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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our Journey Toward Further Simplicity

I am a purger at heart. I don't keep a lot of crap. It helps, depending on how you look at it, that we have moved several times the last few years because that's always an opportunity for purging. :)

As many of you know, I have recently ended up a permanent stay at home mom, which unlike some moms; I have been having trouble adjusting to. Life still seems too busy to get things done- so NOTHING gets done, the house seems in more disarray than when I was working, and life just seems to happen around me. I also am convinced I belong on What Not to Wear lately. Blehhh....

Hubby keeps saying I just need a schedule. But even that previously seemed too overwhelming. Thankfully, we are moving this weekend- a chance for a fresh start! Purging is happening- which is SO refreshing! A new chance for better organization as I put things into their new home in a better flow! And I feel like it gives me the opportunity to hit the refresh button and create a better flow for myself as well, so I make life happen: Life doesn't happen TO me.

Thanks to my Facebook obsession, I saw a status update about a week ago for a FREE Kindle version of the book Organized Simplicity. So I immediately downloaded it (anything for FREE works for me! ) and started reading and discovering how to live INTENTIONALLY. I love it. I love everything about it! I am now living and breathing and consuming everything I can about 'simple' organization. In reading this lovely selection, I have discovered it's author and her FABULOUS blog Simple Mom .

So over the next few days to weeks, I will share with you step by step how our family becomes more organized, with a presumably better flow, and how it (if at all) changes our day to day life. I hope you will share with me your personal stories as well so that we all may learn from them.

My first step? Finish purging  and move.

Keep your eyes open for that post! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaching Respect over Obedience

I just read this great article shared by Attachment Parenting International  about Obedient Children- and is it a good thing if your kids are obedient?

I struggle with this question daily as I not-so-eloquently describe in my recent post about struggling with positive parenting and discipline. I want my kids to listen and be polite, but I do question sometimes that I may be forcing them to be 'compliant', which I feel is very different from polite. I want them to speak to others respectfully, think of others feelings before they speak or act, but still feel confident to voice their own opinion and be their own person. But how do we appropriately teach boundaries and appropriate etiquette; without raising a school full of complacent robots?

I want my children to be able to play together, and work out differences together... but respectfully. They do not have to share in our house- but they have to be respectful. Sometimes I wonder though if I have just made that term, "respectful", something of an enigma. What does that really mean?

How do you teach your kids, in an age appropriate fashion, about treating others appropriately without being compliant?

Please share your thoughts with the API article!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eversave DEAL for today! Thurs Jan 19th

One of my FAVE ways to save money: ThredUp!! You like craigslist?? You HAVE to check out ThredUp!

Pay $10 for $20 worth of pre-loved kids' books, clothes, or toys from! At thredUP, moms and dads pack up their kids' lightly used clothes, toys and books and send them to you starting at just $9 a box, plus $10.95 shipping. You shop the boxes and use the tags, symbols and descriptions to find the items you're looking for. Best of all, this community of sharers get peer reviewed to help you shop with confidence.

* CLICK HERE to get this deal TODAY!

New members can get today's deal for just $8 when they use their $2 credit. Also, codes can be used toward shipping!

* Be sure to check out Eversave on Facebook and Twitter and let them know NNM sent you! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I am an Attached Parent.... Who Struggles with Positive Parenting. Am I the Only One?

Attachment parenting, in the words of Attachment Parenting International, involves forming and nurturing strong an secure bonds between parents (parental figures) and their children.  

Positive parenting involves essentially, in my own cumulative definition, attaining being an attached parent by using positive discipline and parenting tools; meaning maintaining a calm environment without yelling and frustration ; which ultimately will all lead to better behavior between both the parent and children.

Now I, like many of you, have multiple children. Currently, my two smallest are 4 and 1/2 and 1 and 1/2. I am home all day, which is new for me, and have been having some trouble to adjusting to being at home and what to do with my whole day; day after day. Here in Maine, winters make it harder to get outside so the kids can run off steam.

