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Growing Up

Simple Effective Baby Sign Language

Super simple Baby sign language. Communicate with baby with these 5 signs that are life-changing!
This entry is part 30 of 33 in the series Baby Days

We joke around that babies are SO sweet…until they start to say, “NO!”  But there is a short period of time in baby’s life when she simply doesn’t have words (not even, “No”).  The inability of our little ones to fully communicate what is going on in their heads can lead to various outbursts that look like tantrums or frustration.  But it IS the earliest form of communication for them – we just can’t quite understand them.

Figuring out a way to communicate effectively with baby at this crucial early time in her life is life-changing!  If you are like me as a mom, you cherish the littlest moments with your sweet child; savoring each “Goo” and “Gah.”  But, you often struggle when it comes to the not-so sweet moments.  The grunts and the growls, the screams and screeches are likely the last thing you were looking forward to while gently caressing your pregnant tummy and dreaming of mommy-hood.

That is why I am so thankful for baby sign language.

I am not a child development expert and I have no credentials other than being a mom of four.  But I highly recommend learning some very basic baby signs and teaching them to your little ones, starting at a very early age.  We have practiced simple baby sign language with all four of our little ones with great success.   Continue Reading

Pennies from Heaven

5 New Mama Freebies You’ve Never Heard About

the best Freebies for new moms - the very best freebies (not coupons). This list includes things I had never heard of before!
This entry is part 28 of 33 in the series Baby Days

I am not crazy, I LOVE a good deal!  Who doesn’t?  And right now it is a great time to be a new mom because there are a TON of new mama freebies to be had!  Lots of companies want to congratulate you on your status as a new mom.  And they want you as a new (and loyal) customer.  So, they are offering lots of great things just for being you!  But not all the freebies/deals are all that great.

Here’s a rundown of the really great ones.  The ones I think are really worth your time.  And just so you know, most of them involve paying shipping and handling for the product (you know what they say about no free rides).  These freebies are ones I haven’t seen on the myriad lists of new mom freebies and giveaways.  And my list is not a bunch of coupons you don’t have time to cut or the ability to remember to bring to the store.  Continue Reading


The Simple Truth About the Words we Say to our Kids

One of the first lessons I learned as a parent was to watch what I say.  Somehow having a sweet, innocent child observing and listening to me made me consider each word.  Suddenly, I was aware of terms, innocuous in today’s society, having a deeper significance.

Words like “stupid” and “hate” suddenly regained their hurtful-nature.

A phrase like “I don’t care” stung the way it ought to.

It was as though my words became magnified.  Each offending word was dissected and deemed unworthy of my child’s ears.  Immediately my children had a way of changing the way I communicate.  They made me more aware of the importance of words – the way they can be used to hurt or to heal.

I discovered in my time in God’s Word that God places as much or more significance on the words of my mouth.   He is concerned with what I say so much that He has given many instructions regarding the mouth.  By reading just the book of Proverbs (a good starting place for words of practical wisdom), I realized that God truly cares about what I say.  He even cares how I employ words when talking to my children.  And He sees the pain that “bad” words can inflict; and encourages “good” words as a healing salve. Continue Reading

Devotion, Growing Up

Gentle Parenting: Examining Admonishment

Gentle Parenting, Examining Admonishment according to God's Word

We are on the last week of our Precept study of 1 Thessalonians and I sat down to do my work this morning with a heavy heart.  Yesterday was full of struggles with our little one.  The latest struggle is one which I feel much less than equipped to walk her through.  I have been at pains to figure out how to teach her truth, with the patience necessary to await her brain to make new connections and then change the behavior.

And, honestly, after my study this morning, I am still not sure of the answers to these concerns.  But I found encouragement and hope in doing a word study of “admonish the unruly” from 1 Thessalonians 5:14.  One of the ways to cement truth into my heart is to do a synthesis of what I have learned.  I thought I would share my synthesis with you, I hope it is encouragement for the parent who is weary of admonishing, or unsure of even how to admonish their little ones.

First, two definitions. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Remembering Your Kid in the Back Seat

5 ways to remember your kid in the backseat

With the recent controversy (and horrible story) about a son killed after being left in a car (sadly we see something about this more during the summer), I thought I would weigh in with my thoughts.  I was driving around with our girls the other day and I started thinking about the reality that kids are in left in hot cars.  I thought, “Hey, I am doing a series on Traveling with Tots, I should write about this craziness!”

Let me just begin by saying that I honestly can see forgetting a kid happening for SOME parents.  Continue Reading

Growing Up

What makes your Kid Extraordinary?

Every parent thinks their kid is the best at something.  Whatever their talent, aptitude, or quirk, we celebrate them with abandon and unabashedly.  When I was tasked by Stanford Children’s Health with writing about what makes my kid extraordinary, I thought it would be a piece of cake writing assignment.  And then I tried to think of something truly unique.  Something that would make you smile and think, “WOW!  That kid is extraordinary!”

But, every kid does all the things I could think of.  And then my 20 month old walked up to me and said her absolute favorite word.

The thing is, she doesn’t have very many words, yet.  She is starting to babble a little more, putting together phrases that almost sound like real words.  Still, she refuses, outright refuses to say, “Mama.”  But she already has a favorite word. Continue Reading