More Kind Stuff

So as part of our giveaway last week, I asked entrants to post something kind that someone did for them or that they did for someone else.  I really enjoyed reading the comments so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.  Maybe they’ll inspire you too.

  • The little girl next door is about 11 years old and she always comes over with her old toys to give to my son.  He loves seeing her and it is so generous of her to think of him.  It really touches my heart!
  • I’ve bought food for a homeless person
  • Helped 2 lost dogs find their owner today
  • I just gave all my sons clothes that don’t fit him to my SIL.  I hope it helps her.  I wish someone would have did it for me!!!  I will still give her all the clothes he outgrows!
  • My friend watches my son when I get overwhelmed with homework
  • My best friend came over one day solely to help me spring clean my house from top to bottom, every nook and cranny
  • Last night hubby came home with dinner 🙂
  • My mom bought hubby and I a gift card for dinner and babysat so we could go on a much needed date! 🙂
  • My grandmom is gifting us with gDiapers!  She is great!
  • My wife took care of me all week while I was sick.
  • My 5 year old niece made me a beaded bracelet.
  • My coworker covered my shifts at work the past two days so I could stay home with my sick child.
  • My spouse has an amazing way of holding me and making me feel like everything is just fine even when it isn’t.  That kindness is amazing.
  • i was put onto bedrest before the birth of my daughter, my brother without hesitation flew down to Arizona, from WA, to take care of my toddler for me.  Without a moments hesitation he bought a plane ticket, and didnt hesitate when I need him to stay longer.  He has to be the best brother, uncle, around.
  • I just finished up getting all the pieces to a gdiaper diaper bag present for my best friends baby shower! I cannot wait to give her the beautiful new diaper bag, which is a discontinued color that she absolutely loves! I searched high and low, and found one on ebay, then i stuffed it with all sorts of goodies, including some beautiful new gdiapers!
  • It was particularly cold today, and my husband turned on my electric mattress pad so when I got home from work at midnight, my bed was toasty waitin for me!!
  • I’ve had someone pay for me and my sons dinner after I had lost my card. My 2 year old will opens the door for everyone.
  • I remember when my son was born and I was adjusting to life with a newborn, any teeny tiny thing that my husband did for me was so kind. Before bed, he would set up my “nighttime nursing station” for me. Simple, but so appreciated
  • A friend introduced me to gDiapers, and became my diaper fairy, helping me get started on an awesome stash!
  • So many kind friends kind friends bought us dinner if the first few weeks after L was born. Such a big help:)
  • Bought me flowers and told me what a great mother and wife I was <3
  • My wife sends me a picture of our son everyday while I’m at work. Its little, but it makes me so happy when I cannot be home with them!
  • My husband made me breakfast in bed today … and everyday!!!
  • A stranger gave me a compliment, just to be nice.

Five Baby Products I’m Glad We Didn’t End Up Using & Our Giveaway Winner!

This week’s Five Things Friday is five things we bought for our babies but I’m glad we didn’t use.  I’ve been chucking full tubes and packing up stuff since they’re still in good use.  Not terribly inline with my goals of reducing waste, but I’m ok with that.

1.  Swim Diapers – I’ve been using gDiapers as swim diapers for our bubs too.  Just don’t include an insert and you’re set!

2.  Formula – Because you never know when an issue might pop up (I could get sick alimentumor need to be separated from baby), we bought a can of formula in case of emergency.  Based on our experience with our older daughter, we bought a very broken down formula in case the younger one also showed signs of allergies.  Well, around 3 months old, she did.  So we prepared a bottle of formula and went to go see her doc.  Her pediatrician wasn’t concerned in the least and we just decided to cut out the dairy and we never did use that bottle of formula.  It was a $30 can but I’m glad I was able to breast feed her through the entirety of her first year.

3.  Desitin – According to the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database, desitinDesitin ointment is not that bad; it has highly toxic fragrances that are of concern but otherwise is of low to moderate hazard.  But when you look at the ingredients, you see that there are methylparabens, BHA (according to this site, is potentially carcinogenic to humans”), and other questionable ingredients.  With our second baby, I’ve only used Earth Mama Angel Baby bottom balm, which is made up of natural ingredients.

