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Fun Halloween crafts for kids

22 Oct

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the smell of pumpkin pie is in the air, and kids are running around trying to find the perfect costumes. Yep, that’s right. Halloween is right around the corner! And we’ve found some great crafts that you and your kids can do together to keep it festive. Check it out!

Milk Jug Ghosts:
These ghosts are fun and easy to make. Just use some of your recycled milk jugs and a sharpie, put some lights inside and you’ve got a spooky group of ghosts for your front porch!

Q-Tip Skeleton:
All you need are a few Q-tips, a black piece of paper, and some white computer paper. Glue the Q-tips onto the black sheet and draw the skeleton’s head on the white piece of paper. Whether it’s a scary or cute skeleton like this one here, it will be sure to raise some spirits!!

Lollipop Spider:
Have some lollipops laying around the house? Get some pipe cleaners and googly eyes and make some creepy, crawly spiders! These are low cost and cute! Oh, and the best part: when Halloween is over, you can eat them!

Glowing jars:
After having grown up with a lava lamp, I must say that this is definitely one of my favorite crafts. All you need is a jar, a glow stick, and some glitter. Pour both in the jar and shake until the glitter has spread out with the glow liquid. It’s so cool looking when it’s all on the edges of the jar!

Cup Spiders:
And my last craft for you all: the cup spider. This is another easy craft that your younger kids will appreciate. You will need plastic cups, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and some fun colored sharpies. Poke holes through the cups and pull the pipe cleaner all the way through both sides. Then have your kids draw faces and glue on some googly eyes!

Now go make some memories with your kids and craft away! They’ll thank you later.

Happy Halloween!


How to Protect Children from Perverts

15 Jul



It is with a heavy heart that I write this today. Yesterday, a former teammate and classmate of mine from high school emailed me to let me know that our former high school soccer coach was arrested on charges of child pornography. At the time, she didn’t know that my ties with him went back as far as they do.


This man was my soccer coach when I was 8 or 9 years old on one of the first all girls soccer teams in my area. He was also a trusted camp counselor at the summer camp that I went to at the YMCA where I later became a camp counselor for 5 years. He was also my classic soccer coach for 2 years for a respected organization, as well as my high school soccer varsity coach for 2 years. He taught social studies at my high school, and I knew him. He was voted Coach of the Year in my home state last year after he coached my high school soccer team to a National Championship.


This was a man that myself and fellow teammates where supposed to trust. To be honest, I never trusted him, never respected him, and always thought he was creepy. I wasn’t surprised to hear this news, but I was still heartbroken.


Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant, or maybe it’s because I take care of 4 children whom I love more than life itself. Maybe it’s because my job is to put trusted babysitters and nannies (all adults) into families’ homes to take care of children. It is my job to make sure those kids are safe, but I can’t stop obsessing over how this could happen.


So, after hours of sitting in my office alone today and reading updated articles in between work, I have decided that instead of freaking out about it, I should write about how we can protect our children in situations like this. This is not intended to scare anyone, but I do believe knowledge is power.


  1. Never allow your children to be alone in a room with someone with the door closed.
  2. Before playdates, make sure that the parent you know will be home. Always meet both parents prior to sending your children there.
  3. Set clear boundaries with your children about where they can be touched on their bodies and by whom. Make sure they know that parts under a bathing suit are considered private parts.
  4. Always check your surroundings when in public. Places like public parks can seem like a safe place to be, especially if they are fenced in or in a good neighborhood, but they are actually common places that child molesters frequent.
  5. Make sure that you tell your children never to keep secrets from you. Reinforce that they should always tell you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable in any situation. It may end up being nothing, but err on the side of caution.
  6. Regulate your children’s access to a computer. Many of the people that parents need to worry about are not even people right in front of them. The internet can be a dangerous place, so make sure you set parental controls and check in often.
  7. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, be prepared to say “no.” Whether this be an answer to a playdate, a teacher, whatever. Do not be afraid of what others will think. It is more important to protect your children than to make sure no one gets upset with you.
  8. Be wary of your babysitters. Make sure they don’t make your children feel funny or uneasy.



