Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parents - Newsletter for the week of 01/23 - 01/27



Just a reminder that all activities are based on the number of children present each day, ages of the children present, and mood of the children.


January Newsletter

Week of January 23RD- 27TH

Monthly Thematic Unit – Winter

Color of the Month
– White




Song of the Week:
   “Snowflakes and Cupcakes“
  (Sung to: Raindrops and Lemon Drops)
If all the snowflakes were chocolate covered cupcakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!
I'd go outside with my mouth open wide (open mouth and stick out tongue)
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
If all of the snowflakes were chocolate covered cupcakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!



Book of the Week: The Little Snowflake by Steve Metzger


What We Did On Monday: We began our day by playing with our baby dolls and learning with our electronic learning toys. Then we enjoyed Independent Reading Time (IRT) where we focused this week on reading our books with gentle hands so that we do not tear them up. After that, I introduced the BOTW and the SOTW. Then we set up and played with our train set, built towers with our Lincoln Logs, and made beautiful music with our musical instruments.

Special Enrichment for Monday: For Baking Day today, we practiced our math skills with measuring out the ingredients to make Coconut Snowballs. Mmmm....good!
We also created Snowball Art by gluing white cotton balls onto blue construction paper.

What We Did On Tuesday: We started our day off with a bang by playing our musical instruments and building with our mini waffle blocks. We also enjoyed trying to learn our colors, shapes, animal sounds, numbers and letters with our electronic learning toys. Then 
we enjoyed IRT where we focused this week on reading our books with gentle hands so that we do not tear them up.  Then we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. Later in the day, we also got creative with our Mr. Potato Heads, practiced matching our shapes with our shape sorters, built with bristle blocks and nurtured our baby dolls.

Special Enrichment for Tuesday: We watched the movie Blue's Room: Alphabet Power! to learn more about our ABCs!

What We Did On Wednesday: We began our day by playing with our Little People and our dinosaurs. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused this week on reading our books with gentle hands so that we do not tear them up. Then we read the BOTW and sang the SOTW. After that, we enjoyed building with Lincoln Logs, playing with our baby dolls! (they were popular this week!),  pretended to cook in our kitchen center and worked on puzzles.

Special Enrichment for Wednesday: We played Jumpstart Preschool on the computer!

What We Did On Thursday: No one came to play today.

Special Enrichment for Thursday:  No one came to play today.

What We Did On Friday: We began our day by playing in our kitchen center and pretending to cook for each other. We also worked with our shape sorters. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused this week on reading our books with gentle hands so that we do not tear them up. Then we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. Later, we also played in our dollhouse, made necklaces out of large beads, played with our Build and Stack City, drove our Hotwheels on the car garage, and built with bumpy blocks and mini waffle blocks.
Special Enrichment for Friday: We drew snowy pictures using white crayons on blue construction paper. We also watched the movie The First Snow of Winter.

What We Did on Saturday: We started our day off by playing with our electronic learning toys and our baby dolls. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused this week on reading our books with gentle hands so that we do not tear them up. Then we read the BOTW and sang the SOTW. Then we played with our toy animals and dinosaurs.

Special Enrichment on Saturday: We watched the movie Elmo's World.











Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Scoop on Poop

I have spent hours scouring the internet and elsewhere trying to figure out the whole scoop on flushing the poop from disposable diapers before trashing them. I have Googled to see about a law on this as some believe it is illegal to throw human waste into landfills. I cannot find one. Not a state law, not a federal law. All I have found is parenting forums of people discussing a law that I cannot find. I have looked on the EPA's website, websites for various landfills and waste companies. All I can find it that poop is infectious (obviously...think about how many babies get sick....think about where the "remnants" of vaccines a baby gets goes - esp. live virus ones), but nothing about how you should flush the poo from a disposable diaper down your toilet before trashing the diaper. Interesting.

I also went to the three national brands of disposable diapers websites - Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs.

