5 on Friday

1. Today is the last day of my Whole30 challenge! I don't have any plans to stop. I feel like this last month of eating "clean" has been such an eye opening experience as to all the sugar that is added to food and also has helped me create good habits. I have lost 14 lbs and still have a ways to go to get back to pre pre pregnancy weight, but I have also experienced a lot of non scale victories. I feel good and crave good food. I'm looking to introduce more paleo foods to my family. Any tips/recipes are welcome! :)

2. I cannot grocery shop without checking out deals2meals. It is a monthly subscription of just $4.99 that saves me so much more than that little fee!

3. Have you checked out my instagram account? username: majorleaguemoms

4. I have sick kids this week. We have already finished a bottle of this wonderful stuff. 

5.  Where has this little moving tip been all my life?

Hope you all have a nice weekend. I will be spending mine packing and also running errands trying to plan a birthday party for my sweet almost 2 year old. 


Photo Callenge Update

See my original post about the photo challenge here.
Previous posts with picture update here.

This whole taking pictures thing is hard! I thought maybe I could take pictures of our little man for his blessing day... wrong! I ended up calling my talented photographer sister in law and asking her to help me out. She took the most lovely pictures. Here are a few pictures from the week. I really like this challenge because it gets me to really think about the pictures I am taking. They are not perfect, but I love them all the same. I love these little people of mine. I am also looking into getting Lightoom so I can start learning how to edit... hopefully that will happen soon! Enjoy! 

Once again these are taken in AV mode so I set the aperture and ISO and the shutter speed is on auto. Is that right photographers? Correct me if I'm wrong and feel free to give any advice, but remember to be nice! :)

bath time


play time

5 on Friday

1. We are blessing our sweet boy tomorrow. He is wearing his dad's blessing outfit from when he was a baby.

2. I am on day 23 of Whole 30 and plan on transitioning to Paleo afterwards. I really feel better than I have since I can remember. Making drinking lemon water a habit as well. I really want to be healthy for my family and when I feel good I can be the best version of myself I can be. 

3. This is an inspiring post that speaks to my heart. I want to be a fun mom. I want to enjoy being home and with my kids and not get stuck on auto pilot, which is easy to do. I want to make fun memories and be silly. I want to smile and laugh every day with the ones I love. Read the post here.

4. truth 

5.  Thought this was funny. 

Have a nice weekend! Do something fun and relax! 


How to Prevent Cavities

Between moving to Utah/getting married and having our first little one I worked at a dental hygiene college. I am passionate about teaching and love working with children. That is all I had ever done. In fact I left a job I loved working with a Head Start Program in Arizona. I was so disappointed to not be able to find a job in that field. However, in hind sight, what a blessing that job was working at the dental hygiene college. I met some of my very good friends there. One of them being Candi. Read more about Candi and her feelings of motherhood in a previous post I did about her here. I learned a lot during my time there and continue to learn a lot from my dental hygiene friends. Candi was sweet enough to write up a post to share with us about what we can do to prevent cavities!

via google images

I have a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.  I am passionate about prevention.  I love learning about dentistry. I spend time reading to my baby about different dental topics almost everyday.  I just can't get enough!!   Its exciting to think that if you do your part that your children can have a healthy mouth. Healthy mouth = a healthy body.

I have seen a lot of moms discouraged because their child has a mouth full of cavities. The mom is faced with a huge expense of getting the decay taken care of.  Not to mention, a child that is terrified of the dentist now probably will be for life.   The mother doesn't know what she could have done different.  I don't think its  the mom fault at all.  I think there is a huge gap of knowledge between dental professionals and parents.  

 I must say that when I first started in the dental field I was under the impression (that most parents are) that cavities were caused because the child ate too much sugar.  Or that some people just had weak teeth. I thought that probably everyone was going to experience having a cavity at some point...and if he/she didn't..it was because he/she got lucky.  I no longer think that way.  Most parents think that its not if but when their child gets a cavity.....


Some parents might think that it doesn't matter if their kids teeth get cavities if they're not in the childs permanent teeth.  The truth is the baby teeth can affect the permanet teeth coming in, so it does matter. Also if you are proactive in taking care of your babies mouth he/she will avoid alot of dental pain.  And you will save a lot of money.  Not to mention, a healthy mouth is directly related to a healthy body.  Give your baby/child the best start you can.  

Here are some things I like to tell my patients.  If you guys have any questions please write a comment and I will write back.  (also let me know if you want to see any of the journals I got my info from)

First things first...Take care of your own mouth!!  The harmful bacteria in your mouth can be transferred to your child’s mouth.  Studies indicate that babies mostly have their moms bacteria.  As moms we kiss, blow food off, lick pacifers (eww), etc.... So get your mouth under control so you are not passing bacteria that causes cavites to your baby.  People often don't think of cavities as something that can be passed...Bacteria that cause cavities can be passed from person to person!! 