Of course, these are only a few ways we can protect children. Here are a few facts on the subject:



Most abuse happens in the home.


Physical force on children is rarely used by pedophiles.


49% of abusers of children under age 6 are family members.


Pedophilia is very rare among females.


90% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by someone the victim knows.

If I wasn’t studying to be a counselor…

8 Jul

Second on my list of professions I’d be excited to jump into would have to be baker, my fiancé is a big fan of me pursuing this… big shocker there. Third on my list is party planner, my recent endeavors into this profession have impressed even me. Most recently, I planned the baby shower for my future nephew (first time auntie right here!) and I think for a first timer I did pretty darn well. My future brother and sister-in-law are huge Star Wars fans and are decorating their son’s nursery in it. I feel no shame in saying that I do enjoy Star Wars but trying to figure out a baby shower around that theme was a bit of a struggle at first, teetering between looking like a 7 year old’s birthday party and a baby shower. With a lot of help from another blogger’s endeavor into something very similar I found my footing and ran with it. 

Welcome to baby Fairchild’s baby shower: 



The adorably amazing origami yodas were generously supplied by my talented little sister. They really do make the cupcakes. The naming of the food was by far my favorite part, you can really have a lot of fun with that and the easy embellishments on the cards give it an extra adorable look. If you saw in a previous post I showed you how to make the diaper wreath, and here it is…



The coloring with the yodas my sister made was just too perfect, although the heat from outside started to make the yodas open up, but still cute.  The food spread I think was the cutest aspect, and those easy pom pom balls really make the display, I find them so gosh darn adorable! We did have food other than sweets but we kept the sweets to this table and jokingly called this room “the dark side”. The pretzels you see below called light sabers were a huge hit, merely dipped in chocolate with differing colored sprinkles on top, so delicious and while time consuming to make a large number of them, totally worth it! 



Some non sweets type food that was also a huge hit and gone within the first thirty minutes of the party:


We played a trivia game on all things baby, a few of the questions grossed out the boys (as it was a co-ed shower) which was even all the more fun, the poor dad-to-be scoring the lowest out of all the boys and the mom-to-be winning it all! Hey at least mommy knows her stuff, she can help dad out 🙂 Such a fun time and parents-to-be loved it! Success! 

Over and out,



Personality… What’s yours?

19 Jun



In my Assessments class last semester we learned a lot about ourselves by taking assessments we may give to clients. I found this process really enlightening and also comforting as it confirmed a lot of my already present beliefs about myself. Myers Briggs is a commonly used assessment but always very helpful in learning about yourself and how you might interact with others whether it be in a social setting or work environment.


This is an incredibly informal way and classifying yourself, but rather than paying for the assessment this will give you a good idea of where you stand. 


Q1: Which is your most natural energy orientation?

(E) Extraverted Characteristics:

* Act first, think/reflect later

* Feel deprived when cutoff from interaction with the outside world

* Usually open to and motivated by outside world of people and things

* Enjoy wide variety and change in people relationships


(I) Introverted Characteristics:

* Think/reflect first, then Act

* Regularly require an amount of “private time” to recharge batteries

* Motivated internally, mind is sometimes so active it is “closed” to outside world

* Prefer one-to-one communication and relationships


Q2: Which way of Perceiving or understand is more “automatic” or natural?

(S) Sensing Characteristics

* Mentally live in the Now, attending to present opportunities

*Using common sense and creating practical solutions is automatic-instinctual

*Memory recall is rich in detail of facts and past events

* Best improvise from past experience

* Like clear and concrete information; dislike guessing when facts are “fuzzy”


(N) Intuitive Characteristics

* Mentally live in the Future, attending to future possibilities

* Using imagination and creating/inventing new possibilities is automatic-instinctual

* Memory recall emphasized patterns, contexts, and connects

* Best improvise from theoretical understanding

* Comfortable with ambiguous, fuzzy data and with guessing its meaning


Q3: Which was of forming Judgments and making Choices is most natural?

