10 Homeschool Must Haves for Beginners (Baby + Toddler Edition)

Hi Mommies and Mommies-to-be!

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I put together a list of 10 items you may need to start your homeschooling journey.


WATCH THE VIDEO HERE


You can purchase some of the items I mentioned using these links. (These links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage when you make a purchase.)

  1. Best Homeschool Printer

  2. Laminating Machine

  3. Self-Laminating Sheets

  4. ABC Flashcards , Numbers Flashcards

  5. Puzzles

  6. Wipe-Clean Books


I hope you found this video helpful! Leave your tips and comments down below! :)


See you in the next post,

Ker-Leen

10 BABY ITEMS YOU MAY NOT NEED (RIGHT AWAY) AND WHY!

Hey Mommies & Mommies-to-Be!

Today, I’m sharing a super fun post/video for you ladies. I’m talking all about baby items that are sometimes considered ‘Must-Haves’, but that you may not necessarily need right away! So, watch the video below, then come back to this post to read the list of alternatives!

KEEP CALM....AND DON'T OVERTHINK IT!

Overthinking can keep you from God’s Best!

HEY YA’LL!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve put up a post. All I can say is that life tends to slow us down even when we have the best intentions. Recently, I have been juggling quite a bit, to include working at a new institution. I am also in school and just wrapped up a term of school. On top of that I have been filming videos and, most importantly, being a wife and mom. I am not complaining one bit, as I am in a season of increase. However, blogging sometimes takes a back seat.

Being so busy also affected my seasonal family photo shoots! lol We are so late on our pumpkin patch pictures this year. We do not celebrate Halloween, but I love going to the Fall Festivals and pumpkin patches to spend time together as a family. There are always fun activities to do which help create great family memories. I’ll share a funny story with you. A couple of weeks ago, we got all dressed up to go take our pictures. These pictures were going to be fierce…I had it ALL planned. Long story short, when we got to our location it was so crowded it was impossible to set up for a decent photo. We tried another location, and it reeked of garbage. There was a festival going on there, too, and there was spilled juice all over the area where we had finished setting up.

On top of that the kids started to get restless and fussy. I decided enough was enough and we went home. I left thinking that if we did take pumpkin patch photos this year, I would not plan so much. No coordinated outfits, no pressure, no fuss just FUN & QUALITY TIME. When our focus shifted to simply spending time together, the result was beatific…just like these photos. :)

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I guess I was still a bit coordinated with my girl…can you blame me? She is just the cutest!

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I was reading one of my favorite books recently, “God’s Little Devotional Book for Moms’, and in it I read, “A happy childhood is one of the best gifts that parents have in their power to bestow” (1995). It also cites Proverbs. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so”. Good, in this case was making sure my kids had fun; giving them what we had the power to give them. That was the whole point of it all. Not the photos or the outfits, just the FUN of it all. Sometimes, overthinking sucks the potential for fun out of a situation. Overthinking can also keep us from God’s best.

Remember earlier when I mentioned that I just started working at a new institution? Well, that almost did not happen. Two weeks ago, I received an email one night from a state college Dean asking me if I was interested in a teaching position that was open. The position would need to be filled immediately and she believed I was qualified. The crazy thing about it all, is that I submitted an application to teach at that institution 4 YEARS AGO! I wonder how much dust she had to wipe off of that thing to find my phone number. lol I had been feeling like a change was due and was coming for me and I recently declined teaching courses this term, at another institution where' I’ve been employed for some time now. It was obviously an inkling from the Holy Spirit, because then comes this NEW institution with another opportunity for me. This position is a step forward for my teaching career and God said it was time. God had it all lined up and all I had to do was trust Him.

Anyway, the night before I had to start, I had so much anxiety due to the fact that both hubby and me needed to be some place the next day, and we had not figured out child care. The only option was to leave the kids at a daycare that offers back up care as a part of hubby’s benefits. We’ve done this before when we needed to run errands together and go on day dates, but something about both of us needing to be at work made it super scary. Not to mention, I was so nervous about the types of students I would have. Long story short, we dropped the kids off, we went to work, I met the students and the class went great. I picked the kids up and they were just fine (they didn’t even get sick afterwards) and I lived to tell the story. It was almost like pulling teeth getting me to step into this new phase of my life, due to overthinking. I could have declined last minute, and missed out on such a wonderful opportunity.

The moral of today’s post is: Overthinking can keep you from God’s Best! When you’re doubtful or tempted to plan every little detail, remember to consult your Heavenly Father. He will make His will clear to you. He will be with you and hold your hand as you walk into unknown territory. He will show you what is most important in that moment…just TRUST HIM. He’s got you! ;)

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Btw, If you’re looking for a free family activity try going to your local pumpkin patch. Have each child pick out a pumpkin that you can use for decor or for a recipe. :) Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween you can have fun letting each child decorate the pumpkin, then put it on display somewhere inside. In our case, we picked out a small one that we are using as decor in our living room…just until it starts to ripen. ;) See you in the next post!

xx,

Ker-Leen

THE LATEST ON LeMomLife's YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

Hello there mommies and mommies-to-be! I wanted to pop in and say hello, since it has been a while since we last spoke! I also wanted to let you all know that there are a plethora of helpful, mommy related videos on my YouTube channel right now! I've compiled a list of some of the more recent ones. 