Pampers has 156 FAQ listed on their website. No where on their website could I find anything that stated that you should flush the poop. I also examined a bag of size 3 Pampers diapers. Nowhere on the bag does it say you should flush it.

Huggies has 11 pages of FAQ on their website. Again, nothing about flushing the poop. Nothing anywhere on their website that I could find about doing so, despite them having many articles on diaper changing. I also examined a bag from Huggies Pure and Natural size 3 diapers. Nowhere on it did it mention flushing poop.

Luvs diapers has 9 pages of FAQ on their website. Again, no mention of disposing of poop before disposing of the diaper. Nowhere on their website either or their blog, that I could find. I did not have a bag of Luvs available to examine.

 I am thinking that this "rumor" (for lack of anything else to call it when I cannot find any laws) may have started because back in 1975 WHO (The World Health Organization) called for an end of urine and fecal waste in solid waste. Maybe in earlier years, disposable diaper companies put the word out in the hopes that more parents would do so, especially after the amount of vaccines increased in the 80s and 90s and baby poop literally became more infectious? I don't truly know.

Do I think that disposable diapers should be dumped before being thrown away? I don't know. I do it with our cloth diapers, but when we do use disposies, I don't dump it. But then again, we don't vaccinate and our daughter is rarely sick with something infectious.I think it should be a personal decision that parents should make for their own family.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Parents - Newsletter for the week of 01/16-01/20

Just a reminder that all activities are based on the number of children present each day, ages of the children present, and mood of the children.



January Newsletter

Week of January 16th - 20th

Monthly Thematic Unit – Winter

Color of the Month – 
White



Song of the Week: (SOTW)

“Mittens on My Hands”


(Sung To: “Wheels on the Bus”)

The mittens on my hands
Keep me warm
Keep me warm
Keep me warm
The mittens on my hands
Keep me warm
All Winter long!




Book of the Week: (BOTW)

Dora's Chilly Day by Kiki Thorpe



What We Did On Monday: We began our day by setting up and playing with our train set and building with our Legos. Then we enjoyed Independent Reading Time (IRT) where we focused on replacing our book on the bookshelf when we are finished reading it. Then I introduced the BOTW and the SOTW. After that, we worked on building with Lincoln Logs, playing with our Little People playsets imaginatively, and driving our Hotwheel cars.

Special Enrichment for Monday: We marbled painted today! We took mitten shaped cutouts and placed them inside a large clean, plastic ice cream container. We then added a few drops of paint, closed the lid and shook it up! The final designs on our mittens were very cool!
We also made Banana Snowmen for snack today using banana slices, blueberries and pretzel sticks!
What We Did On Tuesday: We started our day by playing with our electronic learning toys and nurturing our baby dolls. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused on replacing our book on the bookshelf when we are finished reading it. Then we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. Then we got creative in our kitchen center and pretended to cook and bake!

Special Enrichment for Tuesday: We played with our toy penguins and polar bears!

What We Did On Wednesday: We began our day by working hard on learning how to complete our puzzles and building with our alphabet blocks. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused on replacing our book on the bookshelf when we are finished reading it. Then we read our BOTW and sang our SOTW. After that, we enjoyed playing with our Batter's Up toy, going down our indoor slide, exploring our Laugh and Learn Learning Home, playing with our schoolhouse toy set, and playing with our electronic learning toys.

Special Enrichment for Wednesday: We decorated a winter hat cutout using crayons to make our very own designs!
We also had a blast playing our Chute and Ladders CD-ROM on our computer!

What We Did On Thursday: We started our day by being sweet with our baby dolls, enjoying our indoor ride on toys, and pretending to cook in our kitchen center. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused on replacing our book on the bookshelf when we are finished reading it. Then we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. Later in the day, we also enjoyed working on puzzles, playing with our schoolhouse toy set, and using our shape sorters.

Special Enrichment for Thursday: We watched the movie Elmo: Babies, Dogs and More!