I'm not going to lie... I get frustrated.

Just like every parent finds; the kids both need something at the same time, they're bickering, there is a perpetual cycle of nap, snack, and meal time that seems never ending, and additionally all the routine housework that needs to be done. Daily, I find myself making a conscious effort to not make my frustrations known to my kiddos.

We do time outs in our house, which normally works well, and honestly we rarely have to use that option- I'm sure I am quite spoiled and that overall my kids are very very good! When we do need them, is when I have trouble, despite making a conscious effort to be positive- to not yell or appear frustrated. Sometimes I do ok, and remain calm and positive... other times, not so much. I find myself yelling... and then needing to apologize. While no one enjoys apologizing... apologizing to your kids is the worst. You just feel like such a dope. The expression "even mommies make mistakes and use the wrong tone of voice" only works so often before you feel like... I can't possibly be teaching him anything since this is like, the 4th apology in a month!

my little Spiderman enjoying stickers & candy sent from Grammy

Happy Kiddo #1 :)

Happy Kiddo #2 w mama! :)

photo from Purejoy Parenting <3

mama and little Spiderman :)

Happy Baby A :)

Not to be confused

Positive parenting does not mean permissive parenting. Positive Parenting Solutions offers some great explanations as to the differences. Positive Parents do discipline their children, they just find alternative methods to do so. And like other attached parents, never endorse hitting or spanking or condemning the children of any kind.

I consistently review the wonderful foundations I learned through Purejoy Parenting in hopes that as my kiddos get older, it will become less and less of a conscious effort to remain calm and positive and not reveal my inherent frustration :) In the meantime, I'm assuming my occasional huff and puff/ exclamations/ or growling is not permanently damaging my kids !

No doubt that parenting is a learning experience. There is no how-to manual (although as I've mentioned previously, the books Attached at the Heart and Happiest Baby on the Block are what I consider to be appropriate new-parent-manuals) , and everyday is a learning experience for both parent and child. Particularly, in my experience, those of us with multiple children learn that what may have "worked" with one child does not suit the other and vice versa.

It is a journey I am happy to take, and am presuming that my two happy, healthy kiddos are along for the ride with me! :)  What do YOU find helps you balance and maintain a positive environment in your home??

Pregnancy Journey # 4

Here we go again :)  Pregnancy number 4 . I find myself trepidacious enough this time after the last miscarriage, that I (unfortunately) feel thus far, totally un-bonded (is that a word?) with this poor baby thus far. I've felt the kicking... the small movements.... no cramping.... no bleeding.... so all should be fine, right? I guess I just feel like I'm spending the time between each ultrasound waiting for some ball to drop.

I know I shouldn't, and we are still doing all the fun planning associated with this stage of pregnancy. Perhaps it's just because it's not the 1st pregnancy, perhaps it's due to the previous miscarriage- I'm not sure. Regardless, we do have our 20 week ultrasound tomorrow which is super exciting!

I know I will feel comforted seeing the movement and hearing/seeing the heartbeat- and with the (presumed) notification from the ultrasonographer that all measures well and looks ok- I will hopefully feel more involved with this baby in my belly as the weeks progress :)

Hmmmm, now the BIG question: boy or girl??? What are your thoughts???

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Eversave DEAL for today! Last one :)

Ooh! I found another one my fellow mamas will like:

Pay $5 for a two-year subscription to Parents magazine ($24 value), your source for all the tips, articles and information you need to raise a healthy and happy family. For every cough and cry, Parents is there with a soothing solution. Turn to these childcare experts for the latest in child health and safety, as well as product recalls and reviews. Find healthy family recipes, beauty tips, pregnancy guides and more!

Please note: Save Rewards and promo codes are not valid on this deal - but new members get $2 when they sign up and $2 after they buy and share the deal, giving them $4 towards their next Eversave purchase!

CLICK HERE to get this save!!! Enjoy!! 

* Be sure to check out Eversave on Facebook and Twitter and let them know NNM sent you! 

