Chico & the Chore Chart

After being asked for the millionth day in a row for a damn cake pop (cookie dough only please) I realized that my kid needs to start earning his keep around here. I tend to think of Chico as a baby even though he's 3.5, but I realized it's high time we start giving him daily chores. He loves to help so I don't know why this didn't dawn on me sooner... most likely it's because I always have someone screaming in my ear that they need something... but I digress...

First line of business was to find a chart that had pictures of the chores instead of just words because I really want to encourage self-sufficiency. If he can't look at the chart and determine what the chore is then what's the point ya know? I also wanted it to be as simple and streamlined as possible. Of course this didn't exist so I literally printed a million free charts off of Pinterest and cut and taped what I liked together and created my own Dr. Frankenstein chore chart. Here is my "Toddler" board on Pinterest where I dump all kinds of ideas so some of the charts are on it - HERE!

It's perfect for Chico because he's learning days of the week at school so he understands the Sunday through Saturday concept and I picked 5 things I thought he could do, would be excited to do and that would also help me out. Brushing his teeth should be done anyways, but I'd like for him to be the one to say, "I need to brush" vs "Let's go Chico - we need to get your teeth brushed!" 

I sat down with him and showed him each thing on the chart but also walked him through it. He had no idea what "making the bed" meant so I just showed him how he would straighten the duvet out nice and flat, how he would put his clothes inside his dirty clothes basket or in the washer directly. I also don't want Chico getting a chair and washing his dishes yet, so for me - setting it on the counter is sufficient and I explained to him what that meant. Each chore earns him 25 cents (more on how this will work below). 

Literally he glowed you guys. He was so excited.

Then the money part came into it. Again - look on Pinterest for printables. These printables were made for Mason Jars, but I really wanted Chico to have his banks not be breakable because I want him to be able to take these around - take the lids off, switch the money around, etc. These containers are stackable which I like for space reasons and can be purchased off Amazon - HERE! You could use washi tape, label makers, etc. to mark the banks how you want. I think its important for the banks to be something the kids can touch - not something that sits on a shelf and looks pretty - you want your kid invested in this and if they can't be a part of it you're cheating them out of the fun. 

Okay so if Chico does all of his chores per day he will get 5 quarters. After day 1 we sat down with the banks and the quarters and this is when I explained what each one meant. 

"Spend" is now - instant gratification and most likely what your kid is going to want to do - and that's okay!

"Save" is exactly what it sounds like. I explained to him that if he wants a bigger item this is where he will want to put his quarters. He immediately responded that he wanted a big blue truck (literally have no clue where this came from). 

"Give" was explained in a few different ways. I explained that he could buy Ozzy something or treat his grandma to coffee or he could even give money to other people that we don't know but who could really use money because they don't have what they need. 

He asked me to repeat and go over it about 2x so he could repeat back and make sure he understood right. At first he wanted to put it all in "Save", but then remembered he wanted a cake pop and promptly put it in "Spend."

The pride on his face as he walked into Starbucks with his quarters was priceless. He even ordered himself and handed over the money. 

The lessons being learned on a daily basis are endless and I cannot believe I didn't think of this sooner. Chico is at an age where he is asking for things he sees when we go to the store. Now, instead of being the "mean mama" who says "No, you can't," I get to say - "Awesome Chico, let's look at the price and see how much you would need to buy it!" His wheels are now turning about money, that things cost, and that if he wants something he must earn it first by helping out around the house. 

It's also teaching us a lot! On day 2 I was on a work call and Adam bathed Chico. He took him straight from the dinner table, to the tub and then to his room to go to bed. In the chaos of bedtime he forgot to remind him to put his plate on the counter and to brush his teeth. My immediately reaction was - "Oh shit, Chico's gonna be so upset he lost out on 2 stickers!" Adam and I realized we need to be more consistent in reminding him to do these things - and since it's not his fault we as parents didn't remind him - we gave him to opportunity to make it up the following day. If he had refused to do them obviously he wouldn't have the option to make it up, but it allows us to show Chico that we are learning and getting better right alongside him - and this is what parenting is all about!

So have fun with it! Make sure your child is involved and invested in the process! Seeing the pride on their face and their wheels turning is the best! 

