Category Archives: Parenting

Book Review of It’s Better to Look Up

October 8, 2014

Book Review of Divergent by Simplistically Sassy

 

My second book review for the week is It’s Better to Look Up: Life Experiences Shared From the Pulpit.  I love when I find a book that is inspiring in some way, and interesting at the same time.  It’s Better to Look Up has stories from the lives of various prophets, apostles, and church leaders from General Conference.  They’re simple stories, with a memorable lesson that can be applied to anyones life.

Look up It’s Better to Look Up is at Desert Book.  They were kind enough to share this book with me so I could tell you all about it.

I have loved reading through this book, and finding stories I’ve cherished when I first heard them, and new stories that I haven’t heard before, or have forgotten.  One story that Elder Carl B. Cook told at the October 2011 General Conference.  He talked about baring a heavy load at the time, and when he was on the elevator he was looking down trying to decide how he was going to do all he’d been asked.  Then someone got on the elevator, and it was the Prophet.  He asked what was wrong, and Elder Cook responded by saying, “Nothing.”  President Monson gave him great wisdom, that Elder Cook shared with us that day.  President Monson said, “It’s better to look up.”   Simple, yet grand advice.  Sometimes the loads we bare bring us down, they are heavy on us physically, mentally, and emotionally.  However, instead of feeling discouraged, we need to direct our thoughts up to heaven where we can receive the help that will lessen our load.  

There are pages, and pages of wonderful examples of lessons learned that in turn, we can learn, or be reminded of.  As a mom of 6 kids, I often find myself forgetting what is most important, what is most needed, or where I need to actually go for help each day.  I love finding a book I can grab, turn to any page, and just read a quick pick me up that can help me throughout the entire day.  

How to Stop Yelling at your Kids

June 18, 2014

5 Tips to Stop yelling at your kids by Simplistically SassySometimes my house gets loud.  The kids are running around, playing, fighting, playing super heroes, or house, or racing.  There are so many things that are going on at various times that it’s bound to get loud sometimes.  Sometimes, in those moments, I have to yell.  Not in the mean mom way, just in a way to even be heard over all that’s going on.  

However, there are the moments when I lose it.  When I can’t handle what’s going on, or what someone is doing, or what they’ve done to another sibling, or to me.  I’d yell, I’d get upset and I’d be so irritated.  Then, I’d be upset with myself for the way I acted.  

Then, I noticed that they were yelling at each other.  They weren’t speaking kindly.  They weren’t problem solving like I’d been trying to teach them.  That’s the problem.  I’d been teaching them in the wrong way.  I knew that I had to change something.  I had to change the action that was, unfortunately, clearly as loud as my words were.  

I had to figure out how to stop yelling at my kids.  It wasn’t even an option any more.  It was something that HAD to be done.  So, I decided I was going to do it.  

5 Tips on How to Stop Yelling at your Kids

1.  Make the choice.  Just like anything that is going to actually get done in life, you HAVE to make that choice.  You have to make it every single time that something happens, and you’d normally raise your voice.  This is mandatory.  You also won’t be perfect every day, but if really, this will always be the number one thing for everything else, is to just decide that you’re done yelling.

2.  Get on their level.  If you’ve got younger kids get down to their level – or bring them up to yours (as in, but them on a chair, or something, lol).  My kids are SO much better at paying attention to what I’m saying if I’m at their level looking at them.  I may have to remind them to look at my eyes very often, but at least we are both there, and they can look at my eyes easily.  They aren’t straining their neck to look at me while I scream at them from so far away.  

3.  TALK to them.  Don’t yell, but make sure they still understand that you mean business and you aren’t just being a get away with anything mom.  You need to make sure that you’re following through with any consequence that you’ve told them you’d give them.  You don’t have to scream and yell to follow through with things.  You can get down on their level, and explain that you’ve talked about things, and that since they still didn’t do A, then B will now be happening.  

4.  Take a moment for yourself before talking to your child if necessary.  Go into the bathroom, or you bedroom, the closet, where ever you can have a moment to yourself.  Take a few deep breaths and just really take that moment and figure things out.  What do you need to say to your child, or teach them.  What will be the best thing to say to teach them the things they are struggling with.  Think things through before you just barge in on the situation.

5.  LISTEN to your child.  If you’re going to ask what happened, let them tell you!!  If you’re going to ask why they did something, let them tell you!  Sometimes kids have to think things through, and figure out how to say something.  Give them time to do that.  You may be surprised what they have to say if you take the time to listen to them in the heat of the moment.  Their intentions may have been much better than you think, or there may have been an honest mistake, or there may totally not have been a mistake.  I think when kids know you’re willing to listen and not yell at them after they tell you the truth, then they’re more willing to be open with you in the end.  Don’t let them get away with everything, but they need to know that even if they must have a consequence, they can at least know that no matter what, you’ll still love them.

These are a few things that I’ve seen help me when I have wondered how to stop yelling at my kids.  I truly feel like as I really make the effort to do this, my house, even if it’s loud, it’s so much more peaceful.  There is more good than crazy, and we are all better about interacting with one another.  

