Why Is Bedtime So Important For Your Kids?
Parents all over the world know the stress of trying to put their kids to bed. It’s the same routine every night, the clock hits their bedtime, and you tell them it’s time to go to sleep. There are at least ten minutes of complaining and pleading until they eventually give up and move. Then, it’s a very slow walk to the bathroom followed by the slowest teeth brushing you’ve ever seen as they keep speaking midway through and asking if they can stay up. There’s even more pleading, then they finally end up in bed nearly an hour after you asked them.
That’s on a good day, some days it can be even worse, and there’s kicking and screaming, and it’s a real pain. The stress of putting young kids to bed can be a real problem, particularly for single parents who have no additional help. It leads you to think, what’s the point? Why don’t you just let your kids go to bed whenever?
Well, that’s where this post comes into play. Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of bedtime for your kids and why you need to keep plugging away and putting them to sleep on time, every day.
Your Children Get More Sleep
The primary importance of bedtime is to ensure your kids get as much sleep as possible. Children use up a lot of energy, and they need to sleep for at least eight hours to fully recharge and not be tired again the next day. With a bedtime, you give them a specific time to go to bed, meaning they have a better chance of getting the sleep they need. So, they wake up every day and are full of energy once more. There are probably times where you wish your child didn’t have so much energy! However, it’s important that they’re like this as they need to have energy for school or nursery. A tired child is not a great thing.
Your Children’s Bodies Become Tuned InTo A Schedule
When you send your kids to bed at the same time every day, their bodies start getting accustomed to that schedule. Their body clock knows when bedtime is approaching, and they start getting more tired and will be ready to sleep at around about the same time every night. Does this mean they’ll be happy and compliant when you put them to bed? No, it won’t! But it will mean they’ll fall asleep quickly when they’re finally tucked away. If you let them sleep whenever they want, their body clock will be all over the place.
Your Children Develop When They’re Asleep
Finally, bedtime is important as it helps your children develop. As I mentioned, a proper and strict bedtime puts your kids to sleep at the same time every night. While they sleep, their brain develops, and their body develops too. They grow more if they sleep more, and they’ll be more attentive and observant with a full night of sleep behind them. The best way to ensure they get that sleep is to give them their bedtime and stick to it every day.
Now that you’ve seen why bedtime is important, it’s only fair to help you out by providing some advice. Below, you will see some short advice on how you can make bedtime easier for you, and get your kids asleep a lot quicker.
Make Their Bed Comfy
The easiest thing you can do is make your kids bed really comfy. Give them thick duvets and big pillows like the ones on the Plumeria Bay website. Make sure their mattress is nice and comfy too, so they can’t wait to get into bed. They’ll be eager to jump in bed and just melt away into their sheets. They’ll be more relaxed, and will fall asleep so quickly.
Fake Their Bedtime
Another great tip is to fake their bedtime. Have a time in your head when you want them to be asleep, and then tell them their bedtime is earlier. So, when they kick up a fuss, you can act all nice and say okay, ten more minutes! Your child will be happy and think they’ve secured a win as they get to stay up for longer. Then, when the extra time is up, they’ll be far more compliant. But, they didn’t really win, you just got them ready for bed earlier than you intended. It’s a sneaky move, but it works.
By doing just these two things, you will find bedtime a lot easier to manage. Now, you get to see the benefits a nice long sleep has on your child. Plus, it gives you some time to relax before you go to bed too.
Road Trip To Hearst Castle & More
We recently took a new Mazda CX-9 on a road trip! It was an adventure getting there. Mud slides, road closures, heavy storms through out California. Took a lot longer than planned too. But we were comfortable and safe in the CX-9. Our trip included travel around the cities of San Simeon and Cambria and on the ‘must see’ list were Hearst Castle, the Elephant Seal Beach Sanctuary and NitWit Ridge. We saw a lot more and had a fantastic time. I hadn’t been up there for almost 20 years and the kids had never been. I love taking them on fun trips around California and making it educational is always an added bonus.
The drive was about 200 miles but with the storm that hit California all week we took it easy and gave ourselves plenty of time to get there and my friend and I took turns driving. We had fire trucks passing us on the freeway, a ton of car accidents on the road and even saw a car go off the side of the highway. It was definitely crazy weather for California.
We had an awesome navigation system in the Mazda CX-9 plus Serius radio with a ton of stations to choose from. We didn’t always agree but co-pilot had control of the radio.
