Back To School Tips

Back to school time can be crazy…not just for the kids but for the Mom’s too!! Suddenly we are rushed to get little people to a designated place, at a designated time, with all their supplies! I don’t know about you, but I struggle making sure all 3 of my kids have shoes each day! So making sure they have school supplies, teeth brushed, and are fed is exhausting the first few days. If you have followed me for long then you KNOW I’m all about a schedule, and I find that works so well for my kids too!! Here are some of my tips to make returning to school easier on the WHOLE family!

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1. Make Lunches The Night Before

I always think the fewer things you have to do before coffee, the BETTER! Lunches are one thing you can do the evening before, and get your kids to help you too! My kids get my the ingredients for their sandwiches, clean their lunchboxes, and make sure their snack of choice is in there! The cold items like yogurt and string cheese I throw in the morning of….so that is all I have to remember!

2. Have Easy and Healthy Breakfast Options

Breakfast time is chaos in my house. My husband works a night shift so gets home AFTER I’ve taken the kids to school so it’s me and 3 kids….plus 2 puppies and 2 cats (can we say ZOO?!?!). I do everything I can to make mornings easy! Our favorite breakfast items are healthy muffins and smoothies. For the muffins, I make big batches on the weekends and freeze them. Then all I have to do is pop them in the microwave and the kids have a quick breakfast this is not packed with sugar. I also love smoothies! My kids have a children’s smoothie that has 22 vitamins and minerals AND that is chocolate. I dump in some spinach, bananas and yogurt and blend it up. It gives them energy without the crash of a sugar cereal!

3. Have A Morning Ritual

Creating a normal morning ritual can make life so much easier on everyone! When my kids wake up, the first thing they do is get dressed. They then come have breakfast, and after breakfast go brush their hair, teeth, and put on shoes. They then can play with toys or just relax before we leave. This is their normal and I have it written on a list (with pictures for my daughter who can’t read) so they know what to do next and to make sure everything is finished before they come ask me what is next. It saves me having to repeat myself!

4. Keep School Supplies In One Location

The worse thing is the last minute dash trying to find shoes, backpacks and lunchboxes!! To help everyone stay sane and stress free in the mornings, keep them all in one location! My kids keep their shoes on a shelf in our garage, and their backpacks go in the pantry right when they get home. Their lunch boxes go on the counter after they empty them and clean them. Having everything in one place and the KIDS knowing where it is makes the morning rush so much easier.

5. Homework Routine

When my son started kindergarten, I could not believe how much homework he had!!! I remember having none at that age! Plus he does not get home till after 4pm, so trying to find a way for him to relax, have fun, and still get his work in was tough! We found what worked best for him was 30 minutes outside, then his homework, then play the rest of the evening. Before bed we would read a book together and work on his words. At that age kids need to PLAY and have fun so I try to incorporate learning into some fun things, but we still make sure to do it every day after school so it becomes a normal ritual for the whole family!

 

((Helpful tip, keep a sticky note on the door you leave out of with reminders such as lunches, backpack, and shoes so you don’t forget things and have to come back!))

To all the Moms and Kids starting back to school, hope you have a blessed week that is stress free and you enjoy your year!! The time passes so quickly Moms so enjoy these moments when your kids are going to school and not yet college!!

Dana

Wellness Workshop

Did you ever think that each time you spray that bathroom cleaner and it makes you cough, there is reason?!?!

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Or when you get a headache after cleaning your kitchen?!?!

 

Or when your eyes water after spring cleaning your house?!?!

 

The reason is, the products we spray in our home, are absorbed into our bloodstream in 26 seconds!

 

  • The diagnosis for asthma for adult women has grown by 82%. The high rate for women is believed to be due to women’s longer exposure times to household chemicals.
  • [Source: Center for Disease Control]
  • In the past 20 years asthma has TRIPLED! (Source: Center for Disease Control)
  • Children visit the doctor approximately 23 times before they age of 4, due to respiratory problems (Source: National Center for Health Statistics)
  • Death from asthma has grown by 118% (Source: Environmental Health Threats to Children, Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Exposure to environmental carcinogens are estimated to be responsible for 75-80% of cancer diagnosis and death in the US (PSR.org)

 

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People often ignore when they hear a product is bad for them, mostly because they believe it’s not true! The research and statistics done by doctors and scientists prove otherwise! Or just look around you at the growing number of people with cancer, asthma, autoimmune disease. The chemicals we use play a LARGE role in our health!

 

“As more toxic chemicals have been introduced to our everyday environment in greater amounts over the last 20 to 30 years, the level of toxins stored in tissues (fat cells) of our bodies have risen” We also begin storing those toxins from a younger age as kids absorb them even faster!! Not to mention some stay in your body for life!

 

Join me Thursday Evening and I’ll share more information on how the toxins in our home are harming us, and what we can do to protect ourselves! Don’t wait until you are sick…toxins in your home can linger for up to a year! They can also be stored in your body. Take steps now to remove them from your home. Its easy, and you can actually save money by living a toxin free life! Email me at danawikoff@gmail.com to attend!

