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Tidying Up with Kids: Using Marie Kondo’s Method with Littles

Kelly Taylor

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The famous book written by Marie Kondo has given hope and advice to many. Learning to think about what “sparks joy” in your life and what does not can definitely be life-changing. Netflix has helped bring this advice to life by hosting the “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” show. Marie has been going into people’s homes and helping them experience the magic of tidying. The advice she gives seems like grand advice unless you have kids. You start wondering how you could possibly put any of this into effect with children running around. Is it possible?

Absolutely! Below are just a few ways in which Marie Kondo’s method can help parents.

Everything Needs a Home

Remember that old saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place”? One of Marie Kondo’s lessons is about how important this principle is, and I cannot agree with her enough. When kids are involved, it is even more important. I cannot tell you how many times misplaced items end up cluttering my desk, the dining room table, or the kitchen counters, all because my children do not know where they go. Making a place for everything and teaching your children where that place is will cut down on the clutter immensely.

Allow Your Children to Organize Their Own Space

Every person has their own style and preferences, including kids. If a parent forces their style on a child’s space, it probably will not stay that way. However, if the parent allows the child to participate in the organizational style, there is a higher likelihood of success. When I started allowing my daughters to help organize and decorate their own bedroom, it was easier for them to keep tidy. Because everything is organized in a way that makes sense to them, they do not have to think about where their things go anymore.

Let Your Child Decide What Sparks Joy for Him or Her

It can be so tempting to purge your child’s stuff yourself. If you just got in there while they are not looking, they would not have half as many items left and it would so much neater! They wouldn’t even notice those toys gone, right?

Wrong! They will absolutely notice something missing that they love. Just do not even try it! Our children are individuals, and though we do not always understand them, they love what they love. We have to let them decide what makes them happy and what does not.

My five-year-old has a pair of lime green shorts that I would burn if it were up to me. They are old and faded and, truthfully, the style seems to be from when I was little. One day, I put them in a charity bag while she was not looking, but later, I decided I should talk to her about it. She said she did not want to get rid of them. When I asked why, she answered, “They’re my mint-stealing shorts. I can put your mints into the little pockets on the front!” I laughed because she is constantly grabbing mints off of my desk and hiding them in those shorts. I find them and tickle her until her tummy hurts with laughter. To me, those shorts were worthless, but to her, they are a part of our fun and games. We simply never know what emotional attachment they have to things, so we should let them choose what to get rid of.

Tidy Up In Front of Your Children

There are many grown women who have no clue how to clean or organize. Why? Their parents never taught them. Often, they never even saw the cleaning done- it just happened somehow. Allowing your children to see you tidy up and, hopefully, getting them involved will not only instill the tidying habit but also have them ready to care for their own home.

It’s Okay to Purge Kids’ Artwork

I know it can seem like a huge betrayal to purge those beautiful pieces of art that your kids have created, but rest assured that it is not. Often, kids forget before long that they made it for you. Display new art for a while but then keep only certain ones. Some people take photos of the work and make it a digital photo album. I have a wall in my home where they are allowed to display their work for a time. We then decide together what we want to put away and what we can throw away. Making them part of the decision-making process will cut back on any drama.

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Nurses Unite to Bail Out Father In Trouble

Renee Yates

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A near tragedy in an Illinois town was almost compounded by a police overreaction, but the quick thinking of a group of nurses saved the day and made everything turn out alright.

The story began in Centreville, a small town in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  On the evening of April 7, 2019, a one-year-old girl named Demani began to choke on a penny. She had put a penny inside her mouth, as children are wont to do, but accidentally swallowed it. The penny became lodged in her throat.  Her father, Darius Hinkle, and her mother, Donecia Pittman, who were with her at the time of the incident, were terrified for their daughter’s safety.  They put her in the car, and began to drive to the hospital. Naturally the mother comforted the choking child while the father drove.  Time was of the essence, so they drove very quickly.