What We Did On Friday: We began our day by building with our wooden blocks, pretending with our puppets and playing with our polar bear and penguin toys. Then we enjoyed IRT where we focused on replacing our book on the bookshelf when we are finished reading it. Then we read our BOTW and sang our SOTW. After that, we built with our Lincoln Logs.

Special Enrichment for Friday: We watched the movie The Snowy Day based on the book by Ezra Jack Keats.
We also made Hand print Mittens by dipping our hands into white paint and pressing them onto paper. We then drew a mitten shapes around our hands! So cute!

What We Did on Saturday: No one came to play today.

Special Enrichment on Saturday: No one came to play today.


I still have some parents who haven't turned in the updated 2012 Parent Handbook form signed. Please do so ASAP! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Dangers of Using Vicks Vaporub in Children Under the Age of Two.



This blog post is written in honor of blog friend Julia, who suggested this topic.

Did you know that on Vicks Vaporub packaging, it clearly says not to use with children under age 2? (See packaging info HERE.) This apparently has to do with the dosaging in the ointment. The levels are too high for babies/young toddlers.You would think then, that to relieve your baby's cough and cold symptoms, you should simply use Vicks BabyRub, then, right? Well, that depends. Are you wanting to simply soothe your baby, or help him or her feel better? Vicks BabyRub does NOT say that it treats the symptoms of coughs and colds. (See package info HERE.) It simply states "Combined with your loving touch, it is perfect to calm, soothe, and relax your baby." Which is great, but it seems to imply that since you can't use regular Vaporub on your baby, that this will do the trick. Here are some reasons NOT to use VapoRub on your baby/young toddler:

1. The packaging clearly says not to.

2. It is very normal for a cough to last for 3-4 weeks, no matter what you use or don't use to treat it.

3.  The dosage is not intended for them.

4.  A Reuters report quotes one of the researchers, Dr. Bruce Rubin, as saying:

"The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. And since infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of an adult, any increase in mucus or swelling can narrow them severely."

Here is another article that you might enjoy reading on this topic.

Also, here is a link to an ABC News video on this topic.


OK....so, what CAN you use? Personally, I use Lil Remedies BabyRub. It isn't that different from Vicks, but I like that it has Coconut oil in it, which has healing properties.

For the 1st birthday to age 2 crowd, check out Zarbees Honey based cough syrups. Remember not to give honey to babies, though.

I'm a sponsor in the DeDa Studio's 10,000 Fan Giveaway. Want to win either $200 in Paypal cash or a Soda Stream Soda System?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ready to think about not eating fast "food" like McDonald's anymore?

I personally think that this picture is disgusting, but such an eyeopener. To just imagine how hard of a time your body has trying to actually digest this stuff if this is how it "decomposes". But this is what happens when man-made "food" takes over God-made food.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I couldn't have said it any better myself!

“No single person, including the President of the United States, should ever be given the power to make a medical decision for potentially millions of Americans. Freedom over one’s physical person is the most basic freedom of all, and people in a free society should be sovereign over their own bodies. When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies.” - Dr. Ron Paul

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Did you know that practically anyone who wants one can get an exemption from vaccines?

Not sure about vaccinating your child? Are you worried about them being able to attend a public day care, preschool or school without them? Guess what? They can. "No shots, no school!" is something I like to call "fear-mongering"...where parents feel coerced to get their child vaccinated because someone tells them their child can't go to school with out them.




Listed below are the exemptions types that are available. After that, I will list, by state, what exemptions are available, as they do vary some by state.




Medical Exemption: If a child is allergic to any of the vaccine components or if the child has an immune deficiency, your doctor *may* give you one of these.







Philosophical Exemption: This can be filed when the beliefs of the parents (non-religious beliefs) are that their child should not be immunized. Plain And Simple.







