Thursday, January 12, 2017

BFBN Week : Carrie Wiley talks about freedom and responsibility for older children {Guest Post}

I naturally have always struggled not to underestimate my kids’ abilities, and I’m always surprised by how much they actually can handle and are ready for. I have always been the parent that would notice my kids’ friends doing something and think to myself, “Oh, I guess my kid could do that too!”
My oldest is 8 now and I am just now starting to be able to stay ahead of the game and recognize her readiness for new freedoms and responsibilities. I have found that it does take intentional thought and sometimes a little trial and error.
Readiness Markers to Look For:
A Happy Heart – This is a phrase we use often in our home. We work towards our kids obeying right away, all the way, with a happy heart. But a genuine content, happy heart signals to me a certain amount of maturity. If my child is in a season of complaining, grumbling, whining or being easily frustrated, then I don’t think they are exhibiting the maturity necessary that could “Buy” them certain freedoms.

Peer Standards – While every child is created differently, there are such things as developmental milestones and age-appropriate expectations. This particular readiness marker has been the most helpful for me with my oldest, because she will always be my first 8 year old, 9 year old, etc… So I think it’s important to educate myself on what peers her age are doing at each stage. Most of the time I am intentional about this, I find myself surprised and have a new goal or activity that I can implement.

Intuition – I think parental intuition is not something to take lightly. There are sometimes in my parenting that my husband or I will just KNOW or FEEL like something is right or our child is ready for something new, or the next stage. Have we been wrong before? Yes! But I will say that our intuition has been more right than wrong. This is something we pray heavily about and ask for wisdom for as we guide our kids.

Trial and Error -And that brings me to the last point. Sometimes it just takes some trial and error to see if they are ready.  When my son Shepherd was 2 and half, we really felt like he was ready to potty train. So we did the whole shebang: Potty Party, Undies, rewards, etc.. It flopped and 9 months later he was still having consistent accidents. On the other hand, when my mom told me that my oldest helped her efficiently with the dishes at her house one night, I decided to try and see if she was ready to handle that responsibility at our home, and she absolutely was! Sometimes you have to just try it and see what happens.

Here are some Freedoms and Responsibilities to consider if your older child might be ready for:

Bathing – this is one of the first things we allowed our daughter to be responsible for on her own. Turning on and off the water, washing her hair and her body thoroughly, drying off, and getting her pajamas on and brushing her teeth.

Cleaning/Chores – Like I mentioned earlier with the dishwasher, this is an area that is SO HELPFUL when they are ready for more chores and responsibilities around the house. Valerie Plowman wrote a very helpful article for A Beginner’s Guide to Childhood Chores on my blog a while back. This has some really helpful tips for training your kids to be ready for chores.

Cooking – There are some basic cooking and food prep that I have allowed my oldest to help with. In particular when we have date night, we feed our kids early and this is simple easy food prep that my daughter can help with: making PBJs, warming chicken nuggets, dividing chips on the plates, etc… (Read about How We Do Date Night here).

Later Bedtimes – After a while of my daughter lying awake in her bed and taking longer to fall asleep, and after a chunk of time of observing a happy heart from her, we decided to extend her bedtime a little bit later than her younger brothers. We still have her read and wind down during this time (Read about how “Reading Time” has been a Sanity Saver here), but she is allowed the freedom to be awake longer. She has handled this beautifully.

Activities – We try to be pretty careful about our kids commitments and time. But as they get older, I have realized how much more they really can handle because of their maturity. This can be anything from clubs at school to Sports, Dance, Music etc…

These are the readiness markers and areas that I have experienced when it comes to freedoms and responsibilities in our family! What about you? What would you add to the list?

Carrie is a Jesus-following, travel-planning, routine loving Mama, finding adventures in every day life. She is married to Kyle, and has four kids: Laura Kate (8), Shepherd (5), Fischer (4), and Archer (2). You can find her at .