Eversave DEAL for today! Sun Jan 15th

Wow! Check this out fellow social media freaks!! :)

Forget frozen fingers - now you can reach for your iPhone, Droid or Blackberry without exposing your digits to the elements with today's Save.

Text and stay toasty with: $12 for a pair of smartphone-friendly mittens from Mittenberry. This modern spin on the mitten has a thumb flap so you can easily text and surf while your other fingers stay snug. These 100% wool mittens are super soft and itch-free. Choose from three chic colors that will keep you cozy and connected. Free shipping is included!

New members can get this deal for just $10 when they use their $2 credit.  CLICK HERE to get this great deal!! 

Also, we have a great online bonus deal that will help you put your best foot forward with today's Save: $15 for $32 worth of socks and accessories from S tripes and polka dots are just the beginning for a site that's jam-packed with socks to suit your every whim. Get your kicks with peace signs and bumble bees, or find your long lost sole-mate in a pair with puppy dogs. And if you want your purchase to give more than happy feet, suit up with a set of socks that give back.

* Be sure to check out Eversave on Facebook and Twitter and let them know NNM sent you! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eversave DEAL for today! Friday Jan 13th

EVERSAVE Deal for TODAY Friday January 13th, 2012 

A hot new pair of heels may warm our hearts, but they tend to leave our toes out in the cold. For a seasonal style that's much hotter, cozy up to today's Save: a pair of $22 faux fur-lined boots from Shoe Scandal.

Choose from a bevy of boots with shearling-like exterior and faux-fur lining to keep your toes toasty this winter. Go for a classic look with a short bootie, or go tall with the three button boots.

The perfect combination of couture and comfort, these boots come in five different shades, from raspberry rose to chocolate brown. Pair your favorite color with skinny jeans or leggings (or, our personal favorite, cozy sweats). New members can get today's deal for just $20 when they use their $2 credit!

Get this save HERE

* * Be sure to check out Eversave on Facebook and Twitter and let them know NNM sent you! 

I'm baaaaack... again! :)

It has been a while since the last time you have heard from me here at NNM! For that, I am so sorry! But we have a  lot to catch up on which should keep me busy in the coming months! <3

Spiderman and Baby A are getting HUGE <3
 Crafty Mama- Installment II

Let's start with something easy & fun that's also eco friendly AND budget friendly! Here is what WE did at our house for our family members during the holidays;

As you know, we as a family (as I'm sure many of you have also experienced)  have struggled with finances over the last several years; getting back on our feet in this unsteady economy. You can check out my hand made gifts from last year HERE, in Crafty Mama. This year, I opted for something a little less hands- on, as I know I have two kids to chase after, and one on the way! So here's what I did:

Step 1_ in lieu of turning in the milk bottles we had been accumulating for the deposit as we normally would, I held on to them and cleaned them out to use as decorative containers. Cost? essentially free, because we drink the milk anyways :)

Step 2_ Next, I had the kids use their favorite color finger paints and paint their hand prints on the jars. Once they were dry, I just used a black Sharpie to go over each hand print with the appropriate child's name. Adorable and FREE (given that we used materials we already had at home).

Step 3_ homemade granola!

I used the recipe found HERE  from the Food Network site

I ended up making two batches to accommodate all my jars, and merely added some honey and cinnamon once it came out of the oven. The end result looked like this;

And it was DELICIOUS! Baby A and I just haaaaaad to sample some- you know, to make sure it was edible! :) 

Step 4_  Once the granola cooled, I placed a small amount in each jar, and stuffed in the top some decorative holiday tissue paper to fill the gap in the tall milk jugs ( I would have had to have made, like, 6 batches if I had wanted to FILL the jugs!) I placed the cap back on the jugs and placed them in gift bags made out of recycled paper that I purchased at Target for 99 cents each!

Somehow I did not get a photo of the finished product- hmph! but they came out great! and everyone thought the granola was delish! So overall, total score, for only the cost of the gift bags, gift tags, and granola ingredients!

Did YOU make any hand made gifts this holiday?