Category Archives: Journal

30 Days to a Stronger Child

30 Days to a Stronger Child

Yes, in 30 days you can begin to set in motion extremely important life skills your child needs for adulthood. 30 Days to a Stronger Child
can happen.

These days we see so much negativity, it is up to us as a parent to teach various skills and instill great core values into the children. I am not talking about brain washing or forcing a child to do things they don’t want to.

I am talking about guiding your child so that they WANT to do good things for themselves and others.

Everyday I get PM’s on Facebook and other social forums, text messages and emails from parents who are looking for guidance in a particular situation.

Family Life Skills Activities
Family Life Skills Activities

A trend I notice is many of us are old school, how we grew up was a completely different world from todays society. I am 38 years old, spanking and bullying were an everyday occurrence, however the children of today are committing suicide because of the constant abuse.

If we go back to teaching life skills we can help these children become stronger and better equipped to handle various situations. It will also help with guiding your child into self discipline so they aren’t a part of the problem.

Let’s come in unity, join forces and let us build stronger children, more productive children, what we do today with them, and for them sets up the future.

I saw this book, 30 Days to a Stronger Child and I was lucky to grab it to do a full review for you! Thank you Educate, Empower Kids for letting me introduce these great activities to the community.

Hurry get it for just 99 Cents today!!!

This book helps us understand that we have accounts, exactly like bank accounts. Like how we have a checking and savings account.

If we go to pay for something it’s supposed to come out of our checking account, right? But at that moment of payment, you didn’t have enough money in your checking account, so the transaction still occurs but Borrows the funds from your savings…. Oh No! right.

We didn’t really want to borrow from another account, because then it means we are depleting that savings, you tapped into it to make a transaction happen. Not Good.

It is the same thing with us. If we guide our children on the best ways to use, save and spend on their accounts we are teaching them “how to fish” instead of handing them those fish. They will use critical thinking, rationing  and various other skills that come into motion with decision-making.

How are you using, saving and spending each of your accounts? What about your child?

  • Social
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional
  • Physical

Today I am going to talk about your Social Account. Your social account is important. You socialize everyday with people of various backgrounds. Your child does too. Many adults have a hard time dealing with certain backgrounds, imagine a child whom doesn’t have the skills like an adult has on how to react and behave. Where do they acquire these skills? From YOU!

Accountability Breeds Response-Ability. – Stephen Covey

I love that quote. It is so true. accountability and responsibility go hand in hand. To be responsible means you need to have self-discipline and have accountability towards yourself. What does this quote mean to you? What does it mean to your child?

These are  important life skills to teach our children.

Responsibility and Accountability

30 Days to a Stronger Child

I did some activities with each of my children, ages 19, 15, 11, and 8 years old. The baby is 11 months, he is too young for this just yet. I recommend to begin guiding a child starting around age 2 with these types of activities using age and ability appropriate words that speak specifically to that individual child.

We started with Social Account. in the book 30 Days to a Stronger Child
it gives us some background and education with resources on the topic, the activities, why those activities and guides you into a discussion based activity to do with your child.

I did each activity in full with each of my boys. I did them separately because they are 4 years apart and all have different abilities. I have two that are very high IQ, one just above average and the other we haven’t tested yet. We are still dealing with his communication issues, as he has 90% of the markers/tendencies for Asperger’s or Autism.

My 19 Year Olds Take on the Social Account Activities

A little background on him: I will talk about my oldest, he is 19 and deaf in one ear. He also has ADHD, ODD, Depression and Anxiety issues since he was very young. With all those things as you can imagine, social for him was horrible for him. For a number of years, the only time he seen sunshine was to go to school, it was that bad.

Having ADHD and ODD means he had a constant battle with himself with responsibility and accountability. It wasn’t until I removed him from public education when he was 13 years old and suicidal that he began to allow any of us to help guide him in his Social Account.

Now at the age of 19, he works full-time, and is extremely responsible and he takes accountability of his actions. he now thinks more critically about his actions, thinking, words and behavior.

