Our Son Is Like Diego The Explorer!

I obtained the cartoon character descriptions below from a Focus on the Family article written by Lynne Thompson. She encourages parents to accommodate and foster their toddler’s “play styles” by determining which activities their kids find most enjoyable. I suggest you read the entire article, it’s really insightful!

I’m curious, which of these cartoon characters are most like your child(ren)?

Bob the Builder

These toddlers love to build. But before investing in Thomas or Brio train sets start small. Begin with Duplo blocks or cardboard bricks for stacking. Help your toddler set up a fort with chairs and a blanket. Be sure to join in the fun by crawling inside with a flashlight and a picture book to share. You may want to drive by a nearby house under construction each day and watch its progress. Have dad help your little builder set up a tent in the backyard and then camp together under the stars… or streetlights.

Dora/Diego the Explorer

This toddler wants out! Be sure to take your little explorer to the park, on a hike, or down a bike trail. It’s also fun to create maps leading to hidden treasures in the house or backyard. You may want to purchase a bug terrarium or butterfly net for backyard exploration. Try visiting the local pet store, zoo, aquarium or space observatory. A family camping trip is a must.

Elmo’s World

This tot loves to learn new things, and games are an easy way to teach. Purchase a box of Old Maid cards and place them face down on the floor. Have your child flip over two at a time in search for the match. Another fun game is to purchase plastic Easter eggs and fill them with treats. Each egg should be coupled with another filled with the same item. Have your little one find the match by shaking the eggs and matching the sound. Sometimes toddlers like to learn from other children. Invite an older sibling or friend to teach your toddler how to write his or her name. Also, it’s always fun to bring home a plastic horn or musical recorder and let your toddler blow out a tune… in the backyard.

Caillou

It’s a make believe world for this toddler. Try to encourage an active imagination with plenty of dress up costumes, found at garage sales or in the grocery store clearance section after Halloween. Children who enjoy the arts might like listening to stories on CDs, or watching DVDs that can be imitated later. Host a dress up tea party with friends, real or stuffed. Or grab the video recorder and act out Bible stories as a family. Then breakout the popcorn and enjoy the performance.

Lionel (Between the Lions)

Make sure you have your library card ready, ‘cuz books are candy for this little one. Check out story time opportunities in your town at the public library or bookstores. Start a toddler book swap, by asking moms to bring over any used picture books to trade. Take in a theatrical performance of your child’s favorite book. Host a literature party where children dress up as their favorite storybook character. Then invite a parent in costume to read some of the books aloud.

Boobah

This is a toddler in motion. You may want to purchase some music from your local Christian bookstore for this little one to exercise and dance to. Purchase a Twister mat and call out colors as jumping spots. You may want to invite other parents with toddlers to join you in starting your own fitness program at a nearby park or in your backyard. Some athletic gyms offer toddler classes or you may want to visit gymboree.com to locate your nearest activity center.

EVAN IS MOST LIKE…..

In comparison to these cartoon characters, Evan is most like Diego the Explorer. Although I would also dare to compare Evan to Curious George, Superman and Spiderman!

Our son is insatiably curious about everything. Evan is fearless and loves to jump off beds, chairs and couches, and much to my worry, he is too fond of climbing.

To nurture Evan’s interests and to expend a lot of his energy, my husband and I ensure that he gets outside and physical time everyday.

We learned very quickly that Evan does not enjoy Mommy and me classes, circle story times at the local library or even Gymboree’s family music classes. While other children thrived in these activities, my son quickly got bored because he found indoor activities to be too restrictive.

Instead, Evan totally prefers being outdoors, especially in a park, where he is free to run and tumble around.

Evan has an unbridled spirit, that’s for sure, much like his Mommy and Daddy….

DISCUSSION

  • Which cartoon characters are most comparable to your toddler?
  • How do you encourage your child(ren)’s style of play?

Share your story, your story matters.

Must Have Items from Target: Part 1

METHOD PRODUCTS

I love all of Target’s Method cleaning products because they clean so effectively without the harsh chemical smell of other popular cleaners. Method has non-abrasive cleaning products for counter tops, wood, hardwood floors, bathroom (tub, tile and shower), dish/hand soap, detergent and many more!

MY FAVORITE METHOD PRODUCT

My absolute favorite Method product is the Method Pink Grapefruit All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner shown above.

