Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Laundry Win!

I am sure you have all battled with your kids about putting their laundry away.  My son is 5 and he started putting his away about a year ago so he knows how to do it.  Of course it isn't always perfect but he does a good job.

Well last night he decided that he was going to refuse and throw himself on the floor in a tantrum.  So I, as calmly as possible but loud enough for him to hear me over his own screaming, told him to go in his room until he can calm down and we will talk about his decision.

So after he kind of calmed down I informed him that until he puts his laundry away, his laundry basket full of folded clean clothes will sit on top of my dresser untouched and he will have to make due with whatever he has left in his room that is clean or dirty.

He decided that was fine and he "will never put ALL of his laundry away!!" (Stomp and Stomp to make his point clear).

Last night as I was putting his brother to bed he got a pajama shirt from the basket.  I took it off of him and put it back in the basket and told him to find something else in his room.  He found a pair of feety pjs that are fairly thin so he wouldn't be too hot.

This morning he woke up and asked me to help him find clothes.  He had plenty of clean shirts but was out of clean shorts in his room.  He pulled a pair from the dirty hamper to wear (he wore them for 2 hours the day before inside so they weren't really dirty).

Tonight at bedtime I went to say goodnight and he was in thick feety pjs and said he was hot.  I told him to take them off and sleep naked or in whatever he could find that was clean.

He decided to put his laundry away!

And he just came out and asked if I had MORE laundry for him to put away!

Definite Mommy Laundry Win!

Monday, June 23, 2014

10 Tips for Good Beach Etiquette

With summer here I'm sure many of you have plans to hit the beach!  Living in a beach area myself it is very frustrating to go to the tourism beach because proper beach etiquette is not used at all! Because of this most locals, including myself steer clear of the main oceanfront until the tourists are gone which pretty much leaves us at the beach in the winter!

So I decided that maybe people who don't live at the beach don't know the right way to be at the beach. I'm here to help you not tick off the locals!

1.  If there is plenty of beach available, do not plop down right next to somebody else.

2.  If you have kids with you, be mindful of the people there without kids and do not sit right next to      them in sand throwing range.  Just think if you had a day at the beach without your kids, would          you want somebody else's kids throwing sand at you?

3.  Whatever you bring with you, take with you.  Do not leave wrappers and food scraps on the              beach.  This is littering and it also attracts bugs and other creatures who live there. Ever hear the      phrase only take with you what you brought and leave only footsteps?  You can take seashells,          but nothing alive because it will die!

4.  Pick up your cigarette butts.  They are litter too.  I hate it when I go to the beach and my kids            bring me cigarette butts that they found and don't know what they are.  It is gross and very much      littering.

5.  Do not stand up and shake off all of your belongings without looking around first.  You will most      likely shake all of your sand onto somebody else.  Move up closer to the entrance of the beach          and do it there or be very careful shaking your items as close to the ground as possible.                      Sometimes I bring home more sand than I should because I would rather shake my stuff in my          yard than onto somebody else.

6.  Do not shade other people.  If they wanted an umbrella or beach tent, they would have brought          one.

7.  If you bring a pet, keep it on it's leash if it doesn't listen off the leash.  It sucks to have a wet dog      run up and jump all over you.

8.  If you want to play frisbee or something, either be good enough that you don't hit anybody, or do      it far enough away so that it doesn't hit anybody.  I don't want to have to watch for flying objects      while relaxing at the beach.

9.  Accidents happen, but if you break glass at the beach clean up as much as you possibly can, even      if it means taking a bucket of sand to the trash!  Or better yet, don't bring glass to the beach.

10.  Respect those around you.  I saved the best for last because it is the biggest reason that all of            these other things happen.  Think about everybody else on the beach trying to enjoy their time          and then think about how your actions or lack of action can prevent them from enjoying their            time too.

All in all, it is all about being aware of your surroundings and enjoying the beach while letting others enjoy it too.  Just remember you are not the only one on the beach and if you don't like it when somebody does it to you, they probably don't like it either.

If I left anything out, please add it in the comments!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Word Family Flip Books

I was looking on Pinterest for some ideas about how to help my 5 year old start learning how to read and came across these word family flip books.  I tried to click the link but the blog no longer exists or I would totally give whoever it was credit!

The flip books were very easy to make.  I used a piece of card stock for the outside and construction paper for the inside.  I cut the construction paper to cover about 1/3 of the card stock.  I didn't have a stapler long enough to reach the middle because my hubby stole the big one and took it to work so I punched 2 holes in the construction paper and lined it up with the card stock.  I used yarn to hold it together with the knot on the outside.  Sorry I don't have any pictures of the construction, but I wasn't sure it would work!

I wrote the first word on the card stock and used the construction paper to change the first letter. The flip books were done!

