Enchanted Mommy

Have Weekends Away From Your Kids… It’s SO Healthy!

I might get a lot of bad views by the title of this post, but it’s probably from the moms that haven’t left their kids before.  Of course I HATE saying good-bye to them, but it’s a chance for me to get to spend one on one time with my husband.

Last weekend, we went to Wintergreen Resort skiing (midwest fans don’t laugh) with Brian’s work.  We had the most awesome time.  We slept in and enjoyed each other without interruptions.  It was just us.


Having a great time!

Some things I just don’t notice when I’m busy with two kids, here’s one:

tree sno

Some things I take for granted when I'm so busy with two little ones.

We definitely had great food while we were there — a serious shout out to Harris Grant Consulting for everything.  This was our last meal.

breakfast at wintergreen resort, The Copper Mine

Our last delicious meal.

We had so much fun, but I was so excited to see my babes!

two sweet girls

Neither one of them were asleep, they just wanted their mama!

My whole point of this article is to tell you that it isn’t easy getting away and leaving your kids, but it really is healthy.  It was great spending time with my husband and so awesome to see my kids faces light up when they saw me after the trip.  Ella did have a great time with her grandparents and they had a great time with her.

Seriously, try it.  Go away for even one night.  There is an advice sheet that the doctor gives parents at each well visit and all of them say to take time to spend with your spouse.  So true.  It was amazing.


What Everyone Should Know: Heimlich Maneuver on Children

It’s only taken me two scares in the past week for me to buckle down and see exactly what I should do if a child is choking.  My daughter is so tiny, we often have to force her to eat.  This week we told her she couldn’t put her nightgown on until she finished her dinner (yes, she’s totally obsessed with her princess nightgowns), so she stuck a huge portion of a cheese stick into her mouth and started gagging and threw up.  Even for that less than a second when I thought she was choking, I was freaking out.  I YouTubed choking right away and I came across this video:


This sums up the video a little of what you should do:

  • If child is sitting, make them stand
  • Explain to child that you are going to use the Heimlich Maneuver
  • Make a fist and put above pelvic line
  • Do an upward thrust rapidly and forcefully trying to release what is stuck and to get air
  • If this doesn’t work, lay victim over hand
  • Deliver back blows with the other hand
  • If this doesn’t work and child becomes unconscious, lower victim to ground and straddle victim and place hands on belly and drive up and place hands on belly upward forcefully towards head

Even if you aren’t a parent, you should watch this. Recently, we had friends
watch our kids that don’t have children yet, therefore it would have been
useful for them too!

Time To Prepare Preschool Lessons

You may have noticed from a number of the posts on this site that I participate in a pre-school program with a few of my friends and their children.  We each take a week and teaching our 3 – 5 year old children a lesson that includes circle time, crafts, writing practice, and fun activities.   This year we’ve focused on the alphabet and had a great time teaching our children.

Interestingly enough I cam across an infographic recently that talked about the time and money that goes into preparing a single hour of learning for adults.  You can check out he specifics here.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t too surprised to see that a single hour of advanced elearning takes up to 490 hours of preparation and can cost $50,000.  I know I took a few college courses online and their one hour course sessions were often pretty intense.

Seeing this infographic made me think about the time that goes into preparing for a simple lesson for our preschool.  There is no doubt that there is a significant difference between creating a short 30 minute lesson to introduce someone to the letter Q but there is no doubt that a lot of time and effort goes into each lesson.

Here are some of the things that go into each weeks lesson:

  • Find a craft for a letter of the alphabet
  • Find and prepare the materials for the craft
  • Identify a children’s book that can help the children learn more about the letter
  • Think of and prepare a treat or snack that helps reinforce the letter for the week

Don't forget to have a little mini lesson on what a fruit is and have them count the watermelon seeds so that it can be a cross curricular activity as well!

There a plenty of other loose items that go into each weeks preparation for a 30 minute period of instruction.  I would estimate that for a full hour of instruction I would need almost 2 hours of preparation.    That’s a lot of time for a concept as simple as a letter of the alphabet.  I can only imagine how much time it would take to prepare an hour of a full course.

What do you think?  Does it surprise you to see how much time and money goes into preparing an hour of course instruction and learning?

Parents in Retirement

I’ve reached an interesting point in my life where my parents have gone from their prime earning years to a time when they no longer work for new income but instead live off money they have saved over the years.  So far, their retirement has been an interesting experience as they have gone through a number of different stages.

Initially, my parents seemed bored.   After spending their entire adult lives building careers and raising a family they suddenly had more free time then they knew what to do with.  My father played a lot of spider solitaire on the computer and my mother would spend hours working in her garden.  When winter came around she suddenly lost her primary past time and didn’t really know what to do.    They weren’t sad but they weren’t full of energy either.  I worried about what the next portion of their life would be like.

Then they got active.   Before I knew it my father was building horse pens on his property, having pipe laid so that the property would be able to water all areas on an irrigation system.  He started taking his boat out and was doing a lot of fishing.  My mother started book clubs, spending time helping out at the thrift store, and visited often with my sister and her family.  They were doing more and more and really seemed to be enjoying their lives fully again.

Their activity has only increased over the years.  I’ll be honest that I believe they have more responsibilities and tasks now than they did at the end of their careers.  They’re helping the community, volunteering at church to help people with their own family history, and helping the community learn about grants available to help them improve their farm properties.  They assist at local universities, travel often to see friends and family and host guests almost every month.

