December Baby – 22 months

Hey, little guy!

I can’t believe in 2 months, you will be TWO years old! Your new favorite word is “mine!”, and the tantrums are starting. Fun times!

Aside from those moments, you are so cute! You climb EVERYTHING, and you love to explore. We went to see Curious George (still your favorite) at a local daycare, and you preferred checking out all the cool toys in the classrooms to doing any of the scheduled activites. lol We also went on a family beach trip, and you had a blast playing in the ocean!

I love you so much!

– Mommy

22 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Can kick a ball forward – He can, but he’s much better at throwing.
  • Follows two-step requests (get your doll and bring it here) – Yes
  • Imitates others’ behavior – Definitely

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Can do simple puzzles – Yes
  • Can draw a straight line – Not really
  • Can identify several body parts – We’re working on it

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Can put on clothing – Not yet
  • Might be ready for a big bed – No way! He’s staying in the crib where he can’t destroy things! lol
  • Understands opposites (tall and short) – Nope

7 Home Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Moms

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

So, you want to stay home with your kids, but your family finances just don’t seem to allow for a one-income household? You might want to reconsider whether or not you can afford to stay home. By the time you eliminate things like child-care costs and other expenses that come with having a job, you might find that your budget shortfall isn’t as bad as you thought. The good news is that you can often make up the difference by starting a home business. Here are some home businesses that can offer you the flexibility to work around your kid’s schedule, and still make enough to help off-set your family expenses.

eBay Selling

All you need is a camera, a good computer, and enough free time. Scouring classifieds and garage sales for free or very low-cost items, then turning around and selling them for a profit is a great way to make some extra cash. You may have some items in your possession already that you could part with, helping to de-clutter your house in the process.

Blogging

Mommy-blogging has turned into a lucrative business for many stay-at-home moms. Most parents will have stories that others might find value in; it all comes down to how you tell it. If you’re good with the written word and can engage people emotionally about real-life parenting issues, you may be able to turn your kid’s antics into a steady stream of income.

Child-care

If you’re already at home making lunches and planning activities for your own little ones, why not add a kid or two to the mix? You may have a friend or neighbor who needs reliable child care. Parents seeking flexible and affordable child-care may not be able to make use of day-care centers that have high-costs and require you to pay for full-days, even if you only need a few hours a few times a week. Offering to watch a child in your home is a fantastic way to help someone out while earning some extra cash.

Gift Basket Delivery

People will pay a premium if they need the perfect gift delivered today, usually because they forgot to get a gift. Keep several pre-made and on hand, and offer to do custom gift-baskets for special events. The materials are cheap if you shop around, and you can easily charge $75 to $100 for items that cost less than $15 or $20. Enlist the help of a cheap and reliable courier service from a sharing community site like Zoom2U, and you may not even have to leave the house to do it.

Freelance Writing

While this can be difficult work to break into, once you’ve established a strong reputation, you can really rake in the cash without investing too much time per week. Writing web-content or ghost-writing self-help books is a great way to earn some extra cash. The hours are flexible, and you only have to commit to what you’re able to handle, so when life throws you curveballs, you can back off until you’ve got the time to devote to it again.

Tutoring

If you excel in math or writing, you can often make good money working as a tutor for kids struggling with certain subjects. Parents will pay good money for tutors, so if you’re only looking for a few hundred dollars a month, you can easily make it with just a few hour-long tutoring sessions each week. It does involve a bit more commitment, as most parents want a firm schedule, say, every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00. If you can commit to the hours, this is a great way to earn extra money.

Pet Care

If you’re an animal lover, working as a dog-walker or neighborhood pet-sitter can also help fill in the gaps in your household income. Most pet-sitting jobs involve 2-3 trips to the pet’s house each day, and if they’re local, can be done in 20 minutes or less. As with many of the other home-based jobs, you can take on as little or as much work as you need, so it can be scheduled around vacations or your family activities.

Any one of these ideas can help you find the time to stay home with your kids without sacrificing the income that you need. Many of them also allow you to break into an industry on a small-scale, and grow your business once your kids head to school full-time, increasing your earning power. Think about whether or not you could start one of these businesses before you decide that you can’t afford to stay home with your kids.

 

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.

Aaptiv – Get Fit from your Phone! {Review}

I received a free two week trial of Aaptiv in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

If you’re a busy mom like me, you know that it’s difficult finding time for yourself, especially to do any kind of workout (unless chasing a toddler around all day counts?) But, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health just because you can’t get to the gym. The developers at Aaptiv understand the struggle, which is why they created a fitness app that can be customized for your needs!

When I first logged in to the Aaptiv app, I noticed how minimal the interface is. This makes it super easy to navigate. There are lots of options to customize your workout (type, difficulty, duration, music genre, even the trainer you prefer!), so it will never be boring!

I’ve tried several different workouts over the last couple of weeks, and they don’t disapoint! The instructors are so motivating, and the music always fits perfectly! I was concerned that some of the yoga workouts might be a challenge with only an instructor speaking and no video (I’m more of a visual learner), but I found most of the instructors to be pretty thorough with their explanations of the exercises at the beginner level.

I also liked how at the end of each workout, I got an email from the instructor congratlating me for completing the workout, and offering suggestions for other workouts I might enjoy. I found that very encouraging, and it motivated me to try new workouts that I may not have considered on my own.

If you’re currently pregnant or recently had a baby, Aaptiv just launched a maternity program developed by expert trainers who are certified in pre and postnatal exercise (including Kira Kohrherr of FitBump, and yoga guru and author, Kristin McGee). I’m not in this stage of life anymore, but I’m sure the program is just as fun as everything else Aaptiv has to offer!

Sign up today for a free 7 day trial of Aaptiv, with unlimited access to all of their classes, and be sure to download the app at the Apple App Store and Google Play to get fit from your phone!