Seals, The Beach & A Castle
When we got there we checked into the Silver Surf Motel, unloaded the car and went to the Elephant Seal Sanctuary (we visited here a few times). The motel had the cheapest rates in the area, was right by the beach and a few restaurants nearby. The peak of the season for the elephant seals is February so we were there in time to see a lot of them on the beach and a few males fighting. It was quiet wet outside and out umbrellas blew inside out but we made the best of it and enjoyed the sites. I love the backup camera on the Mazda! The parking lot was huge puddles and potholes from the rain and we had to navigate through it and around the other cars. We saw a few of these ‘Cow Art’ pieces too around the city. Not sure the name of them but they were interesting. I love the details, like the sand stars and barnacles on the legs.
View from the hotel. Looks like we could drive straight into the ocean. The car got wet, muddy and dirty and still looked great! If you drink wine you must drive up the coast to san Luis Obispo. They have a ton of wineries to visit. Next day we took a tour of Hearst Castle. They have four regular tours plus a nighttime tour to choose from and the tickets can be purchased in advance online. Parking is free and tickets are picked up inside the Hearst Castle Visitor Center. Inside there is a 30 minute movie about Hearst Castle and how it came about, gift shops and restaurants. After that we boarded a bus to go five miles up the hill to the castle. The weather was cloudy and a little cold but the rain held off and we had a fantastic time exploring the grounds and inside the main buildings. Beyond the clouds is the beach. Statues were everywhere on the grounds and inside. The whole place was amazing. Fascinating architecture and art. There was so much to see. I could easily have spent a few more hours there but the kids were going through it at a quicker pace. The outdoor pool, Neptune Pool, was being repaired and was drained but we saw the indoor pool. Above it is the tennis courts.
The outdoor walls, staircases and planters even had statues, decorations and more.Group photo of the four of us outside the main building at Hearst Castle. We ate lunch in Cambria at Linn’s (famous for their pies) and dinner at Big Sur Restaurant. All of the diners in Cambria are small, non-chain restaurants, mostly family-owned. Same with the gift shops and ice cream parlors.
The next day we went to the beach and explored. The tide was coming in and the waves were crazy from the storms. It was amazing to see that some beaches had no elephant seals at all and others had hundreds of them. I wasn’t sure what made the seals stay on certain beaches.Kids in the sand while the water was ebbing out.We drove back to the Elephant Seal Sanctuary and took the path the opposite way (day before we went left, this time we went to the right) and we hiked to the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Tours are given at 9:45 am on Wednesdays and Sundays in the summer. We missed out on a tour but still had a fun 3-mile hike. I love how well the car navigated in these cities where I didn’t know the streets or how to get anywhere and the roads were a bit crazy.
That evening we had dinner at Robin’s Restaurant. The building, like most in Cambria, is an old house. The menu is a mix of all types of cuisines. They consider themselves a ‘handcrafted global cuisine’ and they aren’t kidding. I would love to go back there for their Sunday brunch. Their menu is a mix of Indian food, like naan and curry dishes, seafood dishes, kid-friendly, like pizza, and even Thai food. The prices weren’t cheap but the food was amazing and service spectacular. They have outdoor dining on a small patio too. Robin’s compensated us a free appetizer for dining here. I picked the cheese platter that included nuts, cheese, breads, fruit and local honey. My son ordered a Iced Mocha Float that included a fresh rose petal. The adults ordered the Cioppino, a seafood soup and the kids ordered pizza. Fresh bread was also served for everyone.
There was a line to get in as we were leaving. If you plan to dine here it is a good idea to make reservations. Cambria seems to have an abundance of ice cream shops too. Some service homemade fudge and trinkets too. The hills surrounding Hearst Castle have cattle on them from a ranch the castle runs and the hills in San Simeon and Cambria have more ranches. It is said that the Hearst Castle herds also have zebras in them, from when the castle once had a zoo (and the zebras were released). I looked the whole time we were there and never saw a single zebra. Water run off coming down the hills. California isn’t used to so much rain so a lot of it was running directly to the sea.
Historic Landmarks In Cambria
Cambria had a ton of small stores for shopping. Clothing, art, even a yarn shop. This one, Gallery of Wearable Art (GOWA) was once a house, built in 1880.
Up in the hills is a one-of-a-kind house, called Nitt Witt Ridge. It was built by Arthur “Art” Harold Beal (now deceased) over 50 years and is now owned by Michael O’Malley. For a $10 donation you can get a tour of the house and outside grounds. You won’t find this attraction on all the tour maps, since it is not a favorite among the locals, but it is worth the money and time. Beal took items from the dump and around town to build his house. It is upcycling and recycling before it was in and the arches and walkways are very unique.
Most of the house is built out of wood, rocks and stone, old beer bottles and tires. It is said that Beal carved the whole thing out of the mountainside with a shovel. Staircase with abalone shells. Nitt Witt Ridge was a maze or rooms with random toilets in odd places, including one on a rooftop. We really enjoyed O’Malley’s tour and hope he is able to maintain this landmark historic attraction for generations to come.