From Therapist to Health & Wellness Coach - Celebrating 2 years Later

It’s been over 2 yrs since Adam and I started our journey to health. We had just had our first son Chico and things were really out of control. We ate out a lot, made really poor choices when we did, were tired ALL the time and our self-esteems were at an all time low. Every night after dinner meant sitting on the couch, one of us running to 7-11 to get ice cream or chips (or both). Bad days meant treating ourselves with food and good days meant celebrating with food. 

 I was still in maternity clothes almost 6 months after having my son and I started to avoid hanging out with friends and being social because getting dressed was always a reminder of how much I didn’t feel like “me” anymore. I kept my feelings to myself because I felt that admitting them would sound like I was ungrateful for what my body had just accomplished in creating and giving birth to our son and as a feminist I felt conflicted. I remember the night Adam came to me and said he was sick of being over 200 lbs and that he felt in his words - "disgusting." It was then that I realized it wasn't ungrateful or anti-feminist to want to be the best version of myself and that it was more important for my son to have a mother who was happy, confidant and most importantly physically HEALTHY and strong! 

We both realized something needed to change but didn’t know where to start. Thank GOODNESS we found this program that worked for us both - I did my own version that was designed especially for nursing mothers because that was of the utmost importance to me. We really came together in the kitchen and our relationship grew even stronger. Within 4 months we were at our goal weight and dropped over 90lbs between us. And it was actually really simple and structured - which was exactly what we both needed. Something we could stick to for more than a few weeks...

I had far surpassed my pre-pregnancy weight (which was my initial goal) and now weighed what I did when I graduated from high school (15 yrs ago). Our lives were so changed by reclaiming our lives that we decided to become certified health and wellness coaches ourselves. This was all while I was on maternity leave from my job at a non-profit as a therapist. Although my dream was to stay home with my son I didn't think that was realistic or possible with our bills and cost of living in Los Angeles. Then I figured - What do I have to lose? So I went for it - and within one and a half months I was making what I made at my full time job. I was stunned. After 6 years of university I was making enough to stay home and not even working part-time!  

It has been two years since I took the plunge to help others as a health coach and I am happy to say that Adam and I both left our full time careers in order to come home, be with our sons (and each other) and help people find their health and happiness too. We believe that work should fit around your life and not the other way around. Who knew all of this would happen from being sick and tired?

So here's to the most transformative two years I have ever experienced. I have stretched myself in ways I never could have imagined, my marriage rocks and we welcomed our second son, Ozzy into the world last month. To be able to enjoy him and not have a constant knot in my stomach that I have to go back to work is incredible. 


If you know ANYONE who could benefit from integrating health into their lives please don’t hesitate to reach out - it’s what we do - and we love it! & follow us on Instagram #GetFitWithFlores

Non-Scale Victories during my Third Trimester

Yesterday was one of those days where I had a difficult time with my changing body. I have only experienced fleeting moments of this during my pregnancy (thankfully) but then I quickly channel my Hypnobabies "Daily Affirmations" that remind me that "my changing body is radiantly beautiful." I couldn't seem to get in the right headspace so I decided last night that I would try to find a picture of myself as pregnant as I am now and compare them.

I am so glad I did!

I found photos of myself at 35 weeks pregnant with Chico and realized I had the same pants and shirt in my closet! I threw them on and could already tell by the fit that I was going to pleasantly surprised!

It feels like just yesterday I snapped the pictures of myself on top - I remember this was the last set of #ootd (outfit of the day) photos I took for my old blog because not even my maternity clothes felt comfortable anymore. I remember I was headed to my goddaughter's birthday party and even on the drive over I was already dreaming of coming home and putting sweat pants back on so I could breathe again. I was so uncomfortable and couldn't imagine surviving another month of pregnancy feeling this way! I really felt handicapped.

I am currently 34 weeks so there is only 1 week separating where I was in my pregnancy on the top vs the bottom, but the way I feel today feels millions of miles away. I can get in and out of the car easily, all of my maternity clothes still fit comfortably and I am able to wear lots of non-maternity items too! I chase a toddler around all day and even though it can be exhausting, I'm pretty sure that's par for the course when you have a toddler! 

I needed this yesterday - not because I am fighting weight gain while growing a tiny human or hating my changing body (trust me, I know that every single day of this pregnancy is a blessing)- but because pregnancy makes it hard to monitor if eating healthy is paying off physically by just looking in the mirror! The ways I could tell before (ex: how do my clothes fit, do I see more or less muscle tone/definition, etc.) are all moot point now!

