Blog Posts by Yahoo! Contributor Network

  • Get Your Kids in and Out of the Bathroom in 15 Minutes

    Mom can help with brushing teeth.

    "Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. We only have 20 minutes to get out of here. Did you remember to go potty? Go potty! We've got to go in 15 minutes. Please, hurry up! You have to brush the back of your hair, too. Hurry up! We have to leave the house in 10 minutes! Five minutes! HURRY!"

    I can't even begin to count the number of times I have called out that exact set of instructions in an ever more frantic voice as I tried to get my three kids all dressed, brushed and out the door on time. My friends tease me when I am late, which is too often. But I've been getting better, and today my family was 10 minutes early for our homeschool group activity. My friends were impressed. Here are some tips to help you get your kids in and out of the bathroom in 15 minutes or less so you can be on time, too.

    Wake up early

    A sleepy kid is a slow kid. Mine have actually fallen asleep on the toilet while I was trying to prod them along. If you have someplace to be, get your kids up at least

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  • Fun Dinner Table Questions for Families

    Ask your kids these questions at dinnertime!Experts tout the value of the family dinner. What's more important than what you're serving? Some suggest that it's what you're doing with that family time. When my husband, three daughters, and I sit down together to discuss the day, whether we're eating a bowl of chili, a rotisserie chicken, or a pizza from the local carry-out, these questions help our family stay connected.

    How was recess?

    My daughters love to talk about recess. I used to ask about their favorite part of the day, but I eventually realized that they always wanted to answer with "recess!" So instead of asking them to skip over what was obviously one of the highlights of their day, I've learned to embrace it. If you have young kids, as what they played, who they played with, and what they hope they can do tomorrow during recess.

    What would you do with a million dollars?

    Don't stick to questions about today's math test or tonight's homework. Recent lottery jackpots had my husband, young children, and I all

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  • Beauty Solutions for Moms on the Go

    Keep these essentials in your purse for a life on the go.It seems almost cruel; when you did not need much time to look gorgeous, you had all the time in the world; but now that you are knee-deep in raising little ones, beauty routines are pushed aside. Don't worry; you can look and feel beautiful quickly with the following tips.

    Be simply "scentsational":
    A big part of looking nice involves feeling good, so employ simple aromatherapy techniques to your daily routines. Use lavender or chamomile essential oils to calm your frazzled nerves, or you can put pep in your step with a dab of sweet orange or peppermint.

    Create bright eyes: Even if your late night partying days are over, you should carry eye drops. Soothe and refresh bloodshot eyes with a few drops. If you follow with a swipe of concealer to hide under eye circles, no one needs to know sleep eludes you these days.

    Simplify: It goes without saying; you have less time to primp. For this reason, it is important that you pare down your makeup routine. Don't skip, just simplify. At one

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  • Last-Minute Valentine's Gifts to Make with Your Kids

    Melt old crayons to make heart-shaped, multi-colored crayons.

    Valentine's Day can really sneak up on a busy mom! If you're looking for some last-minute Valentine's Day gift ideas that your kids will have fun helping with, try out these five ideas straight from a host of crafty blogs. Best of all, you will likely find that you have lots of the materials you need for these Valentine's Day gifts available at home.

    Crayon Hearts

    Have a surplus of colorful crayons? Melt them together to make a beautiful embellishment for a handmade card. Write From Karen describes the process of making these creative gifts. Place the crayons into a heart-shaped mold, bake them, and tape the molded heart to cardstock with a clever tag line such as, "You Color My World!"

    Painted Hand Bouquet

    If you have access to paint, paper or canvas, and some adorable little hands, you can easily make a quick Valentine's Day bouquet for someone special. The Trendy Treehouse walks you through the steps: have your kids dip their hands in paint and press them on the

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  • Shower Safety for Little Ones

    Rubber ducky enjoys a splash.

    I remember vividly the day I realized I had forgotten to explain exactly how a shower curtain works. Once my twins had outgrown bubble baths and were able to shower on their own, I gradually let them become more and more independent with their shower time.

    That's when I learned the hard way that you must explain things in detail to little ones. As I walked into the bathroom after one of my children had taken a shower, water actually sloshed from the rug under my feet. It looked like gallons of water had been poured on the floor. My kid never realized the curtain needed to be on the inside of the tub during a shower.

    Lesson learned, and thankfully no one got hurt. But there are many ways little kids can get hurt when they are learning to shower on their own. Fortunately, most shower hazards are preventable. Here are a few dangers you will want to look out for if your children are beginning to shower independently.

    Scalding

    Hot tap water can be deadly, because burns such

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  • Clean Out Your Mud Room with the Kids

    Organize your mudroom with the help of your kids.