1. FUN HOMESCHOOL HAUL!

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5. MOMMY & TODDLER FAVORITES

6. HOW TO BE A HELPMEET

 

I HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE VIDEOS AND FIND THEM USEFUL! 

xx,

Ker-Leen

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SIGNS YOUR TODDLER IS READY TO TRANSITION TO ONE NAP!

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Hi Ladies,

I recently shared a video detailing how I knew it was time to transition my toddler from two naps down to one. I also talk about how I am transitioning her! 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

 

SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME...

1. Your Toddler's Age: The suggested age for attempting to transition your toddler is anywhere between 1- 2 years of age.

2. Your Toddler Simply Plays During the Nap Time. My baby girl would play for an entire 20-30 minutes. I eventually had to go and get her after realizing she was not falling asleep anytime soon.

3. Your Toddler Takes Forever to Sleep! Some days, she would eventually fall asleep, but it took quite some time for that to happen. 

What I've realized is that the transition is an inconsistent, yet gradual one. Some days she naps twice, and then other days she plays through her first nap. What I like to do when that happens is push her nap back 15-3o minutes. Today, I did this and was able to put her down right around noon. That is the ideal time for a nap.

You may also notice that when your toddler only has one nap, he or she will sleep for a longer stretch. :) 

Hope this Helped,

Ker-Leen

 

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE IT WAS TIME TO DROP A NAP? WHAT DID YOU DO? SHARE IT DOWN BELOW! 

Our Potty Training Update + Some Tips for Success!

Hi Everyone,

It's been quite some time since I have posted, but I am so happy to be back today to share some potty training tips with you mommies! 

My son (who turns 3 in a few weeks) is nearly completely potty trained!! Watch my update on our progress HERE!

Along the way, I've done some reflection  that has led me to this list of tips that you mommies might find useful.

1. Every child is ready at a different time. If your child is not ready mentally, then no matter how hard you try they will not go. Trying to force the matter will only make everyone frustrated and may even traumatize your child. We kept the pressure off in regards to potty training and I feel that this worked best for our family.

2. Consider trying a child-size potty like this one. I didn't want to try this at first, because the thought of cleaning poop out of it really freaked me out! Ultimately, getting one was the best decision for us. Eilan was always so excited to go and sit on it. Furthermore, the kind that we purchased was the one that looks exactly like the adult potty (complete with a battery-operated flusher)lol. He was only allowed to flush when he actually used the potty!

3. Which leads me to my next point...INCENTIVES! Flushing the potty was one incentive that was very effective for us. It's also all we needed to use. Feel free to incorporate whatever incentive works best for your child. In addition, we used lots of positive language and encouragement!

4. The potty was never too far! In the event of an accident there would not be that much to clean up! Which leads me to my next point...

5. Go diaper-less! Removing the diaper during scheduled potty times removes the comfort and dependence on it and pushes them to have to make a decision. "Do I go peepee on myself or do I try that thing called the potty over there?"lol

6. Lastly, talk about it! We would always encourage Eilan to watch us use the bathroom and we talked about it all the time. These conversations helped to prep his mind for the moment!

When all of these things were put into place and coupled with his mental readiness, it was like a light bulb moment! We followed up his first time with lots of encouragement, which for my son, led him to want to do it again! 

WATCH THE UPDATE VIDEO HERE! 

I hope these tips were helpful! Do you have a funny potty training experience? Share your potty training stories down below! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen™

Top 3 NATURAL Diaper Rash Hacks!

Hey Moms,

Today, I want to share some natural ways to relieve diaper rash without all the chemicals. My babies rarely get diaper rash, but when they do it is always important to me to cure it as naturally as possible. These are the 3 techniques I use to get rid of those nasty rashes. 

*Be sure to clean the baby's diaper area with a gentle wipe or some lukewarm water on a washcloth. Harsh baby wipes or soaps can aggravate the skin further. Pat down dry, and let baby air dry for a few more minutes before moving forward. 

*Remember to patch test these products on a  small piece of skin first. If irritation seems to worsen, discontinue use and try another remedy. 

I've linked the organic versions of these products for you in my Amazon shop.

 

1. Cornstarch

 

Yup, you read that correctly! I've always known about cornstarch's benefits, but I decided to use it the other day for my daughter and it worked so quickly!  It's a very old remedy for skin irritation. It absorbs moisture, and dries out the skin so that the rash will heal. Because it absorbs moisture it works faster than most diaper rash creams.

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The only cream that works in a similar fashion (that I know of) is Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Cornstarch costs between $1 -$2 per box, so it is a far less expensive with the added bonus of being a natural remedy. 

 

2. Coconut Oil

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In the past I've had great success with coconut oil on my son. Typically it healed a diaper rash within two days. The fatty acids in the coconut oil help to nourish and soothe baby's skin. It stimulates the skin to create more sebum and heal from within. It also works as a barrier to prevent any further moisture from accumulating. 

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Coconut oil also has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial, properties (source), which is great for healing the skin, too. Furthermore, these properties help prevent a yeast infection from forming in the diaper area.

 

3. Changing Promptly and Frequently

Did you know that an ammonia-like substance is formed when the baby's stool is mixed with urine? (Source) Yikes! No wonder that baby's tender skin forms a rash! One of the things I do to help keep my babies rash free is change their diapers as soon as they poop, and/or every two hours. I am also vigilant, and will change them whenever I feel that the pee diaper is too full, regardless if its been two hours or not. 

 

I hope these tips help you moms naturally battle those awful diaper rashes! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

My List of 4-9 Month Must Haves

Hey everyone! 