All those things have to be in order with oneself before you can properly expel them into your surroundings.

I wish I had this book years ago, techniques and strategies we used were based on my background and with the help of medical professionals. This book years ago would have allowed us to start earlier.

This is why I wanted to review 30 Days to a Stronger Child. I want you to learn about these various resources as early as pregnancy occurs so that you can begin your child’s life with various tools and resources.

So add 30 days to a Stronger Child into your parenting toolbox today! The fastest way to get ahold of it is getting it from Amazon or Kindle today.

30 Days to a Stronger Child

I have deep conversations with my children in general, no topic is left untouched. My oldest was home from work so I took that opportunity to talk about Accountability.

We went over some education about Accountability first using the resources in the book. I know he is 19, it still makes sense to talk about it even still. I like to know where my child is at with definitions of words and what it means to them. I want to know their mindset first so I can talk to them in a way that resonates with them.

Then went into some interesting points talked about in the book. I will not reveal everything from the book, I highly recommend you get a copy for yourself and refer back to it as often as needed.

Though I will be journaling here about each activity in a summary form so that you can see how it helps us. I say us because even as a very seasoned mom of 19 almost 20 years, I am always learning something new. I do have medical background, took various classes on child growth, development, psychology and others to help me with handle various situations I have come across when it comes to children.

Some of you are new here, thank you for joining us. Others know I have helped foster children for 13 years, I have done nanny work both live-in and non live-in, I have worked in daycare both center based and home based, I have also mentored teens as well. A total of 23 years. Thank you staying with the community!

Here is a short summary of our conversation:

A 15 Year Olds Take on Responsibility and Accountability

Next up is my 15-year-old. His only issue is mood swings. Here is a summary of the activities with him:

Viewpoint of Accountability and Responsibility from an 11 Year Old

Then comes my 11-year-old. He has the highest IQ so far, struggles with ADHD and ODD as well. Here is his take on the whole Accountability Account:

An 8 Year Olds View of Accountability and Responsibility

Lastly comes my 8-year-old. The one who has the Autistic tendencies, We haven’t taken him for any formal testing, we are still doing therapies with him though.

We work on various social skills as he still goes mute a few times a day still. The Accountability Account activities for him are a great way to view things from his point of view and help him understand his role in Social Accountability. Here is what he got from this activity:

By the way, yes I am so proud of Jehzel for being willing to participate in the video series. He is doing great with communications, he even looks into the camera now!

How did the Social Accountability activities go for you and your child? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments about this section of 30 Days to a Stronger Child.

Don’t have it yet? Get your copy today on Amazon or your Kindle. Get a copy now before you check out other reviews.

Did you do a review on your blog? Link up!
[inlinkz_linkup id=618915 mode=1]


Spooky Graveyard How To

Easy Ways to Turn Your Front Yard into a Spooky Graveyard

Halloween will soon be here. If you’re used to decorating your door for those trick or treating, you may be interested in easy ways to turn your front yard into a spooky graveyard this year. Instead of minimal decorations, why not go all out?

You don’t have to break the budget to come up with the decorations for your yard, but you will want to give those decorations some thought, I have seen some messy front yards before. I couldn’t understand the concept they were even going for, don’t let that be you. Here are some ideas you can use to create that spooky graveyard.  Plus getting the kids involved gives them something to do and hey, it’s a great fun family activity.

It is easy to find large cardboard boxes which are being thrown away. Ask any furniture or electronics store if you can have their boxes after taking items from them. These boxes make a great base for the gravestones.

* Think about the size and shape of gravestones. They are often rectangles with rounded corners, cross-shaped or any number of other shapes. How large you make the gravestones will depend upon what size and how many boxes you get. Cut out the gravestones.

* Paint all of the boxes gray or other natural stone colors. You can also use chalk (there is a chalkboard paint btw)in varying colors to create the look of weathered stone.

* With a large, thick marker, write R.I.P. in large letters toward the top of the tombstone. You can write names on each of the cardboard tombstones with varying dates from different time periods. get creative, it doesn’t have to look like all the others. If you have an artist in the house, they can have fun with drawing skulls and other spooky, scary stuff on them.