One of the major concerns I had was their ability to sustain themselves on a limited income and walked through their financial situation with my family.   My father explained:

  • They had saved a significant amount that provided a solid income stream through interest
  • Social Security and other government assistance for retirees actually brought down their costs like health insurance
  • Without children, their financial obligations were mostly gone
  • Their cars and boats were paid for and received tax benefits for having horses on their property
  • They were earning more in retirement than most Americans lived off of.
  • They had options, like utilizing a reverse mortgage from companies like AAG, should they need additional income streams

Overall it’s been a great experience to see my parents in retirement.  They’re busy and happy and my children love seeing their active and engaging grandparents.  I’m happy to know they’re financially sound.

How I Deal with my Toddler’s Car Sickness

I’ve always been able to read, play video games and write in the car without ever feeling sick.   On the other hand, my husband is very prone to motion sickness.  We were at Kings Dominion last weekend and he couldn’t ride half of the roller coasters because he got “headachy.”  Ella, my two year old daughter, got my husband’s gene with this one. She is severely effected by motion sickness.  Whether it is a short trip to the store or 4 hour drive to the beach, we always need to have a bag ready.

I had no idea that motion sickness starts out in your head (not stomach).  Once it hits, Ella gets so delusional and cannot even look at you or hold a conversation.  Then, her head craziness affects her stomach and it happens.  She throws up, and it’s not a small amount. It’s almost like a volcano erupting.  I have caught it in a bag at least 10 times (go me).  Here are a few of my tips for handling car sickness.

Drive Carefully
This might be a given, but it is really important.  I was running late to a workout class one day, frazzled while driving .  The class was only eight minutes away from home, but it happened.  She got very sick and threw up in the car.  It was all over her clothes, car seat and even some on the seat of my car. Of course it happened on a day that I was meeting my friend that is always late and I specifically told her that I didn’t want to walk in late so I passive aggressively kindly asked her to be on time.  I wiped her down and thank goodness, my friend had some extra clothes in her car that fit Ella. Talk about feeling like an unprepared mother and awful friend.  I got the prize that day.  This was the worst because I was driving alone with two kids and became even more late with the hold up.

So, note to self and to you, keep the wheel steady and not pump the gas or brake.

Keep Windows Down
Fresh air is a must and definitely helps.  Of course this is hard when it’s raining, but there have been times when she was about to throw up and I put the window down and it prevented her from getting sick.

Avoid Traffic
I live in the D.C. area where there is a crazy amount of traffic.  Ella has gotten sick so much more in stop and go traffic.  From our house to the zoo (about 36 miles), Ella threw up 6 times.  Therefore, I try to plan around traffic because once again, the smoother the ride, the less likely she is to get sick.

Buy the Motion Sickness Bracelets
We were taking our first vacation as a family of four and Ella threw up three times on the way down there and once on a boat ride.  So, when we were on our way back home we decided to stop at Rite Aid to see if they had something for car sickness.  We knew if we didn’t find something, Ella throwing up was inevitable and  I would have to stay turned around and keep my eyes on her at all times.  My husband saw these $12 motion sickness bracelets, although skeptical, he thought they were worth a shot.  We had read about them before and I even posted something on my Facebook wall desperately wanting help with this and someone had mentioned the bracelets.  My husband picked up the Sea Bracelets and I truly believe these things are a miracle in our house.  Here are some pictures of them.

car sickness bracelets

Ella wearing adult motion sickness bracelets.

The bracelets work by pressure being added to your acupressure points and she doesn’t even notice they are on.

motion sickness bracelet

Close-up of bracelet on Ella's arm

Even though these are made for adults, they fit perfect on my tiny toddler’s arm.

Motion Sickness Bracelets

Close-up off the arm

Age definitely plays a factor.  When your child is less than two, they definitely cannot tell you when they are sick.  When they can tell you, you can be prepared, but it’s better if it doesn’t have to come to that.  No one likes feeling nauseous.  I think these bracelets are key.

I hope my tricks can help you some.  It was a miserable few months in our house before I was able to control the issue.  Good luck!

Helping Your Baby Learn to Sleep Through The Night

One thing I often hear from new mothers is the difficulty they’re having with helping their babies learn to sleep through the night.  It can be one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding, tasks an early mother and father go through.  The first night your baby sleeps through the night will feel like a huge reward and allow you to get solid sleep for nights to come.

I recently came across this graphic from a childcare and nanny company based here in Northern Virginia that outlines the strategies, goals, and guidelines for helping your baby sleep through the night.

One additional tip that I found to be a huge help is to let your husband be the one to go in and check on the baby.  Young babies often have different expectations from their mothers and fathers and may respond better to their father gently but firmly reminding them to lay down and that everything will be okay.   My husband and I implemented this approach and it was very helpful in our efforts to help our three boys learn to sleep through the night. He was a bit more reasonable and helped me relax when I wanted to barge in and save my baby from the crib and his tears. Working as a team through this life lesson was extremely beneficial.

Once they’re sleeping through the night in their cribs, you’ll have at least until they grow into a toddler bed to sleep through the night.  After they realize they can get out of their bed though, they’ll come find you in the middle of the night for loves and snuggles.

What do you think? Do you think the recommended approach from this graphic is similar to how you taught your children to sleep through the night? Is there anything else you’d recommend to help them learn to sleep?