I am sharing a list of some baby essentials from my perspective, for months 4 to 9! This is just a list of things I have used or think could be useful to any mommies out there. Feel free to share anything you are using that may not be in this list! 

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WATCH MY TOP 7 PICKS FROM THIS LIST, HERE!

1. SIPPY CUPS: Doctors usually recommend letting your child experiment with a sippy cup around this time, as it encourages independent drinking sooner. I would just give it to my daughter to let her play with it. She now goes for her brother's sip cup and drinks all of his water! lol

2. BOWLS/SPOONS: This is the perfect time to start encouraging your child to eat independently. You can start with feeding them purees and other meals, and around 9 months start letting them play with the spoon. 

3. TEETHING TOYS: I like the ones that can be refrigerated for instant teething pain relief

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4. AMBER TEETHING NECKLACE: I know there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness, BUT, anecdotally speaking it as worked great for my two babies! They work as an anti-inflammatory when the babies body heat releases the succinic acid found in the stone. 

5. TYLENOL: We use it for fevers or teething pain. 

6. HIGH CHAIR: We absolutely LOVE our Ingenuity Base 2-in-1 Booster Seat! It is so portable, and does not take up too much space. We can also travel with it easily!

7. PLAY PEN/PLAY YARD: If your baby doesn't mind being in a smaller space these are a great option for smaller babies (between 4-7 months).

8. BABY GATES: These are more versatile than a play yard because you can create a barrier pretty much anywhere in the house where baby shouldn't be, but baby can still roam freely.

9. OUTLET COVERS/POWER STRIP COVERS: These are a must for all babies, but especially those that our drawn to the power cords like our daughter. 

10. DRAWER LOCKS: We will be getting some ASAP! lol

11. BABY MONITOR: Any baby monitor will do, butt I especially love that the Summer Infant Pixel monitor has a 360 camera lens that feel like a second set of eyes in the room!

12. BATH SEAT: We have been loving our Summer Infant My Bath Seat! 

13. TOUCH N' FEEL BOOKS: I started using these with my son Eilan and he was always excited about story time! He would always bring me the books when he wanted me to read to him.

14. DEVELOPMENTAL TOYS: We have been loving our IKEA tunnel, but you can also purchase them on Amazon.

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15. SLEEP SACK: We love the Halo sleep sack, but have found some at Carter's that work just as well.

16. ESSENTIAL OILS: Be mindful of the types of oils used. Many are not considered safe for babies. ALWAYS DILUTE your oils properly! 

 

WATCH MY TOP 7 PICKS FROM THIS LIST, HERE!

What are some of your essentials? Comment down below! 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

#LeMommyoftheMoment!

Hey ladies! 

I realize that being a mom does not mean you must become fearless; it means you will need to be courageous.

The Bible is full of stories of courageous people, but there is a story of courage that I felt led to share with you. When Moses had reached the point where he could no longer lead the people of Israel to the promised land, he passed the torch to Joshua. He told Joshua, "He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed" (Deut. 31:8). I realize that it was impossible for Joshua not to have those feelings; its just that Moses was motivating him to move forward with confidence. Later on in this story, God also speaks these words to Joshua, "be strong and courageous...I will be with you" (Deut. 31:23). Reading this made me reflect on my story. The moment I stopped operating in fear and began to operate in strength and courage is the moment things started to turn around. I had to draw near to God so that I could develop in these areas. I went from being a victim to being a survivor. I went from being someone who experienced the loss of a baby to someone who had lost a baby and was still an overcomer. 

 Here on LeMomLife™, I want to highlight other moms and moms-to-be who were courageous in the face of many obstacles and heartache. I want to highlight moms who have come out on "the other side", and have a story to share. Today, I share Linda Riley's story with you! 

 

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  • Briefly introduce yourself...

My name is Linda Riley. I am 37 years old and married to an amazing man of God. We currently reside in VA due to my husband being in the Navy. I was born in Bronx, NY. I've lived most my life in NY and NJ. I have lived in FL from 2004-2008 then again from 2012-2017. In between those years I was back in NY. My family is from Haiti and we have a strong family. My mother, sister, and grandmother are my strengths (after my husband of course ). Before my husband, they have been with me through many storms. Now, I am in my final class in obtaining my doctorate degree in Education. I am truly excited! Next year, my husband and I embark on a new journey purposed by the Lord. A wellness business to help adolescent girls and women regain their identity. Very excited for this as well! My past traumas have brought me to a place of true victory. 

 

  • Share your pregnancy journey. When did you find out? Had you been trying for a while? 

There was a time this would have been a difficult question to answer. But with God, I have been delivered from the bondage of sorrow and can now share my story with love. The three pregnancy stories I am going to share were all unplanned. They were decisions made as a lost young girl growing in her faith. My first pregnancy was in 2004. I found out I was pregnant because I missed my period. I am always regular so it was an obvious first sign to me. Shockingly, that was my only symptom. My first prenatal visit was when I was about 9 or 10 weeks. This is when I found out the shocking news I was pregnant with twins! My second pregnancy was in 2006, with my daughter Cyria. With her I found out due to a missed period. I was terrified, but this time I was only pregnant with one. In 2012, I experienced my 3rd pregnancy and found out because I had severe bloat at first then a missed period. 

 

  • When did you find out you were having a miscarriage? What was the reason( if you are comfortable sharing that). 

