Between the longer days and the beautiful weather that Spring normally brings southern California, it is the perfect time to spend some special moments outdoors with your littles. A spring bucket list is a great way to get your child excited for the upcoming season.
Today on the blog we are sharing our top three activities that made it onto our bucket list. One of the things we love about the great outdoors is that many of the activities you can do can be a low cost, or really no cost at all.
1. Grow a Garden
Is it just us, or do kids normally gravitate to dirt? Growing a garden of their own is not only a fun afternoon activity, it is something that will help teach them discipline and responsibility all through the spring. Setting up a planter box in the backyard, as well as making signs for the different type of things they are growing is a great way to spend a few hours outdoors. Watering and maintaining their garden can be a great part of their daily routine in the spring.
2. Local Park Checklist
The great thing about most parks is that most of them are free city parks. With several different options in each city, it would probably be a kid’s dream to play on every single one of them on spring break. Pack a lunch and make a picnic out of each park trip, it will be a time for the whole family to enjoy.
3. Bubble Time Fun
Front yard bubble time will probably bring all the neighborhood kids to the yard. And now there are such fun bubble makers to add to the mix to keep the bubbles coming continuously. Add a little water table and a slip n slide, and the neighbors may never leave.
All your social media feeds these last two weeks have been filled with pictures of little ones getting ready for the new school year. We can still remember the excitement that came with going back to school. More so, the excitement of back to school shopping is what we loved most.
Shopping for new pens, pencils and even binders is usually the highlight for many kids during their back-to-school shopping. However, there is nothing like finding the perfect backpack to start the school year on the right foot. So today, we give you 3 of my favorite back to school items:
Adorable styles for your little guy or girl. The toddler backpack and lunch bag are also so cute in your child’s favorite animal. We love the sizing to these bags, as sometimes backpacks can tend to be too big for the little ones.
We love the concept behind the Yoobi brand. For every item you purchase, an item is donated to a needy classroom right here in the U.S. The bright colors of the Yoobi school supplies are the perfect way to start a bright year ahead for your little one.
3. The Perfect Work Space for Kids
This week in our DIY Facebook post, we shared our favorite magnetic/chalkboard wall perfect for your kids. But this is just one of the elements that makes a perfect work space for your little one. Whether it is a place for them to do homework, or a place to be creative after school, a workplace designated just for you kid is a perfect way to get them excited about learning.
California is known for its unpredictable weather, but this summer has really thrown us for a loop. While we can always count on the heat during this time of the year, we are getting dry days, humid days, to even days with thunderstorms and lighting. The ever changing weather has made it really hard to plan for days spent outdoors.
Here are 3 of our favorite indoor activities that will help fill in those days when being outdoors is just not possible.
Cooking with Elmo is the perfect way to introduce your child to all the fun that can be had in the kitchen. Whether it is measuring out ingredients, or in my son’s case, throwing those ingredients in a big bowl and mixing it up, they find excitement in doing something mommy and daddy usually do. Throw in a kid’s apron and chef hat, and you can’t help but smile along with them.
Camping in the great indoors is as comfortable as camping can get. Land of Nod’s cute patterns in their teepee collection can really set the right mood for your adventure at home. My son’s Jake the Pirate tent with matching tunnel has been a lifesaver on those rainy days. And on the weekend, it is always fun to mix things up with a family sleepover in the living room.
As much as getting crafty can mean getting messy really quick, it is something most kids love to do. Given that, can I tell you how much I love Crayola and their line specifically for toddlers? From finger painting projects, to paper creations I don’t have to worry about what gets on my toddler or my rug!
Here are five summer safety tips, courtesy of OC Home and Family!
Playgrounds can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a source of hidden dangers. Check the playground before letting your child play for broken equipment or other potential pitfalls. Make sure to watch your kids as they play to ensure that they’re not using the play equipment in a way that might put them in danger. Be aware of other kids as well. Not every kid is a nice kid, and your child may not tell you if they’re being bullied.
