Savvy Chic

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

Teach Me Mommy Preschool curriculum book September 8, 2008

A few years ago, when my first child was three, I started thinking about preschool. As a stay-at-home mom with a graduate student husband, a commercial preschool was out of the question. Besides, I wasn’t ready to send my little one away from home for the day. Some friends were starting one of the paid curriculum programs and I thought about it until I saw how much it was and realized that I could easily do that myself without the cost. However, it would have been time consuming to gather all the materials and to create all the lesson plans.

Fortunately, I came across a great book called Teach Me Mommy. It was put together by a mom for moms who wanted to teach their little ones. The lessons plans are simple to follow, the supplies needed are things you would have around the house anyway, and there is no need to pay monthly fees–just buy the book and use it for all your kids! There is minimal preparation for the lessons plans since everything is laid out in the book. I also use the lesson topics as ideas for lesson plans of my own.

A friend and I both bought the book and created our own preschool. First we went through the book and marked which lessons we would teach and who would teach them. We met two times a week and took field trips too. Our kids loved the interaction with each other and the special time with their moms.

One very memorable field trip we went to a dairy farm while learning about farm animals. We actually milked some cows, drank fresh milk, and watched the whole process of cow-to-milk pumps-to-pasteurization tank-to-collection in the big milk truck that took it to the factory. The farmers gave us some dairy memorabilia and we were off with a memory that we still laugh about.

I’m now starting preschool with my second child and excited to have this book with everything ready to go. I noticed that there are new resources on the Teach Me Mommy website and a new blog with ideas of activities to do with your child.

Check it out. I think you will like what you see.


Choosing your baby’s name November 5, 2007

Filed under: baby,motherhood,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 4:28 pm

So, you’re pregnant, you’ve told the world you’re expecting, you’ve splurged on a few items for the baby’s wardrobe, and you’re figuring out the final details of the nursery. Have you picked out baby’s name? This is the most lasting thing you will give your child, something that will be a part of your child’s everyday existence. No pressure or anything! Choose wisely!

Here are some tips and some helpful websites to assist you in this fun part of pregnancy:

How popular is the name–Will there be several children in their class with the same name, or will the name be so different it seems weird?

Consider the acronym the initials spell–make sure it spells something nice! If it doesn’t, switch the first and middle as many people go by their middle name instead of their first.

Think about the spelling–I like how my name is spelled differently than most Tamera/Tamara’s, but I have to spell it out anytime someone needs to write it, and even then most people still write it incorrectly. Also, people will need to be able to pronounce the name. I can usually tell a scrapbooker by the spelling of her children’s names! 🙂  May look fun on a scrapbook page, but is it really doing your child a favor?

Consider this if you want to name your baby after a famous person–will the person still be popular as your child grows?

Family names–can be very confusing when exactly the child’s name is the same as another living person, especially if they are living in the same household–on the phone (which Mike?), in the mail, and can even cause havoc with bank information (if both bank at the same institution) or with credit information.

How does it sound with the last name? Too many vowels? Will it make a (mean) phrase–your child will be teased (example: Crystal Ball).

Patterns: all children’s names start with same letters, end with same letters, follow the alphabet (Ariana, Branden, Christopher. . .), biblical names, city or state names

Check the meaning of the name you choose, or come up with a name after picking the meaning.

Bring several favorite names to the hospital and see which name “fits” after the baby is born.

If you just really like a name, use it, even if it doesn’t follow the above recommendations!

To find a name, there are lots of baby name books, or have fun checking out these websites:

My Experience

My first baby was named as I went through the baby book reading names I liked. My husband then nodded when we came to one I read off that he also liked. That left us with with only about three names. One just seemed right at that point.

For our second, I picked a letter I wanted it to start with and read names from books and websites. I narrowed my search to two names, neither of which my husband was really excited about. We didn’t agree on a name until three hours after the baby was born and the hospital front desk called to get the baby’s name for the newspaper. That’s when my husband settled on my favorite name combination for our little boy.