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Dana

Being A Work From Home Mom….is HARD!

Yesterday I encountered a super sweet Mom of two kids at the park and we got to chatting. She is a stay at home Mom, and I’m a work from home Mom. When we got on that topic, she kindly told me I was crazy and she had no clue how I could balance a job on top of chasing kids all day long. It was very funny, as I hear that all the time!!!

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7 years ago, before having kids, my plan was to return to work once I did have kids. I was kind of a workaholic. At many times, I even worked two jobs at once. In fact, before getting married I was a manager at a high end womens clothing line warehouse, waited tables at night and on weekends, and helped my Mom with cleaning houses. See, I kinda have a bit of an issue with always doing something haha.

 

But back to being a work from home Mom…yes it is very hard!!!! The reason is, many people assume you are working all day long. Nope! As my Mom friends know, when you are home with your kids, you are watching/playing with them all day! Especially if they are young like mine are. So when does a Work From Home Mom actually work? Bedtime!!!! That right there is what makes it so difficult for many Mom’s. At the end of the day, we are TIRED! We have fed others, changed them, played with them, chased them, put them in time out, and had no time for ourselves. Come 8pm once they are asleep, the option is work, or relax. And most sane Mom’s choose to relax!!!!

 

I think that is what makes its so hard for Mom’s to work from home and why many quit not long after getting started. I know myself, even doing this for 4 years, still wants to crash in the evenings!! I figured out that I work MUCH better in the morning so many times I get up a few hours before the kids. Come bedtime, I am usually braindead so being able to write a blog, respond to emails or talk on the phone is a lot harder for me. But many times I still do it!!! My trick is, write down EXACTLY what you need to do. That way you don’t get distracted and can get done faster. Another tip is exercise for a few minutes. I know that sounds crazy but a few jumping jacks, squats and pushups can wake you up and get your brain going again.

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It is so hard trying to work when you are exhausted, but my BEST tip is to remember why you are doing this. For me, I’m doing it so my kids can have a better future. I know I’m going to be tired for a little while, but being able to control my future and have time freedom is totally worth it!!

Dana

To The Mom Who Feels She Is Losing Control….

Dear Mom With The Screaming Toddler At The Grocery Store….

 

You are doing an amazing job!! It’s not easy trying to concentrate on buying food for your family when you have a toddler who is grumpy. Kids are kids and its part of life! We can’t always control how they act, especially at that young age! They can be grumpy because the sun is shining…trust me, I had one cry over that one day!!! They can be grumpy because their hair is too long….my daughter has cried for that before. Or they can be grumpy simply because they are tiny humans and the world doesn’t make sense to them yet. It’s normal!

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You are doing an amazing job!!! It’s hard to ignore the stares of people who have never had kids, or forget how hard it can be somedays! We live in a world today when so many people judge, instead of saying “Can I help you?” I’ve been in stores with 3 kids acting crazy and everyone staring at me….so you are not alone! We Mom’s have to grocery shop, and of course our kids are going to be grumpy at least once in their lives. And if it wasn’t at a grocery store, it just wouldn’t be normal!

 

You are doing an amazing job!!! We all have days where we are tired, but you stayed calm and kept shopping! No one knows what is going on at our homes, how we might be feeling that day, or what life has thrown at us! I once had a lady be very rude to me the day before having surgery as I was tired and stressed and not watching where I was going. We never know, and should therefor never judge!

 

You are doing an amazing job!!! Remember that!!

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You are not the first Mom to have a child screaming in the store, and you won’t be the last. But I hope my smile and words of encouragement made up for the rude stares. I’ve been there, and I hope more Mom’s can band together, instead of letting each other stand alone!

Dana

Our family is growing…..

Our family grew by some furry feet in June!! Meet Artemis and Apollo, our new German shepherd puppies!!! Aren’t they adorable?!?!

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My husband has been begging for one going on 4 years now, so I finally gave in as long as they were HIS responsibility. But of course when him working nights and in school during the day….that did not work out so well haha. They are so cute and sweet that although I’m a bit worn out, they are worth it!!!

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The hardest part is potty training right now. When we got them, we were told they had had their shots and were up to date on them. We made an appointment anyway for the vet a week after bringing them home. One day before their vet appointment, they got super sick and turned out they had TWO types of worms and had NOT been to the vet at all (which we learned when we requested the previous owners have their vet, fax our vet their paperwork).  It was touch and go for a few days as the poor babies couldn’t get better. We ended up at the emergency vet TWICE, but they are finally all better.

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That seems to have set back their potty training since they were so sick. They do great going potty outside, but also 10 minutes after coming in the house, they don’t mind going again haha.

 

They play so great with the kids too and they seem to think they are all part of the same litter!! We are getting a fence put in this week so hopefully that will make the potty training and gazillion walks a little easier for me!

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Best part of having puppies?!?! The joy on your kids faces when they play with them!! Totally worth all the messes I clean up and all the time I spend outside with them!

Dana