Religious Exemption: This can be filed when the religious beliefs of the parents contradict the use of vaccines. Examples are: A vaccine component is aborted fetal tissue. If your religious beliefs are that you are very Pro-Life and that you should not used anything related to an abortion, you would qualify. Or if you believe that some of the vaccines are against diseases mainly cause by STI/STDs or are related to sex in general, you may file a religious exemption under the idea that your religious beliefs do not condone pre-marital sex and that you feel that if you give these vaccines to your child, you are giving them "permission" to have pre-marital sex.







All 50 states allow for a Medical Exemption. But, they are really hard to get from what I understand.




48 states allow for a Religious Exemption. The two states that don't allow them are: West Virginia and Mississippi.




20 states allow for a Philosophical Exemption. They are: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.




Alaska - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Alabama - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Arkansas - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Arizona - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




California - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Colorado - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Connecticut - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Delaware - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Florida - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Georgia - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Hawaii - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Iowa - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Idaho - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Illinois - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Indiana - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Kansas - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Kentucky - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Louisiana - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Maine - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.


Maryland - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Massachusetts - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Michigan - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Minnesota - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Mississippi - Medical ONLY.




Missouri - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Montana - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Nebraska - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Nevada - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




New Hampshire - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




New Jersey - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




New Mexico - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




New York - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.







North Carolina - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




North Dakota - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Ohio - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Oklahoma - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Oregon - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Pennsylvania - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Rhode Island - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




South Carolina - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




South Dakota - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Tennessee - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Texas - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Utah - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Vermont - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Virginia - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




Washington - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




West Virginia - Medical ONLY.




Wisconsin - Medical, Religious, and Philosophical.




Wyoming - Medical, Religious, but not Philosophical.




For more information about where to get an exemption form, if needed, see here: Unhindered Living






Are you concerned with just how "rare" a side effect of a vaccine is?

Parents often wonder whether or not one of the side effects of a vaccine will affect THEIR child. Then they begin to wonder just how often some of the side effects occur. It is a lot of info to take in, but definitely good info to know. Researching anything that involves potentially hurting your children is significantly important. Know the facts so that you can make an informed decision. Also...did you know that it is perfectly safe  to STOP vaccines if you have already started them and change your mind about them? Did you know that you can pick and choose which vaccines your child receives AND when they receive them? You don't HAVE to give them vaccines at all and if you do, you don't HAVE to give the vaccines to your child on the schedule that your doctor says to do.

Read this article by Vax Truth for some more information on vaccine side effects.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hard Facts about Circumcision

Another quote about circumcision

‎"Saying circumcision is 'just a little snip' is like saying a plane crash is 'a slight elevation change.'" ~Tate Wright

Do you bed share?

If you do, then you, like me, know EXACTLY how this feels!




Which position is your little one's favorite?

Are you currently pregnant with a baby boy? Trying to make an informed decision about circumcision?

Here is some really important information that you should know if you are trying to make this decision.
Please read it carefully as it has the potential to be eye-opening :) You might also wish to research more about WHY American doctors decided to BEGIN circumcising baby boys.




Proven: Kids Get Smarter Just from Doing This One Simple Thing

Did you know that your kids can get smarter just by EXERCISING??  Wow! Who knew it was that easy to raise smart kids? Just have them get up and go outside and make them run around. Amazing! lol But seriously, check out this Dr. Mercola article about the important studies that have shown this!

READ IT HERE!


I know I want some smart kids, how about you?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Upcoming Product Review and Giveaway for Designs By Sarah

Wow! I am so excited to be having my second product review and giveaway! Sarah has lots of fabulous handmade items. While we work out the details regarding it, why not check her out on Facebook?




Designs by Sarah







Please "like" her page and tell her that Growing Up Naturally In Home Child Care sent you! Even better - please "tag" us on her page! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vitacost.com - Save $10 off your order of $10 or more! S&H is only $4.99 and SUPER FAST!

www.vitacost.com

Need Vitamin D3 to fight off a cold? How about fenugreek to boost your breastmilk supply? How about some Vitamin C to fight off an infection? Cloth Menstruation Pads? Burt's Bees products? Find all of that and more, here at Vitacost!