My twin boys were born in 2004. My son Ramelo was born on June 23rd and my son Jaylen was born on June 25th. I was 21 weeks along. Ramelo was born in my bed and Jaylen was born two days later at the hospital. With my first son, I actually was unaware I was having a miscarriage. I was on strict bedrest due to complications beginning around week 16. I thought I needed to use the bathroom and my fiancé at the time helped me with my bed pan. Unfortunately, what I thought was a bowel movement was me delivering my son. I was terrified! He was extremely tiny and I could not bare to look. My fiancé and his family called 911 and they were expecting me to immediately deliver my second son, well, he had other plans. Jaylen did  not descend into my birth canal, but because my boys were identical, the cord which was detached from Ramelo was hanging outside of my cervix still attached to Jaylen and the placenta they shared. Although the doctors were able to push it back in, my uterus was still exposed because my cervix would not close. Due to this I developed an infection which almost killed me. I had to make the most difficult decision of my life to allow the doctors to induce my labor and force me to deliver my remaining son. After he was delivered, they tried to keep him alive but unfortunately his lungs were not strong enough. My daughter was born in 2006. Cyria came into this world on May 5th and I was 37 weeks pregnant. With Cyria the doctors discovered I have a short cervix (this was not discovered with my twins). Due to this, a cerclage was performed in my 12th week of pregnancy. From then on, my pregnancy was smooth and easy going. I knew something was not right about two days after my prenatal appointment in my 36th week, about a week before I delivered Cyria. Her movements were decreasing and when I called my doctor concerned she just told me everything is fine and it is because she is big and has limited space. Well, a few days after that phone call I went into labor. I still felt something was not right. Upon arriving to the hospital the nurse performed an ultrasound and her facial expression said it all. I asked what was the problem and she asked me to wait till my doctor arrived. My doctor arrived a few minutes later, performed another ultrasound and had the same worried expression. Then, she told me my daughter did not have a heart beat. This is when I felt my soul leave my body and my spirit die. I was forced to first have my cerclage removed, then go through labor and deliver of my deceased child. Her cord was wrapped multiple times around her tiny neck. They suspected she passed a few days prior to me going into labor. She was beautiful and I held her for hours. Something I did not get to do with my boys. Finally, my pregnancy in 2012 was a pregnancy where I almost lost my life as well. I was bleeding the entire pregnancy and my doctor could not figure out why. My HCG levels were going up and down. I was approaching my 12th or 13th week when I was sent to the emergency room. They discovered I had an ectopic pregnancy and was not hemorrhaging due to my left fallopian tubes bursting because the baby was too big. This, too, was extremely traumatic. Funny thing is, my ectopic pregnancy was discovered and removed on the 6th year anniversary of the passing of my daughter, May 5th. 

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  • What are some things you did to cope with your miscarriage? 

Coping with my miscarriages and still birth of my daughter was not easy. I was in a dark place for a long time. I did not watch TV for fear of seeing a baby. I was afraid to go outside for fear of seeing a mother and her child. It was not a way to live. God was repairing me before I knew to even ask for help. I tried to take my own life in 2006 and God saved me. He placed awesome, strong women in my life (mother, sister, grandmother) who helped me in that storm. Then he placed friends who introduced me to salvation. After I was saved in 2007, I finally started to heal. I used exercise and prayer to cope with sadness and depression. I surrendered it all. Faith, family, and hobbies are great recipes for healing. And these are the reasons I was able to stay strong after my loss in 2012. 

  • Any advice for mommies who are struggling to cope with the loss of a pregnancy/baby? 

The best advice I can give is, don't be afraid to cry. Don't be afraid to be angry. Allow yourself to go through the stages of grief. Embrace the love and support around you and do not push anyone away. This is what saved me (Divine intervention from the Lord). Most importantly, declare victory over overcoming a moment or moments that made you feel broken. Acknowledge your strength within and realize, your testimony can help someone else with healing. I always tell myself, God's timing is the best time and He will bless me in the right season. This has given me peace. 

 

Today, Linda is married and currently expecting another baby! Congratulations, Linda!!!! What an amazing testimony of courage and victory! 

 

*Use the hashtag #lemomlife, or #lemommyofthemoment to be featured on this community of courageous women! 

4 TIPS TO SLEEP TRAIN YOUR BABY FAST!

Today, I am so excited to finally share our sleep training tips with you mommies! Over the last two years, and two kids later, I’d like to think we have something to share with other parents struggling to figure out this sleep thing! Lack of sleep can make us less effective parents, in addition to less effective employees, business owners, family members, friends, etc. I hope these tips will give you some insight on things you may not have been doing before.

 

1. Put Baby Down for Sleep While He or She is Still Awake

This is  a big one for us! We didn’t do that with baby number 1, and he would always fall asleep on one of us. If he wasn’t completely lost in sleep, he would jump up and start crying, as soon as his face touched the crib sheets! Baby number 2 can fall asleep all by herself.

 

2. (If Tip #1 was successful, follow this step) Transition Baby to Crib as soon as Possible!

 

It’s important to get your baby familiar with the feeling of being in his or her crib. The sooner you do this the easier it will be to reclaim your room. It was very hard for me to let go of my babies, so what I did was place their crib in our room at first. I would put my son to sleep in his crib instead of the bassinet and he was only two steps away, near my bed. When the 6-month mark arrived, we were all ready for the transition. For the 2nd child, it happened much sooner, because being in our room actually kept her up. She jumped up at the slightest movement!