My son loves them and knows almost all of the words already.  It is fun for him to flip through them and easier than flashcards because they all stay together.

I hope you enjoy your word family flip books too!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

You Are Strong.

I haven't posted in awhile because I have been scrambling to catch up with life, and the house, and the kids, and of course school.  I am no longer watching Baby C and it has been a very weird first week without him so I have been very out of sorts.  I have also been having some family drama going on since around Christmas time that has really taken its toll on me.

Tonight I called my dad just to talk.  I talked to him about everything that has been worrying me and everything that has been going on, even though he has heard it 1000 times before.  It was really great to talk to him.  I have always been what you would call a daddy's girl, and tonight's talk is one of the many reasons why.

He has always been there for me.  He loves me unconditionally.  He laughs at my jokes.  He also thinks he is pretty funny.  He has always shown me the way to love unconditionally and to be the person I am today.  He is my dad and I love him with all my heart.

Tonight after talking to him for awhile and being in tears over the family drama I was talking about, he said something to me that really hit me.  He said "You are strong".  He continued to tell me why I am strong and what I have done recently and throughout my life that make me strong.  And you know what?  It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I have been feeling like giving up on some things recently.  I don't want to go into much detail about my person life, but there have been things throughout my whole life that I have put a stop to recently. It involves stopping speaking to a particular person and this was not well received throughout my family.  Because of this, I have become an outcast and have considered giving up on said person and cutting my losses.

My dad said "you are strong" because I have endured this and continue to do so.  Because I keep trying and wishing and hoping that things will change, even if I know that it can never be the way it used to be.  He will support me in any decision I make and even if I do choose to give up, he will still support me and still tell me I am strong.

Do you have somebody who always says the right thing?  Do you have somebody who can make you feel better about everything?  Those 3 words were all I needed to hear.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kicking the Facebook Habit!

I have decided to take the plunge and kick my Facebook addiction. I find myself using Facebook and ignoring things around me more than I like to admit.  I think to myself "oh, just one more minute won't hurt" and then I am still glued to it 10 minutes later.

I spend half of my day on my phone looking at Facebook. It is kind of my escape when I need a mommy moment. I use this rather than reading a magazine or a book, or doing something beneficial, but then I get sucked in. And at that point it's a bad distraction from everything in front of me, such as my kids! 

I decided I need to kick the Facebook habit and get my attention back to reality!

How am I planning on doing this might you ask?

I know that I will never stop or reduce my Facebook usage with it on my phone, iPad, and every other hand held electronic in the house!  So it is time to get serious!  

My goal: 
Limit Facebook usage to 2-3 times per day. 

My plan:
DELETE the apps from all of my electronics so I have to use the computer. 

Why this should work:  
I really only have my computer out when the kids are either napping or after bedtime because they can't seem to keep their hands off of it. Because of that I won't be able to get on Facebook as much and let it consume me. 

In one month I will do another post on my success or failure and anybody else who is willing to take the plunge with me can give their input also!

Who's with me?!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I Survived Friday!

Well today was one of those days that just kept on giving...

Have you ever had one of those days where it is just one thing after another, after another, after another?

I woke up this morning with the thought "It's Friday, today will be a good day."

I had set the coffee maker the night before so I thought I was golden.

I went downstairs with my 5 year old.  Asked him what he wanted for breakfast and he said a frozen waffle...  I realized we don't have any, but figured for good measure I would double check the freezer in the garage where we keep our extra stuff.

I went out and TA-DA! the freezer was open, and had been since the day before when my 5 year old got a loaf of bread out around 11am.  In this freezer was a lot of meat, breads, and of course on the top shelf a gallon sized baggie of ice....  Imagine what my freezer looked like.

I kept my cool and told Z that he needs to be more careful with the door and he needed to help me clean it all up.  As I was explaining why we now have to cook 2 whole chickens, a pack of chicken breasts, and about 15 lobster tails, he decided he was going to 'help me cook and eat it all!" and was very excited.  Now if only I felt the same way...

After we removed all of the meats and the food that was ruined because of the melted ice that was covering everything I had to figure out what to do with everything.  The lobster tails and the chicken breasts were a must cook today and the whole chickens were still partially frozen so at least I have a couple of days with those.

At this point, still no coffee has been drank.

Baby C arrives around 7:30am and wants to eat so I get his breakfast ready and Z gets cereal because no waffles.  Both are eating as I go through the meats.  I turn my back and hear "uh oh".  Z had spilled his bowl of cereal with milk all over himself and the floor.  So he cleans that up and strips in the kitchen leaving his milk covered clothes strewn about.  I have to find him new clothes in the laundry baskets in the living room because I have had ZERO time to put all of our laundry away.  After he is done eating I finish cleaning up the mess and Baby C's mess.

