August 17th, 2021
On a quest to find ways to put in place a safety protocol for my son, I tried 2 cool solutions. We purchased both a Verizon Gizmo Watch and an Apple Air Tag. The following accounts are my experiences with the 2 devices we used.
The first item we purchased was a Verizon Gizmo Watch. This watch was heaven-sent. My son would be able to make calls to up to 10 contacts (that the parent chooses), had an alarm clock that I set for his wake-up time, and most importantly a GSP system.
In practice, the Verizon Gizmo Watch is a device I would recommend for children 7 and up. My son was in class for 45 minutes before his Dad received a slew of calls from his watch, 26 to be exact. The teacher then called me from the watch letting me know Tre was on the phone with his Grandmother a majority of the time he was there. Needless to say, I was asked to leave the watch at home. This watch is for children with self-control and chill… so basically not for my 5-year-old child.
Shortly after feeling defeated and a week at the 1st place position of the child pickup line, I saw an Apple Air Tag online. The Apple Air Tags have been a lifesaver, especially for someone as paranoid as me. This provides me with the sanity I need to ensure my child is exactly where he should be.
I place the Apple Air Tag in his garment daily using silicone cases to secure it. I can check the "Find My" App and it lets me know where my little guy is. The tag is small enough to be concealed and out of the way. Most importantly the Apple Air Tag is not distracting. All the Apple Air Tag is missing is a speaker for me to spy and listen in on his conversations muah ah ah ah ahhhh lol j/k
I wanted to share my experience to help other parents and increase awareness of products that may help keep our children safe! I recommend getting this product, it makes me feel better about sending him off to school. It helps give me what I need to help him be more safely independent.
Banana Beauty Mask
I was about to give myself a facial and the ever-present JuJu uttered her famous words, “Me Too!”. I realized that this could be another bonding experience for us so I jumped into action. I read the ingredient label on the back of my facial container and understood that they were way too harsh for her skin. I used my power of craft and sprung into action creating a gentle facial for my mini.
The ingredients in facials cater to adults so I wanted super mild items. Below you will find the simple facial mask I created using household products. The ingredients are also edible lol
Bananas are filled with antioxidants. Antioxidants are complexes that stop oxidation. The benefits of applying antioxidants topically are that it helps protect the skin and refreshes. Another value is that skin may appear to glow after use.
Plain Yogurt is comprised of lactic acid which can remove dead skin cells. Not only is this a gentle exfoliation but it may help to reduce breakouts. Plain Yogurt is soothing and can help with inflammation.
Honey offsets bacteria on the skin, giving it balance. Raw honey is also known to speed healing processes. Honey is an amazing treat for the skin.
Lemon is also an antioxidant and contains vitamin C. Vitamin C is an anti-aging agent and astringent qualities. Lemon is also a preservative and will ensure your mixture stays fresh longer.
Combine all of the ingredients and mix.
Apply the mixture to the face and wait 10-20 minutes.
Remove with warm water and pat dry.
What do Stay-at-Home moms do?
OK sorry about that tangent and let me get back to the topic. What does a stay at home Mom do all day? Here you go…
I CLEAN. My children have managed to become amazing at turning any area into a designated messy war zone in the blink of an eye. I feel like I should take pictures post cleaning up so people that pop up on me have a reference of what my house is supposed to look like. My beautiful babies are destructive little beings.
I SMELL STUFF. Clothes, cups, and tiny little bottoms. I need to know what in the world smells like that so I can clean it. I’ve never desired to be the smelly kid at school so, yes, I sniff. I’m still trying to resolve what smells like syrup in my son’s room.
I TAKE AND FRAME PICTURES. I love my family ok. I LOVE nothing more than gazing at pictures of my cuties. They are smiling, clean, and silent in those images. No one crying, asking me for apple juice, or screaming about farts (#BoyMom).
LAUNDRY. Those pile of clothes you leave on the floor, yeah, I’m the magician that makes all of those dirty smelly items clean and puts them in a place where you can find them only repeat this cycle again. I am responsible for doing laundry for a family of 5, so LAUNDRY that’s what I do.
KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE. You like those kids, don’t you? I am super proud to announce that while on my watch the most dramatic thing that has happened is the impromptu permanent marker mural on the kitchen wall. My kids have all of their hair, toes, and fingers… I’m legit killing this stay at home mom thing.
CHAUFFEUR. I take my kids where they need to go. Loading my car used to take me 15 minutes but I’m down to 10 minutes and counting. Doctors’ appointments, play dates, airport drop-offs, and activities I am the Uber.
CHEF. 3 little people, eat 3 times a day, and snack 2 times a day. I cook breakfast and dinner for my guy and I (sometimes Door Dash helps your girl out). I cook a lot.
GROCERY. I buy the food, that’s my financial contribution to our household. Lately, I’ve been couponing and we eat organic if we can. I’m trying to develop a healthy balance between Lucky Charms and Shredded Wheat… Lucky Charms has the lead.
HOME. Did the kids clog the sink? Are the babies growing out of their clothes? The pool water is looking mighty murky, Stay-at-Home Mom to the rescue. We make sure you have batteries for your Xbox controllers, the garage door works, and the mail is sorted and on the table. We handle things so you can focus on being a breadwinner.
TEACHER. Before Corona, I was homeschooling my children. I spend hours a day making sure my kids learning things and are active (swimming, sports, and park visits). I know it may be pushing but I have my children work ahead of a grade. So, my 4-year-old is doing Kindergarten and my 2-year-old Pre-K curriculum.
FONZWORTH BENTLY. Lost your driver’s license? Need a birthday present for your friend’s kids? How about a dentist appointment? We are personal assistants.
BUSINESS. Welp…. I’m a published Author, Owner of Trophy Babies, Mom life Manual, Notary, work LB Realty, Giving with Gaines, and of course, there’s T.E.A.C. Farms. I AM BUSY.
I hope I successfully eliminated stigmas that Stay-at-Home Mom's have life easy. I'm tired and haven't had more than 6 hours of sleep since my Mom journey. Now Fellas this is what you can do for your stay at home wife:
The Perfect Pancakes!
Being surrounded with intelligent business savvy women makes for a very motivating environment. I want everyone I encounter to win! When I heard about the successes my Cousin-In-Law was having transitioning into a healthier lifestyle; I wanted her to contribute to MomLifeManual.com. Below is a delicious and healthy pancake recipe made with Arbonne products.
Arbonne is a company that empowers people to live a healthier life. Arbonne includes nutrition, skincare, makeup, bath & body, and even rE9 advance items. If you're interested in learning more or purchasing products, please click this link www.arbonne.com and Johnna will service you with knowledge in addition to class!
What I’ve learned along the way was that how I was eating wasn’t properly fueling my body. I was not as healthy as I could and should be. I’m not rocking a six-pack (extra stretched out postpartum belly anyone?), but I FEEL amazing! I don’t have to a “mombie” anymore. The fact that I look and feel better at 35 than I did at 25 is amazing by itself, but the best part is that I’m creating healthy habits for my children that will set them up to be healthier and happier adults.
Now, onto the fun stuff! Let’s talk about FOOD! Who doesn’t like pancakes on a Saturday morning?? Most pancakes are gluten and sugar bombs that will make anyone crash an hour later. How do we create a sweet morning treat that fills you up rather than make you tank? I was so happy to come across this Arbonne recipe, which I have tweaked a little to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. It has become a weekend staple in my home, and I make enough each weekend to last my son through the week since my hubby won’t cook, and I leave for work well before he wakes up.
READY IN: 15-20 mins
SERVES: 6-9 Pancakes
*Trying to figure out when to flip these pancakes is more difficult than normal pancakes because these pancakes won’t bubble up like regular ones will.
Use coconut oil instead of butter to make this dairy-free. You can top pancakes, with either 100% pure maple syrup or agave nectar. My kids prefer chocolate chip pancakes with no syrup, but they’ll opt for a touch of syrup if they don’t have chocolate chips. I prefer mine with an abundance of blueberries, so I don’t have to use any syrup at all.
Happy (and healthy) Eating!
Tips for Bathing Your Infant
Infants aren’t ready for in tub bathing until their umbilical cord has fallen off. Umbilical cords are what transport a mother’s nutrients and oxygen to a baby. An umbilical cord will generally fall off between 10 days and three weeks after birth, after which you can submerge their bodies in water.