We are just starting our search for the third name. I’ll be visiting the above websites too. I also have to decide what pattern to continue with. So many choices!


How To Use A Moby Wrap September 17, 2007

Filed under: baby,children,kids,motherhood,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 11:03 am

I’m trying out a new way to wear my kids!  Well, other kids at the moment, but I will wear my new baby in this when he/she is born early next year.  I like how the weight of the child is distributed over both shoulders, the lower back and hips.  I wore my 34 pound, almost four year old for quite a while and did not feel tired!  It’s cute too.

The moby lets you wear your child tummy-to-tummy, facing out, or on your back.  It takes a little practicing and getting used to, but I think this wrap will be a favorite for me.  (Though I know my padded ring sling will also share a prominent place on the most used baby items list.  It is just so convenient!)  While the ring sling is easy to slip on and off, I have heard that if you tie the moby on in the morning, you can just wear it all day and take the baby in and out of it as needed.

I prefer the woven fabric, it doesn’t stretch out and it keeps the child right were I put them initially.

Unfolding the wrap and holding the 5-6 yards of fabric can be intimidating!  However, within 4 easy steps (and an optional fifth), you will have the moby on and functional.

1-hold-in-center.jpgStep 1: Hold the center in front and wrap around your waist.

2-cross-the-wrap-in-back.jpgStep 2: Cross the ties in back and over your shoulders.

3-cross-again-and-tuck-under-center.jpgStep 3: Tuck the ties under the center panel and cross again around your waist.

4-tie-in-back.jpgStep 4: Tie in back.

Step 5: (optional and not pictured) If you have enough fabric left–this may be the case with a 6 yard wrap–instead of tying in the back, wrap the ties around your back to the front again and tie in front.

Once you have mastered tying the wrap, you need to practice wearing your baby.  Really, the first few times may seem totally awkward, but it gets easier.  And as the child gets older and more used to it, he/she can help by putting their feet in the right places.

When wearing your child, you will be right next to each other–no wrap fabric separating you.  The crossing tie fabric supports the legs while the center panel holds the child close and supports the child’s back and neck.

The wrap can be used from newborn until around 35 pounds or so.  Actually, you can use the wrap as long as you want, as long as you and your child are comfortable.

front cuddle carry The cuddle carry!

front out carry The front out-facing carry!

piggy back The piggy back carry!

(Nadia and Ravi, you’re great models!  Thanks!)

Cautions and warnings:

Be sure to inspect the wrap for holes or fraying before wearing.  Do not use the wrap if there are holes or frays!

Do not wear your baby when using sharp object (knives, knitting needles, etc) or when cooking!

The wrap should not be used as a car seat, infant bike carrier, etc!

Do not wear the wrap when playing sports!

Use common sense and be safe, for your sake and the child’s.

Make your own wrap:

© 2007 SavvyChic


Mothering with Spiritual Power: Book of Mormon Inspirations for Raising a Righteous Family September 13, 2007

Filed under: books,children,kids,mormon,motherhood — savvychic @ 7:12 am

This is a new book coming out that I look forward to reading.  I worked with Debra Woods a year ago in assisting with a Time Out For Women event in Oklahoma City.  She is kind, warm-hearted, and inviting. . . not to mention talented.  Here is some information about the book.


Mothering with Spiritual Power
Book of Mormon Inspirations for Raising a Righteous Family

By Debra Woods
Published by Cedar Fort, Inc. September 2007


LDS Living magazine September/October 2007 issue Editor’s Pick!

Now available for order or pre-order at,,,, and

Available soon at, and LDS bookstores everywhere.