Hubby takes him to school and it downpours for the next 2 hours.

I had plans to go with the babies and a friend to shop for some shorts for me because every pair I own either has paint on them or holes.  It was pouring so bad and the babies wouldn't cooperate so instead we only had time to go through Starbucks drive through (her treat thankfully!).

I go in to pick up Z at school and realize I completely missed a short program his class was doing... and I cried, at his school, in front of his teacher and his class.  Luckily it wasn't the sobbing fit that I would have done had I been home.  I felt like CRAP because I had been telling him ALL week I was going to be there.  Definite Mommy FAIL!  I asked him and he assured me he was only a little bit upset but not too much.

We get home, Z helps me make everybody PBJs.  As I am giving the little ones their food I glance behind me to see Z (who recently learned how to pour milk when the carton is only half full) pouring his own milk, not even slowing down when it is spilling over the sides of his cup and the stepstool he is using as a table.  After he cleans that mess up (20 minutes later), he decides he isn't hungry because I guess I missed a school party too because he supposedly ate "about 3 cupcakes, some chips, some cookies, and some other stuff I don't remember."

Ok!  Naptime and quiet time!  Z came out of quiet time 3 times to pee.  This boy can hold it all day, but for an hour in quiet time he has to come out 3 times...This equals I accomplish nothing....

Everybody gets up...My sister picks up Z and takes him to play with his cousin.  The next 2 hours were pretty uneventful and I got a few errands run with cooperative babies.

Between 430pm and 630pm Z had 2 complete fits where he was sent to his room for not listening to simple things...Things that there is no reason to argue over, such as me saying "can you take these 2 army men and put them in the bag they go in?" and him saying "no! I am not doing something Yucky!  I will not do that!".  ummmm really?  I think you will or you will go to your room.... and he stayed in his room and missed half of his bedtime show= another fit....

I get K to bed at 7pm, start putting Z to bed, K wakes up at 7:30 crying...I get him back to bed.  Z still not asleep so he calls me back into his room.

8:45pm and he came out of his room for the 5th time since 7:30... I put him back to bed and closed his door (always fall asleep with it open).

I survived....tomorrow can only be better!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Making a Caterpillar Habitat

If you have kids you know that they want to adopt everything that they find outside.  Z has been learning about caterpillars at school and found a caterpillar outside.  I have never had a caterpillar and had no idea what they needed to live so of course I googled it!

I found out different facts such as caterpillars are pretty picky with what they eat and generally only eat one type of plant so it is important to know where he was found!  The kids of course just said "on the ground over there", so I went with the only plant over there.  You need to have part of the plant for the caterpillar to feed on and you want it to be in water because the caterpillar gets its water from the plant it eats.  You need to put a screen over the water or cotton balls in it to make sure the little guy doesn't drown if he falls in.  It says you can pretty much use any container and we happen to always have large plastic containers that pretzels and animal crackers come in from BJs or Costcos, so that is what we used.

Some sites said put dirt at the bottom, some didn't specify, but I figured he was found on the ground on the dirt so I would like him to be as comfortable as possible in his new home.  It also said to make sure that he has a stick to climb on to get to the plant he eats.  We forgot this step until we saw him trying to climb the side of the container and he couldn't so we quickly added a stick and he climbed right up and started eating away.  It was hard to get a good picture of him eating through the container, but it was really neat watching him chomp away at the leaves.

We used a panty hose sock to cover the top so he could get air but not out.  I found that it was a little thick and a lot of condensation was collecting in the container so I poked some small holes in the container and it has been fine since.

I had no idea what kind of caterpillar it was so I posted a picture on Facebook and a friend of mine happens to know a lot about them so she identified it as an Eastern Tent Caterpillar that turns into a brown moth with white stripes.  Once I knew what he was we looked him up and know what to expect as in time frame and feeding.

The first day was a little touch and go with Caterpilly (the kids named him).  The first 24 hours he just laid on the bottom of the tank kind of curled up and didn't really do anything. I even poked him a little to make sure he was still alive!  Who knows how many times he was dropped and squeezed by the well meaning kiddos before he made it to me for a new home.

Today he finally recovered and started eating and crawling around so it looks like he is here to stay for about a month.  We have since collected 4 more caterpillars.  So we have Caterpilly, Bell, Sweetie Pie, Fred, and Optimus.  They are all doing well and growing very fast.  They are eating leaves like crazy and they like fruit trees so I read that they will eat banana slices and some fruits.  One caterpillar ate some of the banana, but they weren't too interested in them.

I think I might be more mesmerized than the kids by the caterpillar family we have.  I can't pass their habitat without checking on them!

I will post updates as he grows and starts his process of turning into a moth.  The kids are thrilled to have a new pet.