Unfortunately, a police officer saw them driving towards the hospital. Unaware of their destination or the situation, the police officer went into pursuit of the speeding vehicle. Obviously the father did not stop to waste time explaining the situation, but  instead proceeded with all possible haste towards the medical center.  Before they had gone many miles the speeding car was being followed buy a long line of police cars with sirens flashing.  The father disregarded them and continued to the hospital, sometimes at speeds exceeding a hundred miles an hour.  The police kept pursuit.

Very little time passed until they reached their destination, Touchette Regional Hospital. The distressed parents tried to make contact with medical personnel and to inform them of their child’s dire predicament, but witnesses to the incident say that the police were almost entirely unconcerned with the well-being of the baby. Instead, the police forced the distressed parents to the ground, treating them with harshness and severity as they disregarded the choking infant. The father was arrested and taken away. The mother went in to see to her child.

The obstruction was removed from the child’s trachea without the necessity of surgical intervention. Once Demani was out of danger, Ms. Pittman went to bond out her partner. When she arrived she encountered the biggest surprise in an evening filled with surprises.   When Ms. Pittman stepped forward to speak to the desk clerk about paying the bail for Mr. Rucker, she was informed that the person immediately before her had already paid for it. That person was a nurse from the Touchette Regional. The nurses had seen the entire incident, including the man’s overwhelming concern for his daughter and the police officers’ complete indifference to the circumstances. They were moved to action by what they had witnessed.  The nurses took up a collection among themselves and volunteered to pay the man’s bond.

Although Mr. Rucker still faces criminal charges for this incident, and he will still have to appear in court and plead his case, the touching faith that the nurses showed in him has gathered national attention. The story has become an example of how human beings can support each other in the face of injustice. Contributions have been made to the man’s legal defense and to reimburse the nurses for their time and trouble. One can only hope that the police have read this story as well and found in it an example for better behavior.

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Blind Dog Gets Seeing Eye Dog

Kelly Taylor

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Charlie is 11 years old and his age officially makes him a senior pup. A few years ago, Charlie had to have both of his eyes removed because of glaucoma. He managed life and was able to cope with the blindness from day to day, but he did become less excitable and began to slow down. That is all changing now because of a new friend.

Charlie’s owners, Chelsea Stipe and her husband, could tell that the dog could benefit form a friend, even if he was still showing signs that he was a happy dog. They were right. They brought home a puppy named Maverick and things began to change. The two dogs soon became inseparable and Maverick’s puppy energy and enthusiasm seemed to inspire Charlie. Stipe told the media that Charlie had become more puppy like and playful since Maverick was brought home. Stipe used to buy Charlie toys and he would never play with them, but now the two dogs are constantly playing with each other and a handful of toys.

Maverick is only a few months old but has already picked up on the fact that Charlie can’t see and is experiencing the world much differently. Maverick has adapted to help Charlie with his blindness. Stipe said that Maverick seems to know Charlie is different than him and so he’s aware when Charlie begins to move and is always on the lookout for him. He even puts toys in front of him so Charlie can play, and when they are walking together Maverick will help keep Charlie in line. When Charlie is resting, Maverick will too, just to reassure him that he’s always there and he’s not alone.

While Charlie and Maverick are different, nothing has hindered their friendship. In fact, Stipe thinks it has made the two dogs closer. While nothing can make Charlie’s eyesight better or turn back the clock on his life, Maverick gives hope that there is happiness for them both now that they are together. Stipe is confident that if Charlie had eyes, then she would be able to see a twinkle in them. Stipe and her husband used to think they could lose Charlie at any time because he’s an older dog. While they know Charlie won’t live forever, they know he has a new zest for life and he doesn’t have to spend his remaining years gloomy and it’s almost like he is a puppy again. Those who want to keep up with Maverick and Charlie can do so on Instagram.

Glaucoma is more common in certain dog breeds since they are genetically predisposed. About 40% of dogs with glaucoma can become blind in the eye that is affected within the first year, regardless of if they get any surgical or medical treatment, which was the case for Charlie. The condition can be managed if caught early enough and the pressure in the eye will have to be checked by a veterinarian often. Half of dogs that develop glaucoma in one eye will also develop conditions in their other eye within eight months. Veterinarians say that most dogs will adjust over time to the loss of an eye or both eyes, especially since with glaucoma they could have been losing their vision over a longer time period. A veterinarian can suggest ways in helping a dog transition to vision loss and how you can make your home and outdoor life easier for the dog without sight. Many times you will have to pay more attention to your dog when he or she loses sight, since it can be more vulnerable to other animals. While it may not be a guaranteed suggestion, getting another dog may just be the ticket.