Book Description:
Mothering with Spiritual Power is an eloquent and heartfelt book that speaks to mothers of the sacred nature of motherhood and the awesome spiritual power available to them through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Using twenty-five favorite Book of Mormon scriptures as inspiration, Debra Woods shows mothers how they can find answers to a myriad of parenting questions and challenges as they raise their children in the latter days. Through stories and experiences taken from her own life, she offers simple suggestions for making meaningful connections with your children—suggestions on how to turn weaknesses into strengths, ideas on how to foster an atmosphere of peace and harmony, ways in which mothers can support each other, helps for the mother who must forgive her children and herself, and so much more.
Mothering with Spiritual Power is a celebration of motherhood, family life, and the difference the gospel of Jesus Christ can make for mothers and families everywhere.
Author Description: 
Debra Sansing Woods is a full-time mom and part-time freelance
writer. Her writings often focus on and celebrate home and family life. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including LDS Living, Meridian magazine, two Deseret Book anthologies (as a contributing author), The Dallas Morning News, The Athens Review, and others.
Debra graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA
in Accounting and went on to become a CPA and corporate controller. She also taught as a highly rated instructor of personal finance for the University of Texas Informal Classes. She currently lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Barry, and their five youngest children. Debra’s family also includes her husband’s three grown daughters.
Advance Praise
“Mothering with Spiritual Power is a remarkable look at some well loved Book of Mormon scriptures applied beautifully to remind us of the power of inspiration and prayer, and the reality of the Atonement in our mothering work. With a wise, honest voice, Sister Woods draws on her own mothering experiences to show how prayerful pondering of the scriptures can give us vision to see through worldly trials to eternal goals. In Mothering with Spiritual Power, Sister Woods insightfully describes a scripture-based parenting style and the powerful parenting truths and clarity available to us as we attempt to liken the scriptures unto us for our profit and learning.”
Clinical Psychologist and mother of three
 “To a mom’s sometimes rushed and chaotic world, Mothering with Spiritual Power comes as a light on a hill, placing us firmly on solid rock. Debra Woods delivers a deeply personal, eloquent message that is never preachy but rather manages to uplift, entertain, and empower.”
Writer and mother of three
 “Mothering with Spiritual Power is an insightful and sensitive resource for the moms in our lives, no matter what their level of experience in raising children. It will affirm and reinforce those who already know how to tap into the guidance of the Spirit as they raise their children. It will also be a mentor for those who are just discovering the power of the influence of the scriptures, coupled with the Spirit as a parenting guide. Readers will relate readily to Debra Woods’s real life experiences, which she skillfully illustrates in this book. Her warm and pleasant writing style makes it a powerful and pleasant guide for applying scriptural teachings to specific family needs. It will be a blessing to all mothers in their sacred work of rearing children.”
—DAVID J. RIDGES, author of the Gospel Study Series
“Motherhood, what an amazing journey! After eight years of married childlessness, I will finally get my chance at motherhood this May. I read Mothering with Spiritual Power and felt uplifted, encouraged, and comforted about the challenges I will soon be facing. I feel women at any stage in life can benefit from the insights shared by this talented new author.”
Author of I Chose You and
101 Creative Dates for Latter-day Saints
“The scriptures this book uses are ones most of us are probably very familiar with, yet Debra is able to give them such a fresh, unique-to-moms perspective. It’s reassuring to see how ancient scripture can be applied to modern parenting problems, and to be reminded that as different as our unique parenting challenges are, we also have much in common—including the greatest parenting advice book available: the Book of Mormon.”
Editor for LDS Living magazine and mother of two
“Debra Woods has gleaned much from her careful reading of the Book of Mormon. With unique mothering perspective, she makes a single verse come alive in a very personal way. Her inspiring insights are powerful reminders of the importance of finding joy in motherhood and the crucial role of mothers in raising responsible children.”
Author of Nobody’s Better Than You, Mom! and
W.O.R.K: Wonderful Opportunities for Raising Responsible Kids
“Debra Sansing Woods uses an eloquent, articulate, and personal style to tie the Book of Mormon to the sacred role of motherhood. This book will lift the spirits and confidence of any mother. I highly recommend this book.”
Author of 25 Mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them