 

 

3. Create a Sleep Friendly Environment

Our current perfect environment consists of nature sounds and a dark room. Toys are kept in the playroom, except for the occasional small toy that may bring comfort to a child. Experiment with what works best for your babies. Some babies like ‘everyday’ sounds like the vacuum or the washing machine, other babies like the white noise, and still other babies like complete silence. What you choose is sometimes a matter of trial and error.

 

 4. Be Patient & Monitor!

 

Sometimes the difference between a successful sleep transition and a baby in your room until they’re in middle school (just a little hyperbole there, hehe) is just a little patience. I cannot tell you how many nights I would be ready to run into the nursery and rescue a baby from the abyss of their crib, at the slightest whimper. My husband would have to talk me out of it, and, when a calmer and clearer head prevailed I would look up and my baby was asleep! Now, I’ll leave it up to you to use good sense and determine whether your baby has a physical need that has to be met. My point here, is to have a healthy balance between nurturing your baby and allowing your baby to mature developmentally. The last thing you want to do is get in the way of your baby’s development, right? One of the things that helps me stay calm after I’ve put my baby down to sleep is the use of my baby monitor!

 

I wanted to share our current monitor, as I have been loving it! It’s called the Summer Infant BABYPIXEL 5.0” touchscreen color video monitor. I cannot say enough great things about this monitor! It’s been a life saver! Here are some of the things I love about it:

 

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  • It has a 360Tilt™ Camera Steering and is touchscreen, so I can control and steer the camera to better view the baby!
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  • It has sounds activated lights that will light up when the camera picks up a sound in the baby’s room. The LED light bar also indicates when the battery is low on my monitor.

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  • The monitor also displays the room’s current temperature and the time. This is probably my favorite feature!

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  • Something else I love to use is the Moonlite™ Night Vision Boost! When you press this button it illuminates a small LED light on the camera to help you better view your baby. There is also an option to adjust the brightness of this light.

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  • The SleepZone™ feature sets a virtual boudary box around the baby. You can select the boundaries, and if your baby leaves this boundary the monitor will alert you! How cool is that?!
  • Finally, there’s the ‘talkback’ feature that allows me to talk to my baby. Sometimes, your baby just needs to know you aren’t far away to calm down and rest peacefully. I can sing to my baby girl to keep her from crying. It really is such a sweet feature.

 

The BABYPIXEL™ has so many other wonderful features not mentioned in this post. I would recommend it to any new mommy. It’s a great baby shower gift as well! It gives me peace of mind and has made my sleep training efforts more seamless!

Summer Infant is currently giving One of these monitors away! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO! 

BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO LEMOMLIFE FOR MORE AWESOME GIVEAWAYS LIKE THIS ONE! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

 

Thank you to Summer Infant for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

 

Transitioning to the Big Girl Bath Tub!

My little Elle is such a little butterfly. She is 8 months old, growing every second, and is so advanced for her age. I just can't take it! I was using a baby bath tub for her and decided recently it was time to transition her to the big kid portion of that tub. She is a kicking & splashing machine, so the baby tub didn't seem to be enough.

This bath seat from Summer Infant came in the mail the other day, and it is the perfect transitioning tool for us. When baby girl is extra energized we can just put the seat in the big tub and pop her right in! Her first time using the My Bath Seat the other day was a success!

 Look at that smile! I can't handle the cuteness!

Look at that smile! I can't handle the cuteness!

 Someone was super excited about her package! :) 

Someone was super excited about her package! :) 

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I love the design of the My Bath Seat because it's nice and light. It's also portable, which will be great for traveling!

 The seating is nice and roomy for babies that are on the chunkier side! 

The seating is nice and roomy for babies that are on the chunkier side! 

The My Bath Seat comes with an instruction manual, and the setup was super easy! 

The suction cups kept the seat firmly in place throughout the entire bath. 

 

REMEMBER, NEVER LEAVE BABY UNSUPERVISED IN THIS SEAT!  

 It has suction cups on the bottom!    

It has suction cups on the bottom! 

 

 There were lots of squeals, smiles and laughter during this bath session! 💙 

There were lots of squeals, smiles and laughter during this bath session! 💙 

I am looking forward to lots of memorable baths using the My Bath Seat from  Summer Infant! Mommies, let me know...have you used one of these before? What was your experience with it? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below! 

Thank you to Summer Infant for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

 Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen™️

DIY Shea Butter Hair & Body Cream (for the whole family)!!!

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Hi Ladies!

I am so excited to share this DIY recipe with you all. It is sooo moisturizing and we have been using it all over! If you have oily skin, or sensitive skin I would avoid using this on your face. Other than that, enjoy its nourishing benefits on your entire body. It works really well on damp hair, and on the body straight out of the bath or shower. 

I used the following: 

Shea butter: 1/4 cup

Castor Oil: 1 tablespoon

Sweet Almond Oil: 2 tablespoons

*Essential oils of your choice* (Lavender, peppermint & sweet orange) 6-10 drops

Buy the exact same products I used by visiting my Amazon store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/lemomlife1

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WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE!!

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

Parenting/Teaching with Children’s Books!

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Happy New Year!

I hope that your year is off to a great start! Wishing all of my mommies great health, lots of energy, and more zen moments this year!  

Today, I wanted to share how we use children’s books to help with parenting. Although we started reading to our son when he was a newborn, we have been doing this with him since he was about 8 or 9 months old. We have continued this practice until this day. Our daughter is now 8 months old and she loves books. Needless to say, we will do this with her as well.  