EcoCarpet Cleaning Service Review = AWESOME!

May 26, 2014

Just over 4 years ago we were fortunate enough to be able to build a house.  While my husband was in school we’d drive around to smaller towns surrounding the college and pick out the houses we liked, the neighborhoods we’d love to live in and sometimes we’d even walk through the model homes.  We didn’t really think we’d ever get to live in one of those neighborhoods, but life worked out just so (and really, it was kind of miraculous how things played out) and my husband got a job in the area, and we were able to do what we’d hoped and planned to do.

When we first moved into our house, we had a 4, 3, 1.5 year olds and 6 month old.  Two of the kids were still in diapers … and two were yet to even join our already crazy crew.  If you’re a parent of littles you know how quickly they can make a mess.  As life progressed and kids got away from me before I ever noticed the food and drinks were out of the kitchen.  Life was going on, and so things happen.  There was running in and outside and that was MESSY before we got grass in.  The carpets and took quite the toll.  

I was able to team up with EcoCarpet Cleaning Services and try out their awesome service.  I was excited to see if they could get some tough spots out.  I decided we’d have them work on our heavy traffic areas – the family room, the stairs, and the upstairs hallway.  That’s for sure where we are always going and coming from.  

First off, when they first got there, they came and checked everything out.  He then explained that all their products were safe to have kids around, and that it wouldn’t be an issue for them.  That was a huge relief.  I always remember growing up when we’d get our carpets cleaned it would smell for hours.  That was never an issue at all.  It was fantastic.  My kids were totally fascinated by the entire thing and had a great time watching.  I will be using EcoCarpets Cleaning again for sure.

Here are the results!  As a quick side note – the lighting on the carpet is different since it was obviously done at different times of the day.  So the color varies a bit.  But I promise, the stains looked the same either way and the clean really is clean, not just the color change from lighting.  🙂

This was the worst part of my family room.  Looks SO much better!EcoCarpet Cleaning Review by Simplistically Sassy

Here is my hallway.  I feel like you can’t really tell as much with this one, but the worst was right by the top of the stairs.  It’s a lot better too.  Thank goodness!EcoCarpet Cleaning Review by Simplistically Sassy

Last is the stairs.  This image is the edge of one stair.  Oh, man.  They were all so blackish and gross.  I couldn’t stand looking at them.  Lol.EcoCarpet Cleaning Review by Simplistically Sassy

Just to keep things real – since I like to do that … My 22 month old totally spilled milk on the carpet like 4 hours after it’d be cleaned.  Sigh.  Just breakin’ it back into real life (and for the record, she took it in there while I wasn’t pay attention and tried to clean it up herself, lol).

Make sure to check them out.  I’m glad I was able to work with them, and for their great service!  Thanks!!  

EcoCarpet Cleaning Service
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Easy Toddler Hairstyles

February 4, 2014

Hi!  Welcome!  I’m so excited to share these 7 simple hairstyles with you.  They’re quick, and easy, and super cute!

Toddler Hairstyles by Simplistically Sassy

My girls have totally different hair than I do. They all have their dad’s hair. It’s blond, thin, and wispy. It’s beautiful … just not thick, dark, and holds a curl without an issue (like mine, lol). I had to really learn how to do their hair.

There are so many hair sites out there, but I feel like all the little toddlers have lovely hair that is just so thick and even long! My girls just are blessed differently. So today I want to share some easy toddler hairstyles that have worked for my girls through the years. 🙂

Basic Hair Needs:
Spray Bottle
Small elastics like these ones
Fine tooth comb like this one
Something to entertain, distract the toddler (put them in front of the mirror, and let them play with bows or something, or do it while they’re eating breakfast in the high chair or booster seat).

Next

Transitioning from crib to bed easily

January 28, 2014

transition from crib to bed

My baby just turned 18 months old this month, and we decided to do the big transition from crib to bed.  Having 6 kids in 7 years made it so a few of our kids had to make the transitioning from crib to bed early because we couldn’t afford another crib in our earlier years (and didn’t have space for 2 cribs either).  Along the way I’ve learned a few tips that I wanted to share with you.

Transitioning from Crib to Bed Easily

1: Do it early.  Obviously not TOO early, but before they start climbing out of their crib, or before they can even open the door.  🙂  It makes it easier for them to stay in their room if they can’t open the door.  DISCLAIMER: That doesn’t mean you ignore your child when they are knocking or crying at the door.  It means that you can go in and help them when you know they need your help.  Just like if they were in a crib.

Side note: If you don’t transition until your child is able to open door, or your child needs the door open slightly, I think that’s when you have to be really diligent and follow through with whatever you say  So, if your toddler is coming out of their room a lot, then you just need to follow through with putting them back in their bed and helping them realize why they need to stay.

2: Start with Mattress on the floor. If you’re worried about a bed being too high, you could start with the crib mattress, or just a twin size mattress on the floor.  It allows your toddler to be able to easily get in and out of bed.  That way if they get a little sad at nap time, they can easily go crawl back in bed.