4.  Bottles – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bottles – we did use them for the formula my older daughter needed for her allergies and they’re absolutely a necessity so mom can get away sometimes.  But I’d say my younger daughter drank from a bottle less than 15 times; 10-12 of those times were when we went away for a weekend and the baby stayed with my parents.  I’m glad we didn’t use them because that’s one less habit we’d have to break!  The flip side is that it also means that it was ALWAYS me who fed her.  In the middle of the night, in the middle of the day, everyday.

5.  Little Fevers – My older daughter’s Little Fevers expired a few months after my littlefeversyounger daughter was born.  I’m glad neither of them needed it enough to wipe out the whole bottle!  Same thing with baby Benedryl.  Tossed that too.

 

 

And finally, congratulations to Lauren Allen, the winner of a new pair of Good Natured gPants!  You should have an email from me waiting in your inbox.  Woohoo!  Giveaways are fun!

50 Easy Acts of Kindness

To wrap up Be Kind week, I though I’d make a list of ideas for 50 easy acts of kindness.  You don’t have to spend money.  You don’t have to go too far out of your way.  All you have to do is see things from someone else’s viewpoint and think of something that might help them or make make them feel good.  It was surprisingly easy to come up with this list.  What are some easy kind acts that you can think of?

  1. kindesssmallHold open a door for someone whose hands are full
  2. Help someone put their groceries in their car
  3. Write a thank you note to your child’s teacher or instructor.  Be specific about what you appreciate or give an example of why they’re so awesome.
  4. Call your mom
  5. Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans
  6. Send a note to your dad recounting a happy memory of your childhood
  7. Make your spouse their favorite treat or dinner
  8. Offer to watch a friend/family member’s kids so that they can catch a break.
  9. Leave coupons that you’re not going to use for someone else at the grocery store.
  10. Send a package to a deployed soldier
  11. Make an extra dinner portion and give it to someone who could use a little help
  12. Bring a snack to share into the office (or to the office of your kids’ school)
  13. Return the shopping cart to the cart corral for a mom/dad with young kids OR if you see a parent getting out of the car with two little kids, offer them your cart if you’re done with it .
  14. Offer a hot chocolate to someone at the bus stop on a cold morning
  15. The next time you bake a treat, bake extra and give it to someone whom you appreciate
  16. Write a positive review on yelp if you think someone did a good job.
  17. If you receive particularly good service on the phone, ask to speak to the agent’s supervisor and let them know about your experience
  18. Collect box tops for kids who are collecting them for school
  19. Collect toiletries from hotel amenities and donate them to a women’s shelter
  20. Take your kids to visit the elderly at a retirement homediana
  21. If someone (anyone!) smiles at you, for god’s sake, smile back!
  22. If you have a bunch of items to purchase at the grocery store and the person behind you doesn’t, let them go first.
  23. If you see someone drop something, pick it up for them.  Bonus points if it’s an elderly person, pregnant woman, or parent with a baby in their arms.
  24. Compliment a coworker on a presentation or communication well done.
  25. Put your crummy day behind you and meet your spouse with a smile when they or you come home.
  26. Leave an encouraging comment on someone’s blog.  We love that.
  27. Invite a single friend over for dinner on a weeknight just because.
  28. Offer a cold drink to someone who is working on your home
  29. Leave extra coins on the machine at the Laundromat
  30. Make eye contact and smile at the person at the drive-thru
  31. Leave a large tip for good service
  32. Give a gift card or a thank you note to someone who regularly provides service to you
  33. Clean the windshield of the car next to you while pumping gas (ask first!)
  34. Leave a flower in a coworker’s cube to brighten their day
  35. Write a note with sidewalk chalk on a neighbor’s driveway
  36. Bring in your neighbor’s garbage cans
  37. Pick up trash at the park
  38. Let your doctor know what you appreciate about their care
  39. Make a list and rattle off why you’re proud of your child
  40. wildeMake a list and rattle off why you’re proud of your spouse
  41. Make a list and rattle off what you admire about your parents
  42. Thank a soldier and explain to your child (in front of the soldier) why he’s/she’s a hero
  43. Leave a treat for your mail carrier in your mailbox
  44. Offer to take a picture for someone who is clearly trying to get a picture but can’t get the selfie to work
  45. When you see a mom with kids going crazy, give her a smile and let her know it gets easier
  46. When you like something about a stranger’s appearance, tell them
  47. Introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know anyone at a party you’re attending
  48. Open your home to a friend – no need for a fancy meal or scrubbing the house top to bottom – just tell them to come over
  49. Recycle, reuse and reduce – being kind to the earth counts too!
  50. Accept kindness graciously.  It allows others to feel good too.