For those that aren't familiar with how cavities work its not about how much sugar but how often.  I learned in school that it would be better for you to give your kids ALL of their Halloween candy at once than to have them take a bite of a candy bar every hour (probably not the best thing for their health to have it all at once ;) but its just an example.

 Its about FREQUENCY not QUANTITY. Everytime sugar or other carbs are consumed the bacteria feeds off the sugar and produces acid.  The acid drops the PH of the mouth and demineralization of the teeth takes place.  It takes time for the mouth to get back to a normal PH where it can start remineralizing again.

What can you do?  I made a list of things you as a parent can do. 

I included cariostatic foods.  Which are foods that actually help prevent tooth decay.  These foods make great snacks and are great foods to end sugary meals or beverages with.  There was a study done where they ended school aged childrens meals with a cube of swiss cheese and the caries rates dropped significantly.  I encourage you to add some of these foods to your kids diets.  Or atleast rinse with some water after your child eats a sugar or carb food.

I also included xylitol.  For those that are not familiar with xylitol it is a natural sugar.  (The stuff is amazing).  It comes from birch bark, fruits (including strawberries), corn cobs and even your body makes small amouts.  Xylitol acts like a fiber in the body so it doesn't give you sugar spikes (also has less calories than sugar).  Xylitol has been studied for over 100 years.  It has been studied in dentistry for over 40 years.  The bacteria in the mouth cannot process xylitol (it has 5 carbon units instead of 6) and therefore cannot produce acid.  They have found 80% reduction in cavities in children that are exposed to xyltiol 5x daily. (Brush kids teeth with xylitol and then give them gum, candy or mints after meals that are 100 % xylitol).   In some countries xylitol is given to kids at school as a way to prevent cavities. 

Probably the MOST important thing you can do is Brush your kids teeth after them!!!!  They are not old enough to even attempt to brush alone until they can tie their own shoe laces. And DON'T let them sip on sugary juices or beverages throughout the day and especially not in bed.  (this includes putting the baby down with milk)

  • Wipe infants teeth off with a damp cloth or xylitol wipes (Spiffles)
  • Always brush your child’s teeth after they do (at least until age 7)
  • Set timer or play/sing a fun song for two minutes 
    Brush with age appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste or xylitol toothpaste
                   “smear” of toothpaste for children less than two years of age.
                   “pea-size” amount of toothpaste for children two to five years.

    • Floss teeth that are in contact with one another 
    • Fluoride drops starting at 6 months of age (in non-fluoridated areas) 
    • ACT Fluoride mouth rinse for children 6 and older.  (Dip toothbrush in act fluoride if your child cannot spit.) 
    •  End snacks or meals with the following foods that help prevent tooth decay:
    hard cheeses (like swiss)
    dark chocolate (80 % cocoa)
    licorice (from health food stores)
     fibrous fruits (including apples, not apple juice)
      vegetables (like celery)

    • Expose teeth to 5-10 grams of xylitol (= 2 tsp of xylitol) 5x daily- Studies show it reduces tooth decay up to 80% and ear infections in a recent study by 93 %
    • Brush morning and night with xylitol toothpaste. 3x daily let your child end meals with a xylitol product.
    • Xylitol gum (Spry)
    •  8 ounces water with 1/4 tsp of Xylitol dissolved
    • Xylitol mints or candy
    •  Xylitol lollypops
    AVOID The Following
    • Sippy cups or bottles at sleep time
    • Juice or sugary beverages in-between meals
    • Frequent snacking on sugary foods ( foods not listed above)
    • Sharing toothbrushes
    Limit The Following:

    • Sticky, Starchy or Sugary foods that can stay on the teeth for extended periods of timeExamples: Fruit Roll-Ups, potato chips, candy or sugary mouth lozenges or gum

    Products To Be Purchased:

    • Xylitol products can be found at your local health food store or on the Internet
    • ACT mouthwash and children’s toothpaste can be found in the dental isle of most drug stores or super markets


    Service Project: Busy Bags for the Hospital

    As I mentioned in a previous post, we have chosen the scripture verse in Joshua "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" to be our family motto. Loving and serving others is something that is really important that we instill into our children and our family. So, we introduced this to our family and no doubt we will introduce it again and again as our kids are a little older. Our almost 4 year old definitely understands though and she was really excited about this project. We introduced our family motto and had it printed and put in a place where we could all see it and be reminded daily.

    For a family night we assembled 20 busy kits for the hospital. Busy bags for the hospital are inexpensive and easy for kids to do, especially on an assembly line. Busy bags help kids that are in the ER or waiting for procedures at that hospital by giving them something to do to pass the time.The kits do not need to be anything extravagant. We simply printed coloring pages from online, stapled 4 prints together and bagged and attached a few crayons. Even our almost 2 year old was able to help. 