(T) Thinking Characteristics

* Instinctively search for facts and logic in a decision situation

* Naturally notices tasks and work to be accomplished

* Easily able to provide an objective and critical analysis

* Accept conflict as a natural, normal part of relationships with people


(F) Feeling Characteristics

* Instinctively employ personal feelings and impact on people in decision situations

* Naturally sensitive to peoples’ needs and reactions

* Naturally seek consensus and popular opinions

* Unsettled by conflict; have almost toxic reaction to disharmony


Q4: What is your “action orientation” towards the outside world?

(J) Judging Characteristics

* Plan many of the details in advance before moving into action

* Focus on task-related action; complete meaningful segments before moving on

* Work best and avoid stress when able to keep ahead of deadlines

* Naturally use targets, dates and standard routines to manage life


(P) Perceiving Characteristics

* Comfortable moving into action without a plan; plan on-the-go

* Like to multitask, have variety, mix work and play

* Naturally tolerant of time pressure; work best close to the deadlines

* Instinctively avoid commitments that interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety


After you’ve picked which one you are from each question, put them in the order of question to get something like this: ISFJ. Refer to the graph above for a quick breakdown and strong characteristics that people in that same category tend to have.




A Word to All Those Without Children (including me!)

18 Jun


 This morning I was driving to work, and I was listening to my usual radio show. They started talking about whether or not single people with no children should get so annoyed when their friends with children start talking about their children all the time.


I started laughing to myself in the car alone, because I am guilty of this…and I don’t even have children yet. Yes, I’m expecting, but I just “borrow” the children that I nanny for. However, they are probably the thing in my life that I talk about most when I consider my daily conversations. The other thing I just can’t seem to get myself to stop talking about is CrossFit (this is another story about how I annoy people daily), but I’m telling you, I have probably annoyed the living heck out of some people by talking about my work monkeys.


But, what do you expect? I spend 26 hours a week with them, and I used to spend 50 hours a week with them. My life was filled with diapers, first words, food in funny places, and hilarious encounters of children saying things to random people in public that I then had to explain away. Every day, each and every one of those 4 children does something so funny or cute that I just can’t help telling someone.


When I finish my late evenings at work (two days a week until 8:30pm), I get in my car, and I call my mom to tell her about my day. I can’t believe she even picks up the phone anymore at this point. She is getting serious mom points here!


But this raises a question: should I expect my friends without children (which is all of them) to listen to my endless stories about how a child sneezed into my mouth not once but three times the day before, or how one of the little guys somehow managed to hit me in the cheek with his penis while I was changing his brother? You laugh (or gasp in disgust if you are one of my friends without children or not a nanny), but those kinds of things happen often.


My answer is no. I should be able to find something else in my life to talk about, but I am clearly doomed when I have my own baby around Christmas. If you thought I was bad now, imagine how I will be when I have FIVE children to talk about!


I have other amazing things in my life: fun friends, a very involved and loving family of my own, two great jobs…the list goes on. SO, on the flipside, all those with children would certainly benefit by having some adult conversation about things like: clothes, politics, books, their favorite TV show, etc! I will consider this a challenge to myself. And I know my friends and family will be grateful! 




The other part of the conversation this morning on the radio was how much you change when you become a parent. Prior to becoming a parent, we were all guilty of being extremely annoyed by a crying child on a plane, a loud child in a restaurant, or even the mere presence of a child in public at any time.


Thankfully, I’m proud to say I have never been one of those people, but that is only because I have been a nanny for a large portion of my life. The point was that once people become parents, their thoughts switch from being, “please keep your kid quiet on the dang plane” while simultaneously thinking they need to better “train” their child or that those parents are terrible parents, to “oh, those poor parents! I bet the baby has ear issues.”


We need to be defending the parents here. Is the child laughing about clanging the fork on the table really bothering you that much? Instead of being bothered by it, maybe stop for a minute and enjoy how cute it is that the child is actually that entertained by a fork. I certainly wish I could find that much joy out of some silverware.


