Family Friday: Another sprinkler Friday

Yes, today we spent the evening letting the kids run through the sprinkler again. And why wouldn’t we? The weather is perfect, the family time is ideal. When things align, we go for it!

In the summer the sprinkler can be one of the simplest pleasures for children. And while, as parents, we might initially resist because we may feel pulled to do something else, it is really an enjoyable thing for us too. If you are ready to run through the sprinkler yourself, your kids will think it’s awesome and hilarious. If you choose to sit and watch, your children will enjoy having an audience and will ask you to watch all their new tricks.

Today our two oldest kids were granted the opportunity to spend the day with their grandparents. This meant they were exhausted when we picked them up, but they wanted so badly to play in the sprinkler. Additionally, since our youngest had to spend his day with boring mama, he was so ready to play with his siblings. So we got them changed and set them all loose in the backyard. Our youngest was so excited to play in the water, and kept going despite his shivers. It was adorable!

My hubby and I sat there and watched them galavant through the sprinkling water. We heard countless “watch this” calls, and shouts of excitement. We laughed many times watching all of them enjoy their time.

I encourage you, before your summer runs out, take a little time, regularly. Let the kids be kids, and play in the water. It will make their souls sing, and will create so many lasting memories. Go jump through that sprinkler!

Self-Care Thursday: Oil it up – a review of Young Living items

A self-care activity that is quick and easy, and something I do almost daily, is to use products that help me relax and relieve stress. I am talking about using essential oils.

Essential oils are an integral part of my routine because I live with chronic pain, including pain in my muscles and chronic headaches and migraines. I found years ago that the best way to manage these conditions is through natural products and practices rather than taking medications.

I typically buy my essential oils from a local company, as well as through epsom salt bath products from the grocery store. But recently a friend and I connected and talked about Young Living essential oils.

Anh (pronounced “On”) also believes in the use of essential oils and is a Mama kicking butt to grow her own business and take care of her family. Her belief in the products and the company convinced me to try them out, with a bonus of supporting a friend in her business venture. So I signed up as a rewards member, which essentially gets me discounts and would allow me to build a business as well if I wanted (though the discount is what I’m here for).

Honestly, my Basic Starter Kit arrived a few weeks ago, not long after I placed the order. It sat there in the box, because I was saving it for a special day (a self-care Thursday). But today I chose to finally open it, and now I’m not sure why I waited.

The essential oil mix in this pack is exactly what I needed today, Stress Away. What a great way to embrace Self-Care Thursday! The smell is fabulous. Aromatic without being overpowering, and continually calming me with the scent lifting me up during each breath I take. There are other products included too! There are essential oil infused mints, energy boosters, and a hand sanitizer. This pack is awesome!

If you don’t currently use essential oils, I highly recommend you do! And if you don’t have an oil lady, I recommend you reach out to my friend Anh. You can find her information in the comments of my post for today on my Facebook business page: The Parenting Roller Coaster.

Go get your oil on and start relaxing!

Note: I was not given product, nor was I paid to review these items.

Work It Wednesday: Clean those bathrooms

Sometimes we have to get up and do the things we don’t want to do. You know what I’m talking about. The gross, dirty tasks we have been putting off for too long.

No, I’m not talking about changing diapers, though that needs to get done too. I’m talking about cleaning the bathrooms.

If you are like me, you would rather do almost anything other than cleaning the bathrooms. Because of this you end up waiting way too long, leaving yourself with an even more daunting task. The problem is, too much procrastination can leave us all feeling uncomfortable in our dirty bathrooms, when we are supposed to feel clean and fresh.

So today, get started. Don’t put it off any longer. You know you will feel good once it’s all done (and you’ve taken a shower after the chore is complete). You got this!

Setup YOUR Success Sunday: Personal development

I believe we are all on a continuous personal growth journey. We can feed this drive through learning new things that are of interest and/or importance.