Basically, we carefully select children’s books/stories to support the lessons or topics we are teaching our child at the moment. For example, we are currently working on manners, hygiene and bedtime with our toddler right now, so the books we select at the library or purchase are all centered around those themes.  

Sometimes the lessons come to life when they are in a fun and colorful book as opposed to coming from Mom or Dad. Now that my son is 2 years old, credibility plays a huge role in teaching him as well. He can read us now lol. He isn’t as willingly receptive as he was before turning two. Now we have to convince him why washing his hands is fun. Sometimes he pays more attention when another person is delivering the message, or when the medium by which it’s delivered is lively, energetic, colorful, etc. 

These are some of the books we’ve checked out at the library recently. I plan on buying the series by Elizabeth Verdick; my son loves those two books. 

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The illustrations make it easy for my son to see what he should do; the colorful characters are extra motivation.  

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We will also pair these books with songs that speak to the same topics. It turns that parenting moment into a little lesson when kids can sing along and listen to a story.  

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What are some of the tools you use to teach your children? Share them below!  

 

Until Next Time, 

Ker-Leen  

What is Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)? Our Reasons for BLW.

WATCH MY VIDEO HERE TO SEE CLIPS OF MY BABY GIRL DOING BLW.

Hi Mommies,

I've been hearing about baby-led weaning since before my son was born, two years ago. It wasn't necessary for my family because my son Eilan was very much satisfied with breast milk. When he got to the 6-month mark, I introduced purees and yogurt and he did really well. I never had or saw the need to try other things. Well, this baby is a little different. :) My baby girl has been showing strong interest in what we eat, so we have officially started Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)! In this post, I will define what the term means and share our top 3 reasons for practicing BLW. 

What is Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)? 

BLW is the process of skipping or decreasing the use of purees and allowing your baby to finger-feed themselves after they are at least 6 months of age. It's ideal to start with soft foods like cooked pastas and veggies, ripe fruit, puffed cereals, etc. You also want to make sure you cut the food into pieces that are easily handled by your baby. Consider doing long strips, or coin sized pieces of food during meal times (Parents.com, 2017).

You also want to make sure your baby is being supervised whenever you place food in front of him or her. Pay attention to your baby's cues and don't panic if baby gags. The gagging reflex is in place to keep them from swallowing something they shouldn't. When the gagging happens, simply pat their back and help them to calm down. You may remove a piece of food from their mouth if they are having trouble with the size. Also keep water nearby to offer up after the gagging stops. 

Signs of Choking

  • Baby cannot cough up the food, or cry
  • Baby is making no sound at all, or making foreign sounds
  • Baby is turning blue
  • High-pitched sound occurs when baby breathes

Click here for what to do if your baby is choking. 

 

 

 

Our Family's Reasons for BLW

1. Our Baby Started Showing Strong Interest and was Able to Sit Up

After learning to sit up, our baby girl would start to reach for our food whenever we ate in front of her. At first I attributed her interest to teething, until I decided to let her try a tiny morsel of what I was eating one day. She not only chewed and swallowed that piece of food, but she cried for more! I proceeded to give her more and the same thing happened...and it continued to happen! 

2. The Tongue-Thrust Reflex Was Gone

Every newborn will have this reflex until right around 6 months of age. When anything is placed in the baby's mouth, specifically the tongue, the tongue will move forward out of the mouth, instead of back into the mouth (AskDr.Sears, 2017). This reflex is actually in place to help prevent your baby from choking, so to start before it is gone is unnecessary and will actually increase the risk of choking. 

3. Her Fine Motor Skills were Present

Our baby girl was exhibiting a 'raking' grasp and  a crude 'pincer' grasp. These fine motor skills allow your baby to hold and chew the food. If your baby cannot even momentarily hold the food, this is another indication that they may not be ready, 

I hope this Information helps you make the best decision for your family. Always follow the recommendations made by your pediatrician, and use common sense where your baby is concerned. Every baby is different, so what worked for one child may not work for the other child, and vice versa. 

WATCH MY VIDEO ON BLW TO SEE CLIPS OF MY BABY GIRL EATING!

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

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You are Not Alone

Hey Mommies!

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I needed some encouragement today after having a really bad day yesterday. It seemed that no matter what I did both babies were not happy yesterday. I made sure that all their physical needs were met, I gave tons of kisses and hugs, but I could not put baby girl down for one second and my toddler kept testing the waters of disobedience.  Baby girl is teething and I think going through a growth spurt, and my handsome boy is going through the 'terrific two' stage. This Bible verse gave me the biggest hug.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
    He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Isaiah 40:11

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God understands my role as a mother because He created the role. He is guiding me as He guides my children. He is guiding my family. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have it all together, or be "superwoman". He is my shepherd and it is vital that I look to Him each and every moment as I navigate my role as a new mommy.  He leads gently, He is loving, and He has compassion for me, you, and our children alike. I pray this encourages you today. You are Not Alone! 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

DIY CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENTS

Hi Mommies,

My toddler and I sat down together and made some custom ornaments to go on our Christmas tree this year! We filmed some of the process to share with you! I hope this inspires you to make some fun crafts with your loved ones this holiday season!

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You can grab all of the supplies at a store of your choice. We went to Target for the art supplies and the ornaments. The box of ornaments cost me $6.00. The bottle of paint was another $2.00. All of the other supplies I had around the house. 