Another consideration is a baby's soft spot typically found at the top of the head. The soft spots are the areas of the scalp that provided a child to easily adapt to the birthing canal. Bather’s want to be aware and extremely gentle during contact of that area.
For male infants, parents should be careful that circumcision incisions are healed. In the interim, you can cleanse infants by sponge bathing. If you are uncertain of how to properly give your child a sponge bath, please review the created steps following.
Instead of a traditional bath, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sponge baths until the umbilical cord stump falls off and circumcisions are healed. If you’re not familiar with sponge bathing, you can follow my process below.
Sponge & Bath Preparation
(What you need click on links to purchase products)
Step 1: Check the water temperature. Make sure the temperature is just slightly above 100 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalding but just warm enough to prevent chilling.
Step 2: Fill up basin or tub to a level where your child’s navel is not submerged. Keep in mind if you are bathing a male, do not permit for the water to touch his private part.
Step 3: Loosely wrap your child in the receiving blanket leaving the front open.
Step 4: Place your slightly wrapped child into the tub.
Step 5: Moisten sponge and lather.
Step 6: Support your child’s head and bathe.
As you are wiping down your infant, you can be sure to cover exposed areas that are not being cleansed with the receiving blanket. This will keep them warm.
Step 7: Use the cotton gauze to wipe your child’s eye areas with water gently.
Step 8: Gently rise using the sponge and not drenching the child.
Step 9: Gently wash baby’s hair being cautious of soft spots.
Step 10: Rise
Step 11: Dry
For older baby's and toddlers, simply increase water level.
*Never leave your child unattended.
You should not bathe your infant every day. According to The Mayo Clinic, you should only wash a baby three times a week because bathing a child more than the mentioned may dry out their skin. You can increase the amount of bathing as a child starts to crawl and explore.
Nursing is important to me because of its many benefits, aside from saving TONS of money on formula. Breastfeeding is said to provide infants with antibodies that reduce illness. Brown University studies also found that nursing displayed improved brain development. As I am trying to create a mini female version of Bill Gates I decided to give breastfeeding another chance.
Now I’m going, to be honest. Breastfeeding is hard! Between the pain and time-consuming practice, it is easy to get discouraged. I came up with some tips to help make breastfeeding a little more manageable. I’m not a lactation specialist. I’m just a mom who asked other moms for advice and I write about my personal successes.
My milk supply came in within the average 3 to 5 days however, I was only pumping about 2-3 oz every 3 hours. After talking to another mother, she suggested I try Oatmeal Cookies. Within a matter of hours, I noticed I was able to pump anywhere from 3oz to 4oz per breast. I found a wonderful and delicious recipe online.
OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP LACTATION COOKIES BY NOEL TRUJILLO
READY IN: 27mins
· 1 cup butter
· 1 cup sugar
· 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
· 4 tablespoons water
· 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
· 2 eggs
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 3 cups flour
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 3 cups oats
· 1 cup chocolate chips
· 2 -4 tablespoons brewer's yeast
Continuing with milk supply, my doctor informed me that it is important to stay hydrated with lots of fluids. Although it isn’t proven that an increase in fluids helps milk supply, keep in mind that breast milk is about 87% water. I find drinking water all around helps with my energy.
Keep your baby close! I noticed my breast will start to produce milk and even leek as soon as I pick either one of my children up. Pumping shorty after ensures a personal higher milk production rate.
Please feel free to comment with any additional tips you might have to help breastfeeding mothers.
Children’s Sleep Guide
Stephanie Linder of Community Outreach for Sleep Help reached out to me and supplied me with some really interesting sleep information. The following post includes solid tips on how to ensure your little one is getting the right amount of sleep and how to put them to bed. You can visit www.sleephelp.org for additional information.
There’s no denying that healthy sleep for children can be tough at any stage. Perhaps the hardest thing about children’s sleep is that it’s almost always changing. What works for newborns may not work for a six month old, and preschoolers sleep much differently than teenagers. All of these changes can leave parents confused and frustrated, especially when children experience sleep difficulties.