* Dig down a little ways to place the bottom of the cardboard into the ground. If necessary, place a stick or something behind the cardboard to help it remain standing.

* Mound leaves or maybe some black carnations or roses in front of the cardboard tombstone to make it look like a graveyard with recent additions.

* The more gravestones you add to your yard, the more “real” and spooky it becomes.

Other things you may want to include in your yard to create the spooky graveyard you seek are “ghosts” made from sheets or garbage bags. Don’t forget to put eyes and mouths on them. Hang them from the trees. Spider webbing, it helps make it scary with spiders lingering around or make it look haunted and abandoned.

You may also want to get some large orange garbage bags which are normally sold before Halloween. Real jack-o-lanterns with candles can also be placed around the yard and on the porch to add to the atmosphere.

Spider webs hung from trees and across the entry way would also give the impression of a graveyard. What do you make spider webs from? Gauze-like material and stretchable webbing are available where costumes and party favors are sold.

Find scary Halloween music which can be played during the evening while children trick or treating visit. Strobe lights will give the impression of lightening, and dry ice can create fog which covers the ground. These and the above ideas are some of the easy ways to turn your front yard into a spooky graveyard children will talk about until next year. I found this cool graveyard scavenger hunt, looks like so much fun. And here are some fun Halloween printables too.



Increase Milk Production

Increase Milk Production

( Before you read this post, Please KNOW and UNDERSTAND there ARE pictures of my baby breast feeding. If skin offends you, then please move onto another post. Thank You ) 

Low milk volume is tough on us moms who are giving breast milk to our babies. It takes a huge toll on us mentally and emotionally, then physically. I am one of the few true cases of medical conditions that makes it very hard to produce milk. I have been helping moms for years in private with their breast milk journey. Today, I am going public! That is scary for me, just a little. I have never shared any photos of me nursing my children before. However since I am not ashamed to give breast milk to my kids and I always tell others to not be as well. I need to lead by example!

1st Day of Breast feeding
1st Day of Breast feeding


I want to tell you what I do to increase my milk production, or shall I say make enough for my child to be able to survive on my breast milk alone and not give formula. This is NOT a formula hate post, it isn’t. I have used formula, many… many times.

We all know that milk production is always based on a demand. But what happens when that demand is more than what your body can physically do? I don’t mean the issues with mental illness that puts us in a position of not being able to breastfeed, I will be talking about that in another post. I am talking about when a mom has a medical condition that prevents or limits milk production.

Belly to Belly is the best position for nursing your baby.
Belly to Belly is the best position for nursing your baby.

For me, 4 of my children demanded more than what my body made. The one child that didn’t demand more, he has appetite issues since infancy, he is now 11 years old and still has appetite issues. So I don’t want you to think that that one time I was able to produce enough, because of his condition, I can’t make that judgement call. He nursed every 6 hours.

So, what is my problem? I have hormonal issues, not the typical PMS or similar, I have hormonal imbalance, as in my pituitary gland doesn’t work correctly. I am only 4 feet 9 inches because of it. I also do not have enough glandular tissue and mammary glands. These two things are so hard to deal with! Not only does my body struggle to even make the right hormones and at the levels needed to make milk…. I don’t even have enough storage for it. For each of my children I have had to feed more often, picture cluster feeding, almost non stop. This cluster feeding other moms go through, but only when baby is going through a growth spurt is actually something I go through just about every single day. It takes a huge toll on my emotionally, physically and mentally too. Many have said to me, just don’t nurse or pump and give formula, I will also talk about my Why I don’t do that in another post.

Now what I am about to share with you is what I do, but some of it is more extreme than what you may need, I am a rare case. Please before you try any of these, consult with both your doctor and your child’s doctor to ensure there will not be any medical conflicts. If your baby is a preemie and or in the NICU, make sure you consult with them first. Though many babies and moms have no issues with anything I am sharing, there are some that do! I do not want you taking chances, so always please talk with the doctor first. Always do your own research and use common sense and listen to your instinct too.