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A Woman Who Finally Became Confident With Her Birthmark Inspires Others

Renee Yates

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Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately, not everyone has been seen or regarded as being beautiful by many folks. Having blemish on the skin (birthmark) is one of the most common reasons why many people have been laughed at, scorned at, and even bullied. Truth be told, anyone can develop a mole or discoloration on the skin which can happen before birth or soon after being born. While some could disappear early in life, most birthmarks typically remain visible for life. 

In a bid to avoid public criticisms, some people would prefer to conceal the blemish on their skin by wearing makeup (especially if it’s on the face) or by wearing long or bogus dresses (when it is on other parts of the body). No doubt, it is generally difficult to embrace something that you don’t find beauty in. But this is not how it ought to be. Just so you know, there are many people with birthmarks that freely live their life as they choose to without caring about what others may say. 

While many people see their birthmarks as the reason for their low esteem, there are those who simply see their own discoloration as a beautiful splash of color. Evidently, these are people that see no reason to hide their natural skin color. Yulianna Youssef is one of such wonderful people. She’s an ambitious young woman who hails from Warsaw Poland. 

Currently working as an Instagram blogger, 25-year-old Yulianna has not only chosen to become confident with her large birthmarks but has also begun taking actionable steps to inspire others to openly embrace their situations. During a recent interview with Mirror Online, she publicly talked about how she managed to live her life as a young girl who has a largely conspicuous birthmark on her body. 

According to the Instagram influencer, growing up as a kid with a huge blemish on the skin was never a pleasant experience. As a matter of fact, she had to face lots of criticisms from both children and adults. Covering much of her skin, the blemish was caused by congenital melanocytic nevus (CMN) – a rare condition that can affect babies at birth. 

According to her, the marks made her undergo severe bullying from other children while growing up. But she just had to see it as part of life and endure them. Aside from the discouraging comments she received, she rarely had an opportunity to play with other kids who were restricted by their parents to do so because they misjudged her to be contagious. 

But all these did not demoralize the young girl from becoming who and what she wants to be. Even with her large birthmarks, Yulianna believed in herself, doing everything possible to feel sexy, confident, beautiful, healthy, and happy in her own skin. Initially, she got into hiding from the public to avoid been laughed or scorned at. 

Most times, she wouldn’t dare to come outside the house during the day until with was dark just to avoid the stares and teasing of people. But she soon grew sick and tired of the act and decided to find a way out for herself. Things turned around when she decided to accept her own self for who she is. 

Getting to this level in life wasn’t an easy feat at all. She basically had to face life as it came to survive against all odds. In her own words, “It’s been a long way.”No doubt, she grew up strong embracing her skin as it is and proving her childhood bullies wrong. Now, Yulianna is educating others about her condition from the Instagram page she has started. 

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Mom Forgets Her Baby at Airport

Kevin Wells

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In a plot that could make a Home Alone movie, a plane had to turn around after a mom informed a flight attendant that she forgot her child at the King Abdulaziz International Airport. The mom was on a Saudia Airlines flight when she realized she left her baby in the boarding area at the airport. She got on the plane, sat through the takeoff process, and then realized that she didn’t have her baby. The pilot was able to make arrangements to turn the plane around. In the viral video, the pilot is asking air traffic control if they can come back because a passenger forgot the child.

Every mom has had some forgetful moments, including before they even become a mom and are going through pregnancy. They don’t call it pregnancy brain for nothing. While it’s possible a mom can forget to pick up a child from school or maybe turned her back in a grocery store, causing a toddler to run around for a few minutes, nothing is as bad as leaving your child at the airport.

Traveling with kids can be hard and it’s an exhausting experience, but forgetting a child in an airport seems like a new level of forgetfulness.