But even though healthy child sleep is sometimes difficult, it’s important that parents and caregivers work with children to develop good sleep habits. Without enough sleep, children suffer. They experience moodiness, decreased cognitive ability, difficulty at school, even behavioral and health problems. There is no substitute for healthy sleep habits and adequate sleep.
In this guide, we explain everything parents and caregivers need to know about sleep for children at every stage. You’ll learn about appropriate sleep times for children by age, find tips for supporting healthy sleep, and learn how to develop a good bedtime routine. There are also resources for learning about sleep disorders and discovering the best books, music, and videos for helping children sleep soundly.
Ultimate Children’s Sleep Chart
-Most newborns sleep for two to four hours at a time.
-Swaddling and white noise may help soothe your baby to sleep.
-Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back to help prevent SIDS.
-Talk in low, soothing tones to avoid stimulating your baby in the middle of the night.
-Never fall asleep with your baby on a couch or chair, as there is a risk of falling as well as suffocation and SIDS.
-Don't change nighttime diapers except for poop. Changing your baby every time he or she wakes up isn't necessary and may keep them awake longer.
-Set up a soothing nighttime routine with a bath, book, or lullabies to teach your baby how to relax before bed.
-As soon as your baby seems sleepy, put him or her down for a nap.
-Don't respond to cries immediately. Give your baby a few minutes to try and get settled without you.
-Avoid placing blankets or toys in your baby's crib, as they can be a suffocation hazard and a SIDS risk.
-Babies are capable of sleeping 8-12 hours at a time each night at this age, though some may not be ready to do it just yet.
-Consider dream feeding before you go to bed to help your baby sleep for a longer stretch. Keep the lights down and gently feed your baby without waking him or her up fully.
-Transition your baby out of swaddling blankets at this age, especially if they begin to break out of it often. Start the transition by wrapping your baby without their arms in the swaddle, then remove it altogether.
-Lay your baby down to sleep while drowsy, but still awake.
-Lower your baby's crib to the lowest position if your baby can stand. At this age, they may be able to climb out.
-Avoid over stimulation. Though babies at this age enjoy playing, encourage relaxation time before bed.
-Maintain regular bed and nap times for consistency. Keeping your child in a predictable sleep routine makes it easier to get them asleep.
-Don't allow toddlers to nap late in the day, as this may interfere with bedtime.
-Keep a consistent bedtime routine with calming activities for 30 minutes before bed. Consider taking a bath, reading a book, or singing lullabies.
"Today I am a surgeon," I told myself, and soon enough I was able to pry those little suckers out of his nose. Day accomplished. This is something I have been telling myself every day after becoming a mother; another day achieved.
Parenting does not come with an owner's manual. It does not come with instructions or any how-to videos on YouTube that can quickly help you get through it. You just, get through it. When I had my first son, Major, I felt like this parenting gig was a piece of cake. Calm baby ate his food, played great by himself, fantastic! I could do this! I could have more of these little humans with NO problem. That all came to an end when Major turned 3, and I gave birth to my second son, Harlem. I understand that each child is different. However, the difference between my two boys was drastic! Harlem. Ohhhhh Harlem. Not only did he test my patience, but he also motivated Major, my once calm and relaxed child, to test my patience as well.. The cutesy parenting gig had indeed come to an end.
Despite how many articles out of parenting magazines or insight I received from other parents, I felt that I just could not get it. There is something new every day! I recall a time where I was going through so many things. Major at the time was beginning to potty train, and every parent understands how exciting this is. No more diapers! Saving money! Whoo Hoo! However, potty training was a nightmare. After accomplishing peeing in the toilet, I was so sure that the next step would be a breeze. "Don't poo on yourself! Poop does not go in your undies ok?", I would tell him. Well, I shouldn't have been so vague. I recall a time when Major was 3 and Harlem had just begun crawling. The kids were quiet, too quiet. I went into their room to find that Major had taken poop from his underwear and smeared it all over the walls in his room, AND the baby. I could have died. Here I am, standing in shock as my three-year-old paints his wall with poop. I prayed to every God imaginable that day I swear I did. After that day I found myself running into all types of situations involving Major and poop. Hidden poop in toys, shoes, Harlem covered in it. I was going through so much!