Quote about circumcision

‎"Circumcision has health benefits the way wearing garlic keeps away vampires." ~Hugh Young

End Piracy, Not Liberty

https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

SO EXCITING! COMING SOON: A PRODUCT REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY TO ONE LUCKY WINNER OF A JUPPY BABY WALKER!

Wow! I am so excited to be having my first product review and giveaway! Check their product out on Facebook. If you were the winner, would you pick PINK or BLUE? What one name would you have it personalized with?

 These cost $29.95 - and you could win one!!!


Juppy Baby Walker Facebook Page

Please "like" their page and tell them that Growing Up Naturally In Home Child Care sent you! Even better - please "tag" us on their page! Thanks!

Can Vitamin D Cure the Common Cold?

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/21/Can-Vitamin-D-Cure-the-Common-Cold.aspx

A Simple Way to Slash Your Risk of Colds by 50%

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2010/11/15/how-to-easily-slash-your-risk-of-getting-a-cold-in-half.aspx

Treating Colds Naturally

http://www.mercola.com/article/colds/index.htm

The First Thing to do When a Cold or Flu Strikes

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/13/could-a-cup-or-more-of-this-a-day-keep-the-flu-away.aspx

Alarming New "Flu" Treatment -- A Serious Health Mistake in the Making

I <3 Dr. Mercola's articles!

Preparing For A Natural Hospital Birth

Awesome read!

Books I recommend for eating healthy!

These are all e-books that are emailed to you and you download them! An excellent tool so that you can print the recipes right away! Read all the way to the bottom for coupon codes!!!


Against the Grain:

(learning to eat grain free)




Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods:




Real Food Basics:

(how to learn to eat real foods only)




Treat Yourself:

(desserts! I have this book and it is AWESOME!)




And her newest book, just released:

Wholesome Comfort:




Because she just launched her most recent book, she is offering coupon codes:


WHOLESOME30 for 30% off the book through 11/17
WCLAUNCH20 for 20% off ANY book (including the older ones and bundles) through 11/20

Monday, January 16, 2012

2 Reminders!

1. Parents, please remember to sign and return your new updated Parent Handbook so that your child's file stays up-to-date. Thank you!

2.  Remember that this Friday is our next Parents' Night Out!! Please respond to your RSVP on Facebook so that I know how many children to expect. Thank you!

January Newsletter Week of January 9th - 13th

January Newsletter
Week of January 9th - 13th
Monthly Thematic Unit – Winter Time
Color of the Month – White
 
Song of the Week:    “The Polar Bear Song”
(Sung to: “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear turn around,
Polar Bear, Polar Bear touch the ground.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear growl real loud,
Polar Bear, Polar Bear sit on the ground.  

Book of the WeekArctic Adventure by Joanna Cole 

What We Did On Monday: We started our day by making some groovy music with our musical instruments and playing with our Little People. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) where we focused this week on reading the book from front to back. Then I introduced the SOTW and the BOTW. Later in the day, we explored our Laugh and Learn Learning Home and took turns going down our indoor slide. We also had fun playing with our Batter's Up toy, playing with our electronic learning toys and playing in our toy kitchen. We also had fun with the shape sorters and the Laugh and Learn purse.
Special Enrichment for Monday: We made Handprint Polar Bear art projects. We also made Donut Snowmen using donuts, blueberries, and carrot sticks.

What We Did On Tuesday: We began our day by playing in our Laugh and Learn Learning Home and going down our indoor slide. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) where we focused this week on reading the book from front to back. Then we read the BOTW and sang the SOTW. Next we played with our baby dolls, had fun with our electronic learning toys and built with our Duplo blocks.
Special Enrichment for Tuesday: We watched the movie WordWorld: Rocket to the Moon to learn about identifying letters and using them to build words.