The flight was from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. When the plane had already taken off, the mother frantically informed the crew that she had forgotten the baby in the boarding area. A YouTube video captured the conversation between the pilot and the air controller operator and the video has gone viral, with over 1.8 million views. The pilot requests that the flight come back because a passenger forget the baby. He adds in the quote “the poor thing.” The air traffic staff needs the pilot to confirm the story, probably because they think it is so outrageous. The pilot confirms the story and says that the passenger refuses to continue the flight. Finally, air traffic controllers agree that the plane can head back to the gate and admit they haven’t heard this before.

The details of why and how the mother forgot the baby haven’t been released. Many people are trying to fill in the blanks and are asking if the mom was perhaps just too sleep deprived to notice. Maybe she thought her husband or someone else in the party was carrying on the child. Maybe she had older kids who were also flying and she got too distracted trying to take care of them all. Luckily, baby and mom were reunited at the airport after the plane turned back and everyone made it home safely.

Reactions on social media were mixed. Some can’t fathom how a mom forgets a baby at the airport, but there are plenty of stories were children were left at malls or the grocery store. Many people are shocked that it was an airport, out of all places. One Twitter user pointed out that planes will rarely take off immediately once you are boarded, so you have to sit there waiting and waiting and it seems pretty hard to imagine that during that time period, she didn’t notice her baby was missing. Some are also pointing out how nobody in the airport noticed an unattended baby. Some people are calling out the mother as careless and neglectful, while others are more sympathetic and understanding that mom life is difficult and things can happen. Everyone is glad that the baby is okay and one day this child will have a story that can top every other story when it comes to moms forgetting their children. 

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Stuck In Ice: Mom Gives Birth In Car

Renee Yates

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It is generally said that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This is just what a Wisconsin mom has proven along with her family. This whole thing happened when mom Pilar Gauthier gave birth to her son while on the way to the hospital. Before even getting into the car to head to the local hospital, her husband, Matt Grall had called 911 for an ambulance to come to their aid. But little did he know that his wife’s current condition and the seemingly harsh environment would hamper their journey to the hospital. 

Already, ice had covered the road thereby making it too slippery for the ambulance to get through. With labor fast progressing and coupled with the delay, Matt had no better option left than to get into the car with his wife and head for the hospital. Obviously, it was difficult to drive on the icy roads but they just had to get going to beat time. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned. 

Noticing how Pillar’s contractions ramped up, it was clear that there wasn’t ample time to make it to the hospital. To this end, Matt had no other choice but to pull over to attend to the situation. He had to find a place to park the car and attend to his wife. Other than film the whole situation, there was no much work for him to do at this point as he had already played his role by bringing the family to where they are now. 

Right on the side of the road, it became evidently clear that Gauthier will see herself through labor to give birth to her child without medical assistance. Whether they like it or not, the baby was right on the way and they had no other choice but to make preparation for their child’s arrival. They were certainly in for an unconventional delivery. 

Not long after they had pulled over, baby Mayan came along. There was no much time to struggle as things moved very quickly. According to Matt, the whole delivery thing lasted for about 5 minutes. One interesting thing that happened at the time was having everyone work in tandem to make things work. The family’s younger children all had some fantastic roles to play during the delivery process. In fact, one of them had to use a shoelace to tie off the umbilical cord after the baby’s arrival. 

The Deputy Sheriff Sandra Finger came to the scene a few minutes after Baby Mayan was born in the car. Basically, she had to stay around to ensure that both mom and baby were safe as they waited patiently for the arrival of the ambulance. According to her, she even had to provide a blanket to keep them warm from the freezing cold. Dad had to continue what he was doing to help his wife. 

Due to the icy condition of the roads, it was entirely difficult to get to the hospital. In fact, a plow driver had to come to their aid to plow the route to enable the ambulance to get to the hospital. Even at that, the roads were too slippery for the plow to get on with work. Thankfully, they were still able to make it to the hospital. 

Obviously, the coming of the newest addition to the family and the circumstances surrounding his birth was very challenging. Kudos should be given to the family for the courage they took to weather the storm and ensure a safe delivery process. Despite the challenge before them, it is just interesting to see how everyone remained calm and collected throughout the entire time. 

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