Be mindful; I am a complete single mother. I have to be alert at ALL times. I have two small boys who are now mobile. Moms don't get days off and that's the reality of Mom Life. There were days where I wanted to sleep in and I just couldn't. Imagine closing your eyes for 15 minutes. Oh, how grateful I was for that short amount of time. However, I woke up to a baby covered in paint. I prayed to the Gods again. Toddler tantrums, a kid locked in the bathroom, poop-explosion in the back of my car, you name it, and I PROMISE you I have been through it all with these two boys.
Harlem is now two and Major is now five, and I promise you things have not gotten better regarding the tiny terrors but I do know this, these little people love me. They love me more than anyone and anything. After countless nights of 'Bubble Guppies' and 'Paw Patrol' in addition to the days where I have to drop dead on sight when my two years old shoots me with his toy gun, or the many owies I have to heal with a kiss, I love being a mom. Motherhood strengthens you and builds character. Being a mother is a tough job and anyone with children reading this should pat themselves on the back because Lord knows if it wasn't for prayer and wine, lots of wine, I don't know how I would have made it this far. We have our days. Good and bad. I will say that we are past the crappy days and that's a blessing, but I'm doing this mom thing and I'm doing it well.
As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts, I am no expert. I am however super fortunate to have a network of Mothers that are. I enlisted the help of an excellent contributing writer who knows a little more about healthy eating than I do. Nataki Williams is the Owner and Operator of Vital Dining an amazing health conscious restaurant located in New Jersey. She provided ways to stay sensible and tips to encourage healthy eating
Three things to help keep your sanity:
Tips to help get the veggies in:
Vital Restaurant & Juice Bar
387 Bloomfield Ave Montclair, NJ 07042
Main: 973-655-9500 Direct: 973-906-2070
Ready, Set, Go
As parents, we may try to compare our kids with what other kids are doing. My son was a late starter when it came to walking, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me when other parents would say, “my daughter could walk before she was one” or “my one year old runs faster than Usain Bolt.” Instead of focusing on what other parents were telling me about their kid, I should have just been focusing on my child, so I would realize that he would walk when he was ready to.
First Steps Are a Big Deal
This should go without saying, but taking those first steps is a huge milestone in your kid's life! My son's first steps were just one of those things that I will always remember as a parent. Do not hide the excitement! Make sure you ham it up and show them how special it is that they have walked.
*You might also want to start thinking about putting some of your valuables in a harder to reach places*
For my son, balancing was the biggest problem. He would get up to his feet, lose confidence, and then tumble. It was frustrating for him, but what I did was make it a game. I would get him to stand, then clap my hands, and count. He loved it and would try to remain standing longer and longer as time went on. The balancing game was a fun activity that we did together, and it also helped him to gain more confidence when it came to walking.
When my son finally started walking, he would still crawl just as much as he would try to walk. When I would catch him crawling, I’d make it a point to get him to his feet and cheer. I showed him how much fun it was to walk instead of crawl.
Time, Patience, & Lots Of Falling
Some kids can stand up and then they are off, causing all kinds of havoc around the house. But for most parents, encouraging a child to walk can be a lengthy process. Try not get frustrated, be prepared for them to start walking, then revert to crawling (as mentioned above), and even fall. As a parent, the natural instinct is to rush to your child when they fall. As long your little one is safe, falling backward onto their butt is not going to do them any harm.
Game Of Walking
Once your child starts to walk, making a game of walking is an excellent way to encourage them to keep at it. Grab your child’s favorite soft toys and hold them ransom until they do three laps around the couch… I’m joking!!! I would, however, put toys on the opposite side of the room and encourage him to rescue his friends lol. After a while, he would grab his toys and help me to put it somewhere else so he could find them. Wait that sounds a lot like I’m playing fetch with my son lol, all I can I can say is this worked wonders for his walking.
Record Lots Of Videos
There is just something so super cute about the way kids waddle along like penguins when they are learning to walk. Make sure you get as many of these moments on tape as possible. The process of learning to walk goes by in a flash, and you’ll want reminders!
Juanita C. Clare
Just a new mother to an amazing little boy learning things as we grow.