It’s a Good Natured gDiaper Giveaway!

Be Kind Week continues here on mycrunchylife.  Talking about kindness has really made me aware of how easy it is to be nice and how much more I can do.  From a selfish perspective, being kind to others just makes me feel good.  It’s a little ego boost that serves everyone.

One way to be kind that I haven’t talked about this week is being kind to the earth.  We try to be green in our home by driving an electric car, recycling whenever possible, using earth friendly products, reusing all kinds of stuff, and reducing the amount of trash we produce.  I was REALLY happy when I looked in the trash can on the curb this week and saw such little trash in there.  One of the most tangible ways we reduce our trash is by not using typical disposable diapers.  We use gDiapers instead.  gDiapers are hybrid diapers that allow you to choose what type of insert fits your lifestyle best.  We primarily use cloth inserts and wash them at home.  When we are traveling, I use gDiapers’ disposable inserts.  They’re wonderful – super absorbent, biodegradable (!!!), and even flushable (!!!!!!!!).  Don’t try that with a typical disposable; it’ll sadly just need to sit in a landfill for hundreds of years.

Raise your hand if you’re interested in a giveaway!

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Sia is!  Hmmm…what should the giveaway be???

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gDiapers!  The kind folks at gDiapers are generously sponsoring a giveaway!  Hooray!

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The latest release from gDiapers is the Good Natured gPant.

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I love the colors on this one and for whatever reason, I like the way the g tag looks.  Even Sia’s booty agrees that being kind is the way to go.  Kind to each other, kind to our children, kind to strangers, and kind to our mother earth.  Love it!  I’ve decided that this gPant is the official uniform when we commit random acts of kindness!

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Do ya want your baby’s bottom to look this adorable?  Do ya wanna be kind to the Earth?  Do ya?  I know you do.

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It’s easy to win a free pair of Good Natured gPants in your baby’s size.  Just fill out the entry  below with something kind that someone has done for you OR something kind you’ve done for someone else.  And for a bonus entry, like gDiapers’ facebook page.  We’ll randomly pick one winner; entries are open now and will close on Thursday, March 27th at 11:59 PST.  The winner will be announced on Friday, March 28th.  Thank you gDiapers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In case you don’t win, you can get yours here.  Good luck!

5 Kind Things to Do For Your Loved Ones

dalaiSince it’s be kind week on mycrunchylife.com and it’s five things friday too, here are five ways to to be kind at home.  I was looking up benefits to kindness and came across some information from psychologist Sonja Lyubomirksy, whose research suggested that students who performed five acts of kindness were happier than a control group who didn’t.  Side note…this psychologist’s name sounded incredibly familiar so I looked her up and sure enough, she is at the University of California, Riverside, where I attended two years of college.  I am 98% sure I was a research assistant for her my sophomore year.  She was doing studies on happiness back then too.  Back on track: those who performed five acts a day were happiest of all.  Furthermore, happiness is even greater when the acts of kindness are directed towards those we know as opposed to strangers. It feels good to strengthen our relationships.  So how about we do some nice things for the people we love?

1.  The next time someone in your family asks you to hand them a blanket, don’t just hand it to them, tuck them in.  My husband just did that for me the other night and I thought it was so kind.

2.  Leave a love note for your spouse or child on the bathroom mirror.

3.  Volunteer to do your partner’s or your kid’s chore for them.  Tell them it’s because you love them.  Maybe they’ll pay it forward!

4.  Put down the remote, the laptop, the phone, the tablet, or the game controller and listen to a loved one tell you about their day.

5.  When your loved one is taking a shower, throw their towel in the dryer.  When they come out, they’ll have a warm snuggly surprise waiting for them.

Click here to enter our Be Kind Week giveaway for a free pair of Good Natured gPants!

Teaching Kids About Being Kind

bekindOne thing that’s great about kids is that they have genuine actions.  Typically when they’re really little, if they do something nice, it comes from the heart.  They’re not trying to manipulate or get on your good side or get something out of it; it’s just their nature coming through.  I love it when my 13 month old baby tries to feed me food.  The smile on her face is priceless.  It’s her version of being kind.  She’s giving her food to me.  When she was barely two, I bought my older daughter a placemat.  I showed it to her and the first question she asked was “Where’s baby Sia’s?”  That came from a genuinely kind and thoughtful place.  I’m concerned that as they get older, they will fall out of the habit of being kind or that they’ll take kindness for granted.  So here are a few ways to teach kids how to be kind:

1.  Lead through example.  There is no better way to teach kindness than to live it and model it for your kids.  If they see it in action, they will adapt it into their own lives because it’s just what you do.  And after you’ve done something for someone else, explain to them why.  For example, if you stop to help someone put away their groceries, afterwards, tell your child that the person “needed help because the groceries were heavy and it’s a good thing we were able to help them!”