    I also got lucky while looking for Christmas stocking stuffers at Michael's Craft Store and found these activity packs that have a little coloring book, markers and stickers all included. I got a few for my girls and they rung up at $.25. After getting back home I knew I needed to go back and get more for this project for that price. When I went back there were only a few left, but I found the exact same in another area, but they were marked $2.00. Long story short, $2.00 was the correct price, but since there were a few ringing up at 25 cents, they honored that price and I got 40 of them!

    We took all 60 of our activity bags to the hospital. It was difficult for our little ones to understand why they could not give them to the kids themselves, but I think it is something they will remember. They knew the had just done a good thing.

    Most hospitals should have a volunteer page that will link you to a donations page with more information on items they are looking for and how to get it to them.


    10 Tips for Better Behavior Part 2

    Did you find any of the resources helpful from Part 1. Here are the second half of Amy McCready's tips from this article with some more hopefully helpful resources!

    6. Simplify family rules and stay firm. This is one that I need to work on with my little family. My kids who are almost 4 and 2 are getting old enough to understand and old enough to help set some rules. I would love to have a family night and write our rules out along with consequences. Amy encourages that the rules be simple and concise.

    Amy hosts a free webinar that gives a little sample of her program and shares the 5 R's of fair and effective consequences. Those 5 R's include:

    1. Respectful—you need to be respectful to your child and to yourself. If you can’t deal with the situation right away, wait until you can be calm, collected, and respectful.

    2. Related to the misbehavior—Make sure the consequence is related to the behavior so the learning event can take place. For example, if your daughter back talks, you shouldn't discipline her by grounding her from her sleepover.

    3. Reasonable in duration—The discipline should be reasonable for the age of the child. McCready recommended taking a puzzle away from a three-year-old for a day and video game privileges away for a week for a teenager.

    4. Revealed in advance—You must reveal the rule and the consequence in advance. This gives your child the opportunity to make the choice. This gives them power and control over the situation.

    5. Repeat—Have the child repeat the rule back to you. You now know that your child understands the rule and the consequence, and you now have a verbal agreement.

    7. Send Time Out to The Side Lines. I am guilty of time out at times, but in all honesty I know it is not very effective. She suggests asking, “What can we do differently next time?” and role play the do-over.

    8. Just Say No to Saying No. Find opportunities to say yes and redirect "no's" into a more positive option. 

    9. Don’t worry, be happy. Be the example you want your kids to see. Think about how your kids might describe you to their friends – would they say you’re fun and lighthearted, or that you’re stressed and bossy? Try changing your energy by simply smiling more. It will help you keep calmer in times of stress, and your kids will notice and keep their behavior more positive, too.

    10. Don’t ignore the source of misbehavior. You really should sign up for her free webinar. Again, here is the link, but she suggests 3 reasons as sources of misbehavior: attention, power and control. Find out what is causing the misbehavior. 


    Photo Challenge Update

    Okay folks, I have been working on the photo challenge. There really are not enough hours in the day! I'm determined to really learn how to use my camera and take better pictures of my little ones.  For any photographers out there these were taken in AV mode and I have since learned how to manually select my focal point. Please be kind... remember I am learning. I also have not even attempted learning how to edit photos yet. I think I will get Lightroom instead of photoshop... opinions? Here are some pictures from the first couple weeks. 


    She naps in her baby brother's room, thus the mix matched bedding... I really wish I could edit because this picture has too many colors and prints for my liking. Maybe I will retake "sleep" but for now this is it... I want to hold myself accountable for taking 1-2 pictures a week and this was the best I could do.



    One Good Thing Giveaway

    Did you read my post introducing the book Jilly Bean and The One Good Thing? Well, I got mine in the mail and it really is as awesome as I thought it would be. The message is short, sweet, simple and beautiful and the illustrations are colorful and captivating. My little girl asked if she could make a list of good things to do and collect jelly beans. We just may need to do that! We are trying really hard to instill in our family the love of service. This book illustrates how doing little things can add up and really make a difference. I know my little family with young kids can make a difference in this great big world, even if it is just to one person. Be sure to enter the giveaway. I really wish I could give every one a copy. Follow the link here to order your own copy!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    5 on Friday

    1. I just may get around to making the busy book I always wanted. This secret to cutting felt will make it so much easier! I see you pinning busy book ideas too... this is so helpful!

    2. I would do this, but I would only have a few items in my closet. I'm holding on to things I don't really like out of pure necessity. This mama needs to lose her baby weight and get a new wardrobe. However, I think this is a genius idea so I thought I should share! 