SPARKLY CLEAN

This all purpose cleaner eliminates dust and cuts through dirt, grease and grime so impressively! For deep cleaning, let the product sit for about 5 minutes and the cleaner will soften and dissolve even the toughest grease and grime. Your counter tops and stove tops will shine! After spraying, this product wipes off clean, smear-free and streak-free.

The consistency of this all-purpose cleaner is thin, watery and it doesn’t leave a filmy residue, unlike many abrasive cleaners.

NO HARSH CHEMICALS

Ditch those harsh cleaning products like Windex, 409, and Fantastik! Method Pink Grapefruit All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner is all you need : ) You can still have that “clean” feel and smell in your home without all the harmful chemicals!

I felt comfortable cleaning with Method products all through my pregnancy. Even now with my 20 month old toddler touching and climbing on everything, I feel confident that I don’t have to expose my family to all those harsh cleaning products that wreak of heavy chemical fumes and noxious toxins.

Cook’s Illustrated (Published January 1, 2012) reviewed several cleaning products and Method’s All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner was on top of their list!

ALTERNATIVES

If you don’t like the grapefruit’s citrus scent, you can try Method’s Cucumber or French Lavender all purpose cleaner. You can also dilute the cleaner to temper the scent if the fragrance really bothers you.

PRICE

A 28 ounce spray bottle of this item costs about $3 to $4 at Target. You can also buy it in bulk on Amazon. Don’t forget to regularly check Target’s coupon website!

DISCUSSION

  • What are your favorite non-abrasive cleaning products?
  • Do you have a favorite Method product?

Share your story, your story matters.

Stay tuned for Must Have Items from Target: Part 2.

Crispy Grilled Avo-Cheesy Sandwich

When I want to make something special for my husband Randy, I make him my Crispy Grilled Avo-Cheesy Sandwich. Randy says he gets sad every time he gets down to the last two bites because he doesn’t want the sandwich to end!

Try my delicious version of this classic comfort food that’s both satisfying and nutritious.

INGREDIENTS

4 slices of Oroweat Oatnut Bread

1 to 2 tbsp. of Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread

2 thick slices of lean honey ham or oven-roasted turkey

4 slices of 2% White American Cheese Singles

1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon of good quality olive oil

PREPARATION

  1. Place a non-stick skillet (lightly coated with olive oil) on medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Place the ham or turkey slices on the warm skillet until lightly brown on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Smear one side of each bread slice with the buttery spread. Make sure to cover the edges of the bread! This makes for a crispy sandwich!
  4. Build your sandwich. I like the sandwich in this order:
    • Bread (buttered side facing out)
    • Cheese
    • Ham or Turkey
    • Avocado
    • Cheese
    • Bread (buttered side facing out)
  5. Place your sandwich on a hot non-stick skillet.
  6. Flip the sandwich with a large spatula until both sides are browned to your liking.

NOTES

I use Oroweat’s Oatnut Bread because it has no trans fat and I like the bread’s texture from the hazelnuts. You can also use 7 Grain or 12 Grain bread.

I am so happy to have found Earth Balance products! I really love their Original Buttery Spread. It’s non-dairy, lactose-free and gluten free but it’s still creamy with that rich buttery taste and also very easy to spread.

Spend the extra couple of bucks on freshly sliced ham or turkey from your supermarket’s deli. You can certainly taste the difference in quality!

I prefer using 2% White American Cheese because it melts so nicely. It’s perfect if you want that soft velvety texture on your grilled cheese sandwich!

Learn how to safely cut, peel and slice an avocado here.

DISCUSSION:

  • What are your favorite variations of the classic grilled cheese sandwich?
  • What dishes do you make that your family just can’t get enough of?

Share your story, your story matters.

Glowing Green Slushie

I’m thrilled that so many of you have enjoyed my Glowing Green Smoothie recipe.

My family and I continue to enjoy this drink everyday, it’s just so darn good.

I recently found another way of preparing the smoothie – as a dessert : )

Place the smoothie in the freezer for a couple of hours and enjoy it as a SLUSHIE!

Once the smoothie is frozen, it gets this soft and creamy slushie consistency. Yummy!

I also place my favorite nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachio, even granola!) in the smoothie mixture itself (before blending) for added protein. Then after freezing it, I top my slushie with even more nuts for that extra crrrunch!

What a refreshing frozen treat on a hot day! I know the green color looks weird, but I promise you, you’ll enjoy it.

This Glowing Green Slushie is a healthy and delicious alternative to those fattening pints of ice cream!