Personal development is such a great opportunity for growth, and can be achieved through various channels. I personally choose to surround myself with positive, like minded mamas who are continually seeking new learning opportunities. This helps my drive to continue to improve my writing and small family business. I also find myself in personal development with a focus on family, rearing children, nursing practice, and whatever else comes my way and challenges me to grow.

Personal development can be big or small. It can be as simple as reading a daily blog post, or as challenging as taking a full time course load at a college. Whatever inspires or interests you, take at least a little time each week to learn something new about it.

This week I am starting a new learning program with a coach who pushes me to continually improve. While I know this program will be hard, and will push me far out of my comfort zone, I am excited because the growth may be exponential.

Ignite your passion and strengthen your knowledge through finding a personal development activity that speaks your learning language. This task will be powerful because it’ll challenge your thoughts, broaden your understanding, and get you out of your comfort zone. This will lead to growth, and keep you ever evolving.

What will you choose to learn this week?

Family Friday: Let’s talk firework safety

On this Family Friday I feel my nursing education and emergency department background shining through. As well as everything I learned from my childhood years of watching my dad as a firefighter and paramedic. Today I want to talk about the important stuff we try to ignore this time of year.

Fire and firework safety is often overlooked in an urgent desire to have fun and celebrate. But all too often skipping these reminders can be detrimental and have lasting effects. So today I put my motherly nursing hat on to share some reminders as you prepare to have a blast this weekend!

1. Children should NEVER light fireworks. Until you are older than 21, sometimes 25, you don’t have the cognitive ability to really think of safety over enjoyment and showing off your “skills” for others. There is no clear understanding of when the firework might fail, or when it might be a slow reactor. Also, special awareness is limited in children and teenagers, with the desire to get much closer than ever necessary.

2. Have your kids stay a safe distance from all fireworks! Do not let them run around on the street. Have them sit in their chairs or at a safe distance for watching. Don’t expect your children will automatically know this either. Talk to them, explain that the beauty can also be dangerous, and fireworks are for watching only.

3. Lead by example – don’t tamper with potentially failed fireworks. If the firework isn’t working the way it should, stay away. Simple as can be. And after quite some time, 10 minutes at least, approach after spraying it down and dunk it in a bucket of water where it can remain for the night.

4. Alcohol and fire do not mix! Obviously I cannot convince the world to not drink alcohol on the 4th of July. But, I encourage a safe limit to avoid inebriation. Also, do not put alcohol near fire. It will lead to further explosions that will result in massive burns.

5. Keep a bucket of water available and a hose on and ready. You can even be extra cautious by spraying down your lawn, plants, brush, house, whatever can lead to fire spread should a firework go wrong.

6. Sparklers are not for young children. They do not understand that fire cannot be touched, and cannot understand it has to be let go when too hot to hold.

7. Mortars are not for neighborhoods, nor for people who don’t have training in pyrotechnics. Yes, I realize this is a point of contention, but it is reality. Many injuries come from the misuse of fireworks. Just as many house fires come from those who shoot off mortars in neighborhoods without the proper equipment.

8. Burns need immediate care. If you get burned and there’s a break in your skin, go be seen by a medical professional.

9. Protect yourself and protect your children. If you are unsure about something, don’t do it. If you feel a sense of hesitancy, listen to it.

10. Have fun. Be safe. Make great memories!

Self-Care Thursday: Sing out loud

I don’t care who you are, this simple action brings joy and satisfaction to everyone. It is only a matter of allowing yourself to let loose.

Singing out loud, whether in a car by yourself, or in a room surrounded by children, can allow you to express yourself and your emotions in a safe and effective way. This little self-care action can improve mood, lower blood pressure, and recenter your mind. It even taps into the creative side of your brain that can have health benefits and stress relief.

The best part is, singing out loud doesn’t take time away from your day. You can even have a karaoke and dance party with your kiddos, which could benefit them as well, and also help you all to create lasting memories.