Friday, November 11, 2016

BFBN Week Busting Babywise Myths: You can schedule your day with multiple children

Emily who blogs at Journey of Parenthood is talking today about how contrary to popular belief, you CAN be successful with keeping a baby on a schedule while still maintaing the schedules of older siblings. I agree with all her talking points, as her experience in making a schedule that fits ALL of the children's needs is very similar to my own. Head on over to her blog today to read in more detail!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

BFBN Week: Busting Babywise Myths - Cry it out. Or maybe don't

Probably what makes babywise a bit "controversial" is the idea that you have to let your baby cry. You have to ignore your baby while they scream and scream. Carrie over at Wiley Adventures is talking today about what the actual book says about crying - and what it truly does encourage, and what it does NOT encourage. Head on over to her blog and read more about crying it out, or maybe not crying it out at all...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sticking to a Schedule Makes your Child More Flexible

Babywise Friendly Blog Network week continues, and today I have the opportunity to share right here on my blog about the myth that Babywise requires you to enslave yourself to your baby's rigid and unmovable schedule. Read below my experience as to why this is just not the case!

When my oldest daugther was 6 week old, I was so tired. What I lovingly refer to as the "honeymoon stage" of those newborn days had worn off and I was left with dark circles under both of my eyes. At this point, none of my close friends had begun the mothering journey yet, so I felt a little on my own and like I had to pioneer my way around motherhood. Somehow, I stumbled upon the book On Becoming Babywise authored by Dr. Gary Ezzo. I went to facebook to see if anyone I knew had any experience with the book. I was surprised by the reactions I was getting. I had a few people privately message me and tell me they had read the book and either liked it or disliked it, but I had a numnber of people try to lead me far from the principles of the book. Most of them would tell me what aspects of the philosophy they were not comfortable with. It didn't take me long to realize that while this book may work for some, for others it not only didn't work for (which is fine!) but they were passionate in their distate for what the book had to offer. If you do a quick google search for "Babywise" you will quickly see too, a lot of pushback, for a parenting book offering sleep to the tired family.

If you truly dig into the negative thoughts surrounding the book, you can easily assess that many of the people who are critical have yet to read the book all the way through, or they have not practiced/implemented the principles in their homes at all. So many speak without the true knowledge, and many more speak without real experience. You will not find me being critical of parenting styles in which I do not know much about or use in my home. It feels unfair to me to try to convince someone that one way is right when I have little know how regarding the practice.

 Today, I am talking specifically about having a consistent schedule (a tried and true babywise philosophy) will actually make your child more flexible when the routine must be interrupted. You don't have to hyper schedule to make Babywise work for your home. In fact, you begin slowly and build. This helps you to know what will work for your family's lifestyle and needs.

When you have your basic day to day living schedule working well for you and baby, baby knows what to expect for his day. There is a sweet, real security created that the baby learns to trust. His body will actually lull at the times where he is used to napping and his metabolism will gear up in times he is used to being fed. This works well for day to day living - but it also benefits greatly when things are a little out of sorts and the schedule is not going as usual. I have found that my baby's cried less when they were tired - even if they were not getting their nap like they were used too - because they knew it would eventually come. Their bodies were not in fight mode because they felt unceratin that they would not get the rest they wanted. This is true for hunger as well. If my child was used to eating prompltly at 11:30 am for lunch, but the trip to the grocery store took 30 minutes longer than anticipated, they were still able to roll with the punches because they had the security to not panic wondering if they would have a full belly again soon.

This is also true for things like daylight savings, or when travel disrupts the normal routine. They are able to bounce right back to the regularly scheduled program! If you spend time, creating for them a day that they can rest assured their needs will all be met, that becomes their normal and that will be their default if a reset is needed.

Over the course of 4 babywise baby's, I have become less and less stressed when the day doesn't go as planned. I have assurance that when life happens and hiccups arise, our family can easily and happily get back on the right tracks with minimal consequences.

So many view On Becoming Babywise philosophies as strict and rigid with no room for flexibility. Everyone has to succomb to the baby's scheduling needs. These have absolutley not been true for me, and even beyond that, the opposite has been my experience. The schedule works great for day to day living and the schedule actually allows my child to become flexible when needed. Babywise has been a gift to our entire family, 4 times over.