What We Did On Wednesday:We started our day off by building with our clippo blocks and playing with our Hotwheels. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) where we focused this week on reading the book from front to back. After that, we sang our SOTW and read our BOTW. Then we played with our Little People playsets, listened to our VeggieTales CD and played with the etch-a-sketch. We also had fun with the chain links and working on puzzles.
Special Enrichment for Wednesday: We wanted to mix it up a bit, so we went to Chick-fil-a to play at their indoor playground. All of the rain we had this week just made us feel so blah! But it was fun to go play at their playground!

What We Did On Thursday: No one came to play today.
Special Enrichment for Thursday: No one came to play today.

What We Did On Friday: We began our day by playing with our singing snowman toy, listening to our VeggieTales CD, and playing with our baby dolls. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) where we focused this week on reading the book from front to back. Then we read the BOTW and sang the SOTW. After, we played in the Laugh and Learn Learning Home, went down our slide, pretended to cook in our kitchen, and played with the Lights and Sounds Show toy.
Special Enrichment for Friday: We watched the movie Ice Age: The Meltdown.
What We Did On Saturday: We started our day by playing with our electronic learning toys and building with our mini waffle blocks. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) where we focused this week on reading the book from front to back. Ten we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. 
Special Enrichment for Saturday: We watched the movie Happy Feet.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why This Nurse Won't Vaccinate (You Tube Video)

Click HERE.

Yup, that's me! :)

'Sleeping Through the Night' Is a Cruel Myth Created by Smug Parents

Interesting article....do you let your little one "Cry it Out?"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love to Cloth Diaper

As published HERE:


Top 10 Reasons Why I Love to Cloth Diaper

January 10, 2012 @  → No Comments
1. The patterns available are way too adorable!It can actually become addictive to look at them all. Whether looking at All-In-Ones (AIOs) or covers – I want them all! While some disposables companies are trying to keep up (think “jeans” and “Santa pants”), they just cannot compare in this regard.
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love to Cloth Diaper clothdiapers 300x225 2. I like knowing that no chlorine bleach is touching my child’s most intimate parts.
Yes, most top name-brand and store brand diapers use chlorine bleach to make the diapers a “pretty” white.
3. AIOs are so convenient
And easy enough that even my husband can not only figure them out, but he can also handle cloth diapers that require a cover (although he does much better with Velcro closures than snap.).
4. Helps to keep pants on.
My daughter has a tiny bottom that has a little bit of trouble holding her pants up on its own. Luckily, cloth diapers help her in this area! She ends up with a little bubble butt with a clothie on.
5. I like knowing that I am not throwing a baby’s lifetime worth disposables into the already-full-of-them dumps.
I would rather do an extra (small) load of laundry a week.
6. HAVE I MENTIONED HOW SUPER CUTE THE PATTERNS ARE???
7. Worry-free about leaks.
There are so many varieties of cloth inserts available for absorbency levels that I do not have to worry about leaks like I would if she were in a ‘sposie.
8. WASH, STUFF, APPLY, REMOVE, REPEAT.
Yes, it is really that easy.
9. I feel like I am being more “green” by using clothies.
I feel like I am doing a good thing for my daughter by using cloth diapers. I also feel like I am doing a good thing for the environment. And all of that adds up to making me feel like I am a good mama!
10. Using cloth diapers has helped us afford diapers
Yes, you read that correctly. We have about 40 cloth diapers of various kinds and sizes. HALF OF THEM WERE GIVEN TO US USED. All in all, we have only spent about $100 on cloth diapers. In this economy, that is awesome! We would have spent that much in about 4 months on disposables.
All in all, we “heart” our clothies! And so does our daughter.

January Newsletter Week of January 2nd - 6th

January Newsletter
Week of January 2nd - 6th 
Monthly Thematic Unit – Winter Time
Color of the Month – White
 
Song of the WeekI’m a Little Penguin
                        (Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot")
                          I'm a little penguin, on the ice.
                          I think the cold is very nice.
                          I can hop around
                          first once, then twice.
                          I think ice is very nice.           