Try it, you’ll love it! Even my son can’t get enough of it :  )

Toddler tested and approved : )

Is It OK To Splurge On One Income?

For my 32nd birthday last week, my husband surprised me with a new camera – but not just any new camera, Randy bought me an awesome Digital SLR (DSLR) camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T3. We’ve been setting aside $50 a paycheck for a while now to save up for this very nice, but very expensive camera. I didn’t anticipate having a DSLR until Christmas time later this year. It’s such a big-ticket item, I figured it would only be acceptable to purchase during the holidays.

GRATITUDE OR GUILT

When I opened the box and discovered that it was a DSLR camera, of course I was so happy and excited, but a large part of me also felt deeply guilty. I felt guilty that he spent so much money on my birthday present.

I asked Randy how he came to the decision to buy the camera now, rather than waiting until the holidays as we initially planned. He responded, “Actually, I kept going back and forth on whether I should buy it or not. But on the morning of your birthday, I asked myself as soon as I woke up, ‘Should I get Khristine the camera for her birthday?’ and I told myself, ‘Life is too short, I’m gonna buy it for my wife!”

He then further explained to me, “Baby, I know that we don’t have a lot right now. We have a small place, we only have one car, we don’t buy much for ourselves, but I thought that buying this camera to capture our family memories can be one of the few ways to treat ourselves.”

Although I was thankful, Randy could tell that I was worried about what such a large and unplanned purchase would do to our finances. Randy reassured me and told me not to worry. He reminded me that using up such a large chunk of our savings to purchase this camera would be worth it because it’s an investment for our family.

SENTIMENT OVER SAVINGS

Having to make ends meet on one income for our family, I was naturally inclined to feel nervous about such an expensive purchase. But after taking the first few photos with our new camera, I felt instantly relieved. I saw how beautiful the photos turned out and I knew that the DSLR camera was a worthy investment. Even if we have to tighten our belts (more) in the upcoming months, seeing these high-quality photos of my son converted me into knowing that such a large expense was definitely justified.

The photos captured by our new DSLR camera are simply STUNNING. Compared to our regular point and shoot camera, the DSLR images have more depth, are clearer, brighter, crisper and more vibrant.  We’ve already made great use of our new camera this past weekend by taking wonderful pictures at our Grandmother’s 105th birthday luncheon and our nephew’s baptism. The DSLR images we took really look like professional photos!

So to answer my own question, is it ok to splurge on one income? I now realize that it is absolutely acceptable to splurge on one income, if it’s truly within your means and especially if it’s in the interest of celebrating your family’s memories. The value of that kind of sentimental investment will prove to be worth the expense over and over again.

Yes, our new DSLR camera cost us a lot of money… and for a family surviving on one humble income, such a hefty purchase definitely made a huge dent in our family savings. But what we have gained in capturing our family memories with such beautiful photos has far exceeded the monetary cost in immeasurable ways.

You can’t put a price on preserving family memories.

DISCUSSION:

  • What do you think are acceptable splurge items?
  • How do you “treat” your family even when your finances are restricted?

Share your story, your story matters.

How To Lead a Meaningful Life…at 105!

My husband’s paternal grandmother celebrates her 105th birthday today! Our family calls her “Apo” which means grandparent in our Filipino native language. Apo is a wonderful and sweet woman. She is gentle, hospitable, caring and adores her grandchildren and great grandchildren. We are very happy and thankful to celebrate her 105th birthday today.

Five years ago, when she turned 100, we commemorated the special occasion with a huge birthday party at a fancy dance hall. When asked what she wished for her 100th birthday, she replied, “I wish to live to be 105!” Well, thank the Lord, here we are today : )

Despite her very old age, she maintains a relatively good bill of health. As expected, she needs help getting around with a walker and sometimes she is forgetful, but otherwise, Apo is amazingly more healthy than one would expect for being 105 years old!

Apo’s doctors are in awe that she doesn’t suffer from any chronic health problems. Apo doesn’t have any heart conditions, diabetes, or hypertension – the common culprits in our family’s health history. She doesn’t take any medications nor has she even had any surgeries! It’s truly amazing.

So what’s the secret to Apo’s long life? How can someone living beyond her second century still live such a defiantly healthy life?