Choosing the Best Probiotics

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

The latest research is showing how important gut health is to your overall health. Did you know that up to 80% of your immune system is in your digestive tract?

There are many benefits to probiotics, like improving digestion and boosting the immune system (especially beneficial during cold and flu season).

But how do you know which probiotic to choose? There are so many options it can be overwhelming!

Luckily, the team at Reviews.com has done the work for you! They looked at over 200 probiotic supplements on the market, and made a list of recommendations based on which strains really work and why. They also included options that target specific health needs, such as recovery after antibiotics and relief from IBS. I was very impressed by their detailed report.

Along with a healthy diet, adding the good bacteria of a quality probiotic can be beneficial to your gut and overall health!

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oils for Cold and Flu Season

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Just a couple of weeks into the new school year, and we’ve already had a cold make the rounds through the house. If you’re dealing with the same thing, or just want to be prepared, here are my favorite oils to use during cold and flu season.

To help relieve nasal and chest congestion:

Eucalyptus and Peppermint (both in doTerra’s Breathe blend) are the most popular anti-congestion oils, but neither are safe for kids (especially Eucalyptus). Rosalina has similar properties to Eucalyptus, but is safe for children. Cypress would also be a suitable alternative.

For ear ache and congestion:

When a cold strikes, the first thing that I notice is that my ears are uncomfortable. If that’s the case for you or your kids, Ear Ease is a pre-diluted oil that can be used with children 2 and up. (Please follow all safety precautions on the label regarding ear infections and tubes.)

To fight germs:

Cinnamon and Clove are well known anti-germ oils. Is it just a coincidence that they are both popular holiday scents, as well? Cinnamon bark is not safe for use on anyone’s skin, but Cinnamon LEAF can be used in small quanities if dilluted properly. Clove Bud and Clove Leaf can cause skin irritation as well, if not properly diluted.

Unfortunately, products like Plant Therapy’s Germ Fighter blend and doTerra’s OnGuard which are marketed heavily during cold and flu season are not safe for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. And because they contain Eucalyptus, they are not safe for children under age 10. Consider Plant Therapy’s Germ Destroyer as a safer alternative.

I prefer to use my oils in a diffuser, but they can also be used topically, in a personal inhaler, or with essential oil jewelry. As always, follow the safety guidelines for whichever method you choose.

In addition to essential oils, I also boost my immune system with elderberry syrup (which has been shown to reduce the length and severity of illness), and a quality probiotic.

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

December Baby – 21 months

Little Man –

This is such a fun age! Every day you are learning new things. You’re not as verbal as your older brother was at this age, but you understand a lot, and you follow directions really well. You love to sweep and open the dishwasher (usually in the middle of a cycle). You will now show me something and say “See?” and when you want to go outside, you’ll bring me your shoes (or my shoes) and say “I go go!”

I love you so much!

~ Mommy

21 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Can walk up steps- Yes
  • Enjoys helping around the house – Yes, especially sweeping
  • Can set simple goals (e.g. deciding to put a toy in a certain place) – Yep

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Can throw a ball overhand – Been there, done that!
  • Can kick a ball forward – Yes
  • Can make building brick towers/stack blocks – Yep

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Names simple pictures in a book (ie: dog, cat) – Not yet
  • Can make short sentences (ie: “Me go”) – Only “I go go”, so far.
  • Can walk down stairs – He’s getting the hang of it.

Son #1 is 6 Years Old!

Son #1 –

The days are long, but the years are short. So very true. You turned six a few weeks ago, and I feel like you’ve grown up so much in the last year. You love Minecraft. You can do simple addition in your head. (You obviously got your excellent math skills from your dad!) You’re looking forward to Kindergarten (which finally started today – thanks Hurricane Harvey!) to do science and asked, “Are we going to make potions?!” I doubt it, but I hope you’re just as excited about whatever you actually do! I hope this is a great year for you, and you make lots of new friends. (I don’t foresee that being a problem, since you’ve always been outgoing and have never met a stranger…also NOT something you got from me!)

I love you so much!

– Mommy

Current stats:

weight: 49 lbs.
height: 3′ 10″

Shorts: size 5 or 6, depending on the brand
Shirts: size Small (6/7)
Shoes: size 13

Foods:
Likes – anything sweet 
Dislikes – red meat, most vegetables 🙁  

This year’s birthday interview – coming soon! (See last year’s interview here.)

Hurricane Harvey

Just over a week ago, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Gulf Coast. We were very fortunate, but so many still need your help. If you are looking for somewhere other than national organizations to donate to, there are plenty of local groups needing monetary assistance to help those displaced by floodwaters.

Austin Pets Alive – They have rescued over 1,700 animals displaced by the hurricane in the Houston area, and transported them to temporary shelters while they try to reunite them with their owners.

Church of the King – 100% of donations to the Harvey Relief Fund go straight to relief efforts and people in need.

Clothed by Faith

ForTheBend

Harris County Public Library – I know a few of their library branches suffered damage. I do not have information regarding monetary donations at the time of posting, but I will update if that option becomes available.

Houston Food Bank – Donations will be used for disaster relief until this year’s needs are met, and the remaining funds will support ongoing hunger-relief efforts.

The J.J. Watt Foundation

Second Baptist Church – 100% of donations to the Flood Relief fund go to those in need.

In addition to families that were displaced, several schools suffered significant damage, and teachers are having to resupply their classrooms in temporary locations. If you would prefer to donate to them, here’s the list I have so far. I will update as I have more information.

In addition to the Texas Gulf Coast, the Carribean has been devistated by Hurricane Maria.  Many animals have been abandoned, and your help is needed to save these innocent victims. 

Thank you for your support!

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