4. Bees and Bugs
Bees and other insects are an essential and amazing part of our natural environment, however they can also have poisonous stings and bites. Bugs can be attracted to scents and colors. Try to avoid light colored clothing and scented lotions and soaps. Bees also tend to collect near water sources and garbage. Fix any leaking or dripping pipes and keep a tight seal on all trashcans.
If someone does get stung, scrape the stinger out with your fingernail or a credit card using a sideways motion to avoid pushing the stinger in further. Wash the wound with soap and water and apply a cold compress.
Watch for signs of allergic reaction to stings. If your child’s lips or tongue begin to swell, or if she complains of tightness of the throat or difficulty breathing, go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately.
3. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Melanoma is a nasty form of skin cancer. Studies have shown that just one blistering sunburn in early childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chance of getting melanoma later in life.
Sunscreen isn’t magic! It takes quite a bit for it to work to it’s SPF rating and it must be reapplied every hour or so. Also, don’t forget your lips, feet, hairline, ears or neck.
Talk to your kids about the dangers of sun overexposure and the importance of healthy habits to protect their skin. If they know why they need it, they may even remember it when you don’t.
2. No Swimming Alone
Over one in five drowning victims is a child. 30% of all children ages 1 – 4 that die from unintentional injury die from drowning. Always watch your child while they are swimming and be aware of the signs of drowning.
Drowning doesn’t look like you might imagine. It may look like the individual is just splashing in the water. Usually the child can’t call for help because he or she is struggling to get a breath. If you seen a child splashing, make sure you can see that their mouth is above water. Children have drowned only feet from their parents, because their parents didn’t even know what was happening.
If you have a home swimming pool, make sure that it is fenced off. It can also be very beneficial to teach your child to swim.
1. Have an Action Plan & First-Aid Ready
No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Having an emergency plan and a first-aid kit that you know how to use can help ensure that you’re ready when something goes wrong.
Your first aid-kit should include:
- Absorbent compresses
- Anti-biotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Breathing barrier
- Instant cold compress
- Nonlatex gloves
- Hydrocortisone ointment packs
- Roller Bandages
- Sterile Gauze Pads
The Red Cross offers CPR and other first-aid classes that can help give you the confidence you need in an emergency. Contact your local chapter to enroll in a class.
Every parent knows that traveling with kids can be difficult. With some days even a trip to the supermarket feeling like a disaster, the thought of spending 24 hours trapped on a plane is enough to turn many parents stomach sour.
Vacations, however, don’t have to be a source of dread. Certainly, we can’t always count on the kids to keep everything together, but sometimes the difference between cool and collected and pulling your hair out is simply being prepared.
Here are 5 Tips to make long flights with small children a less stressful:
- Pre-Request Seats – Request a bulkhead. This is where the bassinets are provided. The biggest advantage is having an extra space for your baby to lie down comfortably and sleep during a long flight. This extra space is free of charge and you won’t have to buy a separate ticket for a baby to have his/her own seat.
- Ask for Assistance – Flight attendants are generally a great help for families on long flights, but you may need to ask for things you need. Get meal trays cleared as soon as your kids have finished eating to avoid leftovers being tipped over by a wriggly child.
- Bring Extra Help – Nannies are also a great way to have an extra set of hands with you during your vacation. Not only can they be a big help during your flights (especially if you have multiple kids), but they can help with basic errands throughout your trip. It’s never a bad idea to have another set of eyes watching your kids especially if you are traveling someplace unfamiliar.
- Be Prepared – Drinks get spilled and food trays knocked over. Spare clothes are essential for every family member. We recommend putting each set of clothes in a large separate zip-lock bag marked with a name to protect it from liquid leaks in your carry on. Packing extra snacks is also important. Avoid sugary treats and make sure to bring foods that are easy for your children to snack on throughout the long flight.
- Have Fun! – Preparing for long flights with small children can be stressful, but keeping a good attitude always helps. There might be a few bumps and meltdowns during your trip, but it will be well worth it when you get to your vacation destination. Spending time with your family and experiencing a new adventure with them is the ultimate reward.