  • A lot of LOVE: Apo’s health and well-being can be attributed to her two daughters who tirelessly care for her. I believe the loving way in which her two daughters care for her is the reason why Apo is still thriving at 105.
  • Diet: Apo’s two daughters prepare her home-cooked meals daily. They have several meals throughout the day but their meals are always well-balanced. What is worth most noting is that they almost never ever go out to eat in restaurants.
  • Simplicity: Apo and her daughters lead a very simple life. They enjoy simple activities such as gardening, cooking, cleaning their home and watching their favorite TV shows. Apo doesn’t have many stressors in her life. She values her humble way of living.
  • Activity: Apo gets light exercise daily with her stationary bike pedal. She also walks around the house regularly to keep good circulation in her body. She keeps up her motor skills by coloring! Also, when the weather is fair, (which is pretty often here in San Diego) Apo goes outside and gets fresh air.
  • Faith: Apo attends mass every Sunday. Even though her legs are frail and it can take up to 10 minutes for her daughters to help Apo get from the church parking lot into the pews, Apo is determined to get her weekly Sunday blessing. Apo even loves to clap and sing along with the gospel choir!
  • Positive Attitude: Apo is still cheerful and loves to smile!

What I gather from Apo’s 105th birthday today is not just celebrating the advantage of getting to live to be 105. The true lesson is in understanding how to live a healthy and meaningful and purposeful life, at any age.

DISCUSSION:

I invite you to ask yourself:

  • How can I ensure not only longevity, but also a great quality of life?

Share your story. Your story matters.

Nominated For The Sunshine Award!

I am ecstatic to announce that I have been nominated for The Sunshine Award!

I want to thank Rachel for her very flattering nomination! I’m very grateful : )

I encourage you to check out her blog called rayannsom. Rachel’s posts are really inspiring, uplifting and just full of positivity!

This is only my second week blogging and I am so thankful that there are readers like Rachel who find my contributions here interesting. I still have a TON to learn about blogging and I look forward to connecting with more amazing bloggers!

My goal is to write valuable posts that come from an honest and helpful place, and hopefully readers will find my offerings gainful.

I am more encouraged now to continue working hard on cultivating Mama Bear Matters to connect with and celebrate stay at home mothers.

I offer my Sunshine Award Nomination to all the other incredible stay at home mothers out there who work tirelessly and selflessly in order to be the source of light for their families!

As part of the nomination process, here are the 10 questions I’ve answered about myself:

1. Favorite color? Red. I also love calming earth tones (beige, cream, gold, mauve).

2. Favorite animal? Pandas.

3. Favorite number? 25.

4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? My Glowing Green Smoothie!

5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? I have neither : (

6. My passion? Enjoying my blessed life as a stay at home mother to my lovely son, Evan. And of course, building Mama Bear Matters.

7. Prefer getting or giving presents? Giving presents. There is definitely more value in giving to others (especially those who are in most need) than receiving.

8. Favorite pattern? I like modern floral too Rachel : )

9. Favorite day of the week? Saturday morning, when Randy, Evan and I can sleep in together as a family!

10. Favorite flower? Cream-colored roses and cream-colored hydrangeas.

Being new to blogging, I don’t have many blogs that I follow (yet) but here are the blogs that I nominate for the Sunshine Award. I find these blogs interesting, helpful and their authors to be really talented writers.

{Mrs. Buena Vida}

Travel With Laughter

Stray Thoughts

Musings of a Stay At Home Mom

Speak in Love

As I continue to explore other inspirational blogs, please visit Mama Bear Matters again to see who else I will nominate!

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If you’ve reached this post as one of my nominees for The Sunshine Award, please see below:• Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
• Answer 10 questions about yourself.
• Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.
• Link your nominees to this post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
• Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

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A Fantastic 32nd Birthday

To My Amazing Wife, Khristine:

First let me wish you a wonderful and blessed birthday! I pray that you have a beautiful and memorable celebration with me and Evan. I also hope that this day brings you happiness, because you deserve it.

Thank you. There are thousands of things I can thank you for, but I am especially grateful for you as a wife and as the mother to our son. When we first had Evan, I had no idea how we would learn to raise a child, but day after day you prove to me that we’re doing a great job – you make life a beautiful experience for all of us.

I pray that in the next year, you continue to find inspiration in the simple life that we have. Evan loves you more than the world, and I love you in the same capacity.

God bless you and your SAHM dreams, God bless your health and happiness, and God bless you with many, many years to come.

I love you!

Happy Birthday,
Your Husband Randy

Thank you to my husband Randy and my son Evan for giving me such a lovely birthday morning. My life is rich because of you.

