their families paid the price too.  I pray throughout the day everyday for my sister and my friends who eagerly await the return of their spouse, father, brother, and friends to return safely.  And for those who don’t return, my prayers and heart go out their families even more.

Thank you America!  Thank you to all those who make my independent life possible.  God Bless America!  Happy Birthday!

 

Enrichment Spotlights

Filed under: enrichment,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 1:30 pm

I was just called as the Enrichment Leader in my ward.  I have to admit, I’m really excited about this calling.  I have been in many wards and have seen how the enrichment activities can really make a difference.  We have a lot of talent in our ward and I plan to encourage those lights to shine–we can all learn from each other.  I’m hoping to share that light (with permission, of course) on this blog so that the light isn’t limited to just those who come to the meetings.  So, there will be enrichment spotlights coming soon!  I hope you enjoy. . .