Recently, a survey said that 9 out of 10 men want to be dads one day and that 7 out of 10 women want to be mothers, so the odds are in your favor that you will one day be one of those parents with the “noisy” child in the restaurant. Your child will most certainly throw a fit about getting some Fruit Loops in the grocery store. Your child will probably throw up somewhere nice. I even threw up on my dad’s head once in the mall. These things are inevitable, and we all need to practice a little more patience. And when you have multiple children, they may all gang up on you so loud that you have to raise your voice just to be heard….in the dentist’s office.


The world has a tendency to come full circle, and one day, I’m sure you will be thankful for the person that offers to help you carry one of the 3 car seats you are hauling onto an airplane after no sleep because your child coughed all night in the hotel room. I nearly cried with happiness when someone offered to help me. 


Diaper Wreath

22 May

Diaper Wreath

I am soon to be an aunt, for the first time, and I am super excited! My soon to be sister-in-law is having a boy and I am helping my soon to be mother-in-law plan the party. I thought a fun thing to make would be a diaper wreath, this was my first attempt and I think it turned out pretty well. Here are some pictures of the process! Hope you enjoy 🙂


Tips on talking to kids about scary news.

21 Apr


With the recent horrific events occurring in our world, I thought I would write my blog about how to talk to your children about scary news and media. The other day after the Boston Bombings, I heard someone talking about the media and how it is nearly impossible to shield your kids from seeing terribly sad news and photos. Obviously, when these things happen, you want to watch the news to find out what is happening. I know that from the time I heard of what occurred in Boston on Monday, from the time they caught the suspects, I was constantly on CNN and reading my phone for updates.  I felt like I couldn’t relax until I found out what was going on. This can be a problem when you have your kids around, or even if they just walk into the room while you quickly change the channel so they don’t see the terribly tragic images. Your little ones are smart and know when something is going on. It’s almost impossible to hide these awful tragedies from them, especially if they are a little older. It can get really tough answering their questions or telling them of these situations without scaring them or making them feel unsafe.  I found some great tips that you can use or modify in ways that you prefer.

Keep it black and white. Yes, the world can be a cruel place, but little kids, well, can’t handle the truth.”Younger kids need to be reassured that this isn’t happening to them and won’t happen to them,” says Dr. Coleman. Parents may feel like they’re lying, since no one can ever be 100% sure of what the future holds, but probability estimates are not something small kids can grasp, and won’t comfort them.

Ask questions. Don’t assume you know how they feel. Instead, get at their understanding of what happened. “They might be afraid — or just curious. You have to ascertain that by asking things like ‘What did you hear? What do you think?'” says Dr. Coleman. “If they are scared, ask what they’re afraid of – don’t assume you know. They could be using twisted logic, like they see a building collapse on TV and think it’s Mommy’s office building. Correct any misconceptions, and then offer assurance.”

Don’t label feelings as wrong. Let them know that their feelings make sense, and that it’s ok to feel whatever they’re feeling. Never make them feel bad about being scared.

Use it as a teaching moment. Talking about bad things can lead to discussions about how to help others, and gives parents an opportunity to model compassion. Talk about donating to a relief organization, or make the message even more personal. “You can say, ‘It makes me think of Mrs. Smith in a wheelchair down the road – maybe we should make her a pot roast,'” says Dr. Coleman.

When tragedy affects someone your kids know Sometimes tragedy strikes closer to home, and there’s no way to shield your kids. If you’re dealing with the death of a friend or family member, be truthful about it, but offer some separation between what happened and what they fear might happen. “Say ‘Grandma was very old and very sick, but I’m not,'” says Dr. Coleman. “Distinguish yourself clearly from that person so your child can rest comfortably knowing Mommy’s not going anywhere.”

Courtesy of 🙂

Here is another good link that may help with ideas of how to talk to your kids also.

I hope some of these help!

Thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and our nation!

And to end with a phenomenal quote from the great, Mr. Rogers:


xoxo, Erica ❤