So I will just continue to monitor my health the best way I know how - by paying attention to my energy level, my mood, etc. vs looking for physical signs of success! A good lesson for everyone I suspect - to focus more on how we feel internally vs how we look on the outside. 

Hypnobabies Tip of the Day

Did you know that Hypnobabies is set up so your partner can learn the cues and terminology to assist you during the birth? There’s a second supplemental book made just for your birthing time that will assist your partner in helping you. 

Hypnobabies can also be done if you don’t have a birth partner. Adam and I didn’t do the partner exercises – I worked through it alone (though he did hear my daily affirmations) and I still feel I benefited from the program. Don’t let the absence of a birth partner cause you to stay away from the Hypnobabies program!

Busy Bag for Toddlers

Now that Chico is 2 (and some change) it's getting a lot easier to go out to eat with him. We seem to be past the screaming and not wanting to sit at the table while Adam and I scarf down our food and take turns crying.

Just kidding...kind of.

Our usual safety net is the phone or iPad because honestly he just doesn't eat that much so you can't distract the kid with a plate of food unless he happens to be starving that day. But even the iPad can be problematic if the restaurant doesn't have WiFi because heaven forbid he not be able to watch Peppa or George on Netflix (I know eye rolls). 

I decided that I was going to put together a backpack of goodies that will be his to play with only when we go out to eat. This way it is new, fun and exciting for him to dig into his backpack aka "busy bag." 

Here's what's in Chico's backpack and keeping us sane:

1. Coloring Book - Target $1 Bin

2. Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Travel - A non-messy way for kids to "draw," especially if you don't wanna deal with crayons getting tossed across the room. 

3. Baggie full of plastic dinos, trees and a mountain - Target $1 Bin

4. Kinetic Sand - I know, I know...servers everywhere are giving me major side eye for bringing this into a restaurant but I swear we clean up after ourselves. Plus worst case a little bit gets on the floor and it gets vacuumed up at the end of the day. 

5. Sip Snap - This is not Chico's choice it's Mamas. This thing is amazing! It's a universal lid that fits on any cup and turns it into a "sippy cup." Oh and it comes with that carrying case you guys! BPA & Latex free and can stretch onto any cup without leaking. I'm a huge fan because I hate carrying sippy cups with us and Chico plays with straws until water goes everywhere. It's maddening. 

6. Hello Magazine by Highlights - Chico has had a subscription to these since Birth. They are great and have laminated pages so if they get food or water on them it wipes right off plus the pages don't tear. Perfect for 0-2.

7. Puppet - Cost Plus World Market - a favorite little gem from his Great Grandma that tends to get lost in the toy shuffle here at home but when he has it outside of the house it really holds his attention!

8. Monster Truck Activity Book - Target $3 Bin - This thing was a total score - it comes with stickers, crayons and is a coloring book too. 

9. Thomas Train - Big Lots

10. Mp3 player - Baby Einstein - He's had two of these since birth and believe it or not he's still entertained by it! Best part - it has a volume setting so it's not like you have to choose between LOUD A.F. or off. 

11. Pressed Coin Collection - Yup my 2 yr old is 100% nerd just like his Mama! He is obsessed with pressed pennies. This started at our jaunts to Disneyland and has extended anytime we see a penny press machine. He has coins from the zoo, travel town, Little Tokyo, etc! He can sit and examine his collection for a really long time you's bizarre and amazing all at once. 

So there you have it! Maybe you will be inspired to put something together for you tot. You don't have to spend any money on this - just collect some of their favorite stuff that you wouldn't mind keeping in the car at all times. We are trying to make our lives easier - so don't use stuff that your kid is going to miss having inside the house. I would say main pointers would be try to find things that will keep their little hands busy (stickers, drawing, etc), items that aren't crazy loud, and stuff that they can use by themselves or with only minimal help from mom and dad. The point is for them to keep themselves occupied so you can eat! 

Have fun with it and remember - this is a frustrating time but won't be forever. There will be a day where we will all be able to eat with our families at a restaurant in some sort of peace without having food and utensils thrown at us or at the poor innocent folks seated next to us.

So until that day - get creative and breathe!