Monday, November 7, 2016

BFBN Week: Babywise Myths

This week is BFBN week! Everyday this week I will be posting an  a short recap of one of the ladies blog post with a link to their entire post on their personal website. Each of us will be touching on some of the push back that babywise sometimes recieves (especially online).  Today, Valerie is breaking down some myths about babywise and backing it up with the facts.

My first child was basically born back when dinosaurs roamed the earth so far as the Internet is concerned. The internet existed, but it wasn't on the top five list of places you would turn to for information. Because of that, my husband and I happily parented him, our Babywise baby, for two years before we even realized there was any sort of controversy surrounding Babywise.

Hop on over to Valeries blog to read the rest at The Babywise Mom and check back here all week where you will find links to all the ladies blogs and introductions to what they are talking about!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Insurrection: By Kadee Carter {A guest post}

This is so exciting! A sweet friend of mine in an author, and her latest book has been published and is now available for purchase. Today she is sharing on my blog all about her new book and even giving us a sneak peak into the life of the main character, Saylor. Enjoy her talent in writing below!

Life requires moxie. Yes? Spunk? Life takes a little fight, doesn’t it? A little fight not to laugh at the chaos, a little fight not to yell, a little fight to get out of bed at 3:00 AM, and a little fight every night to put away the latest novel and go to bed and start all over.
Life takes a lot of love, too. Love instigates a lot of the fight within me, as a mom. I began working on the Insurrection trilogy while earning my Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, pregnant, working full-time as an office manager of a church. At that point in my life I began to understand the depths of what it takes to chase after dreams and shake up the stars. In the years since beginning this journey with Saylor, I’ve sat for hours hunkered over my laptop, chatted with hundreds of people, and even flown across the country to meet with publishers in order to make this adventure more than just a fun story I shared with my own girlfriends as we played in our backyards twenty years ago. When Saylor first appeared as a character to me, she was a boy, because when I played in my backyard, only boys had adventures. It’s time to change that, friends, because girls can rock a baseball bat, obstacle course, and beachside kiss just as good as the best of them.
We humans have to be, we moms have to be, stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them.
And that’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection.
Saylor had always been told she was a stain on the cloth of mankind. Escaping the girls’ home with her orphaned sisters Micah, Denise, and Patricia, the four find themselves enduring storms at sea and imprisoned on a mysterious Caribbean island. Separated from her sisters, Saylor must learn to fight for her life and theirs, enduring lonely nights, discovering dazzling beaches, and entangling in the secrets of a covert military base. Forced to trade her freedom for a contract with Alliance Military Group, Saylor develops her inner warrior. Wavering between terror and ecstasy, she faces an enemy who exposes her indispensable abilities. In order to rescue her sisters, impress the hunky Australian, and protect innocent lives on a global scale, she must master techniques of fighting an army created to destroy with a single, scorching touch – or die trying.
They wanted a warrior. They got one.
Join Saylor on this exciting, harrowing adventure in Volume One of Insurrection! Fight for family. Believe in yourself. Fulfill your purpose.
Available today on iTunes, Kindle, Nook, and wherever ebooks are sold. Check out for more information! And friend, remember, just like Saylor, you can be more than you ever imagined! You are indispensable. Go shake up the stars and grab of copy of Insurrection today.

By Kadee Carder

Saylor had always been told she was a stain on the cloth of mankind. Escaping the girls’ home with her orphan sisters Micah, Denise, and Patricia, the four find themselves enduring storms at sea and imprisoned on a mysterious Caribbean island. Separated from her sisters, Saylor must learn to fight for her life and theirs, enduring dark and strange noises, discovering dazzling beaches, and ensnared in the secrets of a covert military base. Forced to trade her freedom for a contract with Alliance Military Group, Saylor develops her inner warrior. Wavering between terror and ecstasy, she must face an enemy who exposes her indispensable abilities. In order to rescue her sisters, impress the hunky Australian, and protect innocent lives on a global scale, she must master techniques of fighting an army created to destroy with a single, scorching touch – or die trying.
They wanted a warrior. They got one.