2.  Talk about kindness DAILY.  Maybe it’s dinner conversation – “Did anyone see any kindness in the world today?”  Maybe it’s telling them about something kind that someone did for you.  Use the words “appreciate, kind, considerate, out of their way, nice, thoughtful” and describe how it felt to receive or give the kind act.  Ask them about what they did today that was kind.

3.  Make it a point to recognize when someone does something kind.  Especially the child.  Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce.  I find myself telling my child that I’m proud of her often.  Lately she’s been asking me why and I try to make sure I tell her that I’m proud of her kind heart and then give her examples.  When she shares with her sister, I tell her that it was a kind thing to do.  It feels good to be recognized and if it encourages her to do it again, then I’m in!

4.  Make suggestions.   You can’t force kids to be kind but you can help them find ways to do so.  I’ve noticed that if I say “Miss K, baby is crying.  Go give her a toy.” usually there is some dismissal or even pushback.  It seems to be a lot smoother if I say something like “Oh no!  Baby is sad!  Do you think she would feel better if you gave her a toy?”  Coming up  ideas and letting the child choose gives them the chance to own the act of being kind.

5.  Find ways to be kind together.  My daughter and I were at Costco once and there was a handicapped woman trying to get some paper towels into her cart but was clearly struggling.  When we turned the aisle and we saw her, I said to my daughter “She looks like she could use some help, should we go see if she would like some help?” And the enthusiastic “Yes!  We should help her!” was amazing.

An amazing example of teaching children about kindness comes from a dear high school friend’s family.  They sadly had to cope with the devastation of having a still born son.   I cannot begin to fathom the pain they’ve been through.  I believe that if it were me, I would shut down and close myself off to the world.  That I would have a hard time understanding why the world was so awful.  Instead, this beautiful family has taken their grief and turned it into something beautiful.  Check them out here.  This family of four goes around doing random acts of kindness to honor their son, Dylan.  They’ve made donations to the L&D ward at their local hospital, paid for fellow diners’ meals, handed out Krispy Kreme gift cards, and brought treats for nurses and firemen.  The best part is that they involve their two sons in this and their sons genuinely seem to enjoy it and get joy from it.

They really serve as inspiration to me. And today is the Vernal Equinox so I think a celebration is in order.  I’m going to challenge myself to do something kind everyday for a month.  I’ll report back.  Wish me luck.

It’s Be Kind Week!

kind

adjective

: having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others : wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately and I think I have a lot to say.  So it’s Be Kind Week on mycrunchylife.  I just want to share some thoughts with you, hopefully provide some inspiration, make a commitment and do a fun giveaway, all in the name of kindness.

I think I’ve always been a nice person but I don’t think I’ve necessarily been a kind person.  In my book, this is differentiated by action.  So for example, I’ve always been nice in that I think I make people feel comfortable; I’m seldom rude or cold but I also seldom go out of my way to help another.  I’ve been feeling kindness lacking in my life so I’m hoping to spark a change by writing about it.

Here’s why I think being matters:
It’s infectious.  Be kind to someone and chances are they’ll appreciate it and be kind someone else.  Maybe not in the same way, but that act is infectious.  Whether it’s peer pressure or leading through example, being kind and doing something nice influences others.

It makes you feel good.  No one ever said that kindness needed to be altruistic.  Doing something nice for someone else is like getting a hug without invading personal space.  It just feels good.  And there’s proof (clinical studies and all!) from a researcher at Stanford that students that performed five weekly acts of kindness were happier than a control group who didn’t and the ones who were happiest of all were those that performed five acts of kindness a day.  So it feels good and is good for you!

The world is a better place because of it.  You know this.  We have billions of people in the world we all just want to feel connected to someone.  Acts of kindness help us feel not so alone.  There are days when you can give and there are days when you’ll need to receive.

Hell, it’s the right thing to do.  I don’t know what to say about this but it is.

So let’s talk about being kind and then do something about it.  Tomorrow I’d like to write about children and how to teach the idea of “be kind.”