What a wonderful way to insert a little self-care into every day. Go ahead, sing out loud!

Work it Wednesday: Mix it up

Let’s face it, the monotony is driving the kids crazy. And, likewise, the parents. The same exact routine day after day is bringing us all down.

So today, on Work it Wednesday, we mixed it up! Not for the benefit of the parents, but to help the kids out with their motivation and excitement. Today I let the kids stay in their jammies until mid morning. I let our daughter play in the shower for over 20 minutes, making her day! And this afternoon we built LEGO sets, and train tracks, and played downstairs with all of it so we didn’t have to clean up the existing toy mess in our playroom first.

Sometimes our kids need a little motivation and inspiration. So today I encourage you to think of how you can do this with your kiddo(s). Just a simple change or mix up in pattern to ignite excitement and a feeling of self-worth.

Let your kiddos know they’ve got this! Because they do.

Daddy Takeover Tuesday: The two-way street

My father has a signature saying, “The phone works both ways.” He often has said this when me or my siblings have asked why we haven’t heard from him. When I was younger, I used to repeat it back to him. I couldn’t understand why I had to call him, instead of the other way around. It wasn’t until recently that I truly understood.

My father wasn’t ever expecting his kids to put forth all the effort. See, he was always thinking of us, loving us, and working to support us. Of course, as children, we didn’t see it that way. Only, I wish I had. He wanted us to put in just a bit of effort as he was always putting in effort even when we couldn’t see it.

When my husband suggested the topic of it’s a two-way street, I immediately thought of this story and how I should have gotten my dad’s message earlier in life. And truly, the street is often multi-directional, because many times situations have many components and contributors.

We all need to give a little to meet in the middle. We should never expect anyone to give their all in a situation without any reciprocation. Essentially, we just need to care about others and put in effort to show how we care. When we do this, we can overcome so much together. And create a stronger, more peaceful, world for our children.

Mombie Hack Monday: Wash away the day

At the end of the day, we, as moms, are often exhausted. Run down. Have no more energy but to climb in bed. But this has got to stop!

Mamas, if you want to look less like a Mombie, you need to wash your face!

Think of it symbolically, by washing your face you get to wash away all the challenges, shortcomings, and struggles of the day.

You can also think of it literally, because mama, you have collected dirt, grime, oil, you name it, on your face all day.

Washing our face will give our skin health. When we take care of our skin it looks vibrant and beautiful. But the act of washing our face can also help us with our mood and how we feel.

So tonight, and every night, wash your face! Wash away the day (the pieces you’d like to let go that is)! You got this mama!

Setup YOUR Success Sunday: Find little ways to make everyone happy

I do not mean to approach this topic in the typical sense. It is not a parent’s job (mom or dad) to constantly make everyone else happy. But finding a way to create a cohesive environment where all kiddos are happy at once, means happiness and more ease for the parents.

So this Sunday, I recommend creating a plan or two on how to create cohesive happiness in your home. Simple shifts in your routine can make each summer day more manageable, either with a single project for all, or individual activities that are similar enough to happen all at once.

In our family, if you have just found my blog, we have been spending a lot of time outdoors. However, this has been a challenge for our youngest who wants to be walking and playing. Problem is, we can’t keep him from instantly traveling from grass to pavement, where he inevitably falls as he still learns to master walking. In this event one of us (me or my husband) will hold him until he screams, then will have to bring him inside where he can have his independent play in a safe environment.

So today we worked on a solution to change this. To help our youngest feel like he’s a part of the bicycle gang. We got him the famous little red push car that has been made for generations. And the verdict is out: he loves it! He feels like he’s now a part of outdoor play time.

Even the simplest of things can make a lasting impact in everyone’s happiness. And, in the end, the parents might end up benefiting the most as less stress occurs in managing every child’s wants and needs.

Today, find a way to bring yourself a little more peace in your week by finding and implementing the key to your family’s cohesive happiness.