“Don’t tell me what you don’t want to do. The Commander wouldn’t have put you in this company if he thought you couldn’t do it. This is the ECB. We don’t waste people. We win. We defeat.” Logan spat out the words. “I’d prefer you to have several more weeks of training, but we have to deal with what we got.” He let a devious smile filter across his lips. “Use that moxie, kid.” Water dripped down his face, his blue eyes sparkling. Tense jaw, muscles rigid from neck to toe, I could almost see his skin rippling with adrenaline. A shiver fluttered down my spine. A loud, thunderous boom—not thunder, but the same crashing, familiar boom of destruction—cracked nearby. We sought out the source of the sound, deep in the beast’s lair, disguised in ivy and wooded terrain. “Be powerful,” he yelled over the ruckus, stepping closer and turning his face toward me. He scanned the area around us for unwanted observers, and then just inches from my face, he added, “Be strong. Be fearless. You are all those things. You’ve proven it before—now’s your time to shine.”

Author Bio:
Deep in the heart of Central Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and two daughters. Carder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability.
Writing and language have been her life-long pleasure, wordsmithery offering the ability to twist emotion in to sense and cosmos. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.

Follow Kadee on social media:
Twitter: @kadeecbooks

Fight for family. Believe in yourself. Fulfill your purpose. Join Saylor on this exciting, harrowing adventure. See more at!




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

BFBN Week: Guest Post by Kimberly Cartwright - Keeping up a schedule through illness

When my kids are sick I try to stick to schedule as much as possible.  I know illness can be a time to toss the routine out the window.  This makes sense.  It is more important to focus on getting your kid well than keeping up a routine.  Sick babies need to sleep as much as they need, eat whatever they are able to keep down, and stay hydrated.  But for minor illnesses I find it helpful to maintain at least the bare bones of the schedule.  Here are some reasons why I try to stick to routine, even when my kids are sick.

1) Normal naps encourage more rest.  When you are sick you need plenty of rest.  For kids this means still going down for normal naps.  It can be nice to let them stay resting on the couch, but I have found that to be too distracting for solid napping.  A normal naptime and bedtime routine helps them transition to sleep, which will allow them to get more rest.  I do still wake my children up at wake times if needed.  Yes, I let naps run a little long and I let my kids sleep in if they are sick.  This just makes sense.  But I don't let it go too long.  Oversleeping too much can lead to them being undertired for their next nap or bedtime.  Then they wake up early or don't have as restful a sleep.  Then they are overtired, which makes sleep hard.  You see where I'm going with this.  Maintaining as much of a normal schedule as possible will actually helps my children get the important sleep they need when they are sick.

2) Normal meal times lets them eat what they are able.  Besides giving food when they ask for it, I offer meals and snacks at the same time.  A lot of eating rules go out the window when my kids are sick.  You have to feed kids what they can handle.  I never force my kids to eat when they are sick, but I have found that I sometimes need to offer up the food or they won't eat.  Small children and babies don't always have the words to explain they are hungry.  By sticking to normal meal and snack times I make sure I am remembering to offer up foods throughout the day and giving my child the chance to eat if they feel up to it.

3) Normal routine helps the whole family.  When I had just my son, it was easy to toss the schedule if I needed to.  Now that there are three kids it isn't quite as easy.  Keeping a fairly normal schedule allows me to meet the needs of all my kids, not just the sick one.  (Of course the sick kid gets priority.)  This plays into the first two points.  It is easier for the sick child to rest during normal nap times with normal background noise.  In addition it is easier for the sick child to rest and not feel like they are missing out on fun because they are the only ones napping, instead it is just like every other day.  Consistent meal and snack times may encourage a sick child to at eat at least a little bit if they are able when they see their siblings eating.  Consistent schedule also means that I can make sure the healthy kids are still having their needs met.  This helps keep the day running smoothly and helps hold the added stress of a sick kid at bay.  Everyone wins when mom isn't as stressed.

As for the rest of the schedule, well, that goes out the window when one of my little ones is sick.  We do lots of books, quiet activities, and snuggling on the couch.  So far I haven't gotten any complaints from the healthy kids about getting to snuggle and watch a little bonus tv to help their sick sibling feel better. ;)  With sick kids you have to do what is best for that child in that situation.  But for colds and other minor illnesses I have found sticking to the basics of the schedule helps them feel better and get healthy again.


Kim is the mother of a three year old son and eight month old twins.  She blogs at