Parenting

When You Have No Time For Yourself

posted by Andrea | 07/15/2016 | 57 comments
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Earlier this spring, I transplanted a bunch of white lilies from my Great-Grandparents’ dairy farm… and while it might sound a bit crazy, the lilies got me thinking about different seasons of my life when I have had very little time for myself.

If you are currently in a season of life with no time for yourself, I hope this post offers some encouragement… you definitely are NOT alone!

Our Diaper Bags (What We Love and What We Don’t)

posted by Andrea | 06/28/2016 | 29 comments
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Today, I’m sharing some of the diaper bags we’ve used over the last few years, what we like about them, what we don’t like, and a bit more about the bags we use right now.

If you’re in the market for a new diaper bag, I hope my thoughts and insights are helpful for you!

Enjoy ONE Moment (but maybe not every moment)

posted by Andrea | 06/20/2016 | 50 comments
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Anyone who has ever gone anywhere with a young child has most likely heard the phrase, “enjoy every moment — it goes so fast” uttered from the lips of well-meaning friends, relatives, or complete strangers.

Since it’s not actually possible to enjoy EVERY moment of life… I’m sharing how striving for ONE enjoyable moment has helped me realize how much of my life I actually DO enjoy — and alleviate so much guilt for those times when I do get frustrated, annoyed, angry, or stressed.

12 Ideas to Entertain Young Children (no creativity required)

posted by Andrea | 06/17/2016 | 37 comments
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For those of you who spend time with young children, those of you who aren’t necessarily super creative or crafty, and those of you who have no idea what you’re going to do now that the kids are home ALL DAY LONG, here are a few things we do to stay busy…

You’ll notice that most of these activities require little to no creativity, little to no monetary cost, little to no set-up, and little to no clean-up! Win, Win, Win, Win!

Our New (amazingly awesome) Kid’s Bedtime Routine

posted by Andrea | 06/13/2016 | 36 comments
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For the first time since becoming parents, Dave and I finally feel like we have an awesome bedtime routine for all 3 of our kids… and since I am regularly asked about our bedtime routine, I wanted to share exactly what is working for us RIGHT NOW, and why I feel it’s working so well.

I hope some of you will have more tips and ideas to share in the comments too!

3 Questions That Reduce My Frustration as a Parent

posted by Andrea | 05/19/2016 | 32 comments
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Today’s post is another one of those “this is what works for me” type of posts — however, I think it has the potential to improve almost any “adult-child relationship” — whether it’s your child, your grandchild, a niece or nephew, a neighbor child, a friend’s child, or whomever.

Surviving and Thriving – it only took me 5 years!

posted by Andrea | 05/10/2016 | 37 comments
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Exactly 5 years ago today, Dave and I shared our surprise baby news with our parents — we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into, especially with a fussy baby like Nora.

Now, a couple years and a couple babies later, I feel like I’m FINALLY finding my groove — you might even say we’re THRIVING instead of merely SURVIVING!

Our Simplified Mornings Start with Two Breakfasts

posted by Andrea | 05/5/2016 | 25 comments
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I have recently received several emails, comments and questions asking for tips to simplify and de-stress busy mornings.

I know my solution won’t work for every family, but you might be surprised to read how we manage to keep our mornings relatively simple AND eat a hot breakfast almost every single day.

3 Reasons Homemaking + Parenting is Easier Today Than Ever Before

posted by Andrea | 04/27/2016 | 17 comments
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Homemaking and parenting has never been (and will never be) “easy”, but with a little extra support, some helpful modern conveniences, and a boatload of useful resources, it’s getting EASIER!

What are your thoughts on parenting and homemaking today versus in past generations?

21st Century Parents – You’re Doing Just Fine!

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2016 | 35 comments
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I have wanted to publish this post for over a year already, and just recently got the guts to actually “pull the trigger”!

I hope my opinions will be a source of encouragement for today’s parents… because we really are all just doing the best we can!