Looking for a Nanny that is right for your family? OC Home and Family, an Orange County Nanny Agency, is a reputable, honest company who specializes in providing the best Nanny for your loved ones. Contact us today at 949.335.7963.
Having a personal assistant at home can be advantageous for many reasons. While many people think of a personal assistant as being someone who helps you with work at the office, many people utilize personal assistants at home to help manage everything from shopping or picking up the kids to managing budgets and going through your emails. There are many advantages of having a personal assistant to help you with your daily tasks, and some of these advantages will be discussed in detail in this article for your benefit. First, let’s discuss some of the duties that are offered by a personal assistant.
Tasks Offered By a Personal Assistant
Personal Assistants offer a wide variety of tasks that benefit the individuals that hire them. Here are some examples:
- Driving children to school or after school for various activities
- Child homework and chores supervision
- Preparing children’s meals
- Receive and monitor guests
- Phone call answering and screening if necessary
- Budget assistance and inventorying household supplies and food
- Assistance with travel preparations and may travel with the family if need be
- Maintaining the household, including cleaning and taking out the trash
- Errands such as shopping upon request or on a schedule
- Can also assist with computer related tasks such as organizing emails or other virtual assistant duties
There are many more duties that a personal assistant may be able to help with. Hiring a reliable personal assistant can benefit you in ways you may have never thought possible. Following are some benefits these duties provide.
Having a personal assistant can add hours to your day that you wouldn’t have had before. Whether it’s picking up the kids from school or grabbing groceries, having an extra person around to help you with your daily tasks will give you an edge on you accomplishing more with your day that others might not be able to.
The nice thing about having a personal assistant is that many individuals find that their personal assistant is saving them more time than the hours they are even hired for. There are many reasons for this. For example, many people have to manipulate their schedules in ways that aren’t convenient or don’t make sense in saving time simply because they have to be available at a certain time to pick up the kids or complete some other task. When you have the freedom of knowing you have help in completing your tasks and can build your schedule accordingly, a lot of the time wasting activities you may have required before are eliminated. Being able to visit a doctor’s appointment while your assistant handles household responsibilities, for instance, can save you much more time than you might think.
More Affordable Than You Might Imagine
Many individuals pass up on the opportunity to hire a personal assistant due to the fact that they think it will be expensive or not cost effective for what they need accomplished. Surprisingly, not only can hiring a personal assistant be cheaper than you might expect, it may save you money.
To start, in many cases, you can organize your schedule with your assistant so that you only need to hire them for the hours you actually need them. Hiring a personal assistant for even a few hours can save you precious time not just to finish your tasks for the day, but also to have free time available for loved ones or yourself.
As far as saving money, many people find after hiring a personal assistant, they may actually save money in the long run. Not only is having to drive back and forth across town to accomplish tasks taxing on your gas, but it’s also a waste of your time, and time is money to many busy individuals. Having extra time to be available for business matters and otherwise will give you more opportunities to make money. It’s also worth mentioning that meeting deadlines and being available for business opportunities is more possible with someone helping you with your business.
Another thing to consider is that personal assistants often offer assistance with budgets, meaning they can help you monitor your spending, ensuring you don’t spend too much money each month on things you don’t need. This assistance alone can save you more money than the cost of hiring the personal assistant in the first place.
As mentioned previously, saving time allows you more freedom in developing your schedule. Having more time means added flexibility in being able to live your life the way you want to without having all your time eaten up by things like cleaning the house or running errands. Being able to fit other opportunities into your schedule is more possible and you can accommodate different last minute changes into your life that you may not have had the time or energy to manage before.
Have you ever had hundreds of things to do and little to no time to actually accomplish them? Having a personal assistant there to free up your time can offer you stress relief that may have seemed impossible before. When you know that you won’t run out of time to accomplish your tasks and someone else is there to help, you are free to focus on other things that matter, including yourself and your family. Being able to make time for relaxation and those that you love is a sense of comfort many do not experience before having the assistance and peace of mind that come in having a professional, personal assistant.
