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The Importance of Credit Monitoring for Moms

by Tara on September 11, 2013
category: Finances

As mom’s we often think that our credit might not carry that much weight. But the truth of the matter is, that it really does. Even though you might be a stay at home mom or a soon to be stay at home mom, it is extremely important that you continue to stay on top of your credit score.

Did you know that you can even get free credit reports from various sources online? Many of these services are very user friendly and do not make it a painstaking process, and it is super simple to understand.

saving-moneyBefore you get your Free Credit Report Score, be sure you are doing the right things to maximize your Credit Report. Often times, as stay at home moms we let things go to the way side, but your credit report is extremely important to understand, and make sure you are taking the right steps to keeping it as clean as possible.

Here are a few pitfalls that you want to avoid as a stay at home mom:

Having your credit report under your maiden name

Be sure that when you get married (or divorced) that you notify all three credit reporting agencies, and provide proof showing the name change. This could inhibit you from having a credit record in your new name, which in turn makes it slightly challenging to get a credit card or loan.  A few of the credit agencies will automatically make the change for you when they are notified by your creditors, but don’t assume that this will always happen. Be proactive, not reactive!
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Important Decisions for Labor and Delivery

by Tara on June 25, 2013
category: Pregnancy,Uncategorized

Maybe you have been trying to get pregnant for some time, maybe your pregnancy is as much a shock to you as anyone else. Either way, once you read those results on that pregnancy test, there are many things to consider. These things can start to feel overwhelming rather quickly, especially with all those baby hormones coursing through your veins!

Before you settle on a name and a nursery theme, you are going to have to get down to the business of choosing the hospital you want to deliver in and the OB/GYN you want delivering your baby. If you are already covered by medical insurance, there are a few ways to go about doing this. You can ask around amongst your girlfriends and see if anyone has an outstanding recommendation, you can call your doctor’s office and ask for a referral, or you can call the hospital in which you want to deliver and ask them for referral.

pregnant

Choosing the right OB/GYN is important because ideally, this will be the person who is there during the most critical time of childbirth, when the baby actually makes his way into the world. However, your OB/GYN is sort of like the secret weapon of delivery. They are not there with you for the long haul that birthing can be, instead they bust on the scene in the last minutes of the birthing process to bring the baby out of your body. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right hospital as well.

Make sure you are comfortable with the hospital you choose. If you have your heart set on actively participating in the process, make sure you choose a hospital that caters to those needs with the appropriate amenities, like offering exercise balls or squatting bars on their beds for ease of repositioning during labor. Take the tour of the hospital and delivery unit at least a few months before your due date to get a feel for the place and the attitude of the staff.

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Homemade Baby Food is Easier Than You Think

When it came time for my son to start eating solids, I knew I was going to be a DIY mom.  There is something about knowing exactly what my infant is ingesting that put my mind at ease when it came to introducing new foods into his diet.  Any change for a mom and her infant can be a stressful time, I found this approach to be especially comforting during this transition.

baby food 4.51.59 PM

I had been lucky enough to have been gifted a Magic Bullet for one of my wedding gifts, which certainly came in handy when embarking on my homemade babyfood endeavour.  Although, I did find that most veggies were easily mashed with a fork, for making applesauce, I couldn’t beat the Bullet.  Now they have the Baby Bullet which seems super convenient, but for the sake of saving money, do not bother with expensive gadgets, any blender will do the trick.

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Traveling with a Toddler

Traveling a far distance with a toddler can be a daunting experience. After having taken my one year-old on several cross-country flights and a week-long road trip, I felt it would be nice to share some of our successes and failures in case there are any parents out there who are gearing up to bravely take their little ones on their first big trip.

mom baby place

As far as places to stay go, I can’t stress enough how much more convenient it is to find a hotel that either offers suites with a kitchenette, which is ideal, or a room that has a refrigerator. Your toddler is going to need somewhere for their milk and other perishable snacks and food. This is beyond difficult to deal with when you are limited to ice machines and coolers. Having experienced both options, I would gladly pay a few extra dollars for the luxury of the refrigerator amenity.

When it comes to flying, there are some things to consider. We have successfully maneuvered our baby boy through long flights and flights with layovers. There are benefits to both depending on what kind of kid you have. A flight with layover gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs and take a break from the plane atmosphere. A direct flight makes for a much shorter day of travel. While a layover can be a nice break, it can also make for a super long day because switching planes takes an hour at least.

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Bed Time For Baby

by Tara on April 25, 2013
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),1 – 3 year (toddler),Children’s Health

Consistency is key for most endeavors where children are concerned, bedtime is no exception. When it comes to getting your little one to sleep, you will want to make a routine that both of you will love and stick to every night. Although I can not guarantee this will make a seamless transition into slumber all the time, I can say that your child will be cozy in bed at roughly the same time every evening, which makes for a happier mommy and baby in the morning.

baby sleeping

Every child is different, of course, but it is widely excepted that young children should be put to bed around seven and eight PM. This was a natural time for my baby boy to go to bed, in fact, putting him to bed any later usually gets me wrestling with a grumpy bear throughout our entire routine. Your routine can be anything that works for your family, but I would like to share what works for us.

We usually start to wind down around one hour before our boy needs to go to sleep. We cut out anything that is super stimulating like his noisy toys in an effort to get him somewhat calmed as we transition into his bedtime routine. Even though, by now, our son knows what to expect, we also talk him through the separate events in the routine. For example, we might tell him, “Now we will have dinner and then we will take a bath.” That way once we are done with dinner, there is no surprise about having to get in the bath.

If both of us are home during bedtime, one of us will prepare his bath and bed while our baby finishes his dinner, otherwise, we carry him along with us and as said before, we tell him what we are doing while we do it. After bath, we take baby to his changing table for a fresh diaper. We often time give him a little lotion massage before putting on his pajamas. We also use a noise machine to create a background sound that cancels out any noises that may be happening in our house or neighborhood, not everyone is in on our bedtime routine, so we have to make due.

Our son has favorite stories that we read nearly every night. As he has grown, we make reading more interactive by asking him to point out characters in the book or show us colors as we read. It is fun and an easy way to work on his vocabulary during these precious moments. Our boy also enjoys a small sippy cup of milk while we read and relax into bedtime.

Once the story is over, we turn down the lights and get into our cuddle positions. Our family has adopted a co-sleeping method. Our son shares a family bed with us. It might not be for everyone, but we enjoy this closeness. From here we hand deliver our little one to dreamland by laying with him until he drifts off. We sometimes sing or hum to him as he fights his last attempts to stay awake.

This routine takes about an hour start to finish and with any luck, he goes to sleep without any cranky fussing. On a good day, this is still my favorite time with him. I love to catch a look at his angelic face as he slips into sleep, it is just about the best feeling in the world.

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