On the way home we pulled over at Peachy Canyon Winery just so I could sit in this chair. Check one thing off my bucket list. The drive back was a lot of traffic and more rain but the Mazda got us in comfort. Did I mention how roomy this car is? We enjoyed the scenic drive and hope to go back up there again soon.
5 Vegetarian Dishes & Snacks That Taste Great
The older I get the more people I know that are vegetarian, pescatarian or vegan. It is hard to have healthy meals or snacks to accommodate everyone but here are a few favorites. Just grabbing food doesn’t work. You want it to be tasty and delicious for everyone. Dive in and enjoy some new ideas that can work for your friends and family.
1. I love the Cauliflower Pilaf from Cedarland Natural Food. They also have tamales, burritos and breakfast foods. The Roasted Chile Rellenos are fantastic too.
2. UrthBox is a monthly subscription box full of vegan treats. Chips, cookies, dried fruit, on-the-go bars and even drinkable soup. They are from a variety of companies and have healthy ingredients and all are 100% vegan. You can join their club and earn member points too. Not all boxes are vegan but they are organic and all natural. There are four box sizes to choose from and you can send them as a gift too.
3. You can’t go wrong with nuts! Nuts are high in protein and a delicious snack. Setton Farms has a variety of pistachio products including these Pistachio Chewy Bites. They are a mix of pistachios and cranberries with agave nectar. Each one is only 8 carbs, 6 1/2 grams of fat and they have 7 grams of protein.
4. When all else fails, make a salad. Great idea for at home or a potluck where you need to bring a vegetarian dish. You can make it a summer salad, green salad, fruit salad, etc. Get creative. Just make sure any ingredients that are not fruits or vegetables are still vegetarian. I love my Quick Dry Salad Spinner by CaveTools. It is built well and is sturdy and is a great way to get rid of excess water in your lettuce so that your salads are wet or watery. The salad spinner even comes with 30 delicious salad recipes.
5. Make a simple dish, like spaghetti. It is foolproof and you can throw in some garlic bread and a salad for a complete meal. Just make sure the sauce does not have meat in it.
When in doubt, consult a vegetarian cookbook. I like Forks Over Knives (good movie too). It has over 300 plant-based recipes you can make at home.
Ways To Create An Easter Basket Hunt For all Ages
I love celebrating Easter. It is my favorite holiday of all times. My family celebrates it a little different than most. We have kids in the family from ages from 6-16 and want them all to have fun. My parents and siblings all gather for a potluck brunch and we decorate and dye hard boiled eggs. More than 1/2 of my family is vegetarian so I like to bring dishes that everyone can eat. Having healthy food is good, since after the kids get their baskets they will be eating candy.
The kids were never raised believing in the Easter Bunny, instead the call my mom Patty Cottontail (the female name for Peter Cottontail that my mom made up). When the eggs are all decorated the kids will find color-coded Post-It notes on the wall. Each child has one color. Each one has a clue on it. They follow them all around the house and yard, clue-to-clue. Each child’s clues are easy or hard, depending on age and ability. Once they find their last clue (there is usually about 5-6 total) they go report to Patty Cottontail to get their basket. All of the baskets are hidden in the extra bedroom until they kids find that clue.
- The easiest way we are able to tell who’s basket is who’s is to make a label and print each child’s name on the basket and handle. I love Brother’s P-Touch Label Printer. It has a million uses, especially for homeschooling parents and even comes with different colors of ink.
- We also make sure each kid gets enough eggs and the youngest kids don’t get left out. We do this by having a certain amount of each color of the plastic eggs (filled with candy) and each kid can only get their color of plastic eggs.
- When the kids are hunting for hard boiled eggs there are easy/hard hiding spots. The eggs that are in clear view or barely visible are for the younger kids. The older kids have to search a little more, like in tree branches or places they can reach higher.
- Give younger kids a 5 or 10 minute heads start on their egg hunt.
- Team up. Have the older kids help the younger kids. The buddy system makes it where they are all having fun together.
- Have snacks for the adults too (we have adult-only ones, just to be fair). I love the trail-mix creations by Trixi’s Treasures. They come in a large variety and are great for everyone. My favorite is the Lemon Lime Yogurt Pretzel Twists Treasure Mix. *(They are great for road trips too). Each bag is 2.8 oz and they have special treat bags for Easter.
We also have one lucky golden egg (my sister started this). Inside this egg is a $1 bill. They kids are all excited to search for this egg.
Hidden egg in a hanging ornament up high on the awning. Something for the older kids to reach.