  • Supplies:
  • Vinegar
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Clear ornaments
  • Rags
  • Paper plate/cup (for paint & paint brushes)
  • *wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty!

Happy Creating,

Ker-Leen™

WHEN IT’S TIME TO SWITCH TO A TODDLER BED + A NON TRADITIONAL NAP TIME

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Hey mommas, 

So, our 2 year old said goodbye to his crib last week! Yup, that’s right! He is now in a toddler bed!! Well, that’s is, we converted his crib so that one of the sides is off. The first night he fell off twice. He cried the very first time,  and his father rocked him back to sleep. We found him in a prayer position with his head resting on his arms, on the bed the second time. After observing him on his video monitor we have noticed that he now knows to climb back in after falling off. The transition was so seamless and I will share why next. 

 

Eilan has always been fairly simple when it comes to nap or bed time. Last month he started protesting being placed in the crib. He would whine and cry, and even scream when we would put him down for nap time or bedtime. We couldn’t figure out why he was fighting the inevitable. A couple weekends ago my mom was over and watched the kids for hubby and me. Needless to say, I was concerned that Eilan would give her a hard time. She eventually got Eilan to sleep.

In a later conversation with her, she mentioned that Eilan may no longer want to go in the crib because it makes him feel confined. She went on to say that when he wakes up the thought that he can’t get out may be making the crib a less than desirable resting place. I took heed to that advice and decided we should try converting his crib. I figured we had nothing to lose. We could easily put the crib back together If it turned out to be a disaster. Well, it has been quite the opposite!! Eilan has not protested in the same way for the last several nights. As a matter of fact, it has been relatively painless putting him down for the night. 

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This success got me thinking about the way I approach nap times. I started to wonder “what if nap times were less restricting?” What if they felt more natural? It's often harder to get our little ones to sleep during the day, so I decided I would try a non traditional nap time. That’s been working perfectly, too! Here's what I've been doing. When it’s time for a nap, I begin to give Eilan subtle cues. I shut the blinds and put on some white noise in the background. I lay a comforter on the floor, along with some pillows and sometimes I’ll even lay down. After a while he will lay down, too. Before I know it his eyes start to droop, and well, you know how the rest of the story goes. I am then free to do what I need to, whether that is stay right there next to him and catch some Z's or complete some chores. I forgot to mention that my baby girl Gisele also takes her nap around this time. I will usually put her down first, and then work on Eilan.

I thought I’d share my experience because it might help another mommy. This non traditional approach may be the difference between getting some much needed alone time and not having a spare moment to breathe. Not to mention that your toddler needs that nap time for developmental purposes. An added benefit is that you have a much nicer toddler on your hands after they are rested! 

So tell me, have you mommies tried this before? What are some other nap time tips you can share with us? COMMENT DOWN BELOW! 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen™ 

ENTERTAINING ON A BUDGET!!!

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Last weekend, I hosted a small get-together for family. The purpose of the get-together was to celebrate my daughter being dedicated back to God. I wanted the get-together to feel personalized, intimate, and effortless. There are a few things I did that I feel made my vision come to life. I will talk about some of those things in this post and include links to items (where applicable) 

1. Start with a Clean/Neat Space

It goes without saying that you have to clean before you entertain, but what I mean here is that you want to do a deep clean. I got as detailed as polishing the cabinets, shining up the appliances, and shining up my sink and faucet. 

2. Make the Space Fragrant

Aside from lighting candles, I also made a DIY scent cocktail over the stove. I put cinnamon sticks, anise stars, and whole cloves in a pot. I brought  them to a boil and let the mix simmer on super low heat. What emanates is this delicious Fall cinnamon-spice scent. It's the perfect recipe for this season! It smelled as if I was baking something delicious, and made the get-together feel more cozy and intimate.

3. Fresh Flowers are a Must + A Few Balloons

Fresh flowers may become pricey for a large gathering (over 50 ppl), or for an event where there will be tables, but for a small gathering (10-15 ppl) like the one I hosted, you only need about 2 bouquets. I went with three bouquets as a part of a sale (3 for $12.00) at my local grocery store. I opted for 2 pink carnation bouquets and 1 pink sunflower bouquet. Fresh flowers automatically add glamour and elegance to the room without doing much.

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4. Bright Colors Add Value 

What I found is that bold, bright colors helped to make the space more festive without having to buy loads of decorations. I went for light and dark pink, with a touch of gold in my kitchen/dining area. Because the colors in that space of my house are so cool and neutral, the bold decorations automatically "lifted" the room. I recommend going with contrasting colors to your current color scheme to give the space a quick "facelift". I also did a few helium-filled balloons (just a few) to add some more color. The flowers + balloons cost under $20.

5. Assemble the Food 

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Try to serve platters versus large dishes, to avoid the time and cost associated. If possible, try to assemble the platters you wish to serve, as opposed to buying them pre-assembled. I hand prepared the sandwiches I served. I purchased loaves of Cuban bread from the deli, bought sliced sandwich meat, deli style mustard, cheese and lettuce. I made the sandwiches a little before the event and everyone seemed to enjoy them. I imagine they were good (I wouldn't know as I'm on a more plant-based journey at the moment). The cost of making enough for about 15ppl (with lots of leftovers) was around $20

 

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Instead of buying precut/premixed fruit I cut, washed and mixed them myself at home. That proved to be a much cheaper alternative. Not to mention, I was able to mix the fruits of my choice without having to pay a ridiculous up-charge for a custom mix. I did watermelon and pineapple.