“There are two ways of spreading light:
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”  – Edith Wharton

DISCUSSION:

  • How does your partner express gratitude for your role as a stay at home mom?
  • In what ways does your family support your “SAHM dreams”

Share your story, your story matters.

We’re a family of three, I mean FOUR! Why we changed our minds about having only one child

When anyone asked me and my husband if we planned on having another baby, our answer was always, without hesitation, “No. We are happy to be a family of three.” Friends and relatives often teased us by hinting, “Time for another one!” But Randy and I always remained convinced that Evan would be our only child.

Here are some of the reasons we wanted to only have one child:

  1. Taking care of an infant is so difficult! Especially the first three months, the sleep deprivation is just brutal! I have no desire to go through those foggy and zombie times again.
  2. We finally feel like we could manage our lives now. We currently have a good setup in how we share our parenting responsibilities.
  3. I now have my pre-pregnancy body back : ) Thanks to yoga and my healthier eating habits, I feel even more confident with my body after having a baby.
  4. Although we have a tight budget, we feel financially stable. We don’t feel like we’re rich, but at least we have a good handle on our bills and savings.
  5. As part of our sacrifice and downsizing in order for me to be a stay at home mom, we live in a studio. How are we going to fit a family of four in a studio?!?
  6. In addition to working 50 hours a week, Randy is back in school getting his second Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. What time do we have to take care of another baby?
  7. We could give Evan more resources and more one on one attention as an only child. Saving for two college funds?!? Yikes!
  8. I read this very convincing article which highlighted the benefits of having only one child. See, even experts agree that one child families may be beneficial.

After reading this list, it seems evident that physically, spatially, logistically, financially, and regarding timing, the “wiser” decision is for us to have only one child. Totally makes sense, yes? It would definitely be more prudent for us to “quit while we’re ahead.” We’re doing great now, why change our family dynamics? It’s not like we feel as if our one son is “not enough.” Evan has already given us more joy we could ever imagine! We couldn’t possibly be any happier than this. Right?!?

So why in the world did we change our minds?

Well, about a month ago, on the morning of March 19 to be exact, Randy and I woke up and revealed to one another that we both just had a dream that I had given birth to a baby girl. But that wasn’t the first time I ever had a dream about having a second baby though. So what’s the big deal? I mean usually, we would scoff at such dreams, they were just silly fantasies, “Hah, what a funny dream” we would often say.

Then I realized, March 19 was St. Joseph’s Day! St. Joseph is the patron saint of families. Randy and I have always had an affinity and adoration for St. Joseph. We realized that it couldn’t be just a coincidence that he and I both had the same dream, on the same night, and to top it off, it happened on the Feast Day of St. Joseph.

Those signs were too powerful to ignore. We were then summoned to discuss the possibility and so we asked each other, although jokingly at first, “So what do you think now, do you want another baby?” When normally, we would say, “Haha, very funny! What a wild idea. Of course we’re not having another one!” This time, Randy and I similarly said, “Well, actually…Yes.” We mutually agreed that we would love to have another child and that we now wanted to expand our family! It was an unexpected shift, and although it felt scary and overwhelming, it felt right.

Just to be sure that we were making a thoughtful decision and not just an emotional decision, Randy and I referred to our one-child-only-list above, highlighting all the “smart and obvious” reasons why it was better that we have only one child. And after reviewing the list over (and over and over and over again), we still ultimately decided that we were definitely going to try to have a second baby.

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

“The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand.”
Robert Valett

“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”
Blaise Pascal

Although all the reasons didn’t completely make sense to us, God somehow led us to the decision to have another baby. God placed the desire in our hearts to expand our family, rightfully and perfectly aligned with St. Joseph’s Day, the patron saint of our family, to whom we always offer our prayers and intentions. We had to respond to this calling, and although this sudden decision didn’t match up with our previous plans, we concluded that we would be even happier to have an addition to our family. We had a sudden change of mind, but more important, we had a compelling change of heart.

The most striking part of our comprehensive conversation was when Randy said, “It’s like our future baby is knocking on our hearts.” That profound sentence quickly ended our discussion. We looked at each other with tears welling up in our eyes, and held each other reassuringly. We knew at that very moment, our family is meant to grow.

Our baby was knocking on our hearts, how could we walk away? Randy and I wanted to open the door, answer our next baby’s call and together, take that leap of faith. We decided that no matter what happens, we were going to find ways to make it work as a family.