That Time We Hired A Sleep Consultant… and what I learned!

posted by Andrea | 04/8/2016 | 23 comments
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James has never been an awesome nighttime sleeper, but he’s just so happy that we never really worried about it… until he started sleeping worse and worse around 5 months old. By 7 months, I was getting almost no sleep and having flashbacks to when Nora was younger.

I just couldn’t fathom doing 3 years of no sleep all over again, so we hired a sleep consultant. In less than 2 weeks, we had a much happier, more rested baby (and mama)! Today, I’m sharing the details!

Why We Don’t Homeschool

posted by Andrea | 03/18/2016 | 50 comments
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Over the past year, I have gotten a surprising number of emails asking why we aren’t homeschooling Nora, suggesting that we should homeschool her, or asking if we would ever consider homeschooling our kids. I have gotten an equal number of emails that, for whatever reason, assume that we DO homeschool our kids.

So today, I’m sharing a few reasons why we don’t homeschool — and why we really have never considered it as an option for our family.

My New Daily Routine (with 3 kids)

posted by Andrea | 01/18/2016 | 21 comments
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I’ve been asked about my new routine several times over the past few months… so now that James is 6 months old, and I’ve been home with all 3 kids for half the school year, I thought it was time to share a little bit more about my “new” daily routine.

The 4th Trimester

posted by Andrea | 12/7/2015 | 34 comments
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Today I’m sharing some of my thoughts on “The 4th Trimester” as it relates to my new normal after bringing home each one of my babies… and also how giving yourself a 12-week grace-period can be so helpful when embarking on any big new changes in your life.

Tips and Resources for Parenting High-Needs Babies

posted by Andrea | 11/9/2015 | 27 comments
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As many of you know all too well, parenting a high-needs baby is hard, it’s exhausting, and it’s overwhelming.

If you are in the thick of parenting a high-needs baby, my hope is that sharing a few of the tips and resources that helped me through that very difficult first year with Nora will also help you… or at the very least, offer some encouragement that you are NOT alone!

Tips To Encourage a Clean and Organized Family

posted by Andrea | 10/29/2015 | 11 comments
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Over the years, I’ve been asked countless times how to get messy spouses and messy children to ‘clean up their act’. And while I don’t have any quick-fix answers or easy solutions to these questions, I do think that if your children and/or your spouse are willing to try to change their behavior, there is hope!

Today I’m sharing a few steps.

10 Household Chores for Toddlers

posted by Andrea | 10/15/2015 | 20 comments
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If I had my way, I would have a completely uninterrupted afternoon each week to clean my whole house. However, since that’s not really possible right now, I do the next best thing and clean WITH my kids.

If you’re looking for a way to get your toddlers and preschoolers involved in household chores, these are a few of my favorites.

Why I Don’t Use Cloth Diapers + A Diaper Deal!

posted by Andrea | 10/13/2015 | 45 comments
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Since many people know how frugal I am, it was often assumed that Dave and I would use cloth diapers for our babies — but as you now know, that is not the case.

I have nothing against cloth diapers, but they aren’t for us — and today, I’m sharing why. I’m also excited to be sharing an amazing deal on a Seventh Generation diaper bundle from ePantry.com!!

Why I Say “Yes” to My Toddlers as Often as Possible

posted by Andrea | 09/29/2015 | 13 comments
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On an average day in our house, I think it’s realistic to say I answer upwards of 250 questions… for real!

It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed by all the questions and whining and just say “no” to everything — however, for the past few months, I’ve been working hard to say “yes” as often as possible… and it has made a big difference in how my kids react and how smoothly our days go.

3 Simple Ways I Improve My Quality of Sleep

posted by Andrea | 08/26/2015 | 26 comments
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As many of you know, “sleep” has been a hot topic in the Dekker household for the past 3.5 years… basically since we brought Nora home from the hospital!

Although sleep is one of my top priorities, I haven’t always been able to get the QUANTITY of sleep I would like. However, there are a few things I do that have helped me get more QUALITY sleep… I’m sharing those today!