6. Cupcakes versus Cake

I spent a total of $15 for two dozen cupcakes, as opposed to the $35 dollars a 15 person cake would cost me. I requested that the frosting be part light pink and part dark pink, to match my party decor colors. The cupcakes were beautiful and really made the set up look as if it took a lot of time and effort! 

 The cupcakes are sitting on some trays I purchased from Dollar Tree and I've got the trays sitting on top of leftover tassels.

The cupcakes are sitting on some trays I purchased from Dollar Tree and I've got the trays sitting on top of leftover tassels.

MORE DETAILS...  

This beverage dispenser is such a lifesaver. We purchased it for my baby shower and have been using it ever since. Two gallons of beverage will bring it to an 'almost full' level. It was purchased from Wal-Mart.

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The double-sided napkins are from Target. I love the versatility they offer, not to mention the super cute design! I purchased two packs at under $3 each. 

I also purchased some gold plates and cutlery from Target. Because I did more finger foods, I only needed to purchase one set. This is the style  of plates and cutlery that I chose.

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The last thing I wanted to mention in this post is my customized water bottles.  *If you plan on entertaining more than 20ppl, this method can get pricey.* 

I knew that I wanted to have personalized labels on the water bottles, but all of the options I was looking into proved to be too costly, or too difficult. I can't remember how, but I later had the idea of using chalkboard labels. I think that came up when I decided I would turn our homeschool chalkboard into a 'welcome' sign.

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Anyway, I purchased two of these chalkboard label packs from Joann's Fabrics/Crafts. I only had plans to personalize 16 bottles. I used some pink chalk from my homeschool stash and the end result was so adorable. Personalized, artsy, unique, and quirky are the words I think best describe the outcome. 

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Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

HOW TO STIMULATE YOUR BABY'S BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

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Hi Mommies,

Today, I wanted to share 3 simple ways to stimulate your baby's brain in the early months of life! Research shows that babies whose parents are constantly stimulating them reach developmental milestones earlier and become independent sooner. (Source) Today I share with you 3 ways I stimulate my infant's brain daily. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Take heed to your infant's unique and individual needs. These activities should be done for brief periods of time, at points in the day that are appropriate. Try not to stimulate a baby too much near their nap/bed time.

1. Baby Stimulation Videos

I love to play these videos for my six month old. She loves to watch the high-contrast images dart, sway, and pop in and out of frame. The high-contrast colors make it easy for her to focus. Also, the music  exposes her to the concept of pattern and rhythm early. I played these videos for my son Eilan at a few months of age. It's my opinion that these videos are fun and effective ways to stimulate your infant's brain. 

WATCH OUR FAVORITE ONE HERE.

 

2. High Contrast Books

Reading to your infant is proven to help give your child a literacy boost. Aside from that, it teaches them how to interact. They get a chance to study your voice's pitch and intonation, your facial expressions, and your mannerisms. Bonding with baby is another benefit derived from reading a book.

When choosing books, go for the ones that have contrasting colors. High contrast books have been proven to stimulate a baby's brain development positively.  My son absolutely loves story time because we started when he was a newborn. Over the course of time he has come to associate reading with cuddles, warmth, hugs, kisses and smiles. It's my hope that this association will keep him passionate about reading in the future. I am currently taking the same approach with my 6-month old baby girl. 

 

3. Interaction/Playtime

Nothing beats quality, one-on-one time between mom/dad and baby. Your baby needs you more than anything else right now. What better way is there for them to be stimulated than interacting with you face-to-face? I love talking to my baby. I describe the things that are happening to her as I do them. For example, if I am changing her diaper I will tell her just that. I'll explain to her that I am changing her diaper, that I am grabbing a wipe and cleaning her up. I'll tell her it's time for a new diaper, etc.

 Wearing your baby for some parts of the day also helps with stimulating their brain. It keeps them close and calm so they can take in their surroundings more confidently.

Wearing your baby for some parts of the day also helps with stimulating their brain. It keeps them close and calm so they can take in their surroundings more confidently.

Find any opportunity to talk to your baby. I also like to give her baby massages after bath time, and lots of kisses and snuggles. Something she loves to do is look in the mirror. Try holding a mirror up in front of your baby and pointing out the different parts of their face while saying each part out loud. 

 

So tell me, how are you mommies stimulating your baby's brain development??? Share in the comments section down below! 

 

Until Next Time,

Ker-Leen

MY TODDLER MUST HAVES!!

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Hi Mommies,

I put together a list of things that we have been loving for our toddler, Eilan. I also filmed a video talking about these products in detail!! 

WATCH MY TODDLER MUST HAVES VIDEO

 This is just a list of ideas...not a recipe for anything. Hoping to share some things that work for us, with the hopes of helping another mommy! 

Products I Mentioned

(These links are my Amazon affiliate links!):

1. UPF HAT
2. NO AD KIDS SUNSCREEN
3. ZARBY'S MULTIVITAMIN
4. ORGANIC RAW MEAL
5. CURLS WHIPPED CURL CREAM
6. CURLS CURL CONTROL PASTE
7. EDDIE BAUER CART COVER
8. KOLCRAFT UMBRELLA STROLLER
9. BLACKOUT CURTAINS


WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE TODDLER PRODUCTS??? LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS DOWN BELOW!! 

xx,
Ker-Leen™