Parenting

Reader Question: How Did You Decide on Your Family Size?

posted by Andrea | 06/9/2017 | 96 comments

Ever since I announced that Baby Dekker #4 is on her way, I’ve gotten so many congratulatory emails and comments from all of you.

A couple of the emails questioned how Dave and I decided what size family we want (or at least hope to have) someday… and that’s what I’m sharing more about today.

Simon Says – Our Speech Therapy Experience

posted by Andrea | 05/26/2017 | 33 comments

As some of you may remember, Simon never talked (like literally never even said one word) until he was about 18-20 months old… and now we can’t get him to stop talking!

Today, I’m sharing more about our speech therapy experience, as well as some helpful tips and ideas for those of you with a “speechless” toddler in your life.

The Story of Piercing Nora’s Ears

posted by Andrea | 05/23/2017 | 44 comments

Exactly 6 months ago, Nora got her ears pierced.

I’ve been asked to share more about our ear-piercing experience so many times, and I figured today would be a good day — especially since we’ve finally put the ‘trauma’ of the whole ordeal behind us 🙂

The “Good Old Days” Start Now!

posted by Andrea | 05/19/2017 | 19 comments

Despite what so many professionals, books, and news articles try to scare us to believe, I’m convinced today’s youth will grow up into fine adults who can fend for themselves, live on their own, and make a decent life for themselves.

And I have a feeling our kids will remember their childhood as “the good old days”, just like we remember ours!

The Next Best Choice… Why I Cut the Crust off My Kids’ Bread!

posted by Andrea | 05/9/2017 | 65 comments

I was recently thinking about all the times in my life when I choose “the next best” instead of the “best” because it’s faster, easier, cheaper, and more fitting with my current stage of life.

As I pondered all these “next best” choices, I realized these choices are one of the reasons my life is simpler, less stressed, less chaotic, less busy, and less full. I’m elaborating more on this today!

My Thoughts on Children’s Sleep Schedule

posted by Andrea | 04/21/2017 | 17 comments

It’s been just over a year now since we finally got all 3 of our kids on a relatively decent sleeping schedule… and since then, Dave and I have enjoyed hours of kid-free time every evening.

I’m often asked to share what exactly we did to get our kids to sleep better — and although I don’t have a specific 3-step or 5-step process, I hope that some of the thoughts I share in today’s post will help those of you in the thick of sleepless nights!

7 Bad (and Better) Responses for a Friend in Need

posted by Andrea | 04/6/2017 | 66 comments

Almost all of us have some sort of issue or problem we struggle with on a daily basis… and sometimes we just need to vent.

Inspired by a recent reader question, I decided to share 7 bad (and better) responses for when a friend (or spouse, or child, or other relative) comes to us to vent, to share a concern, or to ask for our advice.

One Simple Way I Got My Kids to Listen Better

posted by Andrea | 04/4/2017 | 41 comments

Today I’m sharing one simple thing I’ve been doing with my kids that has helped them listen to me so much better.

Of course, they aren’t magically compelled to do everything I ask without moaning, groaning, whining, and complaining… but we are making progress, and that’s all I can ask for right now!

A Different Perspective on Two Working Parents

posted by Andrea | 03/28/2017 | 33 comments

If I’m honest, I’ve often felt a little guilty about the time I spend working (even though I’m working from home).

However, I recently realized that although it can be tricky to find the right “balance” and enough time for everything when both Dave and I work, with a little bit of a different perspective on things, I can see the HUGELY positive effect my job (and my income) have on our family.

Simon is 3!

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2017 | 33 comments

Our sweet, silly, stubborn Simon celebrated his THIRD birthday this past Saturday… and we partied in true “Simon fashion” with a Firefighter birthday party complete with donuts, juice, and candy (all his favorite things).

Today I’m sharing a bit more about Simon, and a bunch of pictures from his party!

5 Ways We Simplify Mealtime with Young Children

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2017 | 15 comments

Mealtimes are some of the craziest, busiest, loudest, messiest times for our family — and they happen 3-5 time a day (if you include snacks).

However, there are a few things we do that seem to significantly simplify our crazy mealtimes… I’m sharing 5 of them today!

Two “Secrets” to Being Productive AND Being a Present Parent

posted by Andrea | 02/13/2017 | 29 comments

I’m often asked for any “secrets” I have to being productive while also being a “present parent” who plays with their kids, shows interest in what they want to do, reads books with them, does crafts together, etc.

I realize there are MANY variables that could come into play here, but as I’ve thought about these questions over the past couple of years, 2 simple concepts (a.k.a “secrets”) came to mind…

Why I Don’t Stress about Kids and Chores

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2017 | 50 comments

As my kids get older, I get more and more questions about kids and chores… and while Dave and I definitely do expect our children to help out around the house in age-appropriate ways, we don’t go crazy or get stressed out forcing chore charts on our young children.

Today I’m sharing the reasons why I don’t worry too much about kids’ chores… and I’d love to know how you handle chores in your home!

One Important Life Lesson I’ve Learned

posted by Andrea | 01/13/2017 | 48 comments

Tomorrow my sweet baby James will be 18 months old!!!

Today, I’m sharing one very important lesson I’ve learned after 5+ years of motherhood — one that has completely changed my outlook on these years when so many others share their personal suggestions, opinions, and advice. 🙂

5 Ways We Simplify Christmas… with small children

posted by Andrea | 12/5/2016 | 41 comments

I wasn’t planning to do a post about “simplifying Christmas”, but after receiving an astonishing number of emails, comments, and Facebook messages requesting this post, I decided to share 5 things we do (or rather DON’T do) to simplify our holiday season.

5 Thoughts for the Mom Who Hates Breastfeeding

posted by Andrea | 11/14/2016 | 40 comments

After several recent conversations with new moms… and after 5 years of collective experience nursing, pumping, and washing bottles, I’m sharing 5 thoughts that I hope will be encouraging to any mom struggling in her breastfeeding journey.

3 Ways to Help Children Live Simply

posted by Andrea | 10/18/2016 | 29 comments

If you have children of any age, I hope today’s post will give you a few ideas to help your children learn to live simply.

These tips alone won’t magically transform your children into simple-living, time-managing, neat-freak, purging machines… but they are steps in the right direction!

10 Reasons We Love Our Library!

posted by Andrea | 10/13/2016 | 24 comments

Even though I’m not personally an avid reader, I spend a fair amount of time reading to my kids AND taking them to the library.

I realize that going to the library (especially with small children) can seem overwhelming if you’ve never done it before; however, I would encourage all of you (no matter your age) to visit your local library every once in awhile. Even if you aren’t a big reader like me, there are still so many free programs and resources you can take advantage of!