Book of the Week: The Brave Little Penguin by DK Publishing

What we did on Monday: We started our day by playing with our Little People playsets and our schoolhouse toy. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) by focusing this week on turning the pages carefully so as not to rip them. Then I introduced the BOTW and the SOTW. The children also enjoyed playing Cariboo's Treasure Hunt (while identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters!) and playing with Hotwheel cars.
Special Enrichment for Monday: We made a penguin puppet using toilet paper roll tubes, black paint, small paper pieces and glue.
We also played Chutes and Ladders on the computer!
For Baking Day we assembled Marshmallow Snowman using marshmallows, pretzels, and small candies. Check out the cute pictures on my FB page!

What we did on Tuesday: We began our day by playing with our baby dolls and working on wooden puzzles. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) by focusing this week on turning the pages carefully so as not to rip them. Next, we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. The children played with the toy animals, the Laugh and Learn Learning Home, took turns going down the indoor slide, and playing with the singing snowman toy.
Special Enrichment for Tuesday: We enjoyed playing with our electronic learning toys to learn animal names and sounds, counting skills, identifying letters and shapes. 

What we did on Wednesday: We started our day today by playing with our busy beads and our kitchen toys.Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) by focusing this week on turning the pages carefully so as not to rip them. Next we sang the SOTW and read the BOTW. 
Special Enrichment for Wednesday: We played Blue's Clues ABC Activities on our computer. We also made a penguin footprint art project (SO cute!).

What we did on Thursday: We began our day by exploring the Laugh and Learn Learning Home and going down the indoor slide. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) by focusing this week on turning the pages carefully so as not to rip them. Next we read the BOTW and sang the SOTW. Then we took turns playing with our schoolhouse toy, baby dolls, and Batter's Up! toy.
Special Enrichment for Thursday: We worked on shapes and matching them while using our shape sorters. 

What we did on Friday: We started our day by playing some beautiful and loud music :) with our musical instruments and being imaginative with our toy animals. Then we enjoyed IRT (Independent Reading Time) by focusing this week on turning the pages carefully so as not to rip them. Next we sang our SOTW and read our BOTW. Then we enjoyed exploring the Laugh and Learn Learning Home, building with our Duplo blocks and pretending to cook in the toy kitchen.
Special Enrichment for Friday: We played with toy penguins and toy polar bears in the "snow"! It was soooo much fun! The kids really liked it (check out the pictures on the FB page).
We also watched the movie Happy Feet!

What we did on Saturday: No one came to play today.
Special Enrichment for Saturday No one came to play today.


Please note that all families should have received an email last week that included a copy of 2012's Parent Handbook. Please make sure to read it (most changes were just the updates to 2012's dates of closed holidays). Please sign and return the last page ASAP. Thank you!

Also, please note that MLK is NOT a closed holiday. I am open if you need me, including for school-age siblings.

How to get 50% off any Parents' Night Out

50% off any Parents' Night Out


How to Claim

Availability
Unlimited

Starts
Today at 10:00pm

Ends
Monday, December 31, 2012 at 10:00pm

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cost Effective Strategies for Saving Money During Hard Times

As published HERE:


In the past five years, our income has dropped by approximately 60%. This has forced us to truly evaluate our needs vs. our wants. It has also contributed towards us making every bill that comes into our house be as low as it can possibly be. I know that there are lots of articles and websites out there right now that discuss couponing; I, however, will be talking about other ways to save. Here are some of the strategies we have used to encourage our bills to be as low as possible.

Electric Bill

Cost Effective Strategies for Saving Money During Hard Times savemoney 300x199
  1. We unplug every appliance and electronic item possible that is not currently in use. Electronic items that can be (based on where they are located) are also plugged into a power strip that we flip on when we need to use it and off when it is not in use.
  2. We allow at least half of every load of laundry to hang dry. We hang all shirts to dry. We also lay blankets, sleeping bags and towels to dry (usually to hang dry over the shower curtain rod.).
  3. We use timers for devices as allowable to have them turn themselves on or off at given times.
  4. We lowered our air conditioning usage by making more use of our ceiling fans.