3: Or start with a twin size bed. This is really how I like to do it.  We just get a bed side rail and put that up where the toddler is.  We’ve also had beds that have headboards and footbaords and up against the wall.  That way they can still be a little bit blocked in while they learn the ropes of having a bigger bed. We also have a little stool to put by the bed so they can get in and out safely.

4: The sad toddler:  It’s always been a rough day or two when we’ve moved the kids to their beds.  They get out, and just come to the door and cry, or knock, or play even.  After a minute or two, going in to comfort, help, or remove toys from the situation and then tucking them back in will help.  Without fail, with every one of our kids, they fall asleep in front of the door for the first couple of days.  At night, my husband would quiet get in, and move them back to their beds.  They soon learn that sleeping in bed is much better than the floor.  

5: Make it fun! It’s fun to get them a new set of sheets of something they love.  You could also get them a special comforter.  I have made each of my kids a quilt when they’ve moved into a bed.  Not the day they move in, but I try to do it for Christmas or their birthday after they’ve moved.  It’s nothing super fancy, just a simple quilt that is made by mom.  

What have you found that works when transitioning from crib to bed?

How To: iPhone Parental Controls & More

January 16, 2014

I am so excited to let you all in on the How To: iPhone Parental Controls along with other tips and tricks that I’ve found.  A while back I did a post about iOS7 Tips and Tricks that I know several people found helpful.  Since then I’ve realized there are a few more things that may not be obvious, or complaints I’ve seen from people but everything is there, just in a different place.  🙂

iPhone Parental Controls

How to access Search: If you know you have an app, but have no idea where it’s ended up, this is great to know.  You used to swipe to the right, and it’s appear, but with iOS7, this was changed.  All you’ll need to do, is be on your screen that shows all your apps, then put your finger on it the screen and pull down a little bit.  You’ll see your keyboard come up from the bottom of the screen, and the search bar come down from the top of the screen.
iPhone Parental Controls 1

How to reboot an app:  Okay, this one is great.  If you’ve had an app that doesn’t seem to function right, or closes randomly on you, or whatever, try to reboot it.  You’ll double click the home (circle) button, and you’ll get a screen like this:
iPhone Parental Controls 1

Then, you’ll just pull your app up and let it fly off the screen.  
iPhone Parental Controls 1

Then it’s gone from that area.  Go back to your home screen, and just open the app again.  It won’t lose any info, but it’ll help it if it was struggling.  Well, it could help.  😉
iPhone Parental Controls 1

*Enable parental controls Settings: Let’s get to this Parental Controls set up.

1. Go into your settings, and click on GENERAL

2. Then find RESTRICTIONS
iPhone Parental Control

3. Then you’ll find ENABLE RESTRICTIONS
iPhone Parental Control

4. Then you’ll swipe the ones that you want off.  Here are the major ones that I would have picked. Installing Apps, Deleting Apps (so when you hold an app, and it wiggles, normally they’ll be a little “x” in the corner to delete, this won’t be there, so your apps won’t disappear), in-app purchasing (so your kids can’t just buy random add-ons or buy an actual app, lol).  
iPhone Parental Control

Banner in the way:  I love my banners that show the info I want them to.  However, if I’m trying to access the top of my screen at that moment (which seems to happen all the time), you can swipe it away.  There is a little womans health line you can see at the bottom of the banner.  Just swipe that up, and it’ll go away faster.  It’s not like the banners stay long, but if you’re trying to do something and it gets in your way, it’s just annoying.
iPhone Parental Control

See what’s on your iPad:  I was SO excited when my husband told me about this.  So go into Safari.  Click on the little double square icon thing, and then your screen will look something like this.  Depends on how many various pages you have open of course.  🙂
iPhone Parental Controls 1

Then you’ll just put your finger on the screen, and pull up, and whatever you have open in Safari on your iPad will be there!  Hooray for finding things on your phone that you didn’t know you could.  This also works the other way.  You can do the same thing on your iPad and it’ll show you what’s open in Safari on your iPhone.
iPhone Parental Controls 1

Quick Scroll up:  If you’re in an app, and you have scrolled to the bottom to read it, it’s annoying to scroll with your finger all the way to the top.  You don’t have to.  All you do it tap your finger at the very top of the screen (like the bar where your battery/time/etc are all listed) and it’ll take you right to the top of the screen.  Ta da!

Archive/Delete E-mails:  The in e-mail app, if you swipe to the left, you can see that Archives/More shows up.  If you’d like to keep the e-mail, but just have it be in the archives (saved but not in your inbox), then do that.  If you click on more you’ll be given options, and one is to delete.  Then you don’t have to clutter your inbox with old e-mails.
   iPhone Parental Controls 1

As a side note, you can do this a lot of places in a lot of apps.  If you can’t figure out how to remove/change something, swipe it to the left, and what you’re looking for may come up.  🙂
iPhone Parental Control

Access messages from lock screen:  Alright, you’ve got all these various messages on your lock screen, and you want to check out the e-mail, or FB, or whatever else comes.  All you do is swipe to the right on the message you’d like to go to, and then it’ll open (if you have a passcode, once you do the passcode, it’ll open).
iPhone Parental Control