Foot ball hold is great for us c - section moms.
Foot ball hold is great for us c – section moms.

How I make enough milk for babies survival, without formula supplements.

  • Put baby to drink milk straight from the source. Every 2 hours nothing any longer, if you’re trying to increase milk.
  • I make lactation smoothies. These taste great, they are healthy for both you and baby, they are quick to make too. I drink one lactation smoothie a day. Mine consists of Shakeology, oatmeal ( I use quick one minute kind), flax seeds, chia seeds, fennel seeds, hemp seeds and brewers yeast. For the liquid, it depends on my mood, I use one of these, mothers milk tea, milk, almond milk, water or I use juiced veggies and fruits. Now I drink this every single morning, this is also my breakfast. I am just too busy and I don’t even have an appetite in the morning. If I don’t drink this smoothie, well, I don’t even get any type of nutrition in me until after 2pm, that’s horrible!
  • I drink a gallon of water a day. This is important, you MUST drink water, daily. I know many moms tell me, “I do drink water, I drink tons of water”. Then I ask how much… yea that is a problem. No, coffee, juice, tea, soda etc., is not to be counted as your water intake. I share on my Tuned Up Body post how to increase water intake for those that hate water, or shall I say for those that despise water. I use Milk Flow,
  • Nutrition! Oh my goodness, I can not stress this enough. You need to be eating, 4 – 6 small meals a day, and it doesn’t matter if you are not pregnant, not nursing, this is how we are supposed to get enough nutrition, keep our bloog sugars at good levels and more. Yup, I have a post about this too. Your nutritional intake depends on your body type, your age, height, lifestyle and if you are pregnant or nursing, or neither. For a nursing mom, we should be consuming 500 more calories each day. I will talk about in another post what happens to us medically when we don’t.
  • Lactation snacks. These can help contribute to your extra 500 calories a day, yup great excuse to eat snacks right. Mine consist of quick minute oats, flax seeds, Greek yogurt, dried fruits, nuts, fennel seeds and almond butter, I will share the recipe I use to make my snack bars. There are also lactation cookies you can make too or buy them premade.
  • Multi-vitamin. Ideally you want one that is formulated for post natal and if it also supports breast milk, even better. I use Milk  multi-vitamin.

nursing newborn

Ok, so those are the four main things you can do, right now to get started. If you still need or want more milk, so you want or need to pump milk for later on. Here are some other things you can do. These are a part of my daily intake, but I do need it, if I do not then I would have to supplement half the time with formula.

Mothers Milk Tea. I drink 3 cups a day. I begin drinking this one to two days before I had my c-sections. I did this with my 3rd, 4th and 5th children. It made a difference in how soon my milk transitioned from colostrum to mature milk. With my older two, it took almost 14 days! This doesn’t taste all that good, to me at least. However, I sweetened it with sugar, though others use honey or agave. I use just one teaspoon of sugar. This also helps baby relax and both of you with digestion as well.

More milk plus. Ok so now things get little serious. More Milk Plus has ingredients that hyper focus on milk production. It can take 3 -4 days to notice a difference, some get faster results. This also helps increase milk flow, so if you already have a good supply and milk ejection, just be prepared. I take 6 – 9 pills a day, but start off with 2 a day for at least a week.

Goats Rue. This is some serious stuff. This helps increase breast tissue and improves mammary glands. This is very important for me, as my condition is exactly that. I take 6 pills a day, but start with 1 – 2 pills for a week.

Fenugreek. This helps increase milk, it is a diuretic, do be careful. You take enough until you smell like maple syrup. I take 10 – 12 pills a day, but again start off with the lower amounts, take 2 – 3 pills as a starting point.

Blessed Thistle. This taken with Fenugreek as a duo combination works perfectly for most moms and they may not even need anything else. I take 4 pills a day.

Marshmallow Root. This is another item that helps milk production and supports it. I take 4 pills a day.

Reglan. I’ve taken this many times, you get it from the doctor.

Nursing vacation. I will talk more about this later.