Gas Bill

  1. We only use cold water to wash laundry.
  2. We cook or bake more at one time and freeze the extra to make the most use of the oven at one time.
  3. We use our ceiling fans on reverse to better circulate the heat that we use.
  4. We have reduced our usage of heat by adding more blankets to our beds, couches, and crib. Plus, we snuggle more. :)

Water Bill

  1. I know some people can’t do this or feel it is gross to do so, but we have reduced everyone to no more than 2 showers/baths a week. (This also cuts back on shampoo and conditioner usage!). We do freshen up daily with washcloths and baby wipes.
  2. We keep buckets in the showers to collect extra water while the shower is running and then we use that water to water our vegetable garden, grass, flowers, and bushes instead of running the hose.
  3. We only run the dishwasher or washing machine when it is full. (Which for the dishwasher is almost daily…Washing machine, we wash about 4-5 loads a week.)
  4. Again, some may feel this isn’t for them, but we all wear pants at least twice before washing them. (Unless there is something obviously dirty about them such as my 14 months old covering her light pink leggings in pasta sauce!).
  5. We only let the ice maker in our freezer run when it gets to be almost empty. Otherwise, it is in “Off” mode.

Landline Telephone Bill

We have dramatically cut this bill back since we both have cell phones. Unfortunately we can only cut so much because we have DSL.
  1. No long distance.
  2. We actually have ours set up where it actually costs us to make a LOCAL call outside of a certain radius. This brought the bill lower upon negotiation with the company. We NEVER use the phone except for DSL. In fact, the phones are only plugged in for emergency reasons. All ringers are turned off on them.

Kids/Baby Expenses

  1. Diapers. Every baby wears them. Well, we chose to cloth diaper to save as much as possible. We got half of ours used to be cost efficient. We currently have about 35 cloth diapers and we paid about $100 for all of them. Disposable diapers – $100 might last 3-4 months depending on the brand. Yes, they add an additional load of laundry every week, but in the end, we feel they are more cost effective than ‘sposies.
  2. Wipes. We do use regular wipes. We just find coupons and aren’t brand loyal. Wipes are wipes, generally speaking…yes, some are thicker than others, but to us, cheap matters more.
  3. Clothing. We have a 9 yr old boy and a 14 month old girl. We can’t hand down from one child to the other. But, through networks of friends and websites like Freecycle, ThredUp, and Craigslist, we find a lot of our kids’ clothes for cheap, if not FREE. We also love to buy from consignment sales and shops. We also SELL their outgrown clothing via consignment shops, Craigslist and eBay. Then the money made from selling helps us to buy what they need.

General Household Expenses

  1. Gasoline – We have worked very hard to combine trips to use less gasoline. For instance, we go do our grocery shopping on the way coming home from church on Sundays. We stop at the post office on the way coming home from driving our son to school in the morning. Things like that. We try very hard to never run out for only one thing.
  2. Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap/Deodorant, etc. – We use coupons where we can on these items, but we do choose to use only certain brands for these items for health purposes. We always do our best to buy during Buy One Get One Free sales and use a coupon on each item or combine a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon.
  3. Eating Out – Oh, the luxury! I have actually made a chart on a magnetic board that sticks to the side of our fridge that shows which restaurants Kids Eat Free at for which day of the week. We only eat at one of those restaurants on that given day. The only exceptions to this are if we have a coupon or gift card for somewhere else.
  4. Christmas – Last year we started a new tradition of sorts. We have begun buying our Christmas presents year-round. Whenever we see a sale or a clearance section in a store, we scour it for something for someone on our Christmas list. Then we stick it away. I already have six gifts tucked away for next Christmas!
As you can see, there are MANY ways to help lower your bills. Try some – what is the worst that can happen? You can save some money!