Sometimes all it takes is being able to make it to that school play or dance recital you wouldn’t have had time for before with your child to realize what a big difference having a personal assistance can make. When you have more time for your family and the things that are mutually important to them and yourself, you will find happiness in places you may not have before.
You deserve the freedom of having a flexible schedule for business matters and otherwise, as well as the happiness associated with spending time with friends and family. These things offer stress relief that you deserve, and hiring a personal assistant can make that difference in your life.
Hiring a Personal Assistant
Will a personal assistant make a difference in your life? Could you benefit from a little extra help with your daily schedule? OC Home and Family is ready to assist you with your needs, whether you need a personal assistant for you daily duties, a nanny, or someone for a similar domestic matter. We are a domestic agency ready to take your call and help you to resolve your concerns.
For questions, or to see how we may be able to assist you, contact us today at 949.335.7963.
When your child develops to the age that he or she can first start to use the potty, many parents are excited not just at the opportunity to see their child reach another milestone, but also thrilled to cut the expense of diapers out of their budget. However, sometimes this excitement causes parents to overlook or underestimate some of the hurdles in effectively potty training a child. An especially important consideration is the difference between potty training boys versus girls. Understanding how gender affects your child’s progress and needs for potty training can make the process much easier and faster to complete.
Statistical Differences in Potty Training Ages of Boys & Girls
While every child is different, general statistics report that girls potty train earlier than boys. There was about a 2-3 month difference in development towards habits and attitudes that made potty training more possible for girls at a younger age than boys in a two year study at the Medical College of Wisconsin. For example, girls began to stay dry during the day at 32.5 months versus 35 months for boys. Girls also showed an interest in the potty sooner than boys, at 24 months versus boys at 26 months. Girls were able to stay dry for two hours at a time at 26 months while boys needed around 29 months.
A Brazilian study discovered similar differences between boys and girls when they tested when girls and boys were out of diapers on average. 27.8% of girls were out of diapers during the day at 24 months, versus only 21.4% of boys at the same age. At night at 24 months, they reported 10.6% of girls and 6.8% of boys were out of diapers.
Over the years, it has been discovered that children in general potty train later than they have in the past, at least in the United States. Earlier reports showed children potty/toilet trained between 18 and 24 months, with current reports averaging between 22 and 30 months.
Potty Training Boys
Whether it is a boy or girl potty training, a potty chair is useful. Sometimes it takes time for a boy to be ready to stand and aim, so the potty chair is a good start. In any case, it’s usually difficult for a younger child to climb up on a large toilet for pooping, but in some cases a toilet seat insert and step stool may be adequate.
You may want to have your child point his private part strait down before he sits on the potty chair to avoid scraping it against the seat or splash guard. This is both to avoid discomfort and also to avoid possible contact with germs. If he will be standing, help position him in a spot in front of the toilet to where he will not miss or spill. In time with direction, he will be able to go by himself without assistance.
Some other methods for encouraging proper potty use include demonstration of proper toilet use from the father or to encourage sitting for pooping, you may offer a book to read.
Potty Training Girls
Even more so than boys, a potty chair is particularly useful. Girls will be more comfortable with their feet touching the ground. You may still use a toilet seat insert and step stool, but generally more comfort is felt with feet touching the ground. If you do use this method, make sure it’s easy for her feet to rest on the stool.
Make sure to position your little one all the way back so her bottom and private areas are over the potty opening preventing spray. Encourage your child to sit with her knees apart in order to relax pelvic muscles.
Ensure your daughter learns to wipe from front to back. Having her watch mom go is helpful. Much like with boys with pooping, sitting at all times can be encouraged by offering a book to read as the child goes potty.