    Turn all of the hangers in the closet backwards. It takes about 60 seconds: Each time you wear an item, hang it back up in the normal fashion, which takes zero effort to remember or do.  In June, any item that is still hanging backwards has not been worn in 6 months donate it to Goodwill unless you can come up with a good reason to save it.

    3. I just finished reading this book and I am in awe of the remarkable woman that Katie Davis is and am so inspired. My heart aches and is full of joy all at the same time after reading this book. It deserves a post all of its own, which will be coming... 

    4. Love this simple activity. Big numbers and clip on the right # of clothes pins. Math and fine motor in one activity. Score! (Perhaps put sticker dots- the same number as the number to make it easier for younger kids.)

    5.  Love this.

    Happy Friday! Have a good weekend! 


    10 Tips for Better Behavior Part 1

    It's ironic that I planned on sharing this today because boy have we had a morning! All my little angels are napping now, but we sure had some serious behavior problems this morning. If you follow me on facebook, which I hope you do, you know that I love Amy McCready and her Positive Parenting Solutions program. I should clarify... I am still saving my pennies for her actual "program", but I love what she teaches and follow her blog and read all her articles. She is a true inspiration to me. See her entire article here, but I want to outline her 10 steps with a few thoughts, experiences and resources...

    1. Invest in one-on-one time with kids daily. 
    This is so important. I read Amy's book, "If I have to tell you one more time" a while ago and shared a post about her method "Mind, Body and Soul." Read the post I wrote here. Basically it is being present with your child with your mind, body and soul for at least 10 minutes. In her free webinar she talks about the reasons behind misbehavior and one the main reasons is their need for attention. I have put this to the test and I can tell you that when I take 10-15 minutes, even just 5 minutes, to sit down and play a game with my girls or to color with them or just simply be there with them without any distractions, their behavior is so much better! 

    • use the time to do what they want to do
    • put away phones, turn off the TV- do not be distracted

    2. Get Serious About Sleep. 
    Oh we all know what cranky kids are like. I was blessed with early birds, so early bed times and naps are not negotiable. I really like this short little article from Power of Moms and love the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. 

    3. Focus on Routines
    Kids thrive on routines and like to know what to expect. I really liked this daily routine for the kids. We used it for a long time, but the kids got to the point that they knew the routine without having it posted. My almost 2 year old is at a point where I will probably bring it back because she could benefit from having it posted. If money grew on trees though I would get this routine, "chore" chart, goal chart all in one... Have you seen this? It's called the Family Do Dots System. Check it out here. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can do a review and giveaway.

    4. Everyone pitches in. 
    For better behavior, kids need to understand that everyone needs to contribute to make a household run smoothly. All kids, from toddlers to teens, should have “family contributions” (not “chores!”) they do daily – this helps bring your family closer together, teaches them life skills and works to prevent the entitlement epidemic. Our almost 4 year old totally understand this. She understands that I mom is doing her contribution of fixing dinner so she has to contribute and set the table. She even sometimes tells me I need to do my contributions like the other day after her sister made a mess and there were cracker crumbs every where she said, "Mom, can you do your contribution and vacuum?" 

    5. Encourage your kids to be problem solvers.
    My oldest of 3 is not quite 4, so my kids are young but I think that this is so important and this article by Dr. Michele Borba is a great resource. The article is all about conflict resolution  and teaching kids to take a S.T.A.N.D. to Solve a Problem. Check out her entire article here. 

    S – Stop and calm down. Keep emotions in check.
    T – Tell what’s bugging you. Listen to each side. Stick to facts!
    A – Assess alternatives. Brainstorm your options.
    N – Narrow the choices to “win-wins”
    D – Decide on the best one that you both agree upon -and  do it!
    Check back for the next 5 tips!


    5 on Friday

    New Year and new goals for this little blog of mine. I started doing 5 on Friday before the exhaustion of my pregnancy took over and then with a sweet little boy joining us at the end of October the blog took a hit the rest of the year, but I would like to pick back up with 5 on Friday. 5 random and fun things... So here we go!

    1. My January goal is to complete the Whole 30 challenge. It is basically Paleo. No dairy, grains, added sugars- natural or artificial and no legumes. Check it out here and wish me luck! I'm on day 2 and so far so good. 28 days to go! I can do hard things!

    2. In attempt to get my kids to eat more veggies I made these delicious sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin muffins. I adjusted the recipe to work for us, so I will have to share it soon. Maybe for a What's Cookin Wednesday, if I can get that going again. I would also like to make this recipe of Hidden Veggie Mac n Cheese.

    3. This bookmark is on my wish list. 

    4.  Fun fact. On my husband and my first date, which happened to also be our first time meeting, I made a wish that he would be "the one." I really liked him. On our second date which was the very next day we were both talking about getting married. 

    5. Thought this was a cute idea. Use cupcake liners for mason jar lids. 

    Happy Friday! Enjoy your weekend!