    Your mud room is the buffer zone between the great outdoors and your living quarters. It stops kids with wet boots in their tracks and provides you with an opportunity to wipe off the dog's paws before heading inside. Cleaning the mud room can be a family-friendly activity that teaches kids a sense of responsibility and perhaps just a little more appreciation for your housekeeping efforts.

    1. Hook. Put taller children in charge of placing coats and jackets on the hooks that line the walls. Leave it up to the youngster to figure out whose jackets go on the right hooks; this is great object lesson to encourage labeling one's belongings!
    2. Wipe. A smaller child makes a perfect shoe rack wiper. Assuming that there is plenty of detritus that has blown in, let the youngster go to town with lukewarm water spiked with just a bit of vinegar.
    3. Wash. Walls need to be washed down, too. It is amazing how many fingerprints and smudges build up in this little area. A sturdy sponge and a
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  • Super Bowl Snacks for the Kids

    Serve your children mini pizzas on game day.Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest unofficial holidays of the year. It's also one of the biggest eating days of the year. While you may be making great dishes for the adults, what about the kids? Most kids won't enjoy the same foods, but there are a number of foods they will love that are also healthy. Whether it's a health-conscious taco dip or caramel apple wedges, kids are going to love these Super Bowl snacks.

    Taco Dip

    Taco dip doesn't have to be loaded with calories. A kid-friendly version could be made with taco meat that is made with ground sirloin or 98% fat-free turkey breast. You could then add a layer of low-fat shredded cheese, lots of lettuce and chopped tomatoes, plain Greek yogurt, fat-free refried beans and salsa.

    Baked Chicken Nuggets

    An alternative to chicken wings for kids are baked chicken nuggets. All you need to do is cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, dip in egg whites, and roll in bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for around 15-20 minutes, or no

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  • Tot-Approved Breakfast-for-Dinner Recipes

    Serve breakfast for dinner this week.

    Without a dreamy nap or a luscious glass of wine, how can a tired, out-of-ideas-for-dinner mama morph into a fun mama? Serve breakfast for dinner! Take it from me: breakfast for dinner is a good change up from the everyday dinner doldrums. Your kids will think you're fun, even a tad devilish. They'll never have to know that these are healthy recipes, too!

    Sweet Potato Waffles
    My Pinterest Reality

    So good, the kids will never know they're eating a sweet potato.

    2 cups of white, whole wheat flour (or 1 cup all purpose/1 cup whole wheat)
    3 tsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    1 tbsp. ground flax seed
    1 large sweet potato, baked, peeled and pureed
    2 cups milk
    1/8 cup melted butter
    1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 large eggs
    3 tbsp. vanilla extract

    In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground flax and nutmeg. Set aside. In a separate mixing bowl combine sweet potato, milk, butter, eggs,

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  • Get a Head Start on Homemade Valentines

    Getting a head start on homemade Valentines cards.As a crafty mom, I love to make things with my kids and celebrate the holidays in special ways, but my schedule doesn't always allow the time I'd like. For Valentine's Day, our tradition is to make homemade Valentines for cousins, friends and grandparents. Valentine's Day can sneak up on us, leaving our special crafting time a little chaotic and unprepared. This year, however, will be different. We're going to get a head start on our homemade Valentines, use our time wisely, and savor those memories in the making. Here's how:

    1. Prepare materials in advance - In our family, homemade Valentines require red and pink construction paper, sequins, glitter, patterned paper, glue sticks, scissors, and tons of markers. One way to get a head start on making Valentines is to ensure your supply cabinet is stocked ahead of time with all the right materials, then pack them all together in one convenient place, along with envelopes, stamps, and the names of all card recipients.

    2. Pre-make blank

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  • Fix Your Kids' Stuffy Nose Symptoms

    Stock up on tissues before your kids get sick.

    Now that cold and flu season is officially here, you'll want to make sure your family is well-prepared for stuffy nose symptoms and other common side effects of those cold-weather health problems. Making sure kids adopt some good habits for keeping germs at bay will take some time, but there are several things any mom can do to make sure family members aren't spreading germs or making their symptoms worse.

    Here are some useful tips to take care of your kids' stuffy nose symptoms:

    Stock up on tissues. Keep tissues in every room of the house so that kids can blow their nose as needed. Invest in some high-quality tissues that contain moisturizers and other emollients. These tissues will prevent skin irritation and are much softer than your average tissue. Encourage kids to throw away a used tissue shortly after using it so that they don't spread germs.

    Run the humidifier.
    Keep skin moist by running a humidifier in the drier areas of the home. A humidifier can be especially Read More »from Fix Your Kids' Stuffy Nose Symptoms

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