Incentives For Potty Use
Many parents of boys and girls offer incentives for potty use. These are very individualized based on your child’s likes, but the incentives or rewards system for using the potty pretty much works the same regardless of your child’s gender. Particularly if your child is being stubborn about using the potty, offering incentives like healthy snacks or small toys like trophies can be useful in getting your child to become eager to successfully use the potty. If one method doesn’t work for your child, try another. Patience and persistence will win your child over eventually and have them using the potty like a big kid.
Much of the differences in potty training for boys versus girls are what you might expect. The most important thing to remember when potty training your children is to be patient! Children all develop at different ages and different children have different approaches that work for them. If your child is being particularly stubborn about one method, try another! Every child learns differently, so if your child is taking a little longer than normal, don’t lose faith. Stay positive and work with your child to get them ready for that next big milestone!
If you need assistance with child care, OC Home and Family, a domestic agency, may be able to help. We offer nanny services and other similar domestic options to our families to assist them with their busy schedules and ensure their children are taken care of.
For questions, contact us today at 949.335.7963.
You’re getting the kids ready for school. You work right after you drop them off, and you usually take them to school just a little early to ensure you can beat the morning traffic and still make it to work on time. One of your kids spills breakfast all over the floor. Now, not only do you need to clean up the mess, but you need to prepare another meal and race out the door to still make it on time. Suddenly, your whole morning schedule has just been thrown off by a single mess.
This situation is typical for many individuals regardless of whether or not they have children. The reality is that many people simply do not have enough hours in the day to accommodate cleaning up messes or even maintaining ones that develop over time in their living space.
Hiring a maid can make the biggest difference in being able to manage your schedule effectively, particularly if you have other concerns like children or work that make your schedule difficult to manage.
Help With the Kids
Sometimes a full time nanny isn’t required, but managing the messes associated with having children can be a full time job in and of itself. Situations like the one described above are much easier to manage when you have a maid. Having someone else available to manage messes, both expected and unexpected, can save you time and provide peace of mind where previously you might have found anxiety and stress. An unexpected mess can mean the difference between being available for work on time and showing up several minutes late. For this reason, having a maid can really make a difference in your work availability and how your employer and fellow coworkers perceive you.
Besides messes, a maid can sometimes take on additional roles that a nanny might fulfill, like making meals for the kids in the morning. This can also save you time in your day. When hiring a maid, be sure to ask about additional duties that may be slightly outside the scope of their duties if you need assistance with them, as depending on the agreement, sometimes they can assist with things of this nature.
Assistance With Laundry
How often have we seen piles of dirty clothes in our lives, either in our own homes or someone else’s? Laundry is one of those things that piles up more and more yet many people never get to it in a timely manner. Having assistance with your laundry can save you precious time spent both cleaning your clothes as well as folding them and putting them away after they are dried. It is one of the most neglected chores simply because so many people cannot find time to do it. Having someone around to help you with your laundry can make the biggest difference for you and your schedule.
If you do not own your own washer and dryer, this further improves the process as instead of having to leave your home to handle your laundry, your maid may be able to resolve it for you. This can leave you time for other things.
Various Cleaning Benefits
Having your house cleaned from top to bottom can really make a difference in how you feel coming home and can also save you time. Have you ever had trouble preparing a meal in your kitchen because there was so much scattered about? When you need a meal prepared and you can simply get right to it without worrying about leftovers or junk scattered about, you are not only saving time but you will also feel more comfortable in your home for situations like this.
Health is another concern. If your house is kept clean of dust and other contaminants through a maid, you are more likely to stay healthy and be exposed to less germs. This helps reduce or eliminate visits to the doctor from avoidable problems like a dirty home.
Having your home regularly cleaned by a professional maid may also save you money, as keeping things clean, particularly electronic kitchen devices and other items, tends to increase the lifetime of the item. If you don’t have the time to spend and give the attention needed to certain aspects of your home, a maid can make the biggest difference.