So you see, there are many ways to increase milk and support it as well. It is a trial and error thing as far as what works for who and how much we may need to achieve what we are looking to do.

Always start at the lower doses, stay on it for 1 week. If you think you need more, increase by 1 pill giving a few days before increasing. After 1 month you can taper off them, it isn’t good to take them continuously. You want to give your body a nudge in milk production, not make it become dependent on outside sources. All of the items I have listed are safe for breastfeeding. They can give side affects such as gas, colic, diuretics and other things. Please read labels and consult the doctor.

5 1/2 months old
5 1/2 months old


Mom Conference

Mom Conference – Helping both you and I become better moms <3

I attended this Mom Conference last year. It is great to be able to have these conferences. This type is done virtually, whew. I love virtual stuff, sometimes it just isn’t feasable to attend in person. Last year I gained lots of great information. This year isn’t any different. I will be coming back to this post and add what i have learned this year. I’d like you to come join me, it is free. When you are done, come abck and let’s discuss! Sign up free here -> Mom Conference

I am excited about this conference. I will be getting copies of it as well for reference. I know I am busy and I get distracted so getting a copy of the conference is best for me, yes even as a seasoned mom of 19 years. Each year I learn something new or my information and education on a topic is renewed.

Meet the speakers:

Holly Rigby

Mom conference speaker

Crystal Paine

mom conference speaker

Richard and Linda Eyre

mom conference speaker

John Maxwell





register for mom conference

Dizzy Mama Workout

Dizza Mama Workout!

Hey, I have been so busy creating new and exciting things for you! While I was sitting on my butt putting things together, nursing the baby and other things, I kind of “got off track” in my workout routines.

But, that will no longer happen! I am focused, determined and motivated, but I am needing you to PUSH ME! Like, over the edge, CALL ME OUT if you do not see me saying what I’ve done that day. I am working towards a Tuned Up Body, and I’d love for you to join in too.

Why am I on this Tuned Up Body Binge?

Well, I have always been, for years. I recently had my fifth baby, fourth cesarean section. Well, it has been rough this time around, I will be sharing my birth story at another time. My why, it isn’t about loosing weight, however the weight and my belly will get back to or pretty darn close to my pre-children state. Or, that is my goal. When I am not working on myself, self improving, it just makes me miserable in many ways. Do you notice the same for your self? Well, I am just miserable and – just over it. So, I am doing what i do best, self care! And I want you to join me. How can you join? Well, that depends are you ready to push through multiple barriers? Are you ready for the non sugar coated reality of working on yourself? YES, ok then, let’s do this!

Free Challenges

If you are a Blogger, sign up here > Tuned Up Body Blogger Community Free Challenge

If you aren’t a blogger, yes this is perfect, come join > Tuned Up Body Free Challenge

free challenges

blogger promo comm

Good to be back

Hello, I am Marilyn and I am happy to have my parenting blog open again. I am excited to meet more parents, and enjoy the mess we get ourselves into as parents.

This time around, the entries will be only about parents and children and all things relevant to them. We still do Product Reviews, but they will be found at Product Gab. I also have more of an adult outlet for all kinds of other topics that we can enjoy discussion over at Social Butterfly. I have a health, fitness and nutrition blog too, check out Tuned Up Body for recipes and more.

I like the idea better to have them in different spaces, kind of like their own cubbies. This also helps me with clarity and which topics fit or belong where.

My blogging break has only been here, from parenting topics. During that time frame I was still recovering from the car accident, still adjusting to the move from Boston to Florida, learning about the people and places of my new location as well as focusing more on my businesses. I have been randomly dipping in and out of parenting boards though. I get bored of them, I’d rather talk with you here, all in one spot. It is too time consuming going to each of the parenting boards and forums. I like to use my time efficiently.

So, what else have we been up to? Mainly, chilling.. I was working lots on my businesses. The boys are all in public school now, though we still do home education. Public school does not teach everything they should be to get children ready for the burdens of adulthood. My oldest has graduated highschool here at home. It is a sad happy moment.

So, what have you been up too?