The following evening after dinner, we announced to Evan that Mommy and Daddy wanted to give him another sibling. Evan smiled widely, not really understanding what our statement implied, but he was still happy (probably because Mommy and Daddy looked so happy telling him!) We then asked Evan to help us finalize our family decision. I handed him the plastic compact case containing my pills, he willingly took it, and ceremoniously he placed it in the trash bin. The three of us cheered and clapped jubilantly. It was such a touching moment for our family!

Evan rejoiced with me and Randy, again, not fully comprehending the implications of what just happened, but nonetheless he cheered along with us. Evan knew that something great, a joyous moment, just took place for the three of us.

Now I don’t want to create an itemized list of all the benefits of having a second baby. The benefits of having adding another beautiful soul into our family are truly endless and intangible anyway. So instead, here is a proactive list that I compiled to help me prepare my body for a possible pregnancy:

  • Referring regularly to my wellness list
  • Finding ways to de-stress and unwind everyday
  • Refraining from watching violent and disturbing shows on TV
  • Listening to easygoing songs that make me feel relaxed
  • Refining our space and minimizing our possessions to make more room
  • Enjoying every single moment with Evan even more
  • Reciting the following prayer to St. Gerard, the patron saint of expectant mothers
  • Having fun trying to conceive again : ) (No obsessing over fertility calendars and ovulation kits this time!) We want our second pregnancy to take place naturally

Randy and I know that the power of conception is not up to us. We can only prepare our minds, create space for another baby and make the decision to try again. In the end, whether or not we are blessed with another pregnancy, we just thank God everyday that He has already granted us with a healthy and happy family.

DISCUSSION:

  • How did you and your partner decide on the size of your family?
  • How do you prepare your life (mind, body and surroundings) for conception?

Share your story, your story matters.

Note: Email me (mamabearmatters@gmail.com) if you would like a copy of my collection of prayers for conception.

Take a BIG deep breath of FRESH AIR!

I make it a point for my son Evan and I to step outside and get some fresh air everyday.

Every morning we go outside to get our daily dose of fresh and clean air. As soon as he finishes breakfast, he quickly gets his shoes and socks, points to our backyard, and says with excitement, “Mommy, ou’ side! ou’side!”

Evan loves being outdoors. He enjoys watering the plants, running around the lawn, counting the airplanes passing overhead, picking flowers, pointing at the clouds, singing along with the birds, finding ladybugs in the grass, and splashing the trickling water from the hose.

As a family making ends meet on only one income, it’s important for us to offer our son inexpensive activities that he can still enjoy. I would rather that he gets in touch with nature anyway, rather than be too occupied with video games and toys. Here is an interesting article I read about some of the reasons why kids need fresh air.

Being outside doesn’t only benefit my son, I enjoy spending time outdoors just as much. Actually, I need to get some outside time everyday, otherwise, I’ll go bat crazy :  / I notice that whenever I don’t get enough time outside, I feel anxious and irritable. I’m also more prone to headaches, fatigue and exhaustion. Do you ever experience the same symptoms whenever you stay too long indoors?

That’s why being outdoors is such an important part of my WELLNESS. Getting fresh air helps refresh my mind, it improves my focus and concentration and helps me think more clearly. It also soothes my nerves, especially when I feel stressed. After a nice walk outside, I always feel more relaxed and more re-energized.

I encourage you Mommies to also get outside regularly for some fresh air everyday. I know as a stay at home mom, it’s easy to get caught up with all the household chores and the busy schedule from taking care of the kids. Before you know it, it’s 3 pm, and you’re still in your pajamas (I’ve had many days like that!) But I really make an effort to get outside everyday, weather permitting of course. Something as simple (and free) as fresh air can really improve your mood and your overall well-being!

Here are some other simple ways that you and your family can get more fresh air:

  • Take a walk after lunch or dinner (This will help you digest your food better).
  • Pack your food, pick a shady spot and have a picnic. (Don’t forget the music!)
  • Ride your bike by the water (Doesn’t being by the water always feel more relaxing?)
  • Place some fresh plants in your home (It will help improve the air quality inside).
  • Exercise outdoors (Jump rope or do a yoga session outside).
  • Drive with the windows down (Even open the sunroof!)

So get outside Mommies! Take a break from being in the house all day and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones outdoors. Being outside is fun for the kids and good for you too!

DISCUSSION

  • What outdoor activities do you and your family enjoy?
  • How do you feel when you spend too much time indoors and you don’t get enough fresh air?

Share your story, your story matters.