Assistance With Errands/Chores
Depending on the maid you hire, you may be able to ask for assistance with certain duties like chores and errands. This may include things like taking out the trash, making beds, or preparing meals. As mentioned earlier, some maids may include some child care duties similar to a nanny. This all depends on the maid you hire and your agreement with him or her. Some maids even live in the home with the family.
Hiring a Professional Maid
Hiring a maid is a big step for yourself and your family. It’s important to take time to choose a worthy candidate, as this is someone you will be trusting to work closely in your home. The process is usually easier when working with a professional company that can manage things like the background check and screening process for you.
OC Home and Family is a domestic agency that prides itself on providing quality professionals for maid services, nanny care, and other similar domestic services for you and your family.
For questions, or to start the process of hiring help for your home, call us today at 949.335.7963.
A lot of consideration is made in selecting a nanny that is right for you and your family. Sometimes what is truly overlooked is what your nanny needs from you in order to ensure that they have the best possible chance of success in meeting the needs of you and your children. There are a lot of considerations to make beforehand that will play a huge part in the nanny you choose, but let’s look at what you will need to provide your nanny after you have already selected them as the best candidate for hire.
Emergency Contact Numbers
The first, most important consideration to make is whom your nanny will need to contact in the event that there is an emergency of any kind. While 911 is obvious, your nanny will need to be able to reach you if something has happened to your child or anyone in the household. It’s advised that you provide a minimum of two contact numbers. Your nanny should be able to reach more than just one person too, so don’t just give them your number if possible. Be sure to also provide the number for your spouse and/or any other responsible member of the family or a friend. Additionally, if there is more than one contact number for each person, be sure to list it. Being able to be reached whether at work or on your cell can make the biggest difference in responding to a crisis quickly and correctly. If any of your children see a special doctor or require special medication, be sure to include an emergency contact number for the doctor.
Additionally, if your nanny will be taking care of any pets, a number for your preferred vet may be a good addition as well.
Food and Drink
Be sure to ask your nanny if they plan on preparing any snacks for the children. In most cases, you will be providing this for them, but some nannies may prepare their own meals for the kids if it is factored into their salary. Regardless, be sure to educate them beforehand of any potential food allergies or special diets the children may have or be involved with. It’s a good idea to not just have enough food and drinks ready for the duration of the stay, but also a little extra in the event of emergency, or if you cannot arrive home on time for unforeseen circumstances.
Understand that while it is not generally expected of you to provide a meal for your nanny, going above and beyond and doing this may help in establishing a comfortable relationship with them where you show compassion not just for the children, but their temporary caretaker as well.
Provide Toys, Movies, and Educational Material
When the nanny is caring for the child in your home, this process is usually easier as the child will have plenty of toys and other things to play and entertain themselves with. Ensure your nanny knows where everything is so that your child can have toys to play with, books to read, and movies to watch while you are away.
If your child requires certain medications, speak to the nanny or agency responsible for care of your child about their needs and if they can be accommodated. Similar to providing emergency contact information, your nanny should be aware of any preexisting health conditions the child they will be caring for may have.
Preparing for Other Emergencies
While contact numbers are usually sufficient, in the event of an extreme crisis such as the family being unable to return home or damage to the residence, having a second place for the nanny to take the children in the event of a crisis may sometimes be a good fail safe. While it’s impossible to plan for everything, having another place the nanny can take the children if you cannot return home on time for some reason is usually a good fail safe for any situation.
Acknowledge that other remedies for extreme circumstances that may arise can be simply provided for by releasing information of the location of fire extinguishers in the house, electrical boxes, or other emergency equipment or resources. Make sure that you have a first aid kit in the house and that your nanny knows where to find it.
While not always usual, some families even leave an emergency credit card or cash behind in the event of circumstances that may warrant it.
In conclusion, there is a lot to consider in providing your nanny with all they need to ensure your child is safe and their time is occupied. There are certainly many other considerations worth making, but choosing a reputable company to assist you can make the process much easier.
OC Home and Family, an Orange County nanny agency, is a reputable, honest company in providing the